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When Sinners Have the Upper Hand #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
August 2, 2022 8:00 am

When Sinners Have the Upper Hand #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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August 2, 2022 8:00 am

Last time, Pastor Don Green took us through the first part of Psalm 10, in which the Psalmist reveals his alarm at the seeming prosperity of the wicked. Pastor Don also pointed out two notable marks of the wicked- Their hostility to God and their ungodly trust in themselves. Today, our teacher will cover the appeal of the godly, meaning we must ultimately trust our Savior rather than men. That's how we can achieve peace amidst this world's turmoil. Have your Bible open and ready as we join our teacher now, teaching God's people God's word, here in THE TRUTH PULPIT.--thetruthpulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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This is not a psalm of discouragement. This is a psalm of confidence. This is a psalm of how to respond when you're living in a world by wicked people. Thanks for joining us on the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hi, I'm Bill Wright. Today Don has the conclusion of his message, When Sinners Have the Upper Hand. Last time Don took us through the first part of Psalm 10, in which the psalmist reveals his alarm at the seeming prosperity of the wicked. Don also pointed out two notable marks of the wicked, their hostility to God and their ungodly trust in themselves. Today our teacher will cover the appeal of the godly, meaning we must trust ultimately in our Savior rather than in men. And that's how we can achieve peace amidst all the turmoil of this world.

So friend, have your Bible open and ready as we join our teacher now teaching God's people God's Word in the Truth Pulpit. In verses 8 through 10, in a final flourish, David describes the cunning violence of this wicked man. They're like animals stalking after their prey. If you've ever watched a cat going after a bird or watched a bigger animal getting ready to jump on its Sunday meal, you have a sense of what's being described in these next three verses. David says in verse 8, he sits in the lurking places of the villages. In the hiding places he kills the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the unfortunate. He lurks in a hiding place as a lion in his lair. He lurks to catch the afflicted. He catches the afflicted when he draws him into his net. He crouches, he bows down, and the unfortunate fall by his mighty ones. You have the picture of this man plotting and scheming in secret.

And, you know, one of the things that I thought about, the kind of a modern illustration of this, there's so many of them. The scam artists that will cheat elderly people out of their life savings. Smart, suave, smooth speakers who go after people whose mental capacity is a little diminished. They isolate them and they have them take advantage and sign over documents. I was hearing about something not too long ago where a widow had signed over her savings to such a man as this. That's the idea of this wickedness, lurking, getting people off to the side and then attacking them to take advantage of them. And what we see is in Scripture is that Scripture is not silent. God is not indifferent to that kind of criminal activity. These men hide themselves to hurt unsuspecting people. They use false pretenses to receive donations after a natural disaster. You've all seen this.

A hurricane hits, a tsunami is overseas, and all of a sudden there are a multiplicity of new organizations designed to provide relief funds. Just send us the check. And the money never gets there. That is the mark of this kind of lurking, stealthy wickedness. They think that God doesn't see.

They give no thought to the fact that anything could be different. Look at what they say in verse 11. He says to himself, God has forgotten. He has hidden his face. He will never see it.

There is no vertical dimension to their thinking. Proverbs says repeatedly that the fear of the Lord keeps one from evil. When you abandon the fear of the Lord, when you push God out of your thinking, when you push God out of the society, you might as well understand you are inviting wickedness to come in. Either the fear of God will reign in a man's heart or the pursuit of wickedness will pursue and reign in that heart. And so he is mocked, the wicked has mocked in these first 11 verses everything that you and I hold dear.

He is utterly opposed to the things that we find most precious. And David has expressed his alarm over that because in real time with real people he's seeing real hurt taking place. If we were to simply leave it there, look out at our world and see the ever growing prosperity and success of the wicked, if we just left it there and said amen at this point, we would probably walk away as quite discouraged people. But this is not a psalm of discouragement. This is a psalm of confidence. This is a psalm of how to respond when you're living in a world like that. And beloved, even more on a very personal level, and I have memories of my own past experience kind of percolating in my mind right now of situations where I was under the yoke of men like this.

A long time ago and nothing that's ever going to be worth repeating, but just feeling the weight of being in a position of abuse and not being able to do anything about it, not being able to respond. Well listen, I want to tell you something. Tell you from this psalm, tell you from sweet personal experience.

If you're in that position, stop being discouraged about it. Stop letting it defeat you and take heart, take comfort, and pursue and run after the last half of this psalm. Run after point number two, the appeal of the godly. Let this psalm be that which thrusts you into a different spiritual realm. Rather than collapsing in fear or frustration.

Rather than complaining about how unfair this is. Rather than trembling when that person walks down the hall again. Brothers and sisters in Christ, let this psalm embolden you to the kind of courage that is worthy of the man or woman of God that I know most of you are. Those times of oppression are designed and used by God in our sanctification. God uses times like that to teach us to trust Him and to call out to Him.

It is when all of your earthly options, your earthly crutches that you lean on have been kicked away that you now have the opportunity to in a pure, in a new way, call out to God to trust Him and to put your trust in Him and watch Him deliver you. You're not meant to be a cowering, frightened Christian. That's not what we were created to do. That's not what we were created to be. That's not why God saved us, is to be intimidated by wicked people. We are meant to be strong in the face of it. We are meant to turn to God and trust in Him. And I would venture to say that until we learn to do that, the oppression from wicked people will only get worse.

I have little doubt in my mind, I have no doubt in my mind, that until the true church of Jesus Christ stops trusting in politicians, that there is not going to be a turn toward righteousness in our country. God will continue to allow the oppression to grow and get worse until we abandon our foolish confidence in men to be the source of our deliverance. That's just the way it is. That's just the way it is. Why would God prosper the church when the church is trusting in men?

Why would He do that? Why would He give a sense that, yes, this is what my people are supposed to be? Where is the outcry of an appeal to God as opposed to more political action? As long as Christians are trusting in the Tea Party, don't expect God to intervene and change much. There's a sense of discipline that comes on us until we learn to appeal the way that is taught to us in Psalm 10. Let's see the appeal of the godly. First of all, David calls God to battle against the wicked. Look at verse 12. He says, Arise, O Lord, O God, lift up your hand.

Do not forget the afflicted. This is a call to battle. He's calling God to battle and saying, God, lift up your hand. What he's saying is, God, display your power. Exercise your power against the wickedness that is all around us.

Don't forget the afflicted. God, I know who you are. I know that you see these things. I know that you have power to deal with it, and so I'm bypassing every human agency, and I am appealing to you. O God, display your power in this situation. He's been humbled under the hand of the wicked, and he calls on God to intervene. And then, as we've seen so many times in these earlier Psalms, he starts to unfold the reasons. He unpacks in prayer the basis upon which he appeals God to do something. And here in verse 13, what you see is, he is appealing to his concern for the glory of God. He says in verse 13, Why has the wicked spurned God? Why does he act this way, O God? It's because he said to himself, You will not require it. He says, God, this is happening.

They feel unrestrained because there hasn't been any consequence to it, and they've said, You're never going to do anything. Well, God, that is a violation of your glory. That is a misrepresentation of who you are. God, this is what they're saying. Won't you please act to silence them so that your glory could be restored to its rightful place? Because, in verse 14, you have seen it. You have beheld mischief and fixation to take it into your hand. God, I know you've seen it. God, I know you have the power to deal with this.

I'm not trusting in anything else, Lord. I am just appealing to you. You are my refuge.

You are my appeal. God, I beg you to act and to silence this wickedness that we see around us. And he goes on and he says in verse 14, in sweet, comforting words, God is so unlike the wicked. The wicked take advantage of the weak. God, in his strength, in his holy character, is the defender of the weak that put their trust in him.

We saw that last time in Psalm 9. The unfortunate commits himself to you. You have been the helper of the orphan. God, as I see this oppression, as I see this injustice all around, I see people suffering under the hand of wicked people. God, I appeal to you to act, not only for the sake of your own glory, but because of who you are.

Lord, you help people in exactly circumstances just like this. So God, I'm not asking you to do anything outside of your character. I am simply asking you to be who you are and act like it.

Act like who you are. Exercise power according to your righteous character. And intervene and silence the wicked and help the weak.

God, that's what I'm asking for here. And in verse 15, in language that sounds very harsh and severe to our ears, he says, Break the arm of the wicked and the evildoers. Seek out his wickedness until you find none.

He's not talking about inflicting physical injury on him. He's using a metaphor saying, God, break his power. Break the arm of his power so that he's not able to do this anymore. Pull him down from his position. Seek out his wickedness. In other words, pursue his wickedness. Deal with him so thoroughly that there's nothing left to be said about it.

Use the hand of your power to break the arm of his power. What you see in these verses is this. And I want you to grasp this so that bad news headlines won't dislodge you from your hope.

What David is saying here in verses 12 to 15, in essence, is this. The wicked have completely misunderstood the reality of the situation. They think that they can get away with this. They think that there will be no consequences. And therefore they pursue their wickedness with all abandon. Their fraud, their sin, their immorality, all of it. They pursue it with abandon because they think there's no consequence.

What David is saying is in these four verses is they're wrong. There are consequences. And the prevailing power of wickedness in culture and in politics cannot possibly be the permanent state of affairs. One day God will rise up. One day God will exercise his will and the lights will go on and these rats will scurry.

Until there's nothing left to be found of them. God will bear the hand of his power. He will vindicate righteousness.

He will protect those who have put their trust in him. The wickedness of man is temporary. The success of the wicked, the upper hand of the wicked, is always by definition temporary because Psalm 1.6, the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish without exception. Now, when David was writing this, he was seeing it probably mostly from an earthly perspective and thinking about earthly consequences of men being pulled down from their positions.

You and I have an even more informed position. God often does that, but we realize in the fullness of New Testament revelation that we are waiting for a final judgment of God at the end of time where all of these scores will be settled. And when you view it from the proper perspective, you realize that not only do we not fear the wicked, we do not envy the wicked. We pity them and we see their ultimate destruction. We come, as it were, into the house of God.

We get a biblical perspective and then we see the world differently. And having walked through the alarm of the godly, having made his appeal in verses 12 through 15, you see the end of the appeal in verses 16 to 18, where he ends once again on a note of confidence that God will prevail. Verse 16, the Lord is king forever and ever. Nations have perished from his land. God is the king. In other words, God is the sovereign. And he is the sovereign from the beginning to the end. There has never been a time where he has sacrificed or yielded his control to wickedness.

Wickedness is always operating under the greater sovereign plan of God. God is king forever and ever. Nations have perished from his land. And his point here in verse 16 is this.

If nations have perished under the hand of a sovereign God, if God can raise up nations and bring them down, then it is no issue whatsoever to deal with individual men as well. The right perspective of sinners, of those who don't know Christ, should be one of severe fear, of trembling and astonishment at the doom that awaits them, if they could only have the veil pulled back and God open their eyes to see it with clarity. The outcome, for those of you in this room who are rejecting Christ, but don't repent, is one of utter ruin and destruction and doom. God can deal with you. God is not hindered by your rebellious attitude, by your indifference, by your refusal to hear the pleas of the godly ones who ask you to come to Christ.

And the more you harden your heart, it does not hinder God at all. In this moment of clarity about the power of God over sinful, rejecting hearts, let me extend the gospel to you again one more time. God will receive you. God will forgive all of your sins if you simply repent and put your faith in Christ and abandon any sense that you deserve this. You come to Christ as a beggar saying, I have been a rebel, I have refused the gospel all this time, but God I am finally putting that aside. I ask you God to receive me in all of my sinfulness and wickedness. Not because I've earned the right to ask this, but in an appeal to sheer grace and mercy.

I pray that you would receive me. Don't harden your heart again to that message. Don't stiffen your neck again.

The more brittle, the more hard you make your neck, the more vital the snap will be when God is done with it. Soften your heart and come to Christ for salvation, because He will receive you still. Don't think you can turn away from the true gospel without consequence. If God can subdue nations and judge them, He can subdue you and judge you as well.

Come with the rest of us to heaven, won't you? Verse 17, David has come to his place of confidence. Look at it with me in the text there in verse 17. Having seen wicked men vaunt themselves over against the weak, having seen them mock those who trust in the true God. Now he's appealed, he's remembered the power of God, and he says in verse 17, O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble. In other words, he's saying, God, You've heard my prayer. I have just had audience with the omnipotent of the universe and he has received my prayer favorably. I am no longer afraid. I have a newfound reborn confidence in light of the fact that the true God with true power, with true sympathy to the humble has heard me.

And he says in verse 17, God, You will strengthen their heart. You will incline your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror. God, I am confident in the ultimate outcome now. I remember who You are. I know that You're a friend to the suffering. You're a friend to the orphan, O God. If You're a friend to the most helpless kind of person on earth, then I know that You are going to vindicate my trust in You. You will help them. And these men that have terrorized them and taken advantage of them, You will eventually cast them down.

I am at peace. Even though, watch this, even though the circumstances have not changed. The position of the Christian is such that your circumstances do not have to change in order for you to walk through life with peace and confidence. God reigns. And God hears the prayer of the humble.

God protects His children. That is what guarantees the outcome of your life. That is the basis on which He will deal with you throughout all of eternity. And it doesn't strengthen your position if your circumstances change.

It doesn't diminish them if your circumstances do not change. God is good to His people. And if it seems in this moment in your life that that principle is open to severe question, come back to the fact that God will strengthen their heart. God hears the desire of the humble. In the end, God is good to His people. And those of us, you and I who trust Him for that, beloved, we will not be disappointed. We will not be ashamed. God will treat that trust as a precious stewardship that He will vindicate in the final analysis.

We don't have to be alarmed at the success of the ungodly. We appeal to God, and we find our confidence, and we rest our hope right there. You've been listening to Pastor Don Green and the conclusion of his message, When Sinners Have the Upper Hand. Our teacher will have another insightful message from the Word of God next time here on The Truth Pulpit, and we hope you'll join us then.

Right now, though, Don's back here in studio with some closing words. Well, you know, my friend, I feel very blessed by God to be able to do what I do. I have a church that is loving and supportive of me, that loved to hear God's word. I have this radio broadcast. I have the opportunity to speak to you in a personal manner like this.

What a wonderful gift that is. You know, I would just encourage you, if the Lord ever brings us to your mind, pray for us. We're like all men in ministry.

We feel our inadequacy. We realize that we need the power of the Holy Spirit to attend the work that we do so that there would be eternal fruit for your good and for the glory of Christ. So pray for us as the Lord brings us to mind. Pray for those that support The Truth Pulpit with the labor of their hands. We have a wonderful team, and we're just so grateful for you as you listen to us day by day on The Truth Pulpit. Thanks, Don. Don't forget to visit us at to learn more about our ministry. You can also learn more about podcasts and free CDs of Don's teaching. That's all at I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you next time when Don Green continues teaching God's people God's word from The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-17 14:23:17 / 2023-03-17 14:32:04 / 9

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