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The God Who Helps #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
March 7, 2023 7:00 am

The God Who Helps #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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Thanks for joining us on the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, Founding Pastor of Truth Community In Psalm 146 we see scripture honoring God because he is trustworthy.

He is a good and faithful God. And part of the way that the psalmist shows this magnificent theme is he contrasts the immutable, unchanging faithfulness of God with the transience of human leaders. Men, even the greatest of so-called men on this earth, are frail and transient. Every human leader, every man on earth, every woman on earth merely has the breath of life in their nostrils. Here today, gone tomorrow. And so it's foolish to hope in the next great political leader to come.

We're specifically told not to do that. No deliverance. Man is mortal. He is frail.

He is weak. He is appointed to die. He is transient and passing. His spirit departs.

He returns to the earth. And that very day, his thoughts perish. Just a little subcategory interest of mine, US presidents and their history.

And we've been to a lot of them. And you look at these men who held the pinnacle of power in the free world. You look at these graves and you realize that they are just giving silent testimony to the truth that is expressed here in Psalm 146. These were the greatest men, some of the greatest men of our time.

And how did it turn out for them? Their spirit departed. And their thoughts have perished. Their active, conscious mind is gone. Beloved, remember that. Remember that as you look for solutions to the world situation, realize that there are never going to be lasting answers at the hands of men.

They've already done it, but they can't. And so that has a spiritual implication for you and me. We recognize that reality. We see it in scripture. We see it illustrated in the world and the history around us, just within our country, let alone the great kings of the earth, Cyrus of Persia. Alexander the Great, Caesar.

You can just catalog this any way you want to. Everything about human history, everything about the greatest leaders of our world show us that they are weak, that their victories are passing. And their eternal existence started immediately at the fall of Adam. In Genesis 3.19 God spoke to Adam after he fell, said, you are dust, and to dust you shall return. In Ecclesiastes 12, verse seven we read this.

The dust will return to the earth as it was and the spirit will return to God who gave it. In the ninth chapter, it says In the New Testament, Hebrews 9, verse 27, we read, it is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgment. And when a man dies, all his thoughts and all of his plans die with him. Now look, that's undeniable. This is the teaching of Scripture, and it is the undeniable experience of man.

You know, two things that cannot be missed in life, death and taxes. And so, beloved, there is no permanence in man to help. We need to abandon the thought.

James Boyce, in his great commentary on the Psalms, if you have only one author to read on the Psalms, read the three volumes by James Montgomery Boyce and read those. On this text, Pastor Boyce said this, We trust politicians, thinking that the president or Congress or mayor or some other highly placed persons will be able to solve our problems, but they can't even solve their own. We trust science or education or anything else to be our ultimate savior. We do not actually trust God and worship Him.

We resolve to a lifetime of praise. We take a realistic look at man, and you can think about it this way. In the opening two verses, he looks up, praises God, he brings his eyes down, and he looks around at him and says, There's nothing like Yahweh anywhere on earth, so I abandon any hope of those around me. You think of what the Apostle John said about Jesus at the end of chapter 2 of the Gospel of John. He was not entrusting himself to man because he knew what was in man. That's the way we should be, to not put our hope in men.

Because in man there is no power to help. That's just a realistic look at the world. Now he's looked up. He's looked around him.

Now thirdly, he's going to look up again. And he gives us, in point number three, he gives us a royal list of God's deeds, a royal list of God's deeds. He's setting up a contrast. He's exalted God in the first two verses. In the next two verses, he's contrasted it with transient man who has no power to help.

And now he goes back in order to reinforce his theme of praising God, he recites the things that God has done and what God does in order to show that a man should trust in his creator. Look at verse five. He says in verse five, how blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.

And so this verse makes a sharp contrast with the transience of man. No hope in man, how blessed is the one therefore who trusts in his maker. There is no hope in man, but there is hope in Yahweh. And what he's saying is God is our help now in this earthly life, in this moment as we sit here, Yahweh, by his Old Testament name, the Lord Jesus Christ as his revealed incarnate Son. He is our hope. He is our hope in whatever the future brings to us.

We need not try to calculate what's going to happen. It is enough for us to know that God is who he is as the prior 145 Psalms has revealed him to be. It's enough for him to know that it's enough for us to know that that's who he is and that we're in his hand.

Beloved that in the final analysis, that's all you need for peace and satisfaction in this life. God is who he is. I belong to him in Christ.

That's enough. Praise the Lord. Now why is God to be praised? Why is it a blessing, verse 5, to find your help in the God of Jacob, your hope in the Lord your God?

Well he's real. He's powerful. Why do we praise him?

Why can he be trusted? Look at verse 6. This is the God who, verse 6, made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever. This God, Yahweh, is the God of power as shown by his work in creation, by shown as shown in the heavens, in the skies, and shown in the seas.

He's just giving illustrations, quick flashes of illustration of the power of God. Look at the universe, look at the sea and everything that is in them and realize that he is a God of diverse power. And not only is he powerful, but on a sweet side of things, he's faithful to his people, verse 6.

He keeps faith forever, and his faithfulness is seen in his many actions for his people, verse 7. What does God do? Verse 7, he executes justice for the oppressed. He gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free. This God who is high and lofty, this God who is the creator of heaven and earth, who is transcendent above all, you know what else he does? He looks on the lowly. He looks on the afflicted. He looks on the humbled. When they cry out to him in earnest repentance, he hears them.

He receives them. The vilest sinner who truly believes that moment from Jesus, a pardon, receives. Zacchaeus, a despised tax gatherer in Luke 19, climbs up on a Sycamore tree because he's too short to see Jesus above the crowds, through the crowds. The Lord looks up to him and says, Zacchaeus, come down, or I have to stay at your house tonight. They go to Zacchaeus' home.

The religious leaders complain and mock about it. He's gone to be with the man who is a sinner. And the Lord talks to Zacchaeus about repentance, and Zacchaeus says, Lord, behold, if I've defrauded anyone of anything, I'll pay them back four times as much.

I'll give away half of my wealth to the poor, and with the rest of it, I'll pay off the people, restore the people that I've defrauded. What did Jesus say? Salvation has come to this man's house.

A man despised by the world, short of stature, a crook, a criminal. And in earnestness, he comes to Christ, and what does Christ do? He receives him, he forgives him, he welcomes him into the family. A foreshadowing of how he would treat the thief on the cross. Today, I tell you, you'll be with me in paradise. And all of those, a foreshadowing of the way those of you who are truly, truly, truly saved, those of you that have been broken by the law of God, those of you who have been broken by your own sinfulness, those of you who are mindful of your personal guilt, not simply wanting God to fix things for you, full of grief and mourning and poverty of spirit over your sin.

What did you find? What did you find when you really cried out to the Lord for mercy? When you really repented, did he turn you away? Did he stiff arm you, say, no, that's too late? Is that how he dealt with you? Larry, is that how he dealt with you?

Jim, Erica, is that how Christ responded to you when you cried out to him for mercy? What did he do? What did he do? Looking upon you in your lowly, afflicted, sinful state.

What did he do? But he reached out with his pure hands of mercy, grace, and omnipotence, and picked you up in all of your filth and cleansed you by his blood, washed you, restored you, gave you new life, pardoned all of your sin, and received you into his family, received you into his grace. He ran to you as the prodigal's father ran to him when he saw him far off, and the prodigal was coming home smelling like the pig that he had been eating with.

The father embraced him, my son's come home, kill the fattened calf, we're going to throw a party, my son who is lost has come home. That's how God receives every repentant sinner. And if you're in Christ, that's how he received you. What God is like that? What God, what God shows that kind of grace and sets the prisoners of sin free, relieves them of the punishment, breaks the power of sin, enclose them with the royal robes of Jesus Christ himself. I ask you, what God is like that?

Jesus said, come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. What fool could hear words like that and harden their heart against him? What fool could say, I don't need a savior like that? What fool could look at the risen Christ and reject his glory? What fool could look at the crucified Christ and say, I'll have none of you. I will not have that man reign over me. Do you realize, do you realize that when you respond to Christ that way, that you are spurning the king of the universe, the Psalm 2 king? Do you realize that you're rejecting the God of the Psalter? What will become of you when the simplicity of the invitation calls upon you to come without condition, without further works?

You don't have to clean your life up first. In fact, don't even try. Go in your guilt. Go in your shame. Go directly to Christ and say, because your promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come.

Not because there's anything in me, I trust not in my resolutions to get better. My warrant for faith, my warrant for coming to you is the bare word of God where you said, come to me. And in that lowly position where you have nothing to offer him, Jesus says, I'll give you rest.

What God is like that anywhere in the universe. Every other religion tells you what to do to reconcile yourself to God. The things that you have to do. Do these rituals if you're a Catholic.

Do these works if you're something else. Believe a false prophet if it's going to be Mormonism or Islam or whatever. Ellen G. White, Seventh-day Adventists. Every place pointing you to your own righteousness, pointing you to another source of authority.

It's all damnable, literally damnable. In the purity and the simplicity of biblical faith, we find these kinds of exhortations to come. The biblical goddess says God helps those who help themselves. That's not biblical. What's biblical is this. God helps those who cannot help themselves.

Let me say that again. God helps those who cannot help themselves and go to him for mercy. Look at verse eight. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind, exactly what Christ did. He opened the eyes of the blind man in John nine, a direct manifestation of his deity. Verse eight, the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.

The Lord raises up those who are bowed down. The Lord loves the righteous. God should be praised because of that. And God should be praised because he protects the defenseless.

Verse nine, the Lord protects the strangers. He supports the fatherless and the widows, but he thwarts the way of the wicked. There's a two-edged way of the Lord's work.

He comes to the aid of those who cannot help themselves, and he shows kindness to them. And that same God actively, powerfully hinders the plots of the wicked. For one illustration, read the book of Esther afresh.

Read what happens to Haman and how he was hung on his own gallows that he built to put Mordecai to death. Beloved, the Lord's hindrance of the wicked frames the entire Psalter. We saw that at the end of verse one. The way of the wicked will perish. Well, Psalm 146 is picking up on that here in verse nine. It says, he thwarts the way of the wicked.

They're doomed. You know, all of the godless ideologies and all of the godless activity of the modern day world is doomed in the end. It cannot successfully rise up and overthrow the sovereignty of a righteous holy God. He lets it go for a time in order to gather in his people, to gather in the elect, to give them time to repent. And his patience is misinterpreted, either as an absence of his existence or his indifference to sin, or even worse, his approval of it all.

Total misunderstanding, total misinterpretation of the God of the Bible. All of these wonderful ways of God lead us to the conclusion at the end of Psalm 146. The Lord will reign forever. Your God owes Zion to all generations. Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord. He is sovereign, and yet he's gracious. He's just, and yet he's merciful. Unlike man, unlike the kings of the earth, his rule is not temporary. His kingdom is forever.

And the psalmist, in these brief 10 verses, having established the great infinite worth of God, restates his call one final time at the end of the verse, verse 10. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord. Beloved, do you understand that Christ is the only one worthy of your trust? Christ is the only one worthy of your love and obedience?

Listen, men will always disappoint you. And for the proud and resistant in the room here, your own efforts will disappoint you. You cannot succeed in life apart from Christ.

There is no hope apart from him. You are signing your own death warrant by rejecting Christ. And why perish along the way when this great God invites you to his mercy? Sinner and saint alike, put your trust in Christ and praise the Lord. Let's pray together. Father, we join our hearts with the call of the psalmist. We recognize your greatness. We acknowledge and thank you for your goodness. We're so grateful for your grace to sinners like us.

You are glorious in every aspect of your infinite perfections. And in response to scripture, in response to Christ, in gratitude for your work in our lives, your work in the skies and in the scriptures, your providence since the very beginning of creation, all of it, Lord. We gather it all up in the fullness of our hearts. And with the fullness of the Psalter echoing in our minds, O God, we say, praise the Lord.

In the name of Christ through whom alone we can approach your holy throne, amen. You've been listening to Don Green with part two of a message titled The God Who Helps. It's part of a series titled A Chorus of Praise here on The Truth Pulpit. We hope to see you again next time.

But before we go, here again is Don with a closing word. Well, friends, thank you for joining us for The Truth Pulpit here in this 26-minute format that we have. I wanted to let you know about another audio ministry that is available, and that is our podcast titled Through the Psalms. I recently completed teaching through the entire Psalter, Psalms 1 through 150, and we have turned that into a weekly podcast that is released each Saturday. And if you want to register to receive that podcast through your favored means, you could study through the Psalms in about three years with us. You can find the link to that podcast at thetruthpulpit.com. Again, the podcast is through the Psalms, and you can find the link at thetruthpulpit.com. Thanks, Don. Well, friend, thank you for joining us today. I'm Bill Wright. We'll see you next time on The Truth Pulpit, where we teach God's people God's Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-07 04:19:10 / 2023-03-07 04:27:29 / 8

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