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August 20, 2021 4:00 am
We could go back in time and talk. They tell us what the book of Psalms is the medicine chest for your soul because it soothes those burdened by sin and plagued by a guilty conscience but also say there are only two kinds of consciences feel the weight of sin's remorse. Alister bag explains today in a message titled my hiding place. I turned to Psalm 32 and we reach the end of verse four we dipped momentarily into verse five, but not to do it justice. And so we will pick our studies up essentially from there.
Martin Luther referred to the Psalms as a Bible in miniature. We said last time we introduce Psalm 32 that the Psalms have been rightly referred to by the Puritans as the souls medicine chest.
If we are up on the crest of the wave. There will be songs to sing we find ourselves dispirited, then we will find that there are laments that we can employ in order to give voice to our souls cry Luther between 1513 1515 I wrote his first series of lectures on the sounds and I was intrigued to discover that he wrote more on the Psalms, than on any other book in the entire Bible, including every New Testament book 12 centuries before that another gentleman who benefited greatly from the Psalms was Augustine and I was intrigued to learn in my studies this week that apparently this 32nd sound was the favorite son of Augustine and it's not a surprise when we think of.
Probably his most famous quote being will guard our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you because here in Psalm 32 and particularly as we saw in verses three and four. We have a description of the restlessness of the human heart.
The restlessness of human hearts scarcely needs to be proved.
All we need is said this morning's newspaper or magazine or to sit with someone and reflect upon the passage of time. The explanations for that restlessness are varied, but as to the restlessness itself. Few if any would be prepared to disavow such a thing. Some of you will recall that a few months ago, we reference the uncertainty and honesty of the author, John Krakauer in relationship to this very thing he says at the end of his book under the Banner of Heaven.
I don't know what God is or what God had in mind when the universe was set in motion.
In fact I don't even know if God exists, he then goes on to say, most of us fear death.
Most of his yarn to comprehend how we got here and why. Which is to say, most of eyes ache to know the love of our Creator. Most of eyes ache to know the love of our Creator. Remember the first question of the shorter Scottish catechism.
What is the chief end of man.
Why does man.
Why do men and women exist, then the answer of the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever and until a man or woman makes that wonderful discovery, then the pilgrimage of their days is marked essentially by restlessness nor the uncertainty that comes from the pan of Krakauer's more than matched by his honesty and it is honesty with ourselves. That is often the gateway to change, even in the most superficial things we recognize going up two flights of stairs that we are breathless and in being honest with ourselves we recognize that we have not been taking care of our physical frame and perhaps we need to walk a little more, or we need to have more exercise. The same may be true in other aspects of our physical lives such honesty is a vital gateway also in terms of spiritual repair and the psalmist here at the end of verse one in addressing the whole issue of happiness which we said is a very contemporary interest points out that happiness and deceitfulness or dishonesty do not sleep in the same bed.
It is ultimately impossible to be a dishonest person and to be a happy person because there is a dissonance between what is and what ought to be and so the psalmist having described the happiness that accompanies a relationship with God, a relationship that is grounded in forgiveness. Then in verses three and four speaks of this spirit of heaviness which rested upon him with familiar with people who are if they are doing.
Be like a wet blanket when they're around is just as though all the clouds and heaviness have descended on its it is an interesting metaphor, it's not a matter for that is employed here. The picture here is of the hand of God because we know that God is spirit, and therefore does not have a high and therefore this is an anthropomorphism. Therefore, the picture is a graphic picture that somehow or another, God the Creator of the ends of the has extended himself from heaven and has placed his hand, if you like on the neck of his servant David and happiness is his great desire. I think it is for humanity.
Then he now points out that sin is his great dilemma, and indeed verse three speaks to the predicament that prevails in his physical frame. As a result of his tortured conscience when I kept silent. He writes my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long for day and night your hand was heavy upon me. My strength was sacked as in the heat of summer. Now if we are accurate in assuming that what David is referencing. Here is his sin with Bathsheba and the subsequent cover-up whereby not only did he steal another man's wife, but he paved the way for the death of the husband, in order that he might take this wife to himself untrammeled by the Saudi and sordid and obvious implications of having this other man around that period of time at least nine months, perhaps as much of a year as a year is being referenced here in verses three and four when I lied when I covered up when I sought to disassemble and to cloak my dreadful deeds. He says then my tortured conscience produce these physical symptoms is not my place to comment on psychosomatic illness but any advice who have lived any lie of time at all recognize that there is clearly cartilage of aspects between what is going on inside of us and what is happening on the surface. Certainly as it relates to deceitfulness to lies and to living with a cover now. Presumably David was managing on one level and that level was the public level he was going about his business as King. He was sending people into battle.
He was responding to the memos that came his way. He would have been seen moving around his provinces and folks would've said there he goes in all of his triumph and his grandeur in much the same way that you and I may managed to patch it up in office. We go to our offices as we attend our school classrooms as we submit our essays as we conduct our business as we sweep up the floor of our responsibilities and yet we may actually find ourselves identifying with verse three when I kept silent, my bones wasted away publicly. He was managing privately his life was unraveling publicly managing and privately unraveling may actually be just way too apt description force on her sitting here this morning they make you move just a little in your seat you find yourself saying I hope nobody can see what's going on inside of my mind right now because this is me. I haven't slept properly in a long time.
I no longer the person I once was. I'm unprepared to acknowledge that the root of my predicament does not lie in all the superficial things that people are trying to help me with no when I kept silent. Then I began to waste away note, my first note in my notes that is underlined is simply for words and I'll give them to you in case this is of help and if it isn't, you needn't worry about. But in order to try and work my way from this stanza, which is essentially verses three and four into the stanza, which is versus five, six and seven. I simply wrote down from when to then from plan to then not exactly brilliant is it if you look at the tax. You will notice that verse three begins with when and you will notice that verse five begins with then when I kept silent. This was what I experienced. Then he says I acknowledged my sin to you, then I did not cover-up my iniquity. Then I said I will confess my transgressions to the Lord and then you forgave the guilt of my sin okay from when to then know what we need to notice this morning and it is something that would be relatively easy to miss is this that his physical condition as described in verses three and four albeit an unhappy one. Actually, under God, was for his good and benefit God has brought him to the place where looking at himself. If you like in the mirror has confronted him with the flag that the real predicament that he faces is not to be found on the surface but is to be found on the inside. His tortured conscience has wounded him, and the evidence is there for those who know him best to see there are only two kinds of conscience that will feel the burden of sin one is at tender conscience at tender conscience. Most of our children have tender conscience. That's why the first time you come back into the kitchen where there were 10 chocolate chip cookies and now there are only nine and you said where is the cookie and if they said I don't know the tenderness of their conscience will relatively quickly produce repentance.
But if, as time goes by that tender conscience continues to act in the wrong way and to resist the implications of wrongdoing and it loses its power to convict the American Indians had a picture of a conscience is a triangle inside your timely graphic picture her in the center of your diaphragm at least the tribal chief telling the young man you have a sharp three pointed triangle inside of you and when you violate our tribal customs when you disobey our laws.
When you go against what you know is right to do, then this triangle will turn inside of you and it will jab you and it will Jag you and it will cause you to repent.
However, he said if when it jabs you and Jag you. You resist the call to repentance and you continue in an activity which is unlawful and displeasing.
Eventually the corners will be rounded out and your conscience may spend quite freely without it ever having any impact on you tall when you are confronted by your wrongdoing. That's why when we read in the Bible about those whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron is a graphic picture and it is a dreadful picture today when you hear God's voice in your conscience. Don't harden your hearts's why it says that the other conscience that will bear and respond to the burden of sin is a wounded conscience. A wounded conscience.
If you have a fracture somewhere in your body. Let's say in your knee. Then the weight of things and the weight of yourself or added weight to your body will become apparent because you're wounded in your knee. The very weakness there will bear testimony to the weight that is been placed upon you, and in the same way. It is a wonderful thing, albeit a hard and difficult thing when God comes as he comes to his servant David and he brings his willful disobedience before him, and he confronts them with a systematic attempts at cover-up and he points out to them to him that his very conscience is in danger of being seared and he lays his hand of heaviness upon him a hand that becomes absolutely on bearable Psalm 38 and verse for another Psalm of David in this series. He says my guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden to heavy to bear my guilt is overwhelming, like a burden to heavy to bear.
Is this a dreadful thing. Is this a terrible thing.
Well it is in one sense dreadful but it is at the same time.
You see when you are I have a guilty conscience because we know where in the wrong.
Having offended against God and defended against one another. All of the external influences upon us will tend to say cover it up. Deny it run from it smooth it over. Just don't address it because it is too ugly to face. It is too difficult to pursue is too demanding to climb down from where we are and yet what the Bible says is that the benefits far outweigh the costs. That's why David, upon reflection, is able to say no when I was overwhelmed by these things. When your hand was heavy upon than in actual fact, it tended to my good you see the Bible constantly ask questions which we just don't ask and ask. For example, in four Samuel six a cartilage of question and it is this who can stand in the presence of the Lord.
This holy God who can stand in the presence of the Lord. This holy God and state their case, this question actually comes in for Samuel six after 70 individuals are pulled her nose into something that had nothing to do with them at all and they all die and the people observing it looked at it and said it God is that kind of God who then can stand before this holy God, which advises able just to go in and stand before God a thing about Moses he takes his shoes off his feet in the presence of the burning bush. A symbol of the eternal God because he realizes that the ground in which he stands is holy ground. Clearly this is not a reference to some cosmic principle or to some personal creation whereby God G OD spells whatever we wanted to spell where G OD, whatever that means exists in order to bolster up our self-esteem or to assure is that labeling is not out of control or duplicate as in our disobedience.
This is something very different. I wonder you may never even ask yourself the question, I wonder who can stand before this holy God. Psalms 7 is not the most politically correct Psalm in the Bible even joked about it earlier on the Sabbath as my shield is God most high, who saves the upright in heart that's fine is they who put that on a T-shirt or entity got on a little card, put in your talk, talk, and bring it out to people tomorrow morning and it was a worthy statement of the truth of God and what about verse 11.
God is a righteous judge God who expresses his righteous indignation or his wrath every day. I went out for T-shirt on that for little card to slit your waitress at the end of the meal with a decent God is a righteous judge of God, who expresses his Roth every day he is yes to neither the King James version translates it, perhaps even more accurately than the dynamic equivalence of the NIV.
God is angry with the wicked every day. If you are wicked. God is angry with you every day, so I never heard that before.
It's in the Bible you need to read you see the tumor introduced in the Bible is not a figment of our imagination in our creation of our own design and desire a kind of you know, tailor-made guard to fit the 21st century to fit the pluralistic perceptions of our culture to allowed us to absorb an end and that locate every notion that presents itself.
No, God stands above and outside of all of that calling men and women to account and he is the God who, in his mercy and his goodness, lays his heavy hand upon the neck of David and wonderfully so because David was in a mess. David was an adulterer. David was a sinner gave her was a liar. David was a denier. David was at least nine months into his deceit and when he looked at Santa himself in the mirror. He said I am finished I am wasting my bones clinging to me. My skin clings to my bones. I Mike I now will in the ruins and like a desert owl might friends disabuse me I am fevered in the day.
I'm an insomniac in the Knights why because God's hand of heaviness rested on see what we seek to disallow in seeking somehow or another to make more palatable to our friends this amazing story of forgiveness is actually what robs our sensible friends from being able to put together the story were trying to tell unless we have a dilemma, then the story of what Jesus has done makes no sense. It is because God's hand rests in a heaviness on some that he needs to acknowledge his sin listening to part one of a message titled my hiding place Truth for Life with Alastair Bragg. Today's message is a powerful reminder that the Bible has the power to heal guilty consciences and to change lives for unbelievers hearing God's word is the way God's Spirit works to convert those who listen in the followers of Jesus were those who already follow Christ.
The Bible does what we can't do ourselves. It makes us more like Jesus. And for both pastors and members of local churches, God's word is central to building up of faithful body of believers. That's why we teach the Bible the Truth for Life.
Also why we carefully select books that will encourage you in your faith. We think our current book recommendation will do just that. It's a book titled heaven on earth. What the Bible teaches about life to come. All of us have questions when it comes to the topic of heaven mobile. The Bible doesn't reveal everything would like to know there are some things we can know pastor and author Derek Thomas draws directly from God's word to teach us about life to come. The promise of a new heaven and a new earth that's free from the curse of sin and death. The book heaven on earth offers great comfort and hope, particularly if you or someone you love or dealing with the reality of dying. In fact, when you request your copy of this book, you might want to order a second copy to give to a friend.
Just click the book image in the app visit us online at truthforlife.org/donate if you would rather mail your donation along with your request for the book heaven on earth. You can write to us the Truth for Life PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, OH 44139 about Lapine. Hope you enjoy your weekend and are able to spend time worshiping with your local church. Join us on Monday as Alister explains why keeping the law and being good can't make us good enough Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life. The Learning is for Living