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Taste and Treasure

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
January 23, 2024 12:00 am

Taste and Treasure

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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January 23, 2024 12:00 am

If King David's honest, humble cry at the end of Psalm 19 isn't the cry of our hearts every day, we will waste our lives. Access all of the resources and lessons in this series: https://www.wisdomonline.org/the-song-volume-1

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One reason why people might avoid the Bible is because they know it will reveal things about their lives. David is effectively saying the Bible is this monitor that kind of follows us around and really people aren't going to like that, are they?

If you want to grow, accept the monitor of the Word. It's going to watch you and it's going to warn you. John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim's Progress, once wrote that this book will either keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book. Does it ever bother you when you have someone looking over your shoulder to monitor what you do? Does it make you feel self-conscious and perhaps a bit defensive?

I think we have a natural tendency not to want too much accountability. Today on Wisdom for the Heart, Stephen Davey takes you back to Psalm 19. He's looking at how you should respond to the authority of God's Word in your life. You're going to see that God's Word should be your greatest treasure and your sweetest delight. But in addition, the Bible should be your wisest monitor. Here's Stephen with a message called Taste and Treasure. Oswald Chambers wrote, if the average believer truly understood what would happen if he used the Bible, he would use it more often.

Why? Because all the other books in the world were given for our information. This book was given for our transformation. So if you see a Bible that is falling apart, it usually belongs to someone who is not. The surprising truth, and really we get over it much too quickly, is that God has chosen to speak to us. And he's chosen to speak to us every day. We've been discovering in Psalm chapter 19, which is where I invite your attention again, that God has spoken to us in what we have called the big book. That is, creation.

And it's a book of pictures. General revelation which reveals his glory. And in our last study, we began to explore the nature of God's little book. The one whose pages I hear rustling as you find Psalm 19.

Special revelation. So far in Psalm 19, we've discovered what the Bible is. The law of the Lord is theologically and ethically sound. The precepts of the Lord are always good advice. The commandment of the Lord is uncontaminated. The fear of the Lord is without corruption.

And the rules of the Lord are the authority on what is exactly right or wrong. And then we also discovered not only what the Bible is, but what the Bible does. It brings you back. It makes you wise. It gives you joy. It helps you see.

It lasts forever. And it will never lead you astray. This is what the Bible is. This is what the Bible does. And now next, David goes on to tell us what the Bible becomes.

First, it becomes your greatest treasure. Now let's pick it up at verse 10. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold. More to be desired are they.

They what? Well, he's referring to the previous verses. The law, the testimony, the precepts, the commandments, the rules.

More desired to be desired are these things. That is what the Bible is and what the Bible does than much fine gold. By the way, not just gold, not just fine gold refined, but much fine gold. Get the biggest treasure around you you can imagine.

Can't compare. So let's take a trip to Fort Knox. Located at the intersection of Gold Vault Road and Bullion Boulevard.

It really is. Look it up. I did.

It's there. Go into that building, which is nothing more than a huge vault, and go into the inner recesses where you will be surrounded by 5,000 tons of gold bullion, nearly 5% of all the gold ever refined in human history. And take your Bible and they're with you. Lay it down in the middle of all that gold and make a choice. The Bible or all that gold bullion. David says, let me help you choose. Choose the Bible, in case you were wondering. It's the greatest treasure. There is. Why?

Well, for starters, what the Bible is and what the Bible does. Gold cannot bring you back. It cannot make you wise. It can't give you joy. It can't help you see. And it can't promise to never lead you astray. Keep in mind that one day gold will be so abundant it will cover the streets.

It will be used for asphalt. So you're going to live for something that in the Father's golden city will be nothing more than common curbing. You want money? Listen to the testimonies of others like Rockefeller, who said, I have made many millions, but they've brought me no happiness. Vanderbilt, who said, the care of $200 million is enough to kill anybody.

You'd think I'd like to help you try. Henry Ford said, I was happier when I was a mechanic. J.C. Penney, a multimillionaire so racked with anxiety, so clutching of his wealth that it had driven him into a mental hospital, racked with fear, having lost much of it in the stock market crash of 1929. He's languishing in the Battle Creek Sanitarium. While he's in there, he hears a hymn sung in the hospital's chapel. It's the hymn, God will take care of you.

Not gold will take care of you, but God will take care of you. And upon hearing that hymn sung and recalling the gospel that he had rejected as a younger man, he at that moment gave his heart and life to Jesus Christ. And he would tell people later that he had been born again in a sanitarium. He was soon dismissed from the institution and had a passion now to share his wealth. He immediately began to give the charitable causes, many of whom were connected with the gospel of Christ. In fact, in 1940, while visiting a store in Des Moines, Iowa, he just so happened to give a little personal training to a young man named Sam Walton on how to wrap packages with the least amount of ribbon.

J.C. Penney went into his office every day until he passed away in 1971. He discovered, as one author wrote, money can buy a bed but not sleep, food but not an appetite, a house but not a home, medicine but not health, amusements but not happiness, and a passport to everywhere but heaven. So choose the Bible. Make it your greatest treasure. He goes on to write, the Bible should also become your sweetest delight. Look at verse 10 again. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold, sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

Makes your mouth water just to read it, doesn't it? We have a couple in our church who keep bees and bottled honey. We've got a jar of it sitting on top of our refrigerator at any given time.

Great stuff. Did a little research and found that one 16-ounce jar of honey exists only because thousands of bees have gathered nectar from around 4 million flowers. Four million flowers for 16 ounces of honey. By the time the life of each bee ends, which is less than two months, they will have made their own personal contribution to the hive, each bee flying 500 miles in less than 50 days. Other bees were working in the hive waiting for them as they carried their deposits of nectar into tiny cells. It was processed through their own digestive system some 200 times, all the while fanning their wings to reduce its water content and raise its sugar level, literally fanning nectar into honey. And then when it ripens to perfection, other bee specialists have come along and capped off each waxed cell, creating a honeycomb ready to burst with sweet, pure, enriching, raw honey. Now here's the analogy.

David may have had this in mind. We had nothing to do with creating honey. Bees did that, according to the creative design of God. Your only chore is to tend it, collect it, and eat it. And for some of us, for most of us, that's all we do is eat it. One author commenting on this text wrote, Think of it, honey has been provided through the work of someone else.

B, virtually laying it on our platter. It's a natural food that doesn't need a lengthy time of digestion before it can benefit you. It's immediate energy. So here's, in effect, the gold of Scripture. You didn't create it. You didn't invent it. Your only chore is to dig for it and then use it wisely.

And here is the honey of Scripture. You didn't make it. You didn't create it. You didn't invent it.

Your only chore is to collect it and eat it and immediately gain energy and delight from it. This is what the Bible should become, our greatest treasure, our sweetest delight. Notice one more. It should become our wisest monitor. Look at verse 11. Moreover, by them is your servant warned. By them, remember, the law, the testimony, the precepts, the commandments, the fear, the rules. By them, your servant is warned. Charles Spurgeon provoked my thinking in his great treasury of David when he commented on this text and wrote, The Bible isn't just your mentor, it's your monitor. That's David's idea. You could render it, by the monitor of the word is your servant warned.

Now, frankly, the reason a lot of people don't like the Bible is because it gets in their way. I mean, nobody likes a monitor. Do you remember the hall monitor in school?

Nobody's friend. Nobody liked the monitor. I can remember on one occasion, in fact, my wife and I attended a little Bible college in Tennessee that had a long list of rules. One of those rules was absolutely no physical contact, no holding hands, no hugs.

You couldn't even sit close to each other. I know it sounds like it went to a monastery to go to school, but we had campus monitors. Guys had walked around monitoring everybody. And if you broke a rule, you would get a demerit slip in your school mailbox the next day informing you of what you did wrong. My girlfriend, now my wife, was the most careful rule follower.

It was terrible because I was a rule refiner. At any rate, much to especially her total embarrassment and chagrin, one morning, we went to our mailbox, we'd gotten a demerit slip. The monitor had claimed that he saw me kissing her good night in front of her dormitory right by her front door.

Absolutely ludicrous. Yes, I'd walked her back to her dorm the night before. Yes, we had stood at her doorway saying good night, but I didn't kiss her there.

Kissed her back by the tree, but not at her front door. No, I didn't. Listen, if you can believe, you won't believe this, that the mystery of the will of God, I'm still trying to figure out why it all happened, but a couple of months ago, just a couple of months ago, we have a pastor's fellowship, guys in the region. Some drive as far as South Carolina, Virginia, about 100 pastors gather. Once a quarter, Shepherd Seminary hosts it here, and it's a delight. We had about 75 pastors gathering, and one of the men came up to me afterward.

In fact, I couldn't even make most of the meeting. I got there a little late and ended up eating lunch with the men, and he walked up to me and he said, do you remember me? I said, I don't think so. He said, we went to the same Bible college, and I was the monitor who gave you a demerit for kissing Marsha in front of her dorm.

You've got to be kidding. Thirty-eight years later. And then he said this, I've got to admit to you, I did not see you kiss her. I had just decided you needed a warning. He kind of laughed and he said, will you forgive me? I said, not on your life, man. Scarred my wife, I tell you.

He remembered that night. Good, I'm glad and troubled for 38 years. David is effectively saying the Bible is this monitor that kind of follows us around it, and really, people aren't going to like that, are they? But if you want to grow, accept the monitor of the Word. It's going to watch you and it's going to warn you. It's going to come along and say, excuse me, do you really want to think that way? Do you really want to go there? Do you really want to say that?

Do you really want to plan that? I just want to warn you. John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim's Progress, once wrote that this book will either keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book. Notice David says you're not only warned, but you're rewarded. Look at verse 11. In keeping them, there is great reward.

Now, you've got to notice this. David is not saying that if you keep God's Word, you're going to get a reward. That's not what he said here. He says your reward is in keeping it. That's your reward. In other words, the Christian's reward is the satisfaction of being an obedient Christian.

And really, you've discovered it, haven't you? There's nothing quite so satisfying as obeying the Word. Augustine said it this way. He said that sin is its own punishment and virtue, its own reward. That is so true. I can remember with my three brothers growing up in our parents' home, my father must have said it a thousand times. He said if I find out after I die that Christianity isn't true, after all, I still would choose to live the Christian life. It's still the best.

It's not the easiest, but it's the best life. This is what the Bible is. This is what the Bible does. This is what the Bible becomes. Now what David does in the final stanza is turn this song into a short list of prayer requests.

He's effectively going to say, Lord, I need your help. Why? Four reasons. Let me reword his prayer list, all right? The first of four reasons why he needs the Lord's help is because I'm blind to my own faults.

Lord, I need your help. Why? Four reasons. Number one, because I'm blind to my own faults. Look at verse 12. Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. I mean, who can see all their errors?

We all naturally allow one another to have what we call what? Blind spots. We can't see everything about ourselves. We're blind to the entirety of our faults. Spurgeon again wrote in the treasury of David, he said, the hairs of a man's head can't be counted. The stars can be reckoned, but no arithmetic can number our sins. Before we can recount a thousand sins, we shall commit 10,000 more. There's no possibility to know them all or count them all.

Here's the point. There's no way you could ever begin to remember all your sins to confess them. And that's why you need a redeemer who sees the entirety of them and pays the penalty for all of them. We'll never in any way remember all the ones that we do commit because we are blind to our own faults. David says, I need forgiveness from even those things I cannot even see.

I'm blind to my own faults. Secondly, I'm capable of the worst sins. Look at verse 13. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins.

Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless and innocent of great. See, David isn't just praying for forgiveness from blindness. He's also praying for forgiveness from brazenness. Presumptuous sins are premeditated sins. Those are the sins he's referring to. These are the sins you know you're committing when you commit them in utter rebellion. I mean, it's one thing to sin and not know it. It's another thing to sin and want it.

So he's talking about that too. These premeditated sins can become the dominating influence in your life, which is why David asks God to keep him from sin's domination. Paul would write it this way.

Don't be drunk with wine. Be filled, literally be dominated, be under the influence of the Spirit of God. David prays, I'm blind to my own faults, Lord.

I'm capable of the worst sins. I need your help because thirdly, I'm constantly in need of evaluation. Verse 14, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight.

So what does he say, Lord? Evaluate my words. Evaluate my wishes. May they both meet your good pleasure. How easy is it to have the wrong wishes?

How easy is it to say and use the wrong words? So, Lord, I'm going to need your help. In fact, I'm going to need constant evaluation of what's going on inside and what people are hearing on the outside.

My wishes and my words, because frankly, sin is so easy to grab and hang on to. I need your help. I mentioned Gary Richman recently, the former pastoral staff member who served with Chuck Swindoll at one time at First DV Free in Fullerton. At one time, he used to teach 500 single adults, young professionals in his Sunday school class every Sunday morning. He also used to work for the Los Angeles Zoo. And I mentioned his book, Don't Feed the Bears and the View of the Zoo.

Great, great little paperbacks to add to your library. He wrote about the day when the curators of the reptile section of the zoo needed to perform surgery on a king cobra. And they came and said, Gary, we need your help. You come along with us, the four of us, we're going to go into the large cage of this reptile, and we want you to help the surgeon. Now, to just fill you in, in fact, I did a little extra research on the side, just Googled king cobra and to see what Gary was up against. And found out that they grow to right around 10 to 13 feet in length. They have enough venom to kill an elephant. They're extremely dangerous when they bite and they typically hang on when it rears up. It can stand as high as four feet and it doesn't hiss like the snakes you think of.

Their voice has a much lower register. Gary Richmond would even talk about this, sounding almost like a human voice when it growls. Gary is going along with these four guys and all you can think about is this huge king cobra with its cape spread just before it strikes. The other staff informed Gary as they're walking along. Now, what you're going to do is you're going to help the surgeon. We're going to capture and then the surgeon is going to perform a rather quick operation and we just want you to assist him in whatever he needs. So they walked into this king cobra's large, elaborately designed cage.

It was more like a huge room designed to mimic the Amazon forest. And just as these men explained, it wasn't long before the king cobra slithered around the corner and recognized their presence. He immediately reared up, spread his cape and then looked back and forth at each of the men standing 10 feet away as if to decide which one to eat. As instructed, Gary was standing a bit behind the others and sure enough, the snake lunged at one of the men. He anticipated it, leapt out of the way and soon the men held the snake to the ground. As Gary is helping the surgeon, the doctor says, now Gary, I want you to get some paper towels and I want you to twist them and then, you know, kind of wad them up together and I want you to stick them in the snake's mouth. Gary said, all the while this king cobra is growling and lurching, its mouth wide open, long needle sharp fangs exposed. And he remembered it has enough venom to kill an elephant. So Gary wads up these paper towels, sticks them in the snake's mouth and the snake bites down and begins to just grind away and growl.

And he said it wasn't long before venom literally dripped from those paper towels to the ground. The surgeon is working away, says to Gary, you know, the reason we do this is because the danger isn't really in catching the snake, the tough part is letting it go. And getting out of here without being bit. So we milk this thing so that if he does get a hold of one of us, we won't die. Surgery was wrapped up.

They made it out of there without any harm. And he made an application that I've thought of as I read this. Truth is we can more easily reach out and grab sin than let it go. It's easy to do, difficult to give up. So David is saying, Lord, that's me. That's me. Here's my mouth. Here's my heart.

Look at what it prepares and clean them both. I'm blind to my own faults. I'm capable of premeditated sin. I'm in constant need of evaluation. And finally, he says, I'm totally dependent upon you. I love the way the psalm ends. But the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight. Oh, Lord. My rock and my redeemer, my rock.

That is my stability, my redeemer. That is my atoning sacrifice. So, Lord, thank you for revealing yourself in the big book of creation. What glory you have. Thank you, Lord, for revealing yourself in your little book of scripture.

What a wonderful savior you are. This has been a delightful song pointing our eyes heavenward. And as we have viewed just a little bit of the universe, it has staggered our imagination. It truly does declare your glory, your might and your power. And then as we took a closer look at your special revelation, we soon discovered how much we needed it. How it reveals our sinfulness and how it blesses us with the truth of a redeeming savior. May this book, this week, become just a little bit more our great treasure, our sweet delight.

And to monitor that we don't mind tracking along. Lord, we do pray with David that the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart be acceptable to your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. We pray it with thanksgiving. In Jesus' name, amen. God has revealed himself to us.

We couldn't have known him if he didn't. We have the wonderful privilege of responding to God's revelation through our faith and through our obedience. If you joined us part way through this broadcast, you've tuned in to Wisdom for the Heart, the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey. You can learn more about Stephen or our ministry online at wisdomonline.org. You can access the many resources we have available. Stephen's been teaching the Bible for four decades and his collection of resources is available free and on demand at wisdomonline.org. We'll continue this series next time we're with you. So join us then here on Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-23 01:17:04 / 2024-01-23 01:26:58 / 10

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