Let’s turn now in our Bibles to Psalm 31. This thirty-first psalm is actually divided into three sections. The first one covering the first eight verses, the second one covering verses 9-18, and the final section from nineteen to the end of the psalm. In the first section of the psalm, with David it is sort of a mixture between trust and trial. In the next section the trial is overcome by the trust. And then in the final section it is the triumph of the trusting in the Lord. So the first section through verse 8 the trusting and the trials.
In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for a house of defense to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me (31:1-3).
So a prayer of David declaring that he put his trust in the Lord. Asking God to deliver him. Asking God to hear him and to hear him speedily. I like that. When I pray I like God to hear me speedily. I really don't like when God says, “Wait.” Or when He exhorts me towards patience. I like…I am a man of action, and I like God to work quickly when I am in trouble.
"Be Thou my strong rock and a house of defense, for Thou art my rock and my fortress." Now David often speaks of God as his rock and as his fortress. I guess you would really have to go over to the land of Israel to appreciate this fully. The Israelis have a joke that they will tell you when you first arrive. They will say that God dispatched two angels to distribute the rocks over the face of the earth. And that the one angel went all over the earth scattering his rocks, sort of spreading them out all over the entire earth. And the other angel just was tired and so he dumped all of his rocks on Israel. It is a rocky place. But the rocks afforded a tremendous place of defense in those days. And so in speaking of God as a rock, you are speaking actually of God being a shield to you, a defense. So God is my rock. He is my place of defense. He is my fortress. And oftentimes God is spoken of in the figure of a rock.
Now in the Proverbs there are three things on the earth that are small, yea four that are small but exceedingly wise. And he speaks of the conies; they are just a feeble folk. It is sort of a…a coney is sort of related partly to the rabbit family. It looks something like a rabbit, and yet on the other hand, it looks sort of like an overgrown rat. Down in En-gedi when you go in there, there is a lot of reeds along the stream, and there are hundreds of these conies down in that area. And the Scripture says, "The coney is a feeble folk." It is actually a very defenseless kind of an animal. It is sort of…well, it really is a defenseless animal. It doesn't have any way of defending itself from a predatory type of an animal. And so it says that a coney is a feeble folk, but he makes his home in the rock. So the conies crawl back in the rocks and the wolves, or whatever can stand on the outside and just bark and howl and all, but they can't get to them. So it is actually, the four things on the earth small, exceeding wise, the coney is one of them. The wisdom is knowing its weakness. It has enough sense to make its home in the rock.
Now, we, knowing our weakness, ought to have enough sense to make our home in the Rock. "The Lord is my rock and my fortress." I know that I am weak. I know that I cannot really defend myself from the attacks of the enemy. I know his powers. I know his wiles. I know his guises. I know that I am no match. So it is so important, knowing my weaknesses, that I make my home in the Rock, Jesus Christ. Who then becomes my rock and my fortress. And then asking God to lead me and guide me for His name's sake.
Pull me out of the net that they have privately laid for me: for thou art my strength. For into thine hand I commit my spirit (31:4-5):
This is what Jesus, of course, cried from the cross at the time of His death, "Father, into Thine hands I commend My Spirit" (Luke 23:46).
thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth. I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD. I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for you have considered my trouble; you have known my soul in adversities; Thou hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: you have set my feet in a large room (31:5-8).
Now we enter into the second section where the trial is overcome by the trust.
Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: my eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones are consumed. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbors, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life (31:9-13).
So they have set a net for David. They are talking about him. His life is filled with grief and with sighing. He is a reproach of his enemies. Even his friends have forsaken him. They treat him like a dead man. Out of mind. Like a vessel that is broken, of no further value.
But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in your hand: deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake. Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. And let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous (31:14-18).
Into the final section now, into the triumph of his trusting.
Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD: for he hath showed me his marvelous kindness in a strong city. For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewards the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he will strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD (31:19-24).
So the triumph of trusting and then the encouragement of others. Having experienced the help of God, I then seek to share and to encourage others to also receive God's help and God's work in their life.
Now this next psalm is thought to have been written at the time of David's sin with Bathsheba. After the prophet of God, Nathan, had come to him and spoken to him of that sin. We will get another psalm that relates to this same situation in Psalm 51. Another of the Penitent psalms.
David had many wives, and yet, one day while standing on the roof of his house and looking over the city of Jerusalem, he saw on the roof of a house nearby a beautiful lady bathing. And he was attracted to her, and he sent his servants over to her house to bid her to come to him. And David had an adulterous affair with her; her husband at the time was out fighting with the armies of David, under the leadership of Joab. David received in a few weeks a message from her, "I am pregnant." And David ordered that her husband be brought home from war and he sort of just said, "Well, how are things going? How is the battle going? How are the men? How is the morale?” and all. And then he expected the guy to go home and spend the night with his wife. What he was hoping is that the guy would go to bed with his wife and later on when she says, “I am pregnant,” the guy would never know the difference. But it didn't quite work out that way because this fellow, rather than going home, spent the night on the porch of David's palace with David's servants. And in the morning it was told David, "He didn't go home last night. He spent the night here." And David called him in and said, you know, "Why didn't you go home? You had this wonderful opportunity to be with your wife." And the fellow said, "Well," he said, "all of my buddies are out there in the trenches and it wouldn't be right for me to enjoy a night with my wife when all of my buddies are still out there in the field fighting."
So David that day got him pretty drunk, thinking that if he gets drunk enough he will stagger home and still never know the difference. But he only staggered to David's porch and again spent the night there, and so David was faced with a dilemma and he took a tragic way out. A horrible way out. For David ordered Joab, his general, to put this fellow into the thick of the battle and then to withdrawal the other troops from him that he might be killed. And the ploy worked; Uriah was killed. And David then took Bathsheba as his wife. The child that was born became very sick. David prayed; the child died.
And then the prophet Nathan came to David, and the prophet said, "David, there was a man in your kingdom who is an extremely wealthy man. He had many servants, many flocks. Now next door to him there lived a very poor man who had just one lamb. And the lamb was like a child. It went to bed with him. It ate at his table, and it was just a pet, a family pet. Now this very wealthy man had friends come for dinner and he ordered his servants to go and by force take the one lamb from his poor neighbor and kill it in order that he might feed his guests." And David became very angry and he said to the prophet, "That man shall surely be put to death." And Nathan said, "David, thou art the man!"
Now David's response to that was that of repentance. David's actions were terrible. The Scripture in no wise seeks to excuse the actions of David, but they also do point out the repentance of David. This is thought to be a psalm that relates to that period of David's life when he was going through this guilt of sin. When he was trying to carry it. He was trying to hide it. He was trying to bury it, and going through the guilt of this illicit affair. And this particular psalm relates to this period.
And David begins the psalm by saying,
Blessed [which is, Oh how happy] is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered (32:1).
Oh, what a happy moment it is when I have that assurance that my transgression has been forgiven, that my sin has been covered.
Now there is a difference between a transgression and a sin. A sin is not always a willful act. The word sin comes from a root word which means, "to miss the mark." God says, "Here is the mark. I want you to hit it." All right. And I take aim, and I miss. Now I may not deliberately miss. I may be trying to hit it. I might just be a poor shot. That is still a sin. I have missed the mark. Whether it is deliberate or just a lack of weakness or failure, it is still missing the mark that God has set. That is why the Bible says, "All have sinned." The Bible calls you a sinner. You may get uptight about that, but God said that you have all missed the mark.
Now when I tell you the mark is perfection, that is what God wants you to be, then, is there anyone here who is willing to stand up and say, "I have hit the mark. I am perfect. Look at me. I am Mister Perfect"? No, I think we will all confess, "I have missed the mark." Not always willingly. I have sought to be a better person than I really am. I am not as good as I would like to be. I have missed the mark.
A transgression is a little different, because a transgression is a willful, a deliberate missing of the mark. It is a deliberate action of disobedience on my part. God says, "Here is the line. Now, Chuck, I don't want you to go over that line." And I get busy with my activities, I am not paying any attention, and all of a sudden I am over here on the other side of the line. And God says, "Hey, hey wait a minute. There is the line I told you not to go over." "Oh Lord, I'm sorry. I forgot all about it. I, hmm, didn't mean to." I still went over it. It was a sin; it was a missing of the mark. It wasn't really a deliberate, willful kind of a transgression. Whereas if God says, "Here is the line, Chuck. Now don't you cross over it." And I step over it and say, "Okay, God, what are You going to do about it?" That is a deliberate, willful transgression. Many times sins compound into transgressions. I start off innocently enough. But then rather than repenting and turning, I seek to try to cover it and hide it and all, and it compounds until it becomes a transgression. But either way, oh how happy I am when it is all forgiven. When it is all over. When it is all covered.
O how happy is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, in whose spirit there is no deceit (32:2).
Now David had done his best to deceive. I mean, he was trying to set up Uriah. You know, “Go home and spend the night with your wife.” And he was trying this whole deceitful little scheme. But he is talking now about an interesting experience here, "Oh how happy is the man to whom God does not impute iniquity."
Now I think that many people, because of Santa Claus, have gotten a wrong concept of God, and many people think of God as a glorified Santa Claus. That, just anything I want, all I have to do is come to God and just tell Him what I want Him to lay under my tree this Christmas, and God will give me anything that I insist on. Anything that I believe for. Anything that I will confess God will give to me, because after all, He’s just a Santa Claus waiting to hear my request. And in carrying this concept of God as Santa Claus, we know that Santa Claus is making out a list and checking it twice, and going to find out who is naughty and nice. And if you have been naughty you are going to get a bundle of sticks. You know, he doesn't bring toys to bad little boys. Making this list, keeping the records.
Now, he is speaking about a man, "Oh how happy is the man to whom God does not impute, or account, iniquity." Who in the world would that be? A man that God isn't even making a black list on his deeds. Not imputing iniquity. Paul tells us in Romans that that happy man is the man who is in Christ Jesus. "For there is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). Oh how happy is my life in Christ, this glorious life I have in Him. For if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with the other, and the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, is continually cleansing me from all sin. God is not even keeping a record of my failure, of my sin. Oh what a happy man I am. Not only has He forgiven my transgressions, not only has He blotted out my sins, but He's not even keeping a record of my current failings. Oh how happy is the man to whom God does not impute iniquity, that man who is in Christ Jesus.
Now David goes on to express when he was trying to cover the whole thing and hide the whole thing and the reaction that it had upon him.
When I kept silence (32:3)
That is, when I was trying to hide it, when I would not confess, when I would not bring it out and confess.
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long (32:3).
Did you know, you may try to hide your sins, you may try to cover your guilt, but it will find a way out. With guilt there is always the developing subconscious desire for punishment, which, if I cannot find a relief for this guilt, I will begin some abnormal behavioral pattern by which I am seeking to be punished. And I will start just doing weird things because I am feeling guilty and I want someone to punish me. I want someone to say, "Hey, man, you are weird. You're crazy. Something is wrong with you. You ought to go jump off of the pier." "Oh, thank you, brother. I needed that." Now I feel relieved from my guilt; someone has punished me.
When I was a kid I had no problem. My father took care of my guilt complexes very efficiently. And the old apricot tree, those switches always stung, but it sure got rid of my guilt complex. It was healthy, psychologically. But now I am older, no one to take me into the bedroom and apply the psychology. And so I have to do things, abnormal things, neurotic things, in order to be punished. Get people to punish me. Don't tell Romaine I said it, but this is why he is such a fantastic counselor. I mean you come in and he will lay it on ya! If you are wrong, I mean, he will tell you. And you go home relieved. You get angry with him because he is so straightforward, but I mean he will just tell you what a rat you are, you know. And he doesn't realize it, I am sure, but from a psychological standpoint it is very healthy. We see them storming out of here sometimes, steam coming out of the top of their head. And we say, "Well, they have been counseling with Romaine." He is so good.
But when you are trying to hide and cover your guilt, there is an inward roaring that is going on all the time. This inward turmoil. "When I sought to keep silent, my bones were waxing old because of the roaring all the day long.”
For day and night thy hand was heavy on me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer (32:4).
“Boy, I will tell you. My life just became all dry. Just like a drought in summertime, no moisture, no life. Felt like I was dying." The Selah brings an end to that strophe of the psalm, and now we move into a new direction.
The first is the endeavor to cover the sin, the endeavor to hide the guilt. But now as we move into the new direction.
I acknowledged my sin (32:5)
Now the Bible says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). So,
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin (32:5).
Now, in the Hebrew language there is here the intimation of an immediate process. In other words, "The moment in my heart I said, ‘I am going to confess my transgressions,’ in my heart. Before I could ever get the words out of my lips, God had already forgiven me." God is only looking for the change of the attitude of your heart. The moment in your heart you say, "Oh God, I am sorry. I am going to confess. I am going to get it right with God." In that very moment, God's grace comes flowing over your life and the sins are all obliterated. Why should we carry guilt, why should we carry the sins, when God is so ready to forgive, so ready to cleanse, so ready to pardon? "The moment I said, ‘I’m going to confess,’ Thou forgavest my transgressions."
Now we enter into the third strophe.
For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when you may be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come near unto him (32:6).
Surely all of us ought to be seeking God, because of His love, of His grace, and of His preserving power. In the times of these great waters, in the times of tragedy, it shall not touch you.
For thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance (32:7).
So another Selah. We enter into a new strophe of the psalm. "God is my hiding place. He is my preserver from trouble. He encircles me with songs of deliverance."
Now in verse 8 we have a whole change of voice, and God is now responding to the psalmist. Up till now David has been speaking of God and his relationship to God, but now God responds to David, and David writes God's response to him. Now this is God speaking to David. God said,
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way in which thou shalt go: I will guide you with my eye (32:8).
The steps of a righteous man are order of the Lord. God said, "I will teach you and instruct you in the way that you shall go. I will guide you with My eye.”
Be not as a horse, or a mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in a bit and a bridle, lest he comes near to you (32:9).
So God is saying, "Don't be like stubborn mule where you got to put a bit in its mouth in order to guide it." Now a bit is painful when you jerk on it. But the bit is put in the mouth of a mule or a horse in order that he might be led. That you might have control. So that he doesn't walk or step all over you. You put the bit in their mouth, and if they don't hearken or respond to your reign upon them, then you pull on the bit and it jerks the mouth. And it is painful, but you get the message. You are led.
Now God is saying, "Hey, I don't want to lead you that way. Don't be stubborn like a mule. Where I have to use harsh methods to lead and guide you. I want to guide you with My eye. Okay, that way, son." We are the ones that make it tough on ourselves when we rebel against God. When we won't listen to God. When we are insensitive to God, then He has to get rough. God doesn't delight in the painful processes. God didn't want to send a whale after Jonah; it was just that was the only way that He could get his attention. God doesn't want to lead you in a painful process. He doesn't want to bring painful experiences into your life in order to get your attention, in order to change your directions. So He is saying, "Look, be sensitive. You'll beat him. I will guide you in the right way. I will guide you with My eye. Don't be like a horse or a mule; you've got to put a bit into its mouth in order that you might lead so that it won't step on you and all."
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusts in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart (32:10-11).
As I said, when you are in your own reading of the psalms, it might be an interesting experience for you to, as you read, just sort of follow the exhortations. When it says, "Be glad in the Lord," just be glad in the Lord. When it says, "Rejoice," then you should rejoice. And if it says, "Shout for joy," try it sometime. Just shout for joy unto the Lord.
Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely [or beautiful] for the upright (33:1).
Now, this is something that you might not be able to do as you read it.
Praise the LORD with a harp: sing unto him with a psaltery (33:2)
Another instrument in those days.
and an instrument of ten strings (33:2).
Actually, David was quite a musician. These were all written to be sung. And he invented many instruments. David was actually an inventor of instruments. And so he had some instruments that he had made with strings, and he was a skillful player on the harp himself, and he was called the beautiful psalmist of Israel.
Sing unto him a new song; and play skillfully with a loud noise (33:3).
And that is the motto of our Maranatha groups.
For the word of the LORD is right; and all of his works are done in truth. He loves righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD (33:4-5).
If you will look around you can find the goodness of God that has been extended to us in so many ways.
Now he speaks of the power of God's word.
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all of the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathered the waters of the sea together as a heap: he laid up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth reverence the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast (33:6-9).
I was up at the conference center last weekend with a lot of the fellows, and we had just a beautiful night up there. And after the service I took a walk out through the woods, just the Lord and I. I could see the Pleiades, because it was getting close to midnight and the winter constellations are starting now. If you wait until after midnight you can see the Pleiades, and Taurus and Orion, and of course, right above head was Corona. And I was looking up, and of course, you can still see up there the Milky Way. And looking up into the skies I thought of this verse, "For the word of the Lord is right. His works are done in truth, and by the word of the Lord were the heavens made." Created by His word. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God said, “Let there be light holders, the stars, the sun,” and it was so. And I got to thinking of the power of God's word. "He spake and it was done." And then he said, "Let the earth stand in awe of Him." And I will tell you, when you look at those skies up there, you stand in awe of God. Oh, how great is the power of His word.
The LORD brings the counsel of the heathen to nothing: he makes the devices of the people of none effect. For the counsel of the LORD stands for ever, and the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah; and the people whom he hath chosen as his own inheritance (33:10-12).
Oh, how blessed is that nation who will honor God and who will serve God, and who will put God at the heart of their national life. Blessed, happy is the nation whose God is Jehovah. Not whose God is materialism, but whose God is Jehovah. And you look at the nations that have honored God, and put God at the heart of the nations, and you'll see nations that have been blessed. I think of our forefathers and the founding of our nation, and I would recommend to you the book, “The Light and the Glory,” which brings out some interesting facets of the history of the United States that you don't find in your usual textbooks. Gives you a little insight on the spiritual foundations of our nation. Putting on the coinage, "In God We Trust." Placing within the Pledge of Allegiance, "One nation, under God." Oh blessed, happy is the nation whose God is Jehovah.
"And those people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance," that is you. You are God's inheritance. Oh, that you might know what is the hope of His calling and the riches of His inheritance in the saints.
The LORD looks from heaven; and behold all the sons of men (33:13).
Now, God is watching you. That can be very comforting; it also can be very terrifying. It all depends on what you are doing. "The Lord looks from heaven; He beholds the sons of men.”
From the place of his habitation he looks upon all of the inhabitants of earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considers all their work. There is no king that is saved by the multitude of a host: a mighty man is not delivered by his great strength. A horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those that reverence him, upon those that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee (33:14-22).
Psalm 34 is a psalm of David when he, it says, "changed his behavior, before Abimelech." Actually, it is probably the case of when he had gone down and Abimelech or Achish the king who drove him away and departed. Now David, when he was fleeing from Saul, Saul was trying to kill him, he fled into the land of the Philistines and he was brought to the Philistine king, Achish. And suddenly David thought, "Hey, here I am, and the Philistines hate me," because he had killed Goliath, and he had been the champion of the Israelites in many battles against the Philistines. So much so that the ladies would come out in their dances and they would sing, "Saul has killed his thousands, David, his tens of thousands." "And so, here I am now in the land of the Philistines and here I am surrounded by the king and all of his army and everything else." And David thought, "Man, what if the king gets angry and orders me wiped out? I am a dead man." So David began to act like he was crazy, and of course, he was a character and I love him.
We used to do some many dumb stupid things when we kids, to get reaction from people, and all, you know, the charades and everything else that you go through. And so David just started slobbering all over his beard. And when he was brought in before King Achish, here he was slobbering all over, and he went over and scrabbled on the walls. Just started scratching on the walls and trying to climb the walls and everything else, and the king said, "What do you bring a madman to me for? Get him out of here." And so David escaped from Achish by this little ruse of feigning insanity. And so when he got out of it, when he was delivered, he wrote this psalm. And so that is the background after he is out there, and he is probably laughing, you know, and saying, "Wasn't that funny? Did you see me trying to climb the walls?" But the ruse worked at least, and he was able to escape. And he says,
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. For I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from my fears (34:1-4).
Now, David is pointing out that this action of pretending to be a madman was prompted by fear, "He delivered me out of all of my fears." Now in the book of Proverbs, it says, "The fear of man bringeth a snare." Now here David was afraid of King Achish, but look what it did to him. It reduced him to a slobbering idiot. The fear of man can reduce you. “The fear of man is a snare, but whoso puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25). But David is calling upon the people, "O magnify the Lord with me." The praising of the Lord by His people.
They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that reverence him, and delivers them (34:5-7).
Now the Bible says that, “He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways, to bear thee up lest at any time you should dash your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11-12). In the New Testament in the book of Hebrews we are told concerning angels that they are ministering spirits who have been sent forth to minister to those who are heirs of salvation. So you hear of your guardian angel. "For the angel of the Lord, encamps round about them that reverence Him, and He delivers them.” So there is the opinion that we, each of us, have sort of a guardian angel that sort of watches over us. They are ministering spirits who have been sent forth to minister to us, who are the heirs of salvation.
Now I plan to have a few words with my angel when I get to heaven. I want to know where he was on a few occasions. And on the other hand, I want to thank him, for I will tell you, so many times I have been delivered, I know, only by divine providence. God's divine hand upon my life is the only…I don't know how I got out of it. To this day I don't know how, and yet God's glorious hand, the angel of the Lord. I had a very interesting experience with my angel many years ago while in high school, and I know that the angel of the Lord was with me, and protected me, and kept me, and it was a very unique and fascinating experience. I look back upon it with great gratitude, for God's protecting hand.
O taste and see that the LORD is good (34:8):
You have to experience it. I can stand here and tell you all day how good God is, but you've got to experience it for yourself. I could be eating one of those drumsticks from Swenson’s up here, and I could tell you how delicious that chocolate with the almonds imbedded in it, how creamy the ice cream, and I could just go on telling you, “Man, this is just delicious,” and eat it right there in front of you. But you’re not going to know how delicious it is until I say, "Here, take a bite. Taste and see!" I can stand here and tell you how good God is, but you've got to really experience for yourself to really know. "O taste and see that the Lord is good.”
blessed is the man who trusts in him. Reverence the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them who reverence him. The young lions do lack, they suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD will not want for any good thing. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I’m going to teach you what it is to reverence the LORD. What man is he that desires life, and loves many days, that he might see good? (34:8-12)
What man is there that doesn't want to just live a long, good life? All right, here is the rule.
Keep thy tongue from evil, thy lips from speaking deceitfully. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry (34:13-15).
"The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and His ears are open unto their cry." In the fifty-ninth chapter of Isaiah we read, "The arm of the Lord is not short that He cannot save, neither is His ear heavy that He cannot hear. But your sins have separated you from your God.” But to the righteous His ear is open to their cry. "The eye of the Lord is upon the righteous, His ear is open to their cry.”
The face of the LORD is against those that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all of their troubles. The LORD is near unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit (34:16-18).
So you that are broken hearted, God is so near.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous (34:19):
God doesn't promise you divine immunity from trouble. God doesn't promise that you are not going to have any problems. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous,”
but the LORD delivereth him out of them all (34:19).
Now, many are the afflictions of the wicked, but you have to stop there. I don't care if you are righteous or wicked; you are going to have problems. There are going to be troubles in life. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; many are the afflictions of the wicked. You say, “Then what is the difference between a wicked man and a righteous man? Why, then, be righteous?” Because for the righteous the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
He keepeth all of his bones: not one of them is broken (34:20).
Now this is a prophecy concerning Jesus Christ. It is referred to in the New Testament as a prophecy concerning Christ when they decided to hasten the death of the prisoners as they were hanging there upon the crosses. They asked permission to break their legs in order to hasten their deaths. And so they broke the legs of the two thieves that were crucified beside Jesus, and when the soldier came to break His legs, they found that He was already dead. And so rather than breaking His leg, he took his spear just to make sure, and thrust it into Jesus' side, the area of the heart, and there came out the blood and the water. Signifying death by heart rupture. But they didn't break His bones in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled which declared, "Not a bone of Him shall be broken." That is this psalm referring to Jesus Christ.
Now, you see, Jesus was a sacrifice for us. He was a sacrificial lamb, if you please. When John the Baptist introduced Jesus at the beginning of His ministry, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world!" (John 1:29) And we are redeemed, Peter said, "Not with corruptible things such as silver and gold from our former empty life, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ who was slain as a lamb without spot or without blemish" (I Peter 1:18-19). So as a sacrificial lamb there was one requirement for the lamb that was offered for sacrifice--it could not have any bones broken. And so the prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus, being the sacrificial lamb, not a bone of Him was broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate righteousness shall be desolate. The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate (34:21-22).
Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, stand up for my help. Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt (35:1-4).
So this is one of those psalms where David is praying God's judgment and all against his enemies.
Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery: let the angel of the LORD persecute them (35:5-6).
I really wouldn't want to be one of David's enemies. He really has the Lord on their tails.
For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which they without cause have digged for my soul. Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation. All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? (35:7-10)
And now another prophecy relating to Christ.
False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourns for his mother. But in mine adversity they rejoiced (35:11-15),
Now David is saying, "I was so good to them when they were in trouble. I wept and I was there to help and all. But as for me, when I was in adversity they rejoiced.”
they gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me together, and I knew it not; they tore me and ceased not: With hypocritical mockers in the feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth. LORD, how long are you just going to stand there looking? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions. I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: and I will praise thee among much people. Let not them that are my enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause. For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land. Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it (35:15-21).
The "aha, aha" was evidently a nasty kind of a derisive thing. We don't think of it today saying, "aha, aha" as being such an evil, contemptuous kind of thing, but in those days, man, it was really evil and contemptuous. Now I don't know what the content was of the "aha, aha," but it was something they hated to hear. It was an awful thing when you say, "aha, aha." They really would get upset.
Now when Elisha was going up the hill, little kids came up from Bethel saying, "aha, aha, ye old bald man!" And he turned around and cursed them. And the she bears came out and ripped them up. So, "aha, aha" was a bad thing to say, and as I say, I don't know what the whole connotation of the "aha, aha" might be, but the hypocritical mockers speaking against David.
This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O LORD, be not far from me. Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even to my cause, my God and my Lord. Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me. Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up. Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at my hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonor that magnify themselves against me. Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and thy praise all the day long (35:22-28).
The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise and to do good. He devises mischief upon his bed; he sets himself in the way that is not good; he does not hate evil. Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy loving-kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures (36:1-8).
Can you foresee that, "Drinking of the rivers of God's pleasure"?
For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. O continue thy loving-kindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart. Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me. There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise (36:9-12).
And so the psalm you'll see in the first four verses, David is speaking again of the wicked and his enemies and the things that they were saying against him. And then in verse 5, he turns to God, and to the mercy of the Lord, and the faithfulness of the Lord, and the righteousness of the Lord, and the judgments of the Lord, and the loving-kindness of God. And how blessed are those people who experience God's mercy and God's faithfulness and God's righteousness and His loving-kindness, but they shall be abundantly satisfied, drinking of the river of God's pleasures.
Psalm 37 is an interesting psalm of David in which he begins with the words,
Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity (37:1).
In verse 7 he also says, "Fret not thyself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devises to pass." In verse 8, "Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil."
Now a common characteristic of our lives is that of fretfulness. How easy it is to fret over situations. How easy it is to worry. How easy it is to become anxious. And the things that create the fretfulness within my own heart are just these things that are spoken of here: the evildoers, those who are prospering in their wicked devises; the fact that wickedness seems to triumph, evil triumphs over good. These things cause me to fret. And yet, these are the very things that I am told I am not to fret over. God is in control, therefore I am not to fret over the evildoers nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. Why?
Because they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb (37:2).
The day of the wicked is short. He is going to be cut off. Therefore, don't be envious of him because, man, he has about had it. Why envy a person that is about ready to get cut off? So don't be envious of the wicked. But rather,
Trust in the LORD, and do good (37:3);
Put your trust in God. Better to put your trust in the Lord than your confidence in man. God knows your situation. God knows your limitations. God loves you. God will take care of you. Just trust in the Lord. Don't sit there and worry and fret over the situations of your life. Don't fret because it seems like everything is going down the tubes. Just trust in the Lord.
and so shalt thou dwell in the land, and thou shalt be fed (37:3).
Delight thyself also in the LORD (37:4);
Have you ever tried to just delight yourself in the Lord? This comes through praise and through times of thanksgiving. So many times I stop and reflect in the goodness of God that He has bestowed upon me. And as I think of God's goodness and as I look upon God's blessings, I just rejoice in the Lord. I just praise Him. I just delight myself in Him. “Oh God, it is so good to walk with You. It is so good to serve You. It is so good to know You. It is so good to be a child of the King. It is so good to have the hope of eternal life.” And just delighting myself in the Lord and in the blessings and in the goodness of God is an experience that I indulge in too little. We should be indulging in this much more.
Now, "Delight thyself also in the Lord,”
and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart (37:4).
So here is a promise with a condition.
Commit thy way unto the LORD (37:5);
And this is so important that we come to the place of commitment of our lives and the commitment of the situations of our lives. How important that we learn to just commit our ways into God's hands.
trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass (37:5).
Or, the Hebrew word asa, He shall assemble it. He shall bring it into existence. Commit your way, trust in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. And then finally, when you’ve gotten to the place where you can commit your life and the affairs of your life into God's hands, then you have arrived at the place of that glorious resting in the Lord. “God, I’m just resting in You. Whatever comes, Lord. However. It’s in Your hands.”
Rest in the LORD (37:7),
One of the greatest blessings of the Christian walk in life is to be able to rest in the Lord in the midst of the problems, in the midst of the trials, in the midst of a world of turmoil. Resting in the Lord.
Cease from anger, forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. Because the evildoers are going to be cut off: but they that wait upon the LORD, will inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked are not going to be: in fact, you will diligently consider his place, and it won't be. But the meek shall inherit the earth (37:8-11);
Jesus in one of the beatitudes said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5).
and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (37:11).
The glorious kingdom that Jesus establishes. A kingdom of righteousness and peace, and the meek will inherit the earth and be delighted with an earth that is filled with peace. Can you imagine? No, I don't suppose we can; we've never experienced it. But an earth that is filled with peace. I go by the school grounds and I see the little kids fighting. Seems like everyone is fighting. So much fighting in this world. What a glorious world it will be when we live together in peace, delighted in the abundance of peace.
The wicked plots against the just, he gnashes upon him with his teeth. The LORD will laugh at him: for he sees that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn out the sword, they have bent down their bow, to cast out the poor and the needy, to slay such as be of an upright manner of life. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, their bows shall be broken. For a little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholds the righteous. The LORD knows the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever (37:12-18).
It says concerning Moses that he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Esteeming the riches…or the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. So here we are told that the wicked are going to be cut off. But the inheritance of the upright is eternal.
They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs that are consumed into smoke. The wicked borrows, and he doesn't repay: but the righteous shows mercy, and gives. For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way (37:19-23).
How glorious when God orders our steps and God takes delight in our way.
Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD will uphold him with his hand (37:24).
Oh, I love this! God is going to lead me in the right path, and if I stumble He is going to pick me up.
I have been young, I am now old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor God’s seed begging bread (37:25).
If you are a child of God you will never need to beg for food.
He is merciful, he lends, and his seed is blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; dwell for evermore. For the LORD loves judgment, and forsakes not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him. The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it (37:26-34).
So several exhortations. From the negative standpoint: fret not, envy not, don't be angry, cease from anger, and forsake wrath. From a positive standpoint: trust in the Lord, delight thy self in the Lord, commit your ways unto the Lord, trust in the Lord, rest in the Lord, and finally, wait on the Lord.
Mark the perfect man [the complete man], and behold the upright: for the result of that kind of life is peace. But the transgressors will be destroyed together: the end of the wicked will be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. The LORD will help them, and deliver them (37:37-40).
Psalm 38. This is read on Yom Kippur. Now David, through some sin, and he doesn't tell us what, became very sick. And this psalm is occasion by this great sickness that David had because of some sin that he committed.
O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in your hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presses me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over my head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness (38:1-5).
Now just what it was, maybe a venereal disease or something that David is experiencing here. But he said that,
I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. My heart pants, my strength fails: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. My lovers and my friends they stand aloof from my sores; and my kinsmen stand afar off. They also that seek after my life they are laying traps for me; and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all day long. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man and I opened not my mouth. Thus I was as a man that hears not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slips, and they magnify themselves against me. For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare my iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also that render evil for good are my adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is. Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation (38:6-22).
So David is in a bad shape because of his sin. A loathsome horrible stinking disease. It has caused his friends to shun him and his enemies to try to wipe him out at this point.
Psalm 39. Jeduthun was one of David's musicians, as was Asaph.
I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned (39:1-3):
Have you ever had that experience where you are just seething inside? While you are thinking on it you just start burning. "While I was musing, while I was thinking on the thing, man, did I burn inside." And David said,
and then I spoke (39:3),
It is best not to speak when you are in that shape. But David spoke to the right person; he spoke to the Lord. He said,
LORD, make me to know my end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am (39:4).
God, help me to realize that I’m not so macho as I think. Help me to know my days. God, help me to really number my days. You know, I don't have long. Life is short. If you live to be seventy, if you go on beyond that it’s going to be with hardship. Lord, teach me to number my days. Help me to realize how frail I am.
Behold, you have made my days just as a handbreadth; and my age is as nothing before thee (39:5):
I like that. Don't put any candles on my birthday cake. As far as God is concerned my age is as nothing.
verily every man at his best state is altogether empty (39:5).
Man, poor man, so ignorant in that which he knows best. What is your best field of knowledge? What is your particular field of study? What was your major? How much is there to be known in that field in which you major? How much do you know in relationship to all that is to be known in that particular field? I think that, of course, Bible was my major, and I know the Bible better than any other single subject. But I’ll tell you, I am so ignorant in the Bible as far as all that there is to be known about this Word. Man, poor man, so ignorant in that which he knows best. "Man at his best is altogether empty.”
Surely every man walks in a vain show: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heaps up riches, but he knows not who’s going to spend them. And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because you did it (39:6-9).
In other words, I didn't complain against the stroke that was upon me, because I knew that it was from you.
Remove thy stroke from me: I am consumed by the blow of your hand. When you with rebukes correct man for iniquity, you make his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is empty. Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more (39:10-13).
I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay, he set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings (40:1-2).
Now his last prayer was, "Lord, help me, save me from the strokes and so forth," and now, "I waited patiently for the Lord. He inclined unto me; He heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock and established my goings." Oh, when I look back and see the horrible pit that God took me out of, how thankful I am. I realize I was sinking, I was going down, but God put my feet upon a solid rock. He established my life in Christ.
He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and reverence, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that makes the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies (40:3-4).
As we were driving home this afternoon, we were driving down Newport Boulevard and I saw in the rear view mirror, a sharp, sharp, sharp, sharp, little Ford, probably a 1929 vintage or something that was really fixed up with a full blown type of a caddy engine in the thing. And, of course, everything was all chrome and everything was all opened, and this guy was just sitting there, you know, just… It was just perfection, you know. Everything was just so sparkling and shining and everything else, and he was driving down Newport Boulevard. And I saw him in the rear view mirror as he was coming past us on Kay's side, and I said, "Hey, Kay, take a look over to the right and see that fellow driving his god down the street." And you could tell by the way, that it was. And she looked over and then she looked back real quickly, she said, "I don't want to give him the satisfaction of staring at it." She said, "Because that’s what he wants." And then she said, and she quoted this Scripture, "Blessed is the man that respects not the proud." And she said, "He is proud of that thing and I don't want to respect him." And, "Nor such as turn aside to lies.”
Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts towards us: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered (40:5).
You can't even number the thoughts that God has concerning you.
Sacrifice and offerings you did not desire; my ears hast thou opened (40:6):
Now, God doesn't really desire that you give to Him sacrifices and offerings as much as He desires that you submit to Him your life.
And this phrase, "My ear hath He opened." When a servant had served a six-year term, according to the law he had to be released. You could not keep a servant more than six years. The seventh year was the year of release and all of the servants were released from their bondage or from their servitude in the seventh year. Except if a servant would come to you and say, "I enjoy serving you. I am happy here. I don't want to go out free. I want to remain your servant." Then you would take an awl, and you would go over to the door post of your house and you would put his earlobe up against the doorpost, and you take this awl and pin him with the awl through the earlobe to the doorpost of your house. You just drive the pin through and just pin him there to the doorpost. Actually, it was just an ear-piercing process. And then they would put a gold ring in the hole that was made. So that if you saw a servant or a slave with a gold ring in his ear, you knew that he was a servant by choice. He was a servant willingly. He had offered himself. He had said, "I don't want to be set free. I want to be your servant for life."
Now God is saying, "Look, I really don't want sacrifice or offering. The ear, I want to open it. I want you to submit unto a life of service. I want your life." And so I am a servant by choice. Lord, I love serving You. Lord, I don't want to do anything else but serve You. There is no other life for me, Lord, than a life of service unto You. And so mine ear hath He pierced. I am a servant by choice.
burnt offerings, sin offerings you did not require (40:6).
Now a prophecy relating to Jesus. And, of course, this is all prophecy relating to Jesus. Mine ear hath He pierced. He was in the form of God, thought it not robbery or something to be grasped to be equal with God. But He humbled Himself and came in the likeness of man and as a servant. Humbled Himself, became as a servant. A servant willingly. "Mine ear hath He pierced.”
Then said I (40:7),
and quoted of Jesus in the New Testament in the book of Hebrews,
Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me (40:7),
So, the volume of this book, the volume of the Old Testament is actually written concerning Jesus Christ. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You do search the Scriptures because in them you think you have life, but they actually testify of Me, but you will not come to Me that you might have life" (John 5:39-40). "I have come, as it is written of Me in the volume of the book, to do Thy will, O Lord” (Hebrews 10:7).
And I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart (40:8).
And that is what it means. When God has written His law in your heart, is that it becomes the delight and the pleasure of your life. Doing the will of God is not some horrible awful thing to me. It is not some cross that I have to bear or carry. Doing the will of God is the most exciting, delightful experience of my life. In fact, I really don't desire anything else. It is so glorious just doing God's will. For He has written His will in the fleshly tablets of my heart. That is, He has created the desires in my heart so that I delight doing His will. It’s the delight of my life.
I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy loving-kindness and thy truth from the great congregation. Withhold not thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy loving-kindness and thy truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart fails me. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha (40:9-15).
There you have it again. Those dirty words that they were saying to David, whatever they might have meant.
Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified (40:16).
Now this is a phrase, I don't know why it hasn't been taken up by the people of God, but surely it is a phrase that we ought to be using all of the time. Along with the "Praise the Lord," or, "Bless God," or whatever, there is a phrase that we should be using and that is the phrase, "The Lord be magnified." "Let those that love thy salvation say continually." It should be a constant phrase on our lips. When we are greeting each other and all we should be saying, "Hey, the Lord be magnified." "Let them say continually, ‘The Lord be magnified.’" Now try and add that phrase to your vocabulary and start using it.
I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks about me (40:17):
That is great.
thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God (40:17).
Verse 13 he says, "Help, make haste to help me." And now he says, "Don't tarry, Lord. Deliver me, make no tarry."
Now we are going to leave it at that. Next week we will take the next ten chapters from 41-50. We will go ten chapters a week for a while, as we have gotten into some of the longer psalms. And then when we get to 121 we'll take twenty chapters, because they are shorties. Or twenty psalms, they are really not chapters. They are…each one is a psalm, complete within themselves.
Shall we stand.
Now may the Lord be with you to watch over you and to keep you in all your ways. May your steps be directed of the Lord this week. That He might delight in the path that you take. And I pray that there are some of you that will come and say, "Lord, I want to serve You. I love You. I am satisfied. I don't want any other life. Go ahead, Lord, pierce my ear, open my ear. I am willing to take the mark of a bondslave of Jesus Christ." And may you know the joy and the delight and the blessing of serving the Lord. If some of you have come tonight and you haven't given your lives to Jesus Christ and you would like to do so, if you will go back into the prayer room, the pastors will be glad to pray with you back there and lead you to a real commitment of your life unto the Lord. Really living in this world today with all of its turmoil, with all of its problems, I don't know how a person can exist without a firm relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. I wouldn't want to try and even go on tomorrow without the strength and the guidance and the help of the Lord. And so I would encourage you to just open up your heart and life to Him. For He wants to help you, and to lead you into His path of righteousness. God be with you. Watch over, keep, bless, and use you as His servant this week. In Jesus’ name.