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June 8, 2022 8:00 am
You know you can go along and have a sense of strength and confidence and then the storm hits and you know you're grabbing for the rope.
At the same time, you can find yourself in the storm, and by God's grace without the storm going away find yourself settled in and restful and and peaceful and confident in the year our nation and the world are faced with crisis after the next wars and depressions to crime in our inner cities, but in the midst of all that should Christians grant will not. If you pay attention to biblical passages like Psalm 28. Pastor Don Greene will take us there. On this edition of the truth pulpit hello again, I bill right. Today's message is titled, confident in crisis had done. This is a particularly relevant message for the times is all that's exactly right Bill, you know, my friend.
As you read the Psalms are often reading the words of David and the words of David that he wrote when he was in various times of crisis or discouragement or confessing sin. The Psalms are a wonderful place for us to come and find voice a God inspired voice for our own struggles and on the own difficulties of our souls.
Scripture is so practical and so relevant.
You'll see that clearly as we open God's word again today on the truth pulpit. Thanks Don and Fred. Let's join our teacher now as he continues teaching God's people. God's word in the truth. Pulpit is enough for you, beloved, it is sufficient for you that if you know the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is sufficient for you to know that the Lord has heard your prayer in the midst of your crisis and you can rest in that alone because God is sufficient in the crisis.
He does not lightly treat the appeals of his children that ask for his care and when we know that we can rest in that regardless of what's happening around us. Trusting God alone. As you go through life.
Well first of all, let's take a look at David in crisis. That's our first point David in crisis as the song begins, David is in an urgent situation that needs God's immediate help and he is afraid that he's facing a common fate with the wicked witch is just unthinkable to them and notice how it opens up and opens up with a a very clear and expressive statement of of solitary trust in Yahweh. He says to you, oh Lord, I call easy and it opens up with these words to you. I call not anyone else. I look not to a change in my circumstances.
My appeal is to you oh Lord, and I call upon you look at the rest of verse one with me. There he says my rock. Do not be deaf to me for.
If you are silent to me. I will become like those who go down to the pit. It's an expressive way of of of acknowledging his trust in the Lord. It would it would appear in a way that perhaps you can relate to. It would appear that David has been praying for a period of time as the Psalm enters in. If he's appealing for God not to be deaf not to be silent gives you the sense that he's been asking in his circumstances haven't changed. He hasn't seen God intervene yet and so he's appealing. Once again, for the Lord not to be deaf not to be silent now. Is he speaking herein in he's using human words to describe the nature of God's not the God is literally deaf, or that is literally silent or mute before David rather he saying God. Don't be in active in response to my prayers, is the idea he's asking God to hear him, by which he means God answer me God do something in this situation because it is becoming increasingly urgent and as he calls on God as his rock. He is saying that God you are my protection. You are my strength. You are the one that I run to for stability and security. In the midst of the uncertainty of life. I am appealing to your character. As I pray there should be a sense in which were mindful of the basis upon which we are calling God to act and not simply to dump out our our request before him, but to be thoughtful to be to consider what it is that were saying on on what is the basis upon which you appeal for God intervene on your behalf. David says God, I'm appealing to you because you're my rock you're my defense, you're the one that I trust in your my protection and so I'm asking you to do to fulfill that office that you hold in my life to carry out that role which you have taken in my life is my protection protect me that is the appeal to poetic way of asking God to intervene in his time of need and he says here at the end of verse 20 says if if you're silent if you don't act all become like those who go down to the pit.
The pit here being a synonym for death, for she old it's it's it's a representation it's a word to refer to the to the realm of the dead and David says God if you don't help me that's that's what lies ahead for me. Life and death are at stake here it's urgent and it's important that shows a David is afraid that he may even die if God doesn't answer in response to so what is he say goes on in praise. In verses two and three. Having having kinda framed the crisis in the basis upon which he appeals to God. Here he he goes on any he repeats himself. He says the same thing with different expressions verses two and three. He says hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to you for help when I lift up my hands toward your holy sanctuary do not drag me away with the wicked, and with those who work iniquity, who speak peace with their neighbors, while evil is in their hearts.
You see the repetition you see the recurring theme of what he saying anything God verse one.
Don't be deaf.
God don't be silent first to hear my voice when I cry to you. Verse three.
Don't drag me away with the wicked.
There's a repetition and an urgency that is shown that that is expressing the, the, the urgent nature of his of his request and gives us gives us a sense that it's that when our prayers are earnest and thoughtful and sincere that repetition is a fine way to pray. Repetition is a fine way to express the urgency of the situation and that we would be like the widow who went to the judge in the Gospels and came to him repeatedly saying help me act on my behalf protect me from my opponent turned over to Luke 18, I'd like to see this is just kind of a kind of an illustration from the lips of our Lord about what David is doing here as he is. He prays and we see an encouragement. Here's the thing. Beloved, we see an encouragement to persevering prevailing prayer that the believing's disciple does not stop after one request when he doesn't get his answer. He comes again and again until God answers his prayer. Luke 18 verse one Jesus was telling them a parable to show that at all times. They ought to pray and notices not to lose heart, saying in a certain city.
There was a judge who do not fear God and did not respect man.
There was a widow in that city and she kept coming to him, saying, give me legal protection for my opponent for a while he was unwilling, but afterward he said to himself, even though I do not fear God nor respect man yet because this widow offers me. I will give her legal protection otherwise by continually coming, she will wear me out and the Lord said, hear what the unrighteous judge said. He said her repetition moved him to act on her behalf. Even though he was unrighteous and did not really care about her situation.
Jesus here is reasoning from the lesser to the greater if and unrighteous human judge would respond to the repeated requests of someone he doesn't even care about what must it be like for God to respond to his children in love who continually come to him and asked for his protection. Look at verse seven he says now will not, God bring about justice for his elect to cry to him day and night and will he delay long over them. I tell you that he will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth. So we have this we have this encouragement to persevering prevailing prayer.
Those of you that those of you that have been praying for years and years for your for your loved ones to come to Christ and it just seems like they get more and more hard.
Don't give up. Don't stop praying.
Don't say well there's nothing more to be done here in and give up as if the as if the omnipotent mercy of God is somehow been exhausted or that somehow your loved ones heart is just too hard for God to crack this one in why would why would that be true and correct your heart and knee. He broke through your stubborn well didn't see well then he hasn't stopped in as long as you have breath you keep praying you keep persevering you keep asking God to act in to respond to your prayers as go back to Psalm 28 now Psalm 28 versus two and three with this with this repetition hear the voice don't drag me away. Don't be deaf. The echo God, help me help me help me answer answer answer. The echo showing the emphasis and urgency that's on his heart.
He desperately needs and desires. God's intervention enough that he keeps coming and asking Jesus question is is is well considered, you know, if God is like this, you know, we can expect him to respond to our repeated prayers. The question is do we have the faith that we have the perseverance in order to pray in that way and persevere continuing to ask even when there seems to be no evidence of an answer at hand. See that the challenge in those times when God appears silent. The challenge is not for God to do something it's for us to lay hold of his character and exercise faith even when were walking by faith and not by the side of anything visible seems to be responding to our prayers. Look at verse two. That the universe to with me. He says hear the voice when I when I lift up my hands toward your holy sanctuary here to lift up his hands as it's an expression of dependence. David is orienting his mind toward the sanctuary that that place in the at the time of his writing where the ark of the covenant was For God's presence was represented. David says I lift up my hands toward your presence, and to that place which represents it. How does that apply to us today. There is no sanctuary in the same way.
There's no ark of the covenant. There's no physical manifestation of God like that we've got something better that we appeal to.
We appeal to something even better as the grounds upon which we ask God to respond to us were mindful of another manifestation of manifestation subsequent to Psalm 28 when we pray were were mindful of the way that God manifested himself at the cross of Calvary. When our Lord Jesus Christ permanently eternally displayed the loving care of God for his children when he bore our sins in his body on the cross when he interceded as a substitute sacrifice for us, and forever settled the question. Does God care about us is God concerned about us. Do we have a grounds of appeal to believe that God will hear our prayers course we do the cross settled that, for all time. So we should appeal to the cross. When we pray and say Lord you've already done the greater thing when you interceded for me at Calvary Lord you've already displayed uncertain and confident of your love when I remember the cross and therefore Lord I'm confident now when I pray that you hear me with love with concern and with compassion, and if you interceded for me while I was yet a center separated from you, how much more must you be willing to hear my prayer. Now that I'm reconciled to you, and I appeal to you, not in my own righteousness, but on the shed blood of my Lord Jesus Christ, the one that you appointed to be my mediator with you see when we think through the nature of God rightly rather than just looking through things from our circumstances and I don't see how the circumstances going to work out and you turn to desperation and you pray to God as if it were a last resort and got out of them do anything but help me if you can truly not worthy of him is it now we should start with the cross.
Start with the certainty of God's love and care for us affirm our belief in his good intentions toward his children and say Lord I humbly ask for that position of confidence and strength based on the way that you revealed yourself in the Lord Jesus Christ, that you will hear me favorably and and while you may respond in a way that's different than what I anticipated what I presently want Lord I'm content to place myself in your loving hands and say, not my will but thine be done. And in that Lord if you hear my prayer, and you do your will. I know that I'm going to be completely covered and therefore I can be at peace. That's what he's worthy of and and beloved as we walk through these challenging times in our culture and society around us. You and I should be reaffirming that one another. We need to live this way in our own private lives because when we gather together will manifest that to each other and when I'm a little bit weak and down all draw strength from your confidence in the Lord and vice versa. And so we just we just need to be mindful of the whole community of God's week walk through these things and let our trust in Christ shape the whole way that we represent ourselves to the world.
The always quotable Charles Spurgeon said about this particular passage of Scripture.
He said we stretch out empty hands, for we are beggars we lift them up for. We seek heavenly supplies. We lift them toward the mercy seat of Jesus for their our expectation dwells." You know why you should be unassailable.
He confident about what lies ahead. It's because God has revealed himself in Christ, and Christ has borne your sins on the cross and risen from the dead and ascended on high, we trust in a Savior, who is risen, who is omnipotent, who cannot be defeated.
As we saw earlier, he is a risen conquering son and when we trust in him our heart is helped he cannot fail if death could not defeat him.
Nothing else will either. You know that the to all tell you the time when you should worry, here's a time when you should worry and and and when this happens, all join with you in being frightened and discouraged and in utter despair. Here it is.
When someone wicked succeeds in this when they when they physically go into heaven and pull Christ off the throne and bring him back to earth and stuff him back in the grave and put the stone back over the grave. That's when we can worry.
Until then, we should be utterly unassailable. He confident there is no one that will ever do that our Lord reigns, he is supreme and whatever we see happening around us will never ever contradict that fact. And so David here has appealed to God's character as his rock he's asked to be to be separated from the wicked. Look at verse three. Don't drag me away with them either on separate from them. Don't give me a common lot with those who who who hate your name with the hypocrites who speak one thing with their lips, but in their hearts have evil designed against those that they are speaking to you since God I don't I don't have any part in their wicked iniquity. I don't share in their hypocrisy. And so, so don't assign me a common fate with the and the more I think about this and think about what's happening in our world.
And as I look to the future.
I realize we may suffer. I realize we may be persecuted.
Big deal. What matters is, is that God sees that we are separate that we sanctified ourselves by faith in Christ that we we have rejected this world and he's not going to treat us as he deals with the world in the same way he will deal with his children. According to his grace and mercy even as he deals with the wicked.
According to his justice and wrath. We must be confident that God is able. Christ said that at the end of time. He will separate the sheep from the goats.
He knows of her sheep or he knows a four goat and we can be confident, and rest in the fact that he will make the distinction when it counts. And he will care for us in the end I just do not buy into this mindset that whips us into fear, then asks us for a donation. I just don't buy and that we need to be confident in Christ even when in the world, the wicked seem to be prevailing. What is David do look at verse four yet he asked God to give them a harvest of judgment that is consistent with the seeds of wickedness that they sewn look at verse four. Requite them according to their work and according to the evil of their practices requite them. According to the deeds of their hands repay them. Their recompense, he says, Lord reborn them according to the wickedness of what they have done. He's asking God to vindicate his justice in light of the wicked conduct of his enemies. Now that might sound a little bit harsh or severe on our New Testament ears, but take note of what is doing here. This is not David praying selfishly, self righteously or or vindicating himself here but what he says in verse five, what's the reason for his request. What's the ground of any's.
He says it's because they do not regard the works of the Lord nor the deeds of his hands. He's recognizing the holiness of God. The righteousness of God.
The perfection of his justice and he has identified himself with the glory and the holiness of God, to such an extent that he he rejects that which opposes it. He says God for your namesake for the sake of your glory for the vindication of holiness, God act and repay them in their unrepentant wickedness repay them so that your holiness might be vindicated so that your glory might be known. Notice the notice of contrast, he makes here all these little things are just woven like diamonds in a string of pearls that sparkle even more notice in verse four he says he says pay them back.
According to their work.
According to the evil of their practices, their deeds, notice the words that work there practices their deeds and that their actions are and outworking of the wicked heart their opposition to Yahweh, he says, Lord, that wickedness on so identified with you that I just can't bear it. I ask you to act on behalf of your own name. Now watch this he sets their deeds over against the deeds of the holy God. He says, verse five they don't regard your works.
They don't regard the deeds of your hands and so he's there. There's lots of deeds and works going on here. David says, Lord, I want yours to be vindicated want yours to be upheld. And as he moves and shifts into that direction and moves into the power of God the justice of God the holiness of God and appeals to God to vindicate his own name, and holiness. What happens, he begins to shift from the urgency of the crisis to the confidence of biblical faith.
He believes that they will be overthrown permanently. That wickedness will not prevail in the end, look at the end of verse five.
There says he will tear them down and not build them up.
Does that remind you of any verse that we considered in the past through our study of Psalms. I don't expect you to know what I'm talking about just go back to Psalm one verse six. I want you to see.
I can do this with almost every song because we said many many times that the subsequent 149 Psalms.
In some ways are simply and outworking. Psalm one verse six says the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. That's going green, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati Ohio with part one of this message confident in crisis. Part 2 Will Come Your Way. Next time you're on the truth pulpit don't miss a moment.
Right now Don's back your in studio with some closing words will hello my friend. I want to thank you for listening to the truth pulpit. Thank you for being a student of God's word. You are the reason that we do these things we want to bring God's word to you in a way that makes it alive and applicable to you and brings you into a deeper knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ you know if you benefited from this broadcast. We just ask you to do a simple thing, go to our webpage or go to our Facebook page look us up on Facebook and just drop us a little note just a word that would let us know that you've appreciated today's broadcast or the other aspects of our ministry.
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I'm Bill right will see you next time on the truth pulpit as Don Greene continues teaching God's people