Memphis Belle

Untitled Document

 

 

Psalm 1:1-6
Psalm 2:1-12
Psalm 3-4
Psalms 5-7
Psalms 8-9-10
Psalms 11-14
Psalms 15-16-17
Psalm 18:1-50
Psalm 19:1-14
Psalms 20-21
Psalm 22:1-31
Psalm 23:1-6
Psalm 24: 1-10
Psalm 25-26
Psalm 27:1-14
Psalm 28-30
Psalm 31-32
Psalm 33-34
Psalm 35-36
Psalm 37-38
Psalm 39-40
Psalm 41-43
Psalm 44-45
Psalm 46-47
Psalm 48-50
Psalm 52-55
Psalm 56-58
Psalm 59-61
Psalm 62-65
Psalm 66-68
Psalms 69-72
Psalm73-1-28
Psalms 74-77
Psalm78-1-72
Psalms 79-81
Psalms 82-83
Psalm84-1-12
Psalms 85-87
Psalms 88-89
Psalm 90:1-17
Psalm 91:1-16 Psalms 92-93 Psalms 94-95 Psalms 96-99 Psalms 100-102
Psalm 103:1-22 Psalm 104:1-35 Psalm 105:1-45 Psalm 106:1-48 Psalm 107:1-43
To log onto UNITYINCHRIST.COM’S BLOG, Click Here
Unity in Christ
Introduction
About the Author
Does God Exist?
Gospels
Epistles
Prayer
Faith
the Prophets & Prophecy

Psalms

OT History
Early Church History
Church History
Sabbatarian Heritage

The Worldwide Church Of God
Messianic Believers
Evangelism


America-Modern Romans


Latin-American Poverty

Topical Studies
Guest Book
Utility Pages
Share on Facebook
Tell a friend:
 

Psalm 94:1-23

 

“O LORD, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.  Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth:  render a reward to the proud.  LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?  How long shall they utter and speak hard things?  and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?  They break to pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.  They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.  Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.  Understand, ye brutish among the people:  and ye fools, when will ye be wise?  He that planted the ear, shall he not hear?  he that formed the eye, shall he not see?  He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct?  he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?  The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.  Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; that thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.  For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.  But judgment shall return unto righteousness:  and all the upright in heart shall follow it.  Who will rise up for me against the evildoers?  or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?  Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.  When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD held me up.  In the multitude of my thoughts [Hebrew: disturbing thoughts] within me thy comforts delight my soul.  Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?  They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.  But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.  And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.” 

 

Introduction

 

“As you come to Psalm 94, this is a song that was sung every morning at the morning sacrifice on Wednesday mornings in the Temple.  And it begins with a cry for God to do these things we read about in Psalm 93, and the question ‘how long, O LORD, how long, O LORD, come on, do it LORD, you’re gonna reign, you’re going to reign over the earth, you’re the One whose mighty, come on LORD, let’s get this going, how long?’  So, many feel that Psalm 93 and 94 lead us into a series of Psalms which are Psalms 95 to 100, which are called the Kingdom Psalms.  They feel that these two Psalms, speaking of the LORD reigning, and then the hunger in the heart of God’s people, ‘LORD, do it, come LORD, let’s do this,’ introduce us into these Psalms called the Kingdom Psalms.  If you’ll look in Psalm 95, it begins by saying “O come, let us sing unto the LORD, 96 says “O sing unto the LORD a new song”, 97 says “The LORD reigneth, let the earth rejoice”, 98 says “O sing unto the LORD a new song”, Psalm 99 says, “The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble” and verse 3 says “Let them praise”, Psalm 100 says “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.”  So, those Psalms, 95 through 100 are called the Kingdom Psalms, are all rejoicing in praise, looking at the Kingdom [the Millennial Kingdom of God].  Here, Psalm 93, “the LORD reigneth” and then Psalm 94 will then say ‘How long before that takes place?’  There seems to be a perplexity on the part of the Psalmist, as he’s looking at the world much like Asaph in Psalm 73, saying ‘How long, LORD, we know you’re gonna reign, we know you’re sovereign, you’re mightier than the waters, your voice and so forth, but this is what’s going on around me right now, and this is difficult,’ and there’s a cry to the LORD to move. 

 

‘Shine Forth, LORD, Demonstrate Who You Are, Reward The Proud, Let’s Wrap This Up’

 

“O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.” (verse 1) you hear the repetition, ‘show thyself,’ or the idea is ‘Shine forth, LORD, demonstrate who you are,’ we just read that in Psalm 93.  “Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth:  render a reward to the proud.” (verse 2)  The cry now, “LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?  How long shall they utter and speak hard things?  and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?” (verses 3-4)  There seems to be a perplexity on the part of our writer here.  Just, ‘LORD, you’re on the throne,’ much like you and I, we get in a very difficult situation, and we find ourselves saying ‘Lord, this is hard to reconcile, we believe you’re a God of love, you’ve given your own Son, we witness to all our friends, we tell them that you’re a God of love, and how gracious you are, and now this situation in my life stinks, and I don’t know how to reconcile this present pain or suffering, or cancer, or difficulty, or treachery, or betrayal, or whatever it may be, how do I reconcile Lord this present situation with the fact that you’re a good and loving God, and you’re on the throne?  And those things, Lord, are hard for me to reconcile.’  And the Psalmist seems to be saying ‘There’s a perplexity, I’m perplexed, how long, LORD, how long are you going to let this go on?  How long are you going to let the wicked, LORD, raise up their voices, how long are you going to let people that are ungodly mock the godly on the earth?  How long are you going to let those who should NEVER be in power, be in positions of power throughout the earth, how long are you going to let these things happen?  Vengeance belongs to you, shine forth, LORD, show yourself, reward the proud.  How long is this going to take place?’  Very honest, I appreciate so much the cry of the Psalmist here.  And like you and I, we look at it and say ‘Let’s wrap up the show here,’ you know.  Again, it’s interesting, when God is extending his patience and longsuffering towards us, we’re good with that.  But when it comes to somebody whose bothering us, we want him to get the show on the road, ‘we just want you to meet out justice to them.  You can be patient with us, but let them have it.’  And the Psalmist here’s saying ‘How long, LORD, how long, how long,’ over and over again.  “How long shall they utter and speak hard things?” ‘They’re arrogant, they’re mocking,’ and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves...”  But I was a worker of iniquity until 1972 when I got saved.  You know, I was in that camp of a mocker, I was on the other side.  He says “They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.” (verse 5)  Again, that would be Israel and the Church [Body of Christ], you see the animosity in the world today, again, it was John Brody who said in his book, that in the 20th century alone there were 15,000,000 Christian martyrs, you know, the heaviest century of martyrdom in the history of the Church.  And we don’t think that, because we’re in an insular culture here in America.  But this animosity, and we can sense that of course, today in our own nation, animosity towards things of faith, people of faith, we look at this battle with the Supreme Court.  We look at all of these things going on and stuff and we think ‘Supreme Court, you guys should actually be ashamed of yourselves, you should just be ashamed of yourselves.’  A ten-year-old knows what’s right and wrong in a circumstance like this.  And this has become so complicated that we can’t even say what’s right or what’s wrong anymore, it’s remarkable [all driven by and in the name of this “political correctness”]. 

 

God Says, ‘You Mess With The Widow or Fatherless, You’re Messing With Me’

 

He says “They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.” (verse 5)  Notice, “They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.” (verse 6)  And the LORD in particular in his Word says ‘If you mess with the widow or the orphan, you’re messing with me.  You put your hand on the widow or the orphan, you’re going to deal directly with me someday.’  So here, you know, the Psalmist is saying, ‘This is going on, LORD, you have made statements about this, and yet this is going on around us,’ and he says in verse 7, “Yet they say,” the workers of inquity, “The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.”  So is this strictly in mocking?  Are these atheists or are these Jews that have fallen away, they’re talking about the God of Jacob, or the idea is, that whatever they are, they’ve taken a side here where they’re mocking the God of the Scripture.  They’re mocking the God of Jacob, they’re mocking the LORD, they’re saying ‘He doesn’t see, the God of Jacob, he’s detached, doesn’t care, he’s not involved.’  And it would seem to me, certainly, at least in the camp of mockery, atheists are there, verse 8 says this, “Understand, ye brutish among the people:  and ye fools, when will ye be wise?”  brutish,” like a beast.  And it said earlier in the Psalms, ‘The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.’ 

 

The Amazing Ear & Eye

 

And then he comes to this remarkable argument here, he says look, “He that planted the ear, shall not he hear?   he that formed the eye, shall he not see?  He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct?  he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?” (verses 9-10)  And he goes into this remarkable argument, ‘he that planted the ear,’ it’s very interesting, that’s an interesting idea, because to you and I the ear doesn’t look very planted.  Some of them look sprouting more than planted.  But, you know, it’s interesting, years ago Billy Martin was one of our assistant pastors here, and he was a PhD, I think he got his PhD when he was 22 or 23, he was brilliant.  And he worked at Temple Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Kennedy, and he worked where the inner ear connected to the brain, where the brain stem connected to the brain.  And he had developed electrical technology where he measured, like on the spine, he could measure electrical flows.  So when they would do surgery, like on the governor in Arkansas, they would fly him and his gear down, when they did surgery on his back, Billy would hook everything up to the back, and say to the guys, ‘Look,’ because it used to be when they did that kind of neurological surgery on the brain stem or the spine, sometimes they didn’t know until after the surgery if they had cut something, when you’re trying to get healed.  He would actually see in surgery, ‘No, you’re hitting something there you shouldn’t be hitting, you need to stop right there and back off, right there.’  And it developed even with prenatal surgery for unborn children, he had developed some very sensitive technology.  But he would always talk about, when we got a chance to go out to lunch or breakfast, I always would have a million questions about the ear and where it connects to the brain.  But it’s planted, it goes way down.  You see this funny part that sticks on the outside.  Genius, look what evolution has done, the way it’s shaped, one on each side, you know you have the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear.  The outer ear, the way this part of it is shaped, catches sound, all those little funny curves and all this stuff that itches in there in those different places, catch sound, and the way they’re shaped, one on each side, actually can tell you, ‘Is the sound coming from there, is it coming from there, is it coming from beyond,’ the two of them, in the position they’re in, can read direction of sound.  And so you have actually the outside ear, then the canal, then the ear drum, that’s all the outer ear.  And the ear drum, then, mechanical, flexing, it’s connected to the hammer, the anvil, and then the stirrup, then it goes against the colloquial in there, you know all this, of course.  You’re hearing it anyway, which is a miracle, that’s why you’re hearing it, because of the miracle.  And it increases the sensitivity from the drum through the hammer to the anvil to the stirrup, 20 times, those three little bones in the middle ear, and they haven’t gotten any bigger since you were born.  They’re the exact same size now as they were when you were a baby, they’re that small.  And they increase the sound, the vibration 20 times from the drum to the colloquial, and there when it hits that, there’s fluid in there, and one of the surfaces have this little gland under it, and they call them hairs, they’re actually smaller than hairs, and they’re against it when it vibrates.  And it can vibrate 20 times a second to 20,000 times a second, your ear drum just sitting there, sending these signals.  You ain’t even thinking about it, and it’s working.  Great job guys!  And it sends those little signals to the these hairs.  Those hairs, smaller than a human hair, have a little flap on the end that opens, and they let one electrical ion in at a time, which travels down that less than a hair, to a chemical library.  You learn to hear, you know, as a baby, you start to file all these things, and you learn to hear.  That chemical library is actually attached to a memory, you can hum some song. It says we should be singing, making spiritual songs in our heart unto the Lord…yet you can hear, in your memory, the songs that we sing.  They [the scoffers, non-believers] don’t understand any of this, they don’t understand any of it.  You should hear the explanations, it’s so funny.  They don’t understand any of this.  [i.e. the complexity of life, that it had to be created.  Just buy and read “Darwin’s Black Box” by Michael Behe.]  So you sit here tonight, we’re in the middle of a Bible study, and, I mean, we’re boring you to death or whatever, whatever you’re thinking while you’re listening.  Somebody over there coughed, and in your chemical library it said ‘That’s not important, that goes on all the time.’  Ah, somebody’s phone goes off in the back corner, and you’re thinking, ‘We tell ‘em enough, what’s the matter, they can’t put their phone of airplane mode or vibrate,’ you know.  Look, you’re hearing the Word, you’re hearing the worship, you’re hearing this, and then you’re hearing all these other things in the background, then you’re hearing, if it rumbles, ‘Well, that’s alright, thunder, or a train going by,’ or you hear brakes squealing, and right in the middle of the study while you’re listening to the Word, in your mind you’re thinking ‘Is there going to be a crash at the end of that screech? Is there going to be one of those at the end of it?’  You’re hearing sirens in the distance, you hear all of these things, you’re in a restaurant, you hear people talking, you’re hearing ash trays, you’re hearing glasses rattle on the table, you’re hearing knives and forks, as you’re having a conversation.  This is all going on one membrane, down through these little bones, into these things where these tiny little hairs are firing all these things, and getting filed into a library.  And you hear all these things at one time, sometimes hundreds of things.  And you know what to pay attention to and what not to pay attention to, while you’re doing it.  And you’re doing it without thinking about it.  And it’s all getting filed away.  Somebody throws change on the table, you know they’re cheap [laugher], instead of leaving, if they put down a couple bucks, you wouldn’t hear that.  You’re thinking all these things, and you don’t even have to pay attention to what’s going on.  [And our memories are another miraculous thing, how they’re made and stored, long-term, core memories, short-term, etc.  Buy and watch that Disney movie “Inside Out” for a good graphic explanation about our human memories, all colored by our emotions.]   And that ability, you know, it’s, you just see the outer ear, it goes down to the drum, which is the last part of the outer ear, to the middle ear, these set of bones so fine, then to the colloquial through the stirrup into this whole inner ear, it’s planted, your ear is planted into your head, in a remarkable, remarkable way.  Isn’t evolution marvelous?  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/Does/Genesis 1 1-31.html]  And the main thing the Scripture says, that we should hear the Word of God.  All the other things we use our ear for, hearing praise, hearing wisdom, hearing instruction, hearing the Word of God, should be prominent in our lives.  He’s the one who planted the ear, here’s all these unsaved wise-guys saying ‘Hey, he don’t care, he don’t hear,’ and the logic comes in, here through the Psalmist says ‘Really?  The One who planted the ear, you think he’s unable to hear?’  I mean, Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived [until he married 1,000 wives], says in the Book of Proverbs, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made them both.”  ‘You know, and then it says ‘He formed the eye,’ can I do a little eye-thing?  Eye-ya-eye!  It always amazes me, just think if I had a new Nikon camera up here, brand new, or I had one of the new, some new digital, or new phones that are coming out, the cameras are getting better and better.  If I said to you, ‘You know, this phone was formed through lightning and dirt and pond scum, and it evolved, and this is where this camera came from,’ you’d commit me somewhere.  But they want to say that about the eyeball, which is waaay beyond, first of all, our understanding in any camera.  We have the eyeball dark inside, like the inside of the camera, so light gets treated the right way.  You have receptors that receive long waves and short radio waves, you don’t see with your eyeball, vision’s in your brain.  The eyeball is just a wave-receptor.  We’re not even sure exactly how all of it works.  [Michael Behe, in his Darwin’s Black Box describes the super-complex chemical/electrical cascade system within the eyeball and nerves going to the brain, just as he does for blood-clotting.  Be sure to order a copy of his book off http://www.amazon.com.]  But remarkably, it’s the largest nerve, it’s part of your brain, your eyeball is part of your brain, your optic nerve is part of the brain itself.  And when the baby is forming in the womb, all of a sudden certain cells know to start to form this round thing, blood vessels go there, nerves go there, a set of muscles all of a sudden evolves, and as your body is being put together, the only clear amino acids in your body are abulum and crystalline, somehow they all go to where the pupils are going to begin.  Isn’t that amazing?  Evolution is wonderful, isn’t it?  And so you have the two clear proteins, greater concentration in your pupil than anywhere else in your body, coming to the center, and this whole thing forms that will let light waves go in, you have 110,000,000 rods and cones in the back of your eyes, light receptors.  The rods do nighttime, you can see a star, millions of light-years away.  You can see a candle lit on a clear night a couple miles away.  [On ships during WWII, sailors or merchant marine sailors were not allowed to smoke on the open deck, because a cigarette coal could be seen well over two miles, closer to five miles away by an enemy lookout]  You can differentiate between a billion hues of black to white, with your rods.  Your cones see several hundred different hues of colors during the day.  Just, remarkably, but when your pupil gets smaller, this camera here, is self-adjusting, self-cleaning, self-repairing, self-adjusting.  You’ve a muscle on the top of your eyeball and a muscle on the bottom of your eyeball to pull it this way, you have two muscles on the side, the lateral and medial on the side that pull it like a horse, this way.  You have another set of muscles, the obliques, that go around it this way, so it turns like a doorknob.  So that when you do this with your head, your eyes stay on target, or else you’d get dizzy, if everything you saw went around like that you’d fall off the stool here.  The set of muscles involved are incredible.  And the whole time it secretes a liquid that covers your eyeballs so that they don’t dry out.  And that has enzymes in it to protect against infection and all this stuff, and it has an oil in it that’s so fine, so your eyes are not squeaking.  When you get emotional, it secretes more of the fluid, there’s a little gland up here, you have two drains on the side that drain the fluid, when you get emotional it secretes more fluid into your eye because of your emotions, and then these two little drains drain it into your nose.  So the first thing that happens when you get emotional, you get the sniffles, your nose starts to run.  When those two drains can’t handle the amount of fluid, then the tears run down your face.  But men always do this, sniff, sniff.  You know, women always have a tissue, and just, you know.  So you have these muscles pulling in all these directions, this thing is adjusting, and it is firing these signals into your brain that spray it up.  When you look around this room, you see faces and things you are familiar with, that’s an image that’s sprayed up into your brain, your eyeball is not doing that.  They don’t know how that part of it works.  And it does the same thing, it forms a chemical library in there.  So if I pray for my kids at night or my grandkids, I can lay in bed with my eyes closed, and I can see their faces.  Because I have a chemical library of that film in here somewhere.  And they don’t know how it works.  They don’t know how it works. 

 

‘Do You Think The Person Who Planted The Ear Is Deaf?  Do You Think The Person That Formed The Eye Can’t See?’

 

His argument here, is ‘Do you think the Person that planted the ear is deaf?  Do you think the Person that formed the eye can’t see?’  It doesn’t say God doesn’t have an eyeball and an ear, it doesn’t say that.  It says ‘He understands it so perfectly, that he was able to form mechanisms to make it work in a physical world.  He doesn’t need it, he sees and hears in a way we can’t even imagine.’  But he created those things, planted your ear in your head, formed your eyeball and put it in a socket, and you experience the world around you, and the argument here is from the lesser to the greater.  Do you think that happened by chance?  That the One who planted the ear, do you think he’s deaf?  Really?  The One who formed the eye, you think he can’t see?  And the logic of it is, don’t listen to, when people are saying ‘God doesn’t care, he doesn’t care about you, he doesn’t see you crying, he doesn’t understand when you’re alone and you’re pouring out your heart, he’s not listening, and it seems he’s not doing anything, how long, ‘If you’re there and you love me, how long, how long, how long, how long O LORD.’  And then the wicked are mocking, they’re saying ‘He doesn’t care, he doesn’t listen, he don’t care about you.’  And then finally the voice of the Psalmist comes and says ‘Really, do you think the One who planted the ear is deaf?  Is that what you’re saying?  You’re not thinking, you’re brutish, you’re like a beast,’ he says, ‘you’re like a fool.’  He says, ‘The One who planted the ear, he doesn’t hear?  The One who made the eye, he doesn’t see?’  “He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct?  he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?” (verse 10)  And very remarkable, the Old Testament, it recognizes that God actually deals with unbelieving people to try to correct them, “He that chastiseth the heathen, shall he not correct?”  Nobody gets away with anything.  He sees, he hears, he knows.  he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?  The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” (verses 10-11)  Isn’t that something?  “The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” (verse 11) 

 

“Blessed Is The Man Whom Thou Chasteneth, O LORD, And Teacheth Him Out Of Thy Law”

 

Look, “Blessed is the man whom thou chasteneth, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;” (verse 12) it says in Hebrews 12 the Lord chastens the son or daughter that he loves.  You know, you ever notice that, since you got saved you don’t get away with anything?  Before you were saved, you could get away, just sneak stuff.  And you get saved, you don’t realize it, you get busted no matter what you do, you can’t get away with anything.  That’s because our Dad cares about us, and he chastens us.  It says ‘if there be no chastening in our lives, it’s because we’re bastards, we’re illegitimate, we don’t have a Father in heaven’ it says in Hebrews.  And it says he chastens us because he loves us.  ‘Chastening is not pleasant, in the present, but it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness,’ it says.  So it says “Blessed is the man whom thou chasteneth, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; that thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.” (verses 12-13)  Listen, this is why God chastens, verse 12, and this is why he teaches us from his Word.  You know, he’s given us the ear, we can hear his Word, we can hear him, he chastens us, he teaches us.  Here’s God’s motivation, “that he mayest give him rest from the days of adversity,” look what he says, “until the pit be digged for the wicked.” (verse 13)  ‘How long, O LORD, how long?’ it’s happening, God is at work.  He’s planning the destiny of the wicked.  He’s not willing that any should perish, so he’s longsuffering, but it says here, he’s not unjust, he’s gonna mete out justice.  [Comment:  Here’s what certain parts of the Body of Christ cannot figure out or reconcile, these two principles, when you take an honest look at history.  Because when you take an honest look at history, both secular and religious, only about 5 percent of humanity has ever accepted Jesus into their lives, at the very most, going back through the 6,000 years of man’s recorded history.  That means 95 percent of all humanity that’s lived and died has never accepted or had the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ and salvation through him into their lives.  So apparently, with most Christians believing that if you die without having accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you go to some everburning hell (which is a doctrine straight out of Roman Catholicism, which in my mind makes this everburning hell-fire doctrine highly suspect to gross error).  So by this everburning hell-fire doctrinal reasoning, God’s plan of salvation is failing miserably, if God is truly willing that no one should perish, but all receive eternal life.  It would appear there is something drastically wrong with our doctrinal understanding about God’s overall plan of salvation.  For a look at another interpretation which makes more sense, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm.]  He’s just patient, ‘he chastens us, he teaches us, that he may give us rest in the day of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.’  “For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.” (verse 14)  Truth has to reign over circumstances, and sometimes in our lives the circumstances seem to tell us that God doesn’t love us, he doesn’t care about us.  He says, ‘No, the LORD is never gonna cast off, he’s never going to neglect you, he’s not going to cast you off, he’s not done with you, he’s not going to cast off his people,’ he says, “neither will he forsake his inheritance.  But judgment” justice is the idea, “shall return unto righteousness:  and all the upright in heart shall follow it.” (verse 14b-15)  The day we’re longing for is going to come. 

 

‘Who Will Rise Up For Me Against The Evildoers?’

 

And now the Psalmist cries, “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” (verse 16) [Isaiah 6:8]  And then he answers.  “Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.” in death, almost dying.  “When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.” (verses 17-18)  much like Psalm 73.  “In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul,” (verse 19) now this is interesting.  Verse 19, the Hebrew says, “In the multitude of my disturbing thoughts” the Psalmist is saying, ‘When my head is filled with a multitude of disturbing thoughts,’ he’s talking about anxiety, he’s talking about worry.  Any of you good at worrying?  Some of you have a PhD in worrying, I know that.  My wife can worry about things I don’t have categories for.  That’s why all four of our children lived to adulthood too.  She is just able to categorize and to think and to worry about anything.  I don’t have that, so the two of us make an entire human being.  But in my life there are times when it keeps me up at night.  There are things that churn, there are things that are there.  And what’s endemic to all of us, we face those things.  Interesting, he says at the end of this, ‘Whose gonna rise up with me, whose going to help me?’  He says, ‘It’s the LORD, he’s the one whose held up my soul, if it wasn’t for him I’d dwell in the silence of death.’  “When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.  In the multitude of my disturbing thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul,” (verses 18-19)  When I’m tortured, I can’t sleep, I’m crying alone in bed at night, things are eating me alive, and all of a sudden LORD, a verse will come, all of a sudden, I’ll hear something on the radio, all of a sudden LORD, I’ll hear something somewhere, all of a sudden I’ll read a verse, or all of a sudden the words in a song,’ just, you know how he does that to us, everybody here knows it.  Sometimes you get up in the morning, and you got one of those little bread things on your table, the precious promises, and then you get in the car and you head to work, and Charles Stanley is preaching on the same verse you just read about on your table, and then by the time you get to work, some Christian friend says, ‘You know, I got a verse for you today!’ and then you say ‘Alright Lord,  Uncle, I surrender, I’m troubled, I’m full of worry and anxiety, but LORD, your comfort delights my soul.  There are things that happen that I know are more than coincidence, you stoop down to my life, you speak to me, you get to my heart.’  I appreciate it.

 

‘Shall The Throne Of Iniquity, Those Who Frame Evil Laws, Have Fellowship With God?’

 

The question, “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?” (verse 20)  Now, ‘the throne of iniquity, shall it have fellowship with thee, LORD,’  2nd Corinthians chapter 6 deals with that, there’s no fellowship between light and darkness, and so forth.  But it says here, look, “the throne of iniquity” very interesting, “which frameth mischief by a law”.  Man, do we see that, in legislation?  The things that are wrong are being framed in law, the things that are ungodly are being framed in law, legislation is being put in place to sustain things that you know are just wrong, they’re immoral, they’re wicked, they’re unjust.  The Psalmist says ‘This is what it’s like while we’re waiting for the LORD to reign, we’re waiting for him to come.’  [That’s where we’re at right now in the history of man, right where we are right now, just before the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, Yeshua haMeschiach.]  “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, LORD, which frameth mischief by a law?  They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.” (verses 20-21)  This is what it’s like, while we’re waiting for the Lord to reign, we’re waiting for him to come, “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?  They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.” (verses 20-21)  “But”, verse 22, this is very important, look how personal it is, “But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.”  That’s what he has to be for you and me.  The Psalmist says, ‘This is what he is to me, in the light of all that’s in the news, in the light of all of these things going on,’ “And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness, yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.” (verse 23)  So, the how long’s are kind of answered there, it will come, no sense getting ulcers over it. 

 

Psalm 95:1-11

 

“O come, let us sing unto the LORD:  let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.  For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.  In his hand are the deep places of the earth:  the strength of the hills is his also.  The sea is his, and he made it:  and his hands formed the dry land.  O come, let us worship and bow down:  let us kneel before the LORD our maker.  For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.  To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:  when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.  Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:  unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.”

 

Introduction

 

Now, Psalm 95, breaking into now these Kingdom Psalms, and it’s almost stepping up.  The first half of this Psalm says, ‘rejoice, praise the LORD,’ this and that.  The second half of the Psalm becomes an admonition, because these are the problems Israel has had in the past.  All scholars feel these are post-exilic Psalms, this is written after the Babylonian captivity.  So one of the things the Psalmist now is praising the LORD, they’ve turned back to the LORD, they’re out of captivity, they’re back in the land, that 2nd Temple is never what Solomon’s Temple was.  But their heart is there, and there’s the admonition, ‘Remember before, when you came out of Egypt before and God blessed you, and you got in the land, and yet your hearts turned away, were hardened, and then God had to deal with you again?  So now if you’ll hear, now if you’ll pay attention, now if you’ll listen, God will speak to you.’  Let me read through it real fast, ok, Psalm 95, “O come, let us sing unto the LORD:  let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.  For the LORD is a great God and a great King above all gods.  In his hand are the deep places of the earth:  the strength of the hills is his also.  The sea is his, and he made it:  and his hands formed the dry land.  O come, let us worship and bow down:  let us kneel before the LORD our maker.  For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.  To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:” notice, verse 9 he switches to the first person, and the LORD himself starts to give us the exhortation, “when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.  Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:  unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.” (verses 1-11)  Now we know that this is applicable to us, because in the New Testament the writer to the Hebrews says this, Hebrews 3, (read verses 7-11, a direct quote of Psalm 95:9-11), verses 17-19, “But with whom was he grieved forty years?  was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness?  And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”  Hebrews 4:1, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”  So, the Book of Hebrews, chapter 3 & 4, quoting this, tells us that this applies to us, there is an example in Israel of old that we are to apply to own lives in the New Testament, quoting Psalm 95 [for a study on Hebrews 3 and 4, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/hebrews/Hebrews3-1-19.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/hebrews/Hebrews4-1-16.htm]. 

 

‘O Come And Make A Joyful Noise To The Rock Of Our Salvation’

 

So, the first of the Kingdom Psalms now, in his invitational, the scholars say in the sense it begins by saying ‘O come,’ there’s an invitation, speaking, ‘come, let us do this,’ “let us sing unto the LORD:  let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” (verse 1)  Notice, “to the rock of our salvation.”  Our salvation is immovable, we understand that better than the Psalmist who wrote this.  How wonderful.  But again, I love to come and worship, I love Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, I love to worship Sunday nights during prayer, I love the communion service, I just love the men’s conferences.  I love to sit and hear 2,000 women here singing at the women’s conference.  I love that, voices rising, how remarkable, “O come, let us sing unto the LORD:  let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” (verses 1-2)  And certainly, for these Jews who had come back from captivity, it’s an interesting picture of them entering into this 2nd Temple, coming into the precincts, singing, worshipping, bringing these ancient songs back into the practice, some of them written after the exile, and becoming part of their worship.  But it’s just an interesting picture.  He’s going to tell us here that the LORD is our King, the LORD is our Maker, and the LORD is our Shepherd, exhorting us to worship, “For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” (verse 3)  Book of Revelation portrays him as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  Three times we hear of his hand here.  Look, “In his hand are the deep places of the earth:  the strength of the hills is his also.  The sea is his, and he made it:  and his hands formed the dry land.  O come, let us worship and bow down:  let us kneel before the LORD our maker.  For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”  Again, “of his hand,” so very interesting picture, God personally involved.  ‘let us sing unto him, let us worship him,’ as you break into these Kingdom Psalms, we see he is intimately involved with our lives.  He is a great God, he is a great King, above all gods, we know that.  “In his hand are the deep places of the earth:  the strength of the hills is his also.”  you’re translation may say “mountains,” it’s inconspicuous, it’s difficult in the Hebrew, the idea is the high, the heights, the high places.  The lowest places are in his hand, the highest places are in his hand.  [Comment:  “the deep places of the earth” go right to earth’s core, and magnetosphere, which is a huge dynamo at the core of the earth, which generates the magnetic field around the earth which shields all of the earth and us from the sun’s harmful microwaves which would fry us all, like we were in a microwave oven.  See the movie The Core to get an idea of just what is in God’s hand and how amazing a place planet earth is.]  In your life, listen, the low points in your life are in his hand.  The high points in your life, are in his hand.  [A good friend of mine while I was working in a machine-shop, Dennis Cook, we used to get into philosophical discussions.  Dennis observed, and I concur the accuracy of this observation about life (we are both sailors), that life is like being out on the ocean with 30 foot waves, in a small sailboat, racing along.  At one moment you’re on the top of the wave, and everything’s rosy, and just know, the next moment you will be in the trough of the wave, way down low.  And the next moment, you will be back on top at the crest of the wave, another high point in life.  Pastor Joe is saying that God is with us in both the high and low points as we sail through life.]  Understand that.  He’s the God of the days in your life when you’re just flying high, and everything’s wonderful.  He’s the God of those high places.  When you are bottomed out, he is the God of the low places in your life.  In the old building before we moved over here, for some reason, I got in a season in my life, and I was dry for, I don’t mean to discourage anybody, for two years.  It just was so dry, and I was preaching on Sunday, everybody told me they were blessed, I was thinking ‘I ain’t.’  I mean, I needed to listen to the tape, I’m just struggling, I’m in this place.  And you know, you examine your heart, am I doing something wrong? am I grieving God? and it was just.  And I happened then to hear, I love Sinclair Ferguson, whose teaching over at Westminster, and still love to listen to him when I get a chance, because he has such heart, and the Scottish accent makes everything sound perfect.  You can have a Scottish accent, Alistair Begg can preach from an NIV and it sounds like King James, it’s just, everybody in the English language should hear a Scotsman preach, that’s just the way it is, I don’t know what to do about that.  But, there were a series of chapels [teachings] in Westminster on the character of God, and he did one on the Lord being our Shepherd, and he taught the 23rd Psalm, and I listened to that teaching, and I just began to weep, it came so alive to me.  And he talked about a long dry season in his own life, and the fact that God proscribes those.  You know, he led the children of Israel in the desert.  It says ‘he led them there to teach them that man doesn’t live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’  It says he disciplined them, it’s the word “he provided all the necessary instruction that a father provides.”  It says ‘their shoes didn’t wear out, their garments didn’t wear out,’ and it was in the middle of the desert where that Rock was struck and the water gushed forth.  And somehow in his teaching (Sinclair Ferguson) he just spoke to my heart, that it was ok to be in a desert.  It was ok to be dry.  It was a mandatory course, it wasn’t an elective.  I wasn’t there because I’d done something wrong.  I was there because I needed some desert in my journey.  That was just part of the journey, and when I realized that, water gushed forth in that place, I drank and drank and drank and drank, I was revived, the tears flowed.  And God is so gracious, and I’ve learned, you know, the heights of our experience, and we’re just rejoicing, and great things are going on in our lives, he’s the God of those things, we should thank him.  And when the low places are there, the dry places are there, he’s also the God of those places, they’re in his hand.  He’s our King.  And he’s King over both.  And it tells us that here.  The sea is his, he made it [read Rachel Carson’s The Sea Around Us and Under The Sea Wind to see the immense intricacy of the worlds oceans, and life-species within them, absolutely incredible], his hands formed the dry land, whether we’re wet, whether we’re dry, we’re high, we’re low, he’s King over all of that. 

 

“O Come, Let Us Worship And Bow Down:  Let Us kneel Before The LORD Our Maker”

 

And interesting now, he said, the Psalmist says this, “O Come, let us worship and bow down:  let us kneel before the LORD our maker.” (verse 6)   look what it says, “and bow down”, look what it says, “let us kneel before”, so he tells us we should praise and worship, and here he’s actually saying ‘This is how, sometimes, you should be doing this, we should worship, and in part of our worship should be bowing down.’  “let us kneel before the LORD our maker.” (verse 6b) the Bible doesn’t treat outward form as though it’s unimportant, the Bible doesn’t treat out posture as though it’s just inconsequential.  It only treats it that way if it’s not a reflection of the heart.  You know, bowing down and kneeling before the LORD doesn’t mean anything if we’re just genuflecting or we’re just doing the duty, you know, and it’ not in here, it means nothing, then it’s hypocrisy.  But he says, you know what?  If you love him, he’s your King.  He’s King over all the earth, King over the high’s, King over the low’s.  It ain’t a bad thing, to bow down before him, sometimes.  Sometimes I love, early in the morning when I’m alone or at night, just to fall on my knees, it feels good, it feels right, he’s my King.  And I never do it just, you know, I’m happy when I’m standing and I worship him, driving the car after worship so I don’t go somewhere else in my mind.  I love the Lord, I rejoice in his presence, it’s like I don’t have to get in a position.  But there are times when I’m alone with him, and it really does my heart good to bow, to kneel.  Bent knees sometimes are just, it’s so much in my heart that that’s who he is, it’s really wonderful here, “let us worship and bow down:  let us kneel before the LORD our maker.” (verse 6)  In heaven [at God’s throne] we’re going to see everybody falling and casting their crowns.  “let us kneel before the LORD our maker.  For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” (verses 6-7) 

 

Jesus Is Our Shepherd---How We Follow Him, Let Him Lead Us

 

And look what he does, it’s so interesting here.  He says “we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”  You think, you’re supposed to say ‘We are the sheep of his pasture, and the people of his hand.’  Why’s he have this backwards?  “we are the people of his pasture,” isn’t it interesting?  “and the sheep of his hand.”  He’s our King, we’re kneeling down before our Maker, he’s our Creator, and now he cares for us, ‘we are the people of his pasture, we are the sheep of his hand, he is our Shepherd,’ and you now what, to me that alleviates a tremendous amount of pressure, as an under-shepherd.  People ask me many times about the Lord’s leading, like smart people are gonna figure it out, and those of us that are thick, like me, are really never gonna get hitched up to his will, or something.  No, the wonderful thing is, the shepherd is never dependent on the IQ of the sheep.  Isn’t that a relief?  All you gotta do is go ‘Baaah,’ that’s all you need to know.  If your heart is willing to follow, he leads.  The sheep are not behind the shepherd, thinking, ‘I hope he knows where he’s going, it says here we should be going this way, or we should be going that way.’  No, no, there’s none of that.  They look to the Shepherd, they bow down before him, they worship him, they kneel before him, they’re willing to be led.  I’m willing to be led.  I’m a good leader because I’m a good follower.  I don’t ever want to figure anything out, I just want to see his back, and walk behind him.  I’d have never figured this out [obviously referring to the church he pastors, once estimated to be 30,000 strong (although I suspect he broke it up into many smaller congregations throughout Philly for manageability reasons)].  The foolish things of the world in Philadelphia to confound the wise.  We always have these pastors from [other] religious organizations coming in asking, ‘Now, why do you do this?’  we look at him and ask ourselves, ‘We don’t know, now why do we do that?  I don’t know, it just kind of grew that way,’ it’s organic, it’s not an organization, it just kind of formed that way.  ‘Do you guys do this?’  ‘No, we don’t do any of that.’  Well how do you do this?  Do you do this?’  ‘No, we don’t do that either,’ and they’re scratching their heads.  ‘Now, why do you do this?’  ‘Well we feel like he led us to do that,’ this is about Jesus, this is not about denominations, it’s not about organizations.  Look, to be honest, we are sticklers about everything we have to be sticklers about here.  The department of labor has audited us, and we squeak through clean, we handle everything that needs to be handled properly, with stewardship, we have a fiduciary responsibility towards you.  Now you’re going to be worried about something I shouldn’t even talk to you about, but we have a fiduciary responsibility, we stand before the government and the Lord in regards to those things.  So we are sticklers about the things we should be sticklers about, but we are incredibly loose about the rest of it, so we can breathe, there’s no dress-code, if you’ve noticed.  I talked to a good friend of mine, I haven’t seen him since high school, he’s going to come this Sunday, he said ‘Now tell me, should I wear a suit and tie,’ I said, ‘If you do, they’re gonna think you’re a JW if you come here with a suit and tie on.  Just come, it’s relaxed, just bring your Bible, bring that, bring your heart, bring the right attitude,’  ‘Bow before him, kneel before him, that’s what the deal is, that’s what he wants.’  [Comment:  Pastor Joe pastors a Calvary Chapel in Philadelphia.  To see how these Calvary Chapels operate and how they got going in the early 1970s, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/smith.htm.]  He doesn’t want it because it’s religious, he doesn’t want it because it’s some religious form, he wants it because it’s the genuine thing that’s in our hearts.  And wonderfully then, the pressure’s off of us, he leads, he’s the Shepherd, I’m an under-shepherd, we’re all his sheep, we’re the people of his pasture, we’re the sheep of his hand. 

 

‘If You Will Hear His Voice, Harden Not Your Hearts’

 

And then, of course, as the Psalmist wrote this, there was no 7, 8, the break in the Psalm really comes here, “To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:  when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.” (verses 7c-9)  It’s emphatic “To day if ye will hear his voice,”  it means ‘Now,’ and the Hebrew is, “If by his voice, you listen,”  The idea is, ‘Now, you’ve heard all this, this is your King, he’s your Creator, he’s your Shepherd, he cares for you, worship him, let all this be genuine, not today, but Now, in contrast to the past, in contrast to everything else, Now, if you will hear his voice,’ and the idea is, ‘if you’re willing to listen, his voice is gonna give you direction.’  Look, that’s the deal.  Ok?  Calvary Chapel, Calvary Christian Academy, all the outreaches, all the missions, everything we do, all of that stuff, look, bottom line is, ‘Now, right now, in these last days, you see what’s going on in the world, see what’s going on in the news, all that matters, you and I, are we willing to be led by his voice?  Are we willing to listen?’  It’s a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Are we willing to listen and to be led by him?  ‘Today, now, if you will hear his voice,’ “harden not your heart,” the idea is rather, ‘Yield, harden not your heart,’ “as in the day of provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:” (verse 8) listen, he’s speaking to people that have come back from the Babylonian captivity.  God had to discipline them, they wanted idols, ‘you want idols, you want idols, you want idols?’ God finally said, ‘Alright, go to the capital of idols for 70 years, see how you like it there, then come back and talk to me.’  So he has the children of Israel back in the land, many have returned under Cyrus and so forth.  And now God is saying to them, ‘Now, today, if you’ll hear, if you’ll listen, don’t harden your hearts, let’s not do this again.’  [so in the end, leading up to and through the time of Christ and the apostles, instead of going into pagan idolatry, they made an idol out of the Law of God, instead of truly trying to seek out and worship the God of the Law, which made them legalists to the extreme.]  “Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:  when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.  Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:  unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.” (verses 8-11)  Now isn’t it interesting, here’s the end of the Psalm, and the LORD now breaks in himself in the 1st person and starts to speak directly to them, and directly to us, and he says, ‘My people in the past, their lives are an example to you, you see how they hardened their hearts against me, they wouldn’t yield, they wouldn’t listen, the provoked me for forty years, I had to deal with them, and because I had to deal with them, they never entered into the promises they should have entered into.  They never entered into the blessing that I had for them, because of the hardness of their hearts, so harden not your heart, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.’  God now speaks 1st person, “when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.”  ‘they tempted me, they prove me, they saw my works,’ he loves them, he’s warning them, and us.  “Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:” (verse 10) those are two phrases you don’t ever want to put together, 40 years and grieved, that’s a bummer.  “Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:” and isn’t that where we err, literally it says “these are people that go astray in their hearts.”  Anything we do outwardly works from the inside.  You know, nobody’s ever doing great with the Lord, on fire, fasting and praying, and falls into adultery the next day, that never happens, all sin has a history, and it begins in the heart, where no one can see it.  So it’s easy for us to let things go on there, because it ain’t up on the screen in the sanctuary where everybody will see it.  Everybody knows what I’m talking about because we’re all made of the same stuff.  I can let that happen too.  The Holy Spirit comes, and he challenges us.  We say ‘Lord, you don’t have to worry about me.’  Like the Lord’s going to go, ‘Wheh! that’s a relief, I thought I did.’  And what happens is, slowly but surely, in our hearts, there’s a hardening against the warning of the Holy Spirit, its little by little, minusea, the warning in the Old Testament is ‘Don’t diminish from my Word,’ that means ‘Don’t take a tiny little bit away from it.’  And the Lord will come and warn, and by his Spirit he’ll convict us, he’ll make his Word alive to us, and he says here, ‘You know, the problem is, they went astray in their hearts.’  That’s why it says in Proverbs, ‘Guard your heart with all diligence, because from the heart flow the issues of life,’ not from the intellect.  I know some of the smartest people I know have done some of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard of.  The heart is a much more powerful force than the intellect, the heart always makes a convert of the mind, longing, the seed of desire is much more powerful than thought.  And longing, if you let it, will always bring the thoughts around to fall into place, so that you see someone cross a line and think ‘How did they do that?  I thought they were on fire, I thought,’  no, no, they were playing with something for a long time, and they let it remain there, and they didn’t repent of it, and it wasn’t anywhere where anybody else could see it, so they just kind of let it cook, and it slowly but surely, James said ‘When sin is conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin bringeth forth death.’  All of a sudden, you rehearse it inside, you play with it, you go over it a million times, and all of sudden the circumstances come, and it’s like when the sperm hits the egg, all of a sudden there’s conception, the circumstances are right, you’ve thought about it, you’ve played with it, you’ve rehearsed it, and then the circumstance gives birth to the action, and there’s a problem.  The Lord says ‘Here look, today, don’t harden your hearts, don’t let your hearts do that, don’t harden them,’ he says.  ‘Hear, if you’ll hear my voice, if you’ll hear my word, don’t do what your progenitors, your forefathers did, I was grieved with them for 40 years, I’m patient, 40 years,’ that’s a long time for God to be patient.  “It is a people that do go err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:  unto whom I sware in my wraith that they should not enter into my rest.” (verses 10b-11)  “Unto whom” not to the ones he’s writing to, God says ‘This is what I said to your forefathers,’ “I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.”  There’s stubbornness and so forth, ‘that they wouldn’t enter into my rest.’   We saw the whole generation, it says their carcasses fell in the wilderness.  God had brought them to Kadesh Barnea, and said ‘Go in and take the land,’ they all came back, the twelve spies, all but Joshua and Caleb, they all said ‘We can’t go in, they’re gonna kill us, they’re giants, they’ll eat us up, we’re grasshoppers in their sight,’ Joshua came back and said, ‘What are you guys talking about?  Let’s go in there, we can take ‘em down, you stab ‘em in the knee, when they bend over to grab the knee, you stick ‘em in the eye, let’s go in there, we’ll eat them alive, let’s go in there and get them.’  And a whole generation was lost in the wilderness, because of unbelief.  They failed to enter in to the promises of God.  What he’s saying now these many generations later, he says ‘Think about that.’ 

 

In Closing

 

You should be singing to the Lord, lifting your heart, lifting up your voice, he’s your King, he’s your Creator, he’s your Shepherd.  That’s quite a remarkable covering for our lives.  And we should yield to him, we should be listening to what he says, and he says we should bow before him, and it should be real, it shouldn’t be phony.  We should kneel before him, it shouldn’t be phony, it should be real, it should be an attitude of our heart.  And now, he says, if you’ll hear his voice, listen to the voice of God, and harden not your hearts, like the generations before you, then we’ll be in the blessing of God, that’s what he wants for us.  But if we let our hearts become hardened, it says what happens is, people, that’s where they go astray, they go astray in here, and it finally works out into their life.  And because of that, God disciplines them, and they never enter into the rest.  God wants us to have rest in our souls, we’re washed in the blood of Jesus, we have much more light than the Old Testament saints.  Our Saviour died for us on the cross, God loves us, and he loves us with a love that is unending, he loves us with a love not because we deserve to be loved, but because we’re washed in the blood of his Son.  Jesus said in John 17 ‘Father, that they might know that you have loved them with the same love thou hast loved me.’  What Jesus said in John 17, that the Father in heaven loves you with the same love he loves Jesus with, if you can hear that, and pray, and begin to grasp that.  And God says, ‘Don’t let your heart take you in another direction, in other places, because I can’t bless those things, I can’t bless you when you’re sexually immoral, I can’t bless you when you’re getting stoned…I’m just trying to protect you, don’t let your heart take you in those other places, because I can’t bless you there.  I want you to have peace.  I want you to have rest.  Are you willing today, now, from this point onward, to hear my voice?  The voice of your Father, the voice of your Shepherd, the voice of your King, the voice of your Creator.’  If he’s so genius, that he can get us in the physical world to hear things and see things, certainly then in the spiritual realm, he wants us to hear things and see things he puts in front of us.  Ya there’s a lot of things in the world that are wrong, he tells us tonight, and you may think, ‘How long is this going to go on Lord?’  I don’t know how long, but when it’s over, it ain’t gonna seem like it was very long.  When we stand on the other side in glory, it’s gonna seem like snap! like a vapor, like a dream, the Bible says, we’re going to be there.  He beckons us in time, in our struggles and in our heartache, to hear him, to yield to him, to let him lead, and I’m happy to do that.  I’ve got no other program.  If the Lord would appear in my office, I would get out a paper and a pencil, and I would write down every single thing he wants.  He don’t do that, it would be easy, because I’d never say ‘Are you sure you want to do that?’  ‘I’d say, ok, ok, ok, ok, ok.’  Now, because I don’t hear him, it’s not that clear at the end of the day, I’m saying ‘OK?  ok?’ because I want to follow him, I want to.  But he leads, he’s the Shepherd.  Ah, let’s have the musicians come, sing a last song, lift our hearts, let’s stand…[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Psalm 94:1-23 and Psalm 95:1-11, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Pennsylvania, PA  19116]

 

related link:

 

Psalm 95:9-11 is directly quoted in Hebrews 3:7-11.  Hebrews 3 & 4 show Psalm 95:9-11 is directly applicable to us today as believers.  see,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/hebrews/Hebrews3-1-19.htm

and

http://www.unityinchrist.com/hebrews/Hebrews4-1-16.htm

 

To see how the Calvary Chapels operate and got going, see

http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/smith.htm

 

 

          

Content Editor Peter Benson -- no copyright, except where noted.  Please feel free to use this material for instruction and edification
Questions or problems with the web site contact the WebServant - Hosted and Maintained by CMWH, Located in the Holy Land