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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
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Psalms 35-36

 

Psalm 35:1-28

 

A Psalm of David

 

“Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me:  fight against them that fight against me.  Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.  Draw out also 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.  Let them be as chaff before the wind:  and let the angel of the LORD chase them.  Let their way be dark and slippery:  and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.  For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they 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?  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 my own bosom.  I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother:  I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.  But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together:  yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:  with hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.  LORD, how long wilt thou look on?  rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.  I will give thee thanks in the great congregation:  I will praise thee among much people.  Let not them that are mine 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 eye hath seen it.  This thou hast seen, O LORD, be not far from me.  Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto 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 mine hurt:  let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.  Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour 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 of thy praise all the day long.” 

 

‘LORD, Bless Then That Like Me, Get Them That Don’t’

 

“Say Unto My Soul, I Am Thy Salvation”

 

“Psalm 35, it is a Psalm of David it tells us.  It certainly is a Psalm that deals with trouble, David is crying to the LORD for help, crying to the LORD for deliverance.  We’re not given the specific context.  Was it written as he was younger and being pursued by Saul?  Is it written when he’s older and Absalom his son has led a rebellion in his kingdom?  We’re not certain of those things.  We are certain of this, there are things in this song that resonate with us.  It’s basically a song that says, ‘LORD, bless them that like me, and get them that don’t.’  We all sing that song one way or another, a short version, a long version with our own words, ah, that kind of goes on inside of us sometimes.  Certainly the lessons there are as we go through this, is that David, one thing is, when he is in distress he seeks his God, young or old, he has learned this point.  And whatever trouble that does surround him, somehow in the middle of it, David finds a way to give thanks, and that is not so easy to do sometimes.  He’s a man who has that perspective.  So the first few verses as we head into them here, David is speaking of the enemy and his own innocence.  And he says, LORD, “Plead, my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me:  fight against them that fight against me.” (verse 1) and he uses a number of military words here, “fight”, “take hold”, “stand up”, “draw out the spear”, “block the way of those”, it’s just, David being a warrior himself appreciates the circumstance that the LORD has acted the part of the warrior in his life.  David understands, ‘maybe that’s all invisible, maybe no one else can see that, but the LORD has played that part in my life.’  We hear earlier “he has been my strong tower, my rear defense, my shield, my buckler” and so forth, and he’s asking the LORD to stand up, to play the part of the warrior here in these early verses.  And we saw with Saul, when he had Saul in the cave, and he could have taken his life, he stood back, he didn’t initiate anything, he trusted the LORD to do some of those things.  And look, certainly that is a lesson, I’ll speak for myself, for me, for us in the day that we live in, because sometimes we so readily want to defend ourselves.  Immediately, we want to lock n’ load, you know, somebody’s messin’ with me, I’m going to form a posse’, get a bunch of people to feel sorry for me, and we’re going after them, we’re not going after them with a sword, we’re going after them with the sword of our tongue, you know, one way or another.  And David here, remarkably, cries out to the LORD in this circumstance, he says “Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me:  fight against them that fight against me.  Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.  Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me:  say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” (verses 1-3) one of Augustine’s favorite verses, “say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.”  He’s saying ‘LORD, I need to experience this deep within, it’s one thing for me to say it, one thing for me to profess it, but LORD, I’m surrounded, there’s enemies, my life is being threatened.  LORD, I need you to say to my soul, let me hear in my soul, LORD, let my soul hear your voice say, ‘David, I am your salvation.’’  The same thing, we may say ‘Lord, I’m really beat up, I need to hear this from you.  You know, I’ve been encouraged by this person or that person, my Christian friend, my home-group, whatever, my pastor, but Lord, I need you to say to me right now, ‘I am thy salvation.’  David, remarkable in that sense.  “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.  Let them be as chaff before the wind:  and let the angel of the LORD chase them.  Blow them away, LORD.  Listen, he says, “Let their way be dark and slippery:” not just dark and confusing, Lord, make their way dark and slippery “and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.” (verses 4-6)  go after them, chase them down.  “For without a cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they 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.” (verses 7-8) so they’ve laid a net, dug a pit, these were ways to capture pray, wild animals, a bear, a lion that had been harassing the flock, sometimes a deer, an antelope trapped by a hunter would find a way with a pit, with a net.  He’s saying ‘They’ve done that for me, for my life, they’ve laid their net, they’ve dug their pit, they’re after my soul, my very life.  So let destruction come to the one whose done this unaware, let him be the one, and let his net that he hath hid catch himself, and into that very destruction let him fall,’  “And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD:  it shall rejoice in his salvation.” (verse 9) I’ll be happy as a lark when I hear he’s fallen into his own hole.  Now, in the New Testament we’re not supposed to do this, ok, there’s part of this that’s imprecatory, just ‘LORD, get these guys, wear them out, beat them down, beat them up, chew them up, spit them out.’  But we’re going to hear, as David moves on, on the other side of this, he said, ‘Look, LORD, when they were cast down, when they were sick, I prayed for them, I was broken for them, I cared for them, and now that trouble’s come on me, they’re rejoicing,’ so he gives some of the reasons why he’s responding the way he is here, as he goes forward.  He says in verse 10, “All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee,” every fiber of my being is the idea, “which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?”  ‘LORD, you’re the one whose able to do this, you make sure there’s justice in the earth.’  And now he goes on to say, ‘LORD, the wicked, they’re ungrateful,’ and David’s angry about that.  “False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.” (verse 11) they were accusing me of things that I had no idea, “They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.” (verse 12) and there’s enough places in the Bible where the Lord talks about those who reward evil for good, and the way he’s going to deal with them.  He says “They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.”

 

“They Rewarded Me Evil For Good”

 

They’re trying to take down 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.” (verse 13)  ‘With all of my heart I prayed for them to be healed, to be set upright again, to be blessed, to be delivered.’  “I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother:  I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.” (verse 14)  He said, ‘I poured out my life, LORD, when they were in trouble, I believe I behaved myself in way that was pleasing to you, instead of asking you to destroy them, to be heavy-handed with them, I fasted, I prayed, I poured out my heart, I sought you as though it had been my own brother, my own mother.  But in contrast, when things were going wrong in my life,’  “But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together:  yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:  with hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.” (verses 15-16)  Now look, anybody ever experience any of this?  Anybody here have any idea, where you’ve sung this song, maybe not the same words, but the same tune?  ‘Are you kidding me, we invite them over all the time, they need help, we go over the house, we help them out, we do this for them, we do that, and now something’s going on with us, and what do we hear, they’re out there gabbing, you know, they’re backbiting,’ anybody experience that on earth, anywhere?  And it’s worse when it’s amongst God’s people, isn’t it?  It’s one thing if an unbeliever acts that way, but then you come to the church, you get saved, you come in, you enjoy the worship, you see the people are happy, they sing, they’re studying the Bible, they wear shorts to church, it’s not like real Church, it’s fake church, I don’t know [he’s joking, Calvary Chapels have an informal dress code].  You go there, you get relaxed, and you find an environment where you can kind of be vulnerable and let down your guard, and then somewhere along the line, you get it, somebody does something, a mentor, a friend, somebody you’re friends with, and you’re deeply disappointed, you’re deeply hurt.  Look, those are mandatory courses, those are not electives.  That’s part of maturing in Christ, and learning that on the vertical you’re always safe, you can trust him, you can pour out your heart to him, you can expect the best of him.  The problem is, the rest of the church is like you, human, human beings.  And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, listen, longsuffering (who wants to hear about that, longsuffering?), meekness, temperance, patience.  Who wants to hear about all that?  David, you know, he’s going through what we all go through, ‘LORD, these are my enemies, they let me down, they laid a net for me, they treat me like an animal LORD, get them, do this,’ he says, ‘You know, earlier, my experience, when I heard they were sick, I heard they were going through things, I prayed for them, I fasted for them, I poured out my soul, LORD, I sought you on their behalf, I treated them like they were my own brother, my own mother.  Now I’m down and out, and look what they’re doing to me, they’re behind me, they’re backbiting, they gather themselves together, they’re a bunch of hypocrites, they’re a bunch of mockers,’ you know this song, ‘they gnash their teeth, they’re backbiting, they’re slandering.’  “LORD, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.” (verse 17)  How long are you going to just be a bystander?  Save my life, they’re like lions out here LORD.  “I will give thee thanks in the great congregation:  I will praise thee among much people.” (verse 18)  ‘LORD, I’ll stand and talk of your faithfulness, when we’re gathered together.’  It’s like, ‘LORD, if you deliver me, and you get them, I’ll tell everybody how great it is.’ 

 

The Enemy’s Mouth:  How They Insinuate With Derision And Mocking

 

And then he talks more about their mouth, the way the enemy insinuates.  And in it David is saying ‘LORD, I’m dependant upon you in this.’  “Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me:  neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.” (verse 19)  ‘Yea, David, he’s God’s anointed, yea, sure,’ you now.  “For they speak not peace:  but they devise deceitful matters against them that are     quiet in the land.” (verse 20), those that are innocent, LORD, this is the way they are.  “Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.” (verse 21)  Aha, aha,” that’s a phrase of derision and mocking.  ‘We know the whole thing, we saw it.’  “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  unto my cause, my God and my LORD.” (verses 22-23)  He wants justice.  You know, we do too, don’t we?  except when it comes to us, ‘When it comes to me, I want mercy, when it comes to you I want justice.’  ‘It’s not fair, Lord, it’s not fair, they’re getting away with stuff, it’s not fair.  Me getting into heaven, that’s fair, right?’  thou hast seen, O LORD, keep not silence:  O LORD, be not far from me.  Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my LORD.  Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.” (verses 22-24)  He knows enough of the sacrificial system, he knows enough of the way God judges, he doesn’t claim to be sinless, but he does claim to be one who is walking with and loving the LORD.  “Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it:  let them not say, We have swallowed him up.” (verse 25)  ‘Don’t give them that opportunity, LORD, rather,’  “Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt:  let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.” (verse 26)  ‘LORD, bless those that like me, and get them that don’t.’  “Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause:  bless them that like me, “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 of thy praise all the day long.” (verses 27-28)  So, David singing a song that we know too well, ah, it is an Old Testament Psalm, there are many truths contained therein, but you know, in the New Testament the Lord tells us to pray for those who despitefully use you, to turn the extra cheek, go the extra mile, to do those things.  We are certainly in a much greater measure of light than David was in regards to God’s grace and God’s forgiveness and what he’s done on our own behalf.  So, we understand, we are the same kind of person that David is, we’re human beings, we understand these things.  I love in the center of it, kind of the epicenter to me as he says, “say unto my soul, I am thy salvation” (verse 3b), it seems whatever we’re getting drugged down by, it seems whatever hurt comes, if the Lord speaks to us and says ‘You know what?  I want you to hold onto this, I am your salvation, you hold onto me, I got you, I got you, I got your back, I got your front, I got your sides, I got over you, I got under you, I got you.’  That’s a great thing for the Lord to say to our soul, it minimizes human activity around us.  It’s a good thing. 

 

Psalm 36:1-12

 

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD

 

The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.  For he flattereth 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 diviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhoreth not evil.  Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto 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 lovingkindness, 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 they pleasures.  For with thee is the fountain of life:  in thy light shall we see light.  O continue thy lovingkindness 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.” 

 

Introduction

 

Psalm 36, this one says, “to the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD” , which means it was for public worship specifically, “to the chief Musician”, “a Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, I think  in Psalm 18 he calls himself that also in the introduction, “the servant of the LORD.”  This one now, in the first few verses it kind of examines the wicked, then it contrasts the wicked with God’s grace and his care for his own.  And it ends then with specifically talking about our confidence in our prayers.  So, it’s almost fitting, after this long Psalm, 35, where he kind of outlines the machinations and the activities of the wicked, particularly against himself.  Then as he gets to this Psalm, it’s more theological, he says ‘well this is why, this is what they think, this is what they do, this is how they feel about themselves, this is their perspective, this is why.  But LORD, in contrast to all of that, this is how you are, and it lifts me up above all of that,’ and then he ends by saying, ‘and this is where I’m going to stay, this is how I’m going to pray, this is how I’m going to come before you.’  So, an interesting Psalm. 

 

First Thing About The Wicked:  ‘There Is No Fear Of God Before His Eyes’

 

The first few verses say, “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.  For he flattereth 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 diviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhoreth not evil.” (verses 1-4)  So, David makes this observation.  He says, ‘First of all, in regards to the wicked, the transgression of the wicked, saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.’  Ah, interesting verse, there is a difficulty in part of the translation.  See where is says there “the transgression of the wicked”, then it says “saith within my heart”?  That word “saith” there, it doesn’t mean just to speak or just to communicate something, it’s always the “saith” that’s used anywhere in the Old Testament where you read “thus saith the LORD.”  It speaks of an oracle, it speaks of a prophecy, it speaks of a divine utterance.  So, David, it seems to be saying here, you know, ‘I know this in my heart about the wicked, the reason that they transgress, look, there’s this oracle,’ he says, ‘within my heart, the reason of their transgression is [because] there is no fear of God before their eyes.  That is why they do what they do.’  Jeremiah much later would say this to sinners in his own day, “Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, thy backslidings shall reprove thee.  Know therefore and see, that it is an evil thing, and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the LORD God of hosts.”  i.e. Your own wickedness, your own backslidings, they’re going to correct you, they’re going to reprove you.  You have to understand, the reason is, is that you have left off the fear of the LORD.’  David says, ‘Right from the getgo, understand a nation, a people, an individual, he says, I know this by oracle, God is speaking to me, the transgression of the wicked, the reason they do things, is because there’s no fear of God before his eyes.’  The first thing he says, This is how he thinks, there’s no fear of God, I’m not gonna pay for this, this is not gonna come back on me.’  And look, we live in a culture, again, the greatest threat to this nation is there’s no more fear of God.  It isn’t a nuke coming across the North Pole, it’s not a terrorist plot, it’s not you know, all of the things we might fear. The greatest threat to our nation is there is no more fear of God.  You look at how people behave, you look at what they do, you look at what they indulge in, and say it’s fine.  I tell you, we’re at the point where they call evil good and good evil, and they call sin right, right wrong, and wrong right, there’s no fear of God.  And David says, first thing is, with all the things he went through with the wicked in the Psalm before this, he said, ‘Here’s what I know in my heart, this is an oracle, this is a ‘Thus saith the LORD,’ the reason for the transgression of the wicked, the reason wicked people can do what they do, without drawing back, or without being relegated to what’s right or without examining themselves, is because there’s no fear of God before their eyes.  They think ‘I’m never going to give an account for this, I’m never going to answer for this.’  David knows, the truth is, there will be fear of God in every one of them, that’s going to come.  And sometimes you hear people say, you know, I’ve got a relative, I’ve heard him say, ‘Ya, when I see the man, if he’s up there, when I see him, I’m giving him a piece of my mind.’  And I’m thinking, ‘When you see him you’re gonna mess your pants is what you’re gonna do.’ [loud laughter]  You’re sitting here saying you’re going to give him a piece of your mind?  What he’s really saying is, no fear of God.  ‘He’s not there, oh ya, this God you’re talking about, if he’s really there, and he lets the world go on like it is, I’m going to give him a piece of my mind.’  What he’s saying is, ‘He’s not there, I’m not going to give an account, I’m not going to stand in front of him some day, he’s just not there.’  [Comment:  and that is the major tenant of atheism, that God’s not there, and so everything evolved, there was no creation and no God of creation.  That is the major tenant of Atheism and Darwinism.  Is Atheism and Darwinism true though?  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/Does/Does%20God%20Exist.html for some very interesting articles on this subject.]  I heard someone say this week, ‘Basically, that’s the hope of the unsaved person, really, that’s their hope, that he ain’t there.’  Our story is, we believe he is, that’s our hope.  Their hope is, ‘I hope he ain’t there.’  So he says, ‘Here’s the oracle, here’s the divine pronouncement, here’s the pronouncement of God.  The reason why wickedness goes on and people can do some of the craziest things you’ve ever seen,’---just heard of a guy the other night that pulled out a gun and shot two small children, shot one in the back, shot one in the back of the head, one in the chest, killed the first one, second one is in critical condition.  Who does that to little kids?  Just think of what goes on.  And yet you have a whole nation where there’s still a million abortions a year, and then you’re going to condemn somebody who kills a born child, when it’s all right for our government to kill unborn children.  Where to you draw the line where life is sacred, if you cultivate a value system where life is not sacred, then how do you scream at somebody who then lives it out?  And the problem is with our nation, our legislature, you know, legislating the whole thing---‘there’s no more fear of God.’  When I was a kid, I always feel like an old person when I say that, oh my goodness, I’ve become my grandfather [chuckles], but when I was a kid in the 1950s, in Franklin Elementary School over on Rising Sun Avenue, we would go to school, and every day, first you’d go to the auditorium, and the teacher would, the Principle would read a Psalm, and then pray with the whole student body.  Now I wasn’t a believer, but every morning it put the fear of God in me.  I’m a kid, I’m thinking, ‘I’d better behave today, all this God stuff going on, he’s watching and just,’ every day the Principle read part of the Scripture, the Word of God is powerful and it’s alive.  And then the Principle would pray.  And it put the fear of God in you.  No more.  Can’t do that, football teams can’t do that, nobody can do that [publicly], don’t want the wrong kind of prayer at the Inauguration, you know, we got all these rules now in what God can and can’t be, where he can and can’t fit in, and he’d better not mess with our morals, he better not mess with what we want to do with one another, better not mess with what we want to call right, what we want to call wrong. 

 

Secondly:  This Is How The Wicked Feel---They Flatter Themselves About What They’re Doing

 

And David says, ‘Here’s the oracle of God, this is what God spake to my heart, there’s transgression on behalf of the wicked because there’s no fear of God, number one, that’s what they think, that they’re never going to give an account.  Number two, he tells us, this is how he feels,’ “He flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.” (verse 2)  It says “until” or “even when his iniquity is found out to be hateful.”  There’s just no conscience, they flatter themselves in their own eyes.  Some of these guys on TV, and I don’t want to say their names, I do want to say their names, but I’m not going to say their names.  Some of them, I just steam when I hear them, I listen to punish myself, I blow steam out my ears when I listen to them.  They’re so self-flattering, they lift themselves up, and you think, ‘What are you doing here, patting yourself on the back for this kind of behaviour, for this kind of standard?’  So he said this is first of all what they think, they’re never going to have to give an account, there’s no fear of God, secondly, this is how they feel in the process, they flatter themselves, they go by their feelings, they’re not going by proper thinking. 

 

Thirdly:  How The Wicked Speak---What They Speak Is Twisted And Deceitful

 

Verse 3 tells us what the wicked say, “The words of his mouth are inquity and deceit:  he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.”  “Iniquity” means “to be twisted.”  Look, “He hath left off” there almost seems to be a time when a wicked person was different, “he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.” (verse 3b)  So everyone knows that there’s right and wrong.  You know, it’s all a self-defeating philosophy.  How can somebody whose unsaved or a sinner say to you ‘You can’t say this,’ and then they want to pull out ‘It’s not wicked,’ or ‘It’s not right.’  Well how can there be right if there’s no wrong?  How can there be wickedness if there’s no good?  How can there be any of those things without a standard setter?  [Comment:  In the laws about electricity and electronics, you can’t have a positive electrical charge or voltage without a negative, both have to exist for current to flow, a ground, and a hot side.  Social law is no different, basic laws of right and wrong.]  You know, their philosophies are all self-defeating.  So, you know, he says here, “he [they] hath left off to be wise, and to do good.”  You know, earlier, Psalm 14, verse 1, it says ‘The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.’  he’s left off to do good.  Maybe once he had, no longer, no behaviour.  2nd Peter says this, he says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.”  It says the Lord is longsuffering, the Lord is waiting.  In his mouth, the words of his mouth, they’re iniquitous, they’re deceitful, he’s left off to be wise, there’s no more wisdom, he’s a fool, a fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God,’ and has left of to do good.  The Lord is longsuffering, the Lord is not bringing the hammer down right now.  That’s misinterpreted, Paul tells us in Romans about the unbelieving. 

 

Fourth:  What The Wicked Do In Light Of All This And Why

 

And lastly, he tells us, this is what he thinks, this is how he feels, this is what he says, the wicked, and verse 4 he says, and this is what he does in light of all of that, “He diviseth mischief [wrong-doing, vanity] upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhoreth not evil.”  So he plans, “he diviseth mischief”…[tape switchover, some text lost]…all sin has a history, all sin has a history.  Listen, there’s a great warning for you and I in the Church.  There has never been a time when somebody’s doing great, they’re on fire, in the love the Lord, and the next day they’re in adultery.  That never happens, it has never happened.  All sin has a history.  They’re doing great, they’re on fire, everything’s going great, the next day they’re drunk and fist-fighting.  No, no, it doesn’t happen that way.  There has to be a devising in the heart.  The people who end up in that, they’ve thought about it.  They’ve devised it internally.  It’s not on the screen, so they’re not worried about everybody else seeing it, but there’s something going on in their own heart.  They know through the conviction of the Holy Spirit ‘That man, you shouldn’t be playing with that,’ and you tell the Lord, ‘Well don’t worry, Lord you don’t have to worry about me.’ like the Lord’s going ‘What a relief, I don’t have to worry about you.’  and just it’s not hurting anybody else [i.e. it’s just in the mind at this point], but it’s something that gets devised in the heart, laying in their own bed they’re thinking about it, they’re going over it.  All sin has a history.  And when we let it go on and we play with it [in the mind], again, desire is more powerful than intellect.  The heart will always make a convert of the mind.  We see some of the brightest people doing some of the most stupid things.  And then they wish the next day they could turn the clock back, you know, they would give their right arm to have 24 hours back, they’ve crossed the line, they’ve done something, and they can’t believe they’ve gotten themselves into it. He says here, how that happens is, they’re devising mischief upon their beds, they let it play over in their minds, they think about it.  “he setteth himself in a way that is not good,” (verse 4b) the idea is ‘he commits himself, then, in a way,’ the idea is, ‘on a course, a pathway, a course, he setteth, to set, to commit, he commits himself to a certain course that’s not good.’  It’s not complicated, it’s not rocket science, he’s just committing himself to something that’s not good, and the reason is, because “he abhoreth not evil.” (verse 4c)  He no longer distains evil, it’s not distasteful to him, so he plays with it, he develops a course, this is what he does.  He thinks he won’t give an account, he’ll get away with it.  Because he thinks that, he flatters himself in his own wisdom, his own doings, this is then what comes out of his mouth, and then what he does, is he sets a course that’s foolish.  He commits himself to a way or a pathway that’s not good, and the reason is, he no longer disdains evil.  And “evil” here is a specific word, “lewdness, sexual, unclean morally.”  Now look, here’s the thing, David would transgress in all of this.  David at the time of the year when kings go forth to battle, he would stay back, and he would watch Bathsheba, Bath-She-Ba, taking a bath next door.  And she wasn’t innocent, she didn’t say ‘Boy, wonder who lives in the palace next door?’  She knew the deal too.  But David set himself up.  He had set a course.  He was the king.  He was no longer going to give an account, he wasn’t going to pay for it, he flattered himself.  And he set a course, and he at that point in his life was not abhorring lewdness, he set a course.  I think he’s writing this as a younger man, before it took place, or as an older and wiser, broken man.  You know, David in the end of his life was never the king he was earlier, he was never the father he was earlier, but he was a greater psalmist.  He wrote much more gracious words after his own weakness and failing.  So he said ‘Here’s the problem, this is an examination of the wicked,’ it’s good theology just to go through that, and to look at it. 

 

What God Is In Contrast To The Wicked

 

And then he says this, he says, “Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.” (verse 5) he’s talking about God’s grace, his unqualified love, and he says ‘LORD, it’s immeasurable, your mercy, LORD, your haseed, your love is in the heavens, it extends to the heavens, LORD, your faithfulness reaches to the clouds, this part of your nature, LORD, it is immeasurable, your love is immeasurable.’  David knew that.  He says this, “Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep:  O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.” (verse 6)  ‘Your righteousness, your holiness, what’s right about you, it has great heights, it’s immovable.  Your love is immeasurable, your righteousness is immovable, LORD, it’s like the great mountains, it’s like Herman, it reaches up into the clouds, the heights of it are incredible, and it is something that is just immovable, LORD, your righteousness it’s like the great mountains.’  thy judgments are a great deep:”  ‘your judgments, your wisdom, LORD, your judgments are a great deep, like the depths of the ocean.’  He’s looking at Creation and he’s saying ‘LORD, this is the wicked, this is who they are, this is how they think, ok, they think they’re not going to give an account, no fear of God, and because of that they flatter themselves, they give each other Grammies, and ‘Hey, I want to thank the man upstairs, me and my girlfriend, or my fourth girlfriend,’ you hear all this, they flatter themselves, give each other little gold statues, whatever they do, I don’t know, and then they use their mouth to pull down and slander the righteous and make fun of people that want to pray or go to church, and the whole time they devise their own stuff, they’re thinking, they’re working through…they don’t abhor lewdness, they parade it around, they take pride in it.  Look, I was talking to me son Mike, I remember a few years ago, in the fall, when the new shows were starting in the fall on television, one of the producers said “We’re going to break more commandments of the Ten Commandments we’ve ever broken before.  We’re going to tear down more…”  Well they’re talking about this fall, R-rated cartoons, and they’re pressing to put in Prime-Time, foul language, sexual activity cartoons in Prime-Time, when kids are up, before they go to bed.  No fear of God.  No abhorring of lewdness.  David says, ‘You know what, in contrast to that, there is a God.  They say ‘We’re not going to give an account,’?  Let me tell you about him [God].’  He says ‘His love and his faithfulness extend to the heavens, beyond the clouds, his love is immeasurable, his righteousness, don’t play with it, it is immovable.  His wisdom, his judgments, unfathomable, the depth of them, immeasurable, incomprehendable,’ he says.  And he says, “O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.” (verse 6c) Isn’t it interesting?  Jesus would say “He makes his rain to fall on the evil and on the good.”  Here’s this God, he keeps this top spinning that we’re living on, he maintains the hydro-system, 1.5 trillion tons of rain falling every day, 330 cubic million miles of ocean, the whole thing’s balanced out.  You know, you get your tires balanced and aligned in the Spring, and they have on those lead weights so your tires are balanced, he dug the Marianna Trench, he put deep spots, the whole world’s balanced, it spins, it’s lasted longer than any tire I’ve ever had.  This God whom the wicked thumb their noses at, he is a God whose love extends beyond the heavens, it’s immeasurable, his righteousness immovable, his wisdom is unfathomable, and he preserves man and beast.  They ignore him, they thumb their noses at him.  He says, “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.” (verse 7)  the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.”  Remember Jesus saying, “O Jerusalem, O Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how oft would I have gathered thee under myself as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not.  Now your house is left unto you desolate until you say Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord.”   The very heart of God, ‘How often would I have gathered you?  You stoned the prophets I sent to you to speak to you.  You killed righteous men.  And how often would I have gathered you to myself to bring you under the shelter of my wings.’ And he says, ‘And you would not.’  David’s saying here, ‘Look, this is how the wicked think, this is what they do.  It isn’t God’s fault, his love is immeasurable, his righteousness is immovable, he’s unfathomable in his wisdom, he preserves man and beast, his loving kindness,’ David says, ‘is overwhelming, and because of that, the children of men, they actually put their trust under the shadow of thy wings, there are those LORD who trust in thee.’  Good for us to remember today, I hope you’re not trusting the economy, I hope you’re not trusting in a lot of things.  Are we really putting our trust under the shadow of his wings?  We are his children.  The ages have changed, it’s been a long time since this song has been written, but he said, “I am the LORD, I change not.”  “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.”  We can still find shelter under the shadow of his wings, that is still ours.  You think of where men seek security these days.  Listen, he says, “They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.” (verse 8)  i.e. those who seek shelter under the shadow of his wings.  Why not, he’s immeasurable in his righteousness and in his love and in his kindness.  they shall be abundantly satisfied” that’s a Hebrew word “abundantly,” it means “to be watered.”  And in that country over there they know so well when God brings the rain, look at his promises in Deuteronomy, ‘I’ll bless the land, it won’t be like Egypt where you’ve got to turn the [water] wheel and irrigate the land, but the land I take you to will be watered, showered, watered by the rains of heaven’ and so forth, “They shall be watered and satisfied with the fatness of thy house” this is a long time ago, this is way before anybody ever thought that fat would mean cool.  But David was a musician, he knew these things a long time ago, “the fatness of thy house,” you know.  He didn’t say “digs” here, you know, but ‘LORD, just the blessing of your house, LORD, the blessing of it, LORD, you’re going to water them abundantly with the fatness, the overflowing of your house, LORD, it’s unfailing,’ 

 

‘Those That Love The LORD Will Be Made To Drink The River Of God’s Pleasures’

 

and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.” (verse 8b)  ‘LORD, you’re going to make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.’  Psalm 46 it says this, “There is a river the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.”  Of course, the Book of Revelation says ‘And he showed me a pure river of water of life,’  Not water, it’s “water of life,” what’s flowing is life itself, ‘clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb, in the midst of the street thereof,’ and so forth, this picture of this river, it says, ‘he will make them, those who take shelter under the shadow of his wings, those who understand his goodness and come to him, unlike the wicked, they’re going to be watered, they’re going to be blessed by the fatness of his house, but not only watered, you’re going to make them, cause them to drink of the river of thy pleasures, completely satisfied.’  And look, isn’t it interesting here, first of all, imagine trying to drink from a fire hose.  He says ‘I’m going to make them drink of the river of my pleasures.’  It doesn’t sound like God’s against pleasure to me.  He’s the inventor of pleasure.  He doesn’t want you to have a sip of pleasure, he doesn’t even want to quench your thirst in regards to pleasure, he wants you to drink of the river of his pleasures.  He just doesn’t want you to indulge yourself in sinful pleasures, Satanic, ungodly pleasures.  It says in Hebrews 11 that Moses chose rather to suffer the reproach of the children of God for a season, rather than indulge in all the pleasures of Egypt (cf. Hebrews 11:24-25).  Sin is pleasurable.  There isn’t anywhere in the Bible, again, where it says ‘Don’t hit your forehead with a ballpeen hammer.’  You’re not going to do that, it hurts.  It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible ‘Don’t take a handful of carpet tacks and chew on them.’  It’s bad, it hurts.  What it does say is you shouldn’t be involved in sexual activity until you’re married, because that’s pleasurable.  It [the Bible] gives us a list of things that are to be governed, God is not against pleasure, God invented pleasure.  God ultimately has it for you and I to drink of rivers of pleasure.  He’s the only one that understands what deeply satisfies the human being.  And I have an idea that those rivers of pleasure that we’re going to drink of are going to be the fact that his love and kindness is immeasurable, that his righteousness that he gives to you and I through Christ is immovable, that his wisdom is unfathomable, and that he cares for us and he’s our Father and calls us his children.  We’re going to be drinking of rivers of pleasure, that’s who God is.  The wicked have everything so wrong in the way they would measure it out.  He’s going to cause us to drink of the river of his pleasures,

 

We’ll See What Light Really Is

 

“For with thee is the fountain of life:  in thy light shall we see light.” (verse 9)  ‘Being watered, drinking of rivers of pleasure, now the fountain of life itself,’ “and in thy light shall we see light.”  Imagine what that’s going to be like, when we’re caught up, the Rapture [i.e. 1st resurrection to immortality, cf. 1st Corinthians 15:49-54), when we stand before the Lord.  I’m not talking pre-mill, post, you can struggle with that on your own…now look, if there isn’t going to be a pre-trib rapture I can have my position, if I’m right you’ll be wrong forever [no Pastor Joe, it won’t make a bit of difference in the final outcome, as we’ll all end up being in the 1st resurrection to immortality whenever it comes]…the idea is, when we’re caught up in his presence and we see his face, it says “in thy light shall we see light.”  That’s when we realize what eyeballs are really for.  We think we know what they’re for.  You see reflections of glory in a sunrise or a sunset, and the mountains and the flowers in the Spring, we see reflections, it’s fallen, it says his creation is fallen.  When we stand there, and when we come into the light, then we’re going to see light, we’re going to understand then what eyeballs are for. When we come in there and hear the myriads of saints and angels singing, we only think we know what ears are for, we’re going to know what they’re for.  We only think we know what smell is for, we’re going to get there and realize everything here stunk, we just thought it smelled good.  You know, you buy perfume, the purpose of that is to cover up a worse smell.  It’s not to smell good, it’s to cover a worse smell.  You know, we’re going to get there and realize what senses are for.  ‘In his light’ he says ‘we shall see light,’ the foundation of life, and then the prayer, “O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.” (verse 10)  “Continue” is “to draw out to length.”  The idea is ‘Draw this out LORD, let this have the full measure of its length, LORD,’ “continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.”  And David knows, in Psalm 32 he had talked about repentance and what it means to be upright in heart, a broken and contrite spirit God will not despise.  Jesus says blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.  “O continue thy lovingkindness 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 inquity fallen:  they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.” (verses 10-12)  It’s gonna happen, they’re going down.  They think they’re not going to pay for it, from the first verse, ‘there’s no fear of God before their eyes,’ “There are the workers of inquity fallen:  they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.” (verse 12) 

 

In Closing

 

So, David, one long song, ‘LORD, bless them that like me, and get them that don’t,’ (Psalm 35) but we do see that he finds a way to seek God in difficulties, surrounded by enemies, and at least he’s pouring that out before the LORD that he knows.  And secondly, that he finds a way, even in that, to give thanks.  Then he moves on in Psalm 36 and he says ‘Here’s why, this is the oracle of my heart, God made me understand, this is the problem of the wicked, this is what’s going on inside of them, this is how they think, this is how they feel, this is how they talk, and this is what they do, all because they have no fear of God before their eyes.  And the problem is, they have no conception of the gracious, incredible, wonderful, loving, forgiving God that we serve that has our future in his hands.  And our future is not one of just bowing down, no, he’s going to sustain us, he’s going to renew us, he’s going to water us, he’s going to cause us to drink of rivers of pleasure, and we’re going to partake of the fountain of life, and when we step into his presence, into the light of his presence, we’re going to see light for the first time.  That’s who he is, that’s what he has for us.  And LORD, draw all this out, make us all realize in my life, because the wicked, LORD, they’re going where they’re going, and they are going to go down, they’re going to be cast down, it’s gonna happen.’ (Psalm 36)  Interesting theological construct in regards to the problem of the world that we live in, it should help us understand.  And that’s why Paul says, “The god of this world has blinded the minds of those who believe not, lest they see the light of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.”  James tells us, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  the on-target prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’  If you have unsaved friends and relatives that you’re worried about, it says we need to pray prayers that are “on-target.”  What you want to pray is ‘Lord, don’t let their mind be blinded by the god of this world, so that they can’t see the light of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.’  Because human beings were meant to encounter that and see that, that’s why we were created in the first place.  You and I, saved, you know I love, anybody who asks me ‘How are you today?’  ‘Better than I deserve.’  And I love it in a check-out stand.  ‘Oh, don’t say that.’  ‘No, are you kidding, I’m going to heaven when I die, everything else is gravy,’  They look at me ‘Oh, that’s a funny thing to say.’  ‘Well I was going to hell, now I’m doing better than I deserve.’  But with that truth in mind, we should pray for those around us, Jesus said ‘Pray for those who despitefully use you’ and so forth, we have this great opportunity.  And look, if we got in, anybody can get in.  Right?  If we’re in, anybody can get in.  So that’s hope for the rest of them, we should be praying, we should be asking God for revival, hoping that we can move in that direction.  Let’s have the musicians come, we have time for at least two songs, maybe three.  And let’s do this, if you this evening are in that place where you’re saying ‘You know what, I’m there man, there’s people down the street, my uncle, my relatives, whatever, and they were down and out, I prayed for them, I cared for them, I reached out to them, and now I’m in need, they act like they don’t know me, now they’re coming down on me, they’re doing this, and I need to get over that in my heart, because it really hurts.’  David was in the same place.  Let me do this, before everybody runs out, let’s do this, let’s bow our hearts, ‘And Lord, I pray for those here this evening, as we’ve gone through these texts, Lord, that possibly are broken down by that, they have reached out, they have loved, Lord, maybe even turned the other cheek, and they just feel beaten down, they feel like the recompence was not just, it wasn’t due them, that they had done well, done their best, and then now the mouths are running around them, and there’s genuine hurt, Lord, and this evening they need something from you.  They need you to say to their soul, “I am thy salvation.”  Lord, speak to them as we worship now, and minister to their hearts, we pray.  Lord I pray for any here that are dabbling, Lord, that realize that all sin has a history, Lord, if they’re devising something they shouldn’t, that tonight they would draw back, they would receive your reproof, they would realize they’re no longer abhorring evil, and Lord that they’d remember who you are, and that you invented pleasure, Lord, and that you’re not against pleasure, and that you want your children to drink of rivers of pleasure.  Lord, bring them to their senses, as we lift our voices this evening, let them come to you afresh with their hearts, and heal them Lord, renew them.  And for all of us, Lord, as we see this unsaved world around us, let us remember, Lord, the blindness that they’re in, Lord.  Give us, Lord, of the grace to pray for those around us, Lord, to come into the light, Lord, that they would see the wonders of who you are.  And Lord, as we lift our voices as we sing, fill us afresh with your Spirit, Lord, heal us, Lord, physically, those that need healing this evening, heal us emotionally where we’ve been broken, Lord, renew us and strengthen us, Lord.  You said, How much more will the Father give the Spirit to those who ask, and we ask as we stand, as we sing these songs, that you would renew us, that you would fill us afresh, Lord, that you would bind up our broken hearts, you never change, Lord, that you would do a particular work now as we bring our lives before you, Lord, in light of your Word, Lord, and we pray in your name, amen.’  [transcript of a connective expository sermon on Psalm 35:1-28 and Psalm 36:1-12, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]   

 

related links:

 

Unsaved people don’t want to believe God exists, they sincerely hope God doesn’t exist, so that they won’t be held accountable for their actions.  Does God exist?  For some answers the unsaved may not like, see,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/Does/Does%20God%20Exist.html

 

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