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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 37-38

 

Psalm 37:1-40

 

“Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.  Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.  Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:  fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath:  fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.  For evildoers shall be cut off:  but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.  For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be:  yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.  But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.  The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.  The LORD shall laugh at him:  for he seeth that his day is coming.  The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation [“conduct, lifestyle”].  Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.  A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.  For the arms of the wicked shall be broken:  but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.  The LORD knoweth the days of the upright:  and their inheritance shall be for ever.  They shall not be ashamed in the evil time:  and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.  But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs:  they shall consume; into the smoke shall they consume away.  The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again:  but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.  For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:  and he delighteth in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down:  for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.  I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.  He is ever merciful, and lendeth and his seed is blessed.  Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell evermore.  For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever:  but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.  The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.  The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.  The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.  The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.  The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.  Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land:  when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.  I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.  Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not:  yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.  Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright:  for the end of that man is peace.  But the transgressors shall be destroyed together:  the end of the wicked shall be cut off.  But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD:  he is their strength in the time of trouble.  And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them:  he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.”

 

The Cure For The Fretter

 

‘Don’t Worry’

 

“Psalm 37, it is an acrostic Psalm, which means it’s paced by the letters in the Hebrew alphabet. It is called a didactic Psalm in the sense that it is filled with instruction, it is something that we are to learn from.  One of the reasons he laid it out as an acrostic, was it was easier to memorize.  And we very much get the sense that this was written for a younger generation.  Look in verse 25, David there says, “I have been young, and now am old” I’m almost there.  “Yet” he says, “have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread.”  So David is writing this Psalm as an old man.  And you think of all the experiences we know about in David’s life, remarkable.  And this particular Psalm in the first, ah let’s see, eight verses, we have, you’ll see how it starts there, “Fret not thyself”, verse 7 it says, “fret not thyself”, in verse 8 it says “fret not thyself”, this is a “fretter’s Psalm”, so if you’re a fretter this evening, a worrier, the New Testament uses the word “careful, be careful, full of care, be careful for nothing.”  Ah, this word “fret”, a lot of people go to the extreme to say it’s from a root that means to burn or to boil, but the word, they have tenses, they have this way it’s used in this specific Psalm, means “to worry” [this Psalm is for those of you who suffer from anxiety J].  “Fret not thyself” means ‘Don’t worry.’  Be happy is not in there, this is ‘Don’t worry.’  So the first 11 verses, David is speaking to this situation of, that he addresses, that Asaph does in Psalm 73, ‘what do we do when we see the wicked prospering, the righteous suffering, what do we do when we see all kinds of things in the world where we’re thinking ‘That’s unfair’?  It’s almost like we want to take God to “The Big Courtroom in the Sky” where fairness is held, you know, on trial.  ‘No, this isn’t fair, look at these wicked people, look what’s going on,’ and in the first 11 verses God says over and over again, ‘Look, fret not thyself, let me tell you about this, don’t worry about it, I got things under control, I want you to get this in perspective.’  So, this is a great Psalm to read before the evening news, and after the evening news.  [I was just thinking, what if some Russians living in Moscow in 1941, when Hitler’s invading armies were indiscriminately slaughtering the Slavic peoples on their march toward Moscow and Stalingrad, were thinking ‘This isn’t fair, if there were a God, he’d judge those nasty Germans.’  Then you look at General Paulus’ 6th German Army, encircling Stalingrad, with his 300,000 troops.  162 days later, 200,000 of those troops were dead, and then after ten years spent in the Gulags, of the 91,000 Germans who had surrendered, only 9,000 were left alive to return to Germany in 1956.  Even in major world wars, God concerning his justice has things under control.  Sorry, the history nut coming out in me.]  If you’re anything like me, I’m aggravated when the news starts and aggravated when it’s done, and he’s saying here ‘OK, chill, don’t do that.’  And you know you’re watching the news these days, you think, ‘Are we really gonna hit Syria in the next few days?’ when Russia’s telling us ‘Don’t do it,’ China’s telling us ‘Don’t do it,’ China could of course pull back our loans, and we wouldn’t have the money, they hate us, but they’re so tied into us they can’t escape at this point in time.  [And, strangely, the Russians under Vladimir Putin and the Chinese are correct in their advice, ISIS is by far the greatest danger, not a puny dictator who was even in his brutality, sort of stabilizing nations around him, just as Saddam Hussein was.  We just don’t get it, one evil can be far more dangerous in this world than another.]  Iran and Syria are saying, if the United States hits Syria we’re going to immediately hit Israel.  We live in such a tinderbox, we forget, because we’re here watching Chip Kelly and the Eagles put together a great season at the same time, so World War III can kind of wait, that’s the way we’ve been looking at it for years.  No, no, we’re living in a cauldron, we’re living in a cauldron.  Every one I know in the world of intelligence [i.e. the intelligence community], and they have certain latitude to dump on me, they consider me their pastor, and I can’t tell you what they say, but they all say this, “Jesus is coming at any minute,” they all say that, that the world we live in is held together with Scotch Tape and rubber bands right now, and it could fly apart for 9 or 10 different reasons at any time.  So this is a great Psalm for us, stop fretten’, it sounds like a great song too, and a good bumper-sticker, ‘Ain’t got no time for fretten’ or something.  “Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” (verse 1)  Psalm 73, you know, ‘I beheld the prosperity of the wicked, I realized I was standing in a slippery place, my feet had well nigh slipped, and I was envious,’ and he says here, David says, which no doubt Asaph picked up on, he says “Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.”  Look, you live in a world, he’s going to say here, as a believer, where everything may not be working out today, you may be struggling.  And you look at the world out there that parades in front of us, the Media and the television movies, and you think ‘They do what they want, they’re sleeping around, they’re getting stoned, they’re ripping people off, they’re living with whatever morals they want, and they got money falling out of their pockets, they’re living in pleasure, they get to do whatever they want, and here we are…’  Look, David says, ‘I was young, and now I’m old, I have never seen the righteous forsaken, or God’s children begging bread.  Listen to me,’ he says, “Fret not thyself,” ‘Don’t let worry eat you up because of evil doers, and don’t be envious against the workers of iniquity.’ Look, there’s a difference in the Bible between concern and worry.  We should be concerned.  You should buy auto insurance, that’s not fear, that’s common sense, you’re concerned.  You have health insurance, you’re concerned.  There’s stewardship, there’s certain stuff that we do.  But somewhere it crosses the line to worry.  And when it gets to that place, you’re trying to do God’s job, because he’s telling you not to worry, ‘I’ll worry for you, don’t worry about tomorrow,’ you know, there’s enough things to worry about today.  He’s the one who was, who is, and is to come, he knows what’s going to happen next week, we don’t have to worry, he’s taken care of it for us.  You heard the joke about the guy, you know, ulcers, doctors, psychiatrists, and finally he decides he’s going to hire somebody to worry for him, and people say, ‘You seem so relieved, so happy, just your whole countenance seems changed, what’s going on?’ and he says, ‘Well I’m paying that guy over there, he’s worrying for me.’  They said, ‘What!?’  ‘Yea, 24/7 he worries for me,’ they said, ‘Well what does that cost?’ he said, ‘It’s $10,000 a week,’  they said ‘$10,000 a week, you can’t afford that!’ he said ‘That’s his worry.’  [loud laughter]  So, ‘stop worrying, don’t be envious about the workers of iniquity, worry is the enemy of faith, fear.’ 

 

God Gives Us A Major Reason Not To Worry

 

He says why, here’s the reason, verse 2, “For” ‘the reason I don’t want you to do that,’ they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.”  The LORD says, ‘Look, their destiny is in place, so there’s no injustice here, and the balance is in eternity, there isn’t anything wrong, their destiny is in place.’  You know, Jesus tells us the parable of the tares sown among the wheat, and the enemy has sown these tares among the wheat, interesting picture.  ‘Should we send in the reapers?’  ‘No, because you might tare up the wheat along with…wait till they both come to fruition, and then you’ll gather the tares, and you’ll burn them, you’ll cut them down and burn them, and you’ll gather the wheat into the granary.’  The darnel grass in Israel today, you see it there, when they’re growing it looks exactly like wheat.  The difference is, when wheat becomes ripe it bows on the stalk, and the darnel grass stays straight up.  And of course it’s an incredible picture of the arrogant, the rebellious, the wicked, verses God’s own children who bow.  So, he says here, ‘Stop worrying about evil doers, don’t be envious when you see what’s going on in the world,’ Why?  ‘Because they’re soon going to be cut down, before you know it, it’s going to be over.’  “they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.”  Their destiny is in place. 

 

God Tells Us Four Things To Do In Place Of Worrying

 

First Thing, “Trust In The LORD, And Do Good”--- He’s Got Things Under Control

 

Here’s what you should do, and he’s going to say in verse 3, “Trust” in verse 4, “Delight” in verse 5, “Commit” and in verse 7, “Rest” ok, this is what you need to do, he’s going to say, the cure for the fretter, for the worrier is this, number one, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”  He says ‘Trust in the LORD and do good’ if you’re a worrier, you’re a fretter, ‘What do I do?’  Look, things are going to be dealt with, the LORD is just, he’s not blind, nobody’s getting away with anything.  He says to you, ‘Trust him, trust in the LORD, and do good.'  You can still help somebody cut their lawn, you can stop when you see somebody broken down on the highway with a flat tire, you can make somebody a meal, you can call somebody and tell them you love them, you can send them a card, do good.  You are not helpless [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/wearesalt.htm for more on this theme, there is a purpose for our lives in doing good].  You look at the world and think ‘What am I supposed to do?  Look at what they’re legislating in Washington, nobody knows what marriage is, you’re not allowed to pray anymore [public prayers], you can’t set up a Nativity scene, they’re persecuting Christians, people are being slaughtered all over the world, you know, close to 2 million people slaughtered in the Sudan…’  The LORD says, ‘Hey look, I got it under control.’  [Comment:  How?  Prophecy, Bible prophecy tells us exactly how the LORD has everything under his control.  See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm to read about the whole prophetic future of mankind as a whole and just how the LORD has it all under his control.  We’re just told not to worry, and shed the light of Christ into the world by doing good works in his name, as Franklin Graham demonstrates every day with Samaritans Purse, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/evangelism/samaritan_purse.htm.]  ‘Concern is good, but when you start to worry you’re doing my job.  What I want you to do is to trust me, and do good.  You worry about the piece of real estate you’re standing on, even if it’s only three foot by three foot, you can’t change the world, but you are not helpless, you are not helpless, do good.’  You know the story of the guy who led D.L. Moody to Christ in the shoe store, just a Sunday-school teacher being faithful to witness to people, and he lead Moody to the Lord, and he changes two continents, just by doing good.  “do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” (verse 3)

 

Second, “Delight Thyself In The LORD

 

then he says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (verse 4)  Now, it doesn’t say ‘Delight yourself in the LORD, and he’ll give you a new Mercedes Benz, he’ll give you a beautiful babe,’ that’s not what it says.  It says “Delight yourself in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Because if you delight yourself in the LORD, the desire of your heart is the Lord.  [now Pastor Joe, I think that’s circle reasoning.  I do think what David wrote is also about our individual desires, just as all our children have desires, so do we and our Father wants to fulfill them for us as a loving Dad too, in ways that are good for us, of course].  This is not a trick thing here, you know, I’m bumming some of you out already [no, only a slight theological difference in interpretation, since the verse seems by all appearance open-ended to a number of interpretations being accurate.  Some Scriptures are like that.  Some denominations like to say Matthew 18:19-20 can “only” be interpreted as applying to the rest of Matthew 18, the verses that came before it, from verse 1 through 20, when by all appearances, verses 19-20 can also be stand-alone verses, giving them a wider application concerning group-prayer.  These two verses are similar, verses 4-5 of Psalm 37.], ‘Delight yourself in the LORD,’ now look, it’s an interesting word, it isn’t “delight” like something that makes you and I happy.  Your translation might say “take pleasure”, that doesn’t even really do it.  The root of this form of the word has the idea of “to pamper” or “to experience luxury.”  And what it’s saying is this, to be able to trust the LORD in the world we live in is in fact a luxury.  Because other people, worldly people are worrying, they’re running around, it’s dog eat dog, they’re cutting out each other’s legs from under themselves.  I remember before I was saved, we were always mad if somebody got, scored, and then they didn’t share their drugs, so you were mad, ‘I can’t believe…’ and like there’s this contest, all this nonsense all the time [they call that drama].  Then you get saved, then they want to give it to you for free all the time, I don’t know how that happens, ‘I don’t do that anymore, leave me alone, get away from me, get thee behind me Satan!’  How different is it now?  I mean I look at my old friends, I’m 63 years old, they’re still doing what we were doing when we were 17 and 18 years-old, they’re still listening to the Rolling Stones, they’re still drinking [to excess, that is], they’re still fist-fighting, they’re still smoking pot, most of them are divorced, you can’t change without Jesus Christ.  [Read “Unbroken” by Laura Hilderbrand, about the true-life story of Louie Zamperini.]  I’m 63 now, and I’m free.  I’m not afraid of the future, I’m not afraid of my past, I’m washed in the blood [of Christ], it’s a luxury in this world.  “Delight thyself in the LORD avail yourself of that luxury, don’t be somebody whose fretting and worrying all the time, because the world’s out of control, ‘rather trust in the LORD, do good, find that luxury of being able to trust,’ “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (verse 4) 

 

Third, “Commit Thy Way Unto The LORD

 

“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (verse 5)  Commit your ways to the LORD, you know, Chuck Smith, my pastor [who passed away in 2014] always said, “Do your best, and commit the rest.”  Just a Chuck Smith proverb [who was Chuck Smith?  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/smith.htm], “Do your best, and commit the rest.”  The idea here in the word “to commit” is “to roll over on,” the idea is, “roll it over on the LORD.”  Commit it to him, put the weight of it on him, put it on him.  ‘Don’t worry, trust, enjoy that luxury of his strength and his care, roll over, commit your way to the LORD, the course of your life, and he’ll bring it to pass,’ “And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.” (verse 6)  “judgment” justice in your life.  [I believe the word “judgment” here is in the sense of your “vindication.”]  It will shine forth,

 

Fourth, “Rest In The LORD

 

“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:  fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” (verse 7)  “wait patiently” that’s hard, isn’t it?  Lord, wouldn’t it be just good enough if I just waited?  I got to wait patiently.  “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:  [again,] fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” (verse 7) He finally comes to where he says “rest”, the Hebrew is “be still.”  Be still.  How do we do that?  Here’s how you do it.  Fret not, trust, delight yourself in the LORD, commit your ways to him, rest, rest.  You know, the author, Paul, but the author of the Book of Hebrews says “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.” (Hebrews 4:1)  [For an interesting study about this “rest” we’re told to enter into, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/hebrews/Hebrews4-1-16.htm]  That God certainly more clearly in the New Testament in Christ has promised us “rest.”  Here, David as an old man is saying ‘Look, everything I’ve been through, I’ve been chased by Saul in the mountains, I fell into sin with Bathsheba, my own son Absalom tore apart my own home, I have had more grief and more pain and more tears and more sorrow and more danger then you’re ever going to know.  But I’ll tell you this, worrying never did me any good.  Fret not thyself, rather trust in the LORD, delight in him, commit your ways to him, rest in him.’  And this is not a theory, these are things that David no doubt learned to put into practice.

 

“Fret Not Thyself In Any Wise To Do Evil”  Why?  “For Yet A Little While, And The Wicked Shall Not Be”

 

Verse 8, “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath:  fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.”  I don’t know about you, I need this verse.  Just watch in the news, ‘What!!!’ my wife’s always saying ‘Calm down,’ my blood pressure’s going up, ‘You see what they’re doing!?  I can’t believe it! Turn on Duck Dynasty, I can’t take this!  Turn the news off!  Give me some good news here.’  [Want some good news, Pastor Joe?  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm]  “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath” again, “fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.”  Don’t get all worried and worked up and try to take things into your own hands.  God says ‘I don’t need your fleshly anger to help me out, it doesn’t assist me, I don’t need it.’  James says, “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20)  “Cease from anger”, literally that word “cease” means “to desert,” you know what a deserter is in the military.  It says “desert,” run away from anger, “forsake wrath” means “abandon” wrath, just get away from it, don’t give yourself to it.  Because I can be inclined to get worked up and to do that.  “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath:” again, third time, “fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.”  Why?  “for evildoers shall be cut off:  but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.  For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be:  yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.” (verses 9-10) 

That’s a pretty remarkable verse, “For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be…”  with the wicked there’s no longevity, they’re self-destructive, what they do, what they create, what they propagate, what they might prosper with in the beginning, it consumes them ultimately, it’s self-consuming, wickedness.  “For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be:then I wish that little while would get by.  You ever noticed that a little while with God is way different than a little while to us?  [oh yea, Pastor Joe, all the time]  “Yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be:  yea, thou shalt diligently consider is place, and it shall not be.”  you diligently consider his place, and it’s not going to be found, the place of the wicked.  “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (verse 11)  Sermon on the Mount, [Matthew 5:5, one of the Beatitudes].  Just thinking of how it’s going to be, no doubt looking forward to the Kingdom, David without the light we have, but with expectation.  In the end of 2nd Samuel 23 he wrote about God’s Kingdom coming, he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, like the tender grass shining after the rain, like a clear shining after the rain, just talking about the Kingdom of God, just think about the Kingdom when it comes, ok.  No addiction, no war, no military spending, no C.I.A., no N.S.A., no KGB [or now, SVR], no bombs, no battleships, no lawyers,  (they’re not in the same category, I like lawyers) no hospitals, no surgery, no divorce, no orphanages, no half-way houses [no battered women’s shelters], just go down the list, think and think and think and think where it goes.  [And he’s talking about the Millennial Kingdom of God, initially.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm and for the Kingdom of God out into forever, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/Revelation%20%2021-22.htm]  He says ‘Take a deep breath, it’s coming, you have to have things in perspective,’ For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be:  thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.  But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (verses 10-11)  That’s a good bumper-sticker.  The abundance of peace, we’re waiting to see that, aren’t we?  And look, why aren’t the wicked destroyed right now?  Why isn’t the whole thing just getting incinerated right now?  It’s because of you.  It’s your fault.  Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, and it’s emphatic in the Greek, he said ‘You alone, are the salt of the earth, not the Buddhists, not the Mohammedanists, you alone.’  Salt is a preservative, ‘You alone are the salt of the earth, you alone are the light of the world’ (cf. Matthew 5:14-16)  The only reason the whole thing hasn’t shut down yet, is because you are still upon this ball of dirt as a preservative.  Because there are still those that will be saved.  In the mean time we sit here, ‘Get me out of here, I got saved in ’72, I’m ready to end the world now, I don’t care who else is in line, I’m in, get me outa here!’ that’s the way we think, no, no, we may see, and we pray every Sunday night, maybe we’ll see the greatest revival the world has ever seen before Jesus comes and blows the Trumpet [what’s he talking about here?  The 1st Resurrection to immortality and the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.  See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/corinthians/cor15-16.htm].  [three people clapping]  Ya, there’s three of us excited, I think it’ll be a great thing.  [applause] 

 

The LORD Cares For His Own

 

Verse 12, now look, he goes on and says the wicked are going to be destroyed, down to verse 20 he talks about it.  Look, “The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.” (verse 12) he’s gritting his teeth, ‘Those Christians!  I can’t believe those Christians, this is sin? I can’t believe what they’re saying, they want to do this, they want to pray, I don’t want them praying, you know we want to get our marijuana as a social drug, and we want to have a million abortions a year, but don’t let them pray.’  “The LORD shall laugh at him:  for he seeth that his day is coming.” (verse 13)  You want to know if the LORD laughs?  Psalm 2.  And the laughter is, he’s going to hold them in derision, because the wicked say ‘Let’s cast away their cords, let’s break their bands, let’s throw off any constraint.  Righteousness, God, the Bible, that’s all baloney let’s all throw it in the trash.’  It says, ‘The LORD sits in the heavens on his throne, and he laughs, the ultimate derision,’ “The LORD shall laugh at him:  for he seeth that his day is coming.” (verse 13)  That’s a good bumper-sticker too, isn’t it?  “The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation [conduct, lifestyle].” (verse 14)  And boy does it go on.  “Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.” (verse 15)  Verse 16, great verse, “A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.”  That’s a good bumper-sticker too.  “A little that the righteous man has,” because the little that the righteous man has is something he genuinely has [i.e. has genuinely earned].  When you get down on your knees at the end of the day, and you can thank God that we had soup today, Lord, we had toast, we had, you know a roof over our heads, we’re thankful Lord, it’s a treasure.  The wicked, they don’t possess anything they have, they don’t appreciate it, they can’t be thankful for it.  “A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.  For the arms of the wicked shall be broken:  but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.” (verses 16-17)  That will solve a lot of problems, won’t it?  We can’t rejoice in these things, this is Old Testament, we can just enjoy that David rejoiced in it, but we’re supposed to pray for our enemies, turn the other cheek, “but the arms of the wicked shall be broken.”  “The LORD knoweth the days of the upright:  and their inheritance shall be for ever.” (verse 18)  That’s wonderful.  “They shall not be ashamed in the evil time:  and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.” (verse 19)  The LORD cares for his own.  “But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs:  they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.” (verse 20)  This is a tough verse, King James says they’ll “be as the fat of lambs:  they shall consume; into the smoke shall they consume away” because on the altar the fat of the lambs, it sizzled and it went up in smoke, the idea is of them sizzling here.  A lot of translations have it ‘that the wicked shall perish, the enemies of the LORD shall be as the pleasant pasture, they shall consume away as smoke,’ the idea is, ‘they dried up, they burned, they were used for fuel [the dried grass that is] sometimes.’  So it’s a very difficult verse to interpret, I like the fat of lambs there, because I like, anytime there’s rack of lamb on the barbecue and you hear the sizzle, it reminds me to be Biblical, so. 

 

“But The Righteous Sheweth Mercy, And Giveth”

 

Verses 21 down to 31 now talk of the blessings, the enrichment of the righteous, even in light of all of this insanity.  “The wicked”, this is hard to read this, “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again:  but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.” (verse 21)  I wonder where that puts the United States right now?  It must be more than 16-trillion to be included here.  “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again:  but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.” And look, there is such abuse, again, we have a nation where we should be able to come here and become a millionaire, there isn’t anything wrong with that, and don’t let anybody tell you there is.  [Comment:  But this is describing the very nature of the righteous, that by the very inspiration of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we the righteous are inspired and led by God’s very nature within us to always be showing mercy and giving to the needy and poor around us, whereas the wicked racks up debt and never pays it off.]  The problem is, 100 years ago, those who became wealthy became philanthropists, they built orphanages and hospitals and they gave.  It says here, “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again:  but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.”  There was a time in our nation when there was some of that going on.  [Now within the Body of Christ, we do have whole organizations that do that, and we can do it in our individual lives as well as lend support through those organizations.  See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/evangelism/samaritan_purse.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/wearesalt.htm and http://www.unityichrist.com/evangelism/ShortTerm-Missions.htm]

Now, both ends are perverted, again, the Welfare system, we need to have it, we should have it, we’re wealthy enough [as a nation] to take care of people, make sure they have food.  But on that end, because of sin there’s abuse, and people that don’t need it take advantage of it.  On the other hand, the fat cats on Wall Street took advantage of everybody, we should be able to prosper here, but because of sin, there’s abuse on their end too.  The whole system is shot because of sin, from the needy end to the wealthy end.  [Comment:  And that is where the Body of Christ has to set the example, and shine the giving light of Christ into this sick world we live in.]  It isn’t a [political] party, it’s not a political problem, it’s a sin problem.  And if our nation gets to their knees and repents, we could see the blessing of the Lord again, but.  “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again:  but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.  For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:  and he delighteth in his way.” (verses 21-23)  ‘Made firm by the LORD,’ the idea is, ‘established, the steps of a good man are established by the LORD:  “and he” the LORD “delighteth in his way.”  You know, it says the prayer of the upright, in the Book of Proverbs, Proverbs 18 I think, ‘the prayer of the upright is his delight.’  Just think of that.  The One who hung on the cross for you.  The One whose heart is broken as he looks at this world, slaughtering our children, you know, the hatred that’s in the world, the war that’s in the world, how the heart of God must be breaking over what he sees.  But it says this, in the middle of all that, ‘the prayer of the upright is his delight.’  You can give delight to your Lord, to your Saviour, the One who died for you and hung on the cross, you can bless his heart.  And it says here, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:  and he delighteth in his way.” (verse 23)  ‘ordered’ or ‘established by the LORD:  and he delighteth in his way.”  You know, if we’re obedient to God’s Word, we’re putting our feet where we should put them, because he says ‘his Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path,’ and we’re walking and living in the Bible, and that’s why we should read it, so we can live in it.  It’s not an intellectual study, it should speak life to us.  And it says ‘it brings him delight, it brings him delight.’  Isn’t that amazing? 

 

God Even Extends His Grace To The Wicked, “Depart From Evil, And Do Good, And Dwell Evermore”

 

“Though he fall,” i.e. the righteous, “he shall not be utterly cast down:  for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.  I have been young,” that was great, “and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (verses 24-25)  Isn’t that wonderful?  He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.” (verse 26)  Listen to verse 27, “Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.”  Now that’s a bumper-sticker!  In the middle of the LORD talking about how the righteous will be blessed, but the wicked are going to be cut down, they’re going to be no more, in the middle of all that, he makes this gracious offer.  In the middle of all that, it’s not his will that any should perish, in the middle of all of that, the voice of the LORD says to the wicked “Depart from evil,” ‘you’re going to be cut down, it’s going to be a little while, it’s going to come, it’s not going to be remedied, and when it comes you’re going to be gone, and the place you were, nobody’s going to be able to find it, it’s going to be gone, your seed, gone, everything wiped out, no more place for you in the Kingdom of God, where all that are there are overwhelmed with the abundance of peace, the meek are going to inherit that.’  But to the wicked, God in his grace, as he did to me when I was unsaved, and maybe you don’t know him this evening, listen to what he says here.  “Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell  for evermore.” (verse 27)  It’s not rocket-science, “and dwell for evermore.”  The New Covenant is even simpler.  He doesn’t even say “depart from evil, and do good,” and just says “depart from evil, and come to me.”  There’s no time-sequence, you don’t have to have a track record.  [Comment:  But when you come to the Lord, you receive the Holy Spirit, and then under the guiding influence of the Holy Spirit, leading you to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, you end up “doing good.”  So there’s not as much of a dichotomy between the Old Covenant and the New as most believe there is.]  The thief on the cross next to Christ said “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom” and Jesus said, “verily, today you’ll be with me in paradise.”  His hands and his feet were nailed down, he didn’t have a chance to do anything good. That’s why Christ was crucified, you see Christ hanging in front of the world, a thief, same type of man on either side, both of them thieves, both of them vile, one of them goes off into eternity and suffers in hell forever, and the other one goes to heaven.  They’re nailed down so they can’t do anything, they can’t get baptized, they can’t make their first holy communion, they can’t make their first confirmation, they can’t do nothing.  It’s just the heart in one guy changes, and he finally says ‘Lord,’  He says to his buddy, ‘We’re sinners, we’ve done all kinds of stuff, this guy’s done nothing amiss.’  That’s repentance.  And what a gift for Jesus, the first token in paradise, he says ‘Lord,’ he doesn’t even know the four spiritual laws, ‘oh no, you gotta pray this, you gotta pray that,’ no, no, he hears screaming out, God interprets that.  ‘Lord, remember when you come into your Kingdom, I believe your Kingdom is real, I believe you’re the Lord, I believe you’re innocent.’  ‘Today, today,’ he doesn’t say ‘depart from evil, do good, maybe you’ll get in.’  ‘Today, you’ll be with me in paradise. ‘I’ve done all the good that you could never do.  [Comment:  For one, Jesus spent the next three days and three nights in the grave after this conversation with the thief on the cross, and Jesus was dead, not conscious, until he was resurrected three days and three nights after he was put in the tomb by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.  So Jesus couldn’t have been in paradise until then, and then he spent the next 40 days after his resurrection with the disciples and saints, and then ascended to heaven, as Acts 1 shows us.  Some denominations believe Jesus was saying, by different placement of the comma, “Verily I say to you today, you’ll be with me in paradise.”  Some believe this “paradise” spoken of is the 2nd resurrection, where this thief will receive a chance to come to Christ, living lifetime of Christian growth, and then be ushered into the Kingdom.  A slight difference in theological belief exists around this verse he’s talking about.  For more about this alternate belief, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm.  But anyway, we’ll find out at the 2nd coming whose right theologically here.] 

 

‘Wait, Hope In The LORD, And Keep His Way, And He Shall Exalt Thee To Inherit The Land’

 

“Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.  For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever:  but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.  The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.  The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh judgment.  The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” (verses 27-31)  he’s not going to be in a slippery place.  Verse 32 to the end of the Psalm now, contrasts the lot that will fall out to the righteous, and the lot that will fall out to the wicked, sets them one against another.  “The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.  The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.”  So we have a guardian.  “Wait” literally the Hebrew is “Hope in the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land:  when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.  I have seen the wicked in great power,” David says, “and spreading himself like a green bay tree.  Yet” David says ‘I was young, I’m old now,’ “he passed away, and, lo, he was not:  yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.” (verses 32-36)  He may have been there for twenty years, you know, when he says wait patiently, that meant something different than we want it to, look at Communist Russia, that may have lasted 80 years,. but it self-consumed, it went away.  Sometimes we want the program to move a lot faster.  David says ‘I was young, now I’m old,’ he talks about the wicked, he said ‘he spread out his branches like the green bay tree, yet he passed away,’  “and, lo, he was not:  yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.” He’s speaking from experience.  And he says this, “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright:  for the end of that man is peace.” (verse 37) mark means “to set your eyes on.”  ‘Watch, set you eyes on, the perfect man,’ “perfect” is not the way we think, it’s “blameless,” David understood the sacrificial system, it doesn’t say this man is sinless, he’s blameless.  If he takes the lamb to the altar, he’s blameless, not sinless.  “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright:  for the end of that man is peace.”  Plan out, look out where the pathway goes.  “But the transgressors shall be destroyed together:  the end of the wicked shall be cut off.” (verse 38) in contrast, and again, cut off, cut off, cut off.  “But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD:  he is their strength in the time of trouble.  And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them:  he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.” (verses 39-40)  ‘Fret not thyself, trust in the LORD, it is your luxury to do that.  Commit your way to him, and rest.’   And he ends the whole thing by saying, ‘The LORD shall help them, he’ll deliver them, he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because,’ that’s the first thing he said to do, when he said fret not, ‘because they trust in him.’  My watch it’s fast, no my watch is slow, with my watch I can fit one more Psalm in.  Alright here we go.

 

Psalm 38:1-22

 

A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.

 

“O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.  For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.  There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.  For mine iniquities are gone over mine head:  as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.  My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.  I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.  For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease:  and there is no soundness in my flesh.  I am feeble and sore broken:  I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.  LORD, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.  My heart panteth, my strength faileth me:  as for the light of mine eyes, it is also gone from me.  My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.  They also that seek after my life lay snares for me:  and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.  But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.  Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.  For in thee, O LORD, do I hope:  thou wilt hear, O LORD my God.  For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me:  when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.  For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.  For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.  But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong:  and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.  They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.  Forsake me not, O LORD:  O my God, be not far from me.  Make haste to help me, O LORD my salvation.”

 

Introduction

 

“Psalm 38, listen, “A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance” so it’s didactic and to instruct, it’s the third penitential Psalm, one that’s filled with repentance.  Listen, this Psalm kind of breaks down, the first two verses David talks about the spiritual consequences of his sin, then from verses 3 down to verse 7 he talks about the physical consequences of his sin, verses 8 to 10 he talks about the emotional consequences of his sin, verses 11 to 14 he talks about relational consequences of sin, and then from 15 to the end of the chapter he talks about his only hope, when everything around him is just trashed by sin and iniquity, that vertically he found an answer.  So, he says all of these things come, the end of verse 3, “because of my sin.”  The first phrase in verse 4, because of “mine iniquities”, so David is owning.  This Psalm is still read on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and it is representative of Israel repenting nationally, because they see themselves structured in this, believing that their history was reflected in their idolatry and so forth the way God dealt with them.  So on the Day of Atonement this Psalm is read as a part of national repentance. 

 

The Spiritual Consequences Of Sin

 

It begins like this, you’re going to find LORD, Adonai, Elohim, different names of God [that show up in the Hebrew, not in the King James English though].  “O LORDDavid says, “rebuke me not in thy wrath:  neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.  For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.” (verses 1-2)  So David, in these first two verses, talks about what’s going on in his life spiritually, internally, before he gets to the verses that talk about some physical difficulties he’s having because of it, and it’s just like David when he comes to deal with it, he realizes the spiritual aspect of life is more important than the physical aspect of life.  He says “O LORD. rebuke me not in thy wrath:  neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.” (verse 1)  It says in those proverbs in Hebrews chapter 12 that, if we’re not chastened of the Lord, it says, we’re illegal [i.e illegitimate, i.e. not really born-again], we’re not his children.  Just because as a father, he chastens the son that he loves.  It’s unpleasant presently, but it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.  And just as any kid would say to his father “LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath; neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure”, you know, dads, calm down before you whup your kids, you know, don’t do it when the aggravation is at its peak, take a few deep breaths, calm down, read the Scripture, see why discipline is important, you shouldn’t be freaken’ out.  Here, David talking to God, ‘Hey, calm down God, before you, don’t go off on me in your sore displeasure, in your wrath,’ just like any child would talk to their father.  He says for the reason, “For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.” (verse 2)  Literally, the Hebrew says, ‘they have penetrated me’ he’s speaking about the conviction, LORD, your arrows, they have penetrated deep within me, your hand is heavy upon me,’ it says.  He’s under such conviction, he says ‘LORD, I’ve been penetrated so deeply, there’s so much heaviness in this because of my sin going on inside.  Don’t deal with me now in your wrath or in your sore displeasure.’ 

 

The Physical Consequences Of Sin

 

And then in verse 3 he starts to talk about the physical aspects of whatever sin it is.  Is it Bathsheba?  Is it again being chased by Absalom? It doesn’t identify that.  But it says There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.” (verse 3)  He says, “because of my sin.”  “For mine iniquities are gone over my head:  as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.” (verse 4)  The idea is, you see somebody in the Middle East carrying a load on their head, ‘as a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.’  Look, he’s not saying here that all sickness is because of sin.  The Bible doesn’t teach that.  There is sickness in the world because of the fall of the Garden of Eden, and our world is broken down. Our air is bad, our water is bad, what we ingest is bad, everything is worn and polluted, and we have about 6,000 years of DNA degeneration on top of all of that.  So, it’s wrong to tell somebody if they’re sick it’s God’s judgment, you can’t do that, the Bible doesn’t give you a right to do that.  So there is sickness because of that.  There is sickness because of spiritual warfare.  But the enemy had to have permission, in the Book of Job, before he could act.  And there is sickness that God will bring to chasten.  And I am not discerning enough to look at anybody’s life and divide that up into categories.  God hasn’t called me to do that, and he didn’t call you to do it either.  You pray for those people, love them, pray for them.  But he clearly says here, ‘it’s because of my sin, it’s because of mine iniquities.’  You know, you see movie stars, you see these guys on TV, sports figures with AIDS, they don’t show you the end of that, all of this sexual stuff on television.  Every 45 seconds in the United States a sexually transmitted disease is contracted, every 45 seconds, thousands of teenagers every day.  All they do is glorify, you know, in the video music awards, everything’s glorified, especially on television.  They don’t show the truth.  You don’t see the people suffering, you don’t see the people with disease, you don’t see them at the doctors, you don’t see it destroying their homes, they don’t show the consequences.  They only show the sin.  They only show what allures.  David here says ‘because of my sin, this has become like a weight on my head and it’s too heavy, I can’t carry it.’  “My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.  I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.  For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease:  and there is no soundness in my flesh.” (verse 5-7)  So he talks about whatever point in his life this illness is, we don’t know, it’s not identified.  It would never have been found in the Chronicles of the kings, because you didn’t write those things about a king who was on the throne.  So, at some point in David’s life he’s going through a terrible time, and he’s admitting it, it was because of iniquity, it was because of sin. 

 

The Emotional Consequences Of Sin

 

And now he says emotionally, verse 8, “I am feeble and sore broken:  I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.  LORD, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.  My heart panteth, my strength faileth me:  as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.” (verses 8-10)  So, many people, we know the process, we blow it, we sin, then we’re under terrible conviction, ‘LORD you’ve penetrated me, this is too much, it’s taken a physical toll on me, LORD it’s taken an emotional toll on me,’ sin makes a mess.  Nobody is bettered by sin.  And nobody is healthier in the life of someone else because of sin.  You know, we find health in the Body [of Christ] because, every joint and ligament supplies, your spiritual health, it’s necessary in my life.  ‘Oh, it’s ok if I smoke pot, I just don’t want my pastor to do it.  It’s ok if I knock down some brews, I just don’t want my pastor to do it.’  [Comment:  The Bible does not condemn alcohol consumption, but it does teach extreme moderation in consumption of it.  Calvary Chapel’s minister to recovering addicts and alcoholics, so they as a denomination teach abstinence for the good of those within their congregations who are recovering or who have recovered.  They do know the Bible does not teach abstinence, and will admit it privately.]  ‘Oh, it’s ok, I got a babe on the side, I just don’t want my pastor to do it.’  Hey, that’s not fair!  [laughter]  ‘Because every joint, every ligament supplies, I need you to be spiritually healthy, for my own spiritual health, we’re part of the same Body, part of the best dysfunctional family going, and I need you to be healthy, because that’s healthy for me, it’s healthy for the person sitting next to you.’    He says here, ‘My emotions are breaking down under the weight of this, my sin has just worn me out.’ 

 

The Relational Consequences Of Sin

 

And now look at verse 11, he talks about the consequences of sin in his relationships, of people around him.  “My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.” (verse 11) ‘My fickle friends, here I am, broken down,’ Job knew that story all too well.  He says ‘The people that are closest to me, my friends, my relationships, everything on the horizontal is broken down, my own kinsmen stand afar off.’  We’re not sure what David had, but evidently it wasn’t pleasant.  And then he talks about his foes, his enemies, “They also that seek after my life lay snares for me:  and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.” (verse 12)  He says, “But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.” (verse 13)  He didn’t say he didn’t hear, he said “as a deaf man,” I’ve played that part.  “and I was as a dumb man that opened not his mouth.  Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.” (verses 13b-14)  David’s saying, ‘How could I rebuke the wicked, how can I say anything to anybody, I’m in this mess because of my own sin, because of my own iniquities.  How can I poke my finger in somebody else’s eye?  How can I throw the first stone?’  And David says ‘This is what’s going on, spiritually, I’m being chastened, it’s too much for me to bear, physically it’s taken a toll on my physical frame, it’s worn me out, I’ve no strength, I have illness because of it, it’s worn me out.  Emotionally, I’ve got nothing left, I’m ground to powder.  Relationally, all the people around me, first of all that are my friends and my family, they don’t want nothing to do with me, and my enemies are constantly picking on me, they’re thinking ‘OK, God’s getting him, he’s near death,’ and he says, ‘You know what?  At this point I’m just quiet, I’m not listening, I’m not speaking, I’m as one, as it says, as a lamb before his shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.’  It says in 1st Peter 2 around verse 20 something, ‘When he was reviled, he reviled not again.’ 

 

Our Only Hope Is In The LORD

 

And there’s something no doubt David has entered into with his own sweet LORD, and he’s saying ‘LORD, every thing on the horizontal has disintegrated, you’re chastening me, my physical frame is falling apart, my emotions are a wreck, my friends and people I’ve counted on for years, as I look around me, it’s a train-wreck in every direction, and LORD, I caused it.’  Maybe you feel that way this evening, you’ve ruined a family, you’re ruined a friendship, ruined your health, you know, you’re just sitting here, you sneak into church because you figure ‘Well, God’s going to bless everybody else, some of it’ll spill over on me and I’ll get out before anybody knows it, God don’t want anything to do with me,’ that’s a lie from hell.  He loves you, he loves the Prodigal.  The Old Testament says he’ll heal the backslider.  Look at what David says here in verse 15, David says when everything on the horizontal was a train-wreck, he lifted his head to the vertical.  That’s where he found hope, even as a sinner.  He says,  “For in thee, O LORD, do I hope:  thou wilt hear, O LORD my God.” (verse 15)  And the inference is ‘you’ll hear and answer, O LORD my God.’  “For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me:  when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.” (verse 16)  ‘LORD, you see what’s going on, but I’m looking to you, LORD,’  “For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.” (verse 17)  “halt” i.e. “to limp along.”  “For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” (verse 18)  He’s saying, ‘LORD, there’s repentance, I’m limping now, I’ve got nothing left, I’m halting, I’m like crippled in my pace, I can’t even walk, I’m limping along LORD, but I’m looking to you, you’re my hope, you’ll hear me, you’ll answer,’ he says, “I will declare mine iniquity” ‘LORD, I’m going to confess, I’m going to lay it out, I will be sorry for my sin.’  If you’re here this evening, you’re worn out by your sin, you’ve ruined your life, you’ve ruined the lives of people around you, you’ve ruined your health, you feel like you’re ruined your own relationship with the Lord?  What you need to do, is confess your sin, declare your iniquity, be honest before God.  You can’t change your own life, repentance is not you changing your own life, repentance is you admitting, this is wrong, it’s metanoia, it’s to confess, to say the same thing, ‘Lord, I’m confessing my sin, it says if I confess you’re faithful and just to forgive, and then to cathorize me, to cleanse me from all unrighteousness, to drain all this poison out of my system.’  You can’t do it yourself.  But the door of repentance is wide open to any of us, even as his children that are backslidden, that are AWOL, we make mistakes.  David says here ‘I came to him, I know that he hears, I know that he answers, and I said ‘LORD I am ready, Uncle, I’m ready to declare my sins, I’m ready to repent, LORD,’  “But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong:  and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.” (verse 19)  ‘They’re healthy, they’re moving, they’re aggravating me, they are strong, and they hate me wrongfully, and they’re multiplied.’  “They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.” (verse 20) The reason, ‘that I follow the thing that is good, I am moving in a direction that they hate.’  And then he sums it all up, “Forsake me not” literally it’s ‘LORD, don’t abandon me.’  How many times do we feel that way?  Jesus said “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.”  We have more light than David here.  David said LORD, don’t abandon me.’   “Forsake me not, O LORD:  O my God, be not far from me.  Make haste to help me, O LORD my salvation.” (verses 21-22)  ‘Hurry LORD, my heart is broken, the spiritual consequences are overwhelming me, my physical frame is worn out, my emotions are shot, everybody around me has ganged up on me from friends to enemies, I know it’s because of my sin, I know I messed up LORD.  LORD, don’t abandon me, O my God, don’t be far from me, LORD, make haste, hurry LORD,’ the idea is, ‘to help me.  I got nothing, I ain’t gonna make it another mile, hurry LORD to help me, O LORD of my salvation.’  Boy we know way more about that than David, don’t we, “O LORD of my salvation.” “Ye shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.”  

 

In Closing

 

I’m going to have the musicians come and we’ll sing a last song, lift our hearts to the Lord.  I encourage you if you don’t know Christ this evening, you’ve never come, get up here after the service, we’d love to pray with you, give you a Bible, some literature to read.  I encourage you if you’re a fretter [worrier, have anxiety], a fretty, a frettress, you remember the fret-club, Psalm 37, read it in the morning, read it at night, it’s didactive, it’s instructive, you’re to learn a lesson from it.  Remember the wicked, remember the end of the story, you know the last chapter, you know who wins, you know how it comes out.  If you’ve messed up so bad your entire life, inside and outside has fallen apart, lift your head, our God is gracious, he’s a redeemer, he’s a reconciler, he’s a restorer.  He paid for your sins, and the day he saved you he knew you were going to mess up, and he saved you anyway.  And the only one [applause], the only one whose surprised at your behavior is you.  He ain’t surprised, he knows the end from the beginning.  He said the one whom he forgives the most stands a chance of being the one that loves him the most.  Maybe as God’s child you need to come back this evening with all of your heart.  There’s nothing in the way, the door is open, the price has been paid, he said ‘Tutelisti, paid in full,’ it is finished on the cross.  He doesn’t have a mortgage on you, he bought you outright, you come to him as we worship, you lift your heart, you come before him.  Let’s stand together.  Read ahead, if we’re still here a week from now, we’ll do Psalms 39 and 40 Lord.  ‘Father we thank you for your Word, and Lord we realize in the days we’re living in, we could be gone, Lord, and that doesn’t sound so bad, Lord, we know your heart is vastly different from ours, we tend to be very selfish Lord, and we know for you, you probably think the harvest is white, the laborers are few.  Lord, then, if we’re to stay here, Lord, baptize us afresh in your Spirit, give us a Pentecost again, Lord, your Church, my life, Lord, this pastor, Lord, is so in need of a fresh moving of your Spirit, Lord.  We pray that you would do that.  Lord, we pray for everyone here that’s fretten’ tonight, like some people, it’s their favorite indoor sport, Lord, you know them, they’re fretters, Lord.  And speak to the fretters here tonight, that they stop worrying, Lord.  Speak to those that are completely, completely, completely broken down because of their own sin, Lord, that feel they’re apostate, that you’ve got nothing more for them.  Lord, overwhelm them with your love this evening, Lord, wash them afresh, Lord, fill them anew, Lord, embrace them, Lord, as they look to you, as the father grabbed his prodigal son and wept, and kissed, and dressed him in a fresh robe of righteousness, put the ring of heir-ship back upon his finger, prepared a great feast in front of him, Lord.  Do that for every broken heart this evening, Lord, that’s looking to you.  As we lift our voices and our hearts Lord, fill us afresh with your Spirit, move in our midst we pray, Father in Jesus name and for his glory, amen.’  

 

related links:  

 

“Trust in the LORD, and do good…” This is precisely how Christians are supposed to shed the light of Christ’s life into others.  see,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/wearesalt.htm

 

http://www.unityinchrist.com/evangelism/samaritan_purse.htm

 

 

Believe it or not, God’s got everything in this crazy mixed up world under control.  See,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm

 

http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm

 

http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm

 

 

“Rest in the LORD,  What does this “rest” entail for the believer?  See,

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

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