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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 41, 42, 43

 

Psalm 41:1-13

 

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David

 

“Blessed is he that considereth the poor:  the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.  The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth:  and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.  The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing:  thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.  I said, LORD, be merciful unto me:  heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.  Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?  And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity:  his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.  All that hate me whisper together against me:  against me do they devise my hurt.  An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him:  and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.  Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heal against me.  But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.  By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.  And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.  Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting.  Amen, and Amen.”

 

Introduction

 

“Psalm 41 is the last Psalm in the First Book of Psalms, five books within the Book of Psalms, this is the last of the first book.  It is written in the light of great difficulty, it seems there’s physical suffering and illness.  It is written, no doubt, it seems in the light of Absalom, and more particularly in the light of Ahithophel.  Ahithophel was David’s gifted and valued counselor, a friend that sticks closer than a brother.  It is Messianic, in that the Lord from this Psalm, and he quotes it at the Last Supper in John chapter 13, and we’ll look at that.  So, part of this strain of all of that is Messianic, part of that great sense of betrayal that David felt.  Ahithophel, David’s main counselor, ends up bitter at him, because Ahithophel has a granddaughter named Bathsheba.  And David had violated his granddaughter and destroyed their marriage, sent her husband Uriah to his death in battle.  And Ahithophel had come to know that.  And I don’t know how good any of us would have done in that circumstance.  I have granddaughters, I have the fourth one showing up any day now.  And you mess with them, you mess with me.  I’m an old guy, but there’s enough Rambo left in me to do some damage, if you mess with my granddaughters.  You know, in one sense I understand Ahithophel.  There was another side of that, where Ahithophel knew David well, he knew that he was God’s anointed, there was another part of it where his personal bitterness evidently lent itself to treason, to something that God did not honor.  And bitterness can destroy a human being.  David has a great sense of reaping what he had sown in this Psalm, he admits that he had sinned.  But he pleads with God for his mercy. 

 

The LORD Will Bless Those Who Consider The Poor

 

It begins by saying, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor:  the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.” (verse 1)  By the way, that is throughout Scripture, the LORD looks graciously on those who remember the less fortunate.  In fact, he speaks specifically of the orphan and of the widow.  He said if you mess with the orphan and the widow, like a grandpa, you’re messing with Me, God said ‘I will smoke you, my wrath will come down on you.’  James, the Lord’s half-brother tells us that ‘Religion, pure and undefiled is this, that you remember the widow and the orphan in their affliction.’  So David has a great sense, ‘Yes, I’m a man, I have clay feet, I’ve sinned, I’ve made mistakes.  But I also know this, that the LORD blesses those who bless others, particularly the less fortunate.’  And David’s not phony in that, he’s always been like that.  He’s always been like that.  At the Cave of Adullam it says that it was the outcasts, those who were in debt, those who were in discontent that gathered themselves to David.  And David had the ability to speak to them.  Though he was younger than probably most of them, he says ‘Come ye children, and I will teach you the fear of the LORD.’  And he had spoken to them and raised up the greatest army, the greatest government Israel had ever seen.  David never overtaxed the people of Israel, like his son [Solomon] and Jeroboam and those afterwards.  David had a consideration for those who were less fortunate, it was genuine, so he says “Blessed is he that considereth the poor:” good bumper-sticker [yea, politicians use it all the time while robbing the poor], “the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.  The LORD will preserve him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth:  and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.  The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of his languishing:  thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.” (verses 1-3)  It is, “turn his bed,” the idea is, ‘you will restore health, you bless those that are compassionate, even if this one is in the bed of languishing,’ which it seems like he is at this point in time.  We are not given great detail about David’s illnesses from the record of Samuel or the Chronicler, but in the Songs [Psalms] we find out that David in fact, more than once it seems, was deathly ill.  He says ‘That the LORD will bless those who consider the poor, those who pour out themselves on their behalf.’  You know, he says in Isaiah in regards to fasting, the LORD says “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, that thou bring the poor that are cast out into thy house, when thou seest the naked that thou cover him, that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?  Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring up speedily, and thy righteousness shall go before thee, the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.” (Isaiah 58:7-8)  [by the way, “rereward” is a word in King James 1611 English.  Not sure, but it probably means something like a “double-reward”.]  Even as he speaks in Isaiah of fasting, they were doing it legalistically, they were arguing with one another.  God says ‘You think this is what I want?  This is not what I want.’  He said, ‘I want you brokenhearted, where you’re pouring out your heart on behalf of the less fortunate, and the poor and so forth.  When you do that, then your own health will spring forth speedily, the light of your countenance will return, and so forth.’  David has a great sense of that here in these first three verses, that God will bless those who bless others, particularly the less fortunate. 

 

“Mine Own Familiar Friend Hath Lifted Up His Heal Against Me”

 

Now in verse 4 he begins to talk about suffering and betrayal.  He said, “I said, LORD, be merciful unto me:  heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.”  So his affliction he feels deep within, not just his frame.  He admits sin.  “Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?” (verse 5)  That’s what they’re saying.  “And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity:  his heart gathereth inquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.” (verse 6)  You know, when they come they pretend their concern, you know ‘Here’s the king in his chamber of suffering,’ he says ‘Those who come to visit me, they’re phonies, they don’t really care.  They’re leaving here saying ‘About time, this guy’s gonna die, we’re going to be rid of him.’’  And he talks about the traitors, their conversation, now they’re described in verse 7, “All that hate me whisper together against me:  against me do they devise my hurt.  An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him:  and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.” (verses 7-8)  So David is definitely sick.  “and now that he lieth, he shall rise up no more.” they’re rejoicing, saying ‘This thing, whatever it is, has struck him down,’ and David is sick enough that those who observe him say ‘He’s done, you’re not getting back up again, it’s fatal.’  Verse 9, he says, “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heal against me.”  We believe he’s speaking of Ahithophel.  Ahithophel is such a wise man, and such an exclusive counselor, that David leaves Hushei in Jerusalem when he flees, and when Hushei’s counsel was going to be taken over his, he went out and hung himself.  He knew if the nation would have listened to him, they would have defeated David.  He realized when his counsel was pushed aside that David was going to live, he’s going to come back, ‘My name is mud.’  So he put his house in order and killed himself.  Here David is saying “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heal against me.” (verse 9)  And I’m sure Ahithophel felt that way, ‘You’re my friend, and you did this to my granddaughter?’  “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heal against me.”  Now the Lord [Jesus] quotes this, in John chapter 13, he’s at the Communion Table [Christian Passover Table], ah, he says ‘One of you is going to betray me.’  He says, ‘I speak not of you all, I know whom I have chosen.  But that the Scripture might be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heal against me.’  And he quotes this verse from Psalm 41, so it’s a Messianic Psalm, it’s looking forward to something.  Here’s the interesting thing, Jesus when he quotes verse 9, he doesn’t say “In whom I trusted.”  Because Jesus said ‘Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil.’  He knew who Judas was, he never trusted in Judas.  In fact we’re told he didn’t trust himself to any man, because he knew what was in man.  So it’s very interesting, as the Lord quotes this Psalm, he knows it well enough that he doesn’t quote that part, “Yea, mine own familiar friend” he doesn’t say ‘in whom I trusted’ he says, “which did eat of my bread, he hath lifted up his heal against me.” (John 13:18)  Now David in this whole process, if you follow him, fleeing from Jerusalem, it’s up the Mount of Olives, it’s across to Bethany, it’s where Jesus went on the night he was betrayed.  It’s a very interesting pathway for David.  You know, Paul says, ‘That I might know him, of the power of his resurrection,’ and then he says, ‘and the fellowship of his suffering.’  And there’s part of that, we never know, unless we experience betrayal.  Anybody here ever been betrayed?  Just a few of us?  You just get to earth?  Betrayal is something that happens between humans.  Somewhere in that, you know, in regards to remaining bitter, or being hurt, there’s a place where you find fellowship with Jesus that is sweeter and deeper than the fellowship you would have found if everything is just going fine.  You know, you sit alone with him and say ‘Lord, you were betrayed.  I’m not going to take this personally, I know if I was perfect they’d crucify me.  Because you were perfect, and you were betrayed.  Even you, Lord, you never did anything wrong.  People that are betraying me are making these accusations.  Lord, you were perfect, you did nothing wrong.’  And you find that he draws close.  You find that he speaks to you.  You find that there is a fellowship with Jesus himself in those times of suffering.  And no doubt David is taken into the sum of those specific valley’s on purpose here, ‘mine own familiar friend, he’s lifted up his heal against me.’ 

 

In Light Of Betrayal, David’s Prayer

 

Verse 10 now gives us David’s prayer, in regards to this great, what he perceives an injustice and betrayal.  “But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.” (verse 10)  Look back in verse 8 which this refers to, “An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him:  and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.”  [To that] David says, “But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite” or repay, “them.” (verse 10)  “By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.” (verse11)  ‘This is how I know, LORD, that your favour is upon me, because mine enemy does not triumph over me, I’m still alive, I’m not dead.  I may not be happy in the circumstance I’m going through, but obviously you’re preserving me.’  “And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.” (verse 12)  ‘LORD, I’m always within your view, you never forget about me.’ 

 

Closing Doxology For The 1st Book Of Psalms

 

Verse 13 says, “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting.  Amen, and Amen.”  Verse 13 is not part of the Psalm.  Verse 13 is the proper conclusion of all of the first 41 Psalms, it is the doxology.  You have the very similar phrase in Psalm 72, verses 19 and 20, which is the end of the 2nd Book, you have “Amen, and Amen.”  And Psalm 89, verse 52 you have a similar statement thing, talking about the LORD’s glory, “Blessed be the LORD for evermore.  Amen, and Amen.”  Psalm 106, verse 48, Psalm 145, verse 21, and Psalm 150, verse 6.  Those are all doxologies of those sections of the Book and they’re very similar as you read through them.  So this ends the first section of the Psalms, primarily Davidic Psalms, the Psalms of David.

 

Psalm 42:1-11

 

To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah

 

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:  when shall I come and appear before God?  My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?  When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me:  for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.  Why art thou cast down, O my soul?  and why art thou disquieted in me?  hope thou in God:  for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.  O my God, my soul is cast down within me:  therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.  Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts:  all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.  Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.  I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me?  why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?  As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?  Why art thou cast down, O my soul?  and why art thou disquieted within me?  hope thou in God:  for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

 

Introduction

 

Psalm 42 begins the second book of the Book of Psalms, and 42 and 43 were either written one right after the other, because they’re speaking the same thing.  Some scholars feel 42 and 43 are one Psalm.  Either way, it seems they were sung together.  And as we go into this Second Book of Psalms we’re going to hear of others than David.  This first Psalm 42 here, you’re probably familiar with, it says “To the chief Musician,”  so we know it was sung publicly, it says “Maschil” which means it’s a Psalm of instruction, we’re to learn from it, it’s an instruction that’s given in this Psalm.  And it says “Maschil, for the sons of Korah.”  The Hebrew can as easily be “of the sons of Korah”, scholars go back and forth there.  You remember Korah, Dathan and Abiram in the Book of Numbers, betrayed Moses and Aaron, and God judged them.  Remember the earth opened up and swallowed them.  But God still blessed the lineage of Korah, and the Korahites are one of those who were in charge of the Tabernacle itself in the wilderness, they carried, they had wagons, they were part of the Levites that had a specific responsibility for the Tabernacle.  And in this Psalm it mentions the Temple, so again, scholars are not agreed exactly on the timing, but this seems to be a Psalm that’s after David’s life, that’s up for debate.  But the Temple itself is mentioned, which wasn’t built until after David had gone to be with the Lord.  And this then would be a Psalm of the sons of Korah, which [who] remained in the Levitical priesthood.  And it’s very much in the heart of this Levite, whose used to ministering in the precincts of the Temple, and now has been driven out, it could be through one of the dispersions, it could be through a different circumstance, and he’s longing to come back.  You’re familiar with this.  As we go in, you’re going to hear God, God, God, God instead of LORD.  In fact, in 42 and 43 we’ll hear that 20 times.  16 times it’s the word Elohim, 4 times it’s the word El, and we’re only going to hear Yahweh one time, Jehovah, which is the predominate name of God in the First Book of Psalms.  Second Book of Psalms it’s Elohim, 188 times he’s just called God, Elohim in this Second Book. 

 

Not Having The Reality Of The Presence Of Jesus Christ, The Risen Saviour, In My Life Is Futile

 

Familiar to us, it begins like this, and we sing this song, we sing it “As the deer panteth after the waters, so my soul panteth after thee.”  It says here “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” (verse 1)  “the hart” it’s feminine, the female deer, “as the deer panteth, brayeth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:  when shall I come and appear before God?  My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?” he’s being taunted, “When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me:  for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house [the Temple] of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.”  the Holy Days, the Festivals.  [Comment:  What are the Holy Days that ancient Israel were given by God, and what did they mean for the Early Church, the greater Body of Christ in the 1st Century AD?  see,  http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/Holydayshadows.htm  Did the early Christian Church keep them?  see, http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/earlychurch1.htm].  So, the idea here, ‘as the deer panteth after the water-brook, so my soul panteth after thee, O God.’  That is what we want written over our heads for the rest of our lives, Lord, give me a heart like the Psalmist, like David, like one of the sons of Korah, you know, that could say that, ‘LORD, as the deer panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God, I am thirsty for you LORD.’  Not for Calvary Chapel, not for crusades, not for work, I don’t need more work, I’ve been in the work for 40 years, I’m worked out.  I’m glad to be part of the work [of God].  But to be involved in all of that ministry, and not have the reality of the presence of Jesus Christ, the risen Saviour, in my life is futile.  “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”  The water brooks, not the ponds, not the pools, this is living water, it’s running water, as the deer panteth after that water that’s running, that’s bubbling, it’s pure, it satisfies.  That’s how my soul, he says, is panting after thee, O God.  Unlike the camel, which carries around its own drinking fountain, the deer, and the deer-saint doesn’t have its own resource, and is dependant on the LORD to satisfy that thirst.  You know, he will through Jeremiah rebuke the nation, and say ‘Whose ever heard of this, you have living waters, and you’ve gone and you’ve hewed out cisterns for yourself that can’t hold water, instead of coming to me, the fountain of living waters.  Whose ever heard of such a thing?’  You know, the still waters, the cisterns, you go there in Israel, they’re still there, many of them, you don’t want to drink out of them.  If you take water out of a cistern, and I have, and you look at it, especially if it’s like a white Styrofoam cup, there’s all kinds of activity in there [the wrong kind of living water], there’s all kinds of little things swimming and moving around.  When I was a kid, in Boy Scouts, went to Philmont, New Mexico, you had to take water purification tablets, because sometimes you were pretty good drinking out of a stream, but sometimes we were drinking out of a pond or a lake, it was the same thing.  You saw all that stuff, man, there’s a lot of activity in there.  And you put the water purification tablets in, and after awhile everything slows down, and finally everything dies and sinks to the bottom, and then you can drink it, you get water and protein at the same time.  But this is a much different circumstance, this is running, it’s living water, it’s cold, it’s bubbling, you know, ‘As the deer panteth after the water brooks,’ plural, ‘the living water, so panteth my soul after thee O God.’ 

 

‘Where’s Your God Now?’---I Long For The Presence Of God

 

“My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:  when shall I come and appear before God?” (verse1)  “When shall I came and appear before God” (verse 2) there’s a heart-cry in all of this.  “My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?” (verse 3)  It’s not good to feed on your tears, “while they” evidently his adversaries, ‘continually say to me, Ya, where’s thy God now, Bible thumper?’  You know, they always take the opportunity, don’t they?  You’re going through a terrible thing, you’re weeping, you’re broken down, ‘Oh ya, where’s your God now, where’s your God now?  Where’s your God when this happens, where’s your God when that happens?’  It always goes like that, doesn’t it?  He says, “When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me:” inside of myself, in me, the reason, “For I had gone” I know the experience, “with the multitude, I went with them to the temple of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday” ‘that kept the Festival.’  That’s his thirst.  He said ‘The reason I’m so thirsty is I know this experience, I have been satiated with this cold stream before that I’ve been able to drink of, I’ve gone to the house of God, I’ve been there and I’ve seen the incense rising, I’ve heard the instruments, I’ve watched the multitudes worship there in the Temple, the Holy of Holies, the presence of God, I’ve been able to sacrifice’ he’s going to go on and say, ‘and enjoyed the presence of the LORD,’ and he said, now for some reason he’s separated from all of that, and he said, ‘I’m thirsting for that, I need that again, I’m thirsting for that, I want to go back to church, I want to worship, I want to be in the multitude again, I want to be there, I miss that so bad.’  He said, ‘I know that experience.’ 

 

The Psalmist, Counseling Himself “Why Art Thou Cast Down?  Hope Thou In God”

 

So now he’s going to council himself, verse 5, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?  hope thou in God:  for I shall yet praise him, for the help of his countenance.”   He’s talking to his soul, I’m not sure who he is, it’s not just his body, there seems to be body-soul, and there’s somebody talking to the soul.  [Comment:  Biblically, when you do a careful study of what the soul is, it’s a combination of the human body and mind coupled to the “spirit in man” which gives human beings their intellect and human reasoning power.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm for a decent Biblical explanation of that.]  Did you ever talk to yourself, just kind of help yourself out?  You know, ‘What is wrong with you, you’re attitude stinks, why do you always do this?  I can’t believe this.’  You know, sometimes I’m great company with myself.  [laughter]  This is good self-talk, just kind of working it out.  “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” now look, if you look there in verse 5 you’ll see “why? why?”  If you look down in verse 9 you’re going to see “why? why?”  If you look in verse 11 you’re going to see “why? why?”  If you look in the next Psalm in verse 2 you’re going to see “why?  why?”  If you’re going to look in verse 5 you’re going to see “why? why?”  So, I don’t know, are you a why-er?  Some people are why-ers.  There’s a way that’s ok to be a why-er, and there’s a way that’s not ok to be a why-er.  Sometimes ‘Why?’ is a genuine thing that’s put before God, you’re working something out in your own heart, and sometimes it’s unbelief, ‘Why is he doing this?  Why did he let that happen?  Why is this happening?  Why’s that happening?’ sometimes it’s a live-wire and you just can’t shut it down, you know.  And people do that, and I listen and think ‘You know, I don’t think any of those things, I don’t ask any of those questions, I’m not trapped where you are.’  But David [or whoever wrote this Psalm] here, in a much different way I think “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?  and why art thou disquieted within me?  hope thou in God:  for I shall yet praise him, for the health of his countenance.” (verse 5)  ‘I know I’m going to thank him, it’s going to come, so soul, what’s wrong with you, why are you so depressed, why are you so bummed out?  God’s going to be faithful, I know I’m going to yet praise him for the health of his countenance.’  “O my God, my soul is cast down within me:  therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.” (verse 6)  “therefore will I remember thee fromthis is giving us location, “I will remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites,” he’s up north of Galilee, “from the hill Mizar.” he’s away from the Temple precincts, this Psalmist, whoever it might be.  And he says “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts:” literally “the waterfalls, very difficult to translate and understand, “all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.” (verse 7)  Certainly up there in the northern part of Israel, I’ve been there 18, 19 times, I’ve been there a number of times in the summer when it’s raining, and the water, the snow on Hermon is melting, water’s coming down, and there are these places where the water is just shooting off the cliff, you know, where normally there’s just a trickle stream.  And it’s thunderous, you can’t believe it’s that loud, and it seems to be David, or whoever the Psalmist is, is up there, his heart is broken.  And he says ‘LORD, when my soul gets like this, I remember you LORD, from here, up in the land of the Jordan, where the Hermonites are and Mizar,’ and he says, ‘the deep calleth unto deep, the noise of the thundering of the waterfalls,’ he says, ‘it stirs something in me, thinking of the deer, just thirsty, want to drink out of some running waters.  And when I’m up here and hear these waterfalls thundering, it does something inside of me, that much life, that much water moving,’ and then, “all thy waves and billows” which seems to speak of the ocean or a storm on the Sea of Galilee, not so much what would happen there unless you’re trying to cross or ford the river when the wadi begins to swell.  The idea is, “all thy waves and billows are gone over me”, ‘LORD, I’m drowning it seems in one thing, and not able to take a drink of the thing that I want to drink from.  I’m in a circumstance, LORD, here that’s so difficult, it’s my soul LORD, something internally, I’m overwhelmed.’  And then in verse 8 now, a wonderful thing happens, it's the only time he uses the word Jehovah [Yahweh], he says, Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”  Notice, “the LORD will command lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”  ‘Yet the LORD, yet Jehovah,’ when he remembers the covenant-keeping God hope springs to life again.  It’s been Elohim all through this Psalm, and then when he gets to the lowest point, and all the waves and billows, it feels like he’s drowning.  You get to that place where you’re going through something where it’s so hard, you feel like you’re drowning, you can’t get your head up above water, he gets to that point, and he turns from Elohim, this Psalmist, whoever he might be, to Jehovah [Yahweh], the covenant-keeping God.  Yet the LORD, Jehovah,” notice, he “he will command” because there’s a covenant, “his lovingkindness in the daytime,” and then “in the night his song shall be within me, and my prayer” it will rise “unto” notice, “the God of my life.”  “And I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” (verse 9)  ‘I’m going to say to him, instead of my own soul,’ “why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”  ‘You’re a covenant-keeping God, why do I feel that you’ve abandoned me?’  As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?” (verse 10) 

 

There Is No Human That Can Satisfy What Needs To Happen Inside Of Us---What Will Satisfy Me Is Your Presence, LORD

 

Again, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?  hope thou in God:  for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (verse 11)  “Hope thou in God” or the Hebrew is “Wait on God,” but the Hebrew is always waiting in the sense of hoping, the idea is there’s faith attached to it.  “Hope thou in God:  for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”  So, you’re here tonight, you’re going through a situation that’s terrible, you can come up with all kinds of suggested solutions.  But this Psalmist has been through enough where he says ‘There have been times when I have experienced his presence.  And I realize in these worst of times, God’s allowing all these waves and billows to go over me, while I constantly hear the voice of my adversary saying ‘Where’s your God, oh ya, where’s your God now?’ he says ‘The thing that I realize in the middle of all this, is what will satisfy me is not necessarily just circumstances changing, what will satisfy me is your presence,’ he said, ‘as the deer panteth after the water-brook,’ an animal that’s thirsty in a thirsty place, David talks about a thirsty land where no water is, ‘As the deer’ he says, ‘so panteth my soul after thee O LORD, there’s something in my soul that is so thirsty for your presence, all the religious stuff’s great, but the reality of who you are, you need to be in my life now, I am broken down.  My soul thirsteth for God, the Living God.  When shall I come and appear before you again?’ and he related that again to going to the Temple, the experience he had there of the LORD’s presence.  So, a great song, Maschil, a song of instruction, the instruction is, there are those times in all of our lives when we are so broken down that there is no human that can satisfy what needs to happen inside of us, that there is no human that can satisfy what needs to happen inside of us.  There is no circumstance that can do it.  He’s saying ‘I need to get back to the Temple,’ then he’s saying, ‘No, LORD, it’s your presence, I realize, it isn’t that, LORD, it’s you, in the middle of that, that’s so satisfied me before, and LORD it’s you that I need again.’  Hey, it’s him that the Church [greater Body of Christ] needs again.  If we don’t see a revival in this country, we are dead in the water [we’re past dead, we’re sinking like the Titanic, and don’t know it yet].  And there is something about the LORD’s presence, not just in the light of an individual, but when the church is gathered, when his presence is real, and it’s overwhelming, when it staggers us and brings us to our knees, that it revives and answers something, it brings life.  And certainly we need that individually, and certainly we need that corporately, a great Psalm here for those who are going through difficulty. 

 

Psalm 43:1-5

 

“Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation:  O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.  For thou art the God of my strength:  why dost thou cast me off?  why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?  O send out thy light and thy truth:  let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.  Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy:  yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.  Why art thou cast down, O my soul?  and why art thou disquieted within me?  hope in God:  for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

 

Introduction

 

Now the question is, was Psalm 43, was that originally part of the last Psalm [Psalm 42], because it quotes similarly, or was it written immediately afterwards?  It doesn’t matter.  So it’s given to us here, so that we can look at it that way.  It says, “Judge me, O God,” verses 1 to 4 he’s talking to God, verse 5 he talks to himself again.  “Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation:”  Now, the judging he’s asking for is justice here.  He’s not asking God to destroy his life or to ruin, and again it seems, a Levite, one who serves in the course of the LORD.  “Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation:  O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.” (verse 1) there were times, you know, in regards to the era of the kings, when there were those who had to flee, because there were ungodly people in charge.  He says “Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation:  O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.” you know, Paul says in 1st Corinthians, when he’s talking about church discipline in regards to a man who was in sexual sin with his step-mother, and the church wasn’t doing anything about it, he says ‘I wrote unto you an epistle not to keep company or fellowship with fornicators, yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world,’ he says ‘I’m not talking about unbelievers, or with covetous or extortioners or idolaters, for then you must needs go out of the world,’ he says you’d have to leave the planet.  And here, the Psalmist is saying ‘O deliver me from deceitful and unjust men,’ we have to leave earth for that to happen.  So they’re here, there are unjust and deceitful and ungodly men around us.  I’m not sure always what to do with the parable of the tares and the wheat, but look, we live in a world where that happens to be a fact.  But look, consider ourselves, before 1972, that’s where I was.  I was a dog, I’m a sheep now.  I’m not a sheepdog, I’m a sheep now.  But I was what I don’t want to be and what you don’t want me to be, and I don’t want my kids to be what I was, and here I am saved.  I was deceitful and unjust.  And the reason that the Lord hasn’t come yet, the only way to get away from this crew [of deceitful and unjust people] is to leave earth, and that’s when the Trumpet blows (cf. 1st Corinthians  15:49-54), but there’s so many of them that God loves, and he’s still going to save, that that’s why we’re here [and not up there].  In fact, Jesus said emphatically, ‘You alone are the light of the world, you alone are the salt of the earth.’  The only reason the earth hasn’t been destroyed in a full-scale nuclear war is because we’re here, we’re the preservative.  As Abraham said, God’s not going to judge the just along with the unjust.  So as long as we’re here there’s hope.  The Harvest Crusade is coming, and perhaps a revival to America before, one more great ingathering, before God moves.  So you know, as we’re optimists, that’s how we should pray.  But here, the Psalmist says, ‘O God, exercise justice in regards to my life, plead my cause in regards to an ungodly nation, O deliver me from deceitful and unjust men, from mankind like that.’  He says, “For thou art the God of my strength:” literally, ‘You are my refuge,’ “why dost thou cast me off?  why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” (verse 2)  And he’s saying ‘LORD, you’re my refuge, the world is filled with unjust men, it’s an ungodly nation, and LORD, you are my refuge, if that’s true, then why does it seem like you’re abandoning me, casting me off, why do I go on mourning with the oppression of the enemy all day long, if you are my refuge, my strength?’ 

 

‘O LORD, Send Forth Thy Light In A Dark Place’---“Anything That Doth Make Manifest Is Light”

 

“O send out thy light and thy truth:  let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill,” Zion, geographically, where the Tabernacle, Temple was, “and to thy tabernacle.  Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy:  yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.” (verse 3-4)  So, ‘O LORD, send forth thy light in a dark place,’ struggling, you know.  Wonderfully I love the verse in Ephesians chapter 5 where it says “Anything that doth make manifest is light.” Listen, are you convicted tonight about some compromise in your life?  Are you convicted about the way you’ve treated your spouse, your husband or your wife?  Are you convicted tonight about things you know that need to change in your life?  Well Paul said “Anything that doth make manifest is light.”  Unbelievers can even see that.  The only reason you can be convicted about the way you treat your spouse, the only way you could be convicted about something that needs to change in your life, the only reason you can see any level of compromise in your life is because the One who loves you has sent forth his light, the Word, the light of his Spirit, and he’s brought that into the open so that you can deal with it.  Not that he’s casting you off, not because he wants to get rid of you, it’s because he wants to change you, he’s conforming you into the image of his Son, and “anything that doth make manifest is light.”  And the wonderful thing is that God always calls us to repentance, it’s an invitation, he puts it out there, it is a lifestyle, it is something we do when we come into the Kingdom [in the spiritual sense of being called and receiving of God’s Holy Spirit indwelling us] and we’re saved, and it says ‘If we confess our sins,’ John says, ‘the blood of Christ continually cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we don’t have sin, we’re a liar.’  But if we confess our sins…that he is faithful, and wonderfully is just to forgive us, to cathorize us, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, to take out of our system what we can’t take out ourselves.  David here, or the Levite, or whoever it is, I’m stuck with David, you can tell, not knowing all of that, says, “O send out thy light and thy truth:  let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.” (verse 3)  Isn’t that wonderful, a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path.  “to thy tabernacles” plural, “LORD to your presence, to the place of your presence, “Then will I go to the alter of God, unto God my exceeding joy:  yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.” (verse 4)  He understands sacrifice and so forth.  It’s God himself who is his exceeding joy.  Some people ask ‘Will there be animals in heaven?’  Well we know there’s going to be cats, because there’s harps [laughter].  Just a thought.  So, he’s pouring out his heart to God. 

 

‘Hope Thou In God, He Will Yet Be The Health Of Your Countenance---Just Hope, Wait, And Receive’

 

In verse 5 again, this Levite, it seems to himself, again, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?  and why art thou disquieted within me?  hope in God:  for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (verse 5)  Why about these wonderful things?  Now he’s asking rightly, there’s no reason [to be disquieted], “hope in God” always make that part of the equation.  My Pastor always said “Never trade away what you do know for what you don’t know.”  You’re going through a difficult situation, and it doesn’t seem like God’s there, like he’s not caring.  You should never trade away what you do know for what you don’t know.  Whenever you don’t know what God’s doing, fall back on what you do know.  You know he sent his Son to die for us on the cross.  We know that he’s not going to deny us anything else, but give us all things freely, Paul tells us.  So whenever we don’t know, we fall back on what we do know.  Here is seems so clearly, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?  and why art thou disquieted within me?  hope thou in God:” again it’s “wait” in the Hebrew, but the idea is, “wait and receive” it’s a hopeful waiting.  “hope thou in God:  for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and  my God.”  Now the question is clear “why are you cast down?”  Why art thou cast down?  Anybody need to ask themselves that question this evening?  Anybody cast down this evening?  Thank you for being honest, I see that hand.  Anybody else?  Ya, some of us, right?  Some of us, brokenhearted, struggling, asking ourselves “Why are you cast down?”  ‘hope thou in God, he will yet be the health of your countenance,’ you know, try it instead of trying to squeeze another Psalm in, in ten minutes. 

 

In Closing

 

Let’s take this time, let’s sing several songs, and we’ll have the musicians come.  But this is a great time to deal with that.  Look, let’s in fact, let’s do this, if you want, if you’re cast down this evening, and you’re struggling, why don’t you stand, why don’t you let us pray for you.  I think we had more hands go up than standers.  Guys, why don’t do this, if you see somebody standing, and the Holy Spirit puts it on your heart, just go and stand next to them, don’t ask what the deal is, go pray for them.  Go put your hands on them right now, tell them you’re going to remember their face for the rest of this week, and you’re going to be praying for them.  I’ll pray, then Carlos will lead us, let’s worship.  ‘Father, this is your Word, Lord, these are the songs that were given to the chief Musician, that were to be sung when your people were gathered together, and there was instruction in them.  And Lord, how wonderful, and I think about how it must please you to have sons and daughters that say that they’re thirsting after your presence, like the deer panteth after the water-brooks, and there’s huge questions, ‘Why Lord, why are you allowing this to happen?  Why do I feel that you’ve forsaken me, why is my soul cast down?  Why these waves and billows gone over my head, O Lord?’  And yet, Lord, in the proper light, it seems that we can say to ourselves, ‘Why are you doing this?  Trust God, hope in him.  He shall yet be the health of thy countenance.’  Lord, we pray all of us, for all of those who have stood, Lord, whose hearts this evening are overwhelmed.  Lord they walk in here this evening, and Lord, these songs written 27 hundred years ago for that, and this evening, Lord, their broken hearts, and these songs, your Word, have crossed paths.  And Lord we don’t believe that happens by coincidence, Lord.  We believe in our journey through the Bible, Lord, that takes years, that we’ve come this evening to these truths, Lord, to this instruction.  And that these folks who have walked in, your sons and daughters, with broken hearts that are cast down, they’re struggling, they’ve walked in Lord, and there has been, as it were, a head-on collision with the love and the truth and the mercy of your Word, Lord, we pray that you’d minister to them, Lord, just your presence would be real, Lord.  It wouldn’t just be church or wouldn’t be, Lord, something in a routine, or something that is just habit, or some spiritual rut, Lord.  Let your power be manifest, Lord Jesus, we are all dependant on you Lord.  These are your sons and daughters, blood-bought, Lord.  We have no resource, we have nothing in and of ourselves, Lord, to give, but to care for one another to pray for one another.  But you alone, Lord, are the source of living water, of renewal, of refreshing, of health and of strength, you alone, our refuge.  Lord we put all of this before you, and ask that you would be the one who would glorify the name of Jesus, as we lift our voices in song now, that you would inhabit our praises, that you would move in our midst.  Lord we trust you to do that, Lord.  Let his song, now Lord, let this be a sweet savour before your throne, move among us, Lord, and touch and heal and strengthen, hear the prayers that are being offered, Lord…’  [transcript of a connective expository sermon on Psalms 41, 42 and 43, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

 

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