To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah
“LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.”
Introduction: A Psalm For National Revival
“This Psalm, written no doubt, relative to the return of the children of Israel [Judah, the House of Judah] from their captivity in Babylon. You would want to read Haggai as a background to this [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophets/Haggai.html], maybe the first few chapters in Zechariah [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophets/Zechariah/Zechariah1.htm]. And it really gives us a picture of a nation, of a people, to Israel [Judah] they were never just a geographical nation, they were a people gathered around their God, as you and I are also. So this is a plea of a corporate people, the nation of Israel [Judah], coming back from Babylon. And remember this, they’re coming back, and they’re saying ‘LORD, revive us again, give us life again, LORD, we turned away. Work in our midst again.’ But remember, the majority of them remained in Persia. They were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar, before that [the ten northern tribes of Israel had been taken away by] the Assyrians. Now all of that area united under Persia. And when the opportunity to return comes, many were just comfortable in Babylon, they were comfortable in enemy territory. They had businesses, they had homes. And it’s a minority that returns to the LORD. And this is a plea, ‘LORD, revive us again.’ And I think, you know, when I look at the Church [greater Body of Christ] today, I think in very much the same way, you know, the Church has been [become] comfortable in Babylon, with it’s standards, with its morals, with its entertainment, with its media. And I think it’s still, you know, a minority that comes and says ‘Lord,’ but you know, he always has a remnant, through every age. And I think it’s not the majority, but the minority again saying ‘Lord, revive us, Lord, give us life again, Lord, as the Church of Jesus Christ, bring us back to your fulness, to your love, to your power, to your grace, to be a living organism in this nation, in this city, in this world, that again would speak life in a time of great darkness.’ So we’ll look at this Psalm as we move into this. You’ll notice in the first few verses there, it says “thou hast, thou hast, thou hast, thou hast, thou hast, thou hast,” six times in the first three verses. The Psalmist saying “LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity” the twistedness “of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.” (verses 1-2) ‘What do you think about that? He has forgiven our iniquity, he has covered all of our sin,’ that’s something to think about, isn’t it? “Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.” (verse 3) So the Psalmist rehearsing what the LORD has done, ‘This is what you’ve done, and because of what you’ve done we know who you are. And because of what thou hast done,’
Because Of What You’ve Done For Us, We Ask This Of You---A Prayer For Revival
In verse 4 now he’s going to make a request. The request now are in light of ‘LORD, you’ve done this, you’ve done this, you’ve done this,’ so now, ‘LORD, could it be out of character for you to allow me to ask this, when I consider all that you have done?’ And he says “Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.” (verse 4) now your translation may say “Return to us”, your translation may say “restore us” those ideas are involved in this Hebrew phrase, “Return to us, O God of our salvation,” or “Restore us, O God of our salvation” “Turn us” the idea is ‘You’ve done these things, now do this, turn our hearts, bring us back together with you LORD,’ “Turn us, O God of our salvation,” and notice, “and cause thine anger toward us to cease.” (verse 4) You know, because when they came back from captivity, they encountered vastly different things than they thought they were going to. They came back, you know, under Ezra and Nehemiah, there was hostility, there was difficulty, you know, Sanbalat and Tobiah, these different things [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/ezra/ezra6.html]. And then in Haggai, saying ‘Those of you that have seen the former House,’ you know, it was a 70-year captivity and maybe there were some that were aged, as a small child had seen Solomon’s Temple. And he’s saying ‘Don’t despise what’s happening now.’ So as they return, you know, returning from being away from the LORD, whether that’s an individual life, you’ve been backslidden, you know, God has dealt with you. You’ve said ‘Lord, I want idols, Lord, I want idols, Lord, I want idols, and he says ‘Fine, I’ll take you to the capital of idols and leave you there for 70 years.’ And that’s what he did to the children of Israel [Judah, the Jews, House of Judah under Zedekiah, their last king], ‘You want idols, you got ‘em.’ And then when it’s time to come back, he’s gracious, and the Psalmist realizes ‘LORD, you have to cause these things to happen, you have to bring us back, your sovereignty dealt with us, and you sovereignly carried us away, now your sovereignty and your mercy is in need now to make things right.’ And he’s saying now, “Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause your anger toward us to cease. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?” (verses 4-5) ‘No, LORD, this can’t be,’ and now, wonderfully he says, “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (verse 6) Boy, that should be the prayer of the Church [greater Body of Christ], that’s why we meet on Sunday evenings. I encourage you guys to get out to Sunday evening prayer. It’s our question, it’s our plea, “Wilt thou not revive us again:” the reason, “that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (verse 6) that certainly revival is in this context, “Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.” (verse 7) When the presence of the LORD is manifest, certainly one of the most remarkable things about a visitation from the Lord is there is a keen awareness ‘Woe is me, I’m a man of unclean lips.’ Daniel said ‘All my comeliness turned to ashes.’ John the apostle fell down on his face before the Lord like a sinner. When God really manifests his presence, it isn’t holy laughter, it isn’t jumping around cheerleading, it isn’t acting [he’s talking about all the Pentecostal craziness within the Pentecostal churches], you know, like a ballerina. What it is, is falling to the knees, it’s a broken heart, it’s tears, it’s repentance, but it’s in the context of an overwhelming sense of his love and his grace, almost crushing. You know, and here the Psalmist says “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” ‘Not in the circumstances, LORD, not in a big Temple again, in you LORD. Whatever it is you’ve given us on the horizontal, if you inhabit it LORD, maybe this Temple isn’t as grand as the one before this, maybe the experience we’re having now, LORD, on the horizontal as far as finances or relationships or whatever, maybe it isn’t as grand as what I knew before, but if your presence fills it, LORD what we’ll rejoice in is not the circumstance, but you. I can be here now, LORD, if you’ll be here with me. I can do this, LORD, if you’ll pour out your presence.’ “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.” (verses 6-7)
‘I Will Hear What God The LORD Will Speak’---Do You Want Revival? Then Do This
And look what he says, “I will hear what God the LORD will speak:” I know he’s going to speak, “for he will speak peace unto his people, and unto his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.” (verse 8) that’s why they were carried away, “let them not turn again to folly.” Look what he says here, “I will hear what God the LORD will speak” and the Hebrew is in the context of “I will bow down, I will hear in obedience” is the idea, ‘I will hear to yield unto God’ and what it says is “I will hear what God the LORD,Jehovah, will speak:” Do we want revival? In our individual lives I certainly do. And do we want revival corporately as Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, do we want to see revival in our nation? Are we willing to say, ‘Lord, I will hear what you’ll say unto me, I’ll hear it. You tell me, Lord, to rise up early, instead of laying in bed every morning, and get before you, on my knees, with the Word open, I’ll do it. If you tell me, Lord, to get out of this relationship, I know it shouldn’t be happening, I’ll do it. Lord if you tell me to put down this substance, Lord if you tell me to turn that off on my computer and not look at it anymore, Lord if you tell me to love this person that I’ve been wanting to strangle, if you tell me to forgive and put away my bitterness, if you tell me to use my mouth to speak grace seasoned with salt, instead of sowing discord, Lord, I will hear, I want revival Lord. You’ve done this, thou hast, thou hast, thou hast this is who you are, this is what you’ve done, this is what we know of you, we’ve watched you in Creation, we watched you in the Flood, we’ve watched you with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we’ve watched you with Moses and the children of Israel and the great deliverances, we’ve watched you in the Book of Judges, we’ve watched you with Ruth and David, we’ve watched you Lord, we know who you are, you’ve come to the cross, and you hung there, you took on human skin, and you died for us. And you will speak peace to us, there isn’t anything you’ll say to us Lord that would be harmful.’ You know, if he says ‘You’re my son or my daughter, I want you to get out of this relationship,’ can that possibly be harmful if it’s a wrong relationship? He says ‘Don’t look at pornography.’ Could that possibly be harmful, if he asks us to do that? If he tells us to forgive someone, as he’s taught us he forgives us as we forgive others who trespass against us, could that possibly be harmful? If he tells us to get up early and to seek him and to find him, could that be bad for us? If he tells us to put away a substance, whatever it might be, if it’s alcohol or indulging in something that we shouldn’t (I’m not talking about medicine from the doctor, I’m talking about crossing a line), could that ever be harmful to us? Do we want revival? Do we want to be free from Babylon, from this world? Is our origin and our destiny really from somewhere else? Are we willing to say to the One who stands in Eternity, ‘LORD, speak, and I’ll listen LORD, I will hear if you will speak’ ? It’s not a game, it’s a tall order, for our loving Saviour, to stoop down to us. And whatever else we think he might say, he’ll say the greatest commandment is this, ‘That you love me, with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, more than all these other things, and that you love your neighbour as yourself.’ “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and unto his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.” (verses 6-8) ‘LORD, revive me, bring me back, win my heart afresh. LORD, we love you because you first loved us, reveal then your mercy and your salvation LORD, blow my mind anew, let me come back to my first love again, LORD, do this, and LORD, I understand, to enter again with you, I’m not going to return again to folly, I’m not going to do that, it makes no sense, I’m tired of it, it’s left me empty and broken and hollow.’ “let them not return again to folly.”
‘Surely His Salvation Is Near To Us,’ but ‘You Can’t Have Mercy Without Truth’
“Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.” (verse 9) That’s not what’s dwelling in America right now, if you haven’t noticed lately. “Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.” (verse 9) You know, it tells us in Romans, it tells us in Deuteronomy, we don’t have to send into heaven, we don’t have to descend into hell [the ground], salvation, his Word is there, his salvation is there, it is nigh thee. You know, he’s here with us this evening, we don’t have to jump through hoops, we don’t have to learn to sky-dive, we don’t have to learn how to go off a ski-jump, no, no, he’s here, he’s in our midst, he’s near us. He will revive us, when we’re willing to say ‘Lord, you speak, I’ll obey, tell me, give me my marching orders, speak to me.’ “Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.” (verse 9) Verse 10, wonderfully, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” I like those ideas. “Mercy and truth are met together.” Problem is, there is no mercy without truth. People want mercy, but do you really? If you want mercy, then you have to know truth. You have to know that you’re a sinner, you have to know you’re saved by grace, you have to know you don’t deserve it, you have to know it comes of his love, and his payment on the cross. You have to know that he can’t bless sin, that the might of a nation depends upon its righteousness. There can’t be mercy without truth. He says here, wonderfully, in revival, when God revives his people again, mercy and truth have met together. That’s a wonderful thing. And then he says, “righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (verse 10b) Not in our country, righteousness and peace are ain’t even talking in our culture, let alone kissing. There isn’t going to be any peace without righteousness. There is no peace without righteousness. No nation, no city, no people are at peace when there’s drug-addiction, when there’s prostitution, when there’s child pornography, when there’s sex-trafficking, when there’s abuse and alcoholism, and theft and rape and murder, fatherless children. He says here “righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” I like that idea, I’d like to see it, wouldn’t you? There’s no peace without righteousness, and in America they’re not even talking, let alone kissing. But we need to pray.
Revival, LORD, Is Not Going To Happen Without A Sovereign Move On Your Part
Now look, in verses 11 to 13, it’s all “shall.” He says, ‘LORD, this is what you have done in the beginning of the Psalm, and because of what you have done, LORD, would you do this now? This is what we’re longing for, and there is never going to be revival without a sovereign move, you have to make it happen, you have to cause it to happen, LORD, you’re the one who has to do this, wilt thou not revive us again? Bring us back, LORD, to mercy and to salvation, LORD, let truth and mercy join again in our culture, let righteousness and peace come together again, LORD, you have to do that.’ But his confidence again is expressed, in his expectation he says, “Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.” (verse 11) we’re gonna see it in our day. “Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.” (verses 12-13) ‘LORD, you’re going to teach us how to walk, you’re going to put us back on the right path, LORD.’ And the Psalmist’s expectation is full here, “you shall, you shall, you shall, you shall,” again, five times, ‘LORD, you shall,’ six times. He did the 6th “thou hast,” now he does six “thou shall LORD,” you’re going to do this. So, great Psalm, ah, verse 6 there, great bumper-sticker “Wilt thou not revive us again?” That should be plastered over cars everywhere in the city, “Wilt thou not revive us again?” Ah, writing to the nation, corporately, to a people [and to the Church, Body of Christ].
A Prayer of David
“Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my GOD, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.”
“As we come to Psalm 86, the gears shift. This Psalm is incredibly personal, incredibly personal. And it shows us this, look, as we come into this Psalm you’re going to hear the word Jehovah, Yahweh, four times. You hear Elohim, God, five times. You hear Adonai seven times. And then you hear God refer to himself, God referred to Thy, Thine, Thee, 31 times. So there’s 47 references to God in these 17 verses. 35 times it’s “I” “me” “my” “thy servant”, 35 times. So 47 references to God, 35 references to the individual “I” “me” “my”, you know, as we look at this Psalm, and it’s incredibly, intensively personal. And it shows us, yes, we pray for our nation, we pray for our church, we pray, God cares, the reason that Psalm is in there, Psalm 85, because he cares about his people corporately, he cares about a nation, he cares about a congregation, he cares about a people. But this Psalm tells us he cares about the individual, incredibly, and it’s intensive individually, all the way through the Psalm. There are quotes from 22 to 30 other Psalms and Scriptures in here. So this is one of the prayer-Psalms, and here’s the interesting thing. David here, is praying according to the Word of God, he’s praying according to the will of God. He knows the Word of God well enough that when he is pleading personally with the LORD, almost 30 times in here he quotes from the Word of God itself in his prayer. And I think, what a wonderful way to pray. Jesus said, ‘You’ll know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.’ And as we know the Word of God, we’re more sure than ever who he is and that we can come to him, that he cares about us as an individual. So this Psalm as it comes before us, this is an intensely personal Psalm. And it begins like this, “Bow down thine ear, O LORD, Jehovah, hear me:” now look, you’re going to see “for”, the next verse “for”, verse 3, “for”, verse 4, “for”, he gives all the reasons he’s asking God to do these things. “Bow down thine ear, O Jehovah, hear me:” isn’t that an interesting request? That’s a long way for somebody to bow down their ear. If Jehovah is going to bow down his ear to hear me, he’s gotta bow way down from way on high. That’s a long way to bow down. You know, it is interesting, it tells us in Malachi that when we meet together like this, that the LORD hears, and he listens, it’s a word that’s used of the ear standing up like a horse’s ear will stand up when he hears something. And it says ‘then he bows down, and he listens in, and he says he writes the names of those who meet together to seek him.’ (Malachi 3:16-17) So on a Wednesday night, here we are, as we gather and begin to lead worship, it says the LORD’s ears stood up, ‘Oh, there they are, I love that sound on Wednesday nights,’ and it says ‘he stooped down, a big ear came over the entire congregation, the entire building, and it says then he began to write, Wednesday night, February, 2014, my blood-bought sons, and my blood-bought daughters, gathered around me, to praise me and to worship me, and to look into my Word, and to seek my face.’ David knows much of that. “Bow down thine ear, O Jehovah, hear me:” there’s expectation here. Here’s what he’s asking him to hear, “for I am poor and needy.” (verse 1) I can come up with that reason, every day. If that’ll make him bow down, I’m there, I got his full attention, because I am poor and needy, certainly. “Preserve my soul; for I am holy:” “holy” the sense of it in the Hebrew is, ‘godly’ the ideas is ‘one with whom thou hast favour.’ And certainly that’s us, we’re blood-bought. “Preserve my soul; for I am one that is in your favour. O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.” (verse 2) Look, what we learn here is that the LORD has servants that are poor and needy. I can fit that role, that’s me. “Be merciful to me, O LORD: for I cry unto thee daily.” (verse 3) or ‘all the day long, LORD, my heart is always before you, and I’m always asking, LORD.’ “Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.” (verse 4) ‘Lord, make me rejoice,’ the reason is, ‘unto thee O Lord, do I lift up my soul, my very life to you, I’m not lifting it up to any thing else, O Lord, rejoice the soul, the life of your servant, for it’s unto thee O Lord that I lift up my soul.’ “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” (verse 5) Isn’t it interesting for David, all that he had been through? ‘You are good, LORD, you are ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.’ That’s good to know, isn’t it? “Give ear, O LORD, Jehovah, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.” (verse 6) Plural, he seeks the LORD much. “In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.” (verse 7) The reason I’ll do that, “for thou wilt answer me.” Now look, David had learned that, hadn’t he. You know, it isn’t like you come to the LORD, and you immediately got all this stuff nailed down, you know, “Trust 101, Trust 102, Faith 101, Faith 102”, you know, you come to the Lord, you’re excited, you begin to walk with him, you can’t believe that he saved you. I remember when I first got saved, my mind was blown. Harris and I, who comes here, we got saved out of drugs, we got saved out of the world, and he saves you, and then you have this great sense, ‘Wow, he’s got something for us to do, what a wise choice, maybe we’re the two prophets that are going to sit outside of Jerusalem,’ and you think like that for a couple days, till you realize, you’re still getting mad at somebody, a word you shouldn’t say can still come out of your mouth, if not, it’s only because you hold it down, get’s this far, you’re still struggling with lust, you’re still struggling with selfishness, and then you’re like ‘Oh man, maybe I didn’t get saved, maybe that really didn’t happen.’ And you learn through this process. David has come to the point where he has failed with Bathsheba, he’s failed in many ways, and he comes before the LORD and said ‘Sacrifice and offering God has not desired,’ there’s no sacrifice for adultery, it’s a death sentence, there’s no sacrifice for murder in God’s law, you were put to death. ‘Sacrifice and offerings thou hast not desired, but a broken and contrite spirit thou wilt not despise.’ He says, ‘LORD, create in me a clean heart, bara, create from nothing.’ He doesn’t say ‘Lord, take me into therapy, get me into counseling, help me reorganize my thoughts, help me reprioritize,’ he says, ‘Create in me from nothing, a clean heart.’ Listen, anybody here this evening, this is intensely personal, David knew his God that way. Remember, God would say to Solomon, ‘Solomon, your heart was not perfect towards me like the heart of your father David.’ Solomon could say, ‘Wait, wait a minute, my father committed adultery, he committed murder, you’re telling me that?’ Yea, but David never changed Gods. Solomon set up all of these temples to all of the gods of his wives, whereas David sinned before his God, he repented before his God, he never changed gods. And he learned, in his weakness, he says right here “I am poor and needy.” (verse 1b) He learned as time went on, that God was merciful, he learned that he didn’t despise a contrite and a broken spirit. And he learned this, and some of us this evening need to learn it, when we make a major mistake. No doubt, when there are this many people gathered together, people sitting here that are condemned, you’ve done things that you know you shouldn’t have done, the wrong, thinking ‘I didn’t just sin, I sinned against Light, I knew better.’ You go to the Lord, and you do what David did, you say ‘Lord, create in me a clean heart, from nothing, create something from nothing, like you created the worlds.’ It says in the beginning God created, bara, from nothing, the heavens and the earth. David said ‘LORD, create in me, bara, a clean heart, I’ve blown it, I’ve messed up, I’ve done so much wrong, LORD.’ Intensely personal. And anyone here this evening struggling with condemnation, instead of listening to the devil, listen to God’s Word, you know, a great time to just say ‘Lord, create in me, do this to me.’ He says, “For thou, LORD, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” (verse 5) This is what we learn in our pilgrimage, “Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplication. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.” (verses 6-7) The reason, and I’ve learned this, David says, by experience, “for thou wilt answer me.” “Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O LORD; neither are there any works like unto thy works.” (verse 8) You know, people worship all kinds of things. We think today that were are not involved in worship like in the past, well they worshipped Ashtorah there, they worshipped the goddess of sexual pleasure and so forth, and we think ‘We don’t do that today.’ Well we just do that in another way. They worshipped Moloch (or Baal) then, they took their newborn children and put them in the fire and burned them [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html], ‘We don’t do that,’ yeah, we have 54 million abortions [estimated to be 84 million now, since Roe v. Wade]. They worshipped Baccus, which was the god of wine, ‘We don’t do that,’ Oh yeah, well alcohol is the most destructive force in the United States of America [and I might add, the Russian Federation]. They worshipped Baal, the god of nature [and also the same as Moloch, one and the same god], ‘We don’t do that,’ of course we do, we want to save the spotted owl and the rain forest, and we’re aborting a million babies a year, we got something bugled up. [Baal and Moloch were one and the same god, worshipped in the same way, by sacrificing newborn babies and young children.] ‘Mother earth, mother earth, we have to do this, mother earth will…’ well Mother Earth just brought Hurricane Sandy, brought a bunch of blizzards, killed 20 million people, well you got one mean mother if that’s your mother. Father the God is way better than mother earth. He says “Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O LORD; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O LORD; and shall glorify thy name.” (verses 8-9) He knows that day is coming, O LORD [cf. Zechariah 15:16-19]. “For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.” (verse 10) no one else.
‘I want you to teach me your ways, if you do that, I will walk in them, unite my heart, LORD, coalesce my affections toward you’---A United Love Is A Complete Love, A Divided Love Is No Love At All
The central issue of the Psalm here in verse 11, he says this, “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. And I will praise thee, O LORD my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.” (verses 11-12) “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth:” that’s another one of those ‘Are we really willing to say that? Teach me thy way, I’ll walk in it. I just don’t want to do theological exams in a seminary, I just don’t want to do theoretical philosophy about God, I want you to teach me your ways, and if you’ll do that, I will walk in them. I want you to teach me your ways, and if you’ll do that, I will walk in them, it will be a way of life to me.’ That’s a remarkable, remarkable promise to make to God. ‘Teach me,’ and he does that, ‘thy way, O LORD, and I will walk in thy truth,’ Are we ready to hear, are we ready to obey? I’m challenging myself, not you, I don’t have to preach to the choir, I have to preach to this heart right here, that is so stubborn. “unite my heart to fear thy name.” (verse 11b) The idea there, and I’m not sure what you’re translation says, but this Hebrew word here for “unite” in this context, it’s speaks of ‘concentrating one’s affections, not having a divided heart,’ but a heart that pulls together, and the sense of it here is, ‘LORD, concentrate my affection towards you, and LORD, if you’ll do that, I will praise thee, LORD, I will glorify you LORD, do that, let my heart become one,’ ok. Unity, you know, verses duplicity, hypocrisy, he speaks of one, unit, one. Duplicity, Christians can be duplicitous, that’s when you’re doing something you know you shouldn’t do, or you fall into something you know is inconsistent with integer, oneness with God, and that’s duplicity. And all of us have duplicity in our lives from time to time. But hypocrisy is when we’re putting on the mask of a Christian while we’re living another lifestyle, that’s something that’s completely different. And here the Psalmist is saying ‘Unite my heart, take my affections and let them coalesce, bring them together.’ Because the heart is what drives you, trust me. It says in the Book of Proverbs, ‘Guard your heart will all diligence, because from it flow the issues of life.’ Not from your intellect, from your heart. Your heart will always make a convert of your mind. Desire is a much deeper and more powerful force than thought. That’s why the smartest people do the stupidest things. He says here ‘unite my heart, LORD, coalesce my affections, and I’ll walk with you, and obey.’ Listen, you want that in a relationship with someone. You know, a divided love is no love at all. Again, I don’t want Kathy telling me, ‘Look, six days and 23 hours a week, I’m yours. This one old flame, so maybe just one hour on Saturday nights I might go out and see him. Besides that, you got me. 99.99 percent of the time, I’m yours.’ I don’t want that. Do you want that? [I’ll take what I can get at this point in time J] She’s out or I’m out. I don’t want that. When you’re in love with someone, you want 100 percent. You want your heart coalesced, you want to love that one individual. Because, you know a united love is a complete love, a divided love is no love at all, it’s unacceptable. And here, you know, and again this is weakness, I hope you’re not hitting your husband or wife with your elbow, no, this is intensely personal, this is for you to settle with Jesus Christ by yourself, that’s where I wrestle this out. This is between me and the Lord. ‘Because, believe me, there are places in my life where I’m saying ‘Lord, ok Lord, help me Lord,’ I take liberties sometimes, and they’re not terrible things, but they’re not expedient, they’re not as healthy as every decision I could make to walk with you and to seek you. There are things bothering me in my life that are still not Christlike, and I know your goal is to conform me into the image of your Son, so help me Lord.’ And listen, as we look at this, there should be no one in this room condemned, because his love overwhelms all of our weakness, his mercy extends to every failure in our lives, his grace is what makes the greatest saint acceptable, because the best of men are men as best. So this is not to disqualify anyone, but what a wonderful thing for us to say, ‘In our struggle, in our growth, in our journey, Lord, cause all of my affections to coalesce, Lord, unite my heart to fear thy name.’ [Comment: Draw a scale in your mind, and at the left-hand end write “The Lord, God, 100 percent united with God and the things of God, the ways of God.” In the middle of this scale is 0, zero. Going in each direction are gradation marks going from this zero to 100. This scale marks our duplicity. At the right hand end of the scale write “The world, Satan’s world. 100 percent single-mindedness with the world.” The left hand end of the scale is marked “100 percent united to God and the things of God, ways of God.” We believers in Jesus Christ, indwelt with God’s Holy Spirit are on a journey from the right-hand extreme, the ways of the world, to the extreme left-hand side of the scale, 100 percent united with the ways of God, and to God. As believers, don’t feel bad, you in your physical lifetimes will never reach the extreme left-hand side, being totally united in mind, ways, and attitude with God. We live in a world filled with the ways of Satan. We are on a journey to the other side, and ultimately eternity with God. This journey prepares us for citizenship as immortal spirit-beings in the Kingdom of God, at the time of our resurrection to immortality at Jesus Christ’s 2nd coming. Our Christian growth, called in the Bible “growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord,” is a journey we travel, in the process of sanctification toward our citizenship in God’s coming Kingdom. (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/corinthians/1st%20Corinthians.htm) “I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me:” that’s a very personal thing, and it’s something that you have to enjoy alone when you sit before him, and if you don’t know that, there’s enough places that say “reveal thy mercy to me…wilt thou not revive us again, show us thy mercy,” that was the last Psalm, ‘Show me that, if I’m not assured of your mercy,’
LORD, Stand Up For Me, Make It Evident I’m Yours, Show Some Token
“For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.” (verses 12-13) David says, ‘from the grave, Sheol, I should have been dead, I’ve done things that no one who names your name LORD, should ever do.’ “O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.” (verse 14) Here he describes his problem here, he feels. Now this could be in the context of Absalom, we’re not sure. But this is what David says in verse 14, ‘LORD, there are proud and violent men that are godless, they’ve not set you before them, and they are after my life, LORD, proud, violent, godless men surround me.’ And look, in David’s prayer, there was no police force, there was nobody watching his house, he didn’t have an alarm system, he’s getting chased through the hills, this is the real deal. “O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.” (verse 14) ‘there’s no context of your presence,’ “But thou” in contrast, “O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” (verse 15) ‘You get that? Can you do that? They’re chasing me down. Proud men, a bunch of violent ones, they want to kill me, they’re chasing me down, they’re godless, but you’re full of compassion,’ On the day when godless violent men are chasing me down to kill me, I’m not thinking ‘Lord, you’re so full of compassion,’ I’m thinking ‘If you are full of compassion, why am I in this situation?’ He says, “But,” regardless of his circumstances, “thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.” (verses 15-16) and there are many days when we feel that, don’t we. ‘Give thy strength unto thy servant, Lord, you need to strengthen me.’The idea is ‘I’m your servant, you need to save me.’ “Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.” (verse 17) ‘LORD, you stand up for me, you make it evident LORD, that I’m yours and that you care for me, LORD, show some token,’ “because thou, Jehovah, hast holpen me, and comforted me.” ‘LORD, you have helped me my entire life, and you have comforted me LORD, you have done this.’ So, first Psalm, national, corporate, for a congregation, for a people, revival, Lord, move. Second Psalm, intensely personal, 47 times God is mentioned, three different names, sixteen different times, 35 times “I” “me” “my,” intensely personal. And again, at least 25 to 30 different verses quoted. How wonderful it is to know this Scripture when we come before the Lord, and we can pray keeping his own Word in context. Ah, let’s do 87, as we sign off here this evening.”
A Psalm or Song for the sons of Korah
“Ah, let’s do 87, as we sign off here this evening. “His foundation is in the holy mountains. The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah. I will make mention of Rahab” a reference to Egypt, “and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her. The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah. As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.”
A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil od Heman the Ezrahite [this is a postscript]
“The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people,” the idea is ‘The LORD,’ the Hebrew says, ‘he shall record, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there, what do you think about that?’ And the Psalmist says “all of my springs are in thee” now this is one of those places, Psalm 88, you’ll see the introduction, it says “A song or Psalm for the sons of Korah to the chief Musician”which means it was sung publicly, “Mahalath” which means “in the dance”, “Maschil” which is instruction. So this is one of those places, if you just read the Hebrew text you’ll always see, like in front of Psalm 86, in the Hebrew it actually says “A Psalm of David.” And as we come to the end of the “the sons of Korah there in 87, and then at the end it just says “A Psalm for the sons of Korah, the chief Musician, in the dance, a Maschil” and it doesn’t tell you, because it’s between the Psalms (87 and 88), whether is this a postscript for the Psalm you just read, or is this a prescript for the Psalm you’re headed into, and introduction? So scholars, and Hebrew scholars through the centuries, have done their best to identify whether it’s closing out the Psalm, or introducing the next Psalm by what it says. Next week when we get to Psalm 88, if you like the Blues, if you like B.B. King, you’re going to love this Psalm. If you ain’t depressed, come, it’ll get you depressed. This is definitely not a song that has anything to do with the dance (Psalm 88 that is). But this one we just read about, Zion, and the whole earth, and even God’s enemies coming to Jerusalem, and the singers and the dancers and the players being there. So certainly, what you read in front of Psalm 88 about these things being in the dance, you know, the rejoicing, “all of my springs in thee,” certainly that’s a postscript to Psalm 87.
The Universe Is Jerusalem & Calvary-Centric---‘His Foundation, It Says, Our Spiritual Heritage Also, Is In The Holy Mountains’
It tells us here, “His foundation is in the holy mountains. The LORD loves the gates of Zion” look, the universe is not only geocentric, I don’t care what astrophysicists and scientists and all those guys say, it tells us that God created the heavens and the earth. It wasn’t until the 4th day he created the stars, the other planets and put them in place. Follow God’s creation, he created it in a certain way just to blow scientists minds in the 21st century. He said ‘Let there be light, and there was light.’ (Genesis 1:3) From what? There was no lightbulb, there was no sun, no moon, no stars, that wasn’t until the fourth day. He just said ‘Light’s a good idea, and there was light.’ [I have an explanation for that. When the Big Bang occurred, which was God creating all matter and energy (and time) out of nothing, bara, at first the gravitational forces were so strong in this mustard-seed sized ball of pure energy and matter that became the universe, that no light could escape (sort of like a black hole, but with a gravitational and energy force that’s off the charts. And this is all Einstinian/Stephen Hawking physics, folks, not out of some Christian textbook or something like that). But very shortly afterward, brilliant light emanated outward as all this matter and energy expanded outward during the first millions of years of this Big Bang of creation. That’s what physicists know now at this point, right after this point of initial expansion, this huge ball of energy and matter emitted tremendous light, as it coalesced into stars and galaxies over the first 8 billion years from the Big Bang.] It wasn’t coming from anything, except that he said “let it be.” And when you follow God through creation, you realize he creates in his genius, he doesn’t create in time, he doesn’t need matter, he doesn’t need days, he creates in his genius, and he just plugs it into time. So he creates light, and it isn’t until the 4th day he creates “light bearers, stars, the sun, it says to measure times and seasons and so forth. So then he’s got something for light to come from, so light in and of itself doesn’t just blow our mind. When we get to heaven, it’s says there’s no need for light, the sun, the moon, the stars, therefore the Lord God himself giveth the city light. [He’s talking about the New Jerusalem which comes down to earth in Revelation 21:1-23, coming down out of heaven, so heaven for us, the resurrected saints, will be on earth, where God’s heavenly city comes to reside, not in heaven, but on earth. The New Jerusalem, where God’s Throne resides, in the 3rd heaven, is outside of Space-Time. So the New Jerusalem when it comes to reside on earth (Revelation 21:1-23), will act as sort of a portal between Space-Time and outside of Space-Time. Freak you out?] So he understands light, without the sun, the moon, the stars, the light bulbs and all that other stuff. He himself is light. The universe is not only geocentric, he created the heavens and the earth first, the universe is Jerusalem-centric it’s Golgotha, Calvary-centric, because it says the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. If the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world, God, who knows the end from the beginning, understood that after the days of creation, Adam and Eve would fall. A Saviour was put in place before anything else was put in place. And when God created the earth, he etched off a little hill, by a place that would be Jerusalem, a place that would be called Calvary, and if it wasn’t for that there would be no universe, there’d be no sense in anything else, if there wasn’t the hill for the drama of Salvation to be played out on, there would be nothing else. So “His foundation is in the holy mountains.” ‘He loves the gates of Zion,’ it’s the center of everything for him. It’s why Satan, you know, anti-Semitism is Satanic. That’s why the world hates the Jewish people. Have you ever looked at a map of the Middle East? And look at the billions of square miles that the Arab world owns. And it goes on and on, and it’s all loaded with oil. They’re blessed over blessing over blessing over blessing over blessing, but they can’t sleep at night because there’s one little sliver of land called Israel there, and it drives them out of their minds. His foundation, it says, our spiritual heritage also, is in the holy mountains. “The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.” (verse 2) and it says “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.” (verse 3) ‘think about that.’ Imagine, it says you and I are going to come, we’re going to go to Jerusalem, we’re going to see him there (cf. Revelation 19:6-14; Zechariah 14:1-15). And the Lord, when he reigns, and you guys just studied the last 8 chapters Ezekiel, you know, you guys ever do that? Get out your Excedrin and study the last 8 chapters of Ezekiel, this is so many cubits here, so many cubits here, half a cubit here, so many cubits here…it’s given out in an exactness that’s mind-numbing, and the reason is, is because every inch of that is important to the Father, because his Son is going to walk by every single cubit of that incredible facility. And he’s going to walk into the center of it where the Temple is, where there’s no Ark of the Covenant, there’s none of that, there’s just a wooden table, a wooden table. And it says the sons of Zadoc, because they were faithful, they’re going to minister to him. It says the rest of the Levites that sinned and turned away, they’ll have a place, because of his grace, but they’re going to minister to the people. It’s funny, in the Church today, you know, there’s so many rock stars and there’s so many cheerleaders, so many guys on TV, everyone here wants me to die so they can take the pulpit. In the Kingdom, the privilege is not ministering to the people, it’s ministering to him. And that privilege is all of yours, every morning, every afternoon, to be alone with him, to praise him, and to thank him, to minister to him. You got it now, you got it now. But he’s going to come. It says ten men from different nations are going to take hold of the skirt of a Jew, they are going to come, after the Tribulation, where all the waters of the earth have been turned to blood, all of the atmosphere around the earth is black and it’s dark, and Isaiah says ‘Behold, the light is come, the glory of the LORD is risen upon, behold great darkness hath covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. But the LORD, the light shall arise, it shall shine upon thee, and light will begin to shine out of Jerusalem.’ It tells us out of Ezekiel’s Temple, the water will start to run there, and he will heal all the waters of the world, turn them back to fresh water, even the Dead Sea (cf. Ezekiel 47:1-12). And it says in those days ten people of the different nations are going to take hold of the skirt of a Jew and say ‘Show us where he is, take us to the middle of the city, show us, take us to the Temple, that we might look upon him, that we might listen to his voice.’ Imagine that? Imagine that, Iranians, and Pakistanis and North Koreans, Al Qaida, and the Taliban, just taking hold of a Jew’s skirt and saying ‘Let’s go together, show us where the LORD is, let us look into his face, let us listen to his voice.’
All Nations Are Going To Come To Jerusalem
“Glorious things of thee are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.” and the LORD says “I will make mention of Rahab” i.e. Egypt “and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.” (verses 3-4) And he’s done that, he says ‘In that day, all nations are going to come,’ “behold Philistia” the perennial enemy of Israel, “Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.” “And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.” (verse 5) The LORD’s going to establish Zion, the city of the great King. “The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” (verse 6) i.e. the Lamb’s Book of Life. It says there are books, there are records, and he’s going to write our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and that this one was born there, and so forth. And then the Psalmist ends by saying “As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.” (verse 7) not only all the people that come, but the singers, and the players on instruments, they’re going to be there. Just think what he says, “all of my springs are in thee.” Not most of them, not a lot of what makes me happy…all of the refreshment of my life, all that is cool and quenching of the deepest thirst of my life, ‘all of my springs, all of them, are in thee.’ I’m learning to say that, that’s quite a thing to say, wow, “all of my springs are in thee.”
We’ll take a break, let the musicians come, we’ll end, read ahead, the depressing Psalm next week. It’s wonderful. And then we’ll get through that into Psalm 89. But you know, the Psalms are wonderful, because they go high, they go way deep. If you’re struggling next week, you’re going through some difficulty, this next Psalm will go way down where you are, and then it will go down below where you are, and then you’re going to find the everlasting arms underneath of you, and then he’s going to lift you up, it’s gonna get way down, the Lord’s saying in that Psalm, ‘Hey, come on, let’s get down,’ and he does. Let’s stand, let’s get up...[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Psalm 85:1-13, Psalm 86:1-17 and Psalm 87:1-7, given by Pastor Joe Focht of Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116]