A Psalm of David
“Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle. Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up. Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.”
“Be Not Deaf To Me”
“We have come as far as Psalm 28, it tells us this is “A Psalm of David.” We are not certain of the background of this particular Psalm. Certainly there are highs and lows in it, certainly there are lessons about prayer, and about struggle, about dealing with, it has a whole interlude about the wicked and the unjust, and how do we relate to them, how do we relate to what’s going on in the world?---those things that might really grieve us. We’re exposed more in some ways than David, because we have a TV screen every night that tells us not only things that we might want to enjoy, but there’s other things on the news, on the TV that constantly bombard us that drive us out of our minds. What do you do about those things as a Christian? How you’re going to maintain peace, and understand how to relate to those things, and how to pray? So, these songs, very important. Let’s read through this 28th Psalm, this song, “Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.” doesn’t sound good, “Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle. Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.” what they deserve, it’s not what they have after dinner. “Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up. Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song I will praise him. The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.” So this song goes through a number of phases. The first two verses, David is imploring the LORD, he’s begging the LORD, he’s beseeching the LORD, and he says, “Unto thee will I cry,” there’s great emotion here, “O LORD my rock;” or ‘my fortress,’ and the King James says “be not silent” the Hebrew says “be not deaf” and the idea is “unable to hear,” the Hebrew’s actually “be not deaf to me,” the idea is, ‘be not unlistening and far away from me.’ But it’s “be not deaf to me.” “lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.” And he’s assuming ‘if you don’t hear me, neither will you speak to me, and then I’ll be like those who go down to the pit, if LORD I speak to you and you’re not there, you’re not able to hear, if I lift up my prayer in vain, and you’re deaf to me LORD, then obviously you’re not going to speak to me, if I have no living relationship with you LORD, I’m going to be like those who are lost and go down to the pit.’ And very interesting, too, it’s telling us, obviously, you know, the LORD hears, and the LORD speaks. Don’t ever be confused, primarily the way he speaks is through his Word. We have lots of times people in church, they’ll come up and say ‘The Lord told me to do this, the Lord told me to do this, the Lord told me it’s ok to sleep with my girlfriend, the Lord told me it’s ok to smoke pot, it’s natural,’ all this stupid stuff. What do you mean ‘It’s natural’? Lead’s natural, shoot each other, uranium’s natural, blow each other up with nuclear bombs, what’s not natural, is it something from another dimension? Cut me a break. The main way we know the voice of the Lord is through his Word. But he does hear. Isaiah says ‘Is the maker of the ear unable to hear? Is his arm so short that he cannot save?’ And, you know, it says ‘If my people, who are called by my name, humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked ways, and seek my face, then will I hear from heaven.’ He’s not hard of hearing. He can hear us. So David says here, ‘LORD, I’m going to cry unto you, O LORD, my rock, my fortress, be not deaf’ the idea is, ‘towards me, from me, away from me, not listening, lest, if you’re going to be silent,’ “that you may not be silent” literally, ‘to me, and then I become like those who go down into the pit, I’m like the lost, I have no relationship.’
David Wasn’t Afraid To Be A Little Charismatic---Where’s The Balance?
“Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.” That is, “when I lift up my hands toward thy in-most sanctuary.” That’s the “oracle.” The Hebrew says “thy in-most sanctuary.” David says when he prays he lifts up his hands. So David doesn’t have any hang-ups about lifting up his hands, as we follow his career. Some people are really freaked out by that, you know. Some people come to church here and they look around, and they see you lift up your hands, they’re like ‘I knew it, we’re in one of those places. Wait till you see what happens next. Watch this.’ There isn’t anything wrong with lifting up our hands, you know. People say ‘Well, what does that mean?’ Well look, when somebody says ‘Stick ‘em up!’ What’s that mean? It means “Surrender.” So it means that, ‘Lord, I surrender.’ Ah, I’ve got grandkids, my granddaughter was over here the other day, she ran across the living room, and went like this, it means ‘Pick me up! Take me.’ What does it mean when we lift up our hands? ‘Lord, I praise you, Lord I surrender, Lord, pick me up, hold me.’ So, there isn’t anything wrong with that. Sometimes, when we watch worship, there are people, and they’re not just lifting up their hands, they’re hand signals, ducks quacking, and they’re dancing, and first of all, some people just shouldn’t dance, because they just don’t have it, you know. Ah, some Christians can, some Christians can’t. But, you know, there’s a time when everybody stands, everybody worships, everybody lifts their hands, and there’s a unity to that. Then there’s a time when there’s one person putting on a show, and that person distracts everybody else whose worshipping, whose supposed to have their attention on the Lord. There’s a wonderful time of unity for us to worship, to lift our hands, and then there’s also a time when somebody’s kind of got the stage, you know. And if you look at the scene in heaven, if you go to Revelation chapters 4 and 5, that’s when the Lord has control of everything. There’s not a single thing out of order there, not a single thing. The Cherubim around the throne are saying ‘Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God Almighty, who was, and who is and is to come’ and not one of them says ‘Amen!’ and the rest of them all look at him, you know. It says they all fall down at the same time, they all cast their crowns at the same time, it is completely ordered. You know, even with spiritual gifts it says ‘Let everything be done decently and in order.’ David is crying to the LORD, David’s heart is broken, David’s worship is sincere. He’s saying ‘God, I want you to hear, God I want you to answer,’ and he says ‘When I cry to the LORD,’ and he says ‘I lift up my hands,’ it’s a beautiful form of worship. So there’s abuse on both sides of that, some people, they think that you’re a charismaniac if you lift your hands. Well, I’m a charismatic, so I lift my hands. But there’s a way to do that that isn’t cool either, that’s just between you and the Lord. Wednesday nights they never do that, it’s like 3rd service on Sunday morning, so don’t worry about it, nothing any personal. So he says ‘So I lift my hands toward your in-most sanctuary,’ (verse 2b) he’s worshipping, he’s thinking as he’s lifting his hands, about of course the Ark, the presence of God, the in-most sanctuary.
‘Deliver Me From The Fate Of The Wicked’
And then he makes a request, this is his burden, his supplication, and it’s in regards to the wicked. He says, “Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.” (verse 3) What he’s going to say is, ‘Deliver me from the fate of the wicked.’ He’s in some kind of difficulty. Everybody in this room at one time or another, has been, and will be in some type of difficulty. In that difficulty he says he’s crying to the LORD, and he said ‘LORD, I don’t want you to be deaf, I want you to hear me, I don’t want you to be silent, I want you to speak to me, I’m lifting my life towards the in-most part of your sanctuary, LORD, the deepest place of your being.’ And he said, his idea is ‘LORD, don’t deliver me to the fate of the wicked, don’t draw me away with the wicked, don’t let that come upon me, they say one thing and they mean something else.’ He says, he asks for retribution, it’s not an imprecatory Psalm, but he’s asking ‘LORD,’ “Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.” (verse 4) i.e. ‘what they deserve,’ he’s asking for retribution. Look, the New Testament is different, we’re supposed to pray for our enemies, pray for those who despitefully use you, we’re supposed to have a different attitude. David is saying here, ‘LORD, give them what they deserve.’ Now look, even though the New Testament asks from us a different attitude of us, here’s the truth. The wicked who won’t turn from their ways, will suffer his retribution. That’s unavoidable [you don’t think so, read Revelation chapter 19 and Zechariah 14:1-15]. The wonderful thing is, any sinner in any condition, can come to Christ in repentance and faith, and be forgiven, and be saved. [That’s even in the Old Testament, Isaiah 1:18-20, which shows this whole sequence, yes, come and repent. Why will you die? But if you don’t, retribution is coming.] David doesn’t see the complete picture that we see, in many ways. [Comment: And most of Christianity still doesn’t see the complete picture of God’s overall masterplan for the salvation of mankind. See http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm.] So he says, ‘LORD, give them what they deserve, I’m glad I ain’t getting what I deserve,’ “Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.” (verse 5) David’s saying, ‘This is what bugs me about them, they don’t regard you, what you’ve done, nor the operation of his hands, so he shall destroy them, he’s not going to build them up, they’re going to get what they ask for, and according to their behavior and their doings.’
‘God Is Not Deaf, He’s Heard My Supplication’---Trust, Help, Joy
And then he breaks into rejoicing, “Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplication.” (verse 6) Alright, God is not deaf, he has a great sense that God is hearing him. “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” (verse 7) He takes us through the process. Are you really down and out tonight? If this is applying tonight, you’re going through a terrible situation, you feel like the Lord is deaf, he’s not listening, not speaking to you, you’re not sure what to do? [yup] ‘But I don’t want the same fate as the wicked, Lord, I believe in you, I’m just one of your own,’ here he says, he says in fact it comes to him and he realizes, and that always turns to us, because God is gracious, ‘LORD, you have heard my voice,’ he says plainly, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” (verse 7) and because “my heart trusted in him,” he says “and I am helped”, when we trust in him he does help us. Trust, help, joy, it always runs that way. And he says because he’s rejoicing, because God has helped him because he’s trusted in him, he says ‘I’m rejoicing,’ and he says he does that “with my song will I praise him.” So, again, David has no inhibitions, he’s one who would always write a song, sing a song, lift his voice, singing to the LORD. He says in this, as he’s recovered, as his heart is lifted up, as he rejoices, he says he lifts a song of praise to the LORD.
Four Short Requests: ‘LORD, Save Them, Bless Them, Feed Them, Lift Them Up’
And then he does that as, and as he does it he ends the Psalm, verses 8 and 9 now, with an intercession, praying for the LORD’s own. Realizing what God’s done in his life, he says “The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.” (verse 8) and now four short requests here, look in verse 9, and this is a great way to pray for people, “Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.” Save your people, bless your inheritance, feed them also, and lift them up, that’s a great way to pray for anybody. ‘LORD, save them, bless them, feed them, lift them up.’ You guys can pray that for me, everyday. Save your people, bless your inheritance, the word “feed them” there is “shepherd them”, ‘LORD, shepherd your people,’ David, who had been a shepherd understands all of the care that’s involved in that. You and I, because we’ve never raised sheep don’t appreciate it in some ways [but if you’ve raised children you do. But for a good article on shepherding, pastoring, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/AShepherdLooksAt%20Psalm23-short.htm] He says ‘Shepherd them also, and lift them up’ is ‘carry them,’ and it’s a word that’s used of a father carrying his child. You know, you go to Isaiah 40 where it says ‘He shall carry his lambs in his arms, carry them in his bosom, he’s going to gently lead those that are with young,’ the idea is the LORD would take up a young lamb in his arms and carry it, and then the chief ewe, the lead mother would follow him, because he had her lamb, and he could lead them all to higher ground. It’s kind of the picture here, the shepherd, ‘LORD be that, and take up your people in your arms, and carry them,’ is what he’s saying here again, remarkable.
A Psalm of David
“Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters [or great waters]. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.”
Introduction: ‘The LORD OF STORMS’
“Psalm 29, ah, we’ll read it together, we’re going to take note of this, there’s eleven verses, and in eleven verses it uses the word LORD, Jehovah, eighteen times, and several other words for God, all-told God is mentioned 25 times in 11 verses. His glory is mentioned 4 times, you’re going to take note of those. His voice is mentioned 7 times. It’s just a very, very interesting Psalm. The Jews today sing this Psalm during Pentecost, it’s interesting, during the Feast of Pentecost, we’re not sure how far back that tradition goes. And it says “A Psalm of David.” He says “Give unto the LORD” many of you know this, there’s a song we sing with these first few verses, “Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters [great waters]. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion [Mount Hermon area] like a young unicorn. The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.” the idea is digs up or digs out flames, we’re not sure if it’s talking about volcanic activity of fire. “The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve,” if he shakes the wilderness, and he breaks the trees, the cedars of Lebanon, got the whole world rockin’ and rollin’, it says when he speaks, the wild ibex, they give birth, they go into labour, “and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.” So, two verses of introduction, two verses of closing, and then verses 3 to 9 mention the voice of the LORD, and it’s relative to the storm, this tempest. And if he’s mentioned 25 times in 11 verses, what it’s telling us is he’s the LORD of storms, as he is in our lives. And as we look at this, in the next Psalm again, this is all something he allows, something he’s involved in. I remember when he sent the disciples out in the boat [onto Lake Galilee] and he’s told them to go to the other side, they got in the boat, they headed to the other side, and they end up in a storm, and they weren’t in that storm because they were disobedient or sinful. They were in that storm because they obeyed him, did exactly what he said. So there are storms of correction, you don’t want to be in one of those, Jonah ended up in one of those. But there are storms of instruction, and those are mandatory courses, not electives. But what it’s doing is it’s giving us a divine picture of our Lord as the one who is sovereign over the storms and all of these things. So it speaks of his glory being in all of this.
The LORD’s Glory In Heaven
First he gives us a picture of his glory in heaven. It says “Give unto the LORD,” Jehovah, “O ye mighty,” it’s interesting, it’s bene elim, it’s literally not O ye mighty, it’s ‘ye sons of God,’ he’s speaking of the angels. Ah, Genesis 6, we have the bar elohim, you have bene elim, you have different forms, this is evidently a scene in heaven, around his throne, his glory is in the heavens, it will be his glory is in the tempests, and it will be his glory is in the temple. So “Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty ones,” ‘bene elim,’ “give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due his name;” and then it says “worship the LORD” King James says “in the beauty of holiness.” It literally says “with the adornments of holiness.” So you have a picture of the angels of God around his throne, giving him glory, adorned, with the adornments of holiness. God, you know, his mighty angels, you know, whatever they’re bathed with, with light, whatever they’re robed with. First of all, it starts, he’s the one whose sovereign. Now look, we’re going to go into the storm, because all of Israel’s neighbours felt that Baal was the god of storms, the god of sun and rain and wind and lightning. And there’s something very clearly being said here about, ‘No, no, our God is in and above and through all of these things.’ Heaven looks at earthly circumstances much differently than we do. In fact when it finally says “the LORD sits upon the flood,” (verse 10) in this Psalm it uses the word for “flood,” it’s used 13 times in the Old Testament, in verse 10 here, it’s used 12 times in Genesis 6 to 11, the only other place in the rest of the Bible it’s used is here in this verse, and it speaks about the flood of Noah’s days. So God takes this picture to the extreme. He’s the one who sits over it all. Baal? These other gods, you think something else is in control? You think when there’s thunder, when the ground shakes, you think when these things are going on it’s one of these dudes? No, no, the LORD is sovereign over all of this. In heaven, they’re giving him glory (cf. Revelation chapters 4-5), “Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” (verses 1-2) you know it tells us in the Bible that there’s joy in the presence of God when one sinner comes. You know, when we’re here on Sunday morning or Monday nights, or Wednesdays we’re here, you see people saved, or somebody walks into the office, the Bible tells us then when that happens, this scene around the throne of God explodes in their rejoicing. There’s joy in the presence of God, because an eternity has just been changed. One individual’s eternity has just been changed. Heaven and earth [the first ones] will pass away, that individual no longer is going to pass away. [Comment: now there are differing beliefs within the greater Body of Christ about the “once saved, always saved” doctrine.] And Jesus said, ‘What does it matter if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul?’ If you gain the whole cosmos, the entire universe, and you lose your soul? What Jesus says, ‘Ya, the earth is great, North Cascades, you know, those are great, Grand Titons, the Swiss Alps, the South Seas, the Caribbean is all beautiful, it’s majestic, I made it all, it’s just a stage for the plan of redemption to be played out upon. What does it matter if you gain the entire universe and lose your own soul?’ because in his opinion, a single human soul is worth more than the entire universe, a single human being. You know, if you’re here tonight, and you don’t know him, Satan will always give you the thought ‘You know, he don’t care about you, he’s not thinking about you, he don’t care about you.’ And we sit around thinking, ‘Ya, he don’t care about me.’ And we listen to him, but the Bible calls him a liar. He [God] cares about you, your life, your soul, to him is more valuable than the entire created universe. And here is this scene in heaven, when one sinner comes, when one person gets saved, all of this in heaven explodes into rejoicing. Here, David’s writing under the Spirit, he says “Give unto the LORD. O bene elim, all you mighty ones, sons of God, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD with the ornaments of holiness.”
The Voice Of The LORD, What It’s Really Like
Now he says this, from verses 3 to 9 he gives us a picture of this tempest, this remarkable scene, and it says the voice of the LORD is ruling over this 7 times, “the voice of the LORD,” of Jehovah, “is upon the waters:” is he thinking back to creation? We’re not certain. “the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.” or “great waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful;” the idea is ‘it’s awesome, it’s in power.’ “the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.” (verses 3-5) It doesn’t say the wind, it doesn’t say the hurricane, it doesn’t say the tornado, it says “the voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.” in David’s day, Cedrus Lebanai, some of them were 200 feet tall. You just have to imagine these trees, and there’s still a few huge ones left over there, they’re in that part of the world, in Lebanon. But they were brought down, finally, to help build the Temple, David wasn’t around when that was completed. But he says ‘the voice of the LORD snaps the cedars, yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.’ They all thought Baal had his headquarters up in Lebanon, because Herman and the mountains there, 10,000 foot, 11,000 foot, they were the highest mountains around, so the pagans thought that’s where their gods lived, and David said you know, “the voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars, yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion [mount Herman] like a young unicorn.” (verses 5-6) so that the ground actually shakes and it actually moves. I don’t know if you guys have ever been, anybody here been in an earthquake? A few of us. They’re interesting, aren’t they. There’s nowhere to run when you’re in an earthquake. If it’s a tornado you can run to the basement, but when the ground starts shaking you kind of think, ‘Oh, rats, where to?’ “he maketh the mountains of Lebanon to skip like a calf, Lebanon and Mount Herman like a young unicorn.” “The voice of the LORD divideth” ‘digs out flames’ “the flames of fire.” (verse 7) a strange idea. “The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds” the wild goats “to calve,” go into premature labour, the calves come forth when the mountains are shaking, all this. “and discovereth the forests: and in his temple” in regards to all of this, “doth every one speak of his glory.” (verses 8-9) So, anybody whose got this straight understands God’s glory is involved in all of these things. So think, this is the voice of the LORD. [And looking back to Psalm 28, the last Psalm, where David said to the LORD, ‘be not deaf to me,’ this might be the LORD’s inspired answer to David about being said to be deaf. Just my observation.] Aren’t you glad that he doesn’t speak to you like that? I’m glad Elijah, fleeing, afraid of Jezebel and ending up in Horeb, you know, it says there was an earthquake, there was a hurricane, there was a tornado, all of that, and then it says, ‘but the LORD wasn’t in any of those things,’ Elijah’s the prophet of fire, but the LORD wasn’t in any of those things. Then he says ‘Behold, a still small voice,’ isn’t it interesting? David’s going to say, as we move onto Psalms ‘Thy gentleness hath made me great.’ ‘It’s not your majesty, the fact that you could shake the mountains, not the fact that you can freak out even the wild goats, no, LORD, it’s your gentleness that’s made me great, you’ve stooped down to my life. And if your voice thunders, and if your voice rolls over the oceans and the waters, if your voice snaps the cedars of Lebanon, if your voice makes the mountains shake, if your voice does all that, you could just bend down to me and say ‘Yo bub!’ and I’d explode, BLAM!’ Isn’t it wonderful that he stoops down to us? Micah said, ‘Behold, a still small voice.’ You know, when the children of Israel heard the LORD speak, when you watch The TEN COMMANDMENTS, and I think Charlton Heston did a great job, don’t get me wrong, but you know he goes up on the mountain to get the Ten Commandments, and there’s kind of like this lightning, and this kind of funky special effects that they had back then, this fake fire thing comes out, and says ‘I’m the LORD thy God, Thou Shalt…’ and it kind of carves it in there, and then when it’s all done, then one big bolt of lightning comes down and cuts out the Tablets, and he’s got the Tablets there, then he comes down and his hair’s all white, the whole scene, Den, Den, DaDen, you know, that music. That’s not the way it happened in the Book of Exodus. In the Book of Exodus, when the LORD said ‘I AM the LORD thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me,’ it says all 3 million people heard him say it, and it shook the whole valley. He gave the Ten Commandments, they all heard it, and when Moses came down from the mountain, it says they said to Moses, ‘Look, you go talk to him, and whatever he says to you we’ll listen, but tell him ‘You don’t have to talk to us anymore.’ If he gives us eleven Commandments we’re going to have a cardiac, you go talk to him.’ Just try to imagine what kind of a PA system you need so that 3 million people are hearing you, and rumbling you as it goes on. That’s pretty impressive. You’d think they’d really take some time before they started breaking the Ten Commandments, don’t you? Hear the LORD, I like some of these verses, we’re going to look at a few verses. It says this in Jeremiah, it says, “Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words,” against the nations that are in rebellion against the LORD, “and say to them, the LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation. He shall mightily roar upon his habitation, he shall give a shout as they that tread the grapes, against all of the inhabitants of the earth.” He says this in Joel, “The LORD shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shall shake. But the LORD shall be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Amos says, “The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem, and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither away.” You know, you’ll find this over and over, that ‘the LORD shall roar out of Zion.’ Just imagine it, his voice shakes the mountains, causes the hinds to calve. You read of his majesty in this Psalm, in the beginning scene it’s the angels in heaven giving him glory, there’s no question. And then this is the magnificence of his voice, then imagine when he finally turns and he roars. The ACLU can do whatever they want to do, they can put Bible reading out of school, they can decide what marriage is, they can make fun of Creation, they can do all of these things. All of that is going to fall down in front of him, every knee is going to bow, every tongue is going to confess. He is going, one day, to roar. And the thing that we have to watch out for, is that we don’t get an attitude of ‘OK LORD, give it to them! Turn up the volume, give them the roar at 10!’ Realize, what terror this is going to be (cf, Revelation 6:12-16-17). It should move us to evangelize, to reach the lost. Because right now his voice is ‘Come unto me all ye who are under heavy labour and I will give you rest.’ Right now his voice is ‘Whosoever believeth shall not perish but have everlasting life.’ Right now his voice is reaching out, but then, when he finally turns, when he decides, you know, he measures time morally. When it’s all done, and no one else is going to turn, he’s going to roar. Just imagine what that’s going to be like, ‘the LORD will roar from Zion.’
When It’s All Said And Done, The LORD Will Rest Over Us With Singing
I like what Zephaniah tells us, then finally, when he sets up his Kingdom and he gets everything the way he wants it to be, it says, “The LORD thy God, in the midst of these mighty, he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Imagine what that will be like, when the Lord finally has all subdued and he’s in his Kingdom, it says then he’s going to rest in his love. He can’t rest in his love now, he loves us, but he can’t rest in his love, because we’re in hostile territory, we’re in enemy territory. His love never rests now. But the day is coming, it says, when he’s going to rest in his love, when he’s going to have us all gathered. And then it says he’s going to rejoice over us with singing. Imagine his voice, that shakes the forests of Lebanon, that moves the mountains and makes them skip, imagine, you know, this guy Flamingo’s got a voice on Sesame Street? Wait until the Lord just bellows out, just, whoever you think, Mario Alonzo, whoever you think’s got a voice, wait till he sings. The day’s coming when he’s going to joy over us, with rejoicing and singing. You’re going to hear the Lord, singing. And I just have an idea he sings a perfect pitch, has to be that way, it couldn’t be any other way [and the columns in the Temple better be shock-mounted].
The LORD Rules Over The Great Cataclysms
His voice, and it says ‘every one in his Temple, they speak of his glory.’ And now it says, “The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.” (verse 10) “the flood” again, this word used 12 other times in the Old Testament, and they’re all in the chapters of Genesis 6 to 11, and every one is about Noah’s flood, so interesting, David even sees him ruling over the greatest cataclysms that have ever come on the earth, “The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.” heaven’s view of what goes on in earth, vastly different. “The LORD will give strength to his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.” (verse 11) So, remarkable Psalm, Psalm 29.
A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David
“I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.”
The Eight “Thou Hast’s
Psalm 30, this Psalm, if you look there at the heading, you see it’s a little longer. It’s a song of David, and it’s the song that was used at the dedication, and it says “The Dedication of the house of David”. You know, this was Solomon’s Temple. The truth is, David cared more about that Temple than Solomon ever did. The truth is, David laid up all the building supplies, all the gold, all the silver, he pre-fabbed the whole thing. God said ‘You can’t build it,’ he said, ‘alright, I can’t build it, I’m going to make sure it gets built though. By the time I breathe my last…’ And God gave to David the dimensions, the drawings, all the specifications for the Temple, and for the courses of the priests, and for the instruments, and for the way the whole thing should be laid out. David said ‘God gave that to me,’ it tells us in Chronicles that he passed it to Solomon. So this is a song that he wrote for the Dedication of the Temple, that he didn’t live to see. So in faith, he writes these things down, and in faith he’s moved by the Spirit to say these things as we look into this 30th Psalm, and he says, first 5 verses it’s praise, and look, as we go through, what you’ll find in this Psalm, 8 times you’re going to find this phrase, you’ll notice, “thou hast”. Let’s read it, and count the thou hast’s. ok? Ah, there is one “thou didst”, but you’ll count that as a “thou hast.” And if you have one of those other translations that doesn’t sound Scriptural, but here, “I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.” (verse 1) and he had a lot of foes. “Oh LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.” (verse 2) “O LORD, thou hast brought my soul up from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” (verse 3) “Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (verses 4-5) Now he switches. “And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made my supplication. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever.” (verses 6-12) Now it’s a tough translation, you see the italics, “my” the idea is “my being, praise to thee, and not be silent.” So this song now, at the dedication of the Temple, to be sung, David isn’t there, Solomon dedicates the Temple, and yet God gave to David, no doubt glimmers, he was allowed to look, he was allowed to see things, foreshadows, foretastes, the way we are, of the Kingdom of heaven, the way we have a witness. We’re sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, and we’re given a witness about what’s ahead of us. Just, you know again, one of the things that is very strange to our unsaved friends, and we forget about it, because we’ve been saved for so long, is if they ever hear us kind of sounding excited about the end of the world, then they think ‘What are you guys smokin’ up there in that place? what’s going on up there?’ Well I’m not excited, we’re not excited about suffering and all that, but what I’m excited about is this, ‘The Lord’s going to descend, and there’s going to be a blast of a trumpet, and we’re all going to disappear (cf. http://www.unityinchrist.com/corinthians/cor15-16.htm ), and you’re going to stay here.’ Like that clears up the first level of confusion. Ok? So, there is something in our hearts that the Lord has put there, about our hope, and we have a foreshadowing, a foretaste, we’re sealed with the Spirit of promise, it ruins us (for this present world), we have great and precious promises whereby we’re made partakers of the Divine nature, whose inheritance is incorruptible, undefiled, that fades not away. All of this becomes real to us. David, the Temple, the place of worship was real to him, he had foreshadows, foretastes of this, so here he writes out this Psalm. The first three verses, now the first five are praise, the first three are solo, verses 4 and 5 then kind of go into a chorus.
“Thou Hast Lifted Me Up”
So David, looking forward to that day when the Temple is functional, he says as though he’s standing there “I will extol thee, O LORD;” Why? “for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.” ‘lifted me up, LORD, you have gotten under me LORD, underneath the everlasting arms, LORD, you have lifted me up, and you have not made my enemies to rejoice over me, you haven’t allowed that LORD. You know, I’m going to extol and praise you, LORD, I can’t wait till the Temple’s open, because you’ve got your hands around me LORD, you’ve lifted me up,’ and he’d been through lots of trials. He had sinned, he had made mistakes. And yet he says ‘LORD, you’ve lifted me up.’
“Thou Hast Healed Me”
He says “O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.” (verse 2) It’s another reason he sung this song. Look, God has always healed us. Everybody in this room, you’re sitting here breathing, you’ve been healed over and over again. Look, nobody here is going to die of good health, understand that. And how many times have we had bronchitis, we’ve had pneumonia, we’ve been sick with something, and here we are, he’s always healed us, we’re here. That’s wonderful, he says ‘LORD, you’ve healed me, I just want to praise you about that.’ “O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave:” hasn’t he done that for all of us? because that’s where we were headed. Everybody in this room was headed for a hole in the ground. You can get nipped and tucked, and get your hair dyed, get on Jenny Craig, and you can get skinny and look great when you die, but you’re gone. And he’s lifted us up out of the grave, he’s given us hope, he’s lifted us above that (cf. 1st Corinthians 15:49-56). Again, loved ones, my father when my father passed, one of the overwhelming senses that I had was, ‘What does an unbeliever do when they watch this?’ When he took his last breath I could see, his body was vacant, he left, he wasn’t there anymore. And it was a powerful sense, but I thought, ‘If I wasn’t a believer, and it was five in the morning, I’d go straight to the bar and get a load on.’ How does an unbeliever deal with this? And the more terrifying thought, is I thought ‘How does an unbeliever die?’ When an unbeliever is in a hospice and an unbeliever is getting ready to take their last breath, what do they think? Some of them might be hard and think ‘Who cares, when you’re dead you’re dead, you take your last breath you’re gone.’ That would be a terrifying thought to me. Do I just cease to exist? Am I actually going to take a last breath and there’s nothing? That’s it? All my memories, all my life, my kids, my family, my parents, everything I’ve experienced, it just goes black like the screen used to go? Any guys if you’re as old as me, you’re watching TV as a kid, twelve o’clock, it was late at night, and they’d sing the national anthem, the screen would go ‘blaaah,’ and there was just, it was done. Is that the way it is? That’s a terrifying thought. [Comment: Within the greater body of Christ there are various interpretations about the “unsaved dead.” To read some of these, see, http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm] He says ‘LORD, you’ve brought up my soul from the grave, I’m gonna praise you and extol you. You have kept me alive,’ think of all of the enemies that he had, all of the times, you know, Goliath, let alone so many others, Saul and so forth, “thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” (verse 3b)
David Lists A Series Of Contrasts About The LORD’s Holiness
And then he speaks, the chorus begins, so this would be spoken to all those who would gather in the Temple, “Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” (verse 4) you know, when you bring these things to mind, the song says “give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” Look what he says, “For”, and here’s the reason, there’s a whole series of contrasts here, listen to verses 5, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” These are some of the things we remember about his holiness, this is the way he is, and he contrasts anger, and favour, he contrasts a moment and a lifetime, he contrasts weeping and joy, he contrasts night and morning. This is an incredible verse, all of these things. He says this, “For his anger” when he thinks of the LORD’s anger “endureth but a moment”, his anger is momentary. Again, Micah 7:18 says ‘Who is like unto thee LORD? that you don’t remain angry, you don’t always chide, it’s so remarkable.’ So it says here, “For his anger endureth but a moment; but his favour is life:” King James, it says in the Hebrew “is for a lifetime” and it’s comparing that. Anger, momentary, favour, lifetime, great contrast. “weeping may endure for a night,” and the Hebrew is very interesting, it kind of gives the idea of ‘it may come like a visitor at night, but joy is like someone who comes permanently in the morning, to stay, and to abide there,’ and it draws a contrast again, temporary, permanent. Wonderful contrast. So, the first five verses, ‘to extol, to praise, here are the reasons why I do it, here are the reasons why everybody should do it.’
Overconfident In Circumstances---How God Deals With It
Now, verse 6 and 7 are a little tougher. He talks about his prosperity, and it seems to be David boasting, he’s telling us he became overconfident, and the LORD then dealt with him, by design. It says “In my prosperity I said, I shall not be moved. LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong:” the idea is ‘you have settled my mountain or my habitation,’ “thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.” (verses 6-7) David tells us ‘I came to a point where I said, ‘Hey LORD, you’ve prospered me, and I’m never going to be moved, you’ve settled my position, my mountain, by your favour it’s there,’ but then he goes on, and he says “thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.” (verse 7b) So he seems to be saying here, and I see it in my own life, and I see it in the lives of God’s people, it seems like sometimes we come, we first get saved, we’re on fire, there’s nothing we wouldn’t do for the Lord, we’re filled with wonder, we love to sing, we come, we don’t care if the person next to us sings in tune or not, or knows how to clap on the right side of the beat, we don’t care about how they’re dressed, we come to church, we’re excited, ‘look, this is amazing, look at what’s going on,’ and there’s just an anticipation, and all of that goes on. And then sometimes as the years go on, there’s kind of this settled confidence, ‘Well, the Lord’s established me, ya I’m saved by grace, ya I know where I’m going, oh ya, I’ve studied that book, oh I don’t need to go, I’ve heard Daniel,’ and we kind of get in this place of ‘We’re comfortable, he’s established me, oh ya I teach this Bible study,’ and we get in this position where it’s a little bit wrong, because we settle there without being dependent on God. We actually, familiarity breeds contempt, we actually get so confident, and then settled into his blessing, that we’re no longer desperate to seek him, and to go after him. And it’s very interesting, David ends this kind of stanza here by saying ‘LORD, I was like that, you prospered me, that was in perspective, I got this place, I’m never going to be moved, by your favour.’ Think of 2nd Samuel chapter 11, when he fell into sin with Bathsheba. He was over 50-years-old when that happened. Young guys, get ready for a lifelong battle. He was over 50. And it said it was the time of the year when kings go forth to battle, and David stayed in Jerusalem. It’s not where he belonged, he belonged on the battlefield. [He knew Bathsheba, knew where she lived, had probably seen her bathing before. He’d watched Bathsheba growing up, she was the granddaughter of his chief counselor Ahitophel. David probably lingered behind in Jerusalem due to this hidden attraction that can develop within a man. There’s a lot more to the story than meets the eye.] When he was a younger man he would have been out there, he would have been out there with Joab, Abner, the rest of them, with his sword in his hand. But he had become settled, like he’s saying here, LORD, you’ve established me,’ and we can let down our guard. We can become vulnerable. And it seems by design he says ‘but LORD,’ “thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled” ‘you got my attention.’ You feel like the Lord’s ever done that to you? You know, when we’re in desperate situations we pray desperate prayers. And then all of a sudden, when things are going good we pray nice prayers, Lite prayers, Corinthian Lite or something. And then the Lord pulls out the rug a little, and we go ‘Oh Lord! Oh Lord!’ and he says ‘Nice to hear from you. You know, I sent my Son to die so we could fellowship, you never come around, you never call, I never hear from you, nice to hear from you.’ He said ‘You hid your face, I was troubled.’ And then look what he says, and “I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made my supplication.” (verse 8) ‘and I said, LORD,’ “What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?” (verse 9) He just said ‘I’ll never be moved,’ well that’s all kind of got shaken. “Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.” (verse 10) and then of course, God always answers, here’s the change, it looks back in the right direction, there’s the “thou hast’s” there’s two of them. He says “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;” (verse 11) literally “thou hast changed my mourning into dancing.” Look, it wasn’t his prosperity that did that. It wasn’t the favour, it wasn’t that the LORD had established his house in the mountain so it couldn’t be moved. He says ‘What brought all that back again LORD was you.’ “Thou hast turned” or “changed for me my mourning into dancing:” ‘you’re the one LORD. I had all this other stuff, and I started to rest in it, instead of looking to you. I became comfortable there, you had to wake me up. You withdrew your presence. When you withdrew your presence, I still had my palace, I still had the mansion, I still had the gold, I still had the army, I still had the throne, I had everything, but I didn’t have you, and I freaked out, LORD. And I realized, you can go to the undertakers with a whole lot of stuff on your will to give to everybody else, and it don’t do you any good.’ And he said, ‘LORD, what profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit, is the dust going to praise you? I won’t be able to praise you, I’m not going to be able to proclaim your truth. Hear me LORD,’ and he cries out, and he says “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;” LORD, you’ve lifted me up again out of my mourning, and now you’ve dressed me, you’ve adorned me with gladness,’ “to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.” (verse 12) “that my glory” ‘that my soul, my innermost being may sing praise to thee, and not be silent.’ “O LORD my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever” that’s a good long time, isn’t it?
We All Have A Drive For Worship---The Key Is Finding The Right Master To Worship
Ah, we were made to worship, we are worshippers. And God has allowed us, we have certain drives and desires. I mean, you have a drive for water, you’ll dehydrate if you don’t drink, if you get thirsty it’s wonderful to just slake down something. You know, if you’re thirsty enough even that rubbery water in the hose is good, outside, just to drink some of it. You have a thirst for air. You know, it’s terrible to feel air-starved. You have a drive for food, there’s hunger. God’s given us a sexual drive that’s to be contained within marriage, certain drives. But there is a drive that you and I have, that drives us to worship. The preeminent purpose of man is to fellowship with and to worship God. And man gets that wrong, and he bows before alcohol, he bows before drugs, bows before sex, bows before a Ferrari, bows before money, and all of those things are cruel masters. People are mastered by all kinds of things. And the pursuit of life is not to find freedom, the pursuit of life is to find the right master. And when you find the Master that left his place in glory, and came down, and allowed himself to be spit on and nailed to a cross, who bore your sins, when you find that Master, now you have found the answer to everything. Your life is no longer down in the pit, in the grave, he’s lifted you up, and the fulness of your life is just in worshipping him, in being with him, in knowing his presence. That’s why Christ died on the cross, so what Adam had lost in Eden could be restored, man could come back and fellowship with the Living God. Yes, he wants us to bring our supplications, make all your requests known, cast all of our cares upon him. But the primary center of it is so we can fellowship with him. We’re worshippers and God made us that way. And David says in this last Psalm, he said look, and he wants this to be sung at the Temple, and he has this moving of the Spirit, he writes this out, and he knows man is primarily a worshipper. And he says ‘This is what God’s done for me, thou hast, thou hast, thou hast, I’m going to worship,’ and he says, ‘I think all the saints, you guys should do this,’ and he said ‘you know I was in a position where I had great prosperity, everything was established, I said ‘LORD I’m never going to fail, I got comfortable,’ and then he hid his face. When he hid his face I flipped out, I thought ‘What good is all of this without his face, you go down to the grave, you go down to the pit, and he cries out, and he said ‘When I cried out the LORD was there, and he turned my mourning into dancing, he set me free, and he’s taken my sackcloth, and he’s clothed me in garments of adornment and praise again,’ and he says ‘I’m going to praise him forever.’ So let’s do that. We can’t praise him forever now, because the kids are in Sunday school, you know. But we can praise him for a minute now, we can sing a song or two now, we can, right here in the Psalms it says I’m going to praise him, and I’m going to do that by singing a song to him, offering the fruit of our lips in sacrifice and praise. Let’s do that, and know that it’s just good, it’s just good practice, because we’re headed to that place where we’re going to do it for a long time. Let’s stand, let’s pray, let’s have the musicians come. ‘Lord, we put these things before you Lord, and just kind of zooming through these three songs tonight Lord, but you know the person here that’s broken tonight, in heart, Lord. You know the person that’s cast down, you know the person here Lord that needs their mourning, Lord, turned into rejoicing, Lord, their sackcloth to be changed to garments of praise, Lord. Lord, you know those here that are crying out to you Lord, in their hearts. You are always faithful, Lord, you are always faithful, Lord. And we’re glad that you’ll bow down to us as your sons and daughters, and that you’ll speak to us, Lord, with a still, small voice. And you invite us Lord into your presence, into your arms, Lord, of love. Lord we pray as we sing this last song, Lord, as we lift our voices, you would move among us, Lord, you would bind up the broken-hearted Lord, you would renew and fill with the Spirit, you would set the captives free Lord, opening the eyes of the blind, Lord, you would be all that you are in our midst Lord, as we look to you, and sing your praises Lord, Jesus we pray in your name, and Lord the earth is yours, the fulness thereof, Lord, the world and those that dwell therein. All your glory is going to be manifested, we believe that Lord. Help us to keep those things before our hearts, we pray Lord Jesus in your name, amen.’ [connective expository sermon on Psalms 28:1-9, 29:1-11 and 30:1-12, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116]