To the chief Musician upon Nihiloth, A Psalm of David
Psalm 5:1-12, “Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue. Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.”
Background of Psalm 5
“Psalm 5, probably rightly belongs with Psalm 3 and Psalm 4. Psalm 3, a morning psalm, ‘I slept, I awaked, the Lord sustained me.’ Psalm 4, an evening psalm, ‘I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep. Lord, thou makest me to dwell in safety.’ And now as we come to Psalm 5, familiar to us, “Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing [falsehood]: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue. Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:1-12) David, writing again this song to the chief musician, which means it was destined for public worship, in the course of the Tabernacle, and then the Temple. This is, notice, “Nehiloth” not Neginoth, which was the last one, will be the next one again. Nehiloth, you’ll notice that in your introduction, and by the way those are written right into the Hebrew. In the ancient scrolls of the Psalms they are so much a part of it, “a Psalm of David, to the chief Musician on Neginoth, Nehiloth,” all of these things, that sometimes they question whether it’s really a postscript to the Psalm before it, or if it’s an introduction to the psalm we’re headed into. So this evening you can make up your own mind. But this Psalm 5, definitely a Psalm of David, definitely to the chief musician. Nehiloth seems to be flutes are to accompany this particular song. And the background here seems to be the same as Psalm 3 and Psalm 4, Absalom has taken over the kingdom by force, he’s driven his own father out of Jerusalem, off of his throne into the wilderness. After a long and bitter flight, David no doubt coming up in the area of Jabok, he falls asleep, he wakes up, he writes Psalm 3. Going through a difficult day the next day, no doubt hoping as he gets to Mahanaim (2nd Samuel 17:24-29) some of the tribes there are going to gather to him, knowing he’s in for a battle, he lays down at the end of that day, he writes Psalm 4.
‘Give Ear To My Words, Consider My Meditation---Listen Up Lord’
And now again Psalm 5 seems to be in context of the fact that Absalom is pursuing, there is a battle in front of him, and David is crying unto the LORD, “Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.” (verses 1-2) David at this juncture is very aware of who the King of Israel is. Ah, he had, in the not too distant past perceived himself as the King, and it says it was the time of the year when kings went forth to battle that David remained back in Jerusalem and fell into adultery with Bathsheba, and then planned the murder of her husband. And the whole process went forward for a year, trying to hide his sin. Finally Nathan the prophet coming, everything breaking out into the open. And David now is a cautious man, a broken man, he is aware that some of the process of sowing and reaping has surrounded him, and he is also aware that the throne is not Absalom’s, that he’s a usurper, and that even though he’s a sinner, he had taken hold of the horns of the altar, and Nathan had told him that God had dealt with him and forgiven him, though the sword would not depart from his house. David still at this point in time rightly knows that the throne is God’s appointment and not Absalom’s, so he knows that there will be no success ultimately on Absalom’s part, and he is cautious as he cries. He knows who the King of Israel is at this point in time, he says “Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King” imagine telling the Lord to give ear. He’s asking the Lord, ‘Listen up,’ kind of a thing, “Give ear to my words, O LORD,” notice this, “consider my meditation.” (verse 1) Can we say that to the Lord in confidence? You know, sometimes I appreciate the fact that he knows my mediation. Sometimes when I think ‘I wish I had gotten more time with you alone this morning, I wish Lord I had a greater sense of your presence,’ I know he sees that, he appreciates that. Sometimes when I’m thinking something that I shouldn’t be thinking, something I wouldn’t want on the PowerPoint for all of you to see, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about, you don’t want yours up there either, then he knows our mediation then also. But David in this context is a broken man. He’s not flirting with ‘Boy, can I see this movie, boy, can I have three Bud’s, boy can I watch this on TV with the babes, you know?’ he’s not doing any of that, he’s fleeing, he’s broken, his son’s trying to murder him, he is in the deepest slue of despond you can imagine, this is a broken man, broken before the LORD. And he’s not afraid to say at this point, ‘Consider my meditation, LORD.’ “Give ear to my words” that phrase “give ear,” it’s rarely used in the Old Testament, to means “to broaden the ear,” the idea is “to cup the ear, to put the hand by the ear.” He’s saying ‘Lord, put your hand up and really listen to this now, Lord. Listen so close that you can even hear my meditation,’ he said, ‘consider that,’ “Hearken” is the word that means “when your ears stand up”, you hear a noise and you see a dog’s ear stand up sometimes, that’s the word hearken, it’s an unusual word. [Also, “hearken” is an old King James word taken from the German “to hear and know”, “ken” being one form of the German word “to know.”] And he’s saying ‘Lord, cup your ear here and listen closely, listen to my heart, Lord. Consider my meditation, let your ears stand up at this Lord,’ “unto the voice of my cry,” that literally means “to yell out, to cry.” You know, David may have wandered off from the rest of the army, they may hear him wailing in the morning, crying out, brokenhearted, it just means what it says.
This Is A Morning Psalm, Prayer---Morning Prayer Is Good
And he says ‘Lord, let your ears stand up when you hear that,’ “my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.” (verse 2b) You know in Psalm 139 he’s going to say ‘Hey, before the words even formed, Lord, you know my intention. You hear it before I even say it.’ And yet here, in his brokenness he’s saying ‘OK Lord, you know, give ear Lord, bend down Lord, put your hand over your ear to my prayer, consider, Lord, my meditation, hearken, let your ears stand up, Lord, as I cry unto you, my King and my God.’ That’s a great way to start the day, by the way. I know some of us are morning people, and some of us are night people. I know some of you don’t do well in the morning, we have four kids, some of them are springers, some of them are creepers. Some of them are moseying, and do better at night, they don’t do well in the morning, some of them, if you come down and rattle a dish in the kitchen they’re up. But I think praying in the morning, getting alone with the Lord, is a wonderful thing. [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prayer/bibleway.htm] If you’re up earlier enough the phone is probably not going to go off, while you’re talking to Jesus. You can put your day in order there. I find if I get up in the morning and talk to him, my conversation is different than if I wait till I go to bed and talk to him. Because then I’m saying so often ‘Lord, I blew it today, should have been up this morning talking to you, and getting this straightened out before I entered into it.’ So, and we all face enemies. His are different here, but we all are in a hostile environment. This is not home, we’re all kids with our picture on the milk carton as far as God’s concerned. We’re all away from home, we’re all in hostile territory. It says ‘when the Kingdom comes,’ in Zephaniah, ‘then he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.’ Then, he’s not resting in his love now. Oh he loves us, but he can’t rest as long as we’re in enemy territory. [To see when that Kingdom of God will come to earth, just after the time of our resurrection to immortality, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm] He can’t rest as long as we’re away from home. And a great way for us to start the day is to go to him, and say ‘Dad, listen up Dad, just would you give me your undivided attention, just would you even consider the things that are going on in my heart?’ [This Psalm and sermon is touching my heart right now, emotionally. This series on Psalms touch a dimension spiritually in our lives not necessarily found or touched in other Scriptures.] It’s very interesting, the word there “meditation” is only used one other time in the Bible, and that’s in Psalm 39:3, and it means “longing,” it means “yearning,” it means “the deepest aching of the being, the most inward thing we can do.” So this, David is saying here, his heart is broken before God, his son, his sin, all of these things are flashing before him, he’s aching, he’s yearning, the deepest part of his being he’s bringing before God. He says “Hear all of this, Lord, you know, the silent thing, the deepest yearning, thing that is within me, and let your ears perk up when I cry out loud, Lord. Hear that as I cry unto thee, my King, my King,’ can we say that, you know, when we pray? My King, not just my Saviour, we all want fire-insurance, I understand, but we get in trouble when we can’t say “my King.” Most problems are lordship problems. We all want fire-insurance, I do, I got it. I got life insurance with it, whatever happens I’m washed, I’m cleansed, I’m forgiven. But the quality of life I lead depends on whether I can say Lord, my King, “my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD;” great way to start the day, “in the morning” he says, “will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” (verse 3) “To direct my prayer” your translation might say “order my prayer”, it’s an interesting idea, here comes the rain, and God’s Word is like the rain and the snow that comes down from heaven. Thank you Lord for the illustration [must be raining out], it doesn’t return void, it accomplishes what he sends it forth to do. The first time that word “order” is used in the Bible is in Genesis 22, where it says ‘Abraham took the wood, and built the altar, and he set the wood in order.’ Here, it says ‘Lord, I will direct my prayer, I will order my prayer,’ he’s familiar with the territory, he’s not a novice there, he’s not a rooky. He may be a sinner, but he’s also a saint, he’s a man that knows how to pour out his heart to the Lord, and he knows the Lord hears, and he’s beckoning the Lord to listen, to bend down, to hear what he’s saying.
David Knows Absalom Is In Trouble---The Rebel And Sinner Has No Footing With God
He says, “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” (verse 5) Literally “in wickedness” is “in lawlessness,” and that was Absalom. That was the man that was chastening him, it was his own son. ‘You don’t have any, Lord, pleasure in lawlessness,’ “neither shall evil dwell with thee.” David understands this, and David will tell, when they go to battle, he tells Joab, ‘Don’t kill the young man,’ he knows Absalom’s name is mud, he knows, ‘Yes, I was a sinner, I made major mistakes, yes it’s come back to haunt me, yes, it’s brought ruin into our family, I understand all of that, but what he’s doing right now, he’s doing it to a repentant sinner, what he’s doing right now he’s doing to someone who has come before God and made his heart right.’ David had said, ‘Sacrifice and offerings God’s not desired,’ there was no sacrifice for adultery or murder, there was no offering for adultery or murder, there was the death sentence for either one. But he said ‘A broken and contrite spirit thou wilt not despise.’ He knew his heart was right before the Lord, he was more tender through his sin, but he says God doesn’t put up with lawlessness. And he’s speaking from experience. And now he knows also that Absalom is in trouble, because God had promised to him after his fall an everlasting kingdom. He says “The foolish” now he talks about the sinner here. First thing he says about the sinner, important for us to listen, because look, we think we’re getting away with something? We think we’re living in sin and God doesn’t notice? The truth throughout the Bible is God is longsuffering, he is longing for the rebel to turn back to him, so he can demonstrate his grace. But here’s the truth of it, “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.” (verse 5) No footing, the rebel and the sinner has no footing. It may seem like they’re making millions of dollars and everybody else is loosing, it may seem like they’re going into the halls of power and God doesn’t care, it may seem like the unjust and the unrighteous are pulling all the strings and the good people are getting the short end of the stick. He says this, ‘the wicked man, the foolish man shall not stand in thy sight, he has no footing,’ “thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing:” lies, falsehood, they have no future, they have no footing, they have no future, “the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.” (verses 5b-6) that was Absalom, he had been slaughtering already, he was deceitful, he had come in and made false promises.
David Fully Expects To Be Back In Jerusalem Worshipping God In His Tabernacle
“But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.” (verse 7) He expects to return to Jerusalem, he knows the wicked man has no sanctuary, “and in thy fear” he’s living in the fear of God, “will I worship toward thy holy temple.” Now it’s interesting when we get into the Psalms, there is no temple yet at this point in time. He says he’s going to come into the sanctuary, but he’s also aware that in heaven, ‘I’m going to worship not just towards a geographical location on earth, but towards thy holy temple.’ And David says that more than one time, and it’s remarkable. He wants to come to the place that God’s appointed, there is one place God’s appointed to shed blood, to sacrifice, there’s to be order to the worship of God. God would establish the Tabernacle and Temple, not because he needed a place, but because we needed a place. Solomon will say ‘It’s impossible for you to dwell in a building made with hands, the heavens themselves can’t contain you.’ [that’s because inside Space-Time, all matter is like a holographic image, like a vapour, a cloud compared to the reality of God who dwells outside of Space-Time. That concept alluded to in Scripture had only recently been proven by modern physics, both in Relativity and Quantum mechanics. The thought of God in his spirit-composition dwelling inside a temple or building made of matter is like the thought of one of us dwelling inside of a house-shaped fog-bank, that’s the closest analogy that can be made scientifically.] But God centralized the worship because it was to be done orderly, because every lamb that was slain, every sacrifice looked forward to the coming of his Son, and every picture was to be as clear as it possibly could. And they weren’t to be worshipping on all the different hills, with all the different idols and all the different gods, and in all the different profane sexual ways [to see how this ended up happening in Israel later, what God with Temple worship was trying to prevent, log onto http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html and read through that first article at that link]. They were to come before one God, in one place, and worship one way, with order, and these songs were being sung. This was a song to the chief musician, this would be sung so that the next generation would understand, ‘Yea, I really blew it, but I can go to God, I can cry out, he will listen, he’ll hear me, I can go to him in the morning, I can start every day in his mercy. He doesn’t like wicked people, they have no footing, they have no future, they have no sanctuary. I can go there, yes, I’m imperfect, but I’ve repented and God loves me, I can go, I can find mercy,’ he said, “in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.” ‘Lord, it’s because you’re merciful, I’m in awe of you,’ “Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.” (verse 8) i.e. ‘I need all the help I can get.’
‘Lord, Come And Straighten Things Out---You Compass The Righteous As With A Shield, A Buckler’
“For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue.” (verse 9) Absalom had deceived the nation, they flatter with their tongue, ‘Oh, my dad won’t listen, you can come to me, no, no, you come to me, I’ll take care of you,’ they flatter with their tongue. “Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.” (verse 10) He’s not just, he’s not asking in a vengeful spirit, he was a sinner saved by grace, he understands grace. He’s not wishing that people would be crushed and lost, but he’s saying, ‘Lord, there is order.’ Look, we look around the nation, we look around the world, how many things do we see that grieve us in our heart? He says, ‘Lord, straighten that out, Lord. Lord, come down and rule, Lord.’ Not that we want to see anybody lost, anybody hurt, because we’re getting in, by his grace. And I think David understands that, he’s just saying ‘They’re rebelling Lord about something that you’ve done, this is the place of your sanctuary, this is the place of the throne that you’ve established, you said it will be the throne of David from generation to generation, Lord, deal with what’s happening.’ “But let those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” (verse 11) Look, this is a guy out in the mountains. He ain’t home, he don’t have his Iphone with him, he can’t see what’s on the news, he don’t know where the bad guys are, he’s living in the mountains, he’s driven from home, his heart is broken because his own son is out to kill him, his own son has raped his wives and concubines on the roof of his house and shamed his father, this is a broken, broken, broken man. And yet through his own sin with Bathsheba, through his own failings, he has learned to take hold of the things that cannot be shaken, the things that will remain. And he has taken hold of those things, so in the middle of all of this insanity, he says ‘Let all those who put their trust in thee Lord rejoice. I know from generation to generation, Lord, your sons and daughters are gonna face great difficulties, and heartaches, Lord, I’m not the only one. Let those, Lord, who put their trust in thee, rejoice. Let them ever shout for joy,’ there’s a reason, “because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, will bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” (verse 12) It’s inevitable, that’s just the way it has to work out, he promised. “thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass [surround] him as with a shield.” and he uses the word “buckler,” the large shield that shielded your whole body, your whole being. He says ‘Lord, you will surround them, you’ll protect them, as with one of those huge shields, Lord.’ When he doesn’t have anything else to hold onto he knows what to hold onto.
To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David
“O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.”
“Psalm 6 is again to the chief musician, it is to be sung publicly, so there’s importance here, it’s to be put on the public hymnal. The Neginoth, again, is probably they believed stringed instruments, but not only is it stringed instruments, it was that because it’s called “smitings” too, because of the way the instrument was played. And quite often there’s brokenness and brokenness of heart behind it, it’s called “smitings, the Neginoth.” This is a psalm of repentance. Sheminith is the eighth or the octave, scholars argue over why exactly that’s applied. But this is one of the penital psalms, in penitence, penitial psalms it’s called, and it’s the first of seven. It’s Psalm 6, Psalm 32, Psalm 38, Psalm 51, Psalm 102, Psalm 130, and Psalm 143, the Psalms of repentance, there’s seven of them. It’s interesting, as you read through some of these old guys, I love to read the guys who wrote in the 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, they say you can read one of these every day of the week, there’s only seven of them, and if you’re going to learn Psalms you should know these seven well, Psalm 6, Psalm 32, Psalm 38, Psalm 51, Psalm 102, Psalm 130, Psalm 143. David here is crying “O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.” You know, this is smiting on the harp, kind of like it’s kind of like a Blues song here [why I love Dire Straights, touches the heart of the hurting]. “My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? [Comment on verse 5: Here’s another verse showing the spirit-in-man remains unconscious upon the death of the physical body.] not having the light we do, certainly wonderfully in the New Testament [i.e. Calvary Chapels, based solely on the NT, and not combining it with OT Scripture, believe the spirit-in-man stays conscious upon death.] “I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.” (Psalm 6, verses 1-10) The question is again, exactly what the background here is. Is this part again of the heartache with Absalom after his sin with Bathsheba? It is at a point in his life where he feels that God is dealing with him because of his sin?
It Was Always Better To Be Disciplined By Our Parents After They Had Cooled Off A Bit
He says “O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.” (verses 1-2) most scholars feel he’s suffering from physical infirmity here. He’s saying ‘Lord, don’t deal with me while you’re steaming, Lord, while you’re mad.’ It’s always, those of us, even when we grew up, we always knew it was better to be disciplined by our parents after they cooled off a little bit. It was better after they cooled off, because my mom, my dad, if they laid it on me when they were right in the heat of the moment, or it was just proportionate as far as I was concerned, of what I had done. I’m thankful I had a good mom and dad, they did lay it on me when I needed it. I think sometimes when I didn’t need it, but…As parents we can do that, in the heat of the moment we can be, we can deal it out from our own displeasure. You know, the writer to the Hebrews says we discipline our children in our own displeasure and our own anger, ‘shall not the Father of spirits then discipline us that we should live?’ But he does it differently. He does it to bring about an end. It’s never punishment, it’s not punitive, it’s discipline, and he does that to bring something about. Look, my parents, when I grew up, they weren’t Christians. Once in awhile they’d say ‘This is going to hurt us more than it’s going to hurt you,’ I didn’t believe that. I just didn’t believe it. But as a Christian, where it comes to the point where you discipline your child, I remember they just ran away and left me steaming, was in a Christian home. But I think for us, if there’s a point of discipline, we don’t go into that in a rage of anger. We go in that because the discipline is to produce something. There has to be a conversation when it’s over, ‘Do you understand why this has happened? Are you angry? Do you love me, or are you really bugged right now?’ He’s saying ‘Lord, don’t discipline me in your anger, Lord, don’t rebuke me, Lord.’ And in verses 1 to 3 he contrasts God’s mercy with his anger, he says don’t do that. So there’s some illness, some threat, some trouble in David’s life that is threatening to prove fatal. And David sees it as God’s displeasure, and what he does is he prays. He’s not afraid to go to God and ask for mercy. He knows that much about God, ‘even Lord if you’re dealing with me, even if your anger is involved here Lord, even if you’re discipling me and I’m coming to the point of a fatal situation,’ whether it’s illness or some trouble, he’s not afraid to go to God and ask for mercy. “O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.” (verses 1-2) Now by the way, not all sickness is from personal sin, don’t let anybody tell you that or teach you that. There’s sickness in the world because Adam and Eve fell, and introduced into the human race terrible things. And genetically our DNA from generation to generation has been breaking down a little bit more and a little bit more, and here we are, we’re the last generation, we’re the most advanced mutants with the most terrible weapons. That’s not consoling, in the end of all things. God can use illness, obviously to chasten, but you can’t point the finger and say that, don’t ever do that. So we pray for those that are ill, you ask God’s mercy for them, you be gracious to them, be merciful.
When You’re In A Tough Situation You Don’t Think In Points, You Think In Questions
He says also, “My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?” (verse 3) ‘Not just physical Lord, this is grinding me up inside too, but thou, O Lord, how long, how long is this going to go on?’ Ever ask that? Isn’t it interesting, when we’re in trouble, you know, Chuck Smith years ago, he said, “You know, when you do a sermon,” he said, “I love to build my thought around how, why, when, where, who.” He said, “The greatest point-preacher in America is Charles Stanley, he’s a great point-preacher, but my experience is, when my father and brother were killed, when my mom was dying of cancer,” he said, “when you’re in a tough situation, you don’t think in points. ‘Point 1, this stinks, Point 2, what do I do now?’” He said, “You think in questions, ‘Lord, why is this going on? Lord, when is this going to stop? How did I get into this?” And David here, he says “My soul is sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?” ‘how long is this going to go on, Lord?’ Look, “Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake.” (verse 4) We know that sense, don’t we? We get so carnal, we get backslidden, we’re so far from the Lord that we’re not experiencing his presence. I mean, how many times have we, how many times have I said ‘Lord, forgive me, Lord, I just want your presence, Lord, I want your fellowship, I want you close, I want that joy of knowing you and sensing you.’ And look, we know from the New Testament, he promises he’ll never leave us or forsake us. So the thing you do need to understand is when in your relationship with the Lord, when you don’t sense his presence, where he is, is right next to you not wanting you to sense his presence, it’s that simple. But David is crying out, saying, ‘Lord, how long are you going to be away from me? Return O Lord,’ longing for his presence, ‘Deliver my soul,’ “oh save me, for thy mercies’ sake” ‘you’re unmerited grace, Lord, your great unmerited love, do it for your own reputation Lord.’ And then he contrasts death and life, “For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?” (verse 5) [Comment: this verse backs up the ones by Solomon showing the spirit-in-man goes unconscious upon the death of the physical body. Other’s such as the Calvary Chapels discount OT Scripture and relying only on the NT Scriptures so that they teach the soul, or spirit-in-man stays conscious upon death. We’ll have to die to find out who is right. It won’t make any difference in the final outcome, as we all end up in the 1st resurrection to immortality.]
No Game-Face With David, He’s Honest About His Innermost Feelings
“I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.” (verse 6) Now when is the last time that we wept over our sin? We live in a very different culture. When was the last time that we wept over our sin? Because you know, even when we’re broken, what we do is we put on the ‘game face’ all day, we get up in the morning, put on the face, ‘How you doing? Great! Praise the Lord! Everything’s great!’ and until we get alone at night, how many of us there fall apart and the tears begin to flow, when no one else is around, and we just face ourselves and face him? David is honest about it. ‘Lord, I flood my bed, I make my own bed to swim, Lord. I water my couch with my tears, Lord.’ “Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.” (verse 7) his eyes were bloodshot because of grief, “it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.” ‘Lord, it doesn’t ever seem to stop.’
You’re Pleading, Complaining, Confessing---Then All Of A Sudden, Something Happens
And then all of a sudden in verses 8 and 9, there’s a huge flip-flop, it’s almost like the light goes on. Have you ever had one of those times in prayer? You know, you’re alone with the Lord, and you’re pleading, you’re griping, you’re complaining, you’re confessing, and you’re with him---and all of a sudden, all of a sudden, you understand, all of a sudden, something happens. Again, when my Dad died, I remember being up that Sunday morning, saying, ‘Lord, I know you want me to preach, but I’m broken, I got nothing, Lord,’ and just I heard ‘Absent from the body, present with the Lord.’ And it stood me on my feet. And he’s able to do that. And evidently David in the midst of this poring out of his soul, all of a sudden a light goes on. Ching! the light comes on. The best way to dispel darkness is to turn on the light. You know, sometimes we think it’s yelling at the darkness, ‘Don’t smoke, don’t chew, don’t go out with the girls, don’t mess with those drugs, don’t do this, don’t do that!’ no if you want to get rid of the darkness, turn on the light, turn on the light. ‘We love him because he first loved us,’ the Bible says. That’s a powerful force. And all of a sudden it seems the light goes on for David, and all of a sudden he says “Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.” (verses 8-9) You know, we need to separate ourselves from the people that drag us down. All of a sudden he realizes, ‘Lord, you’re here, my brokenness you’ve accepted Lord, you’ve heard the voice of my weeping.’ “The LORD hath heard” he says it again “my supplication;” and knowing that the Lord has heard he said, “the LORD will receive my prayer.” It means to accept it, to respond to it. “Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.” (verse 10) ‘Lord, I’m not going in that direction,’ he’s turned away all of a sudden, he kind of lights up. Alright?
A Psalm For People That Have Been Slandered
Psalm 7, Psalm 7 is a Psalm of David, which he sang to the LORD. It doesn’t say “to the chief Musician.” It’s here in the “Shiggaion” which seems to be “to cry aloud, to praise.” Some try to say the root of it means “to wander.” Those Hebrew words are all from verb roots. But mostly, this is something that David is crying out, it’s either a loud cry or a loud praise, and it seems to be something he’s crying out loud to the LORD. And this is a song for people that have been slandered. This is the song of the backbitten, not the backbiter, the person who has been stabbed in the back, somebody backbites you, somebody slanders you, this is your song, right here. You can memorize this, this is for the person who is being accused falsely, you know, when you want to do what you shouldn’t do and respond the wrong way and build your own posse’ and go after him, don’t do that, go here to Psalm 7. And it seems to be earlier in his life when he’s being hunted by Saul. And there seems, there was someone in Saul’s court named Cush, the Benjamite from Saul’s tribe. So it says “concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite” some feel that that’s a name he’s giving to Saul himself. Saul was angry, he was mad [mad= crazy in the head, literally], there was a demon working in his life. Cush means black, but this is a Benjamite, so it’s not, this is somebody from the tribe of Benjamin. All we know is this, someone here is accusing David falsely, someone is making accusations against him, stabbing him in his back, slandering him, and this is what he does with that, please listen, because it’s a lesson we all need to learn, “Slander 101”, sadly you’ll learn “Slander 102.” But it’s something that we all learn, and it says Jesus ‘when he was reviled, he reviled not again,’ that he didn’t strike back, he committed himself to the Shepherd and bishop of his soul. Peter says there, you know if you do something wrong, and you get rebuked for it, and you take that patiently, big deal, you deserved it. But he said ‘If you don’t do something wrong, and you get accused of doing something wrong, and you take that patiently, the Father looks down from heaven favourably, because he sees his Son in that.’ So here is the song for all of you with daggers in your back tonight, you can sing this song. Ok? “O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me: lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver. O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; if I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:) let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah. Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to judgment that thou hast commanded. So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high. The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to thy righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me. Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just; for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors. Behold, he [the wicked] travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate. I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” (Psalm 7:1-17)
Background of Psalm 7
So here is David saying “O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust:” this is in the middle of he’s fleeing like a partridge on the mountains, this is a time when there’s accusations being made against him that are not true. He was a man who was loyal to Saul, twice he had Saul in his sights and could have taken his life, and said ‘I’m not going to touch the LORD’s anointed.’ He wasn’t vengeful in that. So he says, “LORD…in thee do I put my trust:”, and look, this is a lesson, it’s a lesson for me too, “save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me: lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.” (verses 1-2) Isn’t that interesting? Not his physical frame. When someone backbites us and slanders us unjustly, it tears us inside. There’s a pain that is sometimes worse than physical pain, when it comes to betrayal, when it comes to slander. He says ‘Lord, deliver me lest he tear my soul, the immaterial part of David, like a lion tearing in pieces, like a lion.’ And the idea is, ‘lest he tear my soul with the tongue. And this is like a lion, tearing something in pieces, while there’s none to deliver, Lord, you need to do this for me, this hurts me so deeply, God, you need to deliver me, I’m trusting in you, you’ve got to do this, because Lord, this is like being shredded, it’s like being torn to pieces, the immaterial part of me deep within feels like it’s being torn to pieces, like by a lion.’ And he pleads, he says “oh LORD my God,” notice the “if’s” here, “if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; if I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me;” (verses 3-4) his conscious is clear, that’s why we know it’s before Bathsheba and so forth, “(yea, [if] I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)” if I have spared Saul’s life, ‘if I have done any of those things they’re accusing me of,’ “let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.” (verse 5) ‘if that’s true, then let the enemy have my life, let it all come on me, LORD.’ “yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.” ‘what do you think about that? This stinks, I got backbiters and slanderers chasing me around, I’m running for my life, but I’m putting my trust in the LORD. I’m going to do that. And LORD I’m asking you to do that, because it’s ripping my soul apart, LORD, this is shredding my heart apart, I can’t take the pain anymore, I feel like a lion’s tearing apart a piece of meat, you’ve gotta step in for me. And LORD, look, if I’ve done what they’ve said, if I’ve been unjust, if I’ve done this, if I’ve done that, then let it come on my head, then let it come down on me, LORD. If I’ve been wrong, then let it happen, let them take my life, let ‘em lay it in the dust. Selah, what do you think about that?’
‘You Vindicate The Righteous, You Punish The Wicked, I’m Going To Trust In You’
“Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commended.” (verse 6) Now, Samuel had anointed him, he was the anointed king of Israel, but it was years before he was to become the king he was anointed to be, and there’s a whole process here. “So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.” i.e. ‘Lord, rule over all of this.’ He says, “The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.” (verses 7-8) Now look what he says, “according to my righteousness,” when he was older he was a little more broken, he didn’t brag that much in that direction. But he says “judge me according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.” Now look, he’s not claiming to be sinless here, he knows better than that. But what he is saying is ‘I’m innocent of the accusations that they’re making against me.’ And we should all be able to say that. We’re in a sad state when people are making accusations against us that are true. We should all be able to say ‘Hey Lord, if I’ve done it, let it come on me, but if not, Lord, I’m trusting you. You step in the gap for me, because this is shredding me, it’s tearing me apart, Lord, and I’m going to stand in my righteousness and integrity, Lord. You vindicate the righteous, you punish the wicked, Lord, I’m going to trust you,’ not claiming to be sinless, none of us are sinless. What he’s saying is ‘I’m not guilty of the things they’re accusing me of.’ “Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just; for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.” (verse 9) Amen, we say that every day when we watch the news. God tries the hearts and reins, the deepest part of our being. “My defense” David says, and he uses the word again for the huge shield here [buckler], he says “My defense is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.” (verse 10) Literally, ‘My buckler is God,’ look what he says, “which saveth the upright in heart.” Notice he’s not saying if you’re upright, doing what’s right, you’ll never have a problem. He’s saying ‘The upright in heart need God to be their buckler and their shield.’ He’s not claiming this world is not without problems and heartache, even for the upright. Just, we’re living the way we should, we’re obeying the Lord, it doesn’t mean, don’t get confused, this is earth, that’s heaven [or the coming Kingdom of heaven]. This is earth, just remember that, that’s heaven.
‘God Saveth The Upright, But Is Angry With The Wicked Every Day---He’s Sharpening His Sword’
He says ‘God is my buckler, my shield,’ even the upright need that, “which saveth the upright in heart. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” (verse 11) The idea is he judges the righteous with justice, he deals on their behalf, he deals rightly. “and God is angry with the wicked every day.” Now in Ezekiel he says to the wicked, ‘turn ye, turn ye, why will you die?’ It’s not his will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. ‘God so loved the world, the world that drives you and me crazy, the world of humanity, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe would not perish, but have everlasting life.’ So, God is always angry with the wicked every day, there are things going on every day that are grieving the heart of God. Now, if the wicked will not turn, but that’s God’s heart, that they will turn. “If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.” (verse 12) There isn’t anything you’ve done, if you’re here this evening, and you might feel you’re outside the reach of God’s love. That is not true, Satan is lying to you. You are never outside the reach of his love. That fact that you’re sitting here listening to somebody like me, proves that, proves that. You could be out at a bar, you could be out getting stoned, but instead you are sitting here listening to someone tell you that God loves you, and it’s his desire that you turn to him. That’s the God that we serve. That’s why we’re here. But he says, “If he turn not,” God wants him to, but if he doesn’t, then “he” God, “will whet his sword;” that’s not good, because he’s getting the blade ready, “he hath bent his bow” that’s not good “and made that ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordained his arrows against the persecutors.” (verses 12-13) Look, understand that. This is not our home, we’re here to be salt and light [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/wearesalt.htm]. You know, you look in Revelation chapter 6, you see those under the altar, and they say ‘How long, O Lord, before you avenge those who persecuted us, who took our lives?’ They understand that’s part of his nature. But God, when he finally gets ready to pour out the veils, it says he goes into the Temple [in heaven], and no one can get near him. He’s brooding, the final things come, he is holy and he is righteous, and he has to move, he is broken and he is brooding. It’s not his will that any should perish. He says, ‘God, his sword is ready, don’t be confused about this, everything is in place,’ and he says the wicked person in verse 14, “Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.” He’s like a woman travailing in birth, he travails with iniquity, he wants to bring forth more iniquity, “he hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood” like a woman giving birth, these are all the things that are coming forth, iniquity, mischief, falsehood. “He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.” (verse 15) like Haman being hung on his own gallows. God doesn’t let that go forth without his involvement. “His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.” (verse 16) the crown of his own head is the idea. We should pray for those who are lost. We should never let anger or bitterness determine your character as a Christian. Turn the other cheek, go the extra mile. That is supernatural, it’s not in us to do that, it only happens through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. David here, considering all of the equation, all of the currency that God deals in, in regards to the righteous and the wicked. He said it’s going to come down on their own head…
Everything Is Back In Focus For David As He Ends With A Praise
…and look in verse 17, he says this, “I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” Things are back in focus. “I will sing praise to the name of the LORD” ‘Jehovah’ “most high” ‘El-lyon’ 36 times in the Bible, this is the first time you find it in the Psalms. The first time you have it in the Bible is in Genesis 14 where Chedorlaomer, the five kings of the north [from the Assyrian Empire] descend upon Sodom and Gomorrah and carry away Lot and the inhabitants, and Abraham pursues them with 326 armed servants, overcomes them, brings them back, and he encounters Melchisedec, Priest of Jehovah, El-lyon [phonetically guessing spelling] the Most High God. El-lyon means the most high, has the idea of the one whose ordering everything, the One who has everything under his control. You see how he ends? He’s a man whose being slandered, he’s a man whose being falsely accused. He says ‘Lord, I’m going to trust you,’ any of you relate to that this evening? You’re being slandered, people you care about are saying things about you that are not true. And you can put on your game-face as you sit here in church, but it’s painful. He says ‘It’s like my own soul being torn, a deeper part of my being it hurts God so bad, like a lion tearing apart a piece of meat. Lord, I’m not afraid, if I’ve done any of those things they accuse me of, show me, Lord. If I’ve done all that, then let it come down on me. But Lord I’m trusting you and I’m trying to keep perspective that you deal with the righteous, that the righteous is never forsaken, that Lord, those that are upright can trust you Lord. I put my own righteousness and integrity before you, what they’re accusing me of is not true. Lord, you’re my defense, you’re the huge shield that’s around me, you save the upright in heart, Lord. And you judge on behalf, justice on behalf of the righteous, and you’re angry with the wicked.’ I know every day this world is so insane, you look at the news, you look at what’s going on. And it tells then how he deals with that, what he’s going to do with that, how it’s going to end up coming down on their own head. But he ends with a praise. Are you willing to end this day with a praise? ‘It’s a miserable day, I’ve been persecuted all day, look, I’ve got a bunch of new knives in my back, it’s wonderful, let’s sing!’ [he chuckles] Jesus said, look, ‘When they persecute you for righteousness, rejoice, be exceedingly glad,’ ‘Oh come on, Lord, cut me a break,’ ‘for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you, you’re in good company.’ First of all, if you were perfect they would crucify you, you know that. If you’re like one of the prophets of old, and you’re willing to stand up without yielding, without compromise, they’re going to persecute you. Jesus said they did it to them. And it happens, rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, we’re allowed to be excited about those rewards. David ends this Psalm by saying “I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” Specifically he says, let me tell you who he is going to sing to, he says, ‘the LORD El-lyon, the God Most High, he’s over all these guys who are accusing me, he’s over all them, I’m going to trust in him.’ Look, there’s certain things we learn from this Psalm, and please, take note of them. Number 1, God’s children get slandered. You with me? That ever happen to you, raise your hand. OK, the rest of you just got here on a flying saucer, I understand. God’s children get slandered, first thing. Second thing, it’s painful, it’s painful, it hurts. That’s just true. When it happens, this Psalm teaches Take it to the Lord, don’t go buy ammo, take it to the Lord. He will both judge, and vindicate. Or he can’t be righteous if he doesn’t do that. And when we have that in perspective we can sing, we can sing, we have a musical faith, we can lift his praises. I’m going to have the musicians come, and we’re going to do that right now, we’re going to sing. If you’re in a difficult situation, your own son trying to kill you, you know with David it was Absalom, pray. “Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” (Psalm 4:1-3) If you’re being slandered and persecuted, David said, ‘Lord, this is going on, I’m going to trust in you, Lord. It’s ripping me apart inside, but you are the Lord El-lyon, you are the Most High, you’re over all of this, Lord. You’re over my brokenness, you’re over the ones who are slandering me, you’re ruling over everything, and you judge the righteous, you are their shield, you are their buckler, Lord I’m going to let you protect me, and I’m going to sing your praise.’ Are we ready to do that? Let’s stand, let’s stand, let’s do that. Tomorrow morning, let him hear your prayer, you’re going to do that. OK, I know if you’re a night person, just get up five minutes earlier. Ok? It’s a great way to start the day. ‘Father we put these thing before you Lord, and with great emotion, Lord, you put these things to the page, Lord, David, running in the hills, Lord, somehow putting a quill in his hand, somehow having a scroll before him, Lord, somehow seeing through this man to us, and writing these letters to us, Lord, these songs, somehow, Lord through David, Lord, inspiring not the writer, but the route, Lord, the Word of God on the page, and handing it to us tonight, as alive and powerful as it was in the hills of Judea, in the Temple precincts when David put these things to the page, Lord, as alive and powerful tonight. I pray for everyone here, Lord, that needs to in guilty conscience, Lord, turn to you and receive Lord your grace, that needs to in genuine repentance, Lord, know that you’re a forgiving God, your love. Lord, I pray for everyone here whose brokenhearted, whose soul is torn, Lord, by some circumstance that’s not true, Lord, by some injustice that’s come down upon their heads, that you would give them the grace to worship, Lord. Lord, and I pray for any Lord who just sense your displeasure, that have done something wrong, that feel their own mortality, Lord, their own vulnerability, Lord, that the light would go on, Lord, and all of a sudden they could cry out, “The Lord hath heard me, he hath heard me, he hath heard me, he’s listened to the voice of my prayer, he’s receiving what I’m saying.” Lord, grant that also in your immeasurable grace, Father we pray in Jesus name, and for his glory, amen.’ [transcript of an expository sermon on Psalms 5:1-12; 6:1-10 and 7:1-17, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116]