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Psalm 1:1-6
Psalm 2:1-12
Psalm 3-4
Psalms 5-7
Psalms 8-9-10
Psalms 11-14
Psalms 15-16-17
Psalm 18:1-50
Psalm 19:1-14
Psalms 20-21
Psalm 22:1-31
Psalm 23:1-6
Psalm 24: 1-10
Psalm 25-26
Psalm 27:1-14
Psalm 28-30
Psalm 31-32
Psalm 33-34
Psalm 35-36
Psalm 37-38
Psalm 39-40
Psalm 41-43
Psalm 44-45
Psalm 46-47
Psalm 48-50
Psalm 52-55
Psalm 56-58
Psalm 59-61
Psalm 62-65
Psalm 66-68
Psalms 69-72
Psalm73-1-28
Psalms 74-77
Psalm78-1-72
Psalms 79-81
Psalms 82-83
Psalm84-1-12
Psalms 85-87
Psalms 88-89
Psalm 90:1-17
Psalm 91:1-16 Psalms 92-93 Psalms 94-95 Psalms 96-99 Psalms 100-102
Psalm 103:1-22 Psalm 104:1-35 Psalm 105:1-45 Psalm 106:1-48 Psalm 107:1-43
Psalms 108-110 Psalms 111-113 Psalm114-116 Psalm117-118 Psalm 119: 1-16
Psalm 119: 17-40 Psalm 119: 41-64 Psalm 119: 65-88 Psalm 119: 89-112 Psalm 119: 113-136
Psalm 119: 137-160 Psalm 119: 161-170 Psalms 120-125 Psalms 126-128 Psalms 129-132
Psalms 133-135 Psalms 136-138 Psalm 139 Psalms 140-144 Psalms 145-146
Psalms 147-150        
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Psalm 129:1-8

 

A Song of degrees.

 

“Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say:  Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth:  yet they have not prevailed against me.  The plowers plowed upon my back:  they made long their furrows.  The LORD is righteous:  he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.  Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.  Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up:  wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.  Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the LORD be upon you:  we bless you in the name of the LORD.”

 

Introduction

 

“Psalm 129 in this journey through these fourteen, fifteen Psalms, 120 to 134, the Songs of Ascent, sung by the children of Israel as they came up to the Feasts in Israel [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/Holydayshadows.htm].  Psalm 129 is the pilgrim’s kind of backward glance at the history of their nation, as they’re gathering, I’ll read through it, it says, “Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say:  many a time have they afflicted me from my youth:  yet they have not prevailed against me.  The plowers plowed upon my back:  they made long their furrows.  The LORD is righteous:  he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.  Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.  Let them be as the grass upon the house tops, which withereth afore it groweth up:  wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.  Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the LORD be upon you:  we bless you in the name of the LORD.”  This Psalm, looking back on the history of the nation, certainly true today with a longer history for us to look at.  It says “Many a time have they afflicted me” it seems Israel, nationally speaking, there certainly can be shadows of the Messiah in all of these things.  But Israel is viewed nationally here.  “Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say:  many a time have they afflicted me from my youth:” and then it adds, yet they have not prevailed against me.” (verses 1-2)  You think of Israel in the days that the Psalmist puts his quill to the page, the Holy Spirit, as they look back over their history through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Egypt and being delivered from Egypt [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/exodus1.html], and the different things the nation had gone through [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html and http://www.unityinchrist.com/ezra/ezra1.html], you certainly could say that, ‘many times have they afflicted me, many times have they afflicted me from my youth, from the time I was born as a nation,’ “yet they have not prevailed against me.”  Certainly that can be spoken today, when you look at Israel [the Israeli nation], Israel herself a miracle.  Ah, interesting, Mark Twain in Harpers Magazine in 1899, they published this article called An Essay Concerning Jews, he actually wrote it in 1898, it was published in Harpers in 1899.  Mark Twain wrote this, “If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute one percent of the human race.  It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way.  Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of.  But he is heard of, has always been heard of.  He is as prominent on the planet as any people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.  His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.  He has a marvelous spite in this world, and has done it with his hands tied behind him.  He could be vain of himself and be excused for it.  The Egyptian, the Babylonian, the Persian rose, and filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded into dream stuff and passed away.  The Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone.  Other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high, for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.  The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no doling of his alert and aggressive mind, all things are mortal but the Jew.  All other forces pass, but he remains.  And what is the secret of his immortality?”  Interesting observation by Mark Twain. A number of years ago, sitting in the Yad Vashem in Israel, I’ve been there enough times as the tour was going through, and I went to the Tabernacle of Remembrance, which is built out of big basalt stones.  The floor of that room is filled with ashes from Buchenwald, and Dakau and Auschwitz and all of the concentration camps in Europe, and in the middle there’s a modern sculptured, artistic bronze bush with a gas flame in it, burning.  And you sit there and you realize, ‘the bush is still burning,’…this remarkable people, where God said they would be, in the midst of time and eternity, in the midst of this world today.  “Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say:  many a time have they afflicted me from my youth:  yet they have not prevailed against me.  The plowers plowed upon my back:” nationally, and in Jesus, ‘I gave my back to the smiters,’  “they made long their furrows.” (verses 1-3) and now the reason they have not ceased, “The LORD is righteous:  he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.” (verse 4)  The wicked, the Bible teaches, will not prevail [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/festiavloflights.htm Antiochus Epiphanes and his massive Syrian hordes tried to wipe out the Jews and their religion, but this wicked ruler and his massive  forces did not prevail, this is why the Jews celebrate every December, the Festival of Lights, Chanukah.  Neither did Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany succeed, Nazi Germany was brought low, to ashes.  Why didn’t the wicked succeed in wiping out the Jews? “The LORD is righteous:  he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.” (verse 4)] 

 

For The Wicked There’s No Harvest

 

“Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.  Let them be as the grass upon the house tops, which withereth afore it groweth up:” (verses 5-6) the housetops in Israel at the time of the writer, but still many today, flat housetops, people will sit on the housetops and get the cool breeze at the end of the day, and often times, weed-on, sprays you have to get to eradicate the weeds that grow in the cracks around your house, on the housetops seeds will blow there and grow.  But the idea is here, he says ‘that’s what the wicked are like, they’re like the grass that grows on the housetops, and it withers before it grows up, never really fully grown, never comes to fruition, where it says the righteous will go forward bearing precious seed, doubtless come again rejoicing,’ it says, ‘your wife will shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of your house, your children like olive plants around the table, the wicked, they’re going to be like the grass on the housetops, which before it grows up, it withers away,’  “Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.” (verse 7) “filleth not his hand,” those that are harvesting, there’s nothing up there to really gather, “nor he that bindeth sheaves in his bosom,” it’s not going to be, there’s no real harvest, “Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the LORD be upon you:  we bless you in the name of the LORD.” (verse 8)  In the Book of Ruth, it was a tradition in Israel, if you went by the field and the harvesters were working, and the nation of Israel realizing anything coming out of the ground, blessing, was because of the LORD, they would yell to those labouring in the field, “The blessing of the LORD be upon you,” and they would yell back, “and upon you.”  And it is a tradition, and he says ‘But the wicked, neither do they which go by say the blessing of the LORD be upon you, we bless you in the name of the LORD that’s not cried out to the wicked, it isn’t their experience.  So, interesting exhortation and a remembrance for Israel, as they were coming up during the times of the Feasts, so looking backwards.”

 

Psalm 130:1-8

 

A song of degrees.

 

“Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.  Lord,  hear my voice:  let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.  If thou, O LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?  But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.  I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.  My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning:  I say, more than they that watch for the morning.  Let Israel hope in the LORD:  for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.  And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”

 

“Psalm 130, the Psalmist is looking inward, the pilgrim, and it’s good for us, because we are pilgrims.  I’ll read through, it says “Out of the depths I cried unto thee, O LORD.  Lord, hear my voice:  let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.  If thou, O LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?  But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.  I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.  My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning:  I say, more than they that watch for the morning.  Let Israel hope in the LORD:  for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.  And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”  So, interesting the Psalmist it seems now, looking back at their own history, you know, it survived because of God’s grace and God’s care.  The wicked are not like that.  And then as he takes his own internal survey, he says this, “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.” (verse 1) and it’s interesting, it’s a picture that speaks, in other places in the Old Testament, Jonah speaks about the sea going over him, it’s speaks of David, “all thy waves and billows have gone over me,” this is the same phrase, so it’s a picture of drowning almost, it’s a picture of going down.  And I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced that at any point in your life.  I remember one time as a kid I fell into a pool, there were other humans there, that’s why I’m here talking about it.  But I was just a little kid, fell backwards into this pool, and all I remember was going down seeing the surface, seeing the sun sparkling in the water, and I couldn’t swim, struggling and gulping in water, and some hand came down and grabbed me and pulled me up.  That’s not a really, I didn’t try that again.  [I remember getting rolled by a wave, breathing in some water, like it was yesterday, but guess it was the future sailor in me, stuck with it, learned to scuba dive, joined the Submarine service, sailed thousands of hours in a small sailboat during my teen years, guess it was in the genes.]  I didn’t think ‘I should try that again,’ and that’s the picture, you know, ‘Out of the depths, you know, you’re drowning, have I cried unto thee, O LORD, it was just one of those times,’ and we’ve all had those times in our lives.  And we will, we just feel like ‘all your waves and billows are going over me, what’s going on?  I’m hurting, out of place here, I have no resource to pull out of this, this doesn’t seem right for a child of God, why is this going on? I’m going down, I’m struggling.’  Can you relate?  Part of us could sing this song, at certain times in our lives.  “Lord, hear my voice:  let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.” (verse 2) ‘Lord, I’m going down for the third time, I’m crying out to you.’ 

 

“There Is Forgiveness With Thee, Enough To Frighten Us”

 

“If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (verse 3)  And obviously, no one.  If God, if that’s the way he deals with us, and if that’s why he reaches down when we’re drowning, and pulls us up so we can get fresh air, and saves us, if he does it because we’re without iniquity, who can stand?  No one.  ‘Who am I to ask you, Lord, when those days come upon me, to hear my voice, LORD, be attentive to my prayer.  But LORD, if you mark iniquity, nobody can stand, Lord,’ he says, who then can stand?’  “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” (verse 4)  very interesting, “that thou mayest be feared,” ‘There’s forgiveness with you LORD, if you mark iniquity, no one can stand, there’s forgiveness with you LORD, so’ the idea is, ‘we should stand in awe of you.’  When you come to the realization of your nature before the Lord, and to me, any time I’ve really experienced his presence, the thing that overwhelmed me is ‘I am such a sinful man.’  Though it was his holiness and his grace and his love that almost was taking my breath away, such a sinful man.  In 1903 in the Revival in Wales they made a song out of this, and they said “There is forgiveness with thee, enough to frighten us.”   So they took the second half of the verse, “that thou mayest be feared.”  ‘There is forgiveness with you LORD, enough to frighten us.’  The right perspective, standing before a holy God.  It isn’t based upon our performance, because if it was, if you marked iniquities, who could stand?  ‘But there is forgiveness with you, Lord, enough to frighten us, that you might be feared.’ 

 

‘I’m Waiting For You LORD, And In Your Word Do I Hope’

 

“I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.” (verse 5) and look, “and in his Word do I hope, in his Word do I hope.”  All of the promises of the LORD, of forgiveness, every sacrifice that was offered, David said ‘Sacrifice and offering hath thou not desired, but a broken and contrite spirit thou wilt not despise.’…not theropudize, create in me a new heart.  And here, the Psalmist’s self examination, ‘LORD, those times when I’m drowning, you’re going to deal with the wicked, LORD, but when I’m going down, LORD, I’m crying out to you, I want you to hear my supplications, and LORD, I certainly don’t want you to do it because I’m better than anyone else, if you marked iniquities LORD, then no one could stand.’  Solomon said “there is no one without sin.”  ‘But there is forgiveness with you, LORD, that you may be feared, that you may be held in awe, and I wait for you LORD, my soul is waiting,’ and look, “and in his word do I hope.”  Isaiah 53, the beautiful pictures, the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all, for you and I, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever should believe in him would not perish, but have everlasting life—and not when you get to heaven [or are ushered into eternal life at the 1st resurrection to immortality], have tonight, everlasting life.  How wonderful.  ‘LORD, I wait for you LORD, my soul is waiting, and LORD, in your Word I find my hope.’  You and I also should be able to say these things. 

 

‘My Soul Waits For You LORD More Than The Night Watchman Waits For The Morning’

 

“My soul waiteth for the LORD more than they that watch for the morning:  I say, more than they that watch for the morning.” (verse 6)  He had said, ‘except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it, except the LORD keep the city, the watchmen watches, waiteth but in vain,’ now the guys that are on night watch, they only want one thing, that want the sun to come up.  If you’re a night watchman, the hours kind of go by a bit slowly, they kind of creep by.  And particularly if there’s enemies around, things threatening, and he says, “My soul waiteth for the LORD more than they that watch for the morning.”  ‘LORD, I’m thinking about your coming, I’m thinking about your Revival, I’m watching for you, LORD, there’s all kinds of things going on, ISIS and Ebola, endura virus, and the economy’s failing and terrorism and all these threats, but LORD, my soul, I’m trusting in your Word, you said when we saw these things, to lift up our heads, our redemption is drawing nigh, I’m trusting in your Word, that’s where I find my hope, and my soul is waiting for you more than the watchman in the middle of the night wait for the morning.  They long for the sun to rise, but I long for your Coming, I say, more than they that watch for the morning.’ (exposition of verse 6)  How wonderful. 

 

‘We Have Mercy And Abundant Redemption With The LORD

 

“Let Israel hope in the LORD:  for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.” for us it will come in the twinkling of an eye.  “He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” (verses 7-8)  verse 3, “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?”   Verse 8, “And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” is the answer to that.”

 

Psalm 131:1-3

 

A Song of degrees.

 

“LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty:  neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.  Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother:  my soul is even as a weaned child.  Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.”

 

‘I’ve Quieted Myself Before You, As A Weaned Child’

 

“Psalm 131, it says “LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty:  neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.  Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother:  my soul is even as a weaned child.  Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.” (verses 1-3)  Interesting, interesting Psalm.  And the pilgrim now, glancing backward, glancing within, it seems now here’s the quietness or the rest, where the contentment of the pilgrim is, “LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty:  neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.  Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother:” in our culture things are a bit different, “my soul is even as a weaned child.” (verse 1-2) common for the mom to nurse a child, in those days, three, four years.  But any of you who have breast fed babies, I’ve watched that go on four times in my house, it’s even funny sometimes when I dedicate a baby, that poor baby’s up here going ‘eh, eh,’ looking for something it’s not gonna get from me, and it’s pecking around on my shoulder, ‘eh, eh,’ making noises, grunting and all these things, and you know how the baby tries to do that to the mom.  I read this study, these doctors studied infants from day of birth to a month old, they said by the time they’re a month old, they know how to manipulate their environment.  They know how to scream to get fed, they know how to scream to get changed, they know how to scream to get picked up, they understand the scream language and how it manipulates the giants that are all around them.  But the picture here then you know, you have that kind of ‘eehh,’ but there’s a time when the child is weaned, when it’s three years old, the child is then no longer wanting anything from the parent, but it is just content to sit, there’s more of an understanding, the child is quiet and content to be without mother, content to be with parents.  And he says, ‘I’m as that, my soul is like that, there was a time with the LORD, I was ‘Eh! Eh!’  ‘I want this, I want that, I want my way,’  we get saved, we think ‘He saved ME, and he knew what he was getting, smart move,’ we come into the kingdom [the spiritual aspect of it, in our hearts and minds], and we think all kinds of things, you know, and then all of a sudden we realize ‘Oh, that’s still there?  Maybe we need to go forward again.  Oh, I’m still that selfish, Oh, I want, I want, I want,’  ‘Oh, never mind, you know what, if I could just sleep and have toast, that would be good,’ and we just kind of, we go through all of that.  And you’re just as dependent as ever, but you’ve kind of, you get content to just sit with him, you’re not carrying on and screaming, like a baby.  But as you read this, it’s very interesting, because the Psalmist says, look, in verse 2, “Surely I have behaved myself and quieted myself” he says, ‘I’ve done that, I was disquieted, I was fussy, I was just bugging God all the time for what I wanted from him, and what I thought he should do, but I’ve grown, I’ve learned,’ “I have behaved myself and quieted myself,” ‘I’ve done this myself.’ 

 

Three Things He Did In Regard To Quieting Himself

 

#1 ‘I’m Not Haughty, Prideful

 

Now look, and he tells us in verse 1, there’s three things that he did in regards to this, he says “LORD,” number 1, “my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty” ‘I’ve learned to humble myself, I’m not all I thought I was trumped up to be, and I’ve learned that, and it’s quieted me, LORD.  My heart is not haughty the way that it was.’  It tells us in Psalm 13:10, ‘Contention cometh only by pride.’  When our pride is there, and it’s cooking, and you all know what I’m talking about, it happened to me in 1978 once.  But when that’s there, there’s contention.  You live with another human being, and it rises up.  And as long as there’s that haughtiness, that pride, there’s stress, there’s no peace, we’re not quieted.  You kind of learn, You know what, alright, there are things I need to stand up for, but I’m gonna pick my battles. I’m gonna quiet down.’  Vance Havner is my favorite ‘A bulldog can beat a skunk any day, it’s just not worth it.’  So, you learn, Don’t even enter into this, don’t start, you sit down.’  And it says that ‘Pride cometh before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.’  ‘So, he says, the first thing I learned, about myself, is just to chill, calm down.  I’m not all that important, I’m God’s child by his grace, he doesn’t mark iniquities, paid for in his blood, the only thing that’s really cool about me, is that I’m a blood-bought child of God.  I’m a sinner saved by grace.’  It takes a lot of pressure off, I’m getting myself a new sweatshirt, it’s gonna have ZERO on it, in two years it’ll be a DOUBLE ZERO.  But it just relieves all the pressure.  Trying to be a Christian is a nightmare.  You can never be a Christian, you’ll never do it.  You have to be saved by his grace, you have to rest in his love.  The first thing the Psalmist tells us is ‘My heart is not haughty,’ I’m going to put that away.

 

#2 ‘I’m Not Filled With Vain, Selfish Ambition

 

Secondly he says, “nor mine eyes lofty:” and the idea is “ambition” ‘I’m not looking at things, position I want, recognition I want, I don’t want all of that stuff, I’m not looking there.’  You and I know this well.  We’re told in the Book of Romans, “For I say through the grace given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man a measure of faith.”  Or as Paul says to the Corinthians, they were arguing, they were banging heads, they were getting drunk at the communion table, suing one another, you know, great church.  And he said, “Who maketh thee to differ from another?  What hast thou that thou didst not receive?  Now if you received it, why dost thou glory as if thou had not received it?”  And in Philippians, somewhere, we’re coming there, next few weeks, in chapter 2 he says, “Let nothing be done through strife and vainglory,” it’s “vain ambition” is the idea, “but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than themselves.”  So, you know, he says ‘First thing, I’m not haughty, that’s come into perspective for me.  Secondly, I’ve got rid of that ambition.’  Now there is godly ambition, it’s good, we should desire to serve the Lord, we should desire to walk with him.  But there is selfish ambition that causes, it’s divisive, and it divides the Body of Christ, it wants attention, it’s envious, and it’s what Satan wanted to be, and he wanted the attention, it works like that.  So he says ‘My eyes are not lofty, I’m not spending my days looking up at all this stuff, I’ve found rest in you, it’s worth more that the stuff I thought ‘if I could get my hands on, or the recognition I thought if I could get, or the kudos’ and the pats on the back’ that I thought I could get, I found LORD in you there’s greater rest than striving after all that,’ that’s the second thing he says. 

 

“Neither Do I Exercise Myself In Great Matters, Or In Things Too High For Me”

 

And thirdly he says, neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.” (verse 2c)  If we try to do things we’re not called to do and we’re not gifted to do, we live frustrated.  If we don’t do the things that God does put in front of us, then we live stagnated.  If you’re a frustrated individual, you’re trying to do things too high, you’re trying to do things you’re not gifted for, you’re trying to do things you don’t have the tools to do, it breeds frustration.  [I’m merely frustrated the Lord hasn’t begun a Revival yet, but that’s on him, not me.]  If you’re just stagnant, it’s because you haven’t stepped up to the plate to do the things that God has called you to do.  Look, he’s given all of us gifts, every joint and ligament supplies, there is not one person in this church and in this ministry that is more important than anybody else, we’re all blood-bought, we’re sons and daughters.  Each one of us has something to give, each one of us has a gift.  Each one of us is able to come and to contribute.  And I think it’s important.  And if you’re not doing that, I think you should pray and ask God what your gifts are.  I mean, that should be a constant part of our prayer.  For me, I want to stay in my calling, I know what I’m called to, I know what I’m not called to, I just want to stay focused on the thing I know I’ve been called to do.  Because there’s all kinds of other things that surround me, there’s all kinds of other voices, all kinds of other temptations, there’s all kinds of stuff.  I’m a carpenter and a druggy that got saved, and I know what I’m supposed to be doing, and it’s really simple.  If it was complicated, I’d have mushed it all up by now.  So, I’m a Bible guy, I want to be a good husband, a good father, a good grandfather, and I love to feed the flock.  The Lord said to Peter, ‘If you love me, feed my sheep,’ and he [Peter] tried to get out of it, ‘Well I’m fond of you,’ the Lord said, ‘But if you agape’ me, feed my lambs,’  ‘I’m fond of you,’ and you know he comes back, ‘If you’re fond of me, feed my sheep.’  I really went through those wrestling matches, I know what I’m supposed to do, I’m fulfilled there, you know, you keep your focus, you keep your calling, he has something for each of us.  I think it was General Electric years ago, did this survey of human lives in this study, and they said ‘Each human being, before they die, dramatically effects the lives of 151 other people.’  If you can imagine that, dramatically effects the lives, in a normal lifetime, of 151 other people.  In what direction?  How do we do that?  Imagine, we have spiritual gifts that, you know, God has given to us.  Wonderful thing.  It says, look, if we do that, we look out for haughtiness, we have a right perspective of ourselves, there’s humility, if we have a right perspective of ourselves we’re not going to be looking at things that are too lofty, and we’re not going to be putting ourselves in positions we shouldn’t put ourselves in or stuff we’re not equipped to do, living frustrated.  And he says, ‘because you behave yourselves wisely like that, you’ve quieted your soul, as’ he doesn’t say ‘I am one,’ ‘but it’s like a weaned child.’  It’s like the baby gets out of here, no more ‘Eh! eh! eh!’ you’ve kind of settled down to where you don’t need anything from God but just to sit and be with him, you’re just as dependent, but his presence quiets your soul, his presence quiets your soul.  Think of, if some of these things we see going around the world sweep through the [city]…how foolish some of the things we fight over, that we think we need to make us happier, are all of a sudden going to seem insignificant.  To be able to sit and say ‘Lord, my life is in your hands, if you want me today, I’ll come today.  Want me in ten years, I’ll come in ten years.  Like a weaned child, I don’t want anything from you, I just want you. I’m just as dependent as I was when I was a babe in Christ, but I’m so content now, just to sit in your presence.’  as a child that is weaned of his mother:  my soul is even as a weaned child.” (verse 2b)  And he says, “Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever” (verse 3)  Put your trust there, put your hope there, let it be in the LORD.  Great stuff there, those three verses. 

 

Psalm 132:1-18

 

A Song of degrees.

 

“LORD, remember David, and all his afflictions:  how he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob; surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.  Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah:  we found it in the fields of the wood.  We will go into his tabernacles:  we will worship at his footstool.  Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength.  Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.  For thy servant David’s sake turn not away the face of thine anointed.  The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.  If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.  For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.  This is my rest for ever:  here will I dwell; for I have desired it.  I will abundantly bless her provision:  I will satisfy her poor with bread.  I will also clothe her priests with salvation:  and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.  There will I make the horn of David to bud:  I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.  His enemies will I clothe with shame:  but upon himself shall his crown flourish.” 

 

‘My Personal Comfort Needs To Step Aside So The Things Of Your Kingdom Can Go Forward’

 

“Psalm 132…and then the LORD in verse 14 begins to answer the prayer that was lifted up, he says “This is my rest for ever:  here will I dwell; for I have desired it.  I will abundantly bless her provision:  I will satisfy her poor with bread.  I will also clothe her priests with salvation:  and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.  There will I make the horn of David to bud:  I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.  His enemies will I clothe with shame:  but upon himself shall his crown flourish.” (verses 14-18)  So this Psalm now, the longest of the Songs of Ascent.  The Psalmist now writes this, we’re not sure who it is.  He asks the LORD to remember the fact that David, in all his afflictions, made a plea to the LORD.  Ah, the coming up to Jerusalem, the Songs of Ascent, as they’re coming they’re reminding, ‘LORD, this is to be your habitation, this is the place where we’re to come to worship, remember David, this was in his heart, LORD, we’re traveling, we’re coming,’ there were thieves, there were threats from things along the way.  So they would travel in groups, and they would sing the Songs of Ascent as they came up to Jerusalem.  And this song made a request, “LORD, remember David, and all his afflictions:” now the King James translates that word “afflictions,” the Hebrew is “remember his anxious cares,” David had a certain anxiety in regards to something he was desiring, he was caring about, anxious cares.  And verses 3, 4 and 5 tell us what they were.  And “he sware unto the LORD,” and then he reiterates that,and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob;” and he said this, “Surely I will not come into the tabernacles of my house,” these are his anxious cares, “nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.” (verses 2-5)  Here’s David, longing to see the Temple built.  First, his desire, he looked, the nation had been brought under his military prowess, under his hand.  He had then finally come from Hebron up to Jerusalem, he was the king over all the land.  And when the land finally has the right king, the land is united.  That’s true in the territory of your life, the territory in your thoughts, the territory in your heart, the territory in my heart and in my thoughts.  When I have the right King, everything comes under that.  And David as he was in Jerusalem, the kingdom’s expanded to about 60,000 square miles, the largest it ever was.  His enemies were pushed away, you know, he would go out and look for enemies in the future.  Everything’s subdued, he’s not resting, he has this anxious care, he’s thinking, ‘Here I’ve got this palace, here I have this beautiful deal set up, I got this, and the Ark of the Covenant is in Kirioth Jearim,’ he says ‘We’ve heard of it in Ephratah, Bethlehem, and we found it in the fields of the woods,’ Kirioth Jearim, “means the field of the woods.”  And you remember the first time David longed to bring the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem, it was in the house of Aminadab.  And he sent to get the Ark of the Covenant, you remember, and it says that they threw it on a cart, and they began to bring it up to Jerusalem, the whole city got all smoked up, everybody’s screaming, watching over the walls, he’s got all these dancers and singers and priests, everybody’s with him, going all the way up to Jerusalem.  And it says the cart with the oxen pulling it, it hits a bump, and Aholiab puts his hand out to steady the Ark, and the LORD strikes him dead there.  And everybody freezes, the people closest stop singing first, they must have been saying to everybody else ‘Sssh, sssh! Quiet down!’ to the whole crowd.  David is angry, he’s bummed, you know, What’s the deal!?  I’m doing something good here, and what is this?’  And they move it into the house of Obed-edom of the priest’s family who lives there, and David is angry.  And what they were doing, of course, is they desired God’s presence, but they were doing it, the way it was moved, the last time it was moved, the Philistines had put it on a cart and drug it with oxen.  And a cart is just boards with big wheels.  And there’s too many churches now looking to Madison Avenue, looking at the boards and big wheels, on how to make a church grow, how to make this happen.  You know, we want the Lord’s presence, but the Lord won’t be driven, you can’t throw his presence on a cart and say ‘This is the way we’re going to do it, we’ll drag you up.’  And David has to go away and think, you know, and he’s mulling over.  And the Ark is in the house of Obed-edom, ah, “edom” [in Hebrew] is ruddy or red, ah Obed, a servant.  And David remembers, he was a ruddy youth, he worshipped the LORD in the field, he slew a bear, he slew a lion, there was some presence in his life in his relation with the Lord.  And he’s thinking, ‘Why?  What’s going on, help me understand, you’re blessing the house of a” ruddy servant,” I was a ruddy servant, what’s going on?’  And finally it dawns on him, that he hadn’t done it according to the Word of the LORD, of course, which said, the Ark of the Covenant was to be carried, it tells us in Chronicles, he realizes, and he got the priests and he brought it back again.  Because the first time he came back he was humiliated, everyone on the walls screaming, and where’s the Ark, you know.  So now he goes back and slides the staves through [the rings on the four corners of the Ark], and the priests pick up the Ark, and every so many paces they sacrifice.  And then they come up to Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant.  And it’s almost like God does all these God things, 40 years in the Wilderness, 38 years after they left Egypt, the priests never stumbled, never, they carry it for 38 years.  God will do everything, all the different things we need in our lives, all the different things in regards to his presence.  The one thing he doesn’t remove from us, is that the Ark, the presence of the LORD is to be borne, the Mercy Seat, and the place where the blood is poured out.  There’s something that you and I can’t put on a cart and drive it, and that is that Mercy Seat, the fact that there has to be the blood of an innocent substitute, that’s something that we have to carry our entire lives.  There’s a right way to move, it isn’t to throw it on a cart and turn it into a religious system, it is something that is borne on a cross.  If we carry that one thing, he carries everything else.  He builds a nation, he does everything else, he gives them victories.  And David desired, and it was a good thing, and they ended up bringing the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem.  And then of course, from there David says, ‘Well, you know, it’s out there at the tabernacle, it’s in a tent [not the special Tabernacle Moses built in the Wilderness, but an ordinary tent], God needs a building,’ and then the LORD says, ‘David, you’re not the one, because,’ Nathan had come, and he said to Nathan the prophet, ‘I want to build the LORD a house,’ and Nathan said ‘Great!  Go on, do it.’  Nathan was walking home, and the LORD went, ‘Yo, bub!  You’re a good prophet and all, but did I tell you to say that?  You go back there and talk to him, he can’t build a Temple, he’s a man of blood, got it all over his hands, I used him to subdue all these enemies.  His son Solomon will build it.’  Remarkably, to watch David, David, it’s so much in his heart, that David does this.  He then goes out and demolishes any enemy that might ever be a threat to him, he begins to collect the gold and the silver in numbers that Israel had never seen.  It tells us in Chronicles that God actually gave David the plans for the Temple, the courses of priests, the courses of singers, all of it was given to David, and he wrote it all down, he had the dimensions, everything.  So that Temple was all pre-fabbed, it was all paid for, the enemies were all subdued.  By the time Solomon comes to build it, it’s really David’s Temple, Solomon just put it together.  And it was all prepared for, everything was there.  And David is saying here, God loved the heart of David, he’s saying ‘You know, I can’t rest God, I can’t rest because you’re not getting worshipped the way you should,’  ‘I can’t rest because my mom’s not saved yet, I can’t rest because people are mocking you, I can’t rest because there’s people I work with every day that don’t know you, LORD.  I mean, I can’t rest LORD, because there’s things in my life that need to change, I can’t rest because my comfort needs to take a second place to your Kingdom [cf. Matthew 6:33].  My personal comfort needs to step aside so the things of your Kingdom can go forward.’   That’s the greatness of the man, David.  And look, if I was like that, ‘You can do whatever you want with me LORD,’ and if the Church is like that in these days, I wonder how much we would effect the nation that we live in?  If the mantra of the Church was ‘LORD, my personal comfort is going to step aside, until you get the glory you should get, my family, my work, where I go to school, this nation.’  Just reading through it was chewing on me.  And I didn’t think it was fare to chew on me and you wouldn’t get chewed on along with me, so I just figured I’d let you know it was chewing on me, as I looked at this. 

 

‘David’s Lineage, Leading Ultimately To Christ, Is Going To Sit On The Throne In Jerusalem

 

“We will go into his tabernacles:  we will worship at his footstool.” David had prayed, and God had promised, “Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength.  Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.  For thy servant David’s sake turn not away the face of thine anointed.” (verses 7-10)  Now, Solomon, when he dedicates the Temple, he says, “Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou and the Ark of thy strength.  Let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.  O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed, remember the mercies of David thy servant.”  So, almost the same words that Solomon had said when he finally dedicated that Temple we have written out for us right here.  Now, verse 11 says, “The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.” the Psalmist now says, ‘LORD, don’t forget your promise to David, the LORD has sworn in truth to David,’ “he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body” he said to David “will I set upon thy throne.”  You know, it’s interesting, Jesus when he came, particularly on Psalm Sunday [which really happened on a Friday of that week] as he comes in, the crowds are crying ‘Thou son of David, thou son of David.’  And the Psalmist here says of Jerusalem and of mount Zion, ‘God has sworn, he is not going to turn away from it, the fruit of the body of David, his lineage, is going to sit on his throne forever.’  Gabriel said to Mary, ‘The thing that is conceived in thee is the Son of the Most High God, and he is the fruit of his father, he’s going to sit on the throne of his father David for ever.’  You know, right there is a promise, he’s coming, you see in the Middle East, see what’s going to happen.  ISIS is not going to take over the world, Europe is not going to take over the world [the United States of Europe is gonna try, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm], Russia’s not going to take over the world, the United States is not going to take over the world, Jesus Christ is going to take over the world [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_5.htm].  He’s coming back, God has sworn, he’s not going to turn from it, it is the fruit of David, his own lineage, that body that ascended into heaven took genes and chromosomes of this family back into fellowship, human genes and chromosomes, first time since Adam, back into open fellowship with a holy God.  And he’s going to come back, and he’s going to sit on that throne, and that is the ultimate fulfillment here, certainly of what David longed for. 

 

God Exerts His Will:  ‘I Will Do This, I Will Do That’

 

“If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.” (verse 12) your lineage will be there David.  For the LORD says this, “For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.” (verse 13) he’s a Zionist.  “he hath desired it for his habitation.”  The Psalmist is assured of that, for here is what the LORD says, “This is my rest for ever:  here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” (verse 14)  here, now if you look at verse 14, you’re going to see “will I,” “I have desired it,” verse 15 “I will,” “I will,” verse 16, “I will,” verse 17, “will I,” “I have ordained,” ah, verse 18, “will I.”  Just, now God, he exerts his will all through this.  He says “This is my rest for ever:  here” speaking of Zion “here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” (verse 14)  ‘it’s in my heart, I desired it, I’m going to dwell there,’ he’s answering verses 1 to 13.  Verse 15 he says, “I will,” he’s going to do this, “I will abundantly bless her provision:  I will satisfy her poor with bread.”  we hear about how the land is going to blossom and bud and incredible things are going to happen, “I will satisfy her poor with bread.” and it says in those days, the sower is going to overtake the reaper, the land is going to be so rich and so lush with what goes on.  “I will also clothe her priests with salvation:  and her saints shall shout for joy.” (verse 16) remarkable promise, particularly to the line of Zadok.  It says the other priests, it’s interesting in that Millennial Temple there, God says the other priests that turned away, they worshipped idols, they’re going to come and they’re going to stand before the people, ‘but the tribe of Zadok whose faithful to me, they’re going to come and stand before me.’  Isn’t that interesting?  ‘They’re going to stand before me.’  Some Christians, you know their whole desire is to get in front of people, stand in front of people.  God says, ‘Well, the priests that blew it, in my Kingdom, that’s what they’re going to do, they’re going to stand in front of the people.  But the priests who stayed true, they’re going to stand before me.’  Nothing prohibits us from doing that tonight, when we go home, get on our knees before him and do that, stand before him.  Nothing prohibits us from starting tomorrow, the next day.  That’s how the priests are going to serve, we’re not going to serve, we’re going to rule and reign him in his Kingdom, we will have access [cf. Revelation 20:4, 6].  He says “I will also clothe my priests with salvation:  and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.” (verse 16) and what a sound that’s going to be, I can’t imagine, and “There will I make the horn of David to bud:  I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.” (verse 17) ‘to bud, to bring forth life, to blossom,’ the idea is the authority of David, the horn, the sign of authority, the power of that Kingdom is going to be established [cf. Ezekiel 37:22-24, “And I will make them one nation [Judah and Israel] in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all:  and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:  neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with any of their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions:  but I will save them out of all their dwelling-places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them:  so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.  And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd:  they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.”  So there will be two thrones in Jerusalem, David’s throne, he will reign over the 12 regathered tribes of Israel, and Jesus Christ, the Messiah will sit on a throne, ruling over the entire world.  This prophecy brings out that detail most overlook, concerning the Millennial Kingdom of God].  He said “I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.”  The idea is, ‘The Messiah is going to come, and he’s going to give light, I’ve ordained that it should happen that way.’  Zechariah says this, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, it shall yet come to pass, there shall come people and the inhabitants of many cities, and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another saying, ‘Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts.’”  Zechariah’s so excited he’s saying ‘I’m going to go also,’ “Yea, many people, and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.”  Imagine that?  “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, in those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages and nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying ‘We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” Zechariah.  Isaiah says it this way, “The word of the LORD that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, It shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it, and many people shall go and say ‘Come ye, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us his ways, we will walk in his paths, for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem, and he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people, they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks, nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.’  O house of Jacob, come ye and let us walk in the light of the LORD.’”  “I will make the horn of David to bud:  I  have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.” (verse 17) those days will come. 

 

‘His Enemies Will Be Clothed In Shame, But His Diadems Shall Blossom’

 

“His enemies” God says, “will I clothe with shame:  but upon himself shall his crown flourish.” (verse 18)  Just remember that today, you see what’s going on in Houston, people mocking Jesus, pray for them, don’t just get mad at them, don’t just get frustrated at them, don’t just say ‘The hell with you,’ don’t do that.  Because we were going there, and he saved us.  And that place is eternal, you don’t want anyone to go there.  “Alright Lord, chew on ‘em for little while, then take them.’  We don’t believe in that either, that’s purgatory.  We all go by grace, and this world that drives us crazy, you remember God so loved the world, so loved it, circle “so loved it,” the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, for the unsaved world, that whoso believes in him shall not perish.  It’s why we’re here tonight.  His enemies, he says, I’m gonna clothe with shame.  There isn’t anybody mocking, or throwing themselves in the face of the LORD God that will ever prevail against us.  And you just pray they wake up, and that they come to their senses.  Because he says “His enemies will I clothe with shame:  but upon himself shall his crown flourish.” (verse 18) ‘his Messiah, his king shall his crown flourish,’the Hebrew is beautiful, it is “his diadem shall blossom.”  He’s going to be crowned with many diadems it tells us, “his diadems shall blossom.”  Just imagine that, when the Lord comes, sets up his Kingdom, he rules the earth with a rod of iron, for a thousand years and onto eternity, of the new earth [cf. Revelation chapters 20-21], but his diadem, his reign will blossom, will grow, there’s nothing static there.  It increases in beauty and intensity.  It says ‘In the ages to come we’ll still be learning of his mercy and his grace.’  He will always be infinite, we’ll always be finite.  That means we will always know more of his faithfulness, always, it will never end.  It’s never-ending.  We’ll always know more of his mercy, it will never end.  We’ll always know more of his love, we’ll always know more of his grace, we’ll always know more of his power, it’s unending.  There isn’t anything boring in heaven [or the Kingdom of heaven, which will end up on earth, cf. Revelation 21:1-23.  Heaven, in that sense, is all of us dwelling both inside and outside of Time and Space, as immortal beings, just as God does.], our inheritance is incorruptible, undefiled, and the idea is, it fadeth not away, it never gets old.  Good stuff, huh?  Good stuff, as the Song says.  Any of you going to Israel with us?  You Israelites.  About a week and a day from now we’ll be reading these Psalms as we drive up to Jerusalem, we’ll read these Songs of Ascent…so let’s stand, let’s pray, I pray that you go home tonight as a weaned child, that your soul, he says, ‘you know what, I did this, I refused to let myself be haughty, I refused to let my eyes

look at lofty things, I didn’t exercise myself to think, I just got to the place where I rested in his presence, my very soul was content not to have anything from him but he himself, to sit with him, be all of that’…[transcript of an expository sermon on Psalm 129:1-8; Psalm 130:1-8; Psalm 131:1-3 and Psalm 132:1-18, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

The Songs of Ascent were sung as people trekked up to Jerusalem to keep God’s Feasts, Holy Days.  What are those Holy Days?  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/Holydayshadows.htm

 

“Many a time have they afflicted me, may Israel now say…yet they have not prevailed against me.”  This Psalm 129th looks back at Israel’s history.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/exodus1.html and http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html and http://www.unityinchrist.com/ezra/ezra1.html and http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/festiavloflights.htm

 

Jesus Christ is coming back to sit on the throne of his ancestor David.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_5.htm

 

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