January 11, 2020
The Psalms show the attitude and dedication we need to have so that God can, in His compassion, forgive us, protect us and hide us under the shadow of His wings! (second half)
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*(First Half of Video)
*(Transcript First Half)
Psalm 62:1: “Only for God does my soul wait in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved” (vs 1-2).
That’s how firm he was in believing God. Then the rest of the Psalm is about how worthless politicians are.
Psa. 63 is quite something because David had a little tent/tabernacle in his house. When they brought the Ark of the Covenant back from Kirjath-jearim, they brought it to David’s house because there was no temple. He didn’t take it to the tabernacle up in Gibeon, but put it in his house. Then he had some of the Levites and priests who would tend to it. When he would come to pray, many times he would come right before this little tent. We will see that he was able to see a figure of God in there from time to time. I’m sure that inspired him an awful lot.
Psalm 63:1: “O God, You are my God, earnestly I will seek You!…. [the same as wholeheartedly] …My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You, as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is, to see Your power and Your glory as I have seen You in the sanctuary” (vs 1-2).
I wonder if it was much like when Christ gave the vision to Peter, James and John on the Mt. of Transfiguration, if it was something like that?
Verse 3: “Because Your loving kindness is better than life… [wholly committed his whole life to God] …my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips” (vs 3-5). Marrow and fatness means good health, because the marrow produces the blood in the body.
Verse 6: “When I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches.” Many times you can’t sleep and you’ll think about God and different things, and you’ll be actually praying to Him while you’re lying there in bed.
Verse 7: “Because You have been my help, therefore, in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice”--God’s protection!
You can’t see a shadow when you look at a shadow being cast to the ground. In this room with the lights on we can see a shadow on the floor, but you can’t see the shadow itself. Isn’t that amazing? Sometimes you can see it if the sun is really bright, but this means that it is invisible protection for you. How does that come about? With angels, and comes from God directly!
Verse 8: “My soul follows hard after You…” Talk about single-minded, single-purposed, undeterred except for Bathsheba!
“…Your right hand upholds me. But those who seek my life to destroy it shall go into the depths of the earth…. [a prophecy of Christ] …They shall fall by the sword; they shall be a serving for jackals…. [destruction of Jerusalem] …But the king shall rejoice in God; everyone who swears by Him shall glory, but the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped” (vs 8-11).
This is why the Psalms are so good for us. Not every Psalm is going to help you out of the difficulties that you’re in, but many of them will.
Psalm 103:1: “Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His Holy name.” Think about Matt. 6:9[transcriber’s correction]! What’s the first thing we say in prayer? We honor God’s Holy name!
Verse 2: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” When you’re in the midst of a trail it’s easy to forget His benefits!
You don’t look upon a trial as a benefit until after you’ve gone through it and you have hindsight and you understand why you have gone through it.
Verse 3: “Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.” The ultimate healing is eternal life, the resurrection!
Verse 4: “Who redeems your life from destruction…” How many times has God saved you? Have you had close calls in your life? Yes, indeed!
I remember when Delores was driving a car and she put the breaks on and it was upside down. It was on a freeway in L.A. All the traffic was stopped and she didn’t see it until the last minute. The car was upside down, but God must have been with her. She had her seatbelt on and was just fine.
It could have been totally different. She wasn’t thrown out of the car. You talk about a car going upside down. Think of all the different things that could happen. There were probably some angels there bringing it back down.
I remember one time I fell and all of a sudden while I was falling, I felt my body and the only thing I could conclude was there must have been an angel who helped me get to the ground without breaking a rib or something. God is there!
“…Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your desires with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle’s…. [even David didn’t get through that] …The LORD executes righteousness and judgment for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel” (vs 4-7). What do we have?
- we’ve got all the Law that Moses wrote
- all the things that the Prophets have written
- everything in the New Testament
Think about what God has given us today that we need to really draw close to God and be thankful for!
Verse 8: “The LORD is merciful and gracious… [the sure mercies of David] …slow to anger, and abundant in mercy. He will not always chasten, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities” (vs 8-10). That’s quite a thing, because ‘the wages of sin is death’!
Verse 11: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so is His mercy toward those who fear Him.”
We need to love God, but we also need to fear God! Think of all the awesome things that God has created that really are fearful things, indeed! Just think about what it is for volcano blowing off with all the lava coming. You’d better fear God! That’s quite a thing!
Verse 12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
· How do we stand before God if we are continuous every day in prayer, study and yielding to God? There it is right there!
· What will He do? He will lead us, give us understanding and all of those things will come!
For those who are halfhearted instead of wholehearted it’s not going to come that way. It will come a little differently and there will be a lot of correction that will come (Rev. 3).
Verse 13: “As a father has compassion upon his children, so the LORD has compassion upon those who fear Him.”
We are called the children of God! Think about that! The most important thing that God is doing on the earth right now is with all of those who have His Spirit. That’s more important than
· all the politics
· all the wars
· all the wealth
because He’s developing the spiritual character in us! Those are the ones He’s dealing with directly for eternal life.
Those who are in society, those who are ‘half Christians,’ they’re going to be surprised when they’re raised in the second resurrection. He deals with them, because it says that even if someone gives a drink of cold water to someone in the name of a Prophet, he will receive a Prophet’s reward. So, God even deals with those people though they’re not called to salvation.
Verse 14: “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” Dust you are and from dust you shall return!
Verse 15: “As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes, for the wind passes over it, and it is gone; and its place shall know it no more” (vs 15-16).
Think about that every time you go by a graveyard. You see all of those stones out there, or all the Vet cemeteries that they have with all the crosses and stars and everything and ask yourself, ‘Do I even know any of them?’ That’s quite a thing! Yet, God has their spirit stored somewhere for the resurrection! Three areas:
· eternal life
· second resurrection to physical life
· second resurrection to the Lake of Fire
God keeps track of it all! He doesn’t lose one! That’s an amazing thing!
Verse 17: “But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting…”
· His love
· His grace
· His mercy
· His Truth
“…upon those who fear Him, and His righteousness is unto children’s children” (v 17).
In other words, even children benefit from the blessings of God, but unfortunately too many of them don’t even realize it.
Verse 18: “To those who keep His covenant, and to those who remember His precepts to do them. The LORD has established His throne in the heavens…” (vs 18-19). Remember that when we pray that’s where our prayers go!
“…and His kingdom rules over all…. [every single thing that there is because He made it] …Bless the LORD, O you His angels, mighty in strength, who do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His Word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, ministers of His who do His pleasure. Bless the LORD, all His works in all places of His dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!” (vs 19-22).
There you have the tremendous attitude exemplified by David. All of this tells us that when you get down, get discouraged or you have a problem or trial that you’re looking at and you need to overcome it, God will be there to help you! God will be there to answer your prayers and give you a way out or lift it from you!
Psalm 143:1: “Hear my prayer O LORD; give ear unto my supplications; in Your faithfulness and in Your righteousness answer me. And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no one living is righteous” (vs 1-2). All the righteousness that we have comes from Christ!
Verse 6: “I stretch forth my hands unto You; my soul thirsts after You like a parched land. Selah. Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails; do not hide Your face from me, lest I be like those who go down into the pit” (vs 6-7). That’s the grave! So, David must have been sick at this point.
Verse 8: “Cause me to hear Your loving kindness in the morning, for I do trust in You; cause me to know the way in which I should walk… [he found himself not walking in the way that he should] …for I lift up my soul unto You. Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; I flee to You to hide me” (vs 8-9). That’s quite an attitude!
How many more people would be able to come to God in greater faith with this kind of thing: the sure mercies of David!
Verse 10: “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground of uprightness.”
Psa. 119 is one of the most tremendous Psalms in the Bible. If anyone really studies this and thinks about it, there’s no way that you’ll ever believe that the Law has been done away. Jesus made it clear that it will never be done away; ‘heaven and earth is a verification of it.
This is the only Psalm, or the only part of the Bible, where the word I is not in vain, not self-centered. One hundred and thirty-five times I, but what is it doing? Coming to God!
Psalm 119:1: “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the Law of the LORD.”
What Scripture can you think of in Hebrews that adds to this? Heb. 10:16; write God’s laws and commandments in our heart and mind! A blessing!
Verse 2: “Blessed are they who keep His testimonies and who seek Him with the whole heart.” So, you are spiritually involved with your prayer and study every day with God!
Verse 3: “They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways. You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently” (vs 3-4).
Remember how Deut. 28 starts out; everyone wants the blessings! If you will diligently keep these commandments then you will be:
· blessed in your cities
· blessed in your country
· blessed in your store
· blessed in what you’re doing
and your enemies will not come against you! Maybe that tells you how sinful we are today. Notice that David saw a weakness, the drag of human nature:
Verse 5: “O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! Then I shall not be ashamed when I have respect unto all Your commandments” (vs 5-6).
Look at how much we’ve covered in just six verses; that’s an amazing thing, indeed!
Verse 7: “I will praise You with uprightness of heart when I have learned Your righteous judgments.” That’s why we study the statutes, the judgments, the ordinances, and all the things of God!
Verse 8: “I will keep Your statutes; O forsake me not utterly.”
- How do you get out of the doldrums?
- What do you do when you have sinned? You stop sinning and repent!
- How do you overcome the negativity of the sin?
Verse 9: “With what shall a young man… [can be an old man as well] …cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word.”
Not wondering why you did it. You did it because you still have the law of sin and death!
· Are you perfect? No!
· Are you spiritual? No!
· What are we striving for? For a right relationship with God!
We just read how He will forgive all of our sins, iniquities and transgressions! When He does that:
Verse 10: “With all my heart I have sought You; O let me not wander from Your commandments. Your Word I have laid up in my heart, so that I might not sin against You” (vs 10-11).
That tells us a whole lot! All of these things are great instructions for us, and all reflect on the sure mercies, or the faithful mercies of God toward David! This is what He promised us. That’s what Paul told them in the synagogue. Then he went on to say that through Christ and His death and resurrection, you’re justified from the things that the Law of Moses could not justify! That made them mad. How are you justified? By the blood of Christ!
Sidebar: Someone wrote me having a little difficulty with understanding the resurrections. She brought up the just and the unjust.
Who are the just? Those who are in right standing with God! Those who have been justified through the sacrifice of Christ, they are the just!
Who are the unjust? All the rest of the people in the world that are just living normally in the world! They’re not justified to Christ. There are varying degrees of good and bad, and varying degrees of sin.
What about the incorrigible wicked? So, the unjust are not the incorrigible wicked! The incorrigible wicked are worse than the unjust.
In the prison of Pelican Bay are some of the most hardened criminals in the world. They even run gangs from that highly secured prison. They sneak drugs in there, though everything is inspected. They finally figured out how they were doing it. They would buy two identical postcards and they would strip off the front because that would be generally a plastic overlay on cardboard. Then they would iron on heroin to the cardboard and seal up the card.
It’s so thin that unless you really looked at it, you would never know that that card coming in had heroin in it. Talk about people who are just dedicated to evil! Some of the worst killers that are there. One killer said that ‘if you let me out I’ll do it again.’
What’s going to happen when they’re resurrected? Don’t know! That’s why all that judgment has to rest with God, because He alone knows the mind!
Psalm 119:14: “I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies as much as in all riches.”
Think about that the next time you watch that ad that you’re going to be given $5,000 a week for life and you choose someone else to be given $5,000 a week for life. Which would you rather have? The riches of God? By all means!
Verse 15: “I will meditate upon Your precepts and have respect to Your ways.” When you do that, you’re thinking about how good God’s way is! It’s fantastic; can’t be any better, because it’s from God!
Verse 16: I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word.”
Notice how it’s constantly going toward God in everything!
Verse 17: “Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your Word.” The very reason we have life is so that we can:
· keep the Word of God
· learn the Word of God
· be converted
· be changed
Then David says, this is a wonderful verse: 18: “Open my eyes so that I may behold wondrous things out of Your Law.”
Apply that to the whole Bible! Look at all the things that God has given and has revealed! It’s amazing! Absolutely amazing! So, what does all of this do?
· this gives us a direction!
· this gives us a conviction
· this gives us faith
· this gives us confidence
· this gives us humility
Humility is not something that you can just put on and say, ‘Okay, today I’m going to be humble.’ Humility comes because you understand the greatness of God!
Psalm 108:1 “O God, my heart is fixed… [it is set, not movable, and God will add more, give more] …I will sing and I will give praise, even with my glory.”
In Psa. 57 we see the same thing, and there are other Psalms that say, ‘My heart is established,’ fixed! That’s quite a thing! Notice how we come to God, and look to God for everything. We don’t come to God like the Pharisee in Luke 18. You understand about the Pharisees this way: They were an exclusive group. You couldn’t be a Pharisee unless you took a long course to become one. You would be given a Pharisaical master and you had to obey him. All of the things that they had with not keeping company with Gentiles and all of this sort of thing, you had to obey all of those laws of the Pharisees.
The Pharisee would come to God and pray to himself. He wasn’t praying to God, he was praying to himself and saying,
God, I thank You that I’m not like other men. I’m not an adulterer, I don’t extort and I give tithes of everything that I have. I’m not like this tax collector down here. They hated tax collectors, hate everybody that’s not a Pharisee.
So, there’s this poor tax collector down there and he starts out his prayer: O God, be merciful to me a sinner! What did Jesus say? I tell you that he went down to his house justified, rather than the Pharisee, because the Pharisee was looking down on other people and exalting himself through his own religion rather than looking to God. That’s why he prayed to himself.
Psalm 57:1: “Be gracious unto me, O God, be gracious unto me; for my soul trusts in You; yea, in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge until these great troubles pass by. I will cry to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me” (vs 1-2)--apply that to yourself!
God has a purpose for everyone that He has called. It’s going to be so great that everybody is going to be equally happy with what they get.
Verse 3: “He shall send from heaven and save me; He rebukes him who would swallow me up….”
Delores and I could tell you about things that we went through in the ministry where they were wanting to swallow us up! It was terrible! We went out to dinner with one of the ‘mafia’ ones that was there to enforce. He told us, ‘I want to tell you one thing, Fred, I’m going to tell you what Dr. Zimmerman told me one time. I may be wrong what I’m telling you, but you’re not to open your mouth, you got that?’
I didn’t open my mouth. That was on a Wednesday, and guess what? Friday he left the Church! His boss was fired! That’s delivering us from those who are ‘greater’ than us. Swallow us up!
“…Selah. God shall send forth His mercy and His Truth” (v 3). You can’t have mercy without Truth, because the Truth shows you why you need the mercy!
Verse 5: Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be above all the earth…. [one day we’re going to see that] …They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down; they have dug a pit before me; into the midst of it they have fallen themselves. Selah” (vs 5-6).
Because of all of that we experience and go through, v 7: “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed…”
· that’s what all of this is about
· this is why we have the Psalms
· this is why every part of the Bible is necessary for us
* for spiritual growth
All of it together! It’s the Word of God that’s so fantastic and wonderful, and with His Spirit makes it come alive for us!
These are the faithful mercies of David that God has given to us!