Morning Light – May 27th, 2016

ml_2016Psalms Twenty-Four/Twenty-Five : God Delivers from Trouble. In Psalms 24-25 David extols God as the Lord of the heavens and the earth. He cries out to God for deliverance from the troubles that David’s own sin had caused him. There were many times in David’s life that difficulty came because he disobeyed and rebelled against the commandment of God. When you falter and fail God is still there to pick you up. Just because you created a problem because of disobedience doesn’t mean God will forsake you as these chapters reveal.
[Psa 24:1-10 KJV] 1 [[A Psalm of David.]] The earth [is] the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. 2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. 3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This [is] the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. 7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 8 Who [is] this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift [them] up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he [is] the King of glory. Selah.
Chapter 24 begins with a well known verse speaking of the sovereignty of God over all of the natural creation. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness there. God asserts ownership and His lordship over creation. Today in popular culture the earth is portrayed as an independent entity. Much of the language employed by the environmentalist culture suggests rather that we belong to the earth and that she is as a protective mother over us. What is the perspective of the bible over environmental issues such as global warming, etc.?
In Gen. 1:26 God creates man and gives him dominion over all the earth. Man is not subject to creation – creation is subject to man in God’s original plan. The word use for dominion here means “to tread down” and “subjugate”. This doesn’t suggest that we have the right to destroy the earth but it does make clear that man was not made for earth but the earth was made for man – for his use and for his blessing. There is an inherent agnosticism in much of the thinking of the environmental lobby that would insist that the economy of a nation for instance be sacrificed to preserve a rare species of tree frog but at the same time insist that it is completely unacceptable to disallow abortion.
In verse 4 David poses the question “who shall ascend the hill of the Lord”? He is speaking of mount Zion as a reference not for the actual location but as the throne of God itself. The question is answered in verse 5 “He that has clean hands and a pure heart…” In modern thinking we suggest that having our heart in the right place is enough. Some suppose that all we have to have is good intentions. David however insists that good intentions are not enough. There must be a connection between our sentiments and our actions to be found pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 5 states that because we approach the Lord with pure hearts and clean hands that God extends righteousness to us. For the New Testament believer we take this to understand that salvation as it is offered is not a means of circumventing moral or spiritual responsibility just because “Jesus loves us unconditionally”. Believing in the unconditional love of God is not to be construed as permission to live an ungodly lifestyle. Many people misconstrued Paul’s writings to suggest allowing for a permissive lifestyle saying “let us sin that good may come” to whom Paul answered in Rom. 3:8 that their damnation was just.
Psalm 24:7 reveals the king to us commanding gates to be opened to allow Him passage. Certain translators suggest this is a picture of Jesus demanding the gates of hell to be opened to Him because it was not possible for Him to be held by them having paid the price for our sin. It is an amazing thought that Jesus having suffered the pains not only of death but of hell was suddenly found by Satan to be in possession of His righteousness and from the very deepest part of hell overturned hell in our behalf and came forth justified and triumphant from Sheol itself.
[Psa 25:1-22 KJV] 1 [[[A Psalm] of David.]] Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. 3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. 4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. 5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. 6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they [have been] ever of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD. 8 Good and upright [is] the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. 9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. 10 All the paths of the LORD [are] mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
In verse 1 of Psalm 25 we see David expressing his need of a savior. He lifts his soul up to the Lord and it is interesting that he isn’t going through the religious infrastructure of his day. In David’s time the accepted manner to approach God was through the priesthood and the tabernacle. David’s habit of approaching God directly through his writing was groundbreaking in his day. It just wasn’t done unless you were a prophet or a mystic. David did not require the mediatorial use of a priesthood or approaching the tabernacle to connect with God. In fact he veritably absconded with the ark of the Covenant when he brought it to Jerusalem. There is no record that God commanded David to take the ark to his palace on Mount Zion. There was every expectation that he would have turned it over to the priests but instead brought it as close to his personal residence as he dared.
In verse 2 David asked the Father not to allow him to be defeated by the enemies that surrounded him. He goes on to ask God to show him His ways and to teach him His paths. What David was really crying out for was Jesus Himself as He is revealed in the gospel of John as the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Psalm 103:7 speaks of the difference between knowing God’s ways and simply witnessing His acts. There is in that statement the suggestion of a deeper understanding of the purposes of God. In Matthew 13:10 the disciples ask Jesus why he taught the people in parables. Jesus replied that it was because it was given to THEM to know the mysteries of the kingdom. What separated the disciples from the multitude? They came and asked the question. Many times God will allow us to witness His hand at work and then He waits to see if we are going to inquire and seek after deeper understanding.
11 For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it [is] great. 12 What man [is] he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way [that] he shall choose. 13 His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. 14 The secret of the LORD [is] with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. 15 Mine eyes [are] ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. 16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I [am] desolate and afflicted. 17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged: [O] bring thou me out of my distresses. 18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. 19 Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. 20 O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. 21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee. 22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.
In verse 11 David asks pardon for his sin not because he is a good person but for God’s name’s sake. Here is the reasoning behind praying “in the name of Jesus”. We are not asking God to act because we are good people or because we think He should show mercy. We ask God’s forgiveness because of the merits of Christ not our own righteousness. The promise of God in verse 13 is that the person who fears the Lord shall dwell in ease and be at peace. This echoes the words of Jesus about “yoke easy and burden light”. Living for Jesus is not intended to be a heavy load or unbearable burden. In Jer. 23:33-34 we find God reproves those who cry “the burden of the Lord” in such a way as to impose heaviness and sorrow upon God’s people. Living for Jesus is intended to be a joyous thing full of blessing and benefit – not a life of struggle and hardship.
Verse 14 tells us that God’s secret is with those that love Him. There are secret things in God. Sometimes we need to realize that when God reveals secrets that doesn’t mean we are to go tell them to others. Learn to keep your confidences in God. Daniel was shown a scroll he was not allowed to speak of. Paul was taken to the third heaven where he heard things he was not allowed to repeat. Learn to keep the secrets that God chooses to reveal to you. In verse 17 we see David’s heart is troubled and he cries out for God to pluck his feet from the net of the enemy. Have you ever found yourself walking into a difficult place in life and feeling as though you have no choice? David experienced this and looked to God for deliverance. In verse 18 he admits that his own sin caused his problem and asks for forgiveness and deliverance.
In verse 19 we find that David not only asks God for clemency for his failures but also asks God to take note of the cruelty of those who were his enemies. He asks God to pay attention to those who were seeking to harm and destroy him. He goes on the verse 20 to ask God to preserve him and let him not be ashamed by falling to the ploy of his enemies to take his life and expose his shortcomings. He concludes in verse 21 having made his case and simply declares that he is waiting on God knowing (v. 22) that He will deliver not just David but the entire nation out of all their troubles. This is an omnibus prayer but it is not despised by God the Father. You can cry out to God specifically and also in general – asking God to look down upon the troubles you are facing and simply deliver you from the entirety of all the things that are bringing struggle into your life.

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