Saturday, Dec 16th

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Psalm 28

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Today, ‘experts’ tell us that mental disturbances and social ills are just things that happen because we are products of evolution. There is no ‘cure’, only a resort to therapies and human interventions. For this reason, for example, homosexuals remain homosexuals, because that is the way evolution made them; some actually say ‘God’ made them that way. In other words, misery is our lot: cure, healing and change are just nasty deceptions put out by Christians.

Yet, the Christian answer, which is the answer given by God in His word, is full of hope! It is why we must always present these people with the truth, that though they are in deep sin, they have a way out. Homosexuals, addicts and many others, live in absolute misery. They pretend publicly that they love their lives – so why do so many commit suicide and live on the edge of normalcy? Why do they flout their sins and proclaim so loudly? It is all just a falsity.

God is good. He did not create men and women to be perverts, but condemns them outright. Even so, God gives a lifeline: to be saved. The repentant man or woman, forgiven by God, can change dramatically and fully; they can cast away their previous evils and enjoy real freedom in Christ. But, because this means leaving their perversions, activists fight Christians in the extreme. They do it anyway, because their perversity is a sign of their mental imbalance, caused by sin.

If you are one of those caught up in any form of chronic evil, read this Psalm with hope, for in its words are the everlasting joy of salvation, God’s grace and mercy, and very real and promised change, from death unto life. You KNOW you hate yourself for being perverse or held in the grip of habits and sins that are loathsome! Listen to David, not your peers, whose end is death and hell.

God alone is your only answer, not therapy, or the false support of those who commit gross sins. The government has got it wrong, and so has the liberal, socialist left. Follow them, and you will end up dead or depressed, to die knowing that your sins will brand you before God, sending you to a place you will never return from. Scoff at hell if you will – but it is real and awaits you if you remain in your awful condition of sin and depravity.

When you die, your scoffing and laughter will cease, as you plead for mercy from the very God you have ignored and scorned during your life time. Then, it will be too late. So, your doom waits for you. Salvation is your only hope.

And Christians, too, who may be suffering – often because of the people I have just mentioned – can also be assured that God hears their pleas and always answers. He is our hope and Rock. Live HIS way and you will see good results.

Verses 1&2

  1. Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.

  2. Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

Even when filled with fear David knows Who is his help. Of this he has no doubt. This is seen in his very clear statement: “Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock”! David does not have trust in others, or even in himself, but only in God. This is because God is God, Lord of lords, Creator and sustainer of life. God is his ‘rock’, where he can stand firmly without doubt.

Because God is his rock, and because God has made promises to him and to his forefathers, David can confidently call upon God to help him. “Be not silent to me.”, chashah. That is, do not be inactive or still, but respond to me. He makes a valid point – if God will not respond to him, then he will be just like any other person who is without God, who will enter the grave (and, by implication, hell).

Without God we have nothing; no-one can help us. From this we may deduce, by reversal, that those who are unsaved have no help from God and their prayers will be unanswered. It also tells us that believers can expect God to answer their genuine pleas.

So, David says: hear my pleas when I cry to you. He says he lifts up his “hands toward thy holy oracle”. This is reference to the Holy of Holies, the most holy room in the Temple in which the high priest offers up his sacrifice and prayers to God. God spoke from the Ark in the room, so dabar is an apt word, meaning to speak, e.g. an oracle. The picture is of David alone with God, seeking God’s face and help with sincere and deeply-felt words.

This is akin to the command of Christ, for us to pray to God alone in our closet or room. (There is no command to pray corporately, except in rare circumstances of one-mind, one-heart and one-aim. See my article). It means we need not be in a Temple or church, but must be sincere in an holy way. Then God hears us.

Verses 3-5

  1. Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.

  2. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.

  3. Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

“Draw me not away” is one word, mashak. In this context David is asking God not to include him in with the wicked, who are dragged off by their own temptations and sins/iniquities. They pretend to be peaceful and honest, but do the opposite in their hearts, seeking the downfall of their believing neighbours.

David asks God to repay these wicked people “according to their deeds”, so they will not reap benefits for their sins. We should seek the same just reward for those who sin against God and man. Otherwise, the evildoers will not know that sin does not pay, but heaps coals upon their heads. Let them have their just deserts! Once again, we see an example of an imprecatory prayer. Though we might pray for someone’s salvation, we can also, at the same time, seek their downfall if they are wicked.

This is because “they regard not the works of the LORD”. Many people hear God’s word; many hear Christians declare God’s word. But, they cannot be bothered to listen or to understand. They refuse to be instructed. It is true that unsaved men are unable to fully understand – but at least they can know when they are right or wrong, evil or good. If they refuse even common decency, then they must be prayed-against.

God will destroy them for what they secretly think and outwardly do. He will certainly not “build them up”, e.g. build up their families or restore them to greatness. If we pray for leaders just because they are leaders, do we not, then, pray against God? If God says He will not build them up, why, then, do some pray for the success and wellbeing of wicked leaders and evildoers? It is a blasphemy! God says He will destroy them, so we have no business praying for their wellbeing if they sin.

Verses 6-9

  1. Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.

  2. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

  3. The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

  4. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

Rather than bless evildoers, we should say with David: “Blessed be the LORD”. Why? “Because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.” Note that he is perfectly assured in verse 6. This means his words in verse 1 are rhetorical. David KNEW God would answer him. Do YOU know this? If not, why not?

God hears us even before we say a word! He knows our hearts and knows what we will say. He is our strength and protection. When we step aside from Him we invite danger to our souls and even to our bodies and lives. David trusted in God, and God helped (verse 7). This is echoed in Matthew when Jesus said that if we ask without doubting, God will give us what we pray for.

Because David trusted, and God answered, David could rejoice and write psalms of joy. There is nothing better than an answer from God to fill us with vibrant joy! But, praising God comes higher in priority to our own joy, though both go together. David then switches from himself to the nation (we may also apply it to other believers), in verse 8: “The LORD is their strength”. He could speak on behalf of all who truly believed, because “he is the saving strength of his anointed”.

This has several layered meanings: the ‘anointed’, or mashiyach, include the Messiah, the high priest, and kings such as himself. God, then, is behind the throne of good kings and genuine pastors, etc. By implication, He is NOT behind those who act apart from His counsel and command.

Therefore, David asks God to “Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance” – clearly, God’s help is given only to those who are His; those who inherit eternal life through His Son. David asks God to “feed them also, and lift them up forever”. In context this ‘feeding’ is not about physical food but about spiritual blessings as we feed on His word; and, to carry us daily and forever on His shoulders as we go forth in His name.

Many of us bear the severe mental, spiritual and even physical scars of injury by evildoers, and yet we can love God and trust Him. The scars are just signs of our battle with worldly circumstances and enemies, but also a sign that we are still spiritually alive. Though some of our trials are hurtful and run deep, God’s plan includes our restoration and keeping.

And though we might - no, WILL - lose loved ones, sometimes in distressing ways, God is not doing so to harm us, but to prove our lives in Him. And, though taken from us, the loved one will be clasped to our breast when we see them again in Heaven! God’s plan does not stop in or with this world, but is eternal! Thus, the temporary distress we feel on this earth will be instantly vanquished in Heaven.

So, with David, let us proclaim: “Blessed be the LORD”.

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Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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