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From Battle to Praise! How the Psalms Take Your Prayer Life from 0 to 60 Psalm 144

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Dear Congregation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Last week I mentioned the danger of over studying the Psalms for their themes - yet want you so desperately to see the Messiah in these Psalms, God’s blessing in meditating on his word! Never at the expense of the real soul work that the prayers invite us into of lament and praise! I’ve alerted you to the movement of the Psalms usaully in each one - disorientation, re-orientation; from lament to praise, and also in the whole Psalter. So important to see that in most of them have a balance of both! Why we are getting ripped off if we just sing the happy pslams of future ahpe adn salvation. Michael Lefebvre called the - parts with trouble, battle sorrow, confusion - meditational = you have that in y9our life - preach to yourself, - meditate like day and night - chew , mull - soul says to your soul - Why are you down cast, deep calls to deep , Put your hope in God - I will yet praise him why? Because of the character, the record of God, matches completely the future poromsie fo salvation - for this reason Lefebvre called the other part of the psalm - Anticipatory! It is for this reason that the Psalms unlike the other part of God’s word, must not be merely read, but sung and prayed.
God has given them for us to place our story in the God;’s story of salvation - and lift us from our sorrow sin, struggle, spiritual battle - to God’s grace of glory and praise! is the ultimate hinge that does this - last collection of Davidic Psalms - going to shift from the struggle Psalms that conclude the psalter hoping for great King David, and shift them to the last 6 Psalms of Pure Praise!
Key Truth: Praying the Psalms move us from struggle & battle to praise & glory!
Learn to pray these Psalms will move your prayer life from 0 to 60, from lament to praise, whether it be long or short = won’t be left with prayers of lament, nor words bouncing off ceiling, but praying these even with Christ of whom they speak - accelerate to to the praise and joy - of salvation accomplished in your life!
When you find yourself in struggle and battle
A. Fix your eyes on God’s Goodness and Greatness!
We will look at the type of battle Daivd find hismelf in in a moment, but first see what david does in it!
Psalm 144:1 ESV
Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;
No such thing as spiritual pacifism in a broken world where Satan roars and ravages. Real concrete battles where spiritual world manifests itself and wreaks real damage in the lives of the people of this world!
Vivid picture is God as a trainer - think of Rocky Balboa - coach - ways that David would fight and defend hismelf - have to be unlearned, new techniques - not of this world - must learn ie. Saul in cave, Abigail and in agner would have killed … refrained…
Slight difference hands for war - how to wield big weapon together - swrod of the Spirit ; but also my fingers from battle - St Augustine helpfully, applies this tot he Church as we follwo our grteater David - fingeres each a little different - work together -some ofyou missing digits - I’ve been missing one finger nail - diffiulty - but body of Christ - the church each different function - trainied for this battle - Satan deceiving nations int terms of sexual indneity and purpose of marriage - lust and porn, substance abuse…
All those gifts for battle, in NT see they are aspects of surprme gift of love, mercy. Augustine puts it this ay “By works of Mercy our enemy is conquered, and we could not have works of mercy unless we had charity, and charity we could have none unless we received it byt he Holy Ghost!” You have any mercy, brotherly love - charity poured in you, worked out by the Holy Spirit
All those gifts for battle, in NT see they are aspects of surprme gift of love, mercy. Augustine puts it this ay “By works of Mercy our enemy is conquered, and we could not have works of mercy unless we had charity, and charity we could have none unless we received it byt he Holy Ghost!” You have any mercy, brotherly love - charity poured in you, worked out by the Holy Spirit
vision of God as not only a trainer for this battle - and call out to him like that,
But look how else David addresses God, 7 titles here: rock, my steadfast love, my fortress, stronghold, deliverer, my shield, refuge! You need to know and call on God like this, especially when in barttle and struggle:
Listen to how Calvin puts it: it seems uncessary to hepa up these names. But we know how unstable our minds are , how faith wavers in trials. It is not enough for God to sustain us in weakness, and to promise us his help in singular expression - David is not heaping up names because of gratittude alone, but because you and I need so many names , picture s of God to fortify us against the attacks of the world and the devil!
But look how else David addresses God, 7 titles here: rock, my steadfast love, my fortress, stronghold, deliverer, my shield, refuge!
Looka t frist two - Love - even coneys Rock badgers find their home in the crags. In our prayers doing that when acknoweldge great nameof the Lord but also call Him Father!
But even greater is a more powerful word in the OT - My steadfast love - HESED - Do you know what an irrevocable contract is? On house put an offer in - legally irrevocable, can’t call back in - say change this or that - terms are fixed. If I make a will - say my children - get this much this much this much, Reuben for a time greater need - group home can’t work - make it irrevoacble no circumstances can change what written. Well taht is the covenant God has with his children enter into coveantn by faith - God you are my mercy - confeidence approach your throne, forgivene, acccepted, entittled in greatest way! Help in my my time of need!
Look at the next three - a real progression: My fortress - call on God’s encricling strength; stronghold speaks of runing into high forteress, and you have inaccessible security - Megiddo - seige - but can’t peenetrate… But now the attack is on maybe in thei field, feel have no security, arrows flies, spear is thrust and watch this!
Look at the next three - a real progression: My fortress - call on God’s encricling strength; stronghold speaks of runing into high forteress, and you have inaccessible security - Megiddo - seige - but can’t peenetrate… But now the attack is on maybe in thei field, feel have no security, arrows flies, spear is thrust and watch this!
The Lord is my shield. Do you see that - mobile force field that deflects whatever is thrown at you blunt the sharp edge of the trail or the suffering or the attack! Need to feel this - no weapon fashioned against God’s child will stand - any suffering, evil, attack comes on a child of God - has to first pass through God’s shield - never allows any ultimate evil to wreck our soul! Sure test tried, but the edge the danger the evil taken out! Like when Abraham gives all the booty of battle back, tenth to Melchizedek, enemies thraten to attack again, but Lord says to Him - I am your shield your great reward!
So David is blessing the LORD like this as he makes him his refuge in this trouble, and then calls out at the end of v.2
“who subdues peoples are me.”
Here is a re-orientation we all need. Bring your trouble in onehand, and hold this Grand Vision of God in the other - bring yoru trials - and the reorientation is that through the Messiah, God’s Son the King whom all must bow to - The LORD God himself is the subduing all pepole under such a king! We are to come expecting that kind of God action in our lives and our troubles!
In Jesus Christ this promise from and expanded in 110. There is says He will make enemies your footstool and rule in the midst of your enemies…but then adds:
Psalm 110:2–3 ESV
The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.
We are good at complaining, licking our own wounds, brooding, we are even not bad at leaning on each other, and grieving together - but we need to begin by bring our troubles, battle to the LROD and believeing that His arm is not shorteneed to get the Messiah’s work done in our lives in our battles! He will through us in the day of power work vicotries and subduing of every rebel will!
We are good at complaining, licking our own wounds, brooding, we are even not bad at leaning on each other, and grieving together - but we need to begin by bring our troubles, battle to the LROD and believeing that His arm is not shorteneed to get the Messiah’s work done in our lives in our battles!
And very quickly that is what the perspective of v.3-4 do. He prays about how weak and fleeting, memoentary we all are. He asks in prayer - God why do you take note of us - stands in awe at the greatness of God! Someone has said their are two types of greatness i. Greatness of character is determined by how hight a person carries his head! - God is exalted in his strengthand ability in the first 4 verses!
But the second type of greatness is greantess of heart. You know how that is measured? By how low one extedns his hand - David answers his own question from his own - life - God’ss hand reached down to him , forgotten rutno f the family - overlooked, outcasts, man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. Remember Hannah - remember how God found you when you were aty your worst, your lowest - lifted you up!
Well as you pray on the greatness of God in your battles, you will be embolden to make your request, even as God instructed the exiles in their struggle and longing for Messiah to wrok salvation!
Well as you pray on the greatness of God in your battles, you will be embolden to make your request, even as God instructed the exiles in their struggle and longing for Messiah to wrok salvation!
B. Plead God’s New Victories in Your Life
Do you have any pleas that you are at this time, this week urgently petitiontin g the Lord for.
Never forget Dr Futato teaching me the wisdom literature of the Bible and the Tragic lesson of Solomon - great start - terrible flaw - that resulted in wasting much of his middle and latter life - Relying on past spiritual success for present blessing! In otherwords, “Past mercies bred a “leave it to the Lord complacency.” Yesterday’s victories were Solomon’s only reall ground for confidence! NOt how God would have us live!
New mercies always gaining. Jesus point not the Godo f the dead, the past, but the God of the Living. God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, because right now in heaven and every moment of the present they have had God graciously working, providing living them! David lived with a take it to the Lord now in the present urgeency! Do you?
Listen to him pray:
Psalm 144:5 ESV
Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke!
Look at
Psalm 144:7 ESV
Stretch out your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me from the many waters, from the hand of foreigners,
David does look back at God’s wonders in the Exodus, mountains trembled with his presence, Lord visited with smoke and lightening. He remembered the threato f the foregiengers . Look at
Psalm 144:8 ESV
whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
those who would not truly call out to God - but grumbled compained in the desrert, - led Israel into idolarty. David saw in His kigndom similiary threat, forgeign nations without atacking God’s poeole Exiles who adopted this Psalm applly to their situation, within and without. not just people who are personal enemies ..but they have broken covenant - repetition in v.11 speaking lies , against God - danger to servant of God, wears David and any true believer down to stand for Lord and truth, and mercy and love in this world!
those who would not truly call out to God - but grumbled compained in the desrert, - led Israel into idolarty. David saw in His kigndom similiary threat, forgeign nations without atacking God’s poeole Exiles who adopted this Psalm applly to their situation, within and without. not just people who are personal enemies ..but they have borken covenant - repettiion in v.11 speaking lies , against God - danger to servant of God, wears Davdid and any true believer down to stand for Lord and tyruth, and mercy and lvoe in this world!
But in taking this Song of David as their Song, exiles looking for God to rend the skies again and come down - like did for David, and Hannah! - future david that would subdue theantions by mercy! Looking for God to subdue cruel sword - with effective and good sword!
Do you call out like this - what the prophets teach us too:
Isaiah 66:1 ESV
Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?
Isaiah 64:1 ESV
Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—
And the pslam , taking their current trouble, to God break into a anticipatory song! The Psalmist changes his tune. Ever know you have to - from grumpy, sad, complaining person, even if Godly, like the Psalms to praise and glory! What this psalm and the whole coollection of Psalms get syou to do!
And the pslam , taking their current trouble, to God break into a anticipatory song! The Psalmist changes his tune. Ever know you have to - from grumpy, sad, complaining person, even if Godly, like the Psalms to praise and glory! What this psalm and the whole coollection of Psalms get syou to do! In Christ, God has rent the skies in glrious way, Son of God so great in heart, came all the way down into our misery, visits us with salvation!
Look at
Psalm 144:9 ESV
I will sing a new song to you, O God; upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,
Some mistakenly think we are talking about putting down the Book of Psalms, and goign off to a corner and writing our own new song. Not what it is talking about. See this new song refered to often inthe times New Song in first verse, but the new song, is sayisng “new praise have eclipsed my old troubles. Fresh expression of salvation - new glories of deliverance now dominate my thoughts in place of the old thoughts that are now fading away!
Do you sing a new song like that? Not new cotnent, but freshily applied vicotry and grace - we are to be in prayer for that kind of new victory in Christ, and it will change the tuen of our lives! Recognize the strife is ending and the begginnign of celebration is upon us. Why we read in
Do you sing a new song like that? Not new cotnent, but freshily applied vicotry and grace - we are to be in prayer for that kind of new victory in Christ, and it will change the tuen of our lives! Recognize the strife is ending and the begginnign of celebration is upon us. Why we read in
Revelation 14:3 ESV
and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
Do you get that as experience the reality of salvation promised, able to sing the new song! All those Psalms that say they are a new song, not new in time, thousands of years old, but new in salvation experienced!
And we who have been rescued from the cruel sword of v.10, by the good sword of the Lord - His word that
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
We are to be experiencing salvation wth the New David, Christ, by His Word, triumphing over and through us … begin to sing the new song. until singing it in fulness when redeemed to sing song of Moses and the Lamb!
C. Rejoice in Present Blessings & Greatest Blessing
Here we have much to learn from David with the children of Israel in exile. David writes this Psalm like with the battle thick on his mind, but completes it unlike that had only quick references to glorious future - peace in the broad place. Now Psalm transposed with glorious vision of future hope. The past four Psalms speak of the trouble and sturggle of David establishing his kingdom. This one he has ascended the throne, though battles remain. He has thanked God for present truipmhs, God had saved David from Saul’s hurtful sowrd, saved you and me in salvation past from Satan’s condemenatino and wrath! But David goes on to plead for further deliverance, and now He is rejoicing in the assurance of full victory!
He prays for the prosperieity of that future and full deliverance. Wants to see advances on that glory! Like you and me, seated with Christi nt he heavenlies, have adoption - but so far just living on allowance, but in the future we’ll have the full inheritance! David rpays for good allowwance and fully trusts inthe future inheritance, do you?
I don’t dobut that at times you earnestly plead for your own delivearnce - but listen to the prayer of the Messiah David in
Psalm 144:12 ESV
May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace;
Not just praying for his own family, which I hope you do. Nor forthe peace of Jerusalem in general. But praying for seed of the next generation! Don’t you love this time of spring - promising shoots of plants -sprouting forth - pray that our youths are like olive-plants () - attend to band belive iin SPirit’s work - ackwnoeldge and pray for ; So often see next gerneation as weeds or thorns - as withered and blasted - ie. Youth these days no respect… in newspaper … Recognize and pray for encourage a real ability and capacity, heart turned to LORD…
We singing Early let them turn to you. Hold before them - response to covenant - young peole expect much from - . Lookat the descrition - corner pillars, cut polished - interesting how men often much more geared to their work, but women to relationships! Here praying that daughters as cornerstones - untied and conencted by godly relationships - mutual strength built in this community of faith! Graceful beautiful - discernment!
Here this calling youth - become men and wmoen professing godliness..
Listen to David, pray - commuhnity like that - will have full granaries -
Psalm 144:12 ESV
May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace;
Psalm 144:13 ESV
may our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce; may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields;
storehouses with more than enough - for ourselves and our friends. Not living in luxary, abusing the plenty , but cheerfully and usefully ! Be an increase of a country that lives like this. But more
Psalm 144:13 ESV
may our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce; may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields;
Psalm 144:14 ESV
may our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing; may there be no cry of distress in our streets!
He is praying for uniterprutped epace within and without. No war nobreaking in of invaders. Prayer for kingdomo f God to break in in fulness… imagine no complaining onthe streets.
Pray for others , other people’s household - enjoy this forusihing and peace - long for fulness of heaven on earth - pray thy kingdom come?
I want to conclude story - of Charles Simeon - locked the pews didn’t want evenaglical bible based preaching, but so popular packed the gallery and the sitting in all the aisles -. Simeon only preached one sermon on this Psalms and the whole sermon was on the 2nd half of v.15:
Psalm 144:15 ESV
Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!
Why did he do that? His sermon explains how the Lord is the
soul’s provision (world can’t do anything for your soul, can’t removed burden of sin, give pardon, peace with God, strength to resist temptation, fear death? only Lord can take sting out of death, future heaven)
heart’s satisfaction (all the blessings of this world, but apart from Lord void in your life) whoever drinks my water -never thirst
lasting portion - whatever esle have in LORD - gone, but at death the believer - finally comes into our full inheritance!
Augustine similar concern that set our hearts on blessings and not God, like ring and the Fiance. In the Exodus recognize comeinto land - say by our power, strength, wrok - got all these blessings! David calling us to recognize - the greatest blessing on earth as in heaven is having the LORD as our God, as our source of happiness and blessing!
IN this way as Gregory of Nyssa ointed out 17 cetnruies \ago tot he Greek speaking Christians - What the Psalms begin with as just a promise for thsoe who will undertake the task - of turnign away from the way of the wicked, and flollwo a path in life that meditates on God’s law - his divine ways, that at the end of the psalter we have delivered in spades: We are enabled to possess good, liek we following this way will be found as those who stand in the congregation of the righteousn and enjoy the glory of having God as our God!
IN this way as Gregory of Nyssa ointed out 17 cetnruies \ago tot he Greek speaking Christians - What the Psalms begin with as just a promise for thsoe who will undertake the task - of turnign away from the way of the wicked, and flollwo a path in life that meditates on God’s law - his divine ways, that at the end of the psalter we have delivered in spades: We are enabled to possess good, liek we following this way will be found as those who stand in the congregation of the righteousn and enjoy the glory of having God as our God!
IN this way as Gregory of Nyssa ointed out 17 cetnruies \ago tot he Greek speaking Christians - What the Psalms begin with as just a promise for thsoe who will undertake the task - of turnign away from the way of the wicked, and flollwo a path in life that meditates on God’s law - his divine ways, that at the end of the psalter we have delivered in spades: We are enabled to possess good, liek we following this way will be found as those who stand in the congregation of the righteousn and enjoy the glory of having God as our God!
Pray for families, flocks and material possessions daily bread, pray for peace and true security, but ultimately pray for Greatest blessing of all, which is God Himself! who is our glory, and who is our God!
Greatest blessing is Himself!
Habakkuk 3:17–18 ESV
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
Habakkuk 3:17 ESV
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
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