Faithlife Sermons

Psalm 4 - Praying to God and Speaking to Enemies

Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:10:12
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A recording of the entire worship service. In Psalm 4, David prays to God about the trouble he is facing because of his enemies, then he turns to his enemies and speaks truth to the lies, telling them how to change, then turns once again to God to find his ultimate joy, peace, and security.

1  Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! 1. Linked to Psalm 3 (morning/evening) 2. Answer me. You have. Be gracious and hear. 3. Answer me: a. God is the ultimate friend and companion. You are not alone – ever. I can’t be with you. You can’t be with your friend. b. God of my righteousness: who vindicates me. All my righteousness belongs to God. They have: i. Called out against me ii. Slandered me iii. Damaged me and my reputation iv. Think ill of me v. “cry out ‘there is no salvation for him in god’” vi. THEY DON’T MATTER! They don’t decide anything. A fan in the stands. You’re a player, a soldier in the field with blood and sweat on your face. The determination of your bravery will not be those who are mere spectators of your life but will be the General who has sent you on your mission and the brothers fighting alongside you! 4. You have: a. Preach the gospel of God’s love in Christ to yourself. God’s faithfulness to us in the past and in the gospel. b. We’re still here aren’t we? He’s brought us this far. c. We’ve been in the pit before: Pharoah’s hand, d. Stilled the sun e. I killed a lion once and a bear another time, this Goliath in front of me now is not of a different sort, just another chance to glorify Him who is my shield, my glory, and the lifter of my head. f. The one in whom, for whom, through whom, and to whom are all things (alpha and omega – everything came from and everything is going, the source and end of all things). My breath and that of my enemies depend on His sustaining power. The one who works all things for my good. 5. Be gracious and hear: a. Because we know him. Because we’ve seen his deliverance before. b. His hand is familiar to us. i. Crushes in its power ii. Comforts and holds us in its love iii. Heals and raises us in its compassion wisdom, skill, and faithfulness to His own covenant with us. 2  O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah 1. From Prayer to Exhortation (a sermon to his enemies) a. Frustration and Declaration (Both) b. No longer speaking this to God. Though we could imagine it as doubt, this is rather a statement of total faith. He has turned to rebuke the world because he knows it is wrong, he has seen it for what it is. “Hey universe…!” (contra mundum) c. He has also turned to admonish the world, to plead for it to get right, to see the light, to recognize vanity and folly and to turn. d. Find the restoration that he has known. Know the God that he knows. 2. The identifying questions (rebuke): a. It’s not is my honor being turned to shame, am i honor and you shame … no he already sees it for what it is, it’s moved to “How long will you do this? How long will this be allowed to continue?” Do you recognize what’s really happening here, because I do? b. The world is bass ackwards. It honors what is shameful and shames what is honorable. What is godly and righteous, it mocks and devalues and despises … calls it sentimental/stories/myths/product of evolution to aid survival in the past but no longer necessary (OK, then you’re a product of evolution to aid survival and are no longer necessary); calls it just a relative good – ok for you but not for me … fairy tails good for teaching moral lessons for those who need such primitive methods but not to be taken truly seriously: How’s this for fairy tales: everything from nothing, consciousness from unconsciousness, personal from impersonal, morality from blind random process, purpose from purposelessness, meaning from meaninglessness. c. David’s situation: the accuser’s are making up stuff to push their own agenda. There is stuff that they could say that is true, but that stuff must no longer be getting traction because it’s been repented, paid for, and dealt with). So, they’ve derailed the reality train and have no regard for actual truth: Fake News! d. This is a heart problem. It’s not an ignorance problem! It’s not that you don’t know the truth from a lie, it’s that you LOVE the vanity and lies. It’s that you prefer the meaninglessness of subjectivism and relativism. Because you can now bend the universe to your own will in your own mind. You can liver under the illusion of autonomy and control, no accountability, and you can always be right!! And, if not you always have an excuse. It’s a suspension of disbelief. 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself; The LORD hears when I call to him. 1. Here’s the answer. This is what David says you must know. a. The LORD has set apart________ for himself b. The godly c. He hears me when I call to Him. 2. EXPOUND THE ABOVE!! Really think and break it down. 3. Your efforts against me are in vain. He will deal with me, not you; and “The Lord has promised good to me, his word my hope secures, he will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.” 4. Godly – the one who fears, trusts, knows, loves, is like god … is that you? 5. He hears when I call to him. Say that to yourself over and over and over until you actually believe it, and then do it! 6. This is David’s admonishment, this is his truth to defeat the lies and the liars. This is how liars and lies can change! 4 Be angry, and do not sin; Ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent (Selah) 1. Practical advice that proceeds from theology. The orthodoxy leads to orthopraxy (v4 -> v5). a. You can be angry. Psalms are about this. b. You can be all torn up and messed up inside c. Confused and frustrated d. Scared and doubting e. … and not sin!!! i. Not lash out at others ii. Not deflect blame iii. Not give your heart away to another iv. Not give up and curse god and die (as Job’s wife would have you do) v. Not begin construction on another god who advertises some more instant gratification with easier/shallower answers. vi. This is Job! vii. Ponder in your own heart, on your own bed, and then be silent and wait. (selah moment) viii. It’s possible that the Psalmist (and us) could become like his accusers toward God. And, it’s possible that his accusers could become like him. 5 Offer right sacrifices And put your trust in the LORD 1. Offer right sacrifices a. Not the sacrifice of fools (draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools) b. Don’t run your mouth too much – so much that you think that is the main event. It’s a preliminary event, the show before the show. The real show is God’s answer. c. Don’t do your own thing to get to God. You can’t make God do what you want, you can’t make your relationship to him what you want it to be, you can’t alter the covenant he has established to govern that relationship. d. You don’t get to define Him or even yourself! (Eva and the Slide) e. Don’t presume upon His grace; that he must accept your sacrifice (like Cain) because he needs it or because it’s so good or because he owes you a good life or something … This is basic stuff that wins games, that wins life. f. Bad examples: Jonah’s prayer. Pharisee’s prayer: Terrible! 6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!” 1. David reflects again on his own situation. Here’s what people are doing: Things aren’t going their way and they’re saying – where is my savior, my king, my messiah, my wonderwall (maybe you’re gonna be the one that saves me) – who will show us some good – not this guy!! Not this God! 7 You have put more joy in my heart Than they have when their grain and wine abound 2. But, for David, he recognizes, even when everything has gone their way and everyone was on my side it couldn’t compete with You. The answer is they must change. They must find their joy in You. Thank you for teaching me this! 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; For you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. 3. Peace. Rest. Security. You alone, O LORD. Back to Jesus! So, what? What to do: 1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!     You have given me relief when I was in distress.     Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! 2 O men,[a] how long shall my honor be turned into shame?     How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;     the Lord hears when I call to him. 4 Be angry,[b] and do not sin;     ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices,     and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?     Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” 7 You have put more joy in my heart     than they have when their grain and wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep;     for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
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