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Praise in the Midst of Persecution

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Psalm of David
Setting:
1 Samuel 21:10–15 ESV
And David rose and fled that day from Saul and went to Achish the king of Gath. And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?” And David took these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard. Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”
1 Samuel
As we begin to walk through this Psalm, this Praise David offers up to the LORD consider how David turned from fear to courage. From desperation to hope. From sadness to joy.
He was delivered from this situation when he was fearful he could lose His life and He gives the LORD all the praise, honor, and glory for His deliverance. Remember why we are studying this Psalm again, Peter reminds us in the midst of suffering, in the midst of affliction we are remember the good news of the gospel, our deliverance in Christ Jesus, we are to long for the pure spiritual milk that by it we may grow up into salvation,
if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
David over and over experiences the goodness and deliverance of the LORD. Not only here from Abimilech but time and time God delivers him and saves him from the hand of Saul. This is the setting of this Psalm.
Notice first of all,

I. David Praises the LORD (1-3)

A. David Praises the LORD Continually (1)

In the opening words of this Psalm we see that David, blesses or praises the for delivering him from his trouble. David was so scared he was acting psycho and letting spittle drip down into his beard. Do yo think he was afraid? He did not know what to do.
David recognized it was the LORD and him alone who saved him from the situation and therefore he offered him thanksgiving and he offered it continually, without ceasing, his mouth was constantly blessing the LORD!
He not only blessed the LORD continually,

B. David Praises the LORD Confidently (2)

Listen to what David says,
My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
David went from being scared in the presence of Abimelech to boasting in the presence of the LORD. He didn’t boast in his trickery, he boasted in the LORD. He knew it wasn’t his pretending to be crazy that freed him, but the power of the LORD that saved him.
David not only confidently boasts in the LORD,
He also calls others to praise Him,
let the humble hear and be glad.
In other words, all you who are fearful and weak as I was. All you who see your own weakness come to the LORD hear my praise, recognize the power of the LORD and be glad in Him rejoice in Him!
How many of this need to hear this often? When we are struggling with whatever hardship or affliction we are experiencing at the time.
We need to be in the Scriptures, hear the goodness of the LORD and be glad. We need to be reminded of His power and His promises.
Samuel Rutherford said it this way, “When I am in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord’s choicest wines.”
“When I am in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord’s choicest wines.”
When we are in that time of trial remember what the Scriptures testify about or LORD and Savior, then remember Jesus’ words,
Matthew 5:5 ESV
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Hear and be glad!
David praises the LORD continually, confidently, and in verse 3,

C. David Praises the LORD Corporately (3)

Davis says come with me and magnify His great name. Let’s make much of the LORD together! Let us exalt His great name! Tell of His great power.
David was a man chosen, called, and kept by the LORD, but He not only praised God personally, he desire to gather together and praise God with all who belonged to God. He wanted to worship with the all who believed. It was his desire not to worship God alone, but exalt his name together!
Do we have this desire? Do we want to come together and exalt the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as those who have been graciously called out of darkness together. As those who have been rescued from the cords of death, redeemed from the curse of the law, and adopted as children of God will we come together bless the LORD, Boast in the LORD, and sing praises to His great Name!
James Montgomery Boice notes,

The person who has experienced God’s mercy naturally looks to others to praise God with him. Corporate worship is one of the natural instincts of the new life of Christ in God’s people.

II. David Sought the Lord (4-7)

Do yo see David’s initiative, His effort, and His pursuit of God in Worship. He sought after, inquired of, and made supplications to the LORD. When he made these worshipful requests notice how the LORD responds!
First,

A. The LORD Delivers Those Who Seek Him (4, 7)

In both verse 4 and 7 we see the LORD delivered David and all those who fear him. In the midst of David’s fears he cried out to the LORD in verse 4 and the LORD answered Him.
In verse 7 the LORD protects and delivers those who fear Him. Think of all the illustrations of this in Scripture. Not just in the life of David. But who are others that we see fearing the LORD and being set free from bondage or even death?
Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego
Daniel in the Lion’s Den
Peter in Prison
Jesus from the Grave, the Grave Could not Hold Him!
We don’t know when, we don’t always know how, be can be assured by the promises of God, all who fear the LORD will one day be delivered completely from the bondage of these sin and disease ravaged bodies. We will be set free from the partial rule of or fall affected world, nation, and government. One day we will be delivered, transferred to the New Heavens and New Earth.
Not only does the LORD deliver those who seek and fear Him. He saves those who cry out to Him

B. The LORD Saves Those Who Cry Out To Him (5-6)

In verse 5 those who look on Him are radiant and free from shame. Now think about this contrast for a moment. Think of someone whose life is wrecked by sin, who is in the deepest depth of depravity. They often look hollow, pale, and broken. You can often see the shame on their face.
Compare that to someone who has seen the face of God, who has as Pastor Adam taught last Sunday night seen the light of Christ and been called by name to come to Him! There is all the sudden a brightness, a new life, a radiant glow.
We in a sense become like Moses.
Exodus 23:4 ESV
“If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him.
Exodus 34:29 ESV
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.
Exodus
Or as Paul tells the Corinthians!
2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians
Those who fear Him are saved from darkness, death, and destruction and are being transformed from one degree of glory to another! This is the Power of the gospel, the Light of Christ. This is what happens when we behold his glory!
Notice how David refers to himself as this poor man. This ought again to remind us of the frist Beatitude.
Matthew 5:3 ESV
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
When we come to Christ as this poor man and woman knowing nothing in our hands we bring, He receives us into His kingdom. We know His kingdom will not be taken, will not be overthrown and we are now under His sovereign rule and protection!
So we see David praises the LORD, David Seeks the LORD and our third point is,

C.

III. David Presents the Goodness of the LORD (8-10)

David begins verse 8,
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
David calls for people to come to the LORD, trust Him run to Him and partake of His goodness. See His steadfast love, grace, and mercy. You will not be disappointed.
He goes on to say,

A. Blessed is the Man Who Tastes and Takes Refuge in the LORD (8)

Again Jesus says it this way,
Matthew 5:6 ESV
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Those who come to Christ hungering and thirsting after righteousness will find refuge in Him. We will find salvation in Him. We can be assured that we will never hunger or thirst again.
This is what David goes on to explain in verses 9-10

B. Full are Those Who Fear the LORD (9-10)

He writes,
Those who fear the LORD have no lack. They will have everything they need. The LORD is their provider. It may not be everything we want or think we need but He will sustain us and fill us with His food.
David continues,
Those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Matthew 6:33 ESV
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Over and over the LORD promises to care for His people. We can be sure what ever God desires us to have we will have. And these things will be good for us. Even if it may seem bad to us. We may not see suffering and affliction as a good thing, but if the LORD is using it to prepare us for glory is that a good thing?
If the LORD is using our suffering to sanctify us and purify our faith is that a good thing?
If the LORD is using or suffering to cause us to draw near to Him is that a good thing?
We see David praise the LORD, Seek the LORD, Present the goodness of the LORD, now in verses 11-14,

IV. David Calls for Putting Away of Evil. (11-14)

In verse 11, David calls for the children of God to,

A. Come and Learn (11)

He says, listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the LORD! David knows what it means to fear the LORD, He knows the proper response to the LORD’s holiness, righteousness, and justice is a reverential fear. A respect for the power and authority of the LORD of heaven and earth.
Boice is helpful here as well,

David defines the fear of the Lord in this section. He defines it, not by an emotion or attitude but by action, using words later picked up by the apostle Peter to describe the essentials of a moral life.

David knows,
Proverbs 1:7 ESV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Fear of the LORD is where the people of God begin to understand their need for forgiveness. They understand their need for righteousness to be able to stand before the LORD.
In the context of 1 Peter he offers a similar exhortation.
1 Peter 1:17 ESV
And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,
David knew God as Father, he knew what it meant to conduct himself as one who had a proper fear of God the Father! Both he and Peter call God’s people to do the same!
This fear drives the LORD’s people to obedience. He obey God out of a righteous fear, a holy reverence. The fear of God does not drive us to the corner to hide as if he were an evil megalomaniac who seeks to do us harm, but instead a loving father who disciplines His children in order to protect them from evil and cause them to do good.
Next he calls the children of God to,

B. Keep Your Lips Clean (12,13)

He says keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. David is explaining if you are one of those who wants to love life and desires good there are a few things that will help you enjoy these things.
The first one is to guard your tongue or as Mama used to say, watch your mouth.
Doesn’t this sound a lot like
1 Peter 2:1 ESV
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.
And the way Christ responded to suffering,
1 Peter 2:22 ESV
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.
1 Peter 2:23 ESV
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
1 Peter 2:24 ESV
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
David calls for the LORD people to have clean lips,
Jesus shows us what it is like to suffer while keeping His tongue from evil. And Peter calls us to put away these things.
We must remember those who have trusted in the LORD have been given a new heart and out of this new heart will flow new speech. James reminds us this new heart and new tongue we are to speak differently.
James 3:9–10 ESV
With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
The one who fears the LORD will not only speak rightly, they will also walk uprightly.
David’s next exhortation is to

C. Turn From Evil (14)

Here is the question? Is simply turning from evil enough? No there must also be a turning to righteousness. The believer recognizes they have no righteousness on their own, they are in need of a new alien righteousness.
When the believer calls out to Christ for mercy and forgiveness he or she is give more than just a free pass from judgment, more than just a declaration of not guilty in our justification.
The believer is give God’s Holy Spirit to come and dwell with us and be in us forever. It is God’s Spirit who convicts us of sin and righteousness causing us to repent and turn from our evil ways and turn to Christ as or example in how we are to live being free from evil.
David and Peter tell us as we come to know the LORD, as we are born again by the mercy of God, and as we continue to long for the pure spiritual milk. Our lives will continue to be sanctified and set apart for the glory of God. As we read, study, and sit under the preaching of the Word the Spirit will continue to teach us and convict us that we might be conformed into the image of Christ. Our Master (the one whom we fear) will change, our speech will change, our actions will change from sinful to sanctified.
Thomas Brooks writes, “Read and do, read and practice what you read, or else all your reading will do yo know good. He who carries a good book in his hand—but not a lesson of it in his heart or life, is like that donkey that carries burdens and feeds upon thistles. In divine account, a man knows no more than he does. Profession without practice will but make a man twice told a child of darkness.”
Read and do, read and practice what you read, or else all your reading will do yo know good. He who carries a good book in his hand—but not a lesson of it in his heart or life, is like that donkey that carries burdens and feeds upon thistles. In divine account, a m knows no more than he does. Profession without practice will but make a man twice told a child of darkness.

V. David Preaches the Presence of the LORD. (15-18)

A. The LORD Hears His People (15)

Why is it so important that we fear the LORD, watch our mouth, and turn from evil? Because,
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
Adam reminded us of this truth Wednesday night. God is omnipresent, He is in all places, at all times. Therefore, He sees His people, the righteous wherever they are and in every situation they find themselves in.
He saw David when he decided to act crazy to escape from possible persecution.
He saw the Apostle Peter when He denied Christ.
He sees me and you every time we commit a sin or when we obey His statutes.
That would be paralyzing except David also tells us, he LORD also, turns his ears toward their cry.
The LORD also, turns his ears toward their cry.
He hears our cry of repentance
He hears or cry of confession
He hears our cry of adoration
He hears our cry of apprecation
He hears our cry of supplication
This should increase our faith not paralyze us in fear because David goes on to tell us when we cry out to the LORD,

B. The LORD Delivers His People (16,17)

When does the LORD deliver His people in verse 17?
When the righteous cry out for help?
What does the LORD do when the righteous cry out for help?
delivers them out of all their troubles.
Which troubles? All....
David goes on to proclaim,

C. The LORD Saves His People (18)

Notice who the LORD is near to in verse.
The LORD is near to be brokenhearted
The LORD is not near,
The proud hearted
The self sustaining
The strong willed
Pastor David points us to,
Psalm 51:17 ESV
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Psalm 51:7 ESV
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Psalm 51:7
We can come with all the sacrifices in the world but if we come with a proud heart He does not desire them and may even despise them.
But if we come brokenhearted he heals us,
Psalm 147:3 ESV
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Jesus also teaches,
The LORD is near, the broken, the mournful,
The
Matthew 5:4 ESV
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Matth
In our study on the Sermon on the Mount we did we learn was the reason for the mourning of the righteous? Our sin…When we come to God in repentance and faith and are truly brokenhearted over our sin he will comfort us. He will care for us and He will do it just as we need.
It may be through discipline, but even in the LORD’s discipline we know he is just in right and knows what that discipline will produce.
Notice he isn’t just near the brokenhearted,
God saves the crushed in spirit.
Those who have had their inner man crushed, their inning being battered, and their heart broken can find comfort that the LORD will save them from their destruction. There was a point when David realized he was about to face certain death. At that moment he fell short of crying out to the LORD, and created his own way of escape.
We must remember these promises are not a guarantee of freedom from affliction, but of deliverance and salvation from our afflictions and suffering.
This brings us to our 6th and final point this morning.

VI. David Proclaims the Deliverance of the LORD. (19-22)

D.A. Carson writes on these verses,
The New Bible Commentary Psalm 34. An ABC for a Crisis

Realistically there is acknowledgement that being righteous (right with God and committed to righteousness, 19) is no guarantee of a trouble-free life (many troubles)—but in his closeness to us the Lord delivers (19), safeguards (20), sides with us against our opponents (21), pays whatever price will meet our need (redeems, 22a; 31:5), and offers himself as an available refuge (22b).

A. The LORD Delivers His People (19)

David understands as well as anyone that he will face trouble, but how many ways has he experienced the deliverance of the LORD?
He destroyed lions and bears
He defeated a giant
He killed 10,000’s
He dodged spears
He repented and recieved forgiveness for his sin and was saved.

B. The LORD Protects His People (20)

In all of these victories David recognizes the LORD is the one who kept all his bones from being broken. He protected him from the lions and bears, from the giant, from the pagan armies, from Saul, from His own sin!
How many broken bones in all of these incidents did David have?
David closes this Psalm reminding us,

C. The LORD Redeems His People (21-22)

Notice what happens to the wicked,
They are slayed and condemned by afflictions.
In contrast the righteous are,
Redeemed and are not condemned. God saves all who will call on His name, Repent of their sins, and Trust in His Son.
This why Paul can tell the Romans,
Romans 8:1 ESV
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
This is the good news of the gospel laid out for us in . David starts with continually, humbly, confidently, and corporately worshiping the God who has saved Him.
In the middle of the Psalm he calls the children of God to taste the Lord is good, to fear God, to live in accordance with the character of God. He then closes the Psalm with praise for God’s deliverance, salvation, and redemption. This is the response all of us ought to have if we have come to the LORD through his gracious calling and conversion!
This should fill us all with a desire to go and worship Him in spirit and truth this morning for the glory of God, the exaltation of Christ, and the good of our own souls!
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