Sunday, July 17, 2011

Psalm 28

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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.
6 Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.
7 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.
8 The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.
9 Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever

Key Verse:
6 Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.

Key Outline:
1. v. 1-5 Prayer to be heard
v. 6-8 Thanks for being heard

Key Observation:
The Lord hears His people.

Memory Verse:
(ESV) 1To you, O LORD, I call;
my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you be silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.

Verse 7 illustrates the grace of God; The LORD is my strength and my shield. . . and I am helped. David cries out to God and expects an answer. He realizes that God “overlooks” his sin, not knowing about Christ as yet, but David looks forward to being “lifted up for ever”. Again he is striving against the wicked; there are many commentators who feel the first person I is best looked at as impersonal, fitting anyone of the Israelites who might pray it.

Chafer says: “Grace is neither treating a person as he deserves, nor treating a person better than he deserves. It is treating a person graciously without the slightest reference to his deserts.” As a young man when I first gave my life to Christ I would often listen in wonder to people who had really terrible lifestyles before coming to Christ. I would think that God’s forgiveness, i.e. grace, must be so much more for those people than for me. I was wrong and Chafer here points out that it is not true; grace is grace and has nothing to do with my deserving it.

Later I came to realize my own sin nature, and though I was relatively young when coming to Christ (19), I came to very much identify with Paul who proclaimed himself the chief of sinners. I remember saying on more than one occasion, that if Paul was the chief of sinners then I was his first lieutenant. The point I am trying to make is that we need to see ourselves before God, in utter and deep need. But then we also need to see God’s grace for what it is: (Chafer) “Grace is infinite love expressing itself in infinite goodness.”

I, a sinner, am cleansed completely of my sin by Christ. Through Christ I have complete access to God: In Him and through faith in Him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence. The Bible says that God hears our prayers, and if we know that He has heard, we also know that he will answer. I marvel at David’s faith here. He is confident of God’s answer. We should also be confident when we come to God with boldness. He cares.

When I pray, I pray expecting God to answer. Seven times Elijah went back and prayed yet again for rain, coming in between prayers to look to see what answer God had given. Not seeing yet the answer, Elijah persisted, confident that God was going to answer his prayer. We need that kind of confidence before God. Let us come boldly before the throne of grace, knowing that God cares and loves each one of us. Has He not shown it in the price paid for our redemption? Could we have any higher or more grace than we do?

Faith, mighty faith the promise sees,
And looks to God alone;
Laughs at impossibilities,
And cries, It shall be done!

C. Wesley

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