INTRO: I was driving to Austin one morning recently. It was fairly early, and it was very foggy. As I drove through what was ordinarily very familiar countryside, I was unable to see any of the surroundings through which I was passing. Oh, I could see the highway immediately in front of me. But I had no sense of exactly where I was. I felt very closed in. I was glad for occasional places where the fog was not so thick, and I could say to myself, Oh, there is a familiar building. Now I know about where I am. I can only imagine, though, just how closed in I would feel if I was totally blind. What darkness! Our text has the psalmist praying for open eyes ... uncovered eyes. He wants to better see wondrous things in the law.
A. Of course, there is the physical malady of blindness
1. this would be the most typical blindness of which we would think
2. Mt 11:2-5 - The blind receive their sight...
B. There is what I would call emotional blindness
1. think of Lk 10:30-33
2. one man saw with compassion - two men saw with their physical eyes, but they were emotionally blind
C. There is selective blindness
1. I refer to those times when, for whatever reason, we choose not to see
2. Ex 23:8 - ...for the gift blindeth the wise...
D. There is spiritual blindness
1. of this blindness Jesus spoke and apostolic writers wrote!
2. Mt 13:13-16 - ...because they seeing see not...
II THE PLEA TO SEE...
A. Mk 10:46-51 - The plea for mercy was a plea for sight!
1. I am intrigued by the intensity of this mans plea
2. he would not be quieted ... ...but he cried the more a great deal...
3. and he simply wanted to possess the physical faculty of sight
B. But Davids desire was for better vision of and in the word of God!
1. our first thought might be that this is a man with great knowledge
2. and I think wed be right in such an observation
3. I wonder, though, if the psalmist is not expressing the truth that there is always more to see within the wonderful word of God ... and that prayer is part of the creating of the disposition which is able to see more?
III TO BEHOLD WONDROUS THINGS OUT OF THY LAW
A. Behold - to look intently at ... to regard with pleasure, favor or care
1. the psalmists prayer is not for a passing glance!
2. he wants the pleasure of beholding - or seeing over and over
B. He did not pray for...
1. a new law ... remember, 2 Tim 3:16,17 ... what we have is sufficient
2. a better law ... remember, Jas 1:25 ... what we have is the best
3. a plainer law ... remember, Jno 5:39 ... what we have can be understood by one whose eyes are open to it
C. He had an incredible appreciation for the word of God
1. Ps 19:10 - its better than fine gold ... its sweeter than honey
2. Ps 119:97 - the word of God was always near at hand and on his mind
3. I wonder, as I read this and as I think about it, if the psalmists thought is the more time I spend with the word, the nearer to God I come???
4. is that at all like the letter from ones sweetheart ... reading over and again - seeking every nuance, every hint of purpose - drawing closer (even at a distance) to the one who has written?
D. What were the wondrous things?
1. I truly do not know - we are not told explicitly
2. but in the context could he be longing for a closer fellowship with God through His word - the help for his life with its pressures and stresses - the assurance that he is where he should be spiritually and that a majority does not always make right?
3. I know this ... he found delight in his meditations in the law of the Lord!
E. For you and me? what wondrous things?
1. the grand revelation of God in all His resplendent glory...
2. the wonderful gospel which reveals Gods eternal purpose...
3. the plan of redemption which gives our lives a real hope...
4. the ultimate reward of the righteous about which the psalmist must have had but a vague knowledge
CLOSE: The word of God holds such amazing things ... for one who is willing to see ... for one who is willing to pray for open eyes to see all that is there. Ah, but Satan is out and about in our world ... encouraging spiritual blindness. Keep your eyes in the word!
Cecil A. Hutson
12 December 2004
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)