INTRO: David lived a long and active life. He came from very humble roots ... he was a shepherd. There was that unexpected, strange day when Samuel, Gods faithful servant, came to the house of Jesse and, in the midst of Jesses other sons, anointed David to be Israels next king. At a very early age he was thrust on to the stage of public life. It all seems to have begun with his challenging Goliath and ultimately killing the Philistine hero with a stone from his slingshot. His years were marked by great accomplishments. But they were also marked by family troubles (the rebellion of Absalom), terrible mistakes of judgment (the numbering of Israel) and intrigues of various sorts. He had his enemies, and after his sin with Bathsheba, there was seldom peace for him. The prayer(s) we read in our text suggest times of true dispair.
I. IT IS EVIDENT THAT HE IS HURTING
A. Listen to these expressions:
1. (v. 81) - my soul fainteth - he is near the point of giving up!
2. (v. 82) - mine eyes fail - he is straining to see Gods comfort
3. (v. 83) - I am become like... - he sees himself as like a skin bottle which is ugly and discolored by the smoke of a cooking fire
4. (v. 84) - them that persecute me - he feels the weight of his enemies
5. (v. 85) - the proud have digged pits for me... - he feels the injustice
6. (v. 86) - they persecute me wrongfully - he is beyond understanding
B. What was the cause of his feelings here?
1. once again, we are left to wonder
2. my own guess is that it could well have been a combination of things
3. as I mentioned in our introductory thoughts, there were more than few sources of trouble in his life!
C. And there are times when we hurt, too
1. yes, there is the physical hurt of illness, accident or aging
2. but far more difficult may be the hurt which comes from some cause or source beyond ourselves
3. the hurt of disappointment; the hurt of injustice; the hurt of rumor, gossip; the hurt of sin - when wilt thou comfort me?
II. HOW MANY ARE MY DAYS? WHEN WILL GOD EXECUTE JUDGMENT?
A. Are there times one wonders, Is life worth living?
1. can our problems and trials get that big? that intense?
2. apparently, there are such times for some people
3. 1 Ki 19:1-4 - here is a man praying to God that he could die!
B. Are there times when we are impatient in our hope?
1. our head knows, but our heart wilts, faints, wants immediate help
2. Prov 13:12 - hope deferred maketh the heart sick
3. can our impatience limit God? - note Ps 78:41
C. I know, Lord, but when?
1. we want answers ... and we want them now
2. so, our insistence on the immediate works against the confidence of faith
3. Hab 2:3 - the encouragement of scripture - wait for it...it will surely come
III. HELP THOU ME (V. 86)
A. Here is the prayer of one in affliction
1. affliction does its work when it brings us to the Lord!
2. we are best able to deal with trials on our knees
3. Lk 18:1 - I wonder ... did the Lord know just how hard this is for us?
B. And notice the simplicity of this prayer
1. from time to time I hear us say we may not know for what to pray
2. and I know that there are those troubled, confused times in our lives
3. here, though, is a prayer which is so appropriate ... so powerful! it is a prayer for those confused, complicated times when we may not be certain just what it is for which we should petition God
C. But we need, too, to notice the frequent references to the word here
1. it seems that the word was the anchor to which he kept returning
2. it is within the word that the assurances are give to the faithful - it is within the word that solutions are so often found - it is the word which produces the faith which can withstand the trials of life (Rom 10:17 & Eph 6:16)
3. 2 Cor 7:4-6 with 1:3 - faith fills my heart with this wonderful assurance - God is truly the God of all comfort
4. notice, too, 2 Cor 1:8,9 - affliction has the purpose, too, of teaching us to trust in God
CLOSE: In the deepest of despair, in the deepest of consternation, in the deepest of lifes troubles we need to follow the example of Jesus, Who committed himself to him that judgeth righteously (1 Pet 2:23).
Cecil A. Hutson
March 6, 2005
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)