Psalm 5 + God is steadfast

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shalom-dodi
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Psalm 5 + God is steadfast

Post by shalom-dodi » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:30 am

Our format is: Welcome, Song, Prayer, Discussion, Closing.
Comments and/or questions are welcomed.

Song: Pslam 5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk0R7X1rigg

Prayer. Father God thank you for this day, this new year and for many of us for heaters that work. Be with each one who needs healing of every sort. Help us to receive that nugget you may have for us tonight as we intentionally set aside the cares of this day in order to REST in your love for the next hour.
In Jesus name amen.

Into every life a little rain must fall…well yes. Plants need rain. We need plants and we also need water to drink. But this is often qouted when things are difficult.
It is not a Bible quote. It is from a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Which goes like this: The Rainy Day
Ballads and Other Poems 1842
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

It is also part of a song sung by Ella Fitzgerald. But…I wonder if their source could have been Biblical? Mr. Longfellow wrote another poem called Blind Bartimeus. So we know he had Biblical knowledge.

The bible says the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Interestingly this is part of the Sermon On The Mount. Guess which part? The part about loving your enemies. Let’s see.

Matthew 5:43-48 Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Isnt that interesting? Rain…which can be beneficial or at times damaging as when there is a flood…in the middle of “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute (are mean) to you?

God is love, right? We know that.
Well sometimes we may question it when things are difficult.

But GOD IS LOVE. 1John 4:16 clearly states that truth: So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

And God sends rain on the just (righteous ….his children) and the unjust (unblievers who are not his children). Actually we are told, “God witholds no good thing” from us. It says that in Psalm 84 which is practically a qoute from Matthew, or visa versa. Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Therefore… when things are lovely in any given moment…when God is sending his gentle life giving rain into our lives…we know that “all is well”.

But also when things are not as we wish there were, when life feels like a virtual flood of difficult circumstances, can we assume God then does not love us? Or is mean to us? Or just plain can’t be trusted?

Do we lose our hope? Our trust? Our faith expecially in His love or goodeness?

Or can we remember that God, who is love, sends rain on the just and even the unjust?

We ALL share a common experiece called “life”. There is no need to abandon God or question God when things are difficult. Nor is there a need to ask, as if we are honest we all could…”why”. Why do “they” who dont deserve it get that blessing while I am trying to serve God and getting “this” in my life.

Going back to Matthew 5. Commentaries say that the reason God allows good “rain” in the lives of ALL the deserving and the undeserving is because he IS LOVE and desires ALL to come to know him. So next time we see an “enemy” being blessed, perhaps we can “love and pray” for them as God does.

And when we are in a difficult time, perhaps we can remember that God is still LOVE and we can CHOOSE to ABIDE in and trust in His love for us. No matter what! Period!

This was sort of introduction for a Psalm we are going to consider tonight from that list I have of verses that lead us to a place of confident trust in God. It is Psalm 5. Let’s read it together then we are simply going to ignore tonight the parts about what God does to evildoers and focus on what God does for us, his beloved sons and daughters.

Psalm 5:1-12
Lead Me in Your Righteousness
To the choirmaster: for the flutes. A Psalm of David.
51-3 Give ear to my words, O Lord;
    consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
    my King and my God,
    for to you do I pray. 
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

4-6 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
    evil may not dwell with you. 
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
    you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
    the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

7But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
    will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
    in the fear of you.

8Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies;
    make your way straight before me.
9-10
For there is no truth in their mouth;
    their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave;
    they flatter with their tongue.
Make them bear their guilt, O God;
    let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
    for they have rebelled against you.

11-12 
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
    you cover him with favor as with a shield.

Some great reminders in this Psalm for us when life is giving us those moments or seasons of hardship. First in verses 1-3 we see a plea to God and a premisis for us.
Give ear to my words, O Lord;
    consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
    my King and my God,
    for to you do I pray. 
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
The Psalmist is asking God to listen to his groaning and to the sound of his crying out in prayer. Do you think the writer is going through a difficulty? I do.

Then we see a great practice…if God is hearing this writer’s voice in the morning then the writer is praying first thing? Right?

In fact he is offering a sacrifice. Do you remember the sacrifice God asks of us? Psalm 51:17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

Dont you LOVE that? What a great idea. When we first wake up, even before we get up and even before we have to face our day, could we choose to pray? Just a short prayer? Perhaps like it says again in Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

Do you think your attitude would change if when awaking you said something as simple as, “good morning God, thank you for keeping me while I slept and please help me walk in awarenss of your love today”?
I do. In fact I know because often I ask God to order my day upon awaking. I could pray more thanksgiving than I have.

There is another Psalm which has a verse that has application here for us at different times of our lives. It is found in Hebrews 13:15 KJV By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Sometimes praise FEELS like a sacrifice. I am remembering another verse where King David was going to offer a sacrifice unto the Lord. David has a need to offer a sacrifice to God and this man Ornan offers to GIVE David the oxen. But David’s response is found in 1 Chronicles 21:24 ESV But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

Sometimes…waking up to another day and offering Praise and thanks to God is easy but sometimes waking up to yet…another..day and doing the same is harder. Could that be our sacrifice of praise as a love gift to the One who loves us so much?

We are skipping 4-6 about evildoers. We pick up with verse 7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
    will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
    in the fear of you.

How was the Psalmist able to enter God’s presence? Or why was he? Because of the abundance of GOD’S steadfast love. Bowing down in fear means reverent awe here, it does not mean “afraid of”.
Have you ever considered that word STEADFAST? It is one of my favoite things about God. His steadfast nature of love. God is love as we said earlier and so God will love you and me. No matter what. And not only does God give us his steadfast love and invite us into His presence, he also promised to keep us in perfect peace when we are steadfast in loving/trusting him. Isa 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Perfect love keeps us in perfect peace because God is steadfast and we are called to be steadfast in turn. We can enter His very presence any time we desire to do so. In good times and difficult times, God’s love for us is steadfast.

Even if, like little kids sometimes do to their parents, we say something like, “Get away from me, I am mad at you.” As a parent did you “get away” or stop loving your little brat? Ha ha. Neither will God when have our times of bratness. But it is wiser to control our tongues and/or ask forgivensss. Which actually a child should do. The point is…even when our children annoy us or get on our last nerve, our love for them is steadfast.

Verse 8 is a prayer. 8Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies;
    make your way straight before me.

We can agree with that cant we? We can ask God to lead us in the right way even when “they” are mean to us and walk in Godly ways of doing life.
In fact, Let’s do that. Father God when life is beating us down, when people are wounding us, would you help us to remember who we are? Your own BELOVED sons and daughters. Would you help us to learn to turn to you in those moments rather than lashing out or even hiding from you? Thank you for this reminder that you will lead us and bring us to that straight and narrow path that keeps us in steadfast peace. In Jesus name amen.

We are almost finishied but not quite.
Verses 11-12 are too wonderful to omit.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
    you cover him with favor as with a shield.

We are the ones who take refuge in God, therefore we have reason to rejoice. Our God’s love for us endures forever. We can rejoice (reJOYce) and sing for joy. God does spread His protection over us and God does bless us and cover us with favor as a shield (our protection). And even when things are not easy or down right hard, this is true. All of us have internet access. We are all alive too. Looking back, if we are old enough, we can see where God’s steadfast love has already sustained us and we can then look forward with confident hope.

Have a blessed week! See you next week I hope.

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