Shall we turn to the tenth Psalm. This tenth psalm speaks about the wicked. Mistakes that wicked people often make in their thoughts concerning God. The psalm begins with the cry of the psalmist.
Why do you stand far off, O LORD? why do you hide yourself in times of trouble (10:1)?
God, the Bible says, is slow to anger. He is plenteous in mercy. He allows people to go a long way before He does anything. And oftentimes as the wicked are going in their ways, we wonder, Lord, why do You just stand off and let this person get by with it? Lord, why don’t You act? Why don’t You bring judgment upon them? I with the psalmist many times have wondered why God was so patient with people. Why God didn’t just cut them off immediately, as I would do if I were God. And then he begins to talk about the wicked. The ones that he wanted God to take care of.
The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined (10:2).
This is what, Lord, don’t stand off. They have set the poor up. It’s really a tragic and unfortunate thing that the poor people are many times the victims of the charlatans. There are people who prey upon poor people. They run advertisements for their schools and so forth and, Learn the trade and make fifty dollars an hour and all. They get the poor to sign off their houses and everything else with the thought in mind that I’m going to be able to really advance and get ahead and they take advantage. So David says, “Let them be caught in the devices that they have imagined.”
For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, and he blesses the covetous (10:3),
They sort of admire the person who has developed a clever new scheme.
but the LORD abhors the covetous. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all of his thoughts (10:3,4).
I have often said concerning wicked people that surely they cannot consider God. They do not realize that there is a day of judgment coming. That one day they’re going to stand before the Judge of all of the earth and somehow they just don’t realize this. And I’m talking about some wicked evangelists who prey upon the people. Who take advantage of the people. Who are constantly scheming and devising to extract funds and money from people in many a variety of ways. They just cannot believe what they’re preaching that one day, they’re going to have to give an account unto God for what they have done. “God is not in his thoughts.”
His ways are always grievous; the judgments of the Lord, Thy judgments are far above out of his sight: and as for his enemies, he just puffs at them. He has said in his heart (10:5,6),
And this is one of the mistakes we find. Many mistakes here that the wicked make. The things that they say in their heart. The conclusions that they draw are wrong because they seemingly are getting by with what they are doing because of God’s patience and God’s long suffering, they have drawn false conclusions concerning God. And I’ve often mentioned that this is a danger indeed. Because God is patient, because God is long suffering, be careful that you do not draw wrong conclusions about God or about yourself thinking that you can do these things and get by with it because nothing has happened yet. “In his heart he has said,”
I shall not be moved: I shall never be in adversity (10:6).
I’m able to talk my way out of, and this is the tragic thing for people who have problems with drugs and alcohol. They usually become extremely adroit in their ability to con others. They are con artists. They know every con trick in the trade. And they think, Hey, I can talk my way out of anything. They oftentimes do. For a long time they get by with it. They talk their way out of it and they have all of this group of supporters around them who help them, who are enablers, who help them to maintain. Because they are able to talk their way out of the situation or they are able to talk their way, they are able to talk them into giving the money and supporting them and so forth, and they are, I’m so poor, I’m this, I am that. And they think, Hey, I can quit, no problem! They think that they can get by with this forever. Not so, it’s a wrong conclusion.
The day will come when you’ll get yourself in a fix that you can’t talk your way out of. “I’ll never be in adversity,” they say. That’s usually the thought when a person begins in a life of sin, I’ll not be caught. Others were caught because they weren’t clever enough. But I’ve devised and I know what I’m doing and I’m more clever than the others. I will never be in adversity.
His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud [the con artist]: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. He sits in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are secretly set against the poor. He lies in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lies in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draws him into his net (10:7-9).
And so, taking advantage of others especially the poor. It is, to me, a rather interesting thing. I do believe that it can be born out and verified that there are actually more burglaries and all in the poor neighborhoods than there are the wealthy neighborhoods. The wealthy people can afford alarm systems and all of these kind of things and so if you’re living in an apartment complex or in a poor area, you’re far more apt to have your TV or your VCR or whatever ripped off. And there’s just more burglaries in that kind of an area than there is in the very expensive area where there may be security guards and all these other kind of thing where you live within the gated communities. And so they set their eyes against the poor.
He crouches, he humbles himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones (10:10).
For he says in his heart, God has forgotten: God has hidden His face; He will never see it (10:11).
God doesn’t know. He actually thinks that he’s getting by with his wickedness because God has not come down with a heavy hand of judgment upon him. But that’s a mistake. That’s drawing a wrong conclusion from the fact that God is patient and God is long suffering. And so the psalmist prays,
Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up your hand: forget not the humble (10:12). Why does the wicked contemn God? for he has said in his heart [the next thing he says in his heart is], You will not require it (10:13).
God’s going to let it slide. God is not going to judge the issue. But the psalmist declares,
Lord, You have seen it [He has not hidden His face]: for You behold the mischief and the spite, to requite it with Your hand: and the poor commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless (10:14).
I love the fact that all through the scripture, it declares God’s interest and concern for the poor, for the widow, for the fatherless, for the oppressed. God’s love, God’s concern for them.
Now David gets in my territory.
Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man (10:15):
Yeah, I can get into this. Man, God take care. Smash their nose.
seek out the wickedness (10:15)
That is, seek it out in the idea of, Come down heavy on it until there isn’t any more. Lord, just wipe out the wicked,
until You can find none (10:15).
Until there is a purity, a righteousness.
The LORD is King for ever and ever: and the heathen are perished out of his land (10:16).
This is looking forward to the future when Jesus shall reign.
In the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had in which the Lord revealed to him the kingdoms of man that would rule in the world, Nebuchadnezzar was the first really powerful world governing man. First man to really rule over the world. And his word was law. Complete autocratic control. No appeal. What he said went. And Nebuchadnezzar, looking over the greatness of his kingdom, looking over the city of Babylon that he had built—the huge walls, 300 feet wide, 87 feet thick, with the river Euphrates running through, the major boulevards, the hanging gardens and all of the glory of the city of Babylon—one night as he was sort of restless, couldn’t sleep, he was wondering about the future. What’s going to happen to my kingdom? Maybe after I die or whatever, what’s going to happen to the world? And so the Lord gave him a dream in which the Lord revealed to him the future of the world. He saw the kingdoms that would be ruling over the world. Those world dominating empires that began with the Babylonian empire but the power was to shift to the Medo-Persian empire which was then to shift to the Grecian empire which was then to shift to the Roman empire and in the last days, there would be a federation of ten nations that would make up the final world governing empire. During the time of the reign of those kings shall the Lord of heaven come and establish a kingdom that shall never end. The sixteenth verse is in anticipation of that. “The LORD is King for ever and ever: and the heathen are perished out of his land.”
Going back to Psalm 2 which we said was a Messianic psalm, the Lord in verse six said, “I have set my King upon the holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:6-9).
During the reign of Christ upon the earth, it will be a righteous reign. There will be swift judgment as He rules with a rod of iron. An iron-clad reign, a reign of righteousness and justice and the wicked will perish out of the land. And so this is anticipatory of that day when the Lord as King establish His reign and He seeks out the wickedness to destroy them until there remain none upon the earth.
LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble: You will prepare their heart, You will cause Your ear to hear: You will judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress (10:17,18).
One of the great problems of society today is how men oppress other men. We see it in history but we see it today. How men are capable of oppressing other men. Enslaving other men. Tyrannizing other men. Look at the situation in Lebanon, in Afghanistan, in Iran. The thousands of people that are being put to death, tyranny of man as he rules over man. Put to death for no really good reason except that maybe they might say that. Some woman, you read that other day in Iran called the radio show and said that she felt that women ought to be able to wear lipstick or something and so they’re looking for her to kill her. They fired the guy who had the show because she said that over. I mean, horrible. How people oppress other people. Day is coming, we look forward to it, when Jesus reigns in righteousness.
“When they will beat their sword into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, they’ll study war no more” (Isaiah 2:4). “When the lion will lay down with the lamb; and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). “When righteousness covers the earth as the waters do cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). And so the psalmist in the end of the psalm is anticipating and praying for that day, even as we pray, Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
The eleventh psalm is a psalm of David and the time of the writing of the psalm is thought to be by some when David was being pursued by Saul and was fleeing throughout the wilderness areas as David himself described that Saul had pursued him like a partridge over the mountain. Like he was hunting a bird of prey and so he was fleeing like a partridge from the hand of Saul.
There are others who believe that this psalm was written at the time of Absalom’s rebellion. When David was forced out of Jerusalem because of the armies of Absalom that were marching out from Hebron. As we read the psalm, you can make up your mind which of the commentators you think is right. But David begins by making a declaration.
In the LORD put I my trust (Psalm 11:1):
In the time of trouble, in the time of persecution, in the time of danger, it’s great to put your trust in the Lord. Sometimes that’s the only place of rest. Lord, I’m trusting in you. And we need to get that focus. So many times we forget that. We start to trust in ourselves and we begin to panic because we can’t see the way out. How important that we learn to put our trust in the Lord. “In the Lord put I my trust.”
how is it that you say to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain (11:1)?
This is what some of the people were advising David at the time. Hey man, get out of here. “Flee as a bird to your mountain.” And this is why some of the commentators believe that it was at the time of Absalom’s rebellion because he had fled from Saul out into the wilderness and he was successful. And so they’re saying now, Hey, “flee as a bird to your mountain.” And that probably was a proverb, as a bird flees to the mountain. And so they are suggesting David take flight and find strength or security in flight.
For, lo, the wicked are bending their bow, and they are making ready or they have notched their arrow upon the string, that they might privily shoot at the upright in heart (11:2).
David, things are. The wicked are out to get you. They have bend their bow. They have notched their arrows. They’re ready to shoot. David said,
If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do (11:3)?
Those who are in power, those who are in authority, if they be destroyed, if the foundations are destroyed, what shall the righteous do? What’s going to become of a society where the foundations are destroyed?
The Los Angeles Times, Orange County section, this last Friday, three major articles on the page. Top article, Judge orders preliminary psychiatric exam for Massit. Massit was the lady who was convicted by the jury of killing her child by placing it in the driveway and running over it with her car. The jury found her guilty but the judge overturned the decision of the jury declaring that she had this post mortem psychosis or whatever, or post something psychosis. Not mortem but baby blues, and so he overturned the decision of the jury and said that she had the blues and so she wasn’t really responsible for her action.
The juror said he had no bias. He just didn’t want to serve. This is the case of this fellow Reuben Valley, who was fleeing from the police and in Costa Mesa hit a car where there were a couple of teenagers, Costa Mesa kids, in the car innocently driving along and this guy screaming down the street trying to get away from the police hit their car and killed the two kids. He was found guilty of murder by the jury. This is the Circuit Court of Appeals, they overturned the guilty verdict of the jury because they said that the prosecutor exercised racial bias when he excluded two of the proposed jurists.
There was this Vietnamese man by the name of Vo who was released from jury duty by the prosecuting attorney because he didn’t understand English very well. And the prosecuting attorney thought that in the complications of the case and in the evidence that needed to be presented, he would not be able to get a clear understanding because of his limited knowledge of the English language. The Court of Appeals said that this was racial bias and thus, the man who was found guilty was released as innocent by the Circuit Court of Appeals because there wasn’t a racially balanced jury. They showed actually bias against this fellow Vo in not allowing him to serve on the jury.
But this article by, they contacted this fellow Vo and said, Do you feel that you were discriminated against? He said, Oh no, I didn’t want to serve on the jury so I faked that I didn’t understand English. Even worse than my understanding is. Because I couldn’t afford to serve on the jury. I’ve got a family to support and so I pretended that I didn’t understand English even as well as I do. But I don’t understand English very well. And yet here we are, this guy Valley is running free though he is guilty of killing a couple fellows. But the jury says, Hey, it’s not fair. This Vietnamese man was not allowed.
If the foundations be destroyed, the foundations of our judicial system are being destroyed. What shall the righteous do?
The third. Yeah, we’ve got a third article here. This is that fellow Craft, who killed forty-two young men, at least. How many more, we don’t know. Of course, they found the last one right in his car. He hadn’t gotten rid of it yet. He would usually take them and dump them someplace. He hadn’t been able to dump the last body yet and they found it in the car. He has been four years and not come to trial yet. All of these pre-trial motions and everything else that have been going on. And so they haven’t really been able to get to trial. They feel that it will cost the State or the County some five million dollars to find this fellow guilty of these murders of some forty-two young men here in Orange county and Los Angeles county. And here they are requiring, the attorneys for Craft are asking that the District Attorney give them information on the strangulation data that belongs to the District Attorney and they figure that it will take the County Coroner a research through some 30,000 cases and a length of time in order to get all of this information that the defending attorneys are asking for so that he can get a fair trial.
If the foundations be destroyed, big question, if the foundations be destroyed, how shall the righteous stand? What can the righteous do? And unfortunately, the foundations of our society are systematically being destroyed. The foundations of our judicial system are being destroyed. Those who we pay to enforce the laws are working at a disadvantage. Their hands are almost tied in trying to do the proper investigation for a case and then when they have a case, oftentimes the District Attorney has to be almost bribed before he will prosecute the case. The foundation. And then when he does, the judges will take a few favors and sex and so forth, and. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
But he declares,
The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men (11:4).
This phrase “his eyelids try, the children of men”—difficult phrase to understand what he’s talking about there. When I was in college, the dean of the college had a habit and all of us guys would talk about it, when you would go in and talk to the dean, you felt like he was looking right straight through you. He had a way of looking at you that you felt, Man, he is seeing right through me. He would sort of squint his eyes so his eyes were about half open and he just sort of squint. And the way he would squint, you thought, he sees right through me. I think that he had eye problem. If you notice that when you have eye problems if you squint you can focus a little better. I think he probably had eye problems and was squinting as a result of his eye problem. But I didn’t understand that ability to sometimes solve your inability to focus. I have discovered that though as time goes on that you can squint a bit and you can bring things into focus. But when you do squint and look at people, it feels like they’re looking right through you. And so he’s talking about God’s eyes are sort of squinting and He’s looking right through. He sees what’s going on. God doesn’t have to squint to do that though.
The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loves violence his soul hates. Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup (11:5,6).
Their day is coming. God will judge.
For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; His countenance or His face beholds the upright (11:7).
Psalm 12, it seems to be written about the same time as Psalm 11. As David prays,
Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth (12:1);
Doesn’t seem like there are any godly people.
for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak (12:1,2).
A divided heart is always a problem. In another psalm, David will be praying, Lord, unite my heart to serve Thee. Not to have a divided heart. So many times people have a divided heart. Yes, they are half-hearted. Part of their heart is in the things of the Lord and spiritual things but a part of their heart is in the world and worldly things. God unite my heart. I don’t want to have a double heart. I don’t want to have this being drawn in two directions. So “they speak with a double heart.” There’s flattering lips.
The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things (12:3):
My mailbox is full of interesting mail. And I get a lot of letters that begin, Dear Pastor Chuck: I love you very much and this is written in love. And I know what’s coming. They’re trying to soften me up so the knife will slip in a little easier. Soften it and then you can get the knife in, you hardly feel it, they think. And so the flattering lips. I really love you. And this is said in love. “The Lord will cut off the flattering lips, the tongue that speaks proud things.”
Who have said, With our tongues will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is the lord over us? For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy (12:4,5),
Now verse five, God is responding here. As we pointed out, so many times in the psalms, God speaks. It’s sort of a, Lord responding to the situation. “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy,”
now will I arise, saith the LORD (12:5);
God is promising that He’s going to arise for the poor, for the needy.
I will set him in safety from him that is puffing at him (12:5).
Or would ensnare him.
The words of the LORD are pure words (12:6):
In contrast to the vanity, those that are speaking vanity or flattering words. “The words of the Lord are pure words:”
they are as silver that is tried in the furnace of earth, purified seven times (12:6).
Over and over and over, the heating of the silver for the purification process until you have pure silver. The dross is all gone.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted (12:7,8).
How true, how true, how true. “When the vilest men are exalted,” then the wicked take over. “The wicked walk in every side.”
I think of the damage that was done by Governor Brown here in the State of California that we are still suffering from. As he exalted the wicked, as he established in our court system those judges that we are still having to deal with who have such a liberal bias. Such an ungodly bias. Thank the Lord the people had enough wisdom to get rid of some of those on the State Supreme Court that were Brown’s appointees who demonstrated their bias in such horrible ways. Their liberal bias. And so “the wicked walk on every side when the vilest are exalted.”
The thirteenth psalm begins with, it’s something that we all probably have felt at some time.
How long, O LORD, will You forget me (13:1)?
Sometimes in our distress and in the time of pressure, the time of difficulty, we feel like the Lord has forgotten us. Surely the Lord has forgotten all about me. He’s forgotten about my problems. Here I am down here trying to do it on my own and the Lord’s forgotten me. “Lord, how long will You forget me?”
for ever (13:1)?
Is this the end? Is it all over?
how long will You hide Your face from me? How long will I have to take counsel with my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long will my enemy be exalted over me (13:1,2)?
How long, Lord, are You going to let these conditions continue? And so his prayer,
Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved (13:3,4).
Now notice the contrast between the beginning of this psalm and the end. The psalm begins with a prayer of rather desperation. How long, O Lord, will You forget me? Forever? How long, Lord until You do something. How long do I have to go on and the wicked oppress me and all of this. But then the last two verses, what a change.
But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me (13:5,6).
It is interesting to me how that in prayer, our whole attitude can be changed on a situation. Just in the time that we are praying, God can change our hearts. God can bring confidence to our hearts. As we pray, so often we are getting the new perspective on the situation. I thought I was alone, I thought I was in this fight by myself. I thought the Lord has forsaken me but as I pray, I’m assured that God is on the throne. My faith is lifted and my confidence is there and I realize, Oh, God is going to take care of it and I have then that renewed confidence that comes to me through prayer. And so here is David, beginning the prayer in absolute desperation but he ends the prayer with a statement of great confidence, the changes that are wrought by prayer.
You’ve heard prayer changes things. Our mistake is we think that it can change God. The purposes of God are not changed by our prayers. But oh how often prayer changes my own heart. Prayer changes my own attitude toward the situation. And I find the strength, I find the encouragement, I find the victory in prayer itself as I get things now in perspective and I seek God and it brings me into the consciousness of God and the sovereignty of God. So here is David dramatically changed, just in the prayer itself. And I love that.
The fool has said in his heart, There is no God (14:1).
The man who is an atheist is a fool. The man who says there is no God. The word fool here in Hebrew is nabal. You remember when David was fleeing from Saul and he had his six hundred men that had joined ranks with him, tough, tough crew. That David came to this fellow Nabal and sought to get some provisions from him for his men. Nabal was a very wealthy man. And Nabal said, Get out of here. Is Saul delivered into your hands? And Nabal refused. And so David left but he determined, I’m going to kill that guy. Turning me down like that. I’m going to wipe him out. And so David with his men, they were going to go back and wipe Nabal out but his wife, Abigail, came. And she said, My husband is just a crude guy. He lives up to his name. For his name is Nabal and he’s a fool. Be merciful, David, don’t and here I brought you some cheeses and some raisins and all. I bought food for your men. My husband, he’s just a fool. He’s a nabal. And he lives up to his name. That’s it.
So when Nabal found out what his wife did, he got so angry he had a heart attack. Burst a blood vessel and he just died. He’s so angry. Now “the fool, the nabal, has said in his heart, There is no God.” With this position, if you take in your mind the position, There is no God, it has certain inevitable consequences in your life. If there is no God, then there is no real standard for good or for evil. Everything becomes relative. You can really do what you want to do. Because there is no God, there is no one to say what is right or what is wrong. You can determine for yourself what is right and what is wrong.
And usually the person takes the position there is no God because he wants to determine for himself what is right and what is wrong. And he doesn’t want to submit to the law or to the authority of God. And thus, as a result when a person takes this view as an atheist, they become corrupt.
They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good (14:1).
Show me one hospital that has been built by the atheistic society. None that doeth good. They spend their money to tear down. They spend their money to support the causes that will destroy. They don’t use their money for good, uplifting causes for things within society. But they spend their money really to tear down the foundations, to destroy the society. They’re corrupt. They do abominable works. There is none that doeth good.
The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD (14:2-4).
Paul in Romans chapter three as he is establishing the whole world as guilty before God, in order that he might reveal to us the glorious grace of God in providing salvation for man, in the building first of the case of the guilt of mankind, all men guilty, he uses and he quotes this psalm in the third chapter. That God looked down to see if there were any who really truly sought after God and there were none. “There is none that is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). And then Paul adds, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And so the whole world becomes guilty before God as Paul builds and establishes his case but he uses this particular psalm in that one portion of the establishing of his case of man being by nature corrupt and alienated from God and away from God and at enmity with God, fighting against God. There are none that understand, there are none that doeth good. No, not one.
There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous. But you have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge (14:5,6).
Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion (14:7)!
He’s crying now for the Redeemer. This is the only hope of man. The Redeemer, the promised Redeemer. “Oh that salvation would come out of Zion!” and the name of Jesus is Yeshua (???) which is Jehovah is salvation. Oh that He would come out of Zion. It’s really the prayer for Jesus from David’s lips here.
when the LORD brings back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad (14:7).
The fifteenth psalm asks the question,
LORD, who shall abide in Your tabernacle? who shall dwell in Your holy hill (15:1)?
Question. Who’s going to abide in the Lord’s tabernacle? In His holy hill? The answer,
He that walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart (15:2).
Do you want to abide in His tabernacle? Do you want to dwell in His holy hill? He that walks uprightly, works righteousness, speaks the truth.
He that does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbour, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD (15:3,4).
This is the man who will dwell in the tabernacle of the Lord. Abiding in the tabernacle of the Lord, dwelling in the holy hill. He contemns the vile, but he honors those that fear the Lord.
He’s a man who will make an oath and find out it’s to his own hurt, but yet he won’t change it (15:4).
A lot of times we make a promise and we find out, Uh-oh, got taken on that so we start wiggling out of it. This is a guy, he gives you his word, and then he discovers, that’s going to cost me, he doesn’t well. He doesn’t back out from it, he’s a man of his word, he keeps his word. We need more of those kind of people today.
He that does not put out his money to usury (15:5)
That is, an unusually high rate of interest. The Lord does declare that there is a legitimate rate of interest but to overcharge is not right.
nor takes reward against the innocent. The person who does these things will never be moved (15:5).
He will dwell in the tabernacle of the Lord. He will abide in the holy hill.
The sixteenth psalm is a prayer of David and he begins the prayer by saying,
Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust (16:1).
How important that we put our trust in the Lord. Prayers for preservation.
O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness [or my righteousness] is of thee (16:2);
This is a poor translation here. My goodness is of Thee. Or my righteousness is of Thee. It’s interesting how that David does talk to himself at times. O my soul. Remember in the fortieth psalm, I think it is, or is it forty-one, right in there, he said, Why are thou cast down, O my soul? Why art thou disquieted within me? Why am I so upset? Why am I filled with unrest? And so he would talk to himself. Just what’s bugging you, man? Is the Lord on the throne? If God’s in control, then why are you worried? And he would talk to himself like this. He would talk to himself to get things in perspective. And so he said to my soul, He’s the Lord and my righteousness comes from Him.
But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god (16:3,4):
If you forsake the true and the living God, and you start going after the gods of pleasure, the gods of power, the gods of the intellect, your sorrows are going to be multiplied.
their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips (16:4).
I will not worship them. I will not bring their names upon my lips in the idea of worship.
The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: you will maintain me. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yes, I have a goodly heritage (16:5,6).
I like that. How blessed a person is who has a goodly heritage. David is looking back, no doubt, at Abraham and the fathers and he says, I have a goodly heritage. Good stock. Good background. His father, Jesse, the son of Obed who was the son of Boaz, a godly man, goodly heritage. My father, my grandfather, my great grandfather. There’s just a good line, a goodly heritage.
I thank God for my goodly heritage. My parents. How blessed I was to have such loving, supportive, but more than that, godly parents. A dad and a mom who loved the Lord with all their hearts. Who brought me up in the ways of the Lord. Of righteousness and truth. Who taught me from the time I was a child the scriptures. What a goodly heritage. How I thank God for it.
I will bless the LORD, who has given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons (16:7).
He’s talking about how that at night time, many times the decisions would be made. You ever do that? You’re sort of wrestling mentally over an issue. You’re not sure what to do. And sometimes in the night you wake up and you’re thinking about it and even as you’re thinking, you sort of get a course of action, This is what I’m going to do. This is the direction I’m going to go. And so he talks about this kind of nighttime resolving of a situation in setting my course. In determining the path that I’m going to take.
I have set the LORD always before me: He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved (16:8).
The Lord is there. I’ve set Him before me.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope (16:9).
Why? Because I’ve set the Lord before me. He’s on my right hand. I will not be moved.
For You will not leave my soul in hell; neither will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show to me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (16:10,11).
In this portion of the psalm it goes into prophecy. And here David is prophesying concerning Jesus Christ and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. In the plan of salvation when Jesus came to do His Father’s will, to finish His work, He came with the promise from the Father that He would not leave His soul in hell or in the grave, in Sheol, which is translated both hell and grave. “You will not leave my soul in Sheol or in hell; neither will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.” That was the promise of the Father to the Son, Jesus Christ, if He would die for the sins of man, the promise of God is that death would not be able to hold Him.
When on the day of Pentecost and the power of the Holy Spirit came upon the waiting believers, and it was accompanied by these supernatural phenomena of a noise that sounded like a hurricane, the sound of a mighty rushing wind filling all the house, it was accompanied by little tongues of fire that were above the heads of the people and it was also accompanied by the people being able to speak in several different dialects. Dialects of people who had gathered to Jerusalem from all over the world and I think there were some seventeen dialects mentioned here that were understandable, and with this accompanying phenomena of the Holy Spirit, it drew a lot of attention and a lot of people gathered together where the disciples were worshipping the Lord. When this was noised abroad through the city, when it sort of spread like wild fire. There’s something going on. There the sound, the sound of a hurricane down the street. There are people speaking in these different languages. They’re declaring the glorious works of God and a crowd of people gathered.
Peter then stood up in the middle and he turned to the crowd of people, the Jews that had gathered, the devout Jews who had come to worship the Lord on the Jewish feast day of passover. And he said, You men of Israel, hearken unto me. For they were wondering what was going on. Some said, They’ve probably got hold of some pretty good wine someplace, look pretty drunk. Hearken unto me. Listen to me. These people are not drunk as you suppose. After all, it’s only nine o’clock in the morning, fellows. But this is that which was promised by the prophet Joel when he said, In the last days, saith the Lord, I’m going to pour out My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams: And upon my servants and handmaidens will I pour out of My Spirit in that day; saith the Lord. And there shall be blood, and fire, vapour of smoke: The moon will be turned into blood, the sun into darkness, before the great, notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass in those days, that whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
This is that which Joel was talking about. God is pouring out His Spirit here upon all flesh. Now he said, Let me speak to you about Jesus of Nazareth. He was a man who was proved to be of God by the signs and the miracles which He did in the midst of you: Who, you according to God’s pre-determined counsel and foreknowledge, with your wicked hands, you’ve crucified and slain: But God hath raised Him from the dead: because it was not possible for death to hold Him. For David by the Spirit declared, thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption (Acts 2:1-27).
Now he said, let me speak plainly to you. David being a prophet was not talking about himself. But he was prophesying concerning the Messiah that was to come. And we bear witness to you that God did not leave His soul in hell, neither did He allow His Holy One to see corruption. For this same Jesus hath God raised from the dead. And so Peter in his sermon used this for his proof text. For the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Noting that the psalmist was not talking about himself. David has died. His sepulcher is with us to this day. You can go down the street and you can see the sepulcher of David. They’re offering their prayers there and all. You can go down and see it. You can see David’s sepulcher to the present day up on mount Zion there in one of the little rooms, you’ll see this large tomb and you’ll see the Jewish men there going through their prayer books and saying their prayer in front of the tomb of David. His sepulcher is with us to this day.
But David being a prophet by the Holy Spirit was testifying of Jesus who was to come. And we bear witness that God did not leave His soul in hell, neither did He allow His Holy One to see corruption. Jesus rose from the grave. He rose from the dead. God did not leave His soul in hell. His Holy One did not see corruption. But this same Jesus hath God raised from the dead.
So he is prophesying here of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This then becomes another one of the Messianic psalms. The next one we will get to is Psalm 22. And Psalm 22 is a prophecy concerning the crucifixion of Jesus. This is the prophecy concerning the resurrection from the dead. The next one will be the prophecy concerning the crucifixion of Jesus. And as we go through that, you can’t help but see that it was indeed prophesying of His crucifixion. Events are listed in it that took place at His crucifixion.
“Thou will show to me the path of life.” This is the promise. God has promised to show the path of life. He did show the path of life, Jesus is the path of life. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). What is the way? It’s the path. Jesus is actually declaring, I am the path of life. You will show to me the path of life.
“In Thy presence is fullness of joy.” We cannot even imagine the joy that will be ours when at last we stand face to face before our Lord there in His presence. “Eye has not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for those that love Him. Though God, Paul said, has revealed them unto us by His Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:9,10).
“In His presence, fullness of joy. And at His right hand, pleasures forever more.” Jesus said in that day shall the king say to those on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of the Father, inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you. At His right hand, pleasures forever more.
I’ll tell you what, I want to dwell at His right hand. I want to dwell in His presence. And I thank God that I have the privilege of walking with Him, living with Him, dwelling in His presence, there standing at His right hand. Glorious, the privileges and the blessings of being a child of God.
Father, we thank You again for Your word. And we thank You, Father, for the sure prophecy of scripture manifested again in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For You did not leave His soul in hell. Neither did You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. But on the third day, He rose again and now He ever liveth to make intercession for us. How thankful we are, Lord, for Your plan of redemption. For Your Spirit that works in our hearts, drawing us to Yourself. Lord, help us now as we continue to learn and as we continue to study. May Your Spirit teach us, Lord, Your ways that we might dwell in Your tabernacle. For Your glory, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7171