Let’s turn now in our Bibles to Psalm forty as we continue our study through the Bible. Psalms forty is another one of the psalms that which are known as messianic psalms. That is, it is a psalm that has prophecy concerning Jesus Christ that was fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus Christ.
The New Testament recognizes David as a prophet. It also recognizes the words of David as being inspired by the Holy Spirit. As Peter said, “And David, by the mouth of the Holy Spirit, spake saying” and David prophesized it said. It was recognized that David was a prophet and many of the psalms have references to Jesus as Messiah. This is another one of the messianic psalms and the basic prophecies of this psalm are in verses six, seven and eight. However, there are those that see verses one and two as a prophecy. A prophecy concerning the resurrection where it is, as they see, Jesus speaking.
I WAITED patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings (40:1-2).
There are those who see that as prophetic of the resurrection. There are other psalms in which David did prophesy the resurrection. Peter, in chapter two of the book of acts quotes one of the psalms of David concerning the resurrection where he said,
“David by the mouth of the Holy Spirit said I will not leave my soul in hell. Neither will you allow the Holy One to see corruption and I testify to you that David was speaking not of himself, his sepulchre is still here but he was prophesying of Jesus Christ and we declare that God did not leave his soul in hell neither did he allow the Holy One to see corruption”.
When Jesus died for our sins, when God placed upon him our guilt and he died in our place, his spirit descended into Hades or Sheol or what is commonly known as hell in our English language. It was a place that was in the center of the earth that was divided into two compartments, the righteous dead and the unrighteous dead. The righteous dead with Abraham waiting for God to fulfill his promise of salvation.
Jesus talks about this in Luke’s gospel chapter sixteen when he gives to us the story of the rich man Lazarus. How that Lazarus died was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom moreover the rich man died and in hell lifted up his eyes being in torment, seeing Abraham afar off and Lazarus there being comforted declared, “Father Abraham have mercy on me. Send Lazarus unto me that he might take his finger and dip it water and touch the tip of my tongue for I am tormented in the heat. Abraham said, “Son remember that you in your lifetime had the good things, Lazarus the evil. Now he is comforted while you are tormented and beside that there is this gulf that is fixed between these two places where you can’t cross over one from the other.” He said, “I pray thee then that if he cannot come to me send him back to the earth that he might warn my brothers lest they also come to this awesome place.” Abraham said, “They have the law and the prophets, if they will not believe them neither will they believe even if one should come back from the dead”.
Jesus descended into hell, “He who has ascended,” Paul tells us in Ephesians four, “Is the same one who first of all descended into the lower parts of the earth. But when he ascended he led the captives from there captivity. Jesus descended into hell. He preached to the souls that where in prison. When Jesus rose from the dead, Abraham and all of those righteous saints rose with him into the glorious eternal kingdom of God.
The promise though was to him by the Father, “I will not leave your soul in hell. I will not allow you to see corruption”.
I WAITED patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry (40:1).
It is possible that this is prophetic. It is also very true though of so many, many people. As we have waited patiently for the Lord but we have seen the answers to our prayers. So many can say that God took me out of a horrible pit, that life of the flesh, that life in bondage to sin and “he brought me out of the horrible pit and of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, upon Jesus Christ, and established my goings (40:2).
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD (40:3).
We see how that the work of God in a persons life, the transformation, how when God lifts a person out of that horrible pit of sin, out of the miry clay in which they are sinking and he sets their feet upon the rock and he establishes them. We see the stories; we see the lives that are so transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. People who are going nowhere, people who were bound in drugs and alcoholism and the other evils and you see them set free and you see the change of their countenance in their lives; you hear now the new song that they are singing, the transformed life, the mouth is cleaned up the whole life is transformed and people see it saying, “There’s got to be something real, you just don’t change like that”. They recognize the power of God and they see it and they come to trust in the Lord. Many people are brought to Christ through the witness of the changed life of a friend who has been so transformed by the power of the spirit.
Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust (40:4).
The man who puts his trust in the Lord. The blessed happiness of committing ourselves to him.
and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, (40:4-5).
That’s an understatement for sure. Look around and see the wonderful works that God has done.
and thy thoughts which are to usward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered (40:5).
The amazing thing is that God thinks about us. David said, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon, the stars which God hast ordained what is man that thou art mindful of him”. Who am I that God shall think about me? And yet he does. In fact the psalmist said that if I tried to number his thoughts concerning thee, I couldn’t do it. They are without number. In Psalms one thirty-nine David said, “Thy thoughts concerning me are as the sand of the sea in number” or number as the sand. God is continually thinking about you his child.
The thing that Jesus taught us concerning God is that though he is God over the universe, God over creation, he as the creator is the God over creation; he is mindful of his creation, he is mindful of the birds of the air, he is mindful of the grass of the field, in his creation he is mindful of it. He takes care of it and watches over it. Jesus said, “There is not a sparrow that falls”. He talks about sparrows; they’re cheap little things. You can buy two sparrows for a farthing and so for three cents you can buy a couple of sparrows. Yet he said, “There’s not a sparrow” as common as they are, “that falls to the ground but what your Father doesn’t notice it”. The argument was always from the less to the greater when Jesus was using the birds and the grass and the flowers. “If your Father,” he’s not the birth father he’s their creator but he’s your father, “will take care of the birds, will feed the birds and if your Father will clothe the grass of the fields, how much more will he take care of you because you are his child?” I love that argument; I love that analogy there. My father watches over his creation but I’m his child and as his child I have the right of sonship. If he takes care of that which is just creation, not related to him, how much more will he take care of me as his child? I love it. He thinks about me.
To Jeremiah he said, “I know my thoughts concerning you, they are of peace and not of evil”. Satan will have you think that God only thinks of you in a negative way, he only thinks of you in terms of judgement or punishment or whatever; not so. God says, “My thoughts are to bring you to the expected end”. God thinks of you in the eternal and this is where the problem arises. As God is thinking about me and dealing with me, he always deals from the eternal perspective to bring you to the expected end. He looks down at the end of the path, the end of the road, and God deals with me from the eternal values and the eternal good.
There are some things that I may desire for a temporal advantage but they would be bad for me eternally. From a spiritual standpoint they could be destroying, damaging. So God withholds many times the temporal because he is considering the eternal, that expected end, that down the road, where it will lead. Thus we sometimes find ourselves not understanding the ways of God within our lives because it has brought me temporal discomfort. I don’t like this discomfort. God why do you allow this discomfort if you really love me. God is looking down the road, what is going to work out of me and what is going to work into me of his likeness because he is molding me into his image.
I can imagine that if a stone had feelings or a piece of marble could talk as Michael Angelo is chipping away with his hammer they say, “Ooh that hurts. Why are you doing that to me Michael? You are hurting me”. Yes but I am conforming you into an image that would cause all men to stand in awe as they look at you. God is conforming us into the image of his son, how vital and important that is. God looks at that end result. He’s always interested in the end result.
That’s the folly of man, we do so many things without considering the end result, so many things that are destructive because we don’t look down the road, we don’t see what it’s doing. Sometimes you want to shake these kids and say, “Wake up! Can’t you see what you’re doing? Where is this path leading you?” You see these poor little children with their black leathers and their colored hair and chewing the gum and walking down the malls and you say, “You poor little child, do you know where this path is leading you?” Your heart goes out to them. You wish that somehow you could talk sense to them, you could let them grasp the future or consider the future. Satan is always living for now; “eat, drink and be merry, tomorrow we die”. It’s living for the moment where God wants us to live for the eternal, that expected end.
Now we get into the prophecies concerning Jesus.
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; (40:6).
This is quoted in the book of Hebrews as referring to Christ. Hebrews ten, five to seven is where this portion is quoted.
It is interesting that this was written by David at a time when the sacrifices were probably there most meaningful in the history of the Nation of Israel. The worship of God had pretty much come to a peak. It was not until Isaiah’s time after the spiritual declination of the nation that God spoke of his feelings concerning the sacrifices. Turn to Isaiah chapter one. The Lord said,
“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who required this that your hand to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination to me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will no hear: your hands are full of blood (Isaiah 1:11-15).
So God speaks of that time that came in the nations history where he was just sick of their sacrifices. You see, it is possible to start out in a real worship and move of God and to continue in a form but to lose the power, the meaning. Israel had offered the sacrifices to the Lord which the Lord required, but it came to the time when they were only perfunctory, they weren’t meaningful any longer. So they were no longer meaningful and God said they are an abomination to me, don’t bring me anymore sacrifices.
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required (40:6).
God said to stop them, away with them, I am through with them.
“This my ear hast thou opened or pierced” (40:6). We read, concerning Jesus, in Philippians chapter two who though he was in the form of God and thought it not something to be equal with God, yet he humbled himself and took upon the form of man, came in likeness of man, as a servant obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. So Jesus took upon himself that of a servant. This ear, under the Jewish law, if you because of debts that you could not pay had to be sold as a slave in order to pay your debts, you would only be required to serve as a slave for six years. In the seventh year it was required that they set you free. However, if during that teenier of time that you were a servant you really enjoyed your position you would come to the master and say, “I enjoy serving you. I don’t want to be set free. I’m secure here, I enjoy the circumstances here. I want to become your slave”. He would take an awl and go to the door of the house and there on the door-post they would drive the awl through your ear and pin you to the door-post with that awl. When they would take the awl out they would put the gold ring in. You would see the gold ring and it was the sign of a servant, of a slave, a bond-slave. A slave by choice.
Jesus was a servant by choice. He said, “I did not come to do my own will but the will of him who sent me”. He humbled himself and became a servant, “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”. So my ear have you opened is a prophecy of the fact that Jesus came as a servant to do the will of the father. As when in the garden he prayed, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not what I will, thy will be done”. Submitting unto the father as a servant, my ear have you opened.
Then said I, (40:7).
These words are ascribed to Jesus again in Hebrews.
Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, (40:7).
The Old Testament, the volume of the book, is written of Jesus Christ. He is found throughout the entire Old Testament. Jesus one day said to the Pharisees, “Search the scriptures for in them you’ll think you have life but actually they are testifying of me”. You can find the witness of Jesus Christ throughout the entire Old Testament. “The volume of the book” he said “is written of me” (40:7).
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart (40:8).
That is, it is my desire to obey they law, I delight to do thy will.
What a wonderful thing it is when God plants his law in our hearts and when doing the work and the will of the Lord is the joy and the delight of our lives. What a rich beautiful life it is when you’re no longer straining, when you’re no longer pressing against the bit but when you have surrendered yourself to the Lord, committed yourself to him and to just to do the will of God is the chief goal of your life; it’s a joyful life, it’s a delightful life, I delight to do thy will O Lord.
Then Jesus continues to testify.
I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest (40:9).
How he cried to the multitudes of people declaring to them the truth of God.
I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart: I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation (40:10).
The marvelous themes that Jesus addressed as he spoke to the multitudes concerning the Father, the love of the Father, the kindness of the Father, the faithfulness of the Father, the righteousness.
Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy loving kindness and thy truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me (40:11-13).
I like David. He’s sort of like me, he lacked patience, he wants God to work immediately. Make haste or hurry up Lord, deliver me, help me.
Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil (40:14).
David didn’t learn the lesson of turning the other cheek. It hadn’t been taught in his day. He wants God to take care of them.
Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha (40:15).
I don’t know what aha really means but it must be bad. David refers to it in several cases and it was always a term of derision of malicious delight of an enemy. If something really bad happens to you and your enemies say, “Aha” it’s a derisive malicious delight of the enemies as they see your difficulties. So David is saying that those guys who say, “Aha” take care of them Lord.
Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified (40:16).
Now I am surprised that this hasn’t caught on. We hear people all the time saying, “Praise the Lord” and there are other terms or religious jargon that we use. Here is a phrase that we should be using, it should be a common kind of an exclamation among us even as praise the Lord or bless the Lord or Maranatha or whatever, this is one that should be a very common phrase among the believers. David said, “Let those who love your salvation say continually the Lord be magnified” (40:16). It’s a great thing to declare. “Oh magnify the Lord with me” David said, “Let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord and he heard me and delivered me out of all my fears”.
Everytime I come through the Psalms and read this I think I’m going to start saying that and then I forget it. So I come again, “I’m going to start saying this more”. The Lord be magnified. I love his salvation so David said if you do, then you ought to be saying all the time that the Lord be magnified. I like that. Good.
But I am poor and needy; (40:17).
Now he’s not talking about a pauper. David is far from a pauper, he’s not a beggar. David was, of course, probably the wealthiest man in his day. He contributed millions of dollars for the building of the temple out of his own personal bank account. He donated millions upon millions of dollars in the building of the temple. So he is not poor in the sense of broke, he’s talking about it in the sense that Jesus talked about it in the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus said, “Blessed are poor in spirit”. That man that doesn’t think more highly of himself than he ought to be thinking, that man who is not proud, that man who is humble, “I am poor and needy” is a beautiful expression of David’s humility.
I am shocked and surprised at the deep humility of the really great people that I know. I think that one of the most disarming characteristics that I discovered when I came to know Billy Graham was his tremendous humility. If God used me like he used Billy Graham, I don’t know if I’d even still be talking to people. All of that notoriety and everything else. The humility of the man is the outstanding characteristic of his life, beautiful.
But I am poor and needy; yet (40:17).
The amazing thing, though I am really nothing.
the Lord thinketh upon me: (40:17).
I love it. The God who created the universe, who controls and governs the universe thinks about me. Really, when you look like at the world in which we live, we are such an insignificant part of the world; one in five billion specks of dust that are walking around breathing and eating. The earth is just a small little planet out here in this far corner of the Milky Way Galaxy orbiting around the sun which is one of the millions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy which is only one of the billions of galaxies in the Universe. Here I am so insignificant and nothing. Somewhere between the atom and the universe, just about halfway I guess if you go way on down inside and then you go out to the universe man is somewhere halfway in between and yet God thinks about me.
thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God (40:17).
In the forty-first Psalm this is a messianic psalm meaning it has a prophecy concerning Jesus.
BLESSED is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble (41:1).
Throughout the Psalms and Proverbs there are many Psalms and Proverbs that relate to the poor. I think that this is not as in the previous psalm “poor in spirit” but I think that this is just a person who is poor or in poverty.
The Bible says, “He that lends to the poor lends to the Lord”. We should be concerned with those who are poor. Let me say I really am thrilled to be associated with you people here because I believe that for the most part your lives are extemporarily of what God would have a Christian to be. The tremendous concern that is expressed here for people in need. I have the blessed privilege of controlling the benevolent fund of the church and thus being able to distribute unto the poor those funds that have been earmarked for benevolence, for the needy. Through the years it has been a real privilege to be able to help so many hundreds of people who are in need. It’s just one of those remarkable things. Nothing has ever been said about it. This is the first time I’ve ever made mention of it. It’s something that God has provided and continues to provide and it’s a privilege to be able to dispense to the poor those funds that the Lord has provided.
The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive’ and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee. Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish? (41:2-5).
Poor David, he was a melancholy no doubt. He was so harassed by his enemies and they were very bitter enemies. They were just waiting for him to die, his name to perish.
And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity [emptiness]: (41:6).
They come and talk without any real depth, just chitchat.
his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it(41:6).
Asking questions trying to learn things, trying to get information. They come and they talk like they are really concerned, “Well, how are you doing?” and when you go ahead and try to tell them, “I haven’t been feeling good of late” then they go out and they spread it. They come in like they are being nice and friendly and yet they have this terrible hatred.
All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt (41:7).
They are plotting against me.
An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more (41:8).
This is it, I’m going to die.
Now the prophecy concerning Jesus and Jesus in John chapter five quotes this as a reference to him.
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me (41:9).
It is a prophecy concerning the betrayal of Judas Iscariot. Jesus, when he spoke of one of his disciples betraying him, made reference to this as a prophecy.
But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them. By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen (41:10-13).
This brings us to the end of book one of the Psalms. Each of the books of the Psalms ends with the “Amen, and Amen” but the “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen (41:13). Book one is over.
Psalm forty-two begins the second book of the Psalms. As we sang this evening these beautiful words of David,
As the hart [deer] panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (42:1-2).
On the last day the great day of the feast, John seven thirty-seven, Jesus stood and cried saying, “If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink”. The Feast of the Tabernacles was held in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar which is equivalent to the tenth month of our calendar. The Feast of the Tabernacles was a commemorative feast, as they all were. It commemorated the forty years of wilderness wandering by their fathers, being miraculously preserved by God.
There are the Bible critics today that try to discount the forty years of the wandering of the children of Israel in the wilderness the numbers that are declared in the Bible. According to the Bible, the total number would be approximately a million and a half people. They try to discredit that because it would be an impossibility for a million and a half people to survive in the wilderness for forty years. That’s right. It would take a miracle for them to survive. That’s right, but if you don’t believe in God you have a real problem; if you believe in God you have no problem. So the Bible tells us how God fed them with manna which was on the ground each morning and how God brought them water out of the rock when they were thirsty. It was God who preserved them, it was a miracle, a miracle of God’s preservation. Thus the Feast of Tabernacles was to commemorate that miracle in their history; God preserving them for the forty years of wandering in the wilderness.
It is also called the Feast of Succoth or Booths because this is the feast where the Jews built their little booths beside their houses. They move out of their houses and they live in these little thatched booths for a weeks period during the feast to remind them how their fathers slept under the stars and slept in the open in the wilderness, slept in these temporary tents or little lean-to shacks that they would build.
There in Jerusalem on the temple mount, hundreds of thousands of Jews would gather for these feasts. The priests each day of the eight day feast would make a procession down the many steps from the temple mount to the Pool of Siloam, which is in the Kidron Valley down Mount Ophel from the temple mount area. They would come up the steps with these large water jugs on their shoulders that were filled with water from the Pool of Siloam.
As they would come through the gates and into the temple mount area, the big pavement steps of the temple mount, they would take these jugs of water and poor them out on these great steps or on these great stones. As the water would splash the people would sing the Psalms and they would remember how God gave them water out of the rock to their fathers so that they did not perish in the wilderness. A very moving experience and a memorable experience. The whole idea was to remind them of God’s miracles in the preserving of their fathers.
Now in the last day, the eighth day of the feast, there was no procession to the pool nor pouring out of water which was to acknowledge the fact that God had kept his promise. The forty years of wandering in the wilderness was over. They are now dwelling in the land God has promised to Abraham and to his descendents forever. Thus dwelling in the land that was well watered filled with milk and honey, they no longer needed the miraculous supply of water out of the rock. Thus on that eighth day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and he cried to the multitude of people that were there worshiping, “If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink”. Jesus was not talking about the physical or emotional thirst but the spiritual thirst of man for God.
Man is a threefold being of body, soul and spirit. The body of man has certain needs, our biological drives. The second strongest is the thirst drive. A very powerful drive because your body needs moisture to exist. Without the moisture, your body dehydrates. We know what it is to be extremely thirsty from a physical standpoint as our body is dehydrating but Jesus wasn’t talking about physical thirst.
We have certain emotional needs. We need security, we need love, we need to be needed, we need to be noticed, Jesus wasn’t talking about those sociological thirsts. Down deep in the spirit of every man there is a need for a meaningful relationship with God. David was talking about that here, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God: As my soul panteth after thee O God”. David was expressing a universal thirst that is in every man, that thirst for a meaningful relationship with God.
We try to supplement it, we try to substitute and we try to fill that thirst with many things but they don’t satisfy. When Jesus met the woman of Samariah who had been around the block a few times, who knew her way around men and he was talking to her about water he said, “Give me a drink” she said, “Why do you ask me for a drink when you are a Jew and I am a Samaritan? We are not suppose to be talking to each other”. Jesus said, “Woman, if you knew who it was who asked you for a drink and if you knew the gift of God you would have asked him for a drink”. She said “Now way, that well is deep and you don’t have anything to draw water with”. He said, “Yes, but if you drink of this water you will thirst again”. Write that over the top of your ambitions, over your goals of life; “drink of the water but you will thirst again”.
There are people that are trying to satisfy that deep thirst for God with physical things. It just doesn’t work, you come up still thirsty. “Drink of that water, but it’s not going to satisfy, you’ll thirst again but he who drinks of the water I give it will be like an Artisan well” water just springing up within. She said, “I’ll take some so I don’t have to come out here every day and draw water from this well”. Jesus said, “First, go call your husband” and she said, “ I don’t have any”. He said, “Well I guess that’s true. You had five and the man that you are presently living with he just moved in and didn’t marry”. She said, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers say that we are to worship God in the mountain and you say Jerusalem. Where can I find God?”
That was the real thirst. She was cute, she had a cute exterior, she was sharp, she was smart, she was clever. As I say, she’d been around, she knew how to handle herself. She had put men on for a long time, five husbands and now just living with a guy, she knew what it’s about, how to manipulate and handle men. Suddenly she found one that could see right through her. She realized, this guy is being fooled by my little exterior. This guy could see right through me. In fact she went into town and said, “Come and meet a man who told me everything I’ve ever done”. She realized that she wasn’t hiding from him. He could see right down deep inside and so she just spilled what was inside and what was under all this façade and all this clever cuteness out here when deep down inside there was this thirst for God and she said, “Where can I find God? Our fathers say on this mountain, you say in Jerusalem. Where can I find God?” Jesus said, “Woman, the day is coming and now is. God is a spirit. They that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth and neither in this mountain or in Jerusalem. God is a spirit, they that worship him worship him in spirit and in truth”.
David is expressing that same thirst that is in every man; a thirst for a meaningful relationship with God. You may hide it behind a mask, behind a “I’ve got it made, I can handle myself macho kind of a thing” but way down deep there is a yearning for God. “My soul thirsteth after the O God, as the deer pants” Beautiful words of David, how expressive of that experience that we’ve all had in our quest and in our thirst after God.
My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? (42:3).
That’s a familiar taunt that is tossed by those who are upset because of your trust in the Lord. They know that your trusting in the Lord and when something goes wrong they love to taunt you saying, “Where is your God now?” So with David, as things were going wrong, the enemies were taunting him saying, “Where is your God now?” and David says< “My tears have been my meat day and night, while they are saying continually to me, Where is now your God” (42:3).
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that dept holyday (42:4).
David was in one of those calamities again and things were going tough and he could remember those glorious days. Those days when he went into the house to worship God with the multitude of people, the joy, the gladness that they were experiencing as they saw the power of God in their midst. Now David is going through some real turmoil and the enemies are pounding him saying, “Where is your God?” Inside, he found himself thirsting after God like a deer panting after the water brook. He had lost that consciousness of God. Sin always has that disastrous affect of causing you to lose that consciousness from God, feeling distant from God. So David spoke to himself.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (42:5).
There are scriptures where it declares that David encouraged himself in the Lord. This is one of those places where David was encouraging himself in the Lord and he did it by talking to himself, putting things in perspective. He said to himself why are you cast down? What’s your problem? Why are you disquieted. Why are you so upset man? He then gave his own solution. Put your hope in God for he will help, you will yet praise him for the help of his countenance. Put your hope in God, he’s going to help you.
The way some people act you would think that God was dead. They’re cast down, they’re upset, they’re disquieted and everytime you see them there is turmoil, there’s anxiety, there’s strife, they’ve lost perspective; hope thou in God.
O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep (42:6-7).
From the depths of my being I am calling out to you. This depth from my innermost calls out for God.
Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me (42:7).
I am drowning in the experience. I am going down.
Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life (42:8).
How glorious it is when in the midst of our misery and sorrow and problems that in the night season, when things usually get more bleak, God sends a song within our hearts, a song of deliverance. It’s glorious. Daytime there always seems to be hope, the light daylight and so forth but night when you’re going through misery it seems so dark and oppressive.
I will say unto God my rock, Whey hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? (42:9-10).
This taunt, David was facing it all the time and it bothered him. It made him feel discouraged and defeated. Why are you cast down o my soul? Why are you disquieted within me? Then commanding “hope thou in God for I shall yet praise him who is the help of my countenance an my God”. I know that God shall deliver me.
Well, we didn’t get to Psalms 43 but that’s where we’ll take up next Sunday night as we continue our study through the word of God.
When Jesus said, “If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink” recognizing that thirst, deep within the spirit of every man is a thirst for God, he was actually presenting the gospel in probably one of its simplest forms. You’re thirsting after God, Jesus said, “Come to me and drink”. He can quench your thirst for God because he is God. You need to make him the Lord of your life and as he becomes the Lord of your life, the thirst is not just quenched but Jesus said, “Out of their innermost beings there will begin to flow rivers of living water”.
This Thursday night when we study the Holy Spirit we will point out the difference between the in-filling of the Holy Spirit when you are saved and the out-flowing of the Holy Spirit when you are baptized with the spirit. There is a definite difference between the in-filling and the out-flowing. We’ll be looking at that this Thursday night. But the Lord wants the out-flowing. Yes the in-filling, that’s necessary, that’s a prerequisite to the out-flowing. You can’t give what you don’t got, like measles. You can’t give them unless you’ve got them. So with that power of God’s spirit, you cannot have it flowing forth from your life unless it has flowed into your life. The Lord is interested with more than just filling you with his spirit, he’s interested that you be overflowing with the spirit. We’ll be looking at that and how to be overflowing with the spirit on Thursday evening.
May you experience the over-flow. May it be like a river of living water flowing forth from your life that others this week, where you work, where you go to school, others within your own household might be touched, affected, by that over-flowing of God’s love and spirit from your life, may it have that beautiful influence. Where ever you go may you carry that influence of God’s love, over-flowing, touching, engulfing those around you as his spirit over-flows. May you know the joy and the blessing of being the instrument through which God pours forth his love to the needy world around you.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7179