Let’s turn now to Psalm fifty as we continue our journey through the Bible. Psalm fifty is a psalm of Asaph who was David’s chief musician.
Jesus, one day, was disputing with the Pharisees and he said, “You do search the scriptures because in them you think that you have life but they are they, which testify of me”. Jesus is declaring that the Old Testament scriptures were actually testifying of him. Psalm fifty is a classic example of the Old Testament scriptures testifying of him.
In Hebrews, concerning Christ, there is a quotation of a psalm “I have come as it is written of me in the volume of the book to do thy will O Lord”. In other words, the volume of this book is of Jesus. Someone has said that the word history should be really hyphenated because it is his-story. Surely he is the center focal point of the history of man. We even date our calendars from the time of his birth, before Christ and now in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine.
The Bible says concerning the man Apollos, in the book of Acts, that he was able to mightily to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. In the discourse that Jesus had with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, the day of the resurrection, Jesus began with Moses. That is the Torah, the first five books. He went through all of the scriptures that related to him showing them how the Messiah must need to suffer, die and rise again. That is, one book of the Bible that I wish had been written. I wish when they got back to Jerusalem they would’ve sat down and written out all of those scriptures and the references that Jesus made.
Psalm fifty is one of those special references. It is a reference to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and his judging of the world at that time. We know that his Second Coming will be preceded by a period of great tribulation. As Daniel said, “There shall be great tribulation such as the world have never seen before, has never been since the world was”. Jesus, in more or less quoting Daniel in Matthew twenty-four, said, “There should be great tribulation such as the world has never seen before or will ever see again”. Then when he comes, Matthew twenty-five and twenty-six, he’ll gather together the nations for judgement and he will sit upon the throne of judgement. So psalm fifty is prophetic of that part of the life of Christ. We’ve already seen in many of the psalms, psalm two the prophecies of the glorious kingdom age “ask of me I’ll give you the heathen for thine inheritance the outer most parts of the earth is thy possession. We see in psalm twenty- two a graphic description of his death upon the cross, the details of the parting of his garments among them and the passing of lots for the robes, the piercing of his hands and his feet and on and on and on.
Psalms fifty is another one of those messianic psalms, a prophetic psalm, dealing with the time when Jesus comes again and judges the earth.
THE mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined (50:1-2).
That is of course through Jesus Christ. God did shine forth. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” and John was sent to bear witness of that light, “He was not the light but bore witness of the light that is the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world”.
Our God shall come, (50:3).
There are those today that are saying, “Where is the promise of his coming since our fathers have fallen asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning?” but Peter affirms, “the Lord shall come”. He is declared in the psalm, “Our Lord shall come” (50:3).
and shall not keep silence: (50:3).
The silence of God is a very difficult thing for us today. I have a problem, many times, with the silence of God. I wish God would speak. When I see some of the blasphemies that man is guilty of today, when I read of this gay pride rally that they are proud of it, that’s what the scriptures call wantonness. The scripture looks at this as about as low as you can get when you flaunt your things. The thing that problems me is why is God silent? Why doesn’t God do something? He will not keep silent. There is a day that our God shall come. A day of judgement is coming.
a fire shall devour before him, (50:3).
That is the great tribulation that will precede the coming of Christ. The next judgement will be a judgement of fire upon the earth. God judged the earth once with a flood and of Noah. He promised that he will never judge with a flood again but he will judge with a fire.
and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people (50:3-4).
In Matthew, “and he shall gather together the nations for judgement” the declaration.
Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself (50:5-6).
It is interesting to me that as we read the book of Revelation and that coming judgement of God upon the earth during that period that we call the great tribulation, during the midst of some of the most devastating parts of the tribulation we hear the “voices from the altar of God” declaring the righteousness of God’s judgement. “Holy and righteous are thy judgements O Lord”. Over again, through the book of Revelation, we find that in the midst of judgement there will be the declaration of the righteousness of the judgement of God. That comforts me because the Bible is not entirely specific as far as the judgement of God in that future day.
There is a concern for those that have not had a fair opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, for children who have died. Would it be fair for God to judge those as he would a person who willfully and deliberately turns his back against the Lord and open blasphemy against God? Obviously that wouldn’t be fair. God will be fair in the judgement. The Bible doesn’t tell us the final disposition of every case but it does assure us that he will be righteous and true in his judgements.
Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, an I will testify against thee: (50:7).
Here is where this particular psalm goes directly now into prophecy as God now speaks to Asaph. It turns to the first person, as do many of the psalms where God himself speaks through the prophet.
Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me (50:7-8).
They were not totally faithful in those sacrifices and offerings and God said, “I will not reprove you for that”.
I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills (50:9-10).
God is saying that he’s not broke, he doesn’t need your sacrifices, and he won’t reprove you for your lack of sacrifices. Every beast of the field is his and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I like this part.
I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof (50:11-12).
I like that. God is not broke, he’s not desperate, he’s not begging for funds and he’s not dependant upon you to keep him going, though it may appear that way if you watch television. God says, “Look, if I needed something I wouldn’t tell you”.
Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: (50:13-14).
In the book of Hebrews it says, “Wherefore let us offer unto God the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips unto the Lord”. This is the sacrifice that to God is well pleasing. God is pleased with you just expressing your love, your praise, and your thanksgiving to him.
And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me (50:15).
That comes now to my estimation, one of the most truest forms of praise. It is that praise that rises spontaneously out of my heart as I see the grace of God manifested towards me, the answers to my prayer. I know that I really don’t deserve it yet God is so good and he answers prayer and when that happens I say, “O thank you Lord. That’s so glorious”. I get so overwhelmed with the grace of God. It’s just a spontaneous place from my heart which is really the purest form of praise.
I have great difficulty with that concept of praise to get something. “Let’s all praise the Lord in order that he might pour out his blessings on us tonight”. That’s like flattering a person because you’re trying to soften them up for a handout. I find that a little difficult. You think that God is not wise to these things? You think that you can snow God? You say, “O God you’re beautiful. I love you” because you are wanting God now to respond and to bless you. How true of a praise is that? Is it a true praise to God or is it just a desire for something for myself? The true praise is that which is spontaneous just as I see God’s goodness and God’s love and God’s answers to prayer.
And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee (50:15-16).
There are people who are totally opposed to the commandments and statutes. They disregard them completely. “They hate instruction” (50:16) God said.
When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers (50:18).
To me this is an interesting thing and Paul brings it up in Romans chapter one he said, “Not only do they do those things that are worthy of death but they take pleasure in those that do them”.
Here he said, “When you see the thief, you consent with him and you are a partaker with the adulterer (50:18). The movie industry, in its portrayal of crime and adultery, it is called entertainment. It is interesting to me and I wonder just what kind of a person can be entertained by watching someone being blown away. Who can find entertainment in seeing a person in an adulterous affair, committing adultery on the movies? If you find pleasure in watching the crime, if you get some kind of a thrill out of seeing fornication or adultery portrayed, it’s sort of like what Paul said, “you take pleasure in those that do them”. You find that pleasurable. As God said, you are actually consenting with them, you become a partaker vicariously in the adultery.
Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine wen mother’s son [your brother]. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence: (50:19-21).
Remember, God is not going to keep silence forever. God is going to come, he’s going to judge and he will not keep silence, verse three. Here, God said, “While you were doing these things I kept silent” (50:21). While things are happening today God is keeping silent.
Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: (50:21).
This is the serious mistake that people make on the silence of God. They misinterpret the silence of God as to blindness in some cases, God doesn’t know who is God. In Psalm seventy-three they say God doesn’t know. So they misinterpret the silence of God as not seeing or as God not caring. It doesn’t really matter to God how I live. If God doesn’t like what I was doing then why didn’t he strike me dead or something? How is that my life is still blessed? The wrong rational for my evil deeds. Yet I’ve heard people say, “God blesses our ministry and if God wasn’t pleased with our ministry or lifestyle then why would he bless our ministry?” Worse, people misinterpret that as God consenting to what we are doing. That’s what God said here, “You thought that I was altogether like you just because I kept silent”.
but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes (50:21).
God will not be silent. His reproof and day of judgement is coming.
Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation [manner of living] aright will I shew the salvation of God (50:22-23).
Quite a warning that God gives here as he speaks to first of all his people and then to the sinner.
Psalm fifty-one is to the chief musician. It is entitled a Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had gone into Bathsheba. We know the story. How that David, in his older years, was in battle and he had a fainting spell and it was quite obvious that he didn’t have the same punch that he once had. The men said, “You’re not going to go into battle anymore. You’re getting old man. You just don’t have the same strength”. It was determined that David should not go into battle anymore.
So his armies would go out and David would remain in Jerusalem. While the armies were out, I believe it was the Amorites that they were fighting, that David was one evening on his housetop. You have to really understand or see Jerusalem to get the picture. You that were there know that the city of Ophel is right on the side of the mountain. If you’ve been to Jerome Arizona you get the same idea. You could throw a rock three blocks by just throwing it out because it’s on a steep hillside and it’ll land three blocks down because the streets are just back and forth. Jerusalem is that way. The houses are just built on the hillside. They didn’t have yards but the roofs of the houses served as their yard, their patios.
David was there on the patio of the palace looking the city Ophel. Other people would be out on their rooftops. There was a lady nearby who was bathing. David saw her and he lusted after her. He sent his servants over to invite her to the palace. There David entered into an adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. He tried to cover the guilt by ordering her husband home hoping that husband would spend the night with his wife and think that he was the cause of her pregnancy. The husband did cooperate and so David conspired to put him to death. The husband was killed in battle as a result of David’s orders to Joab his general.
David then took Bathsheba as his wife and thought that his tracks were covered, nobody new. The prophet Nathan came to David one day and said,
“David, there was a very wealthy man in your kingdom. Had an abundance of flocks, all that he could desire, he had everything. Next to him there was a poor man who had only one ewe lamb and it was like a child. It would eat at his table and sleep in the house. All he had. The rich man had ordered his servants to, by force, go next door and take that one little lamb to his neighbor and kill it to feed his guests. David became angry and said, That man shall surely be put to death. He pronounced his judgement. Nathan pointed the finger and said, David you are the man. God gave you the kingdom, he gave you the riches and the glory of the kingdom. He gave you many wives and you went and took the wife of your neighbor.”
This is the psalm that follows that rebuke of Nathan.
HAVE mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions (51:1).
David’s prayer is a cry for mercy. He’d been found out. God has put the finger on him through the prophet, so to speak. David is now calling out for God’s mercy. There were other psalms where David said, “Lord reward me according to my goodness and uprightness” but not now he’s not asking for justice but mercy O God.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, (50:2).
Notice transgressions, brought out my transgressions. A transgression is a deliberate, willful act of disobedience. David’s act was a willful act of disobedience. He knew better, he knew the law of God, he knew he was doing wrong when he engaged in that adulterous affair with Bathsheba. It was a transgression. “Blot out” he said “my transgressions”.
“Wash me from my iniquity” (50:2). Iniquity is a sum total of the evil in my life. “Cleanse me from my sin” (50:2). Sin has as its root meaning, the missing of the mark. It may not always be deliberate. Many times it’s just the weakness of my flesh. Sin is still missing the mark but it isn’t a deliberate willful thing like a transgression. I would like to hit the mark; I would like to be all that God would have me to be. I come short, I miss the mark.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin (51:2).
So often David ties the three together the transgression, the sin and the iniquity.
For I acknowledge [confess] my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me (51:3).
It was troubling his conscience; he couldn’t get it off of his mind. It was one of those things that just plaques you. You’re drawn, your flesh is drawing you and yet the spirit is saying no, no, no. Thus this conflict, this inner warfare, as the flesh is lusting against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh and the two of them are contrary. You find yourself torn, ripped apart inside, the feeling and consciousness is ever before me, it’’ there.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: (51:4).
Interesting to me because as I would look at the story I would say that he really sinned against Bathsheba. He invited her to his palace and using his influence to seduce her, after all he is the king. I would say that he sinned surely against her husband who he sent to his death in battle. In reality, all sin is against God. When I sin, I sin against God. It may have its affects among other people and often does, but the sin is against God. He is the one who has set the righteous standard and any sin is against God.
David acknowledged it’s against thee. When you sin you are going against God and you need to realize that. I may think, “Hey man you deserve to be cut down. You cut down enough other people” and I may sort of gloat at the ability of being able to cut you short, to take advantage of you because I know what a scoundrel you are. I am really sinning against God. It’s God’s law that is being violated.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: (51:4).
You don’t hide it from God. He thought he had hidden it, he thought that nobody knew. But God you knew, I’ve done it in your sight. You were watching me. I really feel that we need to have that consciousness of the presence of God with us at all times. I think it would alter our behavior if we only realized that the Lord was right there with us. We forget that and we sort of shove it out of our minds.
I’ve had people embarrassed because they were using filthy language and they turned around and saw me standing there. They would blush and feel embarrassed. It’s strange to me that they would blush when to discover I was standing there and yet they don’t realize that the Lord is there. I did this Lord in your sight. You were watching me.
that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest (51:4).
It is interesting to me how that man so often seeks to challenge the justice of God. So many questions relate to “Is God really fair?” That is something that Satan has done from the beginning, challenges the justice and the fairness of God. “Is God fair to you Eve in forbidding you to eat that luscious looking fruit? He really isn’t fair Eve because he knows that when you eat it you’re going to be just as wise as he is and he’s trying to keep that from happening. He’s holding back from you something that would put you on the par with him. He’s just trying to protect his own territory Eve. That really isn’t fair”. The idea was God isn’t fair, withholding something from you that is so beautiful and desirable.
Satan continues to challenge the justice of God. When God does judge he will be justified in doing whatever he does. As we said, “during the midst of the judgement the declarations of holy and true and righteous are his judgement”.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me (51:5).
That is, I was born with a sinful nature. Paul tells that in Ephesians chapter two, “We where by nature the children of wrath even as others”. I was born with a sinful nature. There are those that seek to deny that. They say that you’re born neutral and that you are a sinner because you sinned.
It’s an argument and it’s of course it the old argument that are a horse thief or if you are a horse thief because you stole a horse? The argument is that if you are a horse thief you were a horse thief before you stole the horse. You stealing the horse only proved that you were a horse thief because if you weren’t a horse thief you never could have stolen it. Only horse thieves steal horses. The very fact that you stole one proves that that’s what you were and that’s what you are. There’s some logic to that. How can you dispute it? The first chance you got you stole a horse, you proved that you were a horse thief all the while.
I am a sinner. I am a sinner by nature not because I sinned. My sinning what I was and what I am. By nature I am a sinner, that’s why I sinned. Sinning doesn’t make me a sinner it only proves that I’m a sinner. The Bible declares, “born in sin, shapen in iniquity”.
Behold, thou desireth truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom (51:6).
David had been deceitful; he had tried to cover his sins. God wants truth, God wants confession. If we get into that rut of trying to cover our sins, we only compound them. We only go deeper and deeper and deeper. Look how deep David got, he didn’t intend that to happen. When he had this little affair with Bathsheba he thought that was the end of it but no it wasn’t. Sometimes we think we can just play with sin, we could just dabble here in there with a little bit of indulgence and we could step out of it. So he committed adultery with her. That doesn’t seem like that big of thing but then she became pregnant as the result of that relationship. Well we’ll cover that one. We’ll just get her husband home and he’ll go to bed with her and he’ll think that he did it and no one will ever know. We’ll just cover that. He got deeper and deeper.
The deception begins to grow and grow. “O what a web we weave when we first start out to deceive”. It’s like a web; you get caught in the thing. It gets a hold of you. The Lord wants us to be open and to confess our sins. David was seeking to cover it. You desire truth in my inward part; you want me to be open and truthful.
Purge me with hyssop [cleanse], and I shall be clean: (51:7).
The hyssop is a little shrub that grows out of the walls, out of the rocks. It was the bush that they used when they sprinkled the blood of sacrifice. They would dip the little hyssop bush in the basin of blood and then sprinkle it with the hyssop. It is reference to that, wash me with hyssop. It was used for cleansing in the scriptures.
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow (51:7).
I love the scripture that says, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses a man from all sin” purge me, wash me.
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice (51:8).
David, in speaking of the same incident in psalm thirty-two, declares “When I kept silence” that is when I have not confess, when I was trying to disguise, cover and hide my sin. “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long” (Psalm 32:3). It was really heavy upon him. The guilt was pressing him down. So “make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice” (51:8).
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities (51:9).
Again, sins and iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, (51:10).
It’s really beautiful, David’s prayer here. Purge me with hyssop, wash me that I might me whiter than snow, blot out my iniquities and create in me a clean heart O God. The Bible says, “the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked”. Out of the heart are the issues of light, “Keep your heart with all diligence” the Lord said, “for out of it are the issues of life”. Lord create in me a clean heart.
and renew a right spirit within me (51:10).
I once was innocent; I once had the right attitude towards sin. I once hated that God renewed the right spirit within me.
I had a very interesting experience a couple of weeks ago. I spent a couple of hours plus with Tex Watson up in the state prison. Talked to him about his early childhood growing up in Texas, a normal boy, football. In Texas every kid aspires to play football. He came out to California and saw the type of living out here, was caught up in it. He began to use first of all marijuana and then introduced to acid by the drummer of the Beach Boys at a party at his house where Charlie Manson was. He was becoming acquainted with Charlie Manson. Turned off initially by the character. Ultimately he was becoming a part of the party with his many, many trips on acid. He was getting caught up and tangled in that whole scene.
The thing that amazed me is that he was sharing just two weeks before the Sharon Tate murders that one of the fellows in the Manson family had killed a man. Charles said, “I wondered how in the world could he kill a person”. They were looking for love and peace. He said, “I was just shocked, totally shocked that this fellow in our family could kill someone. It was a total shock to me that he could do that”. He said, “Then I started on crack and my life was changed in this two weeks time”. Of course we know the rest of the story, those horrible, senseless, viscous murders. But God has renewed a right spirit in him.
David had done these horrible things. It was something he couldn’t get out of his mind. It was something that plagued him so he’s saying, “God renew the right spirit within me” (51:10). I had the wrong spirit. Doing those things I was wrong.
Cast me not away from thy presence; an take not thy holy spirit from me (51:11).
We are told not to quench the holy spirit and we are told not to grieve the holy spirit of God. The name is holy spirit; the holy is the declaration of the character of the spirit, the holy and pure spirit. I wonder how many times that my actions grieve the holy spirit of God. David is praying don’t take your holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of they salvation; (51:12).
That’s the thing that David had lost. That joy of the consciousness of God’s presence and God’s spirit working in his life. That’s what sin does, it destroys the joy of your salvation. You get caught up in that misery of a divided heart. The desire of the flesh towards the thing and the prompting of the spirit await and you’re torn by it. Misery.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit (51:12).
If you’ll do this for me Lord,
Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee (51:13).
Lord, I’ll become a witness for you. I’ll get out and start really teaching the transgressors thy ways. I’ll show them how that to depart from the Lord is death.
Deliver me from the bloodguiltiness, (51:14).
From the murder of this man. I’m guilty of his blood, deliver me Lord from that.
O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sin aloud of thy righteousness (51:14).
So Lord, I’ll go out and I’ll tell others. I’ll be a witness for you and I’ll sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: (51:15-16).
That’s not what you’re really looking for at this point. In the last psalm it said that the Lord is not going to reprove them for their lack of sacrifices. You don’t want my sacrifice. At this point sacrifices really won’t do it. God you want the change of heart. You don’t want the sacrifice or else I would give it.
thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise (51:16-17).
David, as guilty as he was of such heinous sins, God did not despise his broken spirit, his contrite heart, and God forgave him. That’s the wonderful thing.
Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar (51:18-19).
Get things right Lord and then we could restore the full relationship. Let’s start at the heart because that’s where the problem comes. When you’re straying from God it starts from the heart. Get that right and the rest will follow into order. As long as the heart is wrong you can’t put the rest in order, it’s just not going to be there.
The fifty-second psalm is a psalm of instruction. It is a psalm of David when Doeg, the dog or the Edomite (he was a dog), came and told Saul that David has come to the house of Ahimelech. When David was fleeing from Saul he came to the priest Ahimelech and David and his men were fleeing from Saul. David didn’t have any weapons and he said to Ahimelech, “Do you have any weapons here?” and said, “I have here the sword that you took from Goliath, that trophy”. David said, “I’ll take it, it’s a good sword” Then he said, “What about some food?” and he said, “All I have is the shewbread”. The shewbread was placed on the table in the tabernacle and it was only lawful for the priests to eat. David said, “My men are hungry. I’ll take that too”. David took the shewbread and fed his men and he took the sword that had belonged to Goliath and then he fled with the men.
Doeg, an Edomite, saw David there. He knew that Saul was after David. So he reported to Saul the fact that Ahimelech aided David by letting him eat the shewbread and he gave him Goliath’s sword. Saul came and killed Ahimelech and his family, a horrible deed. David then pledged vengeance upon Doeg when he got the chance. That dirty dog who ratted on him to Saul. David is now talking about this guy Doeg.
WHY boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endureth continually. Thy tongue deviseth mishchiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully (52:1-2).
The tongue is like a knife, like a razor, cutting. We’ve used it to cut down people. The tongue is indeed a horrible devise in cutting people to pieces. It should never be used that way but unfortunately it is.
Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness (52:3).
My words, my tongue could be used to cut people down or my tongue could be used to build people up. I could use my tongue to bless people, to encourage people, to strengthen people or I could use my tongue to cut them down. I think that we need to observe how I am using my tongue. Am I using my tongue as a razor to chop people to pieces or am I using my tongue as an instrument of bringing God’s blessings, declaring God’s love, God’s goodness, God’s grace and building people up in the Lord.
Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue (52:4).
David was angry at this guy’s tongue, telling Saul.
God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living (52:5).
God’s going to get you. David’s attitude wasn’t that towards his own sin was it? “Have mercy upon me upon me O God”. Aren’t we all more or less like David? I want God to be merciful to me but man how I want him to cut down those who have done evil to me or ripped me off. God get him. David was like God’s going to get you; he’ll cut you out of the land of the living.
The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him: (52:6),
When you’re cut down, the righteous will see it and they are going to laugh.
Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints (52:7-9).
I’m not quite sure on David on this one. It is so typical and so natural and I can surely identify with it. I’m afraid that I’m much like David in that way.
Psalm fifty-three is almost a repetition of Psalm fourteen. In fact, as you put the two side by side you find that there is a very slight variance in the two psalms. The variance could even be in just in the translation. They are extremely similar and in as much as we have looked at psalm fourteen already we will only take Psalm fifty-three in the context of going through the psalms. It is one that we pretty well covered as we looked at Psalm fourteen.
THE fool hath said in his heart, There is no God, (53:1).
To deny the existence of God takes real work. You have to put your mind on the shelf and you have to just take up all kinds of foolish theories and preposterous concepts. There is a time in everybody’s life when they have to make their own decisions concerning God, even though you grow up in a Godly Christian home.
I grew up in a very Godly Christian home. I can’t even remember a time in my life when I did not believe in Jesus Christ. From a child growing up it was ingrained in me. There did come that time and in my own life it came in the senior year of high school where, for a little while, I wondered is there really a God or is the Bible just an interesting collection of stories? Does God really exist? Maybe I don’t believe in God. That lasted for about a day.
I came to the realization that, in thinking there was no God, it left too many unanswered issues. In coming from the premise that God doesn’t exist, it opened up such a Pandora’s box, such a can of worms. There were too many unanswered issues. I really didn’t entertain that thought long at all because my mind mitigated against such folly. “It is the fool that set in his heart, There is no God” (53:1). You have to become a fool to take that position. The interesting thing about Paul’s writing to Romans in chapter one, he tells how the person gets to that conclusion. He said,
“For the wrath of God shall be revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness and men, who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness; Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, because they worshiped the creature more than the creator who is blessed forever more. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, (Romans 1:18,21-22,25&28).
He traces that whole thing, how that professing themselves to be wise they became fools. I look at the foolish theories of evolution. I look at the human body, I look at the nervous system, I look at the cells and I had the opportunity of looking at the brain cells through electron microscopes a while back. It was fascinating, absolutely fascinating. I was entranced by it, by the brain and the capacity of the brain. I was entranced about the capacity of those cells to store information, to keep that information for years. Things that I memorized as a child are still stored in that memory bank and that just fascinates me. How is it stored there? What kind of a memory bank system is there that you hold and retain all of these experiences of life. All you need is the proper stimuli to bring those things flashing back in your minds. Experiences of the summer of nineteen forty-one. You play “Old Black Magic” and that’s the stimuli and who I am back there. A beautiful summer, bass lake, “Old Black Magic” has me in its spell. It’s crazy but it’s all stored there. All you need is a stimuli to recall the thing. To say that this sort of evolved. Come on, give me a break.
There is enough coded information in a single cell of your body. The information that is coded in that cell is sufficient to fill ten thousand volumes of books the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica just in one cell. If you would decode all of the information in one cell for in that cell is all of the information for the reproduction of your entire body. The cells that have the codes for the designing of your fingernails, of the fingers themselves, of the tendons of the veins; the blood the whole thing is coded right there, the design, the code, the blueprint. To say that this all happened as a result of fortuitous concurrences of accidental circumstances is more than I can by.
I came to the conclusion that it’s much easier to believe in God than not to believe in God. If I don’t believe in God I’ve got to fight it too hard. I didn’t have that much fight. So I said, “Okay, God must exist”. That’s great, it prove I wasn’t a fool.
Corrupt are they, (53:1).
That’s usually why they take that position that there is no God because of the corruption in their life. They are convicted when they think that God does exist, that they are going to have to answer for their crummy lifestyle. Thus they take the position there’s no God so they wont have to think of the day of judgement when they are going to have to give an answer for the way that they have lived.
Corrupt are they, an have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one (53:1-3).
Paul quotes this in Romans chapter two and chapter three he makes a quotation of this particular psalm, “There is no righteous, no, not one. They’ve altogether gone their own ways” they’ve turned back and become filthy. There is none that seeketh after God. The whole world is guilty before God, that was the proof that Paul was making there in Romans two and three.
Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? Who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God. There were they in great fear, where no fear was: (53:4-5).
There was no reason for fear.
for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them. Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! (53:5-6).
He’s praying now for the Messiah. That’s the prayer here. The salvation of Israel is the Messiah.
Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad (53:6).
In that day when God brings back the captivity of those captives of Israel. We are living in that day; God is bringing back the captives of Israel that have been scattered throughout the world. There is another fascinating psalm that related to the same thing as this, “And when the Lord shall build up Zion then shall he appear in his glory”. Here its tied together again, “Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!” (53:6), Oh that the Lord will come. That day when God brings back the captivity Judah and Israel shall rejoice. According to Psalm sixty-eight or eighty-nine “when God builds up Zion then shall he appear in his glory”. We are seeing the beginnings of it, it can’t be long.
May the Lord be with you this week. I pray that you’ll just have an exciting week of walking with the Lord, experiencing the consciousness of His presence, the working in the power of His spirit within your life. As we face the world around us and the temptations, drawing our flesh after the things of the world, may you find the strength in the power of God’s spirit enabling you to stand against the powers and the wiles of Satan. May you have a week of fellowship with God, living in victory, as you are strengthened by His Spirit in your inner man. May the Lord be with you and bless you and keep you by His power, in Jesus name.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7182