Let’s turn to the sixty-second psalm. It is thought that psalms sixty-one, sixty-two sixty-three and possibly even sixty-four all have their roots in the time when David was fleeing from Absalom. That at the time that Absalom had come with the troops and taken Jerusalem and David was forced to flee to the wilderness and his future was certainly in doubt. That difficult time of David’s life is what gave birth to these psalms sixty-one, sixty-two, three and four.
As David has been driven from the throne his declaration of his trust in God.
TRULY my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation (62:1).
It is an important thing for us to learn the secret of waiting upon God. Yet I think that this is one of the most difficult lessons that we have to learn. If you find a problem waiting upon God, don’t worry you’re not alone. That has been a problem of man through the ages. It is probably even more difficult to wait upon God when we understand the purpose of God, to wait for God to fulfill his purposes in our lives. It seems that God always moves more slowly than we would like for him to move. I don’t deliverance by and by, I want deliverance right now. It’s hard to wait upon God. So often we are prone to say, “Well I waited for a whole day and it didn’t happen so I think it’s time that I take some action myself”.
God had promised to Abraham that he would give him a son and that through his son all of the nations of the earth would be blessed. Abraham waited upon God for the fulfillment of that promise for many years. Finally, when he was in his nineties Sarah said, “Honey don’t you think we’ve waited on God long enough? It looks like it’s not going to happen. Maybe we should help God out, maybe he can’t accomplish this without our help” a fatal mistake always of logic and our human reasoning. Sarah said, “Why don’t you take my handmaid Hagar and go in unto her and let her conceive. When the child is born I’ll be there to receive the child on my lap. We will raise it like our own son”. A surrogate mother kind of a thing. It’s nothing new. Abraham’s wife first thought of surrogate motherhood.
So Hagar conceived and bore a son. They called his name Ishmael, the man from God. When Ishmael was thirteen years old God came to Abraham again and said, “I’m going to give you a son” and Abraham said, “Lord let Ishmael live before you forever”. God said, “All right but I’m still going to give you a son through Sarah”. When the Lord had given this promise to Abraham the angel of the Lord came and was telling him that Sarah would have a son she was in the tent. She heard the angel’s promise and laughed. The angel said, “Why is she laughing?” she said, “O, I wasn’t laughing”. But when the son was born they called him laughter, Isaac. They waited, no, they got impatient and yet God did fulfill his promise. God will fulfill his promises to us not always in our schedule and according to our timing.
David was driven from the capital from his home. The forces that had aligned themselves against David were exceedingly strong and powerful. David said, “Truly my soul waited” and in the Hebrew it is “only upon God: from him comes my salvation” (62:1).
He only is my rock and my salvation; (62:2).
The rock is an interesting figure of speech that is used of God throughout the Bible. Way back in the book of Deuteronomy the idea of God as a rock is introduced. In the song of Moses, Deuteronomy thirty-two declares concerning the heathen around them that their rock or their gods are not like our rock the true and the living God.
Nebuchadnezzar had his vision or his dream of the future world governing empires that were represented in a statue of various metals. It began with a head of gold downward to the shoulders and chest of silver to the stomach of brass with the legs of iron and the feet of iron and clay. As the Lord interpreted that vision he declared that Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom was the head of gold but it was to be replaced by an inferior kingdom which we know to be the Medo Persian Empire which were the shoulders and chest of silver. They in turn would be destroyed by the Grecian Empire, the stomach of brass, which would be crushed by the Roman Empire, the legs of iron. Those portions of the vision have all been literally fulfilled in history.
There remained one portion of that image that is not yet fulfilled. Since the Roman Empire, there has not been a world governing empire. There it shall arise out of Europe feet with the ten toes of iron and clay. The ten kingdoms of Europe that would join together in a confederacy. Interesting, prophesized by Daniel twenty-five hundred years ago. Now the European community has announced that nineteen ninety-two will be the year in which they take down the borders within Europe. There will be free transfer and access within the borders of Europe in nineteen ninety-two.
The passports are now being issued by the European nations of the European community are already issued for the free transfer within the entire European community. The new passports are already prepared. Interesting, written twenty-five hundred years ago and in nineteen ninety-two it will be fulfilled before our eyes. That is the developments of this European community with the removal of the borders and the free interchange and transfer between the European communities. How long before it becomes the world dominating empire only God knows. At least we see things moving in that direction and that is extremely fascinating.
The Lord, in the dream, he saw this rock that was not cut with hands, that it wasn’t a human. It smote the great image in the feet so that the whole image crumbled and the rock grew into a mountain that filled the earth. As Daniel interpreted the dream he said, “In the time of the ten kings, [the toes of the feet] shall the Lord of heaven come [the rock not cut with hands] and shall establish a kingdom that shall never end” grow into a mountain to cover the earth. That rock, of course, we know is Jesus Christ and the second coming of Christ in the establishing of God’s kingdom upon the earth.
Surely we are getting close to that time as we see nineteen ninety-two being established as the date for the full establishment of the European community. Something that they have been working towards and now has finally established a date. They expect that by the end of this millennia, by the year two thousand, that they will also have a European currency for making an easier transferring back and forth within the European community. You won’t have to exchange your German marks for France’s franks. They will just have a common currency that will be current in each of the nations of the European community. Moving very rapidly in that direction. The rock, not cut with hands, the second coming of Christ.
Paul the apostle, in writing to the Corinthians, talked about the experiences of bringing God’s people out of the bondage of Egypt to the promised land. He said that that experience had its parallels within the Christian life. These things all happen unto them as example for us so that there is much for us to learn in studying the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt. For Egypt is the symbol of our bondage to sin, the world. The Lord has brought us out of the bondage of sin. He said the Red Sea was baptism so they were all baptized in the sea. Coming into a new relationship with God as they began the journey through the wilderness experiencing now the power of God and the guiding of God in their lives. Even as when we come out of the bondage of sin we begin this new relationship with God as we begin to surrender our lives to be led by the spirit of God.
The ultimate purpose of God is to bring us into a life of overflowing victory, the life of the spirit to bring us into the promised land. They spent longer in the wilderness than what they should have. God finally brought them over Jordan, which is the death to self, the old self-life. It is not until I have been brought by the spirit to the reckoning of my own man to be dead, reckon the flesh nature to be crucified with Christ that I really enter into the spirit filled life of victory and abundance in Christ, the joy and the blessings.
So God brought them on into the promised land. While in the wilderness when they were perishing and they came to Moses and said, “We are dying of thirst. Our little children are thirsty”. Moses took the problem to the Lord and the Lord said, “Smite the rock and it will bring forth water”. He smote the rock and water came forth and Paul said, “That rock was Christ”. Jesus said, “If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink”. That rock is Christ. He is the one that satisfies that thirst of our spirit for God.
He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; (62:2).
That word defense there in Hebrew is high tower or stronghold. I have found that the Bible promises that “no weapon that is formed against you will prosper, this is the heritage of the children of the Lord”. I’ve had people come to me because they were worried because someone into Satanism has put a hex on them or a curse on them and they were concerned about that. I just said, “Hey no problem. The Bible says, No weapon that is formed against you will prosper, this is the heritage of the children of the Lord”.
I have found that God is a great defender of his people. I have found that if you seek to defend yourself the Lord will let you but if you will just trust in him, he will defend you.
Many times being in a position of public prominence people make accusations and charges against you that are totally unfounded. I’ve heard reports concerning me from people who supposedly know me very well. Someone from the church here is sharing what the Lord has done and they said, “I’ve known Chuck Smith for many years, we were very close at one time”. Really I’ve never heard of them before yet we were very close at one time. They say, “He’s got a big yacht down there in Newport Harbor” and I’ve never had a yacht in Newport Harbor or any other harbor. I don’t say I wouldn’t like to but I sure haven’t, all kinds of accusations. If you go around and try to defend yourself against all of these charges and accusations you’d be spending your whole time just seeking to defend yourself.
There had been a lot of churches who have unfortunately been hurt because the Pastor had sought to defend himself against charges that where being made. I have seen Pastors just really rip their church apart in their trying to defend themselves against certain accusations. It’s better to let the Lord defend you, “He is my defense” In Hebrew it is “He only is my defense”.
David said, “I shall not be greatly moved”. I love this because as David is developing his own thoughts in this realm. By the time he gets to verse six, he says pretty much the very same thing. It’s almost word for word the same as verse two.
He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (62:6).
Only one word is changed and that is the word greatly. His faith is growing. In the beginning as he is considering this and resting in the Lord, looking to him for defense and help and salvation, “I won’t be greatly moved”. He might move me but not far. As he continues to meditate upon this, his faith grows so he repeats the same thing only he moves out that greatly and says, “I shall not be moved” because God is my defense. Now he talks to those, Absalom, Ahithophel and those that have conspired against him.
How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain (62:3).
It would seem to be a better translation in the Hebrew, “All of you”. In other words he was talking about how they are seeking to slay him. They were seeking to slay David. They looked at David as a wall that is bulging out and about ready to fall.
ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence (62:3).
David is on the run and they were expecting to kill him, to wipe him out.
They only consult to cast him down (62:4).
That’s there determination of their counsel is to kill David.
They only consult to cast him down from is excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly (62:4).
Now he commands himself and David often did this.
My soul, (62:5).
“Why art thou cast down O my soul? Hope thou in God” he said.
My soul, wait thou only upon God; (62:5).
Don’t try to take things into your own hands. That’s the natural thing for us to do. When we are really pressed by the problems and the troubles are closing in we are prone to just say, “I’ve got to take things in my own hands here”.
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation [for deliverance and help] is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God (62:5-7).
He is my hiding place, he is my salvation and he is my glory. You see when you trust completely in the Lord and the Lord delivers, then the glory must go to the Lord. If you’ve been able to weasel out of it on your own schemes and devices then you’re prone to just sort of say, “Ya, I’m pretty shrewd I am” and you learn to trust in yourself. That’s dangerous because one day you’ll find a place where you won’t have the answer. Trusting in the Lord and seeing his salvation then the glory goes to the Lord.
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us (62:8).
No doubt the people around him were also worried. They were fleeing with David. Their future was uncertain. David is encouraging now those that have fled with him to trust in the Lord and pour out your heart to him “God is a refuge for us” (62:8).
As far as defense, God is our salvation and God is our defense and God is our refuge.
men of low degree are vanity [emptiness], (62:9).
They won’t be able to help us.
and men of high degree are a lie: (62:9).
They are an illusion.
to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity [nothing, emptiness] (62:9).
The balance goes up, they are altogether lighter than emptiness. We look at man in their vain display of glory. We are sort of taught to idolize people. Hollywood has a tremendous way of creating gods, people to be worshiped. These people have a clever way of carrying off their positions. The way they come into a room, the way they approach other people, they just have that kind of air of “here I am you lucky people”. Their whole affectations, falsity of their whole lives, it’s all a big front, it’s all a big show, it’s all a big act. In fact, it is so much that way that these people lose touch with reality. They really do, they are always on stage, and they are always in this way of the promoting of the image that has been created of them. Those who are of a high degree are a lie, it’s a false world.
That seems to also happen in the social strata. Those who have gained social prominence, those who love to be a part of the society. I have some relatives in that category. They are so phony. I thank the Lord I don’t have to be around them very much. Even as a child I could see through their phoniness, “Charles, just how are things?” They could care less. It’s that whole phony, phony, phony thing because they have wealth and prominence and they are on the society pages. They are living a lie, they are not living in reality. People of high degree are a lie, they are phony. They learn to be phony.
God doesn’t see us in the strata of society as we see each other. God sees us all on the same level. God loves us all equally and God loves those phonies just as he loves me. I don’t understand it but he does. The problem is, when they’ve lost touch with reality it’s hard for them to know the love of God or to experience the love of God. How hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of heaven. They don’t live in reality. Put them in all into balances the low and the high degree alike and they are less than nothing.
In Psalm thirty-nine in verse ten or so where David said, “Man at his best estate is altogether nothing”. When you’ve reached the top of the ladder, when you’re at your finest, you are altogether nothing. The emptiness of this world and the worldly glory and the worldly honors and the worldly fame.
Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: (62:10).
They were oppressing David, they had stolen the kingdom from him. Then an important bit of advice.
if riches increase, set not your heart upon them (62:10).
James tells us that if you desire to be rich you should know that they who are rich fall into diverse temptations that drown men’s souls in perdition. The rich man has a lot more temptations than you have. Temptations that destroy their relationship with God. If your riches do increase don’t set your heart on them, keep your heart set on the Lord.
God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: (62:11-12).
Power belongs to God and mercy belongs to God.
for thou renderest to every man according to his work.
God will be merciful in that day of judgement.
This next psalm is thought to have been written by David when he had spent the night in the wilderness fleeing from Jerusalem. They went over the Mount of Olives and to the Jordan River is a journey of about twenty miles through barren wilderness land. You don’t get much more barren than that rocky path, that road that went from Jerusalem to Jericho through that Judean wilderness. So David wrote this psalm as he was fleeing through the wilderness from Absalom.
O GOD, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: (63:1).
Notice first of all he speaks of relationship. “O God, thou art my God;” (63:1) that’s relationship. You are my God. Having spoken of relationship then he speaks of fellowship, “early will I seek thee” (63:1). Necessary for fellowship is relationship. You cannot have any true fellowship with God until you first of all established a relationship with God. Necessary to prayer is relationship. Your prayers are not really affective or meaningful until you have first of all established a relationship with God.
In the New Testament a woman came from the area of Tyre and she said, “Thou son of David have mercy on me” and Jesus didn’t pay any attention to her. She had not relationship, she had not established relationship. To the Jews he was the son of David, to the Gentiles he was the Messiah, the Savior, the Promised Messiah. For her to address him as the son of David is not relationship, she doesn’t have that relationship and thus the ignoring.
In order for us to really pray, to talk to God, first of all there has to be an established relationship with God. Relationship precedes affective prayer, relationship also precedes fellowship. “O God, thou art my God;” that is relationship, “early will I seek thee” that is fellowship (63:1).
my soul thirsteth for thee, (63:1).
David said, “As the deer panteth after the water brooks so panteth my soul after thee, O God”. There is within every man a thirst for God. Man is a three-fold being of body, mind and spirit. The body has it’s own thirst, it’s own drives. The mind has its own thirst. The spirit has its own thirst. My body thirsts for air, it thirsts for water, and it thirsts for food. The various biological needs of the body create the body drives. My soul, my emotions, thirsts for love and for meaning and for security. I need to be needed. I thirst for attention. From the time that you’re a little kid you are thirsting for attention, “Watch me daddy, watch me!” You better watch or he’ll jump off the top of the car but he wants you to watch. We need attention, someone to care, someone to love and someone to watch. Way down deep my spirit thirsts for God. Dr. Henry Drumman in his book “The Natural and the Supernatural” said, “there is within the very protoplasm of man those little tentacles that are reaching out for God”.
my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (63:1).
They were going through that barren wilderness. It’s dry. Humidity is down around five percent, dry. Your body dehydrates very rapidly. You begin to experience intense thirst. David puts it over in the spiritual as he was thirsting in the wilderness for a drink of water so his soul was also thirsting for God as “in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water” (63:1).
To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary (63:2).
David has been driven from the sanctuary, the place where he would go to meet God. He is in this barren land, he is in the wilderness and he finds his soul thirsting after God. I want to see the power and I want to see the glory of God as I have seen within the sanctuary.
Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, (63:3).
Is there anything better than life? God’s lovingkindness.
my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name (63:3-4).
The lifting up of hands was a form of worship for the Hebrews. In fact in many of the psalms it talks about lifting up your hands, lifting up holy hands unto the Lord. Isaiah makes reference to that practice when God says, “When you lift up your hands to me”. The reason for the lifting up of hands I really don’t know. I have heard explanations. I’m not satisfied with them. I don’t know that there has to be a reason. There are those who imagine various reasons for lifting up their hands. I know when I was a child, of course, radio was in. Really to get reception on the radio in those days you had to string an antenna, copper wire between poles. I remember when I was a child they used to say, “Put up your antennas” getting the reception. I have a hard time buying that. Someone said it is the universal sign of surrender. That may be closer.
Whatever the reason, as I said I don’t know if there needs to be, it is a form of worship among the Hebrews, at least it was. The lifting up of their hands unto God. I think that it is sort of, to me, a symbol of how my spirit is reaching out for God. That’s the way I look at as he is talking about his soul thirsting for God. He is reaching out for God. The lifting of the hands, the idea behind it, of reaching out to him. The expression of what’s going on within my spirit that is thirsting out for God, the hungering for him, the reaching out for him.
Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; (63:4-5).
The sacrifices, they would take the fat and the marrow and they would burn that on the altar. The smoke of the lamb fat, O man does that smell good. That was to be a sweet smelling savour unto God. The smoke of the fat of the animals went up, it was intended to be the sweet smelling savour unto the Lord. They would burn the fat on the altar, they would roast the meat and give you back a portion and you would sit there and feast. They called them the feast days. As they would take first the fat of it and burn it on the altar and the scent would go up, your senses would pick up that and you begin to salivate.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches (63:5-6).
I would imagine that that first night in the wilderness David spent a pretty sleepless night. I mean he was used to his king-sized bed. I’ve been, several times, from Jerusalem to Jericho or visa-versa. It would be a hard job to find any place to lie down without hitting rocks. It is so rocky it would be difficult to find a place to lay down where it just wasn’t rocky. So I would imagine David spent a pretty sleepless night. Actually, your future is uncertain, you are fleeing, you don’t know what’s going to become of you, your mind is going over all these things and you’re in a strange area.
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice (63:7).
Over and over again the figure of speech of this shelter, the comfort and the shadow of God’s wings. Jesus, when he was looking at Jerusalem and weeping over it said, “O Jerusalem, O Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thee as a hen that gathered her chicks under her wings, but you would not”. In Psalm ninety-one it says, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty”. Overshadowed by God, what comfort. I see a shadow, hey it’s God’s shadow. The comfort that comes knowing that my life is overshadowed by him. David, in the night watches, as he was meditating on the situation and fear would start to grip his heart he would refocus upon God, who is his rock and his place of defense.
therefore, in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice (63:7).
God is watching over me.
My soul followeth hard after thee: (63:8).
I’m pursuing after this relationship with God.
thy right hand upholdeth me (63:8).
I love that. How big is the right hand of God? Well Isaiah tells us that he measured out the heavens with his span. That’s the distance between his thumb and his little finger. The universe is one span wide as far as God is concerned. Measured it out and said “how big should I make this universe?” we should make it about this big. How big is that? Well, as far as we know up to this point it’s twelve billion light years in radius. Except some scientist the other day said they found some galaxies that are fifteen billion light years out there so maybe his hands are a little bigger than we thought.
“When I consider the heavens” David said, “the work of thy fingers”. Betelgeuse, two hundred and fifteen million miles in diameter, traveling through space at an estimated forty miles per second. It must have taken a pretty powerful thrust to get that thing moving that fast as large as it is. Think of it. Hallow out Betelgeuse and put the sun in the middle, let the earth rotate around it, you’d still have plenty of room. You’d only be taking up half of the interior. Yet “when I consider the heavens” Betelgeuse and all, “the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which you have ordained”. He will uphold you with his right hand. How much do you need? How great! That’s why David said, “I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings” for your right hand holds me up.
But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth (63:9).
They are going to hell is what he is saying.
They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes (63:10).
That is they’re bodies will be devoured by the animals.
But the king [David] shall rejoice in God: every one that sweareth by him shall glory, but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped (63:11).
David speaks about those who have been telling lies about him. God will stop those mouths, God will be your defense, and God will be your strength.
Psalm sixty-four. Another psalm of David and this completes those on his trips to the wilderness, fleeing from Absalom.
HEAR my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from the fear of the enemy (64:1).
I find that interesting because a lot of times we die a thousand deaths fearing one. Fear is a tool that Satan so often uses against you. He can immobilize you with fear. He likes to plant fear in our hearts. So David is crying, “Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from the fear of the enemy” (64:1) because if fear grips you its pretty well a forgone conclusion that you’ve lost.
Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; (64:2).
Ahithophel was counseling Absalom against David. Had Absalom listened to this counsel David could have been in much greater trouble. God hid him from the secret counsel and Absalom listened to the counsel of Hushai. Ahithophel, the poor looser, went out and killed himself because Absalom didn’t listen to him. They feel that he probably felt that this guy’s not so smart and I put my trust in the wrong guy. He realized with Absalom not being wise he was going to get defeated and thus he killed himself to save from being executed by David later.
from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: (64:2).
Who were raised up in rebellion against David.
Who whet [sharpened] their tongue like a sword, (64:3).
Have you ever met those people who have a tongue like a sword, they sharpen their tongue like a sword? They can use them and they could just cut you to pieces and you hardly even feel it because their tongue is so sharp. You are just bleeding to death there.
and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: (64:3).
Their words are like arrows, sharp arrows piercing you.
That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: (64:4).
Those who are upright.
suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. They encourage themselves in an evil matter: (64:5-6).
Evil people so often are encouraging one another in the evil ways. If you want to do something evil you’ll find a lot of encouragement. I’m amazed at how sometimes when a person is threatening suicide, they are standing on the ledge. There is all this drama, the police leaning out the window talking to them and all of this drama is going on. As the crowd gathers down below, so often the crowd will begin to yell, “Jump! Go ahead and jump!” You want to do something evil there will be a lot of encouragement for your evil actions.
they commune of laying snares privily [privately] they say, Who shall see them? (64:5).
People who lay traps for you.
They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep. But God shall shoot at them (64:6-7).
They may shoot their arrows at me but God shall shoot back.
But God shall shoot at them with an arrow: suddenly shall they be wounded (64:7).
When aging Jacob had gathered his sons around his deathbed that he might give them the final word of prophecy and lay upon them the patriot blessing, these twelve sons gathered around him. The old man Jacob, about ready to die, but he musters all of his strength to pull himself up into a sitting position.
Looking around the room with his piercing eyes at these twelve sons he begins to prophesy, starting with his oldest Ruben. “My first born, my strength, ye shall not prevail. You are as unstable as water” and he prophesied concerning Ruben then to Simon, then to Levi the treachery, then to Judah the scepter shall not depart till Shiloh come and all around until he came to Joseph the next to last. He said, “Joseph you are a fruitful bow, a bow that hangs over the wall. The archer’s have sorely grieved but your bow is in strength for the hands of your arms where made strong by the mighty God of Jacob. Joseph they shot at you”. Boy did his brother’s shoot at him. They were so jealous of him they couldn’t stand it, they hated him.
Imagine being the youngest of eleven brothers and having them hate you and be jealous of you and you were the youngest. Of all of the times you got the elbow in your ribs, all of the times you got jabbed, tripped and maybe just laughed at. You’d go crying to your dad and they’d say, “No we didn’t do that. He’s just lying”.
They finally threw him in a pit. They were going to let him starve to death. He was crying and pleading with them but they were just laughing at him and mocking him. They were determined to let him die there in the pit. Then they saw some slave traders heading towards Egypt and someone came up with the idea to sell him. Why let him die, why not get some money for him. So they sold him for thirty pieces of silver or was it twenty. He was carried off to Egypt. As he was leaving, as he was in chains going away, he was crying saying, “Come on guys don’t do this”. Shooting their arrows at him.
He got to Egypt and became the servant in the house of Potiphar and Potiphar’s wife had a crush on him, she sought to entice him. When he refused her advances she sought to rape him. She was going to force the issue. She grabbed hold of his coat and said, “You’re going to bed with me”. He wriggled free leaving the coat in her hands and fled from the room naked and she began to scream rape. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. Joseph was arrested and put in prison. The lies of this woman, false charges, the arrows that were shot at him.
The butler and the baker of the Pharaoh were in prison. They had dreams and Joseph interpreted the dreams. To the butler he said, “You’re going to be restored to your position and you’re going to be carrying again the cup to the Pharaoh. But when you do in three days tell the Pharaoh about me. I’m on a bum rap. Put in a good word for me”. But the Butler forgot all about him. For two years more he languished in that Egyptian jail. The arrows shooting at him.
Finally the Pharaoh had a dream. When no one could interpret it the butler says, “I remember today. Pharaoh there’s a Hebrew guy in jail. The baker and I had dreams and he interpreted them and they came out correct. He can interpret”. They said, “Bring him in”. So Joseph was brought in and the Pharaoh elevated him to second in command over the nation. Later his brothers came down to buy grain. “Aha, I’ve got them in my hands them dirty cut throats. Didn’t have any mercy on me when I was crying. They sold me into slavery. I can get them now”. But Jacob said, “your bow abode in strength”. You had the opportunity to strike back but you didn’t do it. You had the opportunity for revenge, you didn’t take it. That’s real strength.
Anybody can fly back in revenge. Anybody can get even or at least seek to do it. When the opportunity is there and you don’t take it, that’s strength. That is strength beyond your own. He tells us the secret of strength, “For the hands of your arms were made strong by the mighty God of Jacob”. It was God who gave you the strength, your hands were being held by him, your bow abode. The arrows notched, you can just let it fly and you can wipe them out.
When my boys were growing up and I taught them archery, I got them bows that were a greater poundage than they could pull. I wanted them to develop. So when I was first training them in the use of the bow I showed them how to hold the bow, how to notch the arrow and how to draw back the string. But because of the strength of the bow I was standing behind them reaching around and I held their wrist that was holding the bow. I held their wrist that was drawing the arrow. With my strength holding their wrist I helped them pull it back, draw down on the target and them release. They were able to shoot with a bow that was really stronger than what they themselves could handle to begin with because the hands of the arm were made strong by their dad who was holding them. That is the picture that Jacob gives of Joseph. “The archers they sorely grieve thee but your bow abode in strength because your hands of your arms were being held by the mighty God of Jacob. How glorious to have God as our strength and our salvation. So God shall shoot at them. I won’t have to shoot at them and I won’t have to defend myself.
God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded. So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away (64:7-8).
Their support will dissolve.
And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory (64:9-10).
God is going to bring victory. Yes we are being pursued, yes the popular trend is with Absalom, they are shooting their arrows, their intent is to destroy but God shall defend us and God will destroy them. Their support will depart from them and we will give glory to God for the victory that he brings to us. Also with the child of God. God is your defense, God is your strength. It is God who shall strike down your enemy. We need not to fear.
Well we didn’t get very far tonight but next week we will start with Psalm sixty-five. Looking at it another way we did get pretty far tonight. It was just take to heart the word of God.
May the Lord be with you and bless and keep you this week. May He be your strength, your rock and your high tower, your place of refuge and your salvation. Trust in the Lord at all times. Find that place of assurance and comfort in the shadow of His love and of his grace. May you be strengthened, In Jesus name.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7185