By Bobby Blakey on July 18, 2021
By Bobby Blakey on July 18, 2021
And we want to go through this Psalm together, real quick together right now. We want to all go through this Psalm because we want you to read the Psalms yourself. And we want you to really see how you can find the treasure that's here in God's Word. So, if you look even before verse 1, you’ve got to make sure if there's ever a description about the Psalm, that description is in the Hebrew. So here it says, A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah. So that gives you an idea of when this Psalm was written. It's awesome; these words are very powerful. They sound poetic, but it's awesome when you know the original context that the Bible was written in. And I've actually had the privilege of going into the wilderness of Judah. That's why I wanted you to see the video to have a picture of it. It is a desolate desert out there. And there are two times in David's life, if you know David, the king of Israel, there were two times in his life where he was in the wilderness. One when King Saul was trying to kill David because David was going to be the next king. And the other, when David's own son, Absalom, was trying to kill David because he wanted to be the next king, after David. So, both towards the beginning and towards the end of his life, David is fleeing for his life in the wilderness of Judah. And I want everybody to go to these stories with me. If you could grab your Bible and go back to First Samuel, 1 Samuel 23. And I want you to see some of the context here. So, you can see that David was in a terrible situation. Anytime you would be running for your life in the wilderness of Judah, you are in a bad spot. And out of that place is where he writes this Psalm.
Now, I used to think when I grew up reading the Bible, and I grew up going to things like Camp Compass, I grew up with a dad who read me and my brothers the Bible, I grew up and I had a love to read the Bible myself when I was in high school. I read through the Psalms multiple times when I was in high school, and I made lists of all the different attributes of God, because I wanted to learn about him. And when I read through the Psalms, I thought, wow, David uses this poetic imagery, like a wilderness, or a desert, or rocks. And then one day, I actually got to go to Israel, I went to the wilderness of Judah, and I realized David's not like writing poetic images, David's just describing the scenery around him. Like he's not making things up that sound nice. No, like when you go to the wilderness of Judah, you feel like you are in a dry and weary land, where there is no water. Only water out there, a moat, for the most part, is the Dead Sea, which is like this salty lake that fish don't live in, that you can drink that water. There's just one oasis out there in the wilderness of Judah. That's where you saw that waterfall. It's called Engedi. And I remember one day, we were driving out there in the tour bus, and there's just nothing around as far as you can see. A group of us from the church, and this guy, he's just flooring it because there's nobody around. You're out on this road in the middle of the desert. It's saying one hundred on our tour bus, and I'm thinking this guy's going a hundred out here. Like I'm like hanging on. And then, you know, later on American tourists realize that's hundred kilometers per hour, right? And that's like sixty-two. So it wasn't that big a deal. But it felt edgy out there in the wilderness of Judah, I'll tell you what. Right? There's just nothing going on for miles and miles and miles. And then there's this like a stream in the desert. You hike up to this waterfall, Engedi, and our tour guide that we have is a great tour guide, Shafiq. He brought this bread from Jerusalem. They've got these delicious coffee drinks out there. We're drinking. And we're reading through all the songs that that David wrote out there in the wilderness, after we go on this hike, like one of the best days you could ever have in your life. But when you're out there in the wilderness, and you got to drive out there in a bus, you're thinking, I wouldn't want to be out here walking around. I wouldn't want to be out here with somebody chasing me.
But if you're in 1 Samuel 23, you can see that David is on the run from King Saul. And verse 15, this is 1 Samuel 23:15, “David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh.” So, he's going to go to different places throughout the wilderness because he is on the run, and King Saul, who used to think David was great when he killed Goliath, and used to think David was great when he was playing the lyre in his presence and calming him with great music, well, when he found out that David wants to be king, or that David was going to be king, it was this rivalry, jealousy. And Saul wants to kill David. And I can still see the pictures of what my dad would read to me and my brothers when we were growing up. I want to show you some of the pictures. One time, David was running away on one side of the mountain, while Saul was chasing him on the other side of the mountain, almost caught him. And you can see that there comes the army to catch him. And then this messenger shows up, and he says, the Philistines are attacking. And so, Saul and the army turn back right when they were about to get David, they get this message, and they go back. And later on, Saul comes again into the wilderness, and he's looking to find David, and David and his men are hiding in the many caves that are out there in the wilderness. And Saul goes to relieve himself in the cave that David is hiding in. And David could have easily killed King Saul. But instead, he showed him kindness. And he spared his life. And he just cut a little bit of his robe off. And then later on, David shouted down to King Saul, that, hey, I was in there too. And I could have killed you. Look, I cut off part of your robe, but I didn't kill you. And when Saul sees the kindness of David, he leaves him, and he goes back to Jerusalem. And you can see here at the end of 1 Samuel 23, if you look at verse 29, it says, “And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of Engedi.”
If you ever get a chance to go to Israel, and to go to Engedi, and to hike, it's one of those hikes where you can hike up in the water, so you kind of stay cool. The whole time you're doing the hike up to that waterfall, you can hike in the streams there. I mean, you can see you're surrounded by rocks; there are all these caves to hide in. There's a stream in the desert. So many of the beautiful pictures of the Psalms, they come from this specific place where David was hiding. But you’ve got to understand the context that David has an army chasing him, trying to kill him. He is outnumbered. He's running out of food. He's got to be getting tired. And yet he's writing a Psalm, a prayer, to God.
Go over to 2 Samuel. Everybody, turn with me to 2 Samuel 15. I want to show you the other time when his own son rises up, his own son wants to come and become king. And so, there's a mutiny here where David’s son Absalom, and this was after David's sin with Bathsheba. One of the prophecies was that was that the sword would not depart from his house. And part of that is his son kills one of his other sons, and then his son is trying to kill him. And so, David has to flee Jerusalem, flee the palace, and he has to run for it. And look what happens here as they're leaving the city, because here comes Absalom with a bunch of men to kill David. This is 2 Samuel 15, and I want you to see verse 24. 2 Samuel 15:24, David and his loyal people are leaving the city and it says “Abiathar came up, and behold, Zadok,” the priest, he “came also with all the Levites, bearing the ark of the covenant of God.” This is the ark that the Israelites have been carrying around. It's got the two tablets of stone in it. All the way from the day of Moses, this is what represents the very presence of God. And they’re thinking we’ll bring this ark of the covenant with us; sort of like God will be with us, so we'll be able to defeat Absalom and his army. I want you to see what David says when his own son is making him flee the city. They're saying, we'll bring the ark, and they set down the ark of God until the people at all passed out of the city. 2 Samuel 15:25-26, “Then the king,” here's David, he “said to Zadok, ‘Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place” there in the tabernacle, which is going to become the temple. “But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,’ behold, here I am. Let him do to me what seems good to him.” David, when he's on the run for his life, he's like, hey guys, we don't need like the good luck charm of the presence of the ark, like take the ark back where it belongs in the tabernacle. If God wants me to come back, God will protect me. He'll give me the victory. If God wants to judge me and I die out here, fleeing from my life, well let God do whatever to me seems good to him.
Could you say that here tonight? Could you say that you have the faith in God that it's okay with you if God does whatever seems good to him with your life? See, that's David. So, he's not writing poetic words. He's not sitting in some air conditioning, writing some worship song that he's hoping is going to be big on Apple Music or Spotify or something like that. You're talking about a man who is out in the middle of the wilderness, fleeing armies that want to kill him. He's running out of food. He's running out of water. And he's feeling like this is the end. And his only hope is in the goodness of God. That's the context of Psalm 63. So now that we kind of get the picture, let's turn back there. And actually, when David and his people fled the capitol, there were some citizens there, there were a couple of people Shobi and Machir, who brought them food, when they were hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness. And so, some people, they really think that David, he wrote this when Absalom was chasing him that second time, because he refers to himself as the king there in verse 11. And so, people think this was when David was reigning as king, and he was talking about how dry and weary the land was. There's no water. But then there were some people that brought food and drink out to David and his army in the middle of the wilderness. And he ended up winning the victory over his son Absalom, and reigning as king.
But in the midst of being in the middle of nowhere, with an army chasing after him, this is David's prayer. Let's look at it in verse Psalm 63:1, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirst for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” So, he's saying, God, he's easily acknowledging faith in God. And then he's saying, you are my God, like he has a personal relationship with God. Not only does he believe that God is, but he believes that he knows God. And he's saying, God, you are what I need, you are what I want, I am seeking you, you're the one who's going to get me out of this. My soul, who I am on the inside, thirsts for you, my flesh, my physical body, it longs for you. Like there's no other hope. I am in great need, for there's not any other water I'm going to find out here. I am in the midst of nowhere, the only one that's going to see me through is you. See, this is a bold statement of faith. And when it says here, I'm going to seek you, it says earnestly I seek you. And there's some debate about how to translate that. Is it like earnestly, with a passion I seek you or is it like early like, first thing in the morning, I seek you. But he's saying that when I'm in a bad circumstance, and I'm not feeling good, I'm feeling dry and weary, I'm going to seek you because you're the one that I need. You're the one. There's no other water that I'm going to find. There is no other option that I can turn to. You are the one that's going to give me life. He's kind of using his circumstance out there in the wilderness of Judah to make a profound point. Hey, we're all kind of living in a wilderness where there is no water.
Like where else are you going to go? Where are you really going to find help for your soul, help to sustain your physical life? Like, who really can help you when you're in need? What water are you looking for? When you when you're out there in a dry and weary land, where are you going to find water? See this idea that the water of life is found in seeking God, that idea is throughout the entire Bible. If you've come to church much, if you've been to this church, we've studied it many times. You can go to Moses and the Israelites out wandering in the wilderness and God provides them water from a rock. You can go to what God says in Jeremiah 2:12-13, when he calls the heavens and the earth as witness against his people, he says, this is a quote from God, “Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” I'm ready to give people life but they're not coming to me. They're going and digging up wells that can't even hold any water. They're looking for their life, looking for their love in all the wrong places. Jesus met a woman at a well, maybe you've heard of this famous story. Jesus met a woman at the well and he had a conversation with her. This was the woman that he said, “Go and get your husband,” and she said, “I don't have a husband,” and he's like, that's right. “You've had many husbands and the man you're with now is not your husband.” Like Jesus knew this woman, he knew her story. And he said to her, in John 4:13-14 “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” And Jesus says, this spring of water, this river of life that he will put within you, well, it becomes clear that that is a reference to the Holy Spirit, who is going to bring the very life of God into your soul.
So, this idea that we're all living in a dry and weary land where there is no water is very profound because there's no place on planet earth that you're going to find satisfaction for your soul. There's only one who's claiming to have the water of life, and his name is Jesus Christ. Can I get an Amen from anybody on that? Anybody here want to say that Jesus has satisfied their soul? Right? Does anybody want to hear say that the drugs never satisfied, the drinking never satisfied, the sex never satisfied. Even all the good things of having a family, having money in the bank, having a career, it's all empty without God. That's the message of Scripture. And David is saying, yeah, I'm out here in a dry and weary land where there is no water. But that's kind of how life is. And I've got the one thing that we need, God, you and I'm seeking you like my life depends on it. Like, you're the only one who's going to fill me up. You're the only one who can satisfy my soul.
Let's get this down for point number one, if you want to take some notes on the handout. Point number one: Seek God like there is no other option. Seek God like there is no other option. That's what David is doing. He's all in on seeking God. I'm not trusting in the Ark of the Covenant to come with me. I'm not trusting in the size of my army versus Absalom’s army. I'm not trusting in the fact that I'm a great warrior who killed the giant and has slain thousands of soldiers. No, I'm trusting only in the Lord and I'm seeking him earnestly. I'm seeking him early. Lord, if you don't do it, I'm putting all I've got into you, and you're the one that needs to give me life. He's seeking God like there's nowhere else he can go. But God is the one that he needs. Is that how you see God? Do you even seek God at all? And then I guess if you are seeking God at all in your life, would you say that God is the thing you're seeking earnestly? And early? Like you're not going to find water anywhere else? He's the only source of life? Or are you just kind of seeking God amidst many other things that you're seeking? See, one of the phrases that gets quoted at churches when it comes to like churches and families, that there's this phrase that people have been saying at church for hundreds of years, going all the way back to Joshua and early Israel. Joshua 24:15, “As for me and my house, we will serve the…” “Lord”. Right. That's a famous phrase Christians are still saying to this day, and it's like, you know, maybe dad is saying that. Hey, for me and my family, we're going to serve the Lord.
Will turn with me to Joshua 24, and let's look at the actual context, because that line gets quoted a lot. But we don't really look at the whole passage in Joshua 24:14-15. And why did Joshua say that he and his house, were going to serve the Lord, because what he was actually saying, and some of us got to look at this at a men's retreat one time, and I had some great conversations with some brothers who were very inspired by this passage of Scripture, because what Joshua is actually saying is that he and his house have no other good option, and the only one we're seeking is the Lord. There is no other place to go. There is no other source of water or life you're going to be able to find. You can go try to dig up another well, other than the one that Jesus can give you in your soul, you go try to dig it up, it's going to keep finding it empty over and over again. Look at what he says in Joshua 24:14. “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness.” Hey, we seek God, give God all your heart. And then he says, “Put away the gods that your father's served beyond the river and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your father's served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites and whose land you dwell. But as for me in my house, we will serve the Lord.”
See, this is how he's saying it, like, what are your options? Who are you going to serve you? Do you think you have life in and of yourself? Or do you think that life is greater than you? Where are you hoping to get life from? Who is your God, basically, is how they would have thought of it at this time. But what are your options? Well, you guys, you remember how the fathers, the former generation of Israel, they worshiped a golden calf. Before God brought them over the Jordan River into the promised land, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years, worshipping idols until they all died off in the wilderness. You want to be like those guys and worship their idols. Or maybe you guys want to worship the gods of the Amorites. And this is Joshua 24. They just had twenty-four chapters of whooping up on the Amorites, defeating all these other nations because God was judging them for their sins. And so, they drove out these other nations. Hey, do you want to worship the gods of the people who died in the wilderness, or do you want to worship the gods of the people that we just defeated and took their land, basically showing them all the other gods didn't come through. There's only one God worth serving, and me and my house, we're going to serve the Lord because there's no other option to serve. That's what he's saying. See, so many people are going to poke holes at God. So many people are going to ask questions and throw out doubts, and they're going to say, prove it to me. And they're going to try to, like sound really smart when they act like where's the evidence? And where's this? Will you tell me? What's your other option? What's your plan B besides God, and tell me where that's going to give you life and joy and peace and love, and give you something that you can really pass on to your kids and have meaningful family relationships? What's your other option that you're going to serve besides God? A lot of people knocking God, but they aren't offering any viable alternatives. There is only one source of life and soul satisfaction, and that is the God of the Bible.
And look at what the people answer. They say Amen, just like some of us might want to say here tonight. Joshua 24:16-19, “Then the people answered, ‘Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods.’” What are you saying, Joshua? We're not going to worship other gods “for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of house of slavery, and who did those great signs,” those miracles “in our sight, and preserved us and all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. And the Lord drove out before us, all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord for he is our God.” Oh, yeah, Joshua, preach it, man. We're with you. We're with you heart and soul. We're going to serve the Lord. I love this, “But Joshua said to the people, ‘you are not able to serve the Lord.’” Oh, Joshua, preach, man, we're with you. Joshua was like, yeah, right. It's easy to say you're going to serve the Lord. It's easy to say here at church on Saturday night that you're going to seek God. Who's waking up every morning and earnestly and early seeking the Lord like he's the only hope of life you’ve got? Oh, it's easy to say you're going to do it. You're not able to serve the Lord. This isn't just going to come from you trying harder to be a good person, or you giving it your best effort. No, he is a holy God. He is a jealous God. Joshua 24:19-20, “he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you after having done you good.” Wow. Joshua, it seems like they were just trying to agree with you, bro, you know?
See, this is what so many people at church could use these days is a good look in the face and a good really? Like, are you really seeking the Lord at your house? Are you really in the Word and prayer? Are you really, it's really like it's burning on your heart, so you want to share it with your spouse, and you want to share it with your kids? And like God is really your source of life day in and day out. Really? Because God's not messing around. A lot of people are messing around with God. But God is a very serious, holy, jealous God. Like he wants you to seek him and he wants your whole heart. He wants everything you've got. So, Joshua is making it very clear, you’ve got no other options. And so, then people know the right answer, okay, we'll seek God. And he's like, you're not able to really serve the Lord. A lot of people claiming to seek God, but then they find themselves in the wilderness of Judah. And then there's an army chasing after them. And then they have nothing to eat, and nothing to drink. And you don't see a lot of people offering up prayers of faith to God in the middle of the wilderness. You hear a lot of complaining and a lot of questioning and a lot of doubting. A lot of people saying they seek God, then here comes the hard times. Who still believes when you can't see it when you can't feel it?
Go back to Psalm 63, and you'll see David's still believed. I mean, David is a famous king throughout all of history. He's a man known all over the world. And David is an example of faith as a man who really believed God. And here's what David believed about God, here's why he's seeking God in a dry and weary land where there is no water, because he remembers who God is. Psalm 63:2. “So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and your Glory.” He's remembering times of worship, and maybe times they're at the tabernacle in Jerusalem. He's remembering times that he has danced mightily before the Lord when they brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. Like he is remembering times where he really has known God. And then he says this in Psalm 63:3-4, “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live in your name I will lift up my hands.” I don't know what your tagline is. When you're in the wilderness, you’ve got nothing to eat, and there's an army that wants to kill you. Not to mention, it's your own son rising up against you. I don't know if that's where you're like, God's love is better than life. I don't know if that's what you're saying in the middle of the wilderness. But that's what David wrote. And it's not just a beautiful line. I mean, this is like what he really believes in his darkest hour, in his moment where he thinks he might reach his end. See, I think what he's really saying there is that he might lose his life, but he won't lose the love of God. That's what he’s saying. He’s saying, there's something he's more sure about than tomorrow. There's something he's more sure about than the future, he's more sure that God loves him than that even his life is going to continue. This is a bold statement. James Montgomery Boice, he says this about that verse, “life itself can be lost even though we value it and try to protect it at all costs. However, the covenant love of God can never be lost.”
Okay, so the word here, maybe you know this, but the Hebrew word here for steadfast love is this word hesed. Okay. Hesed, and you might want to write that down, we'll put it up here on the screen. Hesed, it means steadfast love, it's sometimes translated kindness or mercy. It is the idea of God making a covenant, making a promise with his people. That's the idea of hesed. This word hesed is used 129 times in the Psalms to describe how God is towards his people. And this is supposed to be the driving theme, a primary motivation, the firm belief of every single Christian person. If you tell me you believe in God, one of the clearest things you should believe about God is that God is love. That's something everybody here should know about. And the love that God has for you, the love that he would send his one and only Son Jesus to die for you, the love of Christ is what should compel you to live the way that you live your life. I mean, the love of God is supposed to be to us better than life. More sure than tomorrow. It is supposed to be for you. What helps you keep going and dry and weary land when there is no water. That's the love of God. Now, we have been studying the love of God over the last few weeks here at the church, the last three weeks of June, it came up as a strong theme in three different sermons in a row. I don't know if you noticed this. But if you come to this church, hopefully you did. Notice that we looked at Romans 8 one week, while the college students were at Arizona on their retreat. We looked at Romans 8. And we saw that there is nothing in this life that is able to separate you from the love of God and Jesus Christ our Lord. Can I get an Amen from anybody?
Then Bruce Blakey came up here, and he talked about our Father in heaven. And he said, See, behold, can you look at how God loves you, that you would be called a child of God? Then the very next week, we talked about all the highs and all the lows that we're going to go through in life, but one constant, whether we're feeling great with our circumstances, or whether we're feeling low, and things are really going bad and lots of trials, the one constant is the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever. Now, here's my question, and this is a question I have for our church. Do you get fired up when we preach about the love of God? Does it actually make a difference in your life? Because sometimes the Bible gives us a hard message a tough mess. message, a message that challenges us, like a few weeks ago, we talked about the kingdom and that if you want to be in the kingdom of heaven, you've got to strive to enter through the narrow door. And people are like, whoa, this is intense. And people are all talking about this kingdom sermon. And people are like, man, that was intense. I couldn't use some more grace in that sermon. I couldn't use some more love in that sermon. People are saying this around you, that sermon got really intense, but everybody's talking about it. How come when we preach on the love of God, you don't hear people talk like that? How come people need to hear a hard word to get stirred up? But when you talk about the love of God, people act like oh, I already know about that. Really? The love of God is supposed to be the main motivation in your life. Are you able to serve the Lord? Is that really true about you? That the reason you do what you do is not because it's working for you. It's not because you feel good about it. But it's because the love of God compels you to do it. Is that true about you? Because we've been talking about it, and I'm not sure that everybody's realizing that the steadfast love of God is worth more than anything else in this life. It's better than all of this life put together and we try to hang… I mean, think about how desperate people are to hang on to life. I mean, think about how afraid people are of getting a diagnosis. That could mean they're going to die, something like cancer, something like COVID, so many things that people have been talking about all the time, and they’re like whatever it costs. That becomes the idea when somebody's health is on the line. And it's an issue of life or death, whatever it costs, whatever insurance we have to get, whatever doctor we have to go to, we will do anything, whatever it takes to hang on to life. Well, let's just make it very clear that try as hard as we can we will not be able to hang on to this life. We need something more sure. We need something that can see us through the valley of the shadow of death. We need something that can get past just how we feel in our physical body, and we need something that can give us life in our soul. And that's the love of God and Jesus Christ. That's better than life.
And this guy is saying that in the middle of a desert with his own son and an army trying to come and kill him. And even then he's like, let me tell you what I really got. I got the love of God. And you need to see that in no way to King Day of it out there in the middle of nowhere is the love of God cliche. In no way is it like I already know about the love of God. No, the love of God is producing a profound effect on his life. Look at what he says in verse Psalm 63:3, “Because your steadfast love is better than life.” Notice, “my lips will praise you.” I'm going to start singing. I'm going to start shouting. I've got God's love in my heart, it's going to come out of my mouth, I'm going to start talking about how God loves me, I'm going to praise him in song are shouting. And then look at what he says, Psalm 63:4, “So I will bless you as long as I live.” I'm going to say good things about God. I'm going to talk about how God loves me. I'm going to be blessing him. And I'm going to be telling everybody who's around me, everybody who will listen, everybody who knows me is going to know that I know God and that God is good to me, and God loves me. And I'm going to keep talking about it. In fact, I'm going to lift up holding hands. And today we think of people lifting up hands when they're singing a song in worship, but here in the Psalms, the holy hands when you lifted up your hands, that was the posture of prayer. He’s saying I'm going to go pray to God, I'm going to shout his praise out of my lips. I'm going to bless him to anybody who will listen to me. And then I'm going to go talk to God one on one and lift up my hands and pray to him and I'm going to let God know how awesome his love is in my life. Like this love of God is determining what he's going to say, who he's going to say it to, how he's going to pray. Like this is a compelling motivation in his heart. It's not like oh, yeah, I know that God loves me. Sure. No, this is how he's getting through every single day. This is what he's seeking.
Let's get this down for number two: Examine if God's love is cliche or a profound change. Examine if God's love is cliche or a profound change. Are your lips praising the Lord because you know God loves you? Is your soul blessing God as long as you live, up to your dying breath, you're going to be saying how good God is. Are you going where it's just you and God in the secret place? Do you have a time where you pray to God, like I'm asking you right now? Do you really know God? Do you really have a relationship with hm? Do you go and talk to God? And you know, when you're saying something to God, that he's hearing you and you love him, and you just want to let him know what he means to you? That's what David is saying. David is saying, I'm so confident, I'm so moved. I'm so compelled. Oh, by the love of God, I'm praising him with my lips. I'm going to bless him as long as I possibly can to anybody who will listen. And I'm over here praying to him. I'm writing Psalms to him. I'm letting God know what he means to me and that his love is better than my entire life. He is my number one. He is the thing that keeps me going in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Now look at what he says. This is amazing. Psalm 63:5, “My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food.” Wait a minute, I thought we were in the middle of nowhere, bro. Like, I've been to the wilderness of Judah. There are not a lot of options. Yeah, they don't have In-N-Out there in the wilderness of Judah. They don't have Starbucks. I mean, they don't even have shawarma out there in the wilderness. They don't got hummus and pita bread. I mean, they’ve got one lame restaurant that every tourist group in the world has to go to because it's the only place out there. It's like they’ve got a monopoly on it. Right? And when Shafiq brought us Jerusalem bread, and we didn't have to go to that restaurant, we were like, oh, thanks for packing your own lunch to feed everybody. Three cheers for Shafiq. He's the greatest. Right? So how could you possibly be in the middle of nowhere, with an army chasing you, and you're still singing about the love of God. And you are so confident in the love of God that you're saying, my soul, who I really am on the inside is going to be satisfied. It's going to be full. I know what God's story is for me. I know what God's doing in my life. I know where God's going to take me. And I guarantee you at the end of all of this, I will be full in my soul with God.
What an amazing statement. The guy's got nothing to eat and nothing to drink, and yet he's acting like he's going to be sitting down at a feast. That's the confidence that he has in the goodness of God, that’s the confidence that he has that the steadfast love of the Lord will not fail you. Look what he says in Psalm 63:5-8, “My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” I don't know what God's going to do. He's going to do whatever seems good to him. But I know how the story ends. It ends with me getting a good night's sleep, being satisfied in the presence of God. What amazing confidence! Do you have that confidence that no matter what may be going on circumstantially, no matter how you may be feeling, do you know that God is going to satisfy your soul? God promises to satisfy the soul of his people. He promises to be a fountain of living waters that will put life within you and make you feel full. Can I get an Amen from anybody on this? This is a promise. And the way that we come to know what the promises of God are, is we study the Bible. And the way that we start to believe the promises of God is we hear what it says, what God says he's going to do. And as we hear it, we either reject it, or we believe it. So, I want to show you that this isn't just one place where David has some optimistic thought to think that God is going to satisfy his soul. But this is a regular statement in the Psalms that they expected that, in the end, God is going to be good to me, and I will be full with the love of God.
Turn with me to Psalm 103. I just want to read you. And there's many places I could go right now in the Psalms that talk about the steadfast love of the Lord. There are so many I could go to that when you believe them, when you hear them and believe them, you will have faith that God is going to satisfy you, too. Let's start with positive ones. Some things that sound very upbeat. This is David in Psalm 103:1-5, “Bless the Lord, O my soul” say good things about God, “O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord. O my soul and forget not all his benefits.” There are good things about knowing God and “who forgives all your iniquity.” Anybody here having all of their sins forgiven? Can I get an Amen from anybody? “… who heals all your diseases.” Anybody ever been sick and you're still alive here today? God ever heal anybody here? So, we want to praise the Lord for that here today? Anybody who's got health, “who redeems your life from the pit.” Anybody reached the bottom and God lifted you up out of that pit? And then it said, “who crowns you” notice this “who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with…” what does it say? “good”. Do you believe that God wants to satisfy you with good? It's amazing how many people think they know what's going to be more good for them than God. So many of us are like little kids thinking, and if I just ate sugar all day and stayed up all night, life would be so good. That's how many of us are. If I could just watch the show endlessly, life would be good. If we could just do video games forever. Anybody’s kid saying that at your house? And you know better than that. Can I get an Amen from anybody on that? We are just like, it is amazing to me. How many people here at our church think they know what God should be doing in their life right now? Like, pick anything good in your life. Where did that come from? I mean, is it your family? Is it health? Like, if you've got something good in your life. Is it something materially that God has provided for you? I mean, everything good that you've got came from him. You won't even know good without God; you wouldn't even know love without God. It all comes from him. And then we think we know it better than he does. The promise here is he will satisfy you with good. Like, go back to that day, like whatever in your mind is the good old day, the day where life was beautiful. The day before America was so messed up, the day when you were just riding a bike, eating ice cream, and everything was rainbows and cupcakes. If you can remember that day, where you thought life was good. Yeah, that youth when you felt like you were really alive, you had God can renew your youth. God can be good to you like that. He's the one who made all of that. See, I wonder, do you really when we get to your heart of hearts, when we get to the core of who you are, do you really believe that God wants to satisfy you with good because it says he does?
Go to Psalm 107. Just a few pages over here, Psalm 107. It says, “Oh”, I mean, they're fired up here. This is beginning the last book of the Psalms here, Psalm 107:1. “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.” Why should we all have an attitude of gratitude towards God? Because he's good, for his steadfast love endures. How long, everybody? it lasts longer than life. It'll see you through death. Psalm 107:2-3, “Let the redeemed”—everybody who's been saved, everybody who believes. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble, and gathered in from the lands from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.” Some, see if this sounds like David. Psalm 107:4-9, “Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” It's almost like the Psalmist really believed it. It's almost like they thought it was true, and they thought you should know about it, too. Do you believe that God wants to satisfy your soul with good things? Because the Bible says that he does.
One last Psalm, Psalm 13. Look at this one, because this one doesn't feel good. The circumstances aren't good. It doesn't feel like Thanksgiving or Christmas. No, this feels like the worst-case scenario, the day that you wish you could forget, the day when, when life took a really bad turn. That's what Psalm 13 is about. This is David. And he's not seeing God show up. He's not seeing God save the day. He says in Psalm 13:1-2, “How long, O Lord? Will you forgive me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” I'm down and I feel like I've been down for a while. How long am I going to be down here? Why aren't you coming through, God? Anybody ever prayed that prayer? Why aren't you showing up, O Lord? Hey, I thought the stories were true about you. I thought the Bible said you loved me. I thought the book said that you cared about me. I thought you were going to be good to me. Sure doesn't feel like it down here. How long is it going to be like this? Psalm 13:3, “Consider and answer me O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.” Here's David feeling like he's going to die. Maybe you felt like you were going to die before. Psalm 13:4, “lest my enemy say, ‘I have prevailed over him,’ lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.” you can imagine David out there in the middle of the wilderness thinking, is this the end? Are my enemies going to be boasting how they killed King David of Israel? But then he says this, look at Psalm 13:5, “But I have trusted in your steadfast love.” Wow. Nothing changed in his circumstance, but something changed in his soul. And he said, hey, I'm not going to forget my theme song, I'm not going to forget the thing that's my compelling motivation.
Let's get this down for number three: Trust God knows how to be good. Trust God knows how to be good. I'm going to trust in your steadfast love, my heart shall rejoice in your salvation, I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me. We're going to get knocked down, we're going to have bad days, we're going to feel very low, but we can trust in the steadfast love of the Lord that endures forever. And we can believe that our soul will be satisfied with fat and rich food. Can I get an Amen from anybody on this?
Okay, now, just so happens, we're having old fashioned sloppy joe sliders after this. Alright? So that sounds like, I'm not sure if it's rich, but it sounds fat, you know what I'm saying? So, we're going to, but that's not really what this is talking about. Okay, this is talking about, and this is a question only you can answer about yourself. And it's really a question between you and God. But I'm asking you here today. I'm trying to do it in a way that'll make you think about it and not just move on? Do you really believe that God is going to be good to you? Do you really believe that God loves you? And what difference does that actually make? What praise are you offering from your lips? How are you blessing God as long as you live? How are you praying to him and letting him know what his love means to you? When you feel like you're down, and how long, O Lord, is it going to be like this? Are you saying things like, but I will trust in your steadfast love. Your loving kindness is better than life. Because, see, I went to Camp Compass, I didn't go to the Pirate Camp Compass that we just had. But I went to Vacation Bible School. Who grew up going to Vacation Bible School? Anybody go to stuff like what we did for the kids this week? And I loved watching the skits. I love doing the songs when I was a kid. And what they told me, they told me when I was a child, and I had maybe naive faith as a child, when they told me this, but they told me that God loves me. They told me that the Bible tells me so. And I believed them when they told me. And when I grew up, and I could really get into the Bible for myself, I read through the Psalms for myself. And I became convinced that the Psalms were trying to tell me that God loved me, and nothing in this world could stop God from loving me, that his love was a promise. It was a covenant; it would be steadfast. And I believed when the Psalms told me that God loved me, I believe that God loved me. And I expected that God was going to be good in my life. And then I became a pastor. And I started meeting with church people, meeting with many, many different church people. And it was amazing to me how many people who go to church, when their hard time comes, they don't really believe that God's going to be good to them. They don't really believe in the steadfast love of God. And I've had people act like what but really, I mean, this is what people are saying to me. In some meetings, we're praying for their trials, trying to help bear their burden. But really, is God going to be good? Then why did this happen? Then why did that happen? Why is this relationship over? Why did this person get sick? Why did this person die? Really, you're going to try to tell me that God is good when all these bad things are happening? Look, the bad things are happening because we're living in a messed-up world, because we sin. Can I get an amen from anybody on that? If there's anything good, if there's any love, please don't blame God for the evil. Give God glory for the good. And see, everybody wants love in their life. Everybody wants to be loved and to love others. The only reason you have any idea what love even is, is because God is love. And the reason that so many people are out here doubting God is because we don't have faith in what it says. And I'm still young enough and naive enough to believe that when it says God loves me, God does love me. So, if you want to tell me that God doesn't love me, or God doesn't love you, I'm here to tell you, I don't believe you. Because I believe this book. I believe the Psalms, and they tell me that God wants to satisfy me. He wants to satisfy you. He wants to satisfy every single person in your heart of hearts, in who you really are. He wants to give you good, and that his steadfast love will never fail you. You find yourself in a wilderness, it's dry, it's weary, there's no water here, they come to take your life. One thing you can count on is that his steadfast love is better than life. And maybe more of us would believe in the goodness of God if we read the Psalms. And we believed what they say.
So, I want to encourage you, will you please read the Psalms with us? We're going to be reading Psalms. In fact, if you've got the handout, flip it over. And you can see the schedule for this week. We're going to start with Psalm 57 tomorrow, and we're going to go to Psalm 63 on Friday, these are Psalms written by David. And we're going to be here Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night, at seven o'clock. I will be here, Lord willing, and I will break down the Psalm just like we did tonight. And we will see what it actually says, our God, who our God is and how he's going to be to us, we will read it together, we will believe it together, and we will see God. And if you want to know who God is, if you want to have something to pass on to your kids or grandkids, about who God is, then you need to get a look in this book; this is the only place. This book is not saying that you will find the love of God in a feeling. It's not saying you're going to find the love of God because your circumstances are going to work out. It's going to say, when you're feeling dry and weary, and your circumstances are the worst-case scenario, even then, you can know God loves you. That's what this book is saying. And the only place you're ever going to find that and come to believe it is right here. So let me pray for us that we will believe what is revealed to us about God.
Father, we thank you for your man, a man after your own heart, King David, fleeing for his life. Out in the middle of that dry and desolate wilderness, such a terrible place they call the lake, the Dead Sea. And God, we just praise you that he believed in your love. And that he wrote it down so that we could believe about it. And God I know there are people in here tonight who doubt. There are people in here that doubt, they doubt if you're good at all, they doubt your love at all. And then there's people that are doubting because right now what they're feeling or what they're going through is bad. God, I pray that we would realize that if we live by feelings, we will doubt, and if we live by circumstances, we will have questions, but if we live by every word of this book, we will have faith. God, we thank you for your steadfast love. We thank you, Father, that you want to satisfy us with good things that our souls would be full. So, God, we ask that more people would come to know you, that more people would come to believe in who you really are. We ask that your name of steadfast love and faithfulness, your name of mercy and grace, your hesed, your covenant love. We ask that your name would be exalted over all the earth. That people would stop living in unbelief, and stop living in doubt and fear, and that people would come to know that you are a God who loves us. And you gave your son Jesus to die for us. And the reason that fathers and mothers feel love for their kids is because that's how you feel for us. And the reason that husbands love their wives is because that's how Jesus loved us when he sacrificed himself and died for us. The only reason anybody here knows anything about love is because of you. So, let us be believers. Let us believe that your steadfast love is better than life, and let our lips praise you here tonight. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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