Theme: The only sure way to be delivered from surrounding evil is to call upon God for help and strength.
Psalm 18:1-3 > I love you O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.
This psalm is almost a duplicate of 2 Samuel 22.it may have been written toward the end of David’s life when there was peace. God is praised for hos glorious works and blessings through the years. God’s protection of his people is limitless and can take many forms. David characterized God’s care with five military symbols. God is like (1) a rock that can’t be moved by any who would harm us. (2) f fortress or place of safety where the enemy can’t follow, (3) a shield that comes between us and harm, (4) a horn of salvation, a symbol of might and power (5) a stronghold high above our enemies. If you need protection, look to God.
A celebration of God’s deliverance. Earthly security is uncertain, but God is always faithful.
David’s plead for mercy, forgiveness, and cleansing. God wants our hearts to be right with him.
Ref: Proverbs 21:2>Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondered the hearts
Ref: Prov.16:2> All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.
Focus Points: “All man ways seem innocent to him,” People can rationalize anything if they have no standards for judging right and wrong. We can always prove that we are right, before putting any plan in into action ask yourself these three questions
(1) is this plan in harmony with God’s truth?
(2) Will it work under real-life conditions?
(3) is my attitude pleasing to God?
people can find an excuse for almost anything, but God looks behind the excuses to he motives of the heart. We often have to make choices in areas where the right action is difficult to identify our motives first and then asking “would God be pleased with my real reasons for doing this? God is not pleased when we do good deeds only to receive something in return.
[[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.]] Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
Ps.140:1>Let them vanish like water that flows away; when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.
Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:
Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:
Ps.58:7>Let them vanish like water that flows away; when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.
That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.
They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?
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 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.
Prov.18:7>The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives.
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.
Ps.32:11>Let them vanish like water that flows away; when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.
Focus Points: Evil can come in the form of a secret conspiracy or an ambush because Satan wants to catch us unprepared. He tempts us in our weakest areas when we least expect it. But God himself will strike down our enemies (Ps.64:7), whether they are physical or spiritual or spiritual. Wickedness is widespread and affects us in many ways, but the final victory already belongs to God and those who trust and believe in him.
64:1,2 – We may believe that God wants to hear only certain requests from us. While it is true that we should offer praise, confession, and respectful petitions, it is true also that God is willing to listen to anything we want to tell him. David expressed himself honestly, knowing that God would hear his voice. God will always listen to us, and he will fully understand what we say.
verses 64:3-10 – The words spoken against us are among the most painful attacks we may have to face. If we trust in God, these attacks will not hurt us.
Isaiah Warning against Worldly Counsel
“Woe to the rebellious children,” says the LORD, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin. Who walk to go down to Egypt, and have not asked My advice.” (Isaiah 30:1-2)
Those who want to live by grace (living by God working in and through their lives) characteristically depend upon the counsel of the Lord. Correspondingly, they have a burden to warn against worldly counsel, which undermines, or substitutes itself for God’s counsel. “‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ says the LORD, ‘Who take counsel, but not of Me.'”
Everyone needs counsel consistently. We all need to find valid guidance and direction through the opportunities and challenges of life. The Lord is to be our constant resource for such counsel.
“This also comes from the LORD of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance” (Isaiah 28:29).
….The counsel of the Lord is wonderful; it is excellent! In fact, when Messiah would come (Jesus, the Christ), one of His descriptive title names would be “Wonderful Counselor” (Isaiah 9:6). For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
This wonderful counsel of God comes to us through the word of God. “Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors” (Psalm 119:24). Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.
Consequently, those who turn elsewhere for counsel are rebelling (at least, inadvertently) against the Lord. “‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ says the LORD, ‘Who take counsel, but not of Me.'” Our God of grace wants to counsel us down His path. He wants to teach us to live by His wisdom and His provision. When we are formulating our plans, He wants us to allow His Spirit to direct us through His word. The only other option is to lean on the counsel of the world: “who devise plans, but not of My Spirit… who walk to go down to Egypt( worldly), and have not asked My advice.”
God strongly warned His children of the vanity of seeking the worldly wisdom of Egypt ( the world).
“You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from these things that shall come upon you” (Isaiah 47:13).
The church world today frequently turns to the contemporary speculations of man. The wisdom of man is a vain help. We would do well to consider Isaiah’s clear warning. “Woe to those who go down to Egypt(the world) for help…who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!” (Isaiah 31:1-Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD ).
Lord Jesus, my Wonderful Counselor, forgive me for the many times that I have turned to worldly counsel. I see that such a choice interferes with Your work of grace in my life. Please remind me day by day to seek all of the counsel I need through the Holy Spirit unfolding the wisdom of Your word, Amen.
Heavenly Father, please guard me from the seductive influence of this godless world. I am already too familiar with the bondage that worldly indulgence brings. Please nurture to fullness every godly seed ever planted in my life, for Your glory, Amen.
Solomon was called preacher: Eccl.1:1-12> The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.
Noah was called preacher: 2Pet.2:5> if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
Moses slow of speech, his brother Aaron was his mouthpiece: Ex.4:10-17> Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The LORD said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”
Moses pleaded with God to let him out of his mission, after all he was not a good speaker and would probably embarrass both himself and God. But God looked at Moses ‘ problem quite differently, all Moses need was some help and who better than God could help him say and do the right things. God made his mouth and would give him the words to say. It is easy for us to focus on our weaknesses, but if God asks us to do something, then he will help us get the job done. If the job involves some of our weak areas then we can trust that he will provide words, strength, courage, and ability where needed. Moses clung tightly to the shepherd’s staff as he left for Egypt to face the greatest challenge of his life. The staff was his assurance of God’s presence and power. When feeling uncertain, some people need something to stabilize and reassure them. For assurance when facing great trails, God has given promises from his Word and examples from great heroes of faith, any Christian may cling tightly to these.
John the Baptist preached repentance:
Matt. 3:1>In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea
Almost 30 years had passed since the events of Chapter 2. Here John the Baptist burst onto the scene. His theme was “Repent” Repent means doing an about face a 180 degree turn from the kind of self centeredness that leads to wrong actions such as lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, taking revenge, abusing, and indulging in sexual immorality. A person who repents stops rebelling and begins following God’s way of living prescribed in his Word. The first step in turning to God to admit your sin, as John urged. Then God will receive you and help you live the way he wants. Remember that only God can get rid of sin. He doesn’t expect us to clean up our lives before we come to him.
Mark 1:4-5> And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
John chose to live in the desert (1) to get away from distractions; (2) to symbolize a sharp break with the hypocrisy of the religious leaders who preferred their luxurious homes and positions of authority over doing God’s work (4) to fulfilled Old Testament prophecies that said John would be a voice of one calling in the desert prepare the way for the LORD”. (Isaiah 40:3).In John’s ministry, baptism was a visible sign that a person had decided to change his or her life, giving up a sinful and selfish way of living and turning to God. John took a known custom and gave it new meaning. The Jews, often baptized non Jews who had converted to Judaism. But to baptize a Jew as a sign of repentance was radical departure from Jewish custom. The early church took baptism a step further associating it with Jesus’ death and resurrection. (Rom.6:3,4; 1Pet.3:21) The purpose of John’s preaching was to prepare people to accept Jesus as God’s Son. When John challenged the people to confess sin individually, he singled the start of a new way to relate to God. Is change needed in your life before you can hear and understand Jesus’ message? You have to admit that you need forgiveness before you can accept it. To prepare to receive Christ, repent, denounce the world’s dead-end attractions, sinful temptations, and harmful attitudes.
The Gospel of Kingdom of God preached by Jesus: Mark 1:14-15> After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
What is the good news of God? These first words spoken by Jesus in Mark give the core of his teaching: that the long awaited Messiah has come to break the power os sins and begin God’s personal reign on earth. Most of the people who heard this message were oppressed, poor, and without hope. Jesus words were good news because they offered freedom, justice and hope.
Christ crucified and risen the theme of Paul:
Acts 17:3> explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The disciples were to baptize people because baptism unites a believer with Jesus Christ in his or her death to sin and resurrection to new life. Baptism symbolizes submission to Christ, a willingness to live God’s way, and identification with God’s covenant people.