I had no Idea how valuable the Bible was, GOD HAD TO TEACH ME. The more time I spent learning from and learning about God’s Word the more I understood what a valuable gift it is. The more I valued it the more I made it the standard for how I looked at EVERYTHING! I came to realize that eternity with my Creator was worth EVERYTHING. TO BELONG TO CHRIST IS WORTH EVERYTHING!

And the Bible carries that information to us. Our Lord explained to His followers how valuable Eternity as His possession is in Matthew 13:44-46.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.” “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”

  • How did the man know the value of what he had found?
  • What standards did he use to decide that the value of the treasure was greater than everything else he ‘owned’?
  • Why not just take the treasure? (God’s Way: Thou shall not steal…)
  • How did the merchant know what made some pearls more valuable than others?
  • What made the merchant so sure about the value of that ONE pearl being more than everything else he had?

The Treasure and The Pearl represent ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’ AKA ‘Eternal Life’…Biblical Salvation, Christ’s Church, a redeemed relationship with God

Where is The Treasure located?

How do you know the ‘Pearl of Great Value’ when you see it?

How do you discover & learn about the value of a redeemed relationship with God?

What standards do you use to determine what THIS relationship requires of you?

The place to find the answers to these questions is: Scripture / Holy Writ / The Bible / God’s Word

God’s Word, illuminated by God’s Holy Spirit…at 1st leading you THEN indwelling you. The all powerful creator / ruler of the Universe has given us these writing to: teach us & lead us & admonish us & focus us & convict us & set us apart.

One of the things God teaches us with Scripture is how to pray. True prayer is a must for a Christ follower. We are to learn to pray by God’s Word, praying to Him in agreement with HIS Word, making The Scriptures our standard of what The Kingdom of Heaven entails and how it’s inhabitants live.

Portions of Psalm 119

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!

2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart.

  • When God / Jesus talks about blessed, it is in regard to eternity
  • Walking in the ‘Law of the Lord’ means daily life application (not talk or ‘Hobby’)
  • Keeping Testimonies: Placing High Value on what HE say!
  • The blessing of eternity require whole hearted seeking of Him (How?)

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word. 10 With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

15 I will meditate on Your precepts and fix my eyes on Your ways. 16 I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

  • Young people, not just men
  • Using God’s word as a standard for your thoughts & actions
  • Repetition of being wholehearted regarding God / relying on HIS grace
  • Our part is to know HIS view on things (store it up) so we don’t miss HIS mark!
  • The focusing of our attention on HIS will, HIS way…by knowing His Word

18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law. 19 I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not Your commandments from me!

27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. 29 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!

  • ‘Spiritual Illumination’ accomplished by God’s Holy Spirit
  • We need God to enable us to understand how awesome His Word is
  • We have only so long in this life…we are dependent on God to teach us
  • We can sit under His teaching…just by opening The Bible
  • As we learn we can discern what is His way and that everything else is wrong

36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! 37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

  • The reality of what God does makes His people focus on Him, not themselves
  • Life is in God’s way, we have a guide to that wisdom
  • We need God to turn us from the things we want to what HE want for us

57 The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep Your words. 58 I entreat Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise. 59 When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies 60 I hasten and do not delay to keep Your commandments.

  • As His child, God is all we need and the realization of that inspires obedience
  • The more we know Him the more we need His Grace
  • The recognition of my sin (Conviction) leads me to God…deeper and deeper

81 My soul longs for Your salvation; I hope in Your word. 82 My eyes long for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?”

93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. 94 I am yours; save me, for I have sought Your precepts.

  • Salvation is defined by God’s Word, it is the standard of our hope for eternity
  • His Word is who HE is…our hope in HIM is defined by His Word
  • His Word is our source of life
  • The submission to God’s will & belonging to Him flow from Him by His Word

101 I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep Your word. 102 I do not turn aside from Your rules, for You have taught me.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

  • The keeping of God’s Word requires us to deny our natural impulses (flesh)
  • God’s Word teaches us to not compromise HIS Standards
  • HIS standards are the guidance we need to become and grow as His kids

71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes.

124 Deal with Your servant according to Your steadfast love, and teach me Your statutes. 156 Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to Your rules.

  • According to Scripture, submitting to God’s will involves being disciplined
  • Making the most of being teachable we trust God knows what is best for us
  • Because His mercy is so great we trust that Real Life is found obeying HIM

174 I long for Your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight. 175 Let my soul live and praise you, and let Your rules help me. 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

  • God’s Spirit builds the connection between delight in God’s Word and Salvation
  • The total embrace of all that is found in Scripture is how we find our help
  • Humbled by our need, we figure out how to do our best (study)

Prayer Guidance From Psalm 119:

Ask God to show you how to walk in the ways of His Word.

Ask God to guard your purity through seeking and focusing on His Law.

Ask God to lead you to memorize, meditate and look to HIS Word with wholehearted delight.

Ask God to illuminate His Word by HIS Spirit.

Ask God to build understanding upon understanding.

Ask God to expose falsehood regarding HIS Word as He teaches you with grace.

Ask God to draw you to HIM and away from selfishness, worthless things.

Ask God to enable you to live by His Word, in humility and trust in Him not yourself.

Ask God to speak to your soul by HIS Word, bringing assurance that you are HIS.

Ask God to keep you from evil and instead guide you based on HIS Word.

Ask God to help you learn from the ownership of your mistakes, trust HIS discipline is for your eternal best!

Ask God to connect the value of HIS Word with the value of eternity with HIM.

Ask God to keep you mindful of your acknowledged need to be shepherded by HIS Word.

Pray that we increase how we value Scripture. That we would value it as much as Jesus The Christ did! Pray that we make Scripture, as it has been interpreted for 2000 years by Christ’s Church, our Standard for every aspect of life!

Psalm 139

Omniscience: O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. (v.1-6)

Omnipresence: Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (v.7-10)

Omnipotence: For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (v.13-14)

David’s first request: Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. (v.19-20)

David’s second request: Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (v.23-24)

Summary points:

-David knew there were evils, secret lusts, lurking in his own heart.

-He did not want to hide his thoughts from God. He opened them up for God’s inspection.

-He prayed the Lord would lead his inward thought life and his outward public life. That both would please the Lord.

-He could not escape the Lord; he had no desire to escape the Lord.

-What a great time now to approach the Lord’s table.

At The End there are two groups of people…

The Treasure is The Gospel, The Field is Scripture!

The span of our life is seventy years, or if we are strong, eighty; yet at best it is toil and sorrow, over in a moment, and then we are gone. Who grasps the power of your anger and wrath to the degree that the fear due you should inspire? So teach us to count our days, so that we will become wise. ~ Psalm 90:10-12

When these prayers were written and collected the revelation of God to His people was yet to reach the ultimate revelation of God: Jesus Christ! And with the revelation of Christ came clarity on ‘The End’. What we know is that the end comes when Jesus returns.

Beginning with the writing of Moses all the way trough the Book of Revelation we get pictures of the end. And consistent in all the Scripture about the end is one thing: At the end there is only two groups of people. There is a clear division of all humanity into two groups at the end of this world. Over and over again in Scripture we see that there is always only two groups: God’s People and His Enemies. There is no other group!

Jesus Christ only spoke of two groups:Sheep & Goats / Wheat & Tares / Those I know and those who never knew Me. Jesus repeatedly in his teaching and preaching spoke of how all humanity would be in one of two groups. Scripture is clear: You either belong to God or you are against Him. THERE IS NO 3rd Group!

Psalms as prayers: This Psalm will only be prayed by those who God has placed His Eternal Spirit into, only they can truly desire this day to come.

Psalm 9 (103 Cross References in 20 verses)

1 I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonderful deeds. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing the praises of Your Name, O Most High.

  • The beginnings of Psalms can serve as a call to worship & a declaration of faith
  • Can you thank God with all of your heart?
  • Do you see your life as what you have done or what HE has done?
  • Do you rejoice in God or the things God has given you?
  • ‘Sing The Praises’ & ‘Your Name’
  • Does your life ‘Testify to what The Eternal God of Scripture stands for?

3 My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before You. 4 For You have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge. 5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name for ever and ever. 6 Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, You have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished.

  • Why would God be taking on my enemies? Upholding my cause?
  • The only way this is possible is if my cause is HIS cause!
  • God calls and we surrender to the call
  • Echoing throughout Scripture is the message that there are only two sides…
  • The Wicked VS God & His People
  • We get a view of the fate that is in store for those opposed to God
  • With HIM or against HIM

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you, saying, ‘Destroy!’ ~ Deuteronomy 33:27

7 The Lord reigns forever; He has established His throne for judgment. 8 He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. 9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.

  • This is a vision of eternity…this is not the fallen world we live in
  • This is the beginning of revelation of what the end will be like
  • Here we see the second of two groups mentioned in scripture at the end
  • Here we see the refuge of those who know and trust in Christ…who seek GOD

This is part of the beginnings of what we learn about the end from Scripture… And now we know that at the end all humanity will we be judged, by God’s standard

I saw a large, white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence, but no place was found for them. I saw the dead, both important and unimportant people, standing in front of the throne. Books were opened, including the Book of Life. The dead were judged on the basis of what they had done, as recorded in the books. ~ Revelation 20:11-12

Psalm 9:11 Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what He has done. 12 For He who avenges blood remembers; He does not ignore the cries of the afflicted. 13 Lord, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, 14 that I may declare Your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion, and there rejoice in Your salvation.

  • This continues to describe the relationship between God & His chosen people
  • Knowing God will decide your eternity, THE response to sing HIS praises
  • The affliction we share as humans is the affliction of sin.
  • Persecution by 3 enemies (God’s Enemies): My flesh, The World, The Devil
  • Only God can save us from eternal death
  • Daughter Zion is messianic imagery
  • Salvation was won for us at the Gates of Daughter Zion by the Son of God
  • How does the reality of what Christ did on the cross impact your day to day?

15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. 16 The Lord is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. 17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God.

  • People from every ethnic group are included in God’s enemies (Redeemed too)
  • Absolute agreement with God’s justice
  • Those who belong to God trust and believe in HIS judgment
  • The evidence against the wicked is what they do, what they value
  • The fate of all who ‘forget’ God
  • In order to forget something you must be exposed to that thing
  • All people have the chance to know God:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. ~ Romans 1:20

Psalm 9:18 But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. 19 Arise, Lord, do not let mortals triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. 20 Strike them with terror, Lord; let the nations know they are only mortal.

  • Needy here is compatible with those Jesus called the ‘poor in Spirit’ who are BLESSED!
  • We each have to become needy of God: in our need we have hope
  • Are you good to say: ‘Go ahead God you know where I stand, judge away!’
  • Are you ready for the end of this life? Good to either die or have Jesus return?

When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. ~ Matthew 24:37-41


There is an end to this age / world coming. It could be today…

You are either in a redeemed relationship for eternity or you are in an enemy relationship for eternity With The Eternal God of all Creation.

For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. ~ Romans 14:10b-12

Suffering God’s Way

General comments about this sermon series:

Written as model prayers for God’s people, by God’s people under control of H.S.

These prayer instructions presuppose God’s Spirit being involved.

They teach attitude and heart as well as content and fact (emotion & reasoning)

Today:Psalms of Lament…Why in God’s Word do we read of human suffering so much? Living in a fallen world, suffering is unavoidable. God’s Word addresses every aspect of this life. Psalms teach us how to commune with ‘The Lover of Our Souls’ in the midst of anguish, doubt and despair. They give us a road map / guide for the healthy dealing with loss and pain, in God’s presence, by His Spirit.

The prayer instruction in Psalms regarding suffering has 3 key elements we are to imitate.

#1. The healthy expression of emotion in response to the troubles of this life, intense vulnerability before God. Our perfect example is Christ on the cross.

#2. Using our reasoning capabilities we assent to God’s will and trust in the relationship HE has established. Again we look to Christ as our Model.

#3. Yielding to God’s Spirit leading us to a balance between emotion and fact based reason that results in glorifying God.

Emotion and Reason…The Head and The Heart…We truly glorify God when we relate to Him intimately with both! This can happene because we have two massive blessings that the original audience of these writings didn’t have: The Incarnate Christ; Jesus of Nazareth: Virgin Birth / Sinless Life / Sacrificial Death / Bodily Resurrection / Existing praying with us and for us eternally. The Comforter / God’s Indwelling Holy Spirit: All who surrender their life to the Lordship of Jesus The Christ are eternally and irrevocably united with God by Him LIVING INSIDE US! So let us be teachable before God’s Word and learn how to pray as God would have us, so He can lead us to a place where our emotions and reason work together to process and overcome suffering. To The Glory of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Psalm 42 (77 Biblical References in 11 verses)

1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, my God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

  • Single-mindedly the deer pursues what it needs more than anything
  • We were created to be united in redeemed relationship with our creator
  • It is what we need more than anything else!
  • We were built for intimacy with the ‘Living God’ / Christ in resurrected Glory!

When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

  • He is expressing the idea that he needs to do something, initiate contact
  • The psalmist is being real about ‘feeling’ separated from Yahweh
  • The accuser says: ‘Where is your god?’ (Emotional manipulation is demonic)

4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.

  • Now comes a moment of reflection on how it has been previously with God
  • While in this place of lament the writer recalls how his spiritual life used to be:
  • Confidently trusting in the God of Israel, worshiping freely in unity & security
  • We are starting to see the real suffering comes from the severed relationship

5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. 6 My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. (‘Little Hill’)

  • This is the writers frontal cortex telling his limbic system: quite feeling and think
  • Yes we have doubts, yes we fail, yes we sin, yes we ‘feel’ apart from God
  • My experience of God’s presence doesn’t control the reality of God’s presence
  • We need to process the loss and the pain… we were made to do it WITH God
  • When God’s Spirit lives in us, our spirit is renewed and is being renewed
  • Because we have relinquished our lives to the God we trust, we can praise
  • In that place of suffering we can connect to ‘The Suffering Servant’
  • And the way followers of Christ deal with suffering is to connect in that pain

7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all Your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8 By day The Lord directs his love, at night His song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.

  • Here the writer surrenders to the reality of his place with God
  • He acknowledges the soul connection of a redeemed relationship with God
  • He acknowledges the reality of God’s love initiates

9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” 10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

  • The writer is being real about how he is misled by his feeling & the enemy
  • He recounts how it seems that God has somehow ‘forgotten him’
  • This is using your limbic system instead of your frontal cortex

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

  • As if the writer is coaching himself up: Holy Spirit speaking to flesh
  • It’s as if he tells his soul: ‘I am gonna praise God until you get out of that funk’
  • Hope comes from remembering Yahweh IS my savior & my God

God is there to help us with our suffering, but we have to treat Him as God and not as some person who has let us down: He is the solution, not the problem!

Psalm 13 (37 Biblical References in 6 verses)

How long, Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide your face from me?

  • One of the most painful things is to not know when the pain will end
  • We can withstand a lot if we know when it is going to end
  • So we are to be honest with god about what we are experiencing
  • We can ask Him to change the experience (Enable me to see Your face)

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

  • Why can’t I overcome these thoughts I don’t want to think
  • This is in some ways describing what depression is like ‘sorrow in my heart’
  • People experiencing this are vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy
  • Feeling defeated is different than being defeated…(emotional only response)

3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, 4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

  • The writer looks to God and no one else as the solution
  • Without God showing up the writer knows he can’t stand up to the enemy

5 But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. 6 I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.

  • Our emotions and reason in balance together result in glorifying praise
  • Jesus said HIS followers would worship in ‘Spirit and In Truth’
  • This is how we were meant to relate to God with both our head and our heart.

Prayer Instruction From God’s Word:

Yahweh invites us to pray with urgency, desperation and hunger… brutal honesty When we feel apart from Christ we are to seek Him in absolute vulnerability.

As a response to suffering we are to pray expressing awe and surrender because we KNOW how God has worked, is working and will work in our lives.

People who do not know Christ will want you to join them in doubting His existence. It is ok to express how hard that is to endure that, but we must also act on what we know.

We may ‘feel’ forgotten by God, we may ‘feel’ as though He is ignoring us yet we must act /pray based on what we know about Yahweh.

Prayers of remembrance can help us overcome our doubt regarding God. Ask God (H.S.) to take you back to a moment when you had no doubt that you were HIS child.

We can pray with our reason that our emotions would not be manipulated by the enemy and that we would know what is true.

We are to ask God’s Spirit to enable our reason to overcome our emotions that lie to us and declare the reality of God in our life.

We are to believe and feel that God is the answer to our suffering, and through the suffering of Christ He will one day end all of His people’s suffering.

God wants us to pray with our head and our heart that He would be fully glorified.

Siding With God Against HIS Enemies

The writers of these Psalm are praying to God about opposition they face. These kind of Psalms are often called ‘Imprecatory Psalms’. An Imprecation is a calling down of destruction upon someone or a group. In various ways these Psalms call on God to identify, judge and punish enemies they face. In short: God smote so and so…

If we agree Psalms are instruction as to how God wants us to pray, we have a problem. Christ on the cross prayed for His enemies… He taught His followers to ‘pray for those who persecute you’… not against them… Are we supposed to use these Psalms as a guide to call down the wrath of God.

YES, but the heart behind that desire is what is critical. The enemies we are to pray against are not our enemies. The Enemy (Satan) is not our enemy. He is God’s enemy. Those we are asking God to ‘smite’ are those who declare themselves (by word and deed) to be enemies of God and what He stands for. What He stands for is often summarized by the phrase: HIS NAME.

We are being taught by these Psalms how to pray in agreement with God’s will for HIS enemies (we have tons of other Scripture to see HIS will toward HIS enemies). So these are prayers not for our cause to be upheld, but rather God’s Cause / Name.

‘The prayer for the vengeance of God is the prayer for the execution of His righteousness in the judgement of sin.’ ~ D. Bonhoeffer

These Psalms teach us how to pray against the enemies of the cause of Christ. We are to learn how to pray IN AGREEMENT with the revealed will of Yahweh found in the consistent, historical interpretation of Scripture.

Prayers that come from a heart that says: ‘Because I belong to You and You have made me Yours, I stand opposed to those who oppose YOU.’ ‘I leave all justice to you. I seek no revenge. I trust your control of the outcome.’ ‘Lord I ask you to do what you have said you will do’. There is no place for our getting revenge or settling the score or being vindicated.

These are Prayers that draw a line. These are Prayers that make you take a side. Only someone who is truly innocent can leave ALL the vengeance to God. The only way any of us are innocent is to be ‘In Christ’… This is defined by Christ as having surrendered your life to Him and The Gospel. We pray these Psalms ‘In Christ’, agreeing with God’s will & with an attitude of trust. We are going to look at all of psalm 5 and most of psalm 55 to see these principles.

Psalm 5 (72 cross references in 12 verses)

1 Listen to my words, Yahweh, consider my lament. 2 Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray. 3 In the morning, Yahweh You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly.

  • The most important thing we can do in prayer is approach God with humility
  • This is a declaration of wanting God to recognize the need for help
  • This is a statement of belief that God is worth praying to
  • This is a statement of expectation that God will hear and answer
    • Where does assurance of God hearing and answering prayer come from?

4 For You are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with You, evil is not welcome. 5 The arrogant cannot stand in Your presence. You hate all who do wrong; 6 You destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful You, Yahweh, detest.

  • We are to pray to God recognizing where He stands regarding evil & arrogance
  • We are to pray to God understanding what He hates and detests
  • We are to pray to God knowing how much the truth matters to Yahweh

Each of us is evil, arrogant and tells lies. How can we ever be welcomed by God?
7 But I, by Your great love, can come into Your house; in reverence I bow down toward Your holy temple. 8 Lead me, Yahweh, in Your righteousness, because of my enemies—make Your way straight before me.

  • We can be like the writer, and by God’s great love come into His presence
  • We can approach with reverence knowing that God welcomes us in Christ!
  • We ask Him to lead us His way, by His righteousness, overcoming His enemy
  • Because His enemy is MY enemy
  • Verse 8 is is a great prayer all by itself!

9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies. 10 Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against You.

  • When you are opposed to God you are basically opposed to the truth
  • When you are opposed to God the driving force of your life becomes malice
  • The author then asks God to judge & sentence them based on their rebellion

11 But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You. 12 Surely, Lord, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield.

  • This is plea to be included in ‘all who take refuge in God’
  • This is asking God to give the experience of ‘The Joy of Salvation’
  • Those who ‘Love God’s Name’ love & live out all that God stands for
  • When You love all that Yahweh stands for your Joy is found in HIM!
  • When you love all that God’s stands for you join Him in opposing His Enemies
  • Those He makes righteous…that is the blessing, being made righteous
  • It is known as ‘Grace’ God’s undeserved favor… He surrounds His people in it
  • And this is our protection from enemies…in this life and forever…

Psalm 55 1-11 & 22-23 (85 cross references in 23 verses)

1 Listen to my prayer, Elohim, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. 2 My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught 3 because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger.

  • It seems like the author is being demanding… ordering God around
  • But He is only speaking what God said He would do
  • Troubled thoughts: God’s enemies use physiological warfare & threats
  • When people attack us in anger it is discouraging and causes suffering

4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. 5 Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.

  • An anguished heart describes a hurt emotional state (deep emotional pain)
  • Facing death is terrifying, even if you know you have ‘eternal security’
  • Fear is one of Satan’s favorite ways to try to alienate us from God

6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!I would fly away and be at rest. 7 I would flee far away and stay in the desert; 8 I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”

  • This is an expression of wanting to have peace, to avoid the conflict
  • The writer is looking to be delivered from the situation

9 Adonai, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it. 11 Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.

  • This is a cry for God to use His power to confuse and disrupt established evil
  • The confluence of population in cities leads to a gathering of evil forces
  • This is ‘Spiritual Illumination’: evil has always multiplied in population centers

The middle of this Psalm deals with being betrayed, crying out to God, trusting Him to move, citing His unchanging nature, and identifying common enemies. And then this is how it ends…

22 Cast your cares on Yahweh and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken. 23 You my God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in You.

  • It is guidance and encouragement to ‘The Righteous’
  • We become ‘The Righteous’ by casting our cares / surrendering our life to God
  • If He has made You His, you can expect to be sustained through any attack
  • If He has made you righteous He will not allow the enemy to change that
  • We can be confident that those who oppose God will face HIS judgement
  • We can trust in God because like the author, His Spirit assures us

Do you remember earlier when I asked; Where does the assurance of God hearing ans answering prayer come from? It is the Christ-given, indwelling Spirit of God in us!

Prayer Pointers: How God’s Word Teaches Us to Pray

Begin from humility, ask God to listen, hear, consider and answer your prayer.

Have an expectation He will answer without presupposing what that answer will be.

Be honest, real, emotional & open with Him about Your situation.

Fully agree with what Scripture says about Jesus Christ & His enemies.

Ask God to disrupt the evil His enemies do in our community.

Ask God to help you live more devoted to Him because of the surrounding evil.

Ask God to enact HIS will upon those who oppose Him.

Ask God to give you spiritual insight as to the evil that coalesces in cities.

Ask God to sustain you through attacks you suffer for HIS Name, and trust He will.

Ask God to teach you how to love His name and to find the shalom that brings.

Agree that your righteousness comes from trusting Christ, with everything!

Ask Christ to help you trust in His protection as your only protection.