Ps19-7 JUDGMENTS OF GOD
As we open our Bibles to the Psalm extolling the majesty of God’s word, Psalm 19:9 is our text. Many years ago a missionary statesman stood holding a well worn Bible and said:
Though the cover is worn and pages torn… and places bore traces of tears– More precious than gold is this book worn… and old, that can shatter and scatter my fears– When I prayerfully look in this precious old bood many pleasures and treasures I see– Many promises of love from my Father above, who is nearest and dearest to me. This book is my guide, tis a friend by my side– it will brighten and lighten my way. And each promise I find, soothes and gladdens my mind as I teach it and preach it each day. To this book I will cling, of its worth I will sing though great losses and crosses be mine. For I cannot despair, though surrounded with care while possessing this blessing divine. -Don Jennings-
I. What is the blessing divine? In six masterful strokes the eternal author etches his character and sufficiency toward us. A. The divine teacher: God’s care that totally transforms B. The divine witness: God’s testimony absolutely trustworthy C. The divine directions: God’s statutes giving directions to only secure place in the universe D. The divine decrees: God’s commands giving a clear portrait of God’s non-optional absolutes E. The divine condition: fearing God, lovingly acknowledging by my actions God sees me F. Look at David in 2 Sam. 12:9 as confronted with this truth. 1. Sin = despising word of the Lord, doing evil in sight 2. Word of God = fear of God and those who do so live forever! 3. That’s worth taking note of!!
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II. Now we come to the last of the six: Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (NKJV) A. We will consider just three areas from this verse: 1. God’s final word “the judgments of the Lord” 2. God’s faithful word “are true” (absolutely true, never false) 3. God’s firm word “and righteous altogether” (mutual parts explain and defend one another) B. First, God’s final word: 1. Here we see God as judge giving judgments a) His word is His verdicts on life b) His word is everything that is right and to be known c) As KD “judicial sentences and delicisions of Jehovah” 2. So what are God’s verdicts or judgments? This word is mishpat. It occurs 400 times in the Old Testament. It points to the fact that all authority belongs to Jehovah God. a) Deut. 1:17 don’t fear man, Jesus is God’s b) Ps. 103:19 His sovereignty rules over all c) Prov. 16:33 every decision is from the Lord d) They are His final word on any situation! C. We examine this in the Bible as we see it: 1. in His judgments of the nations 2. in His judgments of individuals 3. in His judgments of the world D. First, how did God deal with the nations? He judged sin. 1. Sodom a) God’s verdict: Gen. 18:16-20 outcry of sin b) Result Gen. 19:23-29 God’s judgment = destruction c) God will judge those flaunting sin 2. Egypt God’s verdict a) Exod. 9:14-17 Plagues so you may know that there is no one like Me b) God’s judgment> 12:30 everyone touched! c) God will judge those ignoring Him 3. Israel a) God’s verdict Num. 14:26-38 (1) They felt the power of ten incredible plagues (2) They heard the eerie death cry through the Passover night (3) They saw the sea split, dry land and Pharoah crushed (4) They followed the cloud and fire (5) They ate God’s provisions (6) They wore invulnerable clothes
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b) And they grumbled and complained in selfish unbelief ten times: c) (Ex. 5:21; 14:11; 15:24; 16:2; 17:2; 32:__; Num. 11:1; 12:1; 14:2 and 14:26-27) d) God’s judgment in verse 29. God judges grumbling unbelief. 4. Many more: Ashdod, Bethshemesh . . . 5. Saul a) 1 Sam. 15:1-3 Saul charged to obey God completely b) God’s verdict: Is. 15:9-11 incocmplete obedience c) God’s desire: Is. 15:22-23 obeying Him d) Saul’s true condition: v. 24 feared people III. If God judges individuals and nations, He will judge the world. He did it once in Genesis 6 because mankind was so evil. He will do it again in the Tribulation. A. Turn to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, chapters 19-22. Here in these chapters we have the last act on the stage of the universe. God calls the shots, He is in control. 1. Ch. 5-18 are the Great Tribulation 2. Ch. 19 the coming of Christ 3. Ch. 20 Great White Throne after 1,000 year reign 4. Ch. 21-22 new heaven and earth, eternity resumes B. What is the basis for God’s conclusion of human history? Having being. 1. Rev. 20:15 life from the Lamb 2. Rev. 21:8 delivered from sin 3. Rev. 22:9 worshipping God 4. So, God’s verdict, judgment on all time and people — IV. Back to Psalm 19:9: judgments of God = God’s final word. A. We see that it is a faithful word. It’s “true” 127 times; this word in the Old Testament means firmness and stability, it is real — it’s truth you can count on. B. God’s verdicts will really happen! C. And lastly, “righteous altogether”. This is the firm word. It’s strong because it is legally proven: 1. __________ not quite 40 times 2. __________ righteous… D. So, the judgments of God are true and righteous altogether! E. But what is that to us? What should possessing such a treasure as the truth do to us? It makes us care for those who may not have the truth. Perhaps America’s greatest modern author wrote this challenge. Let’s heed it! 1
1 Swindoll, ?
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Who really cared? His was a routine admission to busy Bellevue Hospital. A charity case, one among hundreds. A bum from the Bowery with a slashed throat. The Bowery…last stop before the morgue. Synonym of filth, loneliness, cheap booze, drugs, and disease.
The derelict’s name was misspelled on the hospital form, but then what good is a name when the guy’s a bum. The age was also incorrect. He was 38, not 39.
The details of what had happened in the predawn of that chilly winter’s morning were fuzzy. Would it have made any difference if she and those who treated him had known who he was? Probably so.
His recent past was the antithesis of his earlier years. The Bowery became the dead-end street of an incredible life. But all that was over. A 25 cent-a-night flop house had rooms you hear about, but never want to see…full of stinking humanity too miserable to describe. He was one among many. Like all the rest, he now lived only to drink. His health was gone and he was starving. On that icy January morning before the sun had crept over New York’s skyline, a shell of a man who looked twice his age staggered to the wash basin and fell. The basin toppled, shattered.
He was found lying in a heap, naked and bleeding from a deep gash in his throat. His forehead was badly bruised and he was semiconscious. A doctor was called, no one special–remember, this was the Bowery. He used black sewing thread somebody found to suture the wound. That would do. All the while the bum begged for a drink. A buddy shared the bottom of a rum bottle to calm his nerves.
He was dumped in a paddy wagon and dropped off at Bellevue Hospital, where he would languich, unable to eat for three days…and die. Still unknown.
A friend seeking him was directed to the local morgue. There, among dozens of other colorless, nameless corpses with tags on their toes, he was identified. When they scraped together his belongings, they found a ragged, dirty coat with 38 cents in one pocket and a scrap of paper in the other. All his earthly goods. Enough coins for another night in the Bowery and five words, “Dear friends and gentle hearts.” Almost like the words of a song, some thought. But who cared?
Why in the world would a forgotten drunk carry around a line of lyrics? Well, maybe he still believed he had it in him. Maybe that derelict with the body of a bum still had the heart of a genius. For once upon a time, long before his tragic death at age 38, he had written the songs that literally made the whole world sing, like:
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“Camptown Races” “Oh! Susanna!” “Beautiful Dreamer” “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” “Old Folks at Home” “My Old Kentucky Home”
and two hundred more that have become deeply rooted in our rich American heritage. Thanks to Stephen Foster, who nobody knew. And for whom nobody cared.
Makes me think of a few lines out of an old poem preachers once quoted:
And many a man with life out of tune, And battered and scarred with sin, Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, Much like the old violin. A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine; A game–and he travels on. He’s “going” once, and “going” twice, He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
Almost. Almost gone. Until someone cares. And steps in. And stoops down. And, in love, rebuilds a life, restores a soul, rekindles a flame that sin snuffed out, and renews a song that once was there. As Fanny Crosby put it:
Touched by a loving heart, Wakened by kindness Chords that were broken, Will vibrate once more.
Deep within many a forgotten life is a scrap of hope, a lonely melody trying hard to return. Some are in prison. Some in hospitals. Some in nursing homes. And some silently slip into church on Sunday mmorning, terribly confused and afraid. Do you care? Enough “to show hospitality to strangers,” as Hebrews 13:2 puts it? It also says that in doing so, we occasionally “entertain angels without knowing it.”
Angels that don’t look anything like angels. Some might look like bums from the Bowery, but they may have a song dying in their hearts because nobody knows and nobody cares.