Date: September 30, 2018 (Sunday AM)
Bible Text: Psalms 119:137 - 144 | Steve Damron
We will, turn to Psalm 119, Psalm 119. Hopefully you can find that. If you just have the New Testament, sorry, you are going to have to look on with somebody and try to get somebody that has the Old Testament. Sometimes New Testament and Psalms are combined. In Psalm 119, we are going to be looking at a passage of scripture. As I mentioned during our announcements, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. So just pay attention, because we only have 176 verses to talk about this morning. All right, so if we take one minute per verse, we are only 176 minutes later as far as going through it. But we are going to look at a couple of ideas here this morning.
About a century ago, there was an editor of a well known London newspaper and he sent a letter of inquiry to 100 men. So here is this editor of a newspaper and he sent this letter to 100 men. And they were important men. They were men that were in business, very successful in business. They were members of parliament, university professors, authors, merchants. It was a whole varied list and had a question. He sent this letter to these men and he said, suppose you were sent to prison for three years and could only take three books with you. Which three would you choose? And state them in order of importance. What is interesting, this was about a hundred years ago, 98 out of 100, 98 percent put the Bible first on their list--first. Now, not all of these men were religious men even. Not all of them claimed to be very religious. In fact, some did not go to church very often and a couple of them even claimed to be atheists. A couple of them that claimed to be atheists and yet even some of them put number one on their list the Bible.
There was a famous entertainer in the forties and fifties. And in June of 1955 in a magazine called the Coronet, Eddie Cantor said this, it is not surprising that almost every all time best seller list includes the Bible. As its readers know, and as I have discovered so many years ago, the Bible is not just a book of the month, it is a book of life, eternal, unchanging, ever dependable. So here are men 100 years ago, a little over a 65 years ago are talking about this. And because of that very fact, we find that there is authority and there is faith that is found in the Bible. One man talking about the Bible, said this, "the Bible is not the authority for the Christian because it was written by a religious genius. Nor is it the Christians authority because it has been pragmatically verified through the centuries. Nor is it the authority because it inspires great religion experience, and yet all of those things are kind of true." And this is what this author said, "the Bible is binding upon the Christian because it is part of the organism of divine revelation. It is a divine revelation in written form and various literature genres, the Bible is authoritative because it is the word of God and that for no other reason. So what was this author saying? Yes, there were probably some geniuses that got together and helped compose it, and yes, there are results like pragmatic. You can look practically at people that have followed the word of God and you can see that man, their lives have benefited by following the word of God. But you know what, that is not why the Bible is authoritative. The authority of the word of God comes from God. It is God's word and it does not really matter what man thinks. And it does not matter what society thinks. It does not matter what individuals necessarily think. God has told us that it is His Word.
We are going to turn then to Psalm 119. We are going to go towards the end. We will come back and we will browse through different verses, but towards the end is a passage, they are in sections of eight. So we are going to look at verses 137 through 144, 137 through 144. So let me read that for you. "Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments." (That word judgments is a word for God's word.) "Thy testimonies" (That is a another word for the Bible.) "Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. My zeal has consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts. Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and they law is the truth. Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights. The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live."
Here in Psalm 119, I mentioned that this is the longest chapter in the Bible. It deals exclusively with the written word of God. It is 176 verses and each verse with one or two exceptions, mentions the word of God. And in it you notice they are in sections of eight and it is an acrostic. Each of the first eight verses begin with 'Aleph', the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. I do not know Hebrew that much, but 'Aleph' but if you look at Psalm 119:1, 'Aleph' is the first Hebrew letter of the alphabet. And so Psalm 119 is an acrostic in Hebrew and so all of the first eight verses start with 'Aleph'. Now we can not see that, but it was a poetic type of writing.
So Psalm 119, is in poetry a wonder to those that know Hebrew. But what is amazing about it also is it is a 176 verses all talking about the wonder of God's word. The psalmist in this passage in Psalm 119 says that he loves God's word. I am going to go through it quickly. Look at verse 16, I will delight myself in his words. Look at verse 24, "Thy testimonies also are my delight." Look at verse 47. "I will delight myself in thy commandments." Look at verse 72, "The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver." Look at verse 97, "O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day." Look at verse 103, "How sweet are thy words unto my taste!" Look at verse 111, "Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage forever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart." Look at verse 119, "Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth, like dross: therefore, I love thy testimonies." Look at Psalm 140, "Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it." Look at verse 159, "Consider how I love thy precepts." And then look at 162, "I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil."
This morning. I want to, as we are closing these ideas about the word of God, and we saw that it is an amazing book. It is the divine book. We said the word of God is powerful. The word of God is profitable. The word of God gives assurance. And that is why this morning, I love God's word. I love God's word and I unashamedly belted it out. I unashamedly say it and I unashamedly say that I stand behind the King James Bible. There are folks that are out there and they want to scoff at the word of God. They want to say, you are so trivial and you are so weak that you have to bind yourself to this book. You have to hold to this book and everything about this book. You stand on this book. You read that book. You talked about that book. Yes, because I love this book. I love this book and it should come to us that as we grow in the Lord, that we find that without this book we are weak, we are unstable, and we are unprofitable servants.
God's word. Why do I love God's book? We are going to look at a couple of reasons here this morning. Let's open in prayer. Heavenly Father, I thank you for today. Thank you for your goodness. Lord, we would ask that you would come and meet with us. We thank you for your Word. As you have said, you have preserved it forever. Oh Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. We do not have to doubt that we have God's word. And I pray, Lord, that you would use it this morning, do that which I can not bind Satan, cast him from here, and Lord, unlock and enlighten those that have been blinded by Satan in regards to salvation. Lord, may you do your work. We ask you to do that and ask your power in Jesus' name, Amen.
A couple of reasons why I love God's word. Look at Psalm 119, and I am going to read a couple other passages, but I am going to mainly dwell in Psalm 119. You should be able to find all the verses that we are referring to and I will reference a couple of others in other areas of the Bible and you can write those down if you want. Here in Psalm 119, look at verse 11, It says, "Thy word have I hid (where) in mine heart," (and why is it? What is going to happen when I have God's word in my heart?) "that I might not sin against thee." Notice in verse 59. All right, so we were in verse 11 now 59. "I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies." Look at verse 67, "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word." Look at verse 71, it says almost the same thing. "It is good for me that I have been afflicted: that I might learn thy statutes." I think both of those are not necessarily talking about a trial. I think it was talking about conviction, that affliction mentioned there. And the reason I love God's word because first it convicts sinners.
I love God's word because it convicts sinners. Now I am a sinner. I think some people are out there think I am going to reach a place of, (there is a thought out there of what we interpret in theology,) as sinless perfection. The Bible does not teach that. There was only one that was sinless and perfect and that was Jesus Christ. And here on this earth I will always be a sinner. Now in the future, alright, I am living now on this earth, but once I am saved, I have a future state. Now that is kind of hard to understand sometimes, but in theology, I have a future state and I am in heaven sanctified. I am in the heavenlies, in Christ, but I am still here on this earth. So in the heavenlies I am perfect, I am sinless. But I am here on this earth and and this earth I have two natures. I have an old nature and a new nature. The new nature is that which is in Christ and in Christ there is sinlessness, but I still have that old nature and that is the flesh. Once you are saved you experience this, there is a struggle. But as I come to God's word, guess what happens? Even as a Christian, that is a sinner, as I am in God's word and I am reading God's word. That is why I try to encourage all of us to be in God's word, not just on Sunday, be in it every day of the week. Why? Because in God's word, thy word have I hid in my heart. Why? Because then I know what sin is and man, I do not want to sin against thee.
The Bible, that is why I love God's word. I love God's word because it convicts of sin, and this morning you may be here and you are unsaved and what does it mean by being unsaved. You do not know where you are going to spend eternity. You do not know where you are going to go. You do not know if it is heaven or hell or if there is some limbo out there. You do not know anything and there ares all kinds of ideas about where you are going to spend eternity. And as we even addressed this last week, what is the state of your soul? Are you at peace with God and being at peace with God means that your sin is taken care of. You say I do not know about that. Well, the Bible convicts of sin. That is why some people do not like going to a Bible preaching or Bible thumping church. All they talk about is the Bible. I want to go somewhere that I feel good. You know what? I can feel good going to a restaurant. I really can. And, and there are some times I can feel good eating that which is bad for me. Some of you have experienced that too. Alright, I feel really good eating and you know, as you get older you realize different things have different effect on you, especially after midnight. Okay, I learned that I am like I can not eat that. I will pay for that at 2:00 AM. Okay so, now right at the time I feel so good. Yeah, and that is our life. Remember we have been talking about some of the phrases people like. Oh, you know what, just follow your heart. It might feel good to follow your heart? But this is what I can tell you because the Bible tells me this. Your heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it? Who can know your heart? God, can. You see when I come to church and the Bible is presented, there is conviction. And what is that conviction? It is kind of like a, a pricking. That is the word 'convicting.' In the Greek it has the idea of an ox goad. Now most of us might say, what in the world is an ox goad? You will like this. And I wish I would have brought one and we could have brought a teenager up here and it would have been a lot of fun. Because we could have practice using an ox goad on a bad teen this morning. So what is an ox goad? An ox goad was in the Bible times a piece of wood and many times they would drive nails through it. So here is an ox or a donkey or something like that. You probably, maybe you have not, but you have been somewhere where there was a farm or there was something and here was an ox and it did not want to move. It was sitting there. And you can almost see it. It looks like some of you on church on Sunday morning. And so what happens? The pastor gets an ox goad, comes down, stands you up and whack, all right? And you are like, ouch, now guess what? All of a sudden there is a little bit of life there. Why? Because that ox did not want to move but the ox goad. What did it make it do? Like, you know what? I think I want to move now. I got inspired. Now, guess what happens with the word of God, that idea of conviction. Sin likes to sit and dwell with us and we get comfortable with sin in our life.
All right, look at today's society. You think today's society thinks that sin is bad? No, I am sorry, all you have to do is drive down the highway. You drive down the highway and I am not trying to be crude, but you drive down the highway, just on I-94. And guess what? You basically have to block your eyes. Why? Because you have pictures of half naked ladies that are there. And what is it telling men? Hey, men come on. I mean, do you think you say, oh, that is just for single men. Hello? So you are saying it is okay to look at naked people. I am sorry, no, it is not! So has that helped our society, since we have more pornography and we have more nudity? Is our society so much better in marriage? You know, it is not, it is ridiculous. It is ridiculous what is going on in our society and it is ridiculous what is going on with marriage and it is ridiculous what is going on in homes. And guess what, we want to feel comfortable, ahh, those church people. Actually, it is God's word. It is God's book. We do not like God's book because guess what happens? I come to church and the ox goad of the Holy Spirit hits me. Hey, you are pretty comfortable with your sin and you need to get it right. You are pretty comfortable with how you think you need to get to heaven. The Bible says, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. That is what the Bible says. I want to say, oh, all roads lead to heavenly harmony. No, sorry. There is only one way, and that is through Jesus Christ. You see every other way it falls short of God's glory. So I love the Bible. Why do I love the Bible? Because it convicts of sin. Remember when we talked about this last week in second Timothy. We said the word of God is profitable, or two weeks ago, the word of God is profitable. What does it mean to be profitable? It says that it benefits us, and it says, what, it benefits us. It is profitable for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. And remember I talked about that word correction. Correction is a medical term. It is that which is broken and you bring it to a doctor and he straightens it. See, that is what the Bible can do. It can straighten that which is crooked. And that is why I love God's word. It is so profitable. It does me so good. It convicts.
Secondly, I love God's word, not only because it convicts sinners, but I love God's word because it guides people in their faith. It guides people. So where do we find that in Psalm 119. Let's look at a couple verses. Look at verse 33. Alright, so it is a guide. Look at verse 33 to 35, right here, right away. What does it say? "Teach me, O Lord," and what is he going to teach me? "the way of thy statutes." So there is a proper way and I need to find that way. I need a guide and God says, I will teach you "the way of thy statue; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart." Notice the next verse, "Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight." Look at Psalm 119:104. So there we were in verse 33-35. Look at verse 104, "Through thy precepts, I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way." And then a verse we know all or a lot of us, verse 105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Look at verse 130, "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." I love God's word because it guides people.
Now, think about this, destroy the Bible and pull it away. And you would say, well, everything will remain the same. Everything will be fine. Let's just get rid of the Bible. And there are churches, in fact, there is a nutty guy down in Georgia that has been putting out ridiculous things. And you know what, he has a lot bigger church than we do. And in fact, he has probably got more people in his bathrooms than we do in our church. Okay. I mean that guy he has got it together, but what he has been doing is going out and he has been saying the Old Testament is worthless. Last week he was saying that the 10 commandments are phooey. You know what I say, they are? So come on up here and I will kill you. All right, I am just joking there. All right, but really if the 10 commandments are off then I can kill him, right? I mean it is legal according to him. So come on up here, I will beat you down. All right, but anyways, trying to get out of the flesh here. But really what is he doing? He is discounting the word of God, but I do not care what he says. Who are you? God's word says it is a guide, it is a lamp, it is a light. That is what God's word says. And there is a way, there is a path that I should be on and how am I going to know about it? I have to get into the Bible, so let's say we chuck God's Word and some people have and you followed him a little bit maybe. Maybe you followed them for 10 years. And you are like, oh man, their life seems to be okay. I know somebody that chucked God's word and they said phooey on God's word and they are a multimillionaire. So does that make it okay? I mean, so is 10 years all of eternity? No, it is not, it is not all of eternity. Is 20 years? No. See, there is an afterlife. There is an eternal life, and the Bible says, yeah, you can make your choice and it may be okay for right now, for 10 years, 20 years, you might be able to go by, you may make it for 80 years. But someday you will stand before God. And the Bible says this, and every knee shall bow. It does not say it is an option. No, that guy, that is mocking the Bible and saying, get rid of the Bible. I am chucking the Bible. Forget it. I am doing okay.
But you know what, you and I know this. Does that work? Does that work in navigating to wherever you are going. If you are trying to go 5 hours away or 10 hours away, are you trying to go and maybe maybe you are going to find somewhere you are not really sure about. Now there used to be (for you younger folks) there used to be these weird things that you could buy at the store. It was an atlas really odd, why, you would open it up and it had paper in it, really weird again. And then there would be streets on it and roads, all that type of stuff. Now it is all on your phone. Okay. And you know, you have Google maps and all that and whatever it tells you to do, do it. So here you go, young people think about this. What if we threw away your phone and you did not even know how to get home today. Okay, you would be like, oh no. And it is like turn right? Or uh, you know, some of you maybe you got an English version and it is like, hey bloke. Bloke you need to turn right. Alright. And you have all these different voices and you are getting like, oh no, I lost my phone. How am I supposed to get wherever? Well, think about that. That is in your little silly world. Just trying to get here to Michigan City or here to wherever you are trying to. You have a new store that you are trying to get to and you put it in your map and you say, well, how am I supposed to get there without a map or a guide? This is what I am telling you. Without a map or guide, you will never find faith in God. This book guides you in the area of faith. It guides us.
The Bible tells us this, that without faith it is impossible to please him. So I have got to have faith in order to please God. So how do I get faith? So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. See it is all going back to God's book, I love God's word. Why do I love God's word? because it convicts sinners. I love God's word because it guides people in their faith. I also love God's word because it comforts the Christian. Look at Psalm 119 again. Psalm 119, look at verse 114. "Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. Look at verse 116, "Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope." Look at verse 117, Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. Go down to verse 145-149, "I cried with my whole heart; hear me. Oh Lord: I will keep thy statutes. I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. I prevented the dawning of the morning, and I cried: (and here it comes the change) I hoped in thy word. Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy work. Hear my voice, according unto thy loving kindness. O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgement."
We use that word quicken again, and quicken is an old English word, it is about 400 years old. So if you look up the word in old English, quicken means to be made alive. So what happens, (And all of us have been there and if you have not been there, sorry to discourage you, but you will be there someday.) You will be at a point that somebody lets you down. You will be at a point that something in life is not perfect. You will come to a point that you are discouraged and you are down. That could be you walk into a doctor, they say cancer. You walk in and maybe it is a spouse and they say they are going to have cancer, or it could be that in the area of life, it could be something and it is disheartening. What am I supposed to do? Here the psalmist helps us because he says, I'm crying out. I cried and I cried, and then he was quickened by God's word.
You know what this word can do for you as a Christian. And that is why I love introducing people to God's word. Through God's word it can convict them, show them they are a sinner, and they can be on their way to heaven. Through God's word they can find out how to have faith. And faith in God will change their life. Faith in God then is one of the things that we talk about having faith in God, we need to have faith to believe in God for salvation. It is trusting him. But then as we move on from that and now I am saved and I am accepting Jesus Christ. Now as a Christian, just because I am a Christian does not mean there is not going to be a problem. So a problem comes and we comes and we are like oh God what is going on, I got saved. No, no, no, no. God saved you from damnation of hell. I do not use either of those as a cuss word. Today, I mean people do not even know what they are saying. Damnation means to be accursed, it means to be cast away, that is the idea. And hell, the reason that the devil, I believe makes it a cuss word and makes it trivial is because he does not want young people or adults even to understand their making trivial something that is real. Hell is not just a cuss word, it is not a joke to me. Hell is for real and there are people that have sat in this church, this church is 48 years old. There are folks that have sat in this church and they sat through a sermon and they heard God's word and it convicted them and they left and they said, forget it. And they died and they are in hell. That is not funny to me. It is not funny because they had an opportunity and the conviction was there and there is a choice and that is why the devil trivializes hell. It is why he trivializes sin, because if he can make light of it, ah, it is not that big of a deal. Yes it is. It is a big deal. But then a problem comes into my life and how am I supposed to deal with it? I can go to God's word and I can have hope. I can be quickened.
The last thing, and I think we see this all through the passage, and that is, I love God's word because it promises victory. We saw it right there in verse 149, "...O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgement." That is why I love God's word. I love God's word because I can have victory over sin. I love God's word because I can have victory over deceit, I love God's word because I can have victory over this world, and eventually I love God's word because I can have victory over death. That does not mean that this body will not be put in a tomb and it will not be in a casket, but the Bible says that someday even if I am in a casket, even if I am in a tomb, this body will raise again and be with Christ in heaven. That is victory! And that is why Paul could say, oh, grave, where is victory? Oh, death, where is thy stain? He could cry that out. Why? Because the Bible gives us hope. It gives us victory. It gives us assurance of victory. Those that say that you can not have victory over sin, those that say that you can not have victory over the world, they are lying. What they are saying is they do not believe in the power of God's word, they do not believe in the power of this book and they are not in it enough to understand that you can have victory. Victory is possible.
A pastor used to carry a small card in his pocket each day and it contained a verse of Scripture and he would carry it with him and sometimes it would be different verses of Scripture, but he would have this little card in his pocket. On one occasion he was almost overwhelmed with the burden of responsibilities and physical and mental and spiritual fatigue just kind of came upon him. And he was just kind of beat down. While waiting at a stoplight. Somebody had called and he was on his way to visit somebody that was very ill at the hospital and he was kind of discouraged and he was calling out to God. He was praying and saying, God, you have to help me, and then he remembered that verse, and he pulled it out and this was the verse. We are in Psalm 119, it was in Psalm 118 and it was verse 24 and it says this, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." You know, and he said talking about it later, I felt the burden lift and the world became lighter because God's word has the power to uplift a sinking soul. It has the power to uplift and cheer somebody.
One man wrote it this way and he put it into song. I believe the Bible, it taught me how to pray. Jesus heard and answered and took my sins away. Gave me peace and pardon and wrote my name above. Glory, Hallelujah for his wondrous love. I believe the Bible of holiness it speaks. Gracious gift of Jesus to the one who seeks. Tells of keeping power 'neath the cleansing flood. Glory. Hallelujah for the precious blood. I believe the Bible, it teaches me to run in this royal highway until the prize is won. It shows me the crown awaiting, if I win the race. Glory, Hallelujah for his saving grace. I believe the Bible, Oh, it is divine. Heavens golden sunlight in it's pages shine. Lights my way to glory and I'm surely going through. I believe the Bible for 'tis ever true.
I love God's book. And my prayer is if you are unsaved this morning, that we would be able to take God's book and show you that it can convict of sin. It can show you that we are on a horrible path in our own plight in our own sins on a way to a place called hell, but praise the Lord. We can find faith through God's word to trust in his finished work. Through his finished work, he paid the price on Calvary, and we can trust in Him and then I can have comfort as a Christian and I can have victory as a Christian, but only if you turn to God's book. Heads bowed, eyes closed this morning.