Saturday, December 18, 2010

Title: A Christmas Message According to the Psalmist

Psalm 40
Title: A Christmas Message According to the Psalmist
Psalm 40: 1-8
Let us pray
Introduction: Psalm 40 like many of the Psalms is Messianic and has a prophetic message. In light of this being the Christmas Season we are going to lightly deal with much of the Psalm and zero in on one part of Psalm which is prophet and which I call the Christmas message and this is found in verses 6-8. This is a Christmas message which is seldom told and seldom considered. The Christmas message depicted in Psalm 40 is not communicated in a way in which we normally view Christmas. The message of Christmas we often hear is a very nice message, but it is frequently a view of Christmas from mans point of view. In Psalm 40 we encounter the story of Christmas revealed from Gods perspective and it is marvelous.
Some know Christmas only in terms of:
Christmas trees, decorations, lights, reindeers, Santa Clause, new gifts, good food, and joyful sounds and joyful get togethers!
For many Christmas is the baby Jesus, a virgin, shepherds, sheep, a stable, wise men, and the heavenly host.
How do you view Christmas? How do you share the Christmas message? Perhaps I should ask how do define the spirit of Christmas or what is this thing called the Christmas spirit? It is a fitting question and I really grapple with this phrase Christmas spirit or spirit of Christmas. Well today I would like for us to see Christmas according to the Psalmist! I would like for us to learn that Christmas is more than Christmas trees, shopping malls and fine things. Christmas is more than the baby born in a virgin. God’s view of Christmas is before, before all that we normally consider in the Christmas message! Before the babe, before the manger, before the virgin, before the gifts and frankincense, and before the cross and the empty tomb! God’s view of Christmas is before all of this, in fact it is before creation, and it before time! God’s view of Christmas is seen from eternity past and it is the Christmas story in the heart of the Psalmist!
I see Christmas as an opportunity to tell the whole story! I see Christmas as a time in which God would have the entire world to see His Son as he has revealed him, but he is more than just a baby, and he is more than just one to be adorned one day a year. This Jesus is the crises of every life and the cornerstone of all humanity. Without Jesus there is not only no Christmas story, but there is no story period, for history is His Story!
Let’s look at the text: These are the words of David! These are the words of God as the Holy Spirit inspired David, but these are also words Christ, and these are also words written for us.
I waited patiently for…
David begins with a message that is hard. I do not like this principle because it is tremendously hard. I wish I could skip over this one because it is just not an easy application. Listen, what David is saying here is while waiting on the Lord I waited! David knew that:
All things work together for good to them that love….yet it is still not easy
He knew that God would never leave him or forsake him and it was still hard
David waited on God because he knew God would deliver him. He knew God would keep him. He knew that God would meet him in his time of need so he waited.
Some of us are in the school of waiting and the lessons are not easy. How difficult it is to wait on the Lord in a world where we are so use getting what we want quickly? We are a microwave society. We drive fast cars. We like our food delivered fast. We want fast banking, fast travel, fast service, and fast solutions to our problems.
In the text David gives us some anchors or support to sustain us in God’s school of waiting!
Vs. 1 Patience-It is required of the patient (p-a-t-i-e-n-t) that he or she exercise patience! James said count it all joy when you…. Be patient and God will produce in you endurance, steadfastness, enablement, and continuance until the task is complete. Wait patiently in the Lord! There are two very important aspects of biblical patience (1) is personal that is that we are to persevere patiently and God who preserves us will give us this patience, but (2) is forbearance, we are to be patient with others and God in His grace will also give us this ability to endure with others even when they test our patience.
Vs. 1 The next anchor is prayer-David knew the power of prayer! He cried out to the Lord and God heard him. In times of waiting we cannot abandon our prayer life! We cannot faint in prayer! Often times it is just when we are about to lose heart and give up God that is moving and we are only a prayer away from deliverance. Now we may not know what to pray for. My advice to still pray and let the Spirit of God interpret your prayer need to God!
Romans 8:26 says: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
God heard David’s cry and there was deliverance. David was delivered from a horrible pit, and the pit was one of miry clay. But God delivered him and set his feet upon a rock. What pit do we find ourselves in today’s world? How horrible is the pit? Is it a pit that is full of mud and seemingly with no escape? It may be a pit of alcoholism or substance abuse, it may be a pit of failed relationships, or it may be a financial pit, or emotional or psychological pit, perhaps our pit is deteriorating health, or failed dreams. Perhaps there might be someone who is in a spiritual pit? Perhaps you are just struggling day to day to live the Christian life and you are slipping and sliding deeper into the pit! Know that you have a rock and that rock is Jesus Christ and He will be solid footing and He will sustain you!
But you will have to trust Him! You will have to know He is there and you will have to be convinced that He is there!
I cannot help but think of those miners that were buried in that mine for several days. The story of the miners from Chili reverberated around the world. But sadly it was also somewhat of a soap opera as one mining was courting a wife and a mistress. This was interesting this minor said this in one interview:
"I think I had extraordinary luck," Sepulveda, wearing sunglasses to protect his eyes, told reporters later. "I was with God and with the devil, and I reached out for God."
Nobody had survived underground as long as the miners and their tearful reunions with loved ones on the surface sparked celebration after celebration.
I pray that God used this horrible pit to draw those miners and many others who viewed this situation to Himself, and God alone can do this!

Quickly verses 3-5 and then I will finish up with the main thrust of my message. I pray that God used this horrible pit to draw those miners and many others who viewed this situation to Himself, and God alone can do this!
A new song in my mouth
David was very gifted. He was a leader, a warrior, a shepherd, a king, a musician, and no doubt a singer. He had a heart after Gods own heart and no doubt God encouraged David through music and here God gave David a new song and this song was full of praise to God!
This afternoon the men are going to be singing a Christmas song! It is not my favorite Christmas song but it has grown on me! And yes I have practiced it. The song has encouraged me this Christmas Season and the men of GraceWay are praying that it will be an encouragement to you! I have to admit to you that the biggest blessing to me has been the fellowship with the men! I have enjoyed working with the Matthews men and the men of GraceWay!
God gave David a new song!
Many shall see it and fear! In other words this song will provoke a holy reverence for God! This song is not some idle chatter, but it is a song that exalts God! This is a song that glorifies God! This is a song that put’s God on display, and magnifies Him, and honors Him, and worships Him, and reverences Him, and adores Him! It is a song praise to God and many will hear and fear, and shall trust in the Lord!
The name for God in vs. 3 is Eloheim! This speaks of the Strong One! It is also a reference to the Trinity! The creator God! He is our Strong One and we can trust Him. He is the creator God! He is our Strong One and we can trust Him. He will sustain us! He has power to uphold us and He is trustworthy!
He has power to uphold us and He is trustworthy!
The name for LORD here is Jehovah-covenant keeping God. This is the God who keeps His word, again indicating his faithfulness and reliability! You can trust Him, He is the strong one and He will not disappoint you! He is eternally reliable!

David trust the Lord, vs. 4
Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust! David’s trust was in Lord and not in man. This is what salvation is all about trusting in the Lord! Trusting in the Lord exclusively! Trusting in the Lord Solely! Trusting in the Lord alone! This is faith and this is saving faith! Faith=Forsaking all I take Him! Forsaking all I trust Him! This is saving faith!
What are you trusting in for the salvation of your soul? What do you believe about the son of God? Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life…. There is only one way, there is only one truth, and there is only one life and it is His way, His truth and His life!
Proverbs 3:5 and 6
Psalm 56:4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me!
Psalm 62:8 is one of my favorite verses in Psalms and it says: Trust in Him at all times ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us Selah!
Psalm 91:2-11 (please turn to this one)
Now look at verse 5 in Psalm 40
Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
Jehovah my Eloheim! This is worship! He declares the marvelous works of God astounding and too numerous to count!
“Count your many blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done”!
This brings us to verses 6-8 and it is my primary focus in this Psalm.
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
This is a prophetic passage of scripture and it is clearly messianic. What David here is a reflection on David’s life, but it is also indicative of the life of Christ for He is that acceptable offering and He is the heart and soul of Gods book, and He always delighted in doing the will of His Father!
Jesus said in John 5:30: I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
In John 6:38 Jesus said: For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Now turn with me to Hebrews chapter 10:1-14, and while you are turning listen! I do not know who wrote Hebrews. Some claim that they know who wrote it, but I am not that smart and I do not see where God told us who wrote it, but if you press me for my opinion as to who wrote I would say the Apostle Paul, but that is just my opinion and I can be wrong. But it is obvious to me that Hebrews chapter 10 is a classic commentary on Psalm 40:6-8. The blessed Holy Spirit took from the vocabulary of the writer of Hebrews, undoubtedly using the writer’s knowledge of Psalm 40 and in scribes for us a classic and thorough treatment of Psalm 40. You know the bible is always its best commentary on itself, but I know of know where in scripture where this is so clearly evident as it is in the case of Hebrews 10 in relation to Psalm 40 and this is the Christmas message from God to man! And this is marvelous and I can preach this message, in fact I can preach this message from now until Jesus comes! For here we see it all, for this not just the Christmas message but this is the Gospel! We see here that God did it all!
It was purposed by God!
It was planned by God!
It was predicted by God!
It was pictured by God!
It was performed by God!
It was empowered by God!
It was presented by God!
It was punctuated by God!
It was all to the praise and Glory of all mighty God!

Look at the Hebrews 10 beginning @ verse one!
Vs 1. Law was just a shadow of good things to come
Vs 2. Why were the offerings not ceased?
Vs 3. What occurred every year-a reminder?
Vs 4. Impossibility of animal sacrifices
Vs 5. Only a body (human body), not an animal could deal with the sin problem
Vs.6 God had no pleasure
Vs. 7 The book-Search the scriptures for in them you think…
Vs. 9 Establish the second
Vs. 10 Body of Jesus once and for all sacrifice
Vs. 11 No satisfaction
Vs 12 Sat down!
Vs 14 Perfected for ever

This is the Christmas story as God would reveal it to us! The Christmas story is all about a person-Jesus Christ! It is all about purpose-God sent Jesus His only Son to die (He was born to die), and by His dying we might live!
This is the Christmas story-Here ye Him!

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