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A Compelling Response

April 1, 2012 Pastor: Don Green Series: And the Word Was God

Topic: Sunday Sermons Scripture: Psalm 12-14

19T-004

As we turn to God's word now for this morning, I would invite you to go back to Psalm 19 as we're going to finish our study of this most important Psalm. We've said that this is the foundation of truth. The Bible is the foundation of truth itself. The Bible is where God has revealed himself, it's where he's revealed Christ, it's where he has revealed his truth and it's the foundation, Scripture is the foundation in that sense but it's also the foundation of our ministry at Truth Community Fellowship. We're always going to be about the Bible and teaching the Bible and seeing how God has revealed himself and understanding what God has said in his word and seeing how we can conform our lives and ministry to it in a way that will give him glory as an expression of proper gratitude for our salvation. So this Psalm here in Psalm 19 is foundational to everything that we're going to do in the future and today we're just going to wrap up our study of it.

Now, you'll remember from 2 weeks ago when I was last with you, we said that in this Psalm David has 2 main sections to the Psalm. In the first 6 verses, he reflects on God as he has revealed himself in the world, as God has made himself known in his creation. Then in verses 7 through 14, we're looking at how God has revealed himself in his word and we've seen that his word brings complete authority, that's what we saw 2 weeks ago. We saw that it has comprehensive blessing, that's what we saw last week. And now we're going to look at what I have titled "A Compelling Response." How is it that we respond as believers to the revelation that God has made of himself in his word and in his world.

Well, today we see how these things should impact us and I think it may surprise you to see where this takes David in his thinking and in his meditation; it's as he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Look at Psalm 19:12 with me as we read the passage to set it in our minds this morning. David said,

12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. 13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

What's going on here in these last 3 verses of Psalm 19? Well, just in general we can say that David is now responding to the things that he has reflected on. He has remembered the glory of God as it's been revealed in creation. He has spoken of the glories of God's word and the perfections and the authority and the blessings that God's word brings and now he turns the focus inward, as it were, and says, "In light of all these great things that I have seen from God and the glories of his word and just the matchless and infinite ways of his splendor being shown to me in so many different ways, what should the response of my heart be?" That's what David does and in that he gives us a very particular and important model to realize: the biblical teaching is never designed to leave us on influenced. It's never strictly a matter of mental understanding but when the Bible is properly taught, when it is properly read, when it is properly understood, it leads to personal change of a deep and a profound and an inward quality that is unmistakable in the fruit that it produces.

Here with David we see the unmistakable fruit of a humble response, a vertical humble response to God in response to the way that God has revealed himself in his word. David examines his own life in these verses as we're going to see. He examines his own life and he recognizes his unworthiness to be the recipient of these blessings and yet the recognition of his unworthiness does not crush him, rather it provokes within him even higher spiritual aspirations. It motivates him to holiness and that's what seeing the glory of God in creation and seeing the glory of God in his word should do to me and should do to you. When we see the glory of God revealed, it should motivate us to holiness. It should humble us and motivate us to holiness.

David here in this Psalm gives us a pattern to follow and what we're going to do this morning is we're going to see in these last 3 verses, we're going to see 3 spiritual desires that flow from seeing the glory of God in creation and in his word. These are the spiritual motivations. This is the internal response. These 3 responses are what should be provoked in your heart and in mine as we reflect on what God has done for us in giving us his word.

Now, first of all, the first point here this morning, as David responds now in his spiritual heart, inside he responds, first of all, notice that he does this, point number 1 this morning is that: he seeks pardon for past sin. Pardon for past sin. That's what we're going to see here in verse 12. Look at verse 12 with me. David says, "Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults." Notice how he says there at the start, "Who can discern his errors?" It's really a rhetorical question. He understands that the answer to that question is no one. No one truly knows the depths of their own sinfulness. No one truly knows the fullness of the way that we have sinned against God and fallen short of his glory. No one understands that and David realized that he is included in that realm of people who don't understand the fullness of the way in which they fall short of the glory of God.

Well, having reflected on the goodness of God in revealing himself in his word, David now seeks pardon for his past sin. Who can understand the ways in which he is spiritually deficient? The question anticipates the answer: no one. You see, don't make the mistake of thinking that sin is simply a matter of breaking a couple of rules here and there and not conforming to the outward expectations of your spiritual friends or whatever the case may be. No, sin is pervasive and sin is subtle. We sin with our thinking. We sin with our desires. You know, the tenth commandment says, "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, your neighbor's wife and anything that belongs to your neighbor." You shall not covet. Well, Paul was so struck by that that it actually led to his conversion to realize that the law of God actually directed and commanded the very nature of his desires and that coveting itself was a sin worthy of eternal judgment. It broke him to realize that.

What we see here in Psalm 19 with David is that he realizes the depth and the profundity of God's law and realizes that we fall short in so many ways even at our deepest heart levels. Our deepest heart motivations are flawed. They are sinful. They are contrary to the glory of God and therefore we need cleansing. That's the point for this morning. We need pardon. We need an acquittal of having violated God's law. We need to be released from the judgment and punishment that that would otherwise require. You see, the best of men, the best Christian men don't fully understand just how sinful they are and because they realize that, that they don't even see the depth of their own sinfulness, they realize that their own heart does not diagnose sin properly. We have a bias in our own favor that makes us think that we are better than we are and we are so spiritually dull that the things that would offend the holiness of God, we go through life and we don't even pay attention to them.

You see, David is at a spiritual apex here and he's thinking in a very deep spiritual profound level and he realizes that he doesn't know how desperately sinful he is even in that elevated spiritual condition. It reminds me of Jeremiah 17:9 where it says, "The heart is deceitful above all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" Again, the answer contemplated is no one. No one can understand this. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:4, he said, "For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted," it's not because I'm unaware of sin, "the one who examines me is the Lord," 1 Corinthians 4:4.

So David has those kinds of things in mind when he says, "Acquit me of hidden faults." He realizes that he doesn't know where he falls short and so he casts himself on the mercy of God and says, "You know sin is in me that I'm not even aware of and I ask you to cleanse me even of those." He is so sensitive to sin. He is so in love with the holiness of God that he doesn't want something that he's not even aware of to interfere with his fellowship with his heavenly Father. That is the nature of the desires that David is expressing here in Psalm 19.

The great Puritan commentator, Matthew Henry, said this, he said and I quote, "We are guilty of many sins which through our carelessness and partiality to ourselves we are not aware of. Many we have been guilty of which we have forgotten so that when we have ever been so particular in the confession of sin, we must conclude that God knows a great deal more of evil in ourselves than we do." What he's saying there is simply the fact that we have blind spots to our own sinfulness that keeps us from seeing it all. We have blind spots that keep us from recognizing the depths of our own sinfulness. We think we're better than we really are even as believers. David understood this and because of that, he prays, "God, forgive me of sins that you see but that I don't." He asked God to view it from his perspective. He asks God to view it from God's perspective and says, "God, I know you see things that I don't see. Forgive me of that which you see but that I don't." That's how pervasive his desire for holiness was, how pervasive his desire for intimacy with God was, that he would go to the point of confessing sins that he wasn't even aware of. He asks for free forgiveness to remove any barrier to fellowship with God.

Now, here's the point for this morning and this is very challenging and I say this in love and I say this as one who needs this instruction myself: beloved, you should not measure your actual sinfulness by the number of sins that you actually confess before God in prayer because that's not a good measure of it. You confess, you and I confess only a sample of our real sin. We only bring to God a couple of samples when there is actually things that we are so dull and insensitive to that would offend his holiness that it doesn't even register in our consciousness to confess it. Beyond that, some of us are just too careless in the confession of sin as it is and we don't take it seriously as though when Jesus said, "Confess your sins to one another," and in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6, he talks about confessing sin, "Forgive us our trespasses," we don't take that seriously enough. Well, here in Psalm 19, we're seeing the example of a godly man who did take it seriously and we see where it leads to. We confess only a small sample of sin and because we recognize that, when we are growing spiritually, we go to God and we say, "Father, forgive me of those sins that you see but that I don't see. I want you to forgive me for things in my past, things of this past hour where I have fallen short so that there would be no barrier to our fellowship, our sweet fellowship together."

You see, God is concerned for his holiness and he's concerned for ours as well and if we're going to be people after God's heart in this fellowship, then we're going to be people who are concerned to have an internal purity from sin that takes sin seriously and isn't content to simply deal with externals but we when we're privately alone with God, that we're just seeking that continual purging and cleansing of sin. Not the forgiveness that Christ has already purchased on the cross, our sins are forgiven in a judicial sense but what we're talking about here is a praying for the cleansing of the power of sin that still attaches itself to us, still motivates us from time to time in our hearts. We are asking God to cleanse us from that so that we could walk in an even more pure and holy way before him.

So, when we get serious about dealing with sin, we realize that there is going to be a dimension in which we say, "Lord, forgive me of hidden sin." And do you want to know something really great about that? Do you want to know something about the greatness of the nobility of living the Christian life? Do you want to know something about the greatness of the love of Christ for his people? 1 John 1:7 says that, "the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." When we are confessing our sin, 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins," to forgive us of those sins that we're confessing but then it goes further and says, "and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." The blood of Christ is so sufficient for the forgiveness of your sins that it is a complete payment to God for the debt that your sin created in your account toward God. Christ's death, Christ's shed blood has forgiven us of all of our sins, even the ones that we fail to confess, the ones that we forget about. Christ's blood covers all of that and in recognition to that, in recognition of the goodness of the gift of salvation that he has given to us, we as we continue to walk on in this life, we confess our sins so that there would be no barrier to the enjoyment of our fellowship, no hindrance to the intimacy of our walk with God. That's what this verse in Psalm 19 is teaching us. Understand that when we talk this way, this verse and the Scripture teaching presupposes that we are making earnest confessions, that there's a sincerity, a genuine desire to be pure and clean from sin, not simply going through a lifeless ritual like some religions of ritual that just simply repeat prayers without giving any real thought to them. The Catholics are deathly guilty of these kinds of things, of ritualistic praying that doesn't give an earnest confession and a sincere desire to turn from sin.

What you see here in Psalm 19 is that David's prayer can reawaken within you a desire for pardon from sin that is at the heart of a true response to the word of God. That's how we respond to God's word, we seek forgiveness for the ways that we may have offended him with our spiritual lives: with our thoughts, our words and our actions.

Well, David's example here in Psalm 19 goes even further and this gets very, very instructive. He not only desires pardon for past sins but point number 2 here this morning, he also expresses the desire for this, point number 2: protection from future sin. Protection from future sin. Look at verse 13 with me. David says, "Also," he's extending his prayer here, "Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression." He says, "Lord, keep me back from presumptuous sins." Well, what does that mean? What is he referring to there? Well, here in verse 13 he's looking to the future and he is praying proactively in his pursuit of holiness. He asks God to keep him from sin before he even commits it. You see, he's not like some people who totally abuse the notion of full and free forgiveness in Christianity. Maybe some of you have been guilty of this kind of slipshod spiritual living yourself where you say, "Well, I'm going to sin and then I'll confess it later and get God's forgiveness." Well, there is no place in true Christianity for that at all. You see, the whole point of becoming a Christian is that you want to be delivered from sin and so, God forbid that we would take the grace of God that granted us forgiveness in Christ and somehow use that as a buffer and as a permission to continue on in the enjoyment of sin. Paul talks about this in Romans 6.

David here shows us the right response. Rather than presuming upon the grace of God as if that was a license to do something illicit that we know we should not do, David instead says, "God, would you do this for me? Would you please keep me from sin so that I would not sin against you? Would you keep me back from sin?" That's the mark of a godly heart. That's what David is doing here in verse 13.

Now, the word "presumptuous" that he uses here describes that which is willful or arrogant. It's the defiant attitude that says, "I'll do what I want to do. I'll sin if I darn well please. I'll sin and I won't worry about the consequences until afterwards." You see, what David says is, "No, that's not it at all. That presumptuous attitude is a spirit that takes liberties with the grace of God." David teaches us something completely different, something that is not emphasized enough. David prays that God would guard him from such sins so that those sins would not rule over him. David says, "God, hold me back. Keep me from sinning like that. Don't let me resist your will. Put a leash on me so that I won't even go there."

Now, is that prayer really necessary for a man who loves God? Well, the answer is yes it is. David knew something very important. He realized that self-confidence is the enemy of spiritual life and David knew that his evil nature could motivate him to sin against God in the future even though, watch this, even though he is presently submissive to God as he's praying, he realizes that it is within the power of his own heart to turn in the future away from this present submission that he feels toward God. So he looks forward to the future and he says, "God, my heart is submitted to you now and what I ask is that looking into the future you would keep me away from that attitude which would defiantly sin against you. Keep me back from presumptuous sins." David did not overestimate his own spirituality. Think about it this way: he took advantage of his present state of mind, his present godly state of mind, to lay the groundwork for future holiness. He was, as it were, putting deposits in his spiritual account with God and saying, "God, as I look to the future, please keep me from sin," because that was the overarching motivating desire of his heart was that he would walk in a righteous holy way before his God.

Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher from the 19th century said this. He said, "This earnest and humble prayer teaches us that saints," which means Christians, "This earnest and humble prayer teaches us that saints may fall into the worst of sins unless restrained by grace and therefore they must watch and pray lest they enter into temptation." We look to the future and say, "God, keep me from sin as I'm here on Sunday morning in Truth Community Fellowship, as I look to my week ahead, O God, I pray that you would keep me from sin. Help me to walk in a holy way with you. Order my steps so that they are oriented toward loving you and obeying you. Put me in positions where I'm going to walk with you and obey you rather than those positions where I would be more subject to temptation."

Go back to verse 13 with me in Psalm 19. David says, "Keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me. Don't let an evil root, an evil thought, evil motives take root in my heart so that it would become a stumbling block in my walk with you." Then he says, "Then I will be blameless." If God would clear David from sins known and unknown and if God would further keep him from future sin, then David would be complete in the presence of God. That is the pursuit of holiness, that desire to be separate from sin, intimate with God, living out life in a way that is worthy of the one who called us to his own glory and grace in Christ Jesus.

Now, what I want you to see is that the sincere believer, you and me, the sincere believer wants God to restrain him from temptation. The sincere believer wants God to keep him in the realm of holiness. The sincere believer wants God to providentially interfere with him when he starts to set his footsteps toward the paths of sin. That's what a true believer wants. A true believer wants holiness. Last week we said if there wasn't a desire for the word of God in your life that you were not a Christian. Well, in like manner, if there is no desire in the heart of a professing Christian, someone says, "I'm a Christian," but there is absolutely no desire to walk in holiness in their lives, the Bible teaches clearly that that person is not a Christian. 1 John says that, "If we say that we have come to know him and do not keep his commandments, we're liars and the truth is not within us." Well, that's the negative side. Here with David on the positive side, what we see is what the pursuit of holiness looks like, one aspect of it anyway, is that there is this desire so pervasive in our hearts for holiness that we say, "God, keep me from sin in the future."

Now, what I want you to see, I want you to understand just how important this is because we find this not only in the Old Testament here in Psalm 19 but turn in your Bibles to Matthew 6. I want you to see this from our Lord's teaching as well. Matthew 6, beginning in verse 12. You know it as the Lord's prayer. The Lord gives us a model here in Matthew 6 to pattern our praying after. Not something to be recited necessarily word by word in a rote fashion but he gives us the themes that should mark the prayers of a true disciple of Christ. And in verse 12, look at verse 12 with me, Matthew 6, verse 12, he says, "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." There is that past tense praying for pardon for past sins. But now in verse 13 he says, he looks forward, he teaches us to look forward and says and to pray, "Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Right there in the Lord's prayer, the Lord is teaching us to be proactive in our praying, in our pursuit of holiness. That we, as it were, would spread the leaves across the paths of our future walk with our prayers so that we would be walking in a path that would keep us on the way to holiness and what you see in that is a very important fundamental spiritual attitude: it's the attitude of dependence. It's the spiritual attitude that says, "I do not trust myself to walk in holiness and therefore I seek spiritual provision from the hand of God in order to walk in this holiness that he requires from me."

That's what David is doing here. That's what the Lord was teaching in Matthew 6. "Forgive us our debts," is a look past, things that we have already done and it's a parallel to what David says when he says, "acquit me." There is that parallel between the 2. Now, David says in Psalm 19, "Keep me back from presumptuous sins," looking to the future. "Keep me back." Well, that's just a parallel in different words to what Jesus said, "do not lead us into temptation." There is a perfect harmony between the spirit that David expresses here at the end of Psalm 19 with what Jesus taught us all to pray as his disciples in Matthew 6 and so we look back to the Old Testament, we look back to David and we see a clarification, an expansion, a complement to what Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6.

You see, God's glory in creation and God's glory in his word should impact you. It should bring to bear a powerful motivation in your life that you would confess sin and not try to hide it in the presence of a holy God. That's what the revelation of his word does to us is that it makes us sensitive to sin, it makes us repentant and it makes us unwilling to play games and to harbor unconfessed sin in our lives.

Can I step back for a moment and simply ask you: is that true of you? Does that mark the general course of your spiritual life? Let me be more particular as you think of things that are going on in your life today, things that you were thinking about, maybe arguments that you had on the way to church or, you know, things that were popping up on your computer last night: is your mindset so convinced that you want to live a holy life, that you want to turn from that, that you want to make wrong relationships right? And that you want to purify your life from the evil that sometimes you allowed to filter into it? Well, if you do, if that is the mark of your life, look, that's the mark of a true Christian. If it's not, if you are content to live with sin, then this message should be making you very uncomfortable. This text from Scripture should be making you very uncomfortable because you see what the reality of spiritual life is. The word of God motivates us to pursue the holiness of God without playing games, without trying to hide unconfessed sin. It makes us come out in the open with our confession of sin before God so that we would reflect back to him the purity of worship that is rightly fitting to a God of such immense infinite purity in his own right so his revelation drives us to the confession of our sin.

Now, there's still more. David really reaches the pinnacle in verse 14. We've said that he is seeking pardon for past sin. He's seeking protection from future sin. Now point number 3 here: he seeks purity in God's presence. Purity in God's presence. Look at verse 14 and we'll spend a little bit of time here this morning. David now prays to close and he sets forth the positive aspiration of his heart. He has dealt with sin in a negative way, "Lord, forgive me of sin. Keep me from sin," but it's more than just that negative turning from sin but there's also this positive aspiration of holiness that he sets forth for us in verse 14. He says, look at verse 14 with me, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer." David understands that God's knowledge of him is so pervasive that David's very words, that the very secrets of David's heart are simply open and laid bare in the presence of God. Everything that is going on in his inner man is as open as a movie screen in the presence of God. There is nothing hidden from his sight, the Scriptures say.

David understands that that goes to his own heart and to the words that he says and in light of that, David here expresses a desire for purity. Not just purity for its own sake but he desires purity so that he would enjoy a relationship with his God that is marked by trusting submission. So rather than being content with just an external conformity – oh, please see this in the passage, oh, please look at the verse again with me. He says, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, in your site, O God," he's praying. He is not at all concerned with what men think at this point. He does not at all care what men assess his spiritual condition to be. He has a vertical commitment to honor God and a desire to be found pleasing in a vertical dimension to God that he asks that even his most inner recesses, the innermost secrets of his heart would be found pleasing to his God and his Maker and this covenant God known as Yahweh. He says, "Let it be found acceptable to you." So he is praying that, get this, he is praying that his inner man would honor the Lord. That's true righteousness. That is a glorious transformation from one who has sinned in the past, one who has struggled with sin where he goes before God and the prayer that he utters is not, "Bless me with prosperity," not "Do this or that, O God." The vertical prayer of his heart is, "O God, O God, let my inner man be found pleasing to you. Let what comes from within the wellsprings of my own heart be something that brings you pleasure, something that honors you, something that is acceptable to you."

When he uses this word "acceptable" he's using the same Hebrew phrase that the law of Moses uses to speak about an acceptable sacrifice. You know, the lambs that they would sacrifice had to be perfect and without blemish in order to be acceptable to God. Well, what David is saying here, he's using the same word to say, "I want my inner man to be so blameless that it's acceptable in your sight," and he asks God to give him help and energy to that end. He sees his inner man as an altar of sacrifice, in other words, a holy place of worship before the God of the Bible.

Can I get personal with you here? Do you see your inner man that way? Do you realize that the place of worship that really matters is not how we gather together here in the Legacy Hall at the Creation Museum week by week, as important as that is? But the place of worship that you should be most concerned about is what's going on in your inner man, what's going on in your heart. Is your heart reflecting back praise and honor and gratitude to the God who created you? Christian, Christian, listen to me: if you know that the Lord Jesus Christ has purchased your soul at the cost of his own life blood, that his death on Calvary was as a substitute for your sins so that your sins could be forgiven, if you know and understand that God, as it were, lifted the sin off of your back and put it on Christ and punished him and took his righteousness and credited it to your account so that you could be rightly related to his law, that you could be at legal peace with God because there was no longer guilt on your account, if you understand that, do you realize that your heart, your inner man, is to be a place where thanksgiving is returned to God for the greatness of the gift of salvation? Do you realize that as you have his holy word in your hands where many people around the world cannot even have it in their own language, do you realize that your heart should be a place where thanksgiving and praise is found rather than grumbling and complaining about circumstances or anxiety as if God were unable to take care of your needs? Do you see that?

You see, according to the Scripture, our hearts are to be a place of holy worship offered to God. Our lips are to give the sacrifice of praise, praise that comes from a heart full of thanksgiving and gratitude toward him. You're starting to think rightly about your spiritual life when you understand that, when you realize that it's far more than external compliance with rules and regulations. I know some of you have grown up with that and that's been your religious experience for most of your life. Well, that's not what the Bible teaches. The Bible, of course, says that the Lord looks on the heart. He doesn't see as man sees, 1 Samuel 16:7, because man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord does what? He looks on the heart and so as you're contemplating your future of spiritual growth, realize that what God is cultivating in you, what his Spirit is trying to work out in you, are attitudes, the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. When you understand that, then you're in a position to get onto the high road to spiritual growth, the high road to God's spiritual blessing, when that's what you too want your spiritual life to be about. The beauty of God's word is that that's what it produces. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds as we submit it to the word of God.

Well, all of that to say that God's revelation should lead you to that singular desire to please him with purity in your inner man. Our prayer becomes something like this, "God, I so cherish you that nothing matters to me except knowing your favor as I think about you in your presence. If I can know your favor, if I can be a man of purity in my heart before you then, God, that's all I want. That's all I pray for. That is the singular desire of my heart."

Now, look at this, look at the end of verse 14 with me. He's prayed this prayer, this prayer for inner purity, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight." Look how he closes it. Look at how he addresses it. He says, "O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer." My rock. My Redeemer. He prayers this prayer for inner purity with an expectation of God's blessing from a position of confident trust. David here is expressing expectant trust as he addresses God as, "My rock and my Redeemer." Don't gloss over those words because they speak volumes about the intimacy to which God calls us. Rock expresses complete trust in God. It's a common metaphor to express that Yahweh is totally reliable and a sure source of strength. He's a rock. Now, the word "Redeemer" speaks of God as his deliverer. Redemption is a biblical metaphor that describes a release from an alien power based on the payment of a price. A release from an alien or an outside power based on the payment of a price.

In David's day, when men in David's day were thinking about redemption, they would naturally think about how God redeemed Israel from the land of Egypt. Remember back in the book of Exodus where God led them out by those 10 mighty miracles, eventually slaying the firstborn of everyone in Egypt and then Israel had this mass exodus out of Egypt and a nation was born that had formerly been in slavery to the most powerful nation on earth. Well, God is a Redeemer who uses his power to release his people from bondage. Israel was under bondage to the harsh slavery of the Egyptians and God, by his miraculous power, released them from that bondage at the price of many Egyptian lives as they tried to pursue them into the Red Sea You remember how the Red Sea parted and the nation of Israel went through on dry land and the Egyptian army chased them and were all drowned in the process. That was the price that was paid for the redemption of Israel in the Old Testament. God led them out.

Now, stay with me here: that act of redemption liberated Israel from their bondage in Egypt. It freed them so that they were able to serve God in the Promised Land. Now, that background helps you understand the metaphor of redemption that David is using here. Understand something really important, this is so crucial to understanding the climax of this great Psalm that we've been studying for the past 3 weeks. Here in verse 14, David calls Yahweh, "My Redeemer." Now listen: he is not thinking about physical deliverance here. He has been praying a spiritual prayer, spiritual in the sense that he is asking for the forgiveness of sin; spiritual in the sense that he's asking for protection from sin; spiritual in the sense that he's asking for purity in God's presence. This is entirely a spiritually motivated prayer. Now, in that spiritual context, he calls God, "My Redeemer." In that spiritual context, the word "Redeemer" helps us understand the meaning of David's prayer. Listen: he is trusting God. He is viewing God as his Redeemer to deliver him from the power of sin so that David would be free to worship acceptably in the presence of God. He says, "God, I have this alien power that assaults me, that drags me into sin. There is this evil within me, God, and what I ask you to do is to redeem me from that, to deliver me from that so that I would be free to serve you acceptably with a pure heart and a pure mind."

That's what he's saying here. It's a pretty powerful prayer, isn't it? When he says, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Redeemer," he's saying, "Lord, deliver me from any power that would keep that from happening. Lord, you who rule over all, you who are my rock, you who are my sure defense, my fortress, my strong power. God, give grace to my heart so that I can live out that kind of acceptable, pleasing, heart worship in your sight." That's what David is praying here. That is a great climax to Psalm 19.

You know, I think it's too often overlooked in the teaching on Psalm 19. We rightly go to Psalm 19 and see the teaching of God and how the glory of God is revealed in creation and we see the authority of the word but understand as you read this Psalm all the way through, David doesn't stop with abstract theology, he goes straight to the point of wanting to be a more holy man of God himself and that's where a proper understanding of Psalm 19 will take you. He takes the totality of his sinful disposition, he places it in the hands of this God of creation, this God of the word and says, "You are the one who redeems me from it all. You redeem me from the power of my own sinful disposition. I trust you for that. I ask you to do that."

Now listen, beloved, David's prayer foreshadows the reality of New Testament salvation. We, you and I, we're in a bondage to sin. We were under a curse from which we could not deliver ourselves. Just as Israel could not deliver themselves from the power of Egypt, you and I could not begin to deliver ourselves from the power of sin. We were dead in our trespasses and sin, Ephesians 2:1 says, and we did not have the spiritual capability to set ourselves free. But what the Bible teaches us is that Christ is our great Redeemer.

In Galatians 3:13 it teaches us that Christ redeemed us from the power of sin with his death on the cross. Galatians 3:13 says, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us." Rather than damning us, God placed the curse on Christ and punished him for the sin that you and I committed so that we could go free. An innocent man suffered so that the curse on us could be broken. That's the glory of Jesus Christ, isn't it? That's the glory of our Savior, the one who intervened and interposed his own blood so that we could be redeemed. Set free. Set free from the penalty of sin. Set free from the power of sin. One day set free from the very presence of sin when we're perfected in his presence in heaven. The greatness of salvation all wrapped up in that metaphor of redemption and his death has made us truly free. Titus 2:14 says that Christ "gave Himself for us to redeem us," this is Titus 2:14 if you wanted to get that down in your notes, "He gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." Redemption in Jesus Christ frees a man from sin so that he can belong to God and live his life to God's glory. 1 Peter 1:18 says, "You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ."

You see, what this Psalm ultimately is pointing us to is the death and resurrection of Christ which are the basis upon which God can release you from the penalty for your sins and break the power of sin in your life is through the death and resurrection of Christ. It's through Christ crucified, Christ resurrected, Christ ascended. That is the power for your salvation. Oh friend, do you know him? Oh friend, have you been saved from your sins? This glorious resurrected Christ, this great Redeemer I present to you. Believe on him in order to be saved. Believe on him in order to be freed from the sin that has kept you in darkness all these many years. Believe in Christ and you shall be saved, Acts 16:31 says.

For those of us that know Christ, those of us who have embraced him, received him and know the benefits of salvation that are revealed in this glorious word, understand that you and I are in a position to know a greater depth of worship than even David expresses here. David was looking forward to the cross. It was still 1,000 years away from the time that he wrote. For you and I, we can look back 2,000 years later and say God was more of a Redeemer than David knew about. David saw it in shadows. David saw it in forms. We see it in clarity from the revelation of the New Testament. In Christ, the redemption from sin. In Christ, pardon. In Christ, the pursuit of holiness. In Christ, being united with Christ we are united to the very presence of God himself. That is a great salvation and you and I as we look up into the heavens as we bring this series on Psalm 19 to a close, we look up into the heavens and see the glory of God and realize that the God who put those stars in space is the same God who became flesh in Jesus Christ and offered his life blood for the forgiveness of our sins. In Christ, we look at the glory of his word. In verses 7 through 11, we look at the perfections of his word and we realize that the one genius mind, infinitely genius mind that inspired this word is the same genius mind that was there on the cross saying, "Father, forgive them as they crucify me for they know not what they are doing." In Christ, we have a faithful Shepherd, we have a good Shepherd, the good Shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep. In Christ, we have a returning, conquering Savior. In Christ, we have our brother in heaven interceding, our great High Priest interceding for us in heaven. Oh, the riches that are ours in Christ. We see so much more then David did.

What I want you to see today as we close is that the greater revelation that's been given to us, entrusted to us, vouchsafed to us, should cause us to love that purity of mind, that purity of presence that David sought all the more. It should motivate us all the more with an ever more informed depth of gratitude because of the fullness of what we now know in Christ. And as a body of believers here at Truth Community Fellowship, what I want you to understand is that this is the Christ that we're going to love and adore and serve with our fellowship as we move forward. We're going to love him. We're going to pursue him with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind. We're going to honor his word. We're going to honor his great name. Not only in what we proclaim from this pulpit, not only in how we fellowship with one another but we're going to honor him individually, personally and privately and seeking that kind of internal purity and holiness that is worthy of the one who never knew sin, the one who never committed deceit nor was any sin found in his mouth. That kind of personal commitment to holiness is what's going to mark us individually as believers in this fellowship and it's what's going to mark our collective service to Christ. I'm excited, aren't you, to be a part of this? To be a part of the great plan of salvation that Christ purchased and to be in a position where we are able to live that out together to the glory of our Savior Jesus Christ? Yes, O God, we pray.

Bow with me in prayer.

O God, we pray in response to this Psalm that we studied over the past three weeks, we pray individually and collectively, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer." Jesus, we give you all the praise for you are the ultimate Redeemer. You are the one who redeemed us with your own precious blood. To you we give all the glory, all of the praise, all of the thanks and we offer ourselves to you until you would call us home. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

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