Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Praising Him! 2/03/2013
Grace, mercy and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, now and always, Amen.

Let us prayerfully begin our meditation with a few questions. How well do I/you know someone? How do you/I get to know someone? Our father, our mother, our brother, our sister, our uncle, our aunt, our husband, our wife, our grandparent, a friend? What are the factors that affect "getting to know them?"

There are two things that affect this growth of knowing someone: The first is that there is time spent together in meaningful conversation, listening to them share with us and the second would be directly related as to how much , or how deeply they shared with us, which depends upon the trust level between the two people.

A human relationship grows directly upon the amount of quality, meaningful conversation that is shared between two people. It involves listening and speaking....When listening to someone else share it is important to give undivided attention to the other, and often it is very helpful to both parties when the listener repeats back to the speaker what was said. This allows both to stay on the same page, so to speak. But not only that, it binds the two together as the one speaking is assured that the listener is interested, engaged and connected in the conversation. It can be called mutual conversation and is needed in order to build any relationship.

But how about our relationship with God, with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit? Is it different? Well, let us take a look at our sermon text for today and see how David worked on his relationship with His Lord. Do these same principles work as we described above work to nurture, grow and continue our relationship with our God and our Lord? Let us see, but first a little introduction.

The 71st Psalm was written by King David when he was in the twilight years of his life. He writes of his trust in the Lord, and then asks the Lord to continue to be his shelter in the storms of life. In this psalm, the aged man looks back as he remembers that God was with him even from his mother's womb, was with him in his youth and now when he is old, he asks that the Lord would yet be with him to the end. David praises God continually (v 6) and then writes that because of his hope in the Lord, he praises Him more and more (v 14).

Our sermon text is from this 71st Psalm and along with the reading from 1 Chronicles 19, we are given insight into the mind and heart of David. Even though he was not allowed by God to build the temple, he provided leadership in offering materials that were needed for its building, recognizing that all that he had was actually God's and therefore he willingly gave that which he had been blessed with by the Lord. It was his knowledge of who the Lord was that motivated him to show his people that he was giving out of a thankful and abundant heart of praise.

This psalm provides direction to the young, encouragement to the middle aged and assurance to those who are in their later years, such as David was at the time he wrote this psalm. May we learn through the experience of his life which was lived in trust and commitment toward the Lord. How did he foster his relationship with his Lord and his God?

Let us now read in parts the 71st Psalm, recognizing that it was written by David as a unique person in the Old Testament who lived in knowledge of the promise of Jesus Christ in the future. He did not know the things about Jesus that we know today in our time, but he did know of the Messiah (Christ) to come. So when we hear God speak in this Psalm we need to understand it in light of the revelation that has come to us through the New Testament.

This Psalm is not designed to be a sermon so much as a prayer. We are like listening into a very intimate conversation between a human like us and the Almighty Creator, Savior and Sanctifier. It is important for our lives today that we approach it in this way, for in doing so we will be carrying on an conversation with Someone who certainly wants for us to get to know Him better day by day. He wants us to grow together in our relationshihp with Him. So, may the Holy Spirit descend upon us now and draw us toward our Savior and away from ourselves.....Lord, we look to you.......Let us enter into a place of holy communion as we repeat back to our God those things He has revealed to us previously as well as that which we hear Him say today.(Please understand that in order to illustrate what I have written above this will end up being like a teaching)

Let us hear what God has said, repeat back to Him of His promises, and then in our cries of help, refer back to that which He has said He is, what He has done for us in Christ and what He will do in us. We begin.....

KJV Psalm 71:1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.
2 Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.
3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.
4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

Note: The word righteousness can be understood as rightness.

5 For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.
6 By thee have I been holden (leaned upon God) up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's (womb) bowels: my praise (adoration) shall be continually of thee.
7 I am as a wonder (sign, display of God's power) unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.
8 Let my mouth be filled with thy praise (adoration) and with thy honour (splendor) all the day.

He remembers our Lord's past provision, even from his youth, to his mother's womb ,as we do also. He was a king, but he gave glory to God for that high office, repeating back to God that which was true. In this humility he praised the Giver of all things. He praises God with his mouth, which he says is filled with praise. He lived a life of praise from his mothers' womb.....................

9 Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.
10 For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together, {lay...: Heb. watch, or, observe}
11 Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.
12 O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.
13 Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt.

In his old age, in the weakness of strength that comes with the older years, he again cries out to God in dependence, recognizing that when he is weak his enemies want nothing more than to separate him from his God, through all kinds of devilish means. Again, in dependence and trust, he calls out to His God, our God, His Lord, our Lord. He speaks back to God of that which He has said will happen to those who resist Him. It is not as if David is taking care of this matter, but rather he is in a sense repeating back to God of that which God already says He will do to those who are against Him.

14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.
15 My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.
16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.
17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.

He again turns back to hope, which is an expectant hope based on the promises of God, which causes him to praise more and more. Is he speaking of increasing reason to praise or is he referring to more time in praise? Either way it is good, for sure. His mouth is filled with speaking of those things that God has done for Him to the point that they cannot be numbered. He goes in the Lord's strength and not his own. He speaks of the righteousness of the Lord and not of his own, recognizing that from his youth he has been taught of the Lord. He is remembering of his earlier years in fellowship with the Lord through times in the house of the Lord, through time in fellowship with his family and now he repeats in thankfulness back to God of how he has been blessed by Him. He is remembering and speaking back to Him, for he has heard, has comprehended and it is clear from what David says that he heard that which the Lord spoke to him.

In verse 18, we see David again drawing on the checkbook of the Lord's promises, a bank account of help and blessing which can never be overdrawn. He now advances his thoughts to move from being delivered from confusion (1-4), from enemies (9-13) to having strength enough to speak to the current generation and even to the next one of the strength of the Lord. Wow, this is amazing. He not only is praising the Lord with his mouth continually, he is not only praising Him more and more, but now He is wanting this praise to come from the mouths of those who are coming after him. It is apparent that the joy of the Lord within the heart of David is increasing........as we shall see, it is going to burst forth into his prayer of praise....

19 Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!

By faith David is laying hold of the ways of God, the Most High God, who has done great things in redeeming sin cursed mankind....He bursts out with this statement: O God, who is like unto thee! It is not a question, but it is a statement of praise, adoration, and thanksgiving......We see similar situations in the New Testament, in the life of Apostle Paul, who was a recipient of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and at times he was overwhelmed by the mercy of God toward him/us....

Romans 11;32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

20 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
21 Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.
22 I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. {the psaltery: Heb. the instrument of psaltery}
23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
24 My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.

We then see David recount of how some of his darkest hours in life were passed through as the Lord revived him again out of the valleys that he was allowed to pass through. David could see the light at the end of the tunnel in his relationship with His Lord, recognizing that even though he could not understand the hand of the Lord on his life, he very well understood the heart of the Lord toward him. He knew that his greatness was not in himself, but in the power and the strength of the Lord, who would always comfort him on every side. Again, we see how David is repeating back to God of the promises that God has made from His mouth.

David was full of praise on the inside because of that which God had done for him, he praised him with the harp and with his voice and the reason is given at the end of verse 23: My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. (ransomed, rescued)
24 My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.

David does not leave it uncertain as to why he is full of praise, of why he cries out "Who is like unto thee, O Lord!" His soul has been redeemed. By faith he was able to see the redemption that was shadowed in the sacrifices of lambs and goats that had been a part of his entire life. By faith he was able to believe that the righteousness of God was accomplished through the coming Messiah, in that the rightness that God required out of humans could not be accomplished through any other means but through the obedience of His Son Jesus Christ as the ransom for the sins of the world.

He also could see that all those who oppose God and his true followers would come to naught, so consequently there was no fear of them. For they are only able to kill the body and not the soul. He recognized that those who sided with God would be attacked, discredited, opposed and even killed. It is the same today, that when the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus is preached that those who oppose it will go to all means in order to silence those who speak of this Righteousness.

May the Lord bless our meditations as we enter into holy communion with Him, first of all listening to Him, repeating back to Him of what we hear and then living our lives in obedience to that which He speaks to us.

May we learn to pray not only the psalms, but all of the Scriptures so that we will hear what He says, repeat back to Him what He says and in so doing be assured, encourged, and guided on our way through this world which is passing away.

19 Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!

What praise song am I singing to the Lord today? What song are you singing to Him today? I leave this song with us, one that in thinking of David's life he could have sung based on his knowledge of his Lord and his God. Our Lord and our God........

Mercies Anew (Sovereign Grace Music)

Every morning that breaks
There are mercies anew
Every breath that I take
Is your faithfulness proved
And at the end of each day
When my labors are through
I will sing of Your mercies anew

When I’ve fallen and strayed
There were mercies anew
For you sought me in love
And my heart you pursued
In the face of my sin
Lord, You never withdrew
So I sing of Your mercies anew

And Your mercies, they will never end
For ten thousand years they’ll remain
And when this world’s beauty has passed away
Your mercies will be unchanged

And when the storms swirl and rage
There are mercies anew
In affliction and pain
You will carry me through
And at the end of my days
When Your throne fills my view
I will sing of Your mercies anew
I will sing of Your mercies anew

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 03 Feb 2013 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns