Facing Fear Loving God
February 11, 2018
Speaker:
Passage: Psalm 34
Service Type:

Video: Sermon starts @ 28:00

CALL TO WORSHIP

PSALM 34

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2  My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.

3  Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

Generic … can be used “out of context” … like John 3.16

SERMON

PSALM 34

One of interesting things about this psalm is it is an acrostic psalm. Every verse starts with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Created this so he can memorize it.

  • V1 aleph
  • V2 bet
  • V3 gimmel

 

David starts the Psalm … first 3 sentences GOD IS GREAT!

The Story: THE MESS

Psa 34:1   [description] Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.

 

David pretended to be insane before Abimelech.

 

He acts insane. Like a madman. Begins to droll and dribble and saliva drips off his beard, scratches on the doors to the gate. Acting like stark raving madman.

Got himself into this situation and only way he can think to get out is to act like he has lost his mind. Maybe the king will have pity on him and it works.

Wonderful line … King of Gath:

1Sa 21:15  Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?"

Kicked out of Gath rather than be killed. He runs to a cave and he sits in the cave and writes this psalm. In that cave he looks at his fears and he looks at the things that have happened to him and he looks at those anxieties.

His Story: THE FEARS

Psa 34:4  I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

 

Fear can be over powering emotion. It is not rational. It did not make any sense to run to Gath. A lot of our fears are non-rational when we think about them.

Proverbs says it …. Anxiety in the heart of a person weighs us down.

Jesus said in Luke 8…. That the seed of God's word gets choked by life’s worries.

Luk 21:34  "But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.

“The silver lining in the cloud of fear pushes us to decide our reality.”

His Story: THE GLOW

Psa 34:5  Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

Something about trusting the Lord does something to the face.

 

That is what David is saying ….

I looked at Achish, and I acted like a mad man. I acted in sin and cowardice.

I looked at Saul, and I ran.

I looked at the Lord and my face was radiant.

So where are you looking in a time of fear.

 

When like Peter you begin to see HIM,

You will be afraid. Not of your enemies. You will be afraid of HIM.

Luk 5:8  But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."

You Fear God ….

Romans 3 Paul gives a brief summary of what’s wrong with the world.

 

But it all comes down to this.

Rom 3:18  "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

Direct quote from another Psalm of David, Ps 36.1

 

There is a famous Old Testament blessing the priests would give …. A wonderful blessing for God’s people. Ever heard it …

… the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you, the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

What do you do when someone smiles at you.

Your instinct, I hope is to smile back.

Are you in a mess? Scared to death?

Look to him and see his face is turned towards you …. He is the only one you need to fear. He loves you.

 

Psa 34:6  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.

Psa 34:7  The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

When you see that then the words of praise flow ….

Psa 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psa 34:2  My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.

Psa 34:3  Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

In v8 David starts preaching. It starts as TESTIMONIAL

 

TASTING AND SEEING Psa 34:8  Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

SEEING it in v12 Psa 34:12  What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?

DOING it in v14 Psa 34:14  Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

If we think of this as a KITCHEN review.

His Testimony: THE COOK IS BETTER THAN THE MEAL.

The Lord is the cook and the meal is what he does for us. He is more important and more wonderful than what He provides.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!

This was the great issue between God and Satan in the book of Job.

Job 1:9  Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for no reason?

Job 1:10  Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.

Job 1:11  But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face."

 

In other words, “Job only fears you and loves you because you have given him so many good things.” He was wrong about Job. When all his children were dead, and all his livestock was gone, here is what Job did:

Job 1:20  Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.

Job 1:21  And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."

But Satan would not give up his argument. “No, God, Job only loves you because you have given him health.”

Job 2:4  Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life.

Job 2:5  But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face."

He was wrong again. But you see what is going on in this book. Is God Job’s gold?

Is God himself, not his gifts, Job’s supreme treasure?

Does Job say with the psalmist in Psalm 63:3, “Your steadfast love is better than life”? Better than life, and all that this life has to give?

Does Job say with the prophet Habakkuk: Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17–18)

When there is no food! “Yet will I rejoice in God!”

Not food! God!

Job’s responses to all this were not perfect. But he never cursed God. He had to be rebuked for some of his words.

But there is no doubt what Satan aimed to destroy and what God aimed to exalt.

Namely, that God is our JOY. He is better and to be treasured and enjoyed above all his gifts, in prosperity and poverty, in health and disease, in life and death.

God is the ULTIMATE PERSON:

  • Rejoice in the Lord always. (Philippians 4:4)
  • Delight yourself in the Lord. (Psalm 37:4)
  • Be glad in the Lord. (Psalm 32:11)
  • In your presence there is fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11)
  • The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup. (Psalm 16:5)
  • As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalm 42:1–2)
  • I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. (Psalm 143:6)
  • We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:11)

God is better than what He gives!

God is utterly committed to being enjoyed forever by a redeemed people.

1Pe 3:18  For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, …

Jesus prayed, “This is eternal life, that they know you [Father], the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

The Testimony: THE FOOD IS GREAT!

Psa 34:9  Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!

FOOD IS GREAT

The Lord wants us to keep coming back to HIM.

V10 but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

BACK AGAIN TO KITCHEN ANALOGY

The Testimony: THIS COOK HAS CHANGED MY LIFE

Psa 34:10  The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Psa 34:11  Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

The Testimony: THIS COOK HAS CHANGED MY LIFE

And when you know Him more, you will love Him and more and that will change YOU!

When Jesus was asked,

“Which is the great commandment in the Law?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Matthew 22:35–38).

The great and first commandment is that we love God. That means we delight in God, that we enjoy God, that we find God to be our all-satisfying treasure.

Loving God is not first working for God.

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

He did not say loving me is keeping my commandments. He said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

Love is first. Commandment-keeping follows.

Doing is fruit. Loving is root.

 

Loving Him changes you. David mentions ways He was being changed and that you need to be changed.

Psa 34:13  Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

WATCH YOUR MOUTH

Psa 34:14  Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Reverence for God comes down to practical daily living.

David finishes with HIS SONG.

The Righteous Brothers (and Sisters)

 

The Song: THE RIGHTEOUS ARE SECURE

Psa 34:15  The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.

The righteous are not the goody goody people, the clinically correct people.

Righteous in the Bible are those living in fellowship with the living God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Contrast ….

Psa 34:16  The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

Psa 34:17  When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.

Psa 34:18  The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

The Song: THE RIGHTEOUS ARE NOT EXEMPT

Tells me we are not exempt from trouble. No promise we will never find ourselves in trouble no promise that Saul will not hate you and drive you out. No promise like that.

The promise is that the Lord is near to who?

 

Towards end …. He cares but he also preserves.

Psa 34:19  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, …

Any preacher tells you trust the Lord and it is guarantee you will be healthy wealthy, life will be easy …

Here is a promise of the Bible.

34.19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.

THE SONG: WE ARE SURE!

Psa 34:20  He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

 

Psa 34:21  Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

Psa 34:22  The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

 

Who does this refer.  will be fulfilled in Jesus.

Joh 19:32  So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him.

Joh 19:33  But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

Joh 19:36  For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken."

 

When they came to Jesus, had already breathed his last as he offered his life to his heavenly father.

Exo 12:46  It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones.

Joh 1:29  The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

1Co 5:7  …. . For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

God does not promise a life of ease; He promises a life of deliverance. Sin infects us. Our flesh rebels. Satan harasses us. The world tempts us. Death threatens us. Indeed, our afflictions are many, but the Lord in Christ delivers us from "all" of them.

So not a bone broken.

 

What happened to this particular righteous man, the son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ …. Because of what happened in those hours when his bones were not broken that you and I in every situation can be absolutely convinced of the goodness of God,

From this ….

Rom 8:28  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Rom 8:32  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

He has given us everything in Christ for us.

 

Ps 34 tells me 3 things.

1 God is responsive to my fears … when fear abounds, God super abounds.

2 God is gentle with our fears.

3 God is greater than our fears.

When we are most fearful God is most faithful.

Jesus still speaks

Mat 11:28  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Mat 11:29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Mat 11:30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."


 

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