A Nation Blessed By The Lord—Psalm 33:1-22

INTRODUCTION

 

Many Christians have a bittersweet feeling about our nation. On the one hand, we are happy to live in America. We delight in our freedom, especially our freedom to worship as we choose.

 

On the other hand, the last several decades has seen the decline of Christianity and morals in our land. We are saddened by the movement away from the Lord in America. 

 

Maybe you can relate to the experience of Gladys Aylward, a missionary from England to China. She was forced out of China in the 1950’s after the Communists expelled all missionaries. Thinking that she would stay in areas like Hong Kong and Taiwan to be near the people that she loved, she decided to return to England after attending a prayer meeting, where, she wrote, 

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Why It’s Foolish To Not Believe In God—Psalm 14:1

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Levi Durfey


INTRODUCTION

 

Let’s focus on just one-half of one verse—

 

Psalms 14:1a The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

 

What does it mean to be a fool? And why is a person a fool if they say that there is no God?

 

Throughout the scriptures, the fool is regarded mainly as someone who is not prudent, that is, they are reckless or uncaring in regards to learning and reproof. For example, “A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: But he that regardeth reproof is prudent” (Proverbs 15:5).

 

There are different Hebrew words that are translated fool in the Bible. The Hebrew word for “fool” (נָבָל) here in Psalm 14:1 is “Nabal.” It’s relatively rare, only used 18 times. This word for fool mainly has to do with a disregard for the consequences of a person’s actions (LTW). You may recognize Nabal as the name of the foolish husband of Abigail in 1 Samuel 25. He refused to help David and, as a consequence, ended up dying.

 

There’s much more we could talk about when it comes to fools in the Bible, but in short, the fool is a person who, while maybe smart and worldly wise, is nevertheless a person without understanding, who refuses to consider the spiritual reality of God. That is the key thing to understand with Psalm 14:1—the fool denies the existence and the importance of God.

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Be Confident In God — Psalm 46:1-11

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Levi Durfey 

 

Psalm 46 has become one of my “go to” psalms when I need to encourage myself or someone else to trust God in what seems to be an impossibly hard situation. 

 

This psalm was a victory song, which was sung after a battle that was won by the Lord. Although we don’t know for certain, the battle that it could be referring to is when the Assyrian King Sennacherib (suh NAK uh rib) had his army surround Jerusalem in 2 Kings 18-19. They taunted the Jews—are you really going to trust in king Hezekiah and his God?

 

So Hezekiah rent his clothes and put on sackcloth and prayed to the Lord:

 

19 Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only. (2 Kings 19:19)

 

Please note, for the benefit of your own prayers, that Hezekiah prayed for the Lord to save them for the Lord’s glory, not just to save his own skin. Is what you pray for something that would be for the Lord’s glory—or only for your selfish purposes? And the Lord answered Hezekiah’s prayer:

 

35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. (2 Kings 19:35)

 

A massive army was destroyed in a single night by the Lord. Jerusalem was saved; God had come through for His people.

 

This psalm encourages us to rely on the Lord as our refuge. It encourages us to have a radical confidence in God despite impossible odds. It encourages us to be confident in God’s help, in God’s presence, and in God Himself.

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Sermon: Giving Thanks To God In Adversity

 

9 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. 10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, And thy truth unto the clouds. 11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: Let thy glory be above all the earth. (Psalm 57:9–11)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

This Thanksgiving I wonder if some said, “I have nothing to be thankful for; the times are hard.” The interesting thing about that is that Thanksgiving Day is a day that originated in hard times.

 

Most people remember from grade school that the Mayflower Pilgrims in Plymouth, Mass. celebrated America’s first Thanksgiving in the autumn of 1621. They were thankful for a bountiful harvest.

 

But did you know that the previous winter, a few months earlier, half the colony died of exposure and disease? Consider how you would feel if half of us died this winter, of diseases that wasted people away or of being frostbitten and cold?

 

Or consider that, when Thanksgiving was made an official holiday by Abraham Lincoln, it was 1863. The United States was in the midst of the bloodiest war on American soil, the Civil War, a war that set brother against brother.

 

How could Lincoln and the Pilgrims be so thankful in times that were marked by trial and adversity? It was not because they had a confidence in the human spirit, but that they had a confidence in God.

 

How do I know that they had confidence in God? I know this because of what they wrote, for example, Abraham Lincoln in his Thanksgiving proclamation of 1863 wrote:

 

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things [the United States continued to operate and even grow in the midst of war]. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.  (William J. Federer, Great Quotations… [St. Louis, MO: AmeriSearch, 2001].)

 

The Pilgrims and Abraham Lincoln saw the love, faithfulness, and sovereignty of God in all times, and were thankful. So was another man, this one a king and writer of songs, David. One of those songs is Psalm 57. 

 

In this psalm, David first teaches us to…


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Sermon: Praise Him, Praise Him!

 

1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: Praise him in the heights. 2 Praise ye him, all his angels: Praise ye him, all his hosts. 3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: Praise him, all ye stars of light. 4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, And ye waters that be above the heavens. 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: For he commanded, and they were created. 6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: He hath made a decree which shall not pass. 7 Praise the LORD from the earth, Ye dragons, and all deeps: 8 Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; Stormy wind fulfilling his word: 9 Mountains, and all hills; Fruitful trees, and all cedars: 10 Beasts, and all cattle; Creeping things, and flying fowl: 11 Kings of the earth, and all people; Princes, and all judges of the earth: 12 Both young men, and maidens; Old men, and children: 13 Let them praise the name of the LORD: For his name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven. 14 He also exalteth the horn of his people, The praise of all his saints; Even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalm 148)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Psalm 148:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: Praise him in the heights.

 

What does it mean to praise the Lord?

 

The word “Praise” (halal) is used twelve times in this Psalm (the second-to-last “praise” in the psalm is a different Hebrew word). 

 

The entire phrase, “Praise ye the LORD” is, in Hebrew, halelû-yāh. Whenever you hear someone, even an unbeliever, saying, “Hallelujah,” they are literally saying, “Praise ye the LORD”!

 

What is praise? It is the act of glorifying God; of telling of his goodness and greatness. Praise is giving honor and worship to the One to whom honor and worship is due.

 

If a person pulled you from a burning car, you would naturally want to praise them. You might say, “Thank you, thank you…I can’t tell you how much what you did means to me!” You might give them presents. You would tell others about this person. In short, you would give them praise.

 

Does the Lord deserve our praise? Why? Do we need to praise him?

 

One way of seeing that the Lord deserves our praise is to notice what else in creation gives him praise and to see why they give him praise. So we should look at…


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Sermon: The Blessedness of Forgiveness

Psalm 32

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A Psalm of David, Maschil. 

 

1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no guile. 3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old Through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: My moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 

 

5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, And mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; And thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. 

 

6 For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: Surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. 7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. 

 

8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. 9 Be ye not as the horse, Or as the mule, which have no understanding: Whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, Lest they come near unto thee. 10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: But he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about. 11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: And shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. (Psalm 32)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Most people are aware of the shameful adultery committed by David with Bathsheba, how she became pregnant, and how he tried to deceive her husband into thinking the child was his own and how ultimately David arranged to the husband’s murder.

 

It’s all the more shocking because David was considered a man after God’s own heart. How could such a godly man do such sinful things?

 

What David did was wrong, but he knew where to come for forgiveness. Two of his psalms in the Bible, 32 and 51, are about the sin and guilt that he experienced as a result of his sin with Bathsheba. 

 

This is a true saying, those who, like David, have been forgiven much, understand and appreciate…


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