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Summary: Hope (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: Psalm 13.

Ill:

Years ago an S-4 submarine was rammed by a ship off the coast of Massachusetts.

• It sank immediately.

• The entire crew was trapped in a prison house of death.

• Every effort was made to rescue the crew;

• But all ultimately failed.

• Near the end of the ordeal, a deep sea diver, who was part of the rescue crew;

• Thought he heard tapping on the steel wall of the sunken sub.

• He placed his helmet up against the side of the vessel;

• And he realised it was Morse code.

• In his mind he spelled out the message that was being tapped from within.

• It was repeating the same question; “Is there any hope?”

Quote:

• “We can live forty days without food,

• Eight days without water,

• Four minutes without air,

• But only a few seconds without hope!”

Psalm 13 on first reading:

• May seem to be melancholy, it may seem to be depressing;

• But actually it is a Psalm of hope.

• The title of the Psalm tells us who wrote it;

• But no-one knows at what period of David’s life he wrote the Psalm in.

• We do know that it was written in a troubled and turbulent time:

• King David shows to us his honesty, his bravery and his realism!

Note: The outline:

• The Psalm has a simple but important outline;

• It breaks down into three parts.

• Verses 1-2:

• Express David’s feeling of abandonment.

• Verses 3-4 David prays;

• In which David asks God to turn his face towards him and answer his questions.

• Verses 5-6 David’s recovers his trust in God.

• He remembers that God was good to him in the past and he will be good to him again in the future.

The Psalm which is a song a poem has an important layout:

• It breaks down into three parts. That is three different stanzas.

• The first stanza has five lines.

• The second stanza has four lines.

• The third stanza has three lines (N.I.V. has broken last line into 4)

Ill:

• Think of the Psalm as a mountain.

• When it begins, in the 1st Stanza, David is at the lowest valley of his life.

• But in the 2nd Stanza,

• We see that David has begun to climb the mountain of faith before him.

• And in the 3rd Stanza, David has reached the top of the mountain;

• And he can look back and see how God was with him.

First Stanza--In the deepest valley (vs 1-2):

“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me for ever? How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”

Ill:

• Two aliens were visiting Earth to research the local customs.

• They split up so that they could learn more in the time allowed.

• When they met to share their knowledge,

• The first alien told of a religious ceremony it had seen.

• "I went to a large green field shaped like a meteorite crater.

• Around the edges, several thousand worshippers gathered.

• Then two priests walk to the centre of the field to a rectangular area;

• And hammer six spears into the ground, three at each end.

• Then eleven more priests walk out, clad in white robes.

• Then two high priests wielding clubs walk to the centre

• And one of the other priests starts throwing a red orb at the ones with the clubs."

• "Wow," replied the other alien,

• "What happens next?"

• "Then it begins to rain."

There are times in every believers experience when it rains – in fact it pours!

• If you have not experience those times;

• Be encouraged to know that you will! It called life in a fallen world!

• Non-Christians experiences life’s difficulties;

• And so do Christians.

Notice:

• In these first two verses David the psalmist is singing the blues;

• Maybe it ought to start; “Well I woke up this morning…”

• Trouble is for David this was more than a bad day;

• He was experiencing crushing circumstances and was in a prolonged period of deep depression.

• Quote: William Shakespeare (Hamlet Act IV - Scene V)

• "When sorrows come - they come not single spies - but in battalions "

Ill:

A plane carrying 55 passengers:

• Recently circled an airport in western Scotland for half an hour ;

• While an air traffic controller had his lunch.

• The officials at the airport on the island of Benbecula in the Western Isles of Scotland;

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