Summary: Hope (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Psalm 13.
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?”
• “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)
• 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?”
• 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.
• 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 "
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;