Sermons

Summary: 1) The Confidence in Meditation (Psalm 4:1–3), 2) The Calling for Meditation (Psalm 4:4–5), 3) The Confession in Meditation (Psalm 4:6–8)

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Researchers have determined that we produce up to 50,000 thoughts a day and 70% to 80% of those are negative. This translates into 40,000 negative thoughts a day that need managing and filtering — no small task for any person. Even the most confident individuals fall prey to negative, judgmental, irrational, fear-based thoughts that challenge their actions and poke holes in their plans. People have developed coping mechanisms to prevent giving up or breaking down. (http://business.financialpost.com/2013/10/16/three-techniques-to-manage-40000-negative-thoughts)

Overstressed people are increasingly turning to various forms of Eastern meditation, particularly yoga, in search of relaxation and spirituality. Underlying these meditative practices, however, is a worldview in conflict with biblical spirituality.

Many Eastern religions teach that the source of salvation is found within, and that the fundamental human problem is not sin against a holy God but ignorance of our true condition. These worldviews advocate meditation and "higher forms of consciousness" as a way to discover a secret inner divinity (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/november/10.78.html).

Biblical meditation is an act of calling to mind some supposition, pondering upon it, and correlating it to one’s own life. The meditation of a righteous person contemplates God or His great spiritual truths (Pss. 63:6; 77:12; 119:15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 97, 148; 143:5). Meditation is the repetitious going over of a matter in one’s mind because it is the chief concern of life. The constant recollection of God’s past deeds by the hearing of Scripture and repetition of thought produce confidence in God (Pss. 63:6–8; 104:34; 119:15, 23, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148; 143:5). Through it they commune with God and are thereby renewed spiritually (Matthews, L. (2003). Meditation. In (C. Brand, C. Draper, A. England, S. Bond, E. R. Clendenen, & T. C. Butler, Eds.)Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.).

In Psalm 4, the Psalmist David is besieged with suffering, injustice, and oppression. Additionally, Ps. 4 also exhibits the changing attitudes of the worshiper in his most difficult circumstances. David’s movement will be from anxiety to assurance, as he travels down the road of prayer, meditation and trust in God. At the end of yet another day of pressure, pain, and persecution, David engages in 3 conversations which ultimately lead to a point of blessed relaxation (MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed., p. 745). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.)

These three conversations express:

1) The Confidence in Meditation (Psalm 4:1–3), 2) The Calling for Meditation (Psalm 4:4–5), 3) The Confession in Meditation (Psalm 4:6–8)

1) The Confidence in Meditation (Psalm 4:1–3)

Psalm 4:1-3 [4:1]Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! [2]O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? [3]But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.


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