Summary: Exposition of Psalm 28:1-9 regarding David's plea that the righteous not be drug away to judgment with the wicked.
Text: Psalm 28:1-9, Title: No Collateral Damage, Date/Place: NRBC, 11/21/10, AM
A. Opening illustration: Sept 11, 2001 will go down in history…many “good Christian people” died.
B. Background to passage: David again writing, unknown situation, unknown time, but sharing his heart again before God. Seems like the scenario is that there are hypocrites, and two-faced gossips, or just plane ol’ evil men in the congregation; although sins like adultery, murder, idolatry are not mentioned. And David knows that God will exact justice at some point. And David, as king, prays for justice to be carried out, b/c in part he is responsible to see to it. But he knows there will likely be some innocent, godly people who will be carried off to captivity, or die in the plague, or starve in the famine. And so the main part of the plea is to spare the righteous being drug into punishment with the wicked.
C. Main thought: Five pleas as David sees the possibility of sharing the punishment of the wicked
A. Plea for God to Speak (v. 1-2)
1. Again, as in Ps 27, David cries out to God to answer him, but clearly, it is more urgent here. He compares not hearing from God, “silence” to those that go to hell. He says that he is no better than them if he doesn’t hear from God. He also bases his prayer on mercy. The holy sanctuary was the holy of holies where the mercy seat was, and the blood of the lamb was sprinkled b/t the cherubs. He acknowledges that the only reason that he can come before God is that he has been redeemed by a sacrifice and forgiven.
3. Illustration: drowning or fasting, personal testimony about God not hearing the prayers of sinners,
4. Are we desperate for the Word of God, for Him to speak to us? Do we dig into the Word of God, listen to preaching, read scripture-soaked books, labor in prayer until breakthrough comes? Do we act as though our spiritual life depended on it? Jesus taught us that it does. Now the only way that we can come in prayer and gain access to God is through the blood of Christ. Share the gospel
B. Plea for God to Spare (v. 3)
1. This is David’s main prayer. Really v. 3-5 deal with the wicked getting what they deserve, but here this is different, because he asks for God not to allow him to be drug down with the wicked. As king he knew that when the people get carried away in sin, God would correct the entire nation sooner or later. And so he prayed that not too many righteous (himself included) would be carried away in their judgment.
3. Illustration: national disasters, wars, and sickness are no respecter of persons, AND are allowed by God for the judgment of the wicked, and the purification and glorification of the righteous, think of Daniel as he suffered unjustly while in captivity, but God was exalted,
4. It’s OK for us to pray for deliverance from collateral damage to the saints. If this congregation gets caught up in sinful ways and patterns, and God corrects us heavily, there will be many of you who will bear some of the collective suffering who in essence weren’t a fault. Of course, all of us think we are in that number, but let me encourage you to think of yourself as needing correction in general. But there is also a greater purpose in it for us and the world if God doesn’t deliver. If the world sees you suffering unjustly, or suffering excessively or randomly; and you suffer well proclaiming Christ as your hope, portion, and strength, God as your avenger, forgiveness and peace as your motto, blessing instead of cursing those who are your oppressors; the world will see you Savior as most glorious, valuable, and sufficient.
C. Plea for God to Judge (v. 4-5)
1. Next David prays an imprecatory prayer: give the evil workers what they deserve. He is already plead guilty and claimed mercy. And these were those among the people of Israel, God’s covenant people, who were outwardly supportive while inwardly planning or wishing evil against others. Jesus had the harshest words for “believers” who were not acting as such—Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. He prayed for the salvation of unbelievers, but the judgment and correction of those among the congregation who sin. David is not enacting judgment, but deferring to God to do it. But also note why in v. 5-for evil deeds and disregard of the glory of Christ: not for personal anger, resentment, or injustice. Also remember that he is praying according to the character of God, and asking Him to do what He has said He would.