Summary: THE PAIN OF REPROACH CAN BREAK THE HEART OF THE RIGHTEOUS, BUT GOD CAN STILL DELIVER
THE PAIN OF REPROACH CAN BREAK THE HEART OF THE
RIGHTEOUS, BUT GOD CAN STILL DELIVER
Certainly David experienced the pain of much unjustified persecution; but this psalm has clear Messianic implications throughout (with the exception of v.5 which acknowledges some wrongdoing on David’s part -- even though it is wrongdoing that does not justify these attacks)
I. (:1-4) WAITING FOR GOD TO DELIVER CAN SEEM HOPELESS
A. (:1-2) Drowning Seems Inevitable
"waters have threatened my life"
"I have sunk in deep mire and there is no foothold"
"I have come into deep waters and a flood overflows me"
B. (:3) Cries for Help Have Gone Unanswered
"I am weary with my crying"
"my throat is parched"
"My eyes fail while I wait for my God"
C. (:4) My Attackers are Numerous, Powerful, and Unprovoked
1. My attackers are numerous
"more than the hairs of my head"
2. My attackers are powerful
3. My attackers are unprovoked
"those who hate me without a cause"
"what I did not steal ..."
II. (:5-12) REPROACH AND ALIENATION ARE BYPRODUCTS OF ZEAL FOR GOD’S GLORY
A. (:5-6) Humble Desire not to Dishonor God
1. Recognition of Personal Wrongdoing
God is aware of my folly
but my wrongdoing does not justify this persecution
2. Request not to be a stumblingblock to the godly
B. (:7-9) Reproach and Alienation come from following hard after God
1. Following hard after God:
a. Seeking God’s Glory
"for Thy sake I have borne reproach"
b. Passionate Service (no lukewarm approach here)."zeal for Thy house has consumed me"
(But make sure it is truly zeal for God’s glory and not
reproach because of our zeal for ourselves)
2. Reproach and Alienation
a. Reproach and Dishonor
b. Alienation from my brothers
C. (:10-12) Examples of Reproach and Alienation
1. Reproach and Alienation because of my efforts to humble myself before God
"wept in my soul with fasting"
"made sackcloth my clothing"
2. Reproach and alienation from Elders and respected leaders
(those "who sit in the gate")
3. Reproach and alienation from drunken bums
("I am the song of the drunkards")
III. (:13-19) PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE
A. Submission to God’s Timing
"at an acceptable time" (:13)
B. Appeal to God’s Lovingkindness and Compassion (:13b,16)
C. Tone of Desperation = a man about to drown (:14-15)
D. Tone of Urgency ("answer me quickly") (:17)
E. Appeal to God’s Honor (:18-19)
my dishonor and reproach must be reversed or God will be dishonored by my enemies
IV. (:20-21) THE PAIN OF REPROACH CAN BREAK THE HEART OF THE RIGHTEOUS SO THAT NO MAN CAN PROVIDE COMFORT
No sympathy or comfort
Just gall for my food and vinegar for my thirst
V. (:22-28) PLEA FOR GOD’S WRATH
A. (:22) Turn the Tables on Their Prosperity
"may their table before them become a snare"
"when they are in peace, may it become a trap"
B. (:23) Smite them Physically
"may their eyes grow dim so that they cannot see"
"And make their loins shake continually"
C. (:24) Pour out Your Wrath."Thine indignation"
"Thy burning anger"
D. (:25) Wipe them from the face of the earth
"May their camp be desolate"
"May none dwell in their tents"
E. (:26) They have tried to exploit God’s discipline of His children
"they have persecuted him whom Thou Thyself hast smitten"
"they tell of the pain of those whom Thou hast wounded"
F. (:27-28) Wipe them out from the book of life
"may they not come into Thy righteousness"
"May they be blotted out of the book of life"
VI. (:29-36) PRAISE FOR DELIVERANCE
(vs. 29 repeats the Prayer for Deliverance)
A. Praise has more Potential than Sacrifice to Revive the Hearts of the Needy
B. Universal Praise befits the ultimate Restoration of Zion
* * * * * * * * * *
1) How can we avoid the panic associated with drowning? Look at all the references to water and to drowning. How can remaining steadfast in such times demonstrate to others that you are not derailed by “fear of men”?
2) Meditate on the Messianic references (cf. vs. 9). How extreme must have been the pain of the reproach He bore for us (cf. vv.20-21)? How do reproach and slander
connect us with the suffering of Christ? Study the verses on persecution in the NT.
3) Remember times when we have tasted the greatness (vs. 13) and the goodness (vs. 16) of the Lord’s lovingkindness and compassion. How can we draw strength and comfort from those experiences?
4) What types of praise and sacrifice please the Lord in a special way? (cf. vv. 30-34).
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