Summary: A talk about the true character and love of God for His people.
Text: Psalm 36, Title: Under Attack, Date/Place: NRBC, 3.11.12, AM
A. Opening illustration: the attack last week
B. Background to passage: What the first line of the title leaves out is “against me.” Demonstrated by the last three verses, the “wicked” in this psalm are people that are coming against David, the Servant of the Lord. And David provides us an example of what to do when we are attacked directly or indirectly. We all have times when we feel attacked: at work, in the home, from those in the church, or those in the community. Our reactions differ from person to person, situation to situation. And our tendency is to worry, dwell upon them, focus on them, and thus reap the rewards of stress in our lives. All the while, the God of grace stands awaiting with His reserviors of love, grace, mercy, and satisfaction, waiting for us to reach out to Him. But reaching out to Him is not normall our first reaction.
C. Main thought: when under attack, we turn to Him
A. The Foundation of God (v. 5-6)
1. Note the character and behavior of the wicked: loves himself and evil, hates you. But immediately after this description, he begins to exalt God’s attributes. He runs headlong into worship when confronted with attacks. In praise, he calls to mind God’s mercy (chesed). This word is translated mercy, lovingkindness, kindness, or tender mercies. David calls to mind that which God actively applies to relieve suffering, pain, guilt, hardship, etc. David also calls to mind the truth that God is always faithful. Not once has He every let anyone down! Neglect or failure can never rightly be charged to God’s account. Then David rejoices in God’s righteousness, His holiness, His wholy otherness, His perfections. No moral failures on His part; one never has to question His motivations or His methologies. He doesn’t have the capacity to err. And finally, David calls to mind God’s judgments, or actions among men. He reminds himself that God is completely just and right in everything that He does on the earth. He is sovereign, which we looked at last week.
2. Lam 3:22, Neh 9:31, Ps 145:8-9, 97:2, Isa 40:28, Rom 11:33
3. Illustration: “He never fails, nor forgets, nor falters, nor forfeits his word...to every word of threat or promise, prophecy or covenant, the Lord has exactly adhered, for he is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent.” –Spurgeon,
4. This is not natural to react like this. Natural is self-defense, anger, counter attack, self-justification, and the like. This is one of the reasons that it is such a testimony to Christ—it’s something that God does inside of us. Preach to yourself that everything He does is mingled with mercy. Know that God wants to show you kindness. Your mind, your culture, your false friends will lie to you and tell you that God is mad, or unkind, or is punishing you, but don’t buy it! The world, the flesh, and the devil will tell you that God has failed you, or will fail you. Don’t buy it. Isn’t it great to serve a Savior who is pure and perfect in every way? We never have to wonder if God’s motivations were good.
B. The Provision of God (v. 7-9)
1. There are six precious provisions God makes for those under attack. 1) Protection – under His wings. This picture of God is presented often in scripture. God always limits the scope of, the depth of, the pain of, the length of, and the width of any tribulation. 2) Satisfaction. Even under attack, God can keep you satisfied in Him. 3) Pleasure. God is said to have rivers of it that He will give to those under attack. This is not one of the things that you and I usually associate with God. 4) Sustenance and refreshment. The imagery here is that of a spring of freshwater in the desert. It was distinct from standing water, salt water, jarred water, or that caught in a cistern. It was the only water that cleansed from uncleanness. It was also probably alluding to the water of life in the garde of Eden. God has the ability to sustain you and fresh you while you are under attack. 6) Illumination. David says that as we gaze upon the Light of the World, we can see out of the darkness in which we are entrapped.
2. Neh 8:10, Psa 63:1-3, 42:1, 65:4, 118:14-15, 16:11, Isa 41:10, Matt 11:28
3. Illustration: Fearfighter, a kind of psychiatric computer, is one of two programs endorsed by Britain’s health advisory watchdog for people with panic attacks, mild depression, or phobias. People uncomfortable with getting advice from a computer can still choose to see therapists, but the option of logging on for help is now available — and will be paid for by the government-run National Health Service. Though it cannot prescribe medicine, the computerized treatment is possible because people with phobias, from fear of spiders to fear of heights, tend to get the same basic therapy. The program asks patients to identify the personal triggers that set off their panic attacks. They're told to be more observant of these red flags and to keep a diary of things they avoid because it makes them nervous. Then, the computer gives them homework. Words to It is Well With My Soul,