Theme: The Ground for Our Appeal to God
In this week’s lessons, we see the stark reality of evil, even in our own hearts, and that God protects and preserves those who come to him through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Scripture: Psalm 140:1-13
So what do we do when we are surrounded by “people of the lie,” above all when we find so much of their terrible evil in ourselves? The answer is to do what David did. We turn to God as the only one who can deliver us both from others and ourselves; we place our needs before him and then praise him for the deliverance he gives.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon had a sermon on the second half of this psalm, beginning with verse 6, in which he traced a rising note of confidence in David as he did what I have described. His sermon had five points based on five important things David says. First, “You are my God” (v. 6). Spurgeon called this a possession asserted. Second, “Hear, O LORD, my cry for mercy” (v. 6). He called this a petition presented. Third, “O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle” (v. 7). Here is a preservation experienced. Fourth, “I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy” (v. 12). Spurgeon called this a protection expected. Fifth, “Surely the righteous will praise your name and the upright will live before you” (v. 13). This is praise predicted.1 It will be helpful to follow Spurgeon’s outline.
1. Possession: “You are my God” (v. 6). The ground for David’s appeal to God is his relationship to God. God is his God, and this one true God, Jehovah, is his hope.
“You are my God!” Those are simple words, all of one syllable. But we should not take them for granted since, when we think about it, nothing is more amazing than that God should be ours. It is not amazing that we should be his. Everything is his, even the cattle on a thousand hills. Everything is God’s because God made it. But that God should belong to us, that truly is amazing. Even more, it is something we would not dare to claim were it not for the fact that God has solemnly affirmed that he has given himself to his people. “I will be their God,” God said to Abraham in regard to his descendants (Gen. 17:8). “I will be your God,” God said to Moses on the brink of the Exodus from Egypt (Exod. 6:7). And afterwards, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exod. 20:2). The words “I am the LORD your God” occur twenty-two times in Leviticus, and again and again throughout the Old Testament. In the New Testament we read of Thomas who fell at Jesus’ feet, exclaiming, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). It is the climax of John’s gospel.
So let me make this first statement personal. Is Jehovah, the God of the Bible, your God? Has he become your God through faith in Jesus Christ? And can you say, “You are my God” to God, as David does? It is one thing to say that to the minister. It may even be easy to say it to some friend as a pious profession. But can you say it to God? That is the acid test of your profession. God will know whether it is a true confession or not. Remember how in the preceding psalm David claimed that God knew him thoroughly—his thoughts, his ways and his words. You cannot fool God. So the proof of your profession is whether you can address God directly and say, “You are my God.” There is peace and joy for those who can truly say it.
1Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “David’s Five-Stringed Harp” in Sermons on the Psalms, ed. Chas. T. Cook (Edinburgh: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1960), pp. 221-231.
What does David do when surrounded by “people of the lie”? On what grounds does he appeal to God?
What is Spurgeon’s first point on verse 6? What is amazing about this?
Prayer: Praise God for the deliverance he gives.
Application: Evaluate your circle of friends and acquaintances. Are there any who try to tear down your faith? How can you answer them that both glorifies God and seeks to plant a seed for them to think about?
Key Point: The proof of your profession is whether you can address God directly and say, “You are my God.” There is peace and joy for those who can truly say it.