Sermon | Tension Point


Tension Point 

Psalm 139:1–24

Good Morning,
When I was being trained in preaching one of the things that my Pastor told me to try to avoid was reading long passages of Scripture. So I am going to start today by breaking that rule and reading all of Psalm 139. There is a reason for this that I will share afterward.
139 TO THE CHOIRMASTER. A PSALM OF DAVID.
O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. 
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. 
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. 
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! 
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 139:title–24). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Psalm 139 is a Psalm of Wisdom and Complaint
Psalm 139 is both Hymn and Lament
2 Main Parts
  1. Reflecting on God (Psalm 139:1-18) - Hymn
    1. God’s Knowledge (Psalm 139:1-6)
    2. God’s Presence (Psalm 139:7-12)
    3. God’s Care (Psalm 139:13-16)
  2. A Response to (Psalm 139:19-24) - Lament
    1. Rejection of everything that stands against God (Psalm 139:19-22)
    2. Trusting God to Search Know and Test(Psalm 139:23-24)

Who Am I

I am a story teller. I believe that everyone has a story to tell and that it is amazing. You might not believe it but that doesn’t make it true.
Let me tell you a story.
In the beginning God created EVERYTHING.
The heavens and the earth, the sun, moon,stars, and every created thing.
He did it all for His Glory and His Good Pleasure.
Everything Was Good.
Then sin entered into the world and for centuries there was victory, defeat, happiness, sadness, gain, and loss.
God was not deterred by any of this and in His appointed time He entered into His own Story.
Jesus lived a life worthy of God, honored Him, worshiped Him and performed miracles in His name.
The reward for this life well lived was death on a cross, a death that CHANGED EVERYTHING.
Freedom from sin had been FREELY given.
Who has access to this freedom? YOU AND ME!
You might be thinking, “NOT ME”. He doesn’t know what I have done. He doesn’t know the mess I have made,
my mistakes,
my shame,
my prejudices,
my hatred…
I am here to tell you that He DOES know…

God’s Knowledge

Who is this God that is mindful of me. He is God-Most-High andPsalm 139 gives us a glimpse what this means.
O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. - Psalm 139:1-6
The first 18 verses ofPsalm 139 reflects on who God is and this section is about His knowledge. The God of the universe, knows YOU.
He has searched you and has called to you.
He knows the movements of your day
He knows what you have said and will say
He loves you enough to set boundaries for you and to guide you

God’s Presence

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. - Psalm 139:7-12
There is nowhere that I can go to escape your presence.
God is everywhere. In both the highest and the lowest places.
Not only is He there but He is a guide and protector.
He knows the terrain and ALWAYS has the high ground.
Remember Him in those difficult moments.

God’s Care

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. - Psalm 139:13-16
Every hair on your head has been numbered. You are a product of His creativity and reflect His image.
Nothing about you has been hidden. He knows this present age and your place in it.
He is not surprised and has created YOU for such a time as this.

God’s Thoughts

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.
God’s ways are higher than mine. God’s thoughts are like diamonds, precious, valuable with a good ROI .

Am I For God or Not

This is where the turning point happens for me. I can understand why this section can often get rushed through. It is a stark departure from what has come before, or is it?
Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. - Psalm 139:19-22
Earlier I mentioned the advice from my former Pastor about not reading big blocks of scripture.
The reason that I started by sharing the whole scripture and then looking talking through it is because we needed to take a view of the whole scripture first. Without looking at the entirety ofPsalm 139 you could get caught up on the parts that we like and exclude what we don’t. Human nature tells us to chew the meat and spit out the bones but that should not be our way. We have to work through the parts of the Bible that we might want to shy away from.
Here we see the Psalmist call for the outright destruction of his enemies. However, are they really his enemies or are they the enemies of God? Can I love God while loving what God hates? The Psalmist is aligning himself with God by stressing that he is for God. His cry is a cry of commitment to the God he describes in the earlier verses.
This can be a stumbling block for all of us as we navigate life in the grays.
This is one of those places where we have to go to God in prayer for His wisdom. His word for the practical application. His people for counsel and fellowship.
One of the comforts that I have had as a believer is knowing that there will be conflict in my walk. I know that I will encounter opposition so when it happens I am prepared. Do you trust that God is so committed to his Glory and His Plan that He will bring it to a conclusion? Do you believe in the God of Psalm 139:7-12.
Do you really trust God?

Is God Enough

At the end of it all is this question, “Is God Enough”. IF nothing changes. Whatever IT is. IF it stays the same, is knowing God and being known by Him enough to live through your days? Is that “thorn in the flesh” going to drag you down into despair or will you find Joy in the shadow of his wings?
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! - Psalm 139:23-24
There is a song that my men’s group used to sing before every meeting.
Change my heart oh God
Make it ever true
Change my heart oh God
May I be like You
You are the potter I am the clay
Mold me and make me
This is what I pray
This is my prayer for all of us as we continue to navigate through this life. That we would trust God enough to let Him search us and know our hearts. That I want Him to seek out the broken places in all of us, to repair us and lead us in His ways.
Let’s Pray
1

Popular posts from this blog