Wednesday, December 5, 2007

2007-12-05 Seek Help Where It Can Be Found - Psalm 20.mp3

Seek Help Where It Can Be Found

Psalm 20
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Rulers Need Spiritual Support

A. Believers can bless those in authority by asking God to hear in difficult times; David sought prayer partners to defend the nation. “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;” (Psalm 20:1) “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

1. Christ, our King, sought such support from the Apostles on the night of the betrayal and then turned in prayer to the Father. “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:38-39)

2. God is the defense of those who trust in Him. “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (Psalm 18:2)

B. Help from God’s house is better than any other kind. “Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;” (Psalm 20:2)

1. Solomon taught the people to turn to God for help in the face of trouble. “If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the LORD toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house that I have built for thy name: Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.” (1 Kings 8:44-45)

2. Believers know that their protection is God’s concern; if God is with people, their enemies are defeated from the start. “For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.” (Isaiah 50:7-9) “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

C. It helps to be on good terms with God before approaching Him. “Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.” (Psalm 20:3)

1. God dramatically accepted Israel’s sacrifice when the nation began. “And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.” (Leviticus 9:24)

2. In the revival under Elijah, God also vividly consumed the sacrifice. “Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” (1 Kings 18:38)

D. Believers can count on getting what they want from God when they have submitted their wills to God. “Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfill all thy counsel.” (Psalm 20:4)

II. Help Against Disaster Comes from Heaven

A. As long as Jesus remains High King, believers can expect to prevail. “We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfill all thy petitions.” (Psalm 20:5)

B. Prayer has a way of encouraging confidence. “Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.” (Psalm 20:6)

III. Acknowledge God’s Sovereignty in Prayer

A. Christian confidence contrasts starkly with what assures the dying world. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7)

B. Earthly hope leads to despair and destruction; righteous hope overcomes. “They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.” (Psalm 20:8)

C. The final victory has already been announced in heaven. “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.” (Psalm 2:6-10)

D. The end result is always in God’s hands. “Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.” (Psalm 20:9) “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:” (Isaiah 55:6-10)

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