Wednesday, May 7, 2008

God Takes Care of His People

1. Psalm 31

Dr. Edwin P. Elliott, Jr.

I. Sometimes Confidence Is All Believers Have

A. In whom do you put your trust; David placed his confidence in God his Savior. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.(Psalm 31:1)

B. God protects and leads His people because of Who He is. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy names sake lead me, and guide me.(Psalm 31:2-3)

C. Believers entrust themselves to God in the assurance that He can save them from their enemies just as He saved their souls from judgment. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.(Psalm 31:4-5)

D. Believers who trust in God place themselves in constant conflict with people who trust in the empty frauds of sin. I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.(Psalm 31:6)

E. Believers take comfort in Gods record of providential care for them. I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.(Psalm 31:7-8)

II. Believers Act on Confidence

A. God listens whether the problem originates with oppression or sin; God is merciful. Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.(Psalm 31:9-10)

B. A sense of uselessness can be painful and discouraging. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
(Psalm 31:11-12)

C. When all other directions seem closed, the time has arrived to turn to God earnestly. For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.(Psalm 31:13-15)

D. God can transform any situation; the world is judging Gods interest in people who trust in Him. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy merciessake. Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.(Psalm 31:16-18)

III. God Does All Things Well

A. God does great things for people who trust in Him. Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!(Psalm 31:19)

B. Gods ways arent always obvious but they are entirely effective. Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.(Psalm 31:20-21)

C. Believers sometimes say the wrong things, but God always does what is best. For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.(Psalm 31:22)

IV. Testify

A. God preserves His own; let the world know. O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.(Psalm 31:23) And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,(Deuteronomy 10:12)

B. Employ the resources God gives; live with holy boldness. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.(Psalm 31:24) Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.(Isaiah 35:3-4)

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