SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
50:1 A psalm by Asaph.
El, God, the Lord has spoken,
and summoned the earth to come from the east and west.
2 From Zion, the most beautiful of all places,
God has come in splendor.
3 “May our God come
and not be silent.”
Consuming fire goes ahead of him,
and all around him a storm rages.
4 He summons the heavens above,
as well as the earth, so that he might judge his people.
5 He says:
“Assemble my covenant people before me,
those who ratified a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
6 The heavens declare his fairness,
for God is judge. (Selah)
7 He says:
“Listen, my people. I am speaking!
Listen, Israel. I am accusing you.
I am God, your God!
8 I am not condemning you because of your sacrifices,
or because of your burnt sacrifices that you continually offer me.
9 I do not need to take a bull from your household
or goats from your sheepfolds.
10 For every wild animal in the forest belongs to me,
as well as the cattle that graze on a thousand hills.
11 I keep track of every bird in the hills,
and the insects of the field are mine.
12 Even if I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and all it contains belong to me.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls?
Do I drink the blood of goats?
14 Present to God a thank offering.
Repay your vows to the Most High.
15 Pray to me when you are in trouble.
I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
16 God says this to the evildoer:
“How can you declare my commands,
and talk about my covenant?
17 For you hate instruction
and reject my words.
18 When you see a thief, you join him;
you associate with men who are unfaithful to their wives.
19 You do damage with words,
and use your tongue to deceive.
20 You plot against your brother;
you slander your own brother.
21 When you did these things, I was silent,
so you thought I was exactly like you.
But now I will condemn you
and state my case against you.
22 Carefully consider this, you who reject God.
Otherwise I will rip you to shreds
and no one will be able to rescue you.
23 Whoever presents a thank offering honors me.
To whoever obeys my commands, I will reveal my power to deliver.”
51:1 For the music director, a psalm of David, written when Nathan the prophet confronted him after David’s affair with Bathsheba.
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love.
Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts.
2 Wash away my wrongdoing.
Cleanse me of my sin.
3 For I am aware of my rebellious acts;
I am forever conscious of my sin.
4 Against you—you above all—I have sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
So you are just when you confront me;
you are right when you condemn me.
5 Look, I was guilty of sin from birth,
a sinner the moment my mother conceived me.
6 Look, you desire integrity in the inner man;
you want me to possess wisdom.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be pure;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven.
May the bones you crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins.
Wipe away all my guilt.
10 Create for me a pure heart, O God.
Renew a resolute spirit within me.
11 Do not reject me.
Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me.
12 Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance.
Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey.
13 Then I will teach rebels your merciful ways,
and sinners will turn to you.
14 Rescue me from the guilt of murder, O God, the God who delivers me.
Then my tongue will shout for joy because of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, give me the words.
Then my mouth will praise you.
16 Certainly you do not want a sacrifice, or else I would offer it;
you do not desire a burnt sacrifice.
17 The sacrifice God desires is a humble spirit—
O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject.
18 Because you favor Zion, do what is good for her.
Fortify the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will accept the proper sacrifices, burnt sacrifices and whole offerings;
then bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.
52:1 For the music director, a well-written song by David. It was written when Doeg the Edomite went and informed Saul: “David has arrived at the home of Ahimelech.”
Why do you boast about your evil plans, O powerful man?
God’s loyal love protects me all day long.
2 Your tongue carries out your destructive plans;
it is as effective as a sharp razor, O deceiver.
3 You love evil more than good,
lies more than speaking the truth. (Selah)
4 You love to use all the words that destroy,
and the tongue that deceives.
5 Yet God will make you a permanent heap of ruins.
He will scoop you up and remove you from your home;
he will uproot you from the land of the living. (Selah)
6 When the godly see this, they will be filled with awe,
and will mock the evildoer, saying:
7 “Look, here is the man who would not make God his protector.
He trusted in his great wealth
and was confident about his plans to destroy others.”
8 But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God;
I continually trust in God’s loyal love.
9 I will continually thank you when you execute judgment;
I will rely on you, for your loyal followers know you are good.
53:1 For the music director, according to the machalath style; a well-written song by David.
Fools say to themselves, “There is no God.”
They sin and commit evil deeds;
none of them does what is right.
2 God looks down from heaven at the human race,
to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God.
3 Everyone rejects God;
they are all morally corrupt.
None of them does what is right,
not even one!
4 All those who behave wickedly do not understand—
those who devour my people as if they were eating bread
and do not call out to God.
5 They are absolutely terrified,
even by things that do not normally cause fear.
For God annihilates those who attack you.
You are able to humiliate them because God has rejected them.
6 I wish the deliverance of Israel would come from Zion!
When God restores the well-being of his people,
may Jacob rejoice,
may Israel be happy!
54:1 For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a well-written song by David. It was written when the Ziphites came and informed Saul: “David is hiding with us.”
O God, deliver me by your name.
Vindicate me by your power.
2 O God, listen to my prayer.
Pay attention to what I say.
3 For foreigners attack me;
ruthless men, who do not respect God, seek my life. (Selah)
4 Look, God is my deliverer.
The Lord is among those who support me.
5 May those who wait to ambush me be repaid for their evil.
As a demonstration of your faithfulness, destroy them.
6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you.
I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
7 Surely he rescues me from all trouble,
and I triumph over my enemies.
55:1 For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a well-written song by David.
Listen, O God, to my prayer.
Do not ignore my appeal for mercy.
2 Pay attention to me and answer me.
I am so upset and distressed, I am beside myself,
3 because of what the enemy says,
and because of how the wicked pressure me,
for they hurl trouble down upon me
and angrily attack me.
4 My heart beats violently within me;
the horrors of death overcome me.
5 Fear and panic overpower me;
terror overwhelms me.
6 I say, “I wish I had wings like a dove.
I would fly away and settle in a safe place.
7 Look, I will escape to a distant place;
I will stay in the wilderness. (Selah)
8 I will hurry off to a place that is safe
from the strong wind and the gale.”
9 Confuse them, O Lord.
Frustrate their plans.
For I see violence and conflict in the city.
10 Day and night they walk around on its walls,
while wickedness and destruction are within it.
11 Disaster is within it;
violence and deceit do not depart from its public square.
12 Indeed, it is not an enemy who insults me,
or else I could bear it;
it is not one who hates me who arrogantly taunts me,
or else I could hide from him.
13 But it is you, a man like me,
my close friend in whom I confided.
14 We would share personal thoughts with each other;
in God’s temple we would walk together among the crowd.
15 May death destroy them.
May they go down alive into Sheol.
For evil is in their dwelling place and in their midst.
16 As for me, I will call out to God,
and the Lord will deliver me.
17 During the evening, morning, and noontime
I will lament and moan,
and he will hear me.
18 He will rescue me and protect me from those who attack me,
even though they greatly outnumber me.
19 God, the one who has reigned as king from long ago,
will hear and humiliate them. (Selah)
They refuse to change,
and do not fear God.
20 He attacks his friends;
he breaks his solemn promises to them.
21 His words are as smooth as butter,
but he harbors animosity in his heart.
His words seem softer than oil,
but they are really like sharp swords.
22 Throw your burden upon the Lord,
and he will sustain you.
He will never allow the godly to be shaken.
23 But you, O God, will bring them down to the deep Pit.
Violent and deceitful people will not live even half a normal life-span.
But as for me, I trust in you.