This is the sermon for Sunday morning, July 26th, 2009.
DON’T FRET PART 4
The Lord’s care.
This sermon series is also subtitled, “God’s answers to real life problems.”
Psalm 37:18-24 TNIV – 18 The blameless spend their days under the LORD’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever. 19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty. 20 But the wicked will perish: Though the LORD’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke. 21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; 22 those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed. 23 The LORD makes firm the steps of those who delight in him; 24 though they stumble, they will not fall, for the LORD upholds them with his hand.
We know for the believer, there will be difficult days ahead. We can deny this, not confess it, or speak against this truth…but it is true nonetheless.
But the Lord has not left His sheep out to suffer under the blazing sun of persecution, pain, sorrow, and suffering. He cares for His sheep – His children. He loves them.
In these verses we are going to look at this morning, David, the author of this Psalm, contrast the blameless with the wicked. In the middle of this contrast we are going to see that that those who follow after Christ will be blessed and have plenty, while those who refuse will be cursed and perish. In these two contrasts we will see the fact that as believers, we are under the Lord’s care, so therefore, we will not perish. Let’s begin.
An established fact: the Blameless are under the LORD’s care and therefore will have plenty during times of disaster and famine.
Psalm 37:18-24 TNIV – 18 The blameless spend their days under the LORD’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever. 19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
• The first question we must ask is: Who are the blameless?
Are the blameless the ones who live their lives sin and error free? And these those who follow the Lord from a completely pure heart, who either have never sinned, or will never sin again? Are these the one’s who have been born blameless and have lived their entire lives blameless?
Well, if all of these scenarios are the case, then all of us would be left out. None of us are blameless. We all have sinned, and made errors and transgressed God. Our hearts are not pure before God, but struggle daily with sin and righteousness. We may have been forgiven of our past sins, but sooner or later, we will sin again. None of us was born blameless or lived our entire lives blameless.
So on the surface it would seem rather hopeless wouldn’t it? Well, this is where the Gospel comes in.
• The blameless are those who have been washed and cleansed by Jesus Christ, no matter their past sins.
1 Peter 3:18 TNIV – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 TNIV – 9 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
• This passage states that, “We will spend our days under the Lord’s care.”
Other translations states that: “the Lord knows the days of the blameless.” This means that the Lord knows every difficulty, every dark circumstance, every depressing moment and horrible thought you might have. He is aware of these things. He is aware of what difficult times can do to believers. And He cares for them during these times.
How does the Lord prove that He cares?
• First off, the proof in His caring is our inheritance will endure forever.
Difficulties and horrible circumstances cannot tarnish or cause our inheritance we have to fade away and die. The believer’s inheritance is just as eternal as the God that so graciously saves us and gives us our inheritance.
1 Peter 1:3-5 TNIV – 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
• The next proof of God’s caring is the fact that in difficult times we will not wither away, but have more than enough.
This does not mean that we may have more material blessings than we need. It means that God will supply us supernaturally with more than what we need.
Even if all we sense is His assurance, that is more than enough to carry us through difficult times.
Another established fact: The wicked will perish.
Psalm 37:20 TNIV – 20 But the wicked will perish: Though the LORD’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
Flowers may look like they are flourishing, but throw some type of fuel on them, they will go up in a puff of smoke.
So it is with the wicked.
• Who are the wicked? The ones who do not believe in Christ, but themselves.
They may think they have more than enough to support them, but in a moment, like a vapor, all they have will be consumed because they do not have the strength of the Lord to support them.
Contrasting the wicked and the righteous.
Psalm 37:21-22 TNIV – 21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; 22 those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed.
Here we have a short contrast between the righteous and the wicked. In these two different contrasts we have evidences of who are the righteous and who are the wicked.
• The wicked take; the righteous give.
Verse 21 – The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.
The wicked take, take, and take and do not give back in return. They think that everyone owes them something, that life owes them something; the rich owes them something; even God owes them something.
The wicked don’t think it is fair that they are sinners because of the fall of Adam. I like what D. Martin Loyd Jones wrote in his commentary on Romans: “If you say to me, ‘Is it fair that the sin of Adam should be imputed to me?’ I will reply by asking, ‘Is it fair that the righteousness of Christ should be imputed to you?’”
The righteous on the other hand not only give to pay back, they give over and above without asking for repayment. They follow the example of Christ. They give even when the world hates them. This is more than just financial giving, which it is that as well. They give by loving their enemies, loving fellow believers, give in prayer, give in a gentle rebuke, give in some act of random kindness.
• The main contrast between the wicked and the righteous is how the Lord responds to them.
Verse 22 – Those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed.
Those the Lord has made righteous through His Son, Jesus Christ, He blesses; those He has not made righteous, He curses.
Do believers deserve God’s blessings? No, we deserve His cursings, but thanks be to God, we’ve been called out of our sins and made righteous through Christ Jesus.
Does the nonbeliever deserve God’s curse? Yes they do.
All of us are under His curse until we submit to the cross of Christ, remember that.
The best news in the world: When the blameless stumble, God Himself upholds them.
Psalm 37:23-24 TNIV – 23 The LORD makes firm the steps of those who delight in him; 24 though they stumble, they will not fall, for the LORD upholds them with his hand.
This truth is shown wonderfully in a song by Natalie Grant. Here are the lyrics: I will stumble…I will fall down…I will not be moved…I will make mistakes… I will face heartaches…but I will not be moved…on Christ the Solid Rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand…I will not be moved.
Who keeps us from falling and just lying trapped in the muck of our failures and sins – God Himself!
He makes firm our steps as we delight in Him. He upholds us with His hand.
We are blameless not because of our own ability to be blameless, but because Christ Jesus makes us blameless.
Have you fallen into some type of sin lately? Are you struggling with this fact this morning? Know that the Lord this morning is calling you back to Him. He is holding on tightly to you, not going to let go. Come to Him this morning, and feel His love, mercy, and grace restore you.
Maybe you are here and not a believer. Apart from Christ, you are wicked and under His curse. Turn from your sins and turn to God and ask Him to wash your sins away and save you. Ask Him to give you a new heart that He controls and fashions and makes.
If you are a believer and struggling in difficulties: know that God is on your side. He will not forsake you in your darkest hour of need. He is reaching out strengthening you this morning. Take courage and comfort in this truth.