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Turn in your Bible to the 142nd Psalm. It sure has been a wonderful evening. I can’t think of many things that are more delightful than little lives as D. L. Moody used to always say: children have their whole life ahead of them and when we see the Lord work in adults, some of them have half or less of their lives left. But these little ones have their entire life ahead of them that they can invest for the Lord.
This evening we’re looking at our thirsting after God series and we’re going to look specifically—David’s confession to God during the most difficult time in his life—his cave experience. As I was speaking up in New York on of the people came up afterward— I was talking about our Devil, Demons and Dinosaurs series on the Flood and Creation and she said were there cave men? And I said yes there were and yes there still are. Of course there are very many Stone Age type peoples still living in remote parts of the world. There also were these cave drawing artists that hunted dinosaurs—probably concurrent with the time of Job because Job in the Bible saw the Ice Age— he talks about it in the book of Job— the glaciers, the mountains of ice and the dinosaurs. He describes these two types of dinosaurs but I’m not talking about—–we’re not doing a creation or flood seminar tonight. I’m talking about cave times of being in depression. And that’s why this message from Psalm 142 is so important. I would encourage you if you’re of the clan and tribe of Bible markers— I’m going to show you many little tips from this Psalm to circle and mark so that you can keep track of what we’re studying.
But tonight I ask you:
Have you ever felt prehistoric? Have you ever come to the place in your life where you have been reduced to grunts and groans? As one poet expressed it, “life must go on . . . I just can’t remember why”.
Cave times are when life reduces to a vicious swirl. It becomes getting up, going through the day and dropping into bed exhausted only to find we have fallen further behind than we were the day before.
Trapped in a cave David baby sat four hundred fellow fugitives. That’s his address in Psalm 142. From the cave of Adullam he looks up and discovers some great truths about God. The next time you’re in a cave time in life— So can we.
DAVID SINGS OF THIRSTING AND FINDING GOD WHEN HE WAS DISCOURAGED
Psalm 142 is the classic confession of David when he was a caveman, alone and depressed. God satisfied him completely as he discovered how great God truly is. Remember, a heart that thirsts for God will always be satisfied. That is the summary of the Life of David. What do we find as we examine the life of David? DAVID was always THIRSTING AFTER GOD. And this is THE SECRET OF A LIFE THAT IS SATISFIED AT ALL TIMES. IN THIS overview of the dark days in David’s life, we see how his thirst for God was satisfied and specifically learn from this 142nd Psalm how God can satisfy the thirsting of our heart.
Cave times often slide in right after our victories in life as David discovered. This period of time, this cave time, this time of depression was after “the hero” David toppled the #1 Villain of the hour (Goliath) and lived to tell about it (I Samuel 17).
David also was “Mr. Brave” who escaped an assassination attempt by Saul (I Samuel 19).
He was “Mr. Clever” David acted his way out of the presence of the dreadful commander of the Philistines (I Samuel 21).
David is a monumental person in history. Robinson in ISBE1 writes that David is the most gifted and versatile personage in Israelite history. Only Moses surpasses David in ethical greatness and general historical importance. Dean Stanley writes, there is no OT character to be compared to the complexity of David in the elements of passion, tenderness, generosity, and fierceness; David was a soldier, shepherd, poet, statesman, priest, prophet, king, the romantic friend, chivalrous leader, and the devoted father, all in one; only Jacob’s life comes near in the variety.
In our text we meet David running for his life, caring for his family and hosting all those 400 malcontents. And yet, in the midst of adversity, his cave life yields great discoveries about God. Let’s listen to David sing about them in Psalm 142. PLEASE STAND AS WE READ PSALM 142 I am going to read the superscription if your Bible has it. In the Hebrew manuscript the little italicized line right under “142” if you have an edition of the Bible that has that—that’s actually verse 1 in the Hebrew manuscript. The Jews and Hebrews have always held those superscriptions as being part of the text. The only question we have is whether it belongs to the bottom of the one before or the top of this one. This one is definite that it belongs with 142.
A Contemplation* of David. A Prayer when he was in the cave. I cry out to the LORD with my voice; With my voice to the LORD I make my supplication. 2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.
3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me. 4 Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.
5 I cried out to You, O LORD: I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. 6 Attend to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are stronger than I. 7 Bring my soul out of prison, That I may praise Your name; The righteous shall surround me, For You shall deal bountifully with me.”
Let’s bow before our bountiful Lord in prayer.
We ask You dear Father on this wondrous night at the end of a very full, very rewarding and encouraging and blessed day of being in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, we come before You, Lord of the Word, Lord of Your Church, Lord of Your saints and we say to You, O God in Heaven, in the name of Jesus, through Your precious and Holy Spirit; open our hearts to behold the truths of this passage. Open our wills to say yes that we will not retreat to the dust and not grovel in the dust and go through life pitying our selves and neglecting the great grace that You wish to offer us in those hard times, those dark times, those cave times of life. And I pray that tonight some of Your servants will make a conscious, willful choice to say yes to You. And when those cold icy fingers of discouragement and depression come into their lives that they will let that time, that cave time, be a time that they reach out and make great discoveries about You, O God. Surround us with Your blessing. Illumine us with Your Spirit. Help us to be conformed to the image of Christ through His Word we pray, in the name that is above every name, the name at which every knee shall bow, the name of Jesus we ask this, AMEN.
Will you look with me for a moment at verse 5? I want to show you what wonderful things we just read through and you might start marking and noting them. Did you note the powerful confessions of this caveman? In verse 5 he says:
“Lord of Refuge, You are my Portion” ( v.5), that would be a literal word for word rendering of those words. That’s a great discovery about God. Have you ever found Him the Lord of your refuge? Have you ever found Him to be the One that is your portion? Then verse 6:
“O Listening One, hear my cry and Rescue me (v.6) would be another more literal rendering of those words. Hebrew is a beautiful language. It’s very picturesque but he calls God the Listening One and he says You can hear my cry and you are the One who can come and rescue me. And then in verse 7:
My God who Provides the righteous to gather about me, You are Sufficient” (v. 7). That is the essence of David’s confession. Let’s see how he got to that great confession.
How’s your world? Caving in? Why not look out of your need and find the courage needed in the One David found sufficient! No matter how we live life we are going to come through cave in’s in our life when things aren’t the way we thought they should be. We can meet tonight through the Word of God someone who went through cave times ahead of us. He lived 3,000 years ago in the Middle East. His name is DAVID. He was a man who thirsted after God and God satisfied every desire of his heart.
DAVID WAS AMAZING
Humble in origins- he was the 8th born child in a shepherding family in Bethlehem.
Devout to His God- he was one who would meditate—looking at the stars and he saw the wonders of God in creation. He knew the wonder of God in his conscience and he also extolled the revelation of God in His Word.
Chosen as God’s man and from a small child, God put His hand upon him. He rested His Spirit upon him and David was
- Resolute to follow yet he was so
- Human to the point of great sin. He was
- Repentant to the point of great forgiveness- he was a seeker of God and
- Incomparable in worship—
as we have the greatest guide to worship in the Bible, the book of Psalms—73 of which David himself, under the inspiration of God’s Spirit penned and they’re recorded eternally settled in Heaven.
DAVID WAS CONSISTENT
He was after God’s own heart and I’d like to show you why and we aren’t going to get bogged down but turn back to 1 Samuel 17 and I kind of want to mark these and over the weeks of this series we will keep walking over these same passages and if you’d like to mark them——-and by the way a real joy——just two weeks ago when I was at the Quidnessett church where we ministered for 6 plus years I got done preaching——–I did what I had done just the week before here the Tabernacle and when I got all done one of the sweet ladies came up to me, her Bible open and she must be 80 years old now—-and her pen in hand and she looked at me and said you had never preached on that passage before. She said I have all of your sermons marked in my Bible and I looked at her and I though what a testimony to the Lord that an 80 year old woman gets out of bed and comes morning and night— pen in hand, Bible, bifocals and she kept going like this till she found where it was and she would mark in her Bible what we studied and she would go over and over it. She said I want to know the Lord. I hope that you will soon wear your Bible out marking it both in your adult Bible fellowships and worship services and in your personal studies. You know when you find someone whose Bible is falling apart— most often their life is not. You know this Book is so powerful if we just get in it and let the Spirit of God work on our hearts.
Look at: 1. I Samuel 17 – This is the David and Goliath chapter— this chapter tells us that because David had an UNCHANGEABLE CONCERN that God’s Name be honored. SO HE STANDS FOR HIM when no one else would. This is not the story of the Israelite army, the Philistine army— it’s not the story of a 10 foot tall giant— it’s not the story of a red-headed little boy with rocks and a sling and the fact he took 5 stones because Goliath had 4 brothers or 4 sons depending on how you take the Hebrew text—- it doesn’t matter, he had 4 relatives and David was not thinking if he missed once he’d have 4 more shots—- David was going after the whole family. He was going to wipe out all the giants not just one. He took
5 stones, he knew the Gath family and he was going to destroy them all. He had an unchangeable concern that God’s name be honored. That’s what the whole 17th chapter is about. You know what? God is looking for someone who— at school and who will at work and who will at home and in the community have a concern that God’s name be honored and they will stand up for God even if no one else will. Now I shared recently when I was back in Michigan— they know that I went to Michigan State and I’ll always remember the day in a class of 500 when the teacher made fun of the Bible and I just raised my hand and he called on me and I said the Bible is true, it is not mythology. Did you know I did not plan on saying that. You don’t go into the situation planning to defend God you just have an unchangeable concern that God’s name be honored and stand up for Him. And that’s what David did and 1 Samuel 17— if you want to distill down the chapter you can write: David’s unchangeable concern that God’s name be honored made him stand up for God even when he was the only one. Now turn to Psalm 59—the second major event in David’s life. 1 Samuel 17 is one of the first big events but Psalm 59 is the second event and this is when David was——–and if you want to note how we know this again the superscription as it’s called in Hebrew studies— of Psalm 59 if you have it in your Bible and if you don’t I would suggest that you find an edition that carries these superscriptions because they are part of the manuscript———this is what it says: To the Chief Musician. Set to *”Do Not Destroy.” –which is just a Hebrew word which is the word “el takesheth” which we’re not sure what “el takesheth” means—- it was a tune of some kind they used to sing these things— A Michtam of David when Saul sent men, and they watched the house in order to kill him. Have you ever studied these little things? These make the Psalms come alive because you can attach that to 1 Samuel and you can read the whole story— it’s astounding. But Psalm 59—this time when Saul sent men and they watched David’s house in order to kill him—- I mean it sounds like they’re living in the bad part of town with no security system and no gun and no bars in the window and you’re kind of afraid at night. That’s a great application for today.
But in 2. Psalm 59 – Because of an UNSHAKABLE TRUST that God was protecting him. And did you know that’s what we need to have? We need to have this trust that can’t be shaken that God is protecting us— that we are invulnerable. I have a friend who— when he travels— he speaks constantly travels all over the world. He regularly when he sits on the airplane will turn to the person next to him and say did you know this plane won’t go down because I’m on it and God’s not through with me and I’m going to live so you don’t have to worry. Boy does that provoke some conversations on the airplane. He has an unshakable trust that God is protecting him until his life’s work is done. Now I wouldn’t suggest that— I mean you should have an unshakable trust– I wouldn’t announce it on the airplane unless you want to. But David depended on God. Remember – his Saul, his father-in-law tried to kill him. And he had an unshakable trust in God. You know what that tells me? No body in your family, no body surrounding you , no body in your neighborhood, no body in your state should cause us to live in constant fear. And we’re going to spend a whole session on that so I’m not going to go into it too much tonight. Now turn back to:
3. Psalm 34 – a 4th major event in David’s life and if you want to look at that little superscription: A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed. Another big event in David’s life and David had an UNWAVERING HOPE that God was watching him- so what does he do? In verse 3: 3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, He said God, You’re watching everything I do. You know every thing. You know my uprising and my down sitting. You know my thoughts afar off. You know my words before they’re in my tongue. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. He says I know that You know that so I will magnify You and when we go through this Psalm at another time—22 times in the 34th Psalm in every verse he magnifies some facet of God. That is what God wants us to do and we are in times of difficulty when we are beyond our means and our strength and our ability and our capacity to handle the situation—God wants us instead of collapsing and falling apart and going into despair—he wants us to magnify Him. That’s why He brings us into those. It’s not like we’re careening down the road and God’s not too sure where we’re headed; He is charting our course, bringing us into those times when we are beyond our ability and means to deal with the situation so that we can have an unwavering hope and a knowledge that God is watching us and that he wants us to magnify Him. Did you know that there aren’t very many people magnifying God in this world right now? They’re magnifying their pleasures, their pursuits, passions and everything else but most people don’t magnify God. Most people don’t—as the Lord’s Prayer says: Our Father which art in Heaven, may Your name be hallowed— hallowed be Thy name. Lord, let Your kingdom come. What does that mean? Let Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven. What does that mean? Well how is God’s will done in Heaven? His kingdom, His will is done perfectly in Heaven. How does He want to have it in our lives? He wants us to totally obey Him. What we’re saying in the Lord’s prayer—-the Disciple’s Prayer, actually—- is God may You be magnified by my life. May I hallow and revere and magnify Thy name and may You run my life like you run Heaven. I yield to You. It’s a wonderful thing to magnify God. Not very many people do—it’s a lifelong pursuit. Now back to our text, Psalm 142 because I want to just go through this inch by inch with you. The 4th consistent moment in David’s life–
4. Finally in Psalm 142: David was a man after God’s own heart because he had this UNMISTAKABLE AWARENESS even when he was in the cave that God was hearing everything he said. Did you know that Solomon his son picked that up when he wrote Ecclesiastes? He said God is in Heaven and you’re on earth, let your words be few. Why? Because He’s listening, God’s listening– He takes what we say very, very, very seriously. He listens to those vows, he listens to those promises. I just met with a couple tonight that’s soon going to be married and I told them it’s a hallowed event. That’s why if you include the Lord’s Table in your marriage celebration you are hallowing the event that this is a spiritual covenant between you and God with people witnessing that you are affirming one man, one woman for life—self sacrificing and Christlike. He said I have this unmistakable awareness that God is hearing me and so I am going to call on Him and 7 times——and we’re going to see these and I’m going to let you underline them——–in this Psalm David calls on a facet of God’s character. That’s why Bible study is not picking up clever and cute trivia. Did you know that only builds pride? Knowledge puffs up. And some people just like to see if they know some little trivia you don’t know. That’s not what Bible study is about. I mean it’s neat if you want to know all that stuff but mostly it engenders pride. You know what Bible study is? It’s like dating somebody here on earth— you’re just trying to find out everything you can about them because you love them so much. You’re not counting how many stitches are in their tennis shoes, you’re watching them and loving them and adoring them and you’re growing in your appreciation of every facet of their life. That’s what God wants us to do with Him— that’s why He gives us earthly relationships. He wants us to know His character, to know His person, to know what God is like. He has revealed Himself through His names and titles and ascriptions. He has revealed Himself and so He wants us to call on Him.
Now how did David get in this fix?
FIRST OF ALL, DAVID SHOWS US CAVE TIMES USUALLY FOLLOW GREAT VICTORIES
Remember there was some great days and usually cave times are following great victories. I want to just in your mind let you look with David and see the cycle that he went through. David would go through times of exhilarating victory and then he would go through times of great, great discouragement and defeat and usually the times of great victory were followed by time of great defeat and there was a cycle in his life and David who toppled Goliath then went through the discouragement of Saul sending messengers to kill him and David who escaped that assassination and worked his way out went through the fear of being captured by the Philistines. And David who escaped from the Philistines went through the fear of being hunted by 3000 troops who found him and circled him and were ready to get him. David went through periods of cave times following his great victories and so in this passage David is running for his life from his father-in-law. He had just sent his family off to a far off land to be safe out of the country and he’s there with 400 it says in 1 Samuel 22—– 400 malcontents. How did he do? Well let’s start in verse 3 because the first thing that David went through in this Psalm as he went through a time of great distress.
• I Sam. 17 – David was “the hero” who toppled Israel plus God’s #1 Villain of the hour (Goliath) and lived to tell about it – I Sam. 17.
• 1 Samuel 19:11 Saul also sent messengers to David’s house to watch him and to kill him in the morning. And Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” David was “Mr. Brave” who escaped an assassination (by Saul) attempt and lived to tell it all – Ps. 59.
• I Sam. 21:10-15 – David was “Mr. Clever” who acted his way out of the presence of the commander of the dreadfully feared Philistine warriors in Achish – and lived to tell about it all – Ps. 34.
• Now, I Sam. 22:1-2 – Here’s David
• Running for his life • Caring for his family • Hosting all these malcontents
Starting in verse 3, I want to share with you that David had these associated symptoms of depression. That’s what always happens when we’re in cave times.
WHAT AN ASSIGNMENT! HOW DID HE DO? Well – If “cave times” usually FOLLOW TIMES OF GREAT VICTORIES. Then:
CAVE TIMES ARE USUALLY ACCOMPANIED BY GREAT DISTRESS v. 3-4
In the middle of great troubles there are usually some associated symptoms of depression.
1ST DAVID FELT OVERWHELMED IN SPIRIT (v.3a): When my spirit was overwhelmed within me- Now what does it mean to be overwhelmed in your spirit? Well sometimes in our world we say the “Roof is caving in!”; or others say, “Everything going wrong at once!”; or I hear some people say it “Always happens to me!”; or how about the classic- “Not now!”; you know when something happens we didn’t want or when the doctor or someone calls us and says- “I have some bad news” and immediately we go oh, my spirit’s overwhelmed. That’s the first symptom that these dark cave times are coming.
2ND DAVID THOUGHT HIS ADVERSARIES HAD HIDDEN A TRAP FOR ME (v.3b): Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk they have secretly set a snare for me. You know how that translates in our world we say- “They’re all after me”; or “I’ve been railroaded”; I’ve been “Framed”- you know everybody in the office is against me. Oh they had it in for me. The second danger sign is we think that people are out to get us and David said they’d hidden a trap for him.
3RD DAVID FEARED THAT NO ONE REGARDS ME (v.4a): 4 Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; You know I hear this all the time—I can tell people are headed for the dumps—they say “No one has called me”; have you ever heard that? I mean they’re talking to you on the phone. Why don’t they talk to you? You know I mean oh I feel sorry for myself or they say “I’m a nobody” people ignore me; “Poor me” everybody else has stuff and I don’t; or this is a classic one- “I’m all alone”. Do you know what God says? I will dwell with you. So when ever I meet with someone that tells me “I’m all alone” I tell them I have wonderful news for you—if you get saved you’ll never be alone again because God will move in with you. But one of the symptoms of depression is we fear that no one regards us and nobody’s calling us and nobody cares about us and we’re all alone.
4th NO ESCAPE FOR ME (v.4b): Refuge has failed me; -there’s no place to go is what he’s saying and I’ve heard people- they’re stuck in their career and they say I’m on a “One-way trip to nowhere”; or they get involved in an interview and the first thing the interviewer says is “You’re TOO old” for this position, you can’t even apply; or else they’ll say “I’m sorry but the qualifications for this position…” – and you obviously know there’s no escape, there’s no place for you to go. But then look at the end of verse 4:
Finally, NO ONE CARES FOR MY SOUL (v.4c) Nobody cares about me. You know what he was denying? The Person that cares more than anyone else, the Person that followed him all the days of his life, the One that gave His life for Him, the One that knows his downsitting and his uprising, his words before he speaks them, his thoughts afar off. The One who truly cares for him—the One who as a little boy he had said was his Shepherd who would only lead him into green pastures and who would restore his soul and the essence of depression is a denial of the One who wants to comfort us and that’s why it’s so dangerous to give in to the flesh.
Have you ever let THESE DEADENING THOUGHT CROSS YOUR MIND? The thoughts of adversaries after you and being overwhelmed and nobody cares about you and no escape. Those thoughts will bring gloom as fast as a storm front in a summer thunderstorm. But hold on – look at verse 5:
CAVE TIMES USUALLY ACCOMPLISH GREAT DISCOVERIES ABOUT GOD v. 5-7
Cave times are accompanied by terrible trials but the accomplish great discoveries about God. Now this is the heartbeat of what we’re going to see from David’s life. Why don’t you take a moment and mark these for someone else—you know that’s my favorite thing when people come to me and say you know I have a friend SIDE ONE ENDED HERE— SIDE TWO STARTED HERE: What do you think of it? Now I know that 99% are asking about themselves but what they’re trying to see is whether or not I’m going to jump all over the problem and slap them and cuff them because they’ll always put it off on that friend but if it sounds like something they’re going to like they finally say well it’s me, I just wonder what you thought about that? And so why don’t you mark this in your Bible for someone else who needs it someday and maybe for us when we hit the dust ourselves but verse 5 has two elements about the character of God. Look what he says: 5 I cried out to You, O LORD: I said, -and here is an example of learning something about the character of God: “You are my refuge, — now that is extolling—that’s a discovery about God—he said I have discovered You are my refuge,– now what is a refuge? I mean think about it—it’s a place we can go for protection—a place we escape to—a place we feel is secure—it could be when you were young—your parents arms. It could be when you’re a little bit older—going back to your folk’s home. It could be later on a place of security with your friends but it’s a place where we go where we know——– for some people it’s the neighborhood bar. Have you ever thought about that? People go there because it’s kind of a non-condemning place where people will listen and instead of grace being dispensed they dispense liquor and you know what? The Church should be very much like the neighborhood bar only we dispense grace by encouraging and we listen before we condemn. See that’s—–people need a refuge to go to and if you notice that Jesus only condemned the religious stuffed shirt hypocrites. He didn’t condemn those that were caught in all the different acts of sin. He said “go and sin no more”. He didn’t condemn them. They were guilty, they knew it and they had to repent but he only condemned religious hypocrisy and that’s what we should learn from but he said You are my refuge—I have discovered:
1. Thou art my REFUGE Psalm 142:5a FLEE TO YOUR REFUGE. Thou art my Refuge
2. Thou art my PORTION in the land of the living. Psalm 142:5b You know what a portion is? I have a lot of experience in this, I do it constantly, three times a day plus for several little bodies. You don’t give everybody the same amount. You know what they eat, what they like and you cut it up. Depending on how little they are you cut it up this way and if they’re even littler you grind it up and it’s mushy and gooey but it’s just their portion. You know what God says? He said I am your portion. He says I am everything you need, I am El Shaddia from the book of Job that word is most used in that book—the God who is enough. He says I want to be your portion, I want to be El Shaddia, I want to be the God who is enough. You say enough for what? Well what do you need? I’m not talking about a Lexus but what do you need to make it to glorify God? And God says I’m enough, I’m enough strength, I’m enough endurance, I’m enough grace, I’m enough power for you to mortify, I’m enough strength for you to flee that lust, I’m enough for you to as Joseph did— forget that hurt of the past and to forget it and to be fruitful in the future. God says I am your portion.
3. Thou art my LISTENER Attend to my cry– it’s amazing if you have a center column marginal note—mine says: ‘Give heed to my cry’ What he said is you are the one who listens to me. Have you ever found how hard it is for people to listen to you? There’s certain people in my life that they do not listen—they only talk. Have you ever met people like that? You come to them and you say I’d like to share with you and they just go off into their discussion and they never hear what you say and you can share your heart and they don’t even hear it and they’re just thinking about their stuff and they just talk right on. God says I’m not like that. He says I’m your listener. I listen to you. He says I never slumber nor sleep. He who watches over Israel never neither slumbers nor sleeps. He said what you say is so important to Me I keep all of your prayers. Remember we learned that in Revelation? God has a bowl and he captures all of our prayers an He never loses one of them. God is our listener. Psalm 142:6 SPEAK TO YOUR MASTER. Thou art my Listener
4. Thou art my DELIVERER “bring my soul out of prison”-now isn’t that a good description of depression? Our soul is in prison, our life strength and our ability to go on is in prison by the situation and God says don’t let it be and David says I’ve discovered that You are my deliverer as Pilgrim found in Bunyon’s classic Pilgrim’s Progress—that the giant of despair is unlocked by praise (unlocked???—you mean locked up) Let me share something with you—-just an insight. Praise to God is more often on the lips of David than any other person in the Scriptures. I think that’s one of the key reasons why he was after God’s own heart. He never stopped praising God. He lost a child through his chastening because of his sin—he praised God for it. He lost a son because of his rebellion—he praised God in spite of it. He lost parts of his kingdom because of his on disobedience—he praised God because you know what? He realized that everything that God does is just and right. Do you know that’s what worship is all about? Acknowledging what God says is true and what God does is right. That’s what worship is all about and who God has revealed Himself to be is what I want to worship. What he says is true, what he does is right and good and David says You’re my deliverer, release my soul from the prison house— that is discovering great things about God. Psalm 142:7a TRUST IN YOUR REDEEMER. Thou art my Deliverer
5. Thou art my OBJECT OF WORSHIP That I may praise Your name –He says You are the object of my worship. I don’t praise a building, I don’t praise a liturgy, I don’t praise a God who gives me what I want, I praise Your name. Do you know what name is? it’s a revelation of someone’s character. He says I praise who you are, God, I know that you’re the infinite, the eternal, the creator of the ends of the earth— I know that you’re the one that unrolled the Heavens he says I know that you’re the one that spoke and it came into being. I know you’re the one who has revealed himself as loyal to his covenant, to his people. You are a God who takes the likes of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and notice God says I am the God of Abraham—–who is Abraham? Kind of a fearful liar at times—he failed half the tests God gave him. Isaac followed in his dad’s footsteps and lied about his wife. Jacob whose name means deceiver. And God says I am the God of Abraham in spite of his failures. I am the God of Isaac in spite of his failures. I am the God of Jacob in spite of his failures. He says you are the object of my worship. Keep reading: The righteous shall surround me, — now you notice I can just see him kind of walking like this out of the cave as he sang these things. Thou art my refuge, thou art my portion, thou art my listener, thou art my deliverer——he’s walking out—–you know what he says here? You are the one who will provide for me. You will surround me with the righteous. Where was he? He was in the cave. What was he surrounded by? Well verse 2— I am pouring out my complaint, I’m in trouble, verse 3- I’m over whelmed- they’re secretly trying to get me— no body in this cave—verse 4 cares about me—nobody even———-they don’t care if I’m alive or not. But You are my provider and God if I follow your path, if I go your way, The righteous shall surround me, — look at the end of verse 7– For You shall deal bountifully with me. – you are my sufficiency. He didn’t just say you deal with me. He says you’ll deal with me what? BOUNTIFULLY. You’re going to overflow. You know how the 23rd Psalm ends? Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. Did you know most of us are going so fast that we never let goodness and mercy catch up with us? We’re so busy doing our own thing like this and right behind us are the hounds of Heaven—goodness and mercy are right——-barking at our heels waiting for us to slow down and to be still and to know that God is God and we’re not and to let His goodness overwhelm us and his mercy fill us. You know what the last verse in Psalm 90 says? It’s a beautiful verse— it says and let the beauty of the Lord thy God be upon thee. It’s interesting the usage of the Hebrew words is——it speaks of someone who is moving like this and it says stop so God can put His beauty on you. Now that reminds me of even today. I saw a couple of little faces that just had food all over them you know—especially if it’s chocolate or something—it just gets all over and I say OK daddy’s going to wipe your face before your nap and they go and you have to hold their chin and say hold still so I can clean you up. It’s the same metaphor of a father taking his child— us— and saying hold still and let me put my beauty upon you. Let me put the image of Jesus into your life. Let me give you Christ likeness in the way you talk and the way you deal with people and the way you treat those you love and the way you treat those that don’t love you. He said you are my sufficiency. Psalm 142:7b ADORE YOUR LORD. Thou art my Object of Worship
6. Thou art my PROVIDER “surround” Psalm 142:7c REST IN HIS PROVISION. Thou art my Provider
7. Thou art my SUFFICIENCY Psalm 142:7d REST IN HIS SUFFICIENCY Thou art my Sufficiency
So let’s review, cave times usually: (1) Followed times of great victory; (2) Accompanied by great distress; (3) Accomplished great discoveries about God; and now finally (4) Preceded great blessings from God.
CAVE TIMES USUALLY PRECEEDED GREAT BLESSINGS FROM GOD
Vindication as just man—he did not kill Saul on two occasions. God took care of Saul. You know what most of us would have done? God rid of the guy. David said I’ll not touch the Lord’s anointed. He called Saul who dealt with witches, who was proud and arrogant, who had problems with his wife——in the Hebrew text it’s very clear that Saul didn’t get along with his wife—he only had one but he didn’t do very well with that one and Saul was just a colossal misfit—- David was a man after God’s own heart but David never took the will of God in his own hands and did in Saul and I think that’s some thing for us to realize—–I’m a great advocate—–I hope the vote and sham on you if you don’t but God has put our leaders in place and we are not to get rid of them and shooting abortion doctors is a classic example of the most ignominious and heinous reproach in the name of Christ. You let God take care of the evildoers— we don’t do them in and anybody would say that in the name of the Lord that they are killing murders——-they are murderer themselves. David learned that God was his sufficiency. God would vindicate him. He was later in the coronation as king he was exalted as a warrior, he was immortalized as a Psalmist. But we’ll see all that when we come at another time to Psalm 57.
But let’s wait to next week and Ps. 57.
How’s your world? Caving in? Look now and find:
• FLEE TO YOUR REFUGE. Thou art my Refuge
• FEED ON THE ONE WHO IS YOUR PORTION. Thou art my Portion
• YOU CAN SPEAK TO YOUR MASTER. Thou art my Listener
• YOU CAN TRUST IN YOUR REDEEMER. Thou art my Deliverer
• YOU CAN ADORE YOUR LORD. Thou art my Object of Worship
• YOU CAN REST IN HIS SUFFICIENCY. Thou art my Provider Thou art my Sufficiency
Going through some dark times? Don’t be angry and say God why are you doing this to me? Instead say God, I want to make some great discoveries about You. I want to find you as my refuge. I want to flee to You. It says in Psalm 57 you can hide in the pavilion of the Lord from the strife of tongues. I love that verse. I mean if people are picking on you just run to the Lord’s pavilion and they can’t get you. Feed on Him as your portion. Go to His Word—not to count the rivets on the Tabernacle but to make great discoveries about the character of God and to show that you love Him. Speak to Him. He loves us to talk to Him. You know we are so busy we don’t have time to talk to each other let alone to God. Trust Him as our redeemer, our deliverer. Adore Him as the object of our worship. Rest in Him as the one who provides sufficiency. Remember all who thirst after God he has promised to satisfy them.
Let’s bow before our Lord and our God and worship Him tonight. Father in Heaven we pray that tonight your name would be hallowed. That we would revere You as our portion, our refuge, as the one who has delivered us from darkness and transformed us into your marvelous light and that we are more than conquerors through Christ. And we always are led in triumphal procession with Him. I pray that from the life of David that we would thirst after you and find you to be all that we need when life is not as we thought it would be. And the more that you allow us to experience hardship, adversity and pain and suffering and travail and desolation and loneliness and reversal—–may those all be times that we realize your grace, your mercy, your peace, your sufficiency. You are the God who is all powerfully able to be the God who is enough and so may we be satisfied as your Word says in the Psalms—when we awake in your likeness. And I pray that you would help us to rejoice in you O God, the God who is enough. May we thirst after you and find you when we thirst with all of our hearts. And we’ll thank you for it in the name of Jesus we pray, AMEN.
A PRACTICAL (AND BIBLICAL) WAY TO BATTLE DEPRESSION IN CONCLUSION
Last year Americans spent billions trying to escape Depression. Our society is awash in self-help and recovery programs. Every year the self-help section of book sales increases. The cults teach self-actualization and self-realization. But in spite of all that, most Americans face the onslaughts of a regular visit from depression in its varying forms.
Even we as Christians face the same. Is there any recovery program that works? Yes, GOD’S RECOVERY PROGRAM IS SANCTIFICATION. In His Word he gives us a plan of attack, on this all to often besetting foe.
Turn with me in your Divine Instruction Manual for some perfect advice from the Spirit of God. Its in Psalm 119:25-32 lets read it together. IS OVERCOMING DEPRESSION POSSIBLE?
Yes! In this fourth stanza of God’s song on the power of the Scriptures, we find another application God’s Word has in our lives. The other three stanzas taught:
1. (v. 1-8) Speaks of the establishing power of God’s Word. 2. (v. 9-16) Explains the purifying power of God’s Word. 3. (v. 17-24) Demonstrates the illuminating power of God’s Word. 4. (v. 25-32) gives us the refreshing power of God’s Word…
Conquering depression is the vital facet of the 4th Stanza of Ps. 119. Turn to Ps. 119:25-32 as I share one woman’s thoughts on depression & discouragement:
Eyes get red from weeping. The heavy weights of sorrow press down. Depression, that serpent of despair, slithers silently through the soul’s back door. Depression is Debilitating, defeating, Deepening gloom. Trudging wearily through The grocery store, Unable to make a simple choice, Or to count out correct change. Surveying an unbelievably messy house, Piles of laundry, Work undone, and not being Able to life a finger. Doubting that God cares, Doubting in my prayers, Doubting He’s even there. Sitting, staring wild-eyed into space, Desperately wanting out of the Human race.2
That’s a bit of what the Psalmist must have felt. In fact, many people struggle with their personal worth — which they will never be anybody worth remembering. Ever felt that way? Let’s take a quiz for a moment to see how foolish it is to worry and be discouraged like that.
You are not a nobody so don’t lose heart!
Pull a sheet of scratch paper out of your memory bank and see how well you do with the following questions:
1. Who helped Charles Wesley get underway as a composer of hymns? 2. Who found the Dead Sea Scrolls? 3. Who personally taught G. Campbell Morgan, the “peerless expositor,” his techniques in the pulpit? 4. Who followed Hudson Taylor and gave the China Inland Mission its remarkable vision and direction? 5. Who discipled George Muller and snatched him as a young man from a sinful lifestyle? 6. Who were the parents of the godly and gifted prophet Daniel? 7. Who taught Martin Luther his theology and inspired his translation of the New Testament? 8. Who visited Dwight L. Moody at a shoe store and spoke to him about Christ? 9. Who worked alongside and encouraged Harry Ironside as his associate pastor? 10. Who was the wife of Charles Haddon Spurgeon? 11. Who was the elderly woman who prayed faithfully for Billy Graham for over twenty years? 12. Who financed William Carey’s ministry in India? 13. Who refreshed the apostle Paul in that Roman dungeon as he wrote his last letter to Timothy?
Okay, so why be discouraged and depressed. God has a plan. Here it is –
OVERCOMING DEPRESSION PS. 119:25-32
Briefly stated, how does God’s Word help us to be quickened” (AV) or “revived” (ASV)? David gives his own testimony in Psalm 119. He states his battle plan for Overcoming Depression in four clear couplets: v. 25-26 By Confessing his condition v. 27-28 By Searching for strength v. 29-30 By Turning to the truth v. 31-32 By Holding on to hope
BY CONFESSING HIS CONDITION TO THE RIGHT PERSON PS. 119:25-26
David is here in the depths depression. At this point our society would conclude the only hope is a psychiatrist! Though people may at times need to be helped by Christian psychiatrist, that’s not God’s instruction…there are few if any problems in life God’s Word can’t handle! The word “quickens” means ‘to put new life in’. Its like a stiff dose of Scripture taken mixed with faith daily! Have you tried that?
Confessing all your woes to Christ is best – He is most interested! Look at Psalm 142 and see David at one of his lowest points. God comforts him. BY SEARCHING FOR STRENGTH IN THE RIGHT PLACE! PS. 119:27-28
David is here Pursuing the only source of hope again. This was illustrated in the life of David. I Samuel 22:1-2 is the setting for Psalm 142 and the Cave of Adullam. What a great help that Psalm is when we are hurting.
In his earlier life we see David in great distress. David’s problems in I Samuel 24 are the backdrop as he searches for strength in Psalm 57. He finds it in God Himself. Remember, he is in a weak time in life. This is when depression often hits.
Psalm 57:1-3 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me; For my soul taketh refuge in thee: Yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I take refuge, Until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God Most High, Unto God that performeth all things for me. He will send from heaven, and save me, When he that would swallow me up reproacheth; Selah God will send forth his loving kindness and his truth. (ASV)
His hope is in finding God very strong:
Psalm 57:1-11 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; Selah God sends his love and his faithfulness. I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts — men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. They spread a net for my feet — I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path — but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. (NIV) Note how he doubles three aspects of God’s nature.
Psalm 57:1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. And in v.7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. (NIV)
He finds: God is Gracious, God is Steadfast, God is Praise Worthy. With this truth to hold onto, he testifies that it works. And he gets his focus off his troubles. He went beyond his cave world and onto Lord!!
Psalm 57:11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth. (KJV)
Finally David shares two last thoughts. He Conquered Depression:
BY TURNING TO THE TRUTH AS THE RIGHT PRIORITY v. 29-30
More than any other source of comfort, he chooses God’s truth.
BY HOLDING ON TO HOPE AS THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE v. 31-32
More than any self pity or gloom, he clings to the Lord. As a NT writer Paul reminds us:
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (KJV)
How’s your world? Caving in? Look now and find: o FLEE TO YOUR REFUGE. Thou art my Refuge o FEED ON YOUR PORTION. Thou art my Portion o SPEAK TO YOUR MASTER. Thou art my Listener o TRUST IN YOUR REDEEMER. Thou art my Deliverer o ADORE YOUR LORD. Thou art my Object of Worship o REST IN HIS SUFFICIENCY. Thou art my Provider Thou art my Sufficiency
1 ISBE, David, paragragh #11 An estimate of David.
2 Swindoll, Encourage Me, pp.