Tag Cloud
: Mothers Abandonment Abomination of Desolation Abortion Abraham’s Bosom Abuse Accounting Activism Adoption Adultery Affection Affliction Afterlife Alliances Altar America Angels Anger Anointing Apologetics Apostasy Armor of God Ascension Ashamed Atonement Authority Baal Babylon Bad Baptism Betrayal Bible Bitterness Blasphemy Blessing Blessings Blindness Boasting Body of Christ Bondage Borders Born Again Bridegroom Calling Capital Punishment Celebration Character Childbirth Children Children of God Chosen Christ Christian Life Christians Christmas Church Civil Disobedience Clay Cleansing Comfort Commands Communion Community Comparison Compassion Complacency Complaining Conception Condemnation Conduct Confidence Conflict Conformity Confrontation Confusion Connection Conscience Consequences Contentment Conviction Cornerstone Correction Cost Counsel Courage Covenant Coveting Creation Creator Crisis Cross Crowns Crucifixion Culture Curse Darkness David Day of the Lord Death Deceit Deception Decisions Defense Delegation Demon Demons Denial Dependency Design Desolation Destruction Devil Direction Disaster Discernment Disciple Disciples Discipleship Discipline Discontentment Discouragement Disease Disgrace Disputes Distraction Diversity Divine Division Doctrine Double Fulfillment Doubt Drought Drugs Duties Duty Earth Earthly Earthquakes Easter Edom Education Elders Elect Emmaus Emotions Employment Encouragement End Times Endurance Enemies Enemy Environmentalism Equality Equipped Eternal Eternal Life Evangelism Everlasting Life Evil Evolution Exaltation Exalted Exclusion Excuses Exorcism Expectations Eyes Failure Fairness Faith Faithful Faithful Servant Faithfulness False Christs False Doctrine False Gods False Prophet False Religion False Religions Family Famine Fasting Father Fathers Favoritism Fear Fear of the Lord Feasts Fellowship Fig Tree Finances Fire First Coming Firstborn Flesh Flock Folly Foolishness Foreigner Foreknown Forgiveness Fornication Forsaken Foundation Freedom Friends Friendship Fruit Fruit of the Spirit Fruitfulness Future Gentiles Gentle George Wood Giving Glorified Body Glory God God’s Word Godliness Godly God's Will Good Good Shepherd Good Works Gospel Gospels Government Grace Gratitude Great Commission Greatness Grief Growth Guilt Hades Hardship Harvest Hate Hatred Healing Heart Heaven Heavenly Hedonism Hell Help Herod Hidden Holiness Holy Holy Spirit Home Homosexuality Honor Hope Hopelessness Humility Husband Hypocrisy Ignorance Image Immanuel Immigration Impossibility Incarnation Individuals Indulgences Inheritance Injustice Inner Battle Instructions Insults Integrity Intercession Intermediate State Israel Jerusalem Jesus Jewish Temple John the Baptist Joy Judas Judgment Judgment Day Judgments Justice Justification Justify Key Keys Kids Kindness King Kingdom Kingdom of God Kingdom of Heaven Knowledge Lamp Law Lawlessness Leader Leaders Leadership Leftism Legalism Leprosy Lies Life Life-Span Light Like-minded Lord Lost Love Loyalty Lust Lusts Luxury Malachi Manipulation Marriage Martyrdom Martyrs Mary Master Materialism Maturity Meditation Men Mentoring Mercy Messiah Metaphor Millennium Mind Mind of Christ Minister Ministry Miracle Miracles Mission Mocking Money Mothers Mystery Nations Natural Gifts Naturalism Nature Near-Far Fulfillment Necessities New Covenant New Man New Testament Obedience Obstacles Obstructions Offense Old Man Old Nature Old Testament Omnipresence Omniscience One Mind Outcast Pagan Pain Palm Sunday Parable Parables Paradise Paranormal Parenting Passion Passover Patience Patriotism Peace Peer Pressure Pentecost People of God Perception Perfect Persecution Perseverance Persistence Personal Testimonies Perspective Perversion Pestilence Peter Pharisees Philosophy Piety Pilate Politics Poor Position Possession Possessions Posture Power Praise Prayer Preaching Preparation Pride Priority Privilege Prodigal Promise Proof Prophecy Prophet Prophets Protection Protestant Reformation Proverbs Providence Provision Punishment Purgatory Purpose Questions Racism Rapture Reason Rebellion Rebuke Reconciliation Redeemer Redemption Refuge Regeneration Rejection Rejoicing Relationship Relationships Reliability Religion Remember Remnant Renewal Repentance Reputation Resolve Rest Restoration Resurrection Revelation Revenge Revival Reward Rich Riches Righteous Righteousness Rights Riot Risk Rivalry Robbery Roman Catholic Church Rule Sabbath Sacred Sacrifice Saint Salvation Sanctification Sarcasm Satan Savior Schemes Science Scripture Seasons Second Coming Secret Seed Seek Self Self Control Self-centered Self-Control Selfish Ambition Self-Righteous Servant Servant-Leadership Serve Service Serving Sexual Immorality Sexual Sin Sexuality Shame Share Sharing She’ol Shepherd Sickness Signs Signs and Wonders Simplicity Sin Sincerity Singing Singleness Sinners Slavery Sober Society Sojourner Sojourners Son Son of God Son of Man Sons of God Sorrow Soul Source Sovereignty Speech Spirit Spirit Realm Spirits Spiritual Spiritual Battle Spiritual Birth Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Growth Spiritual Rulers Spiritual Warfare Stewardship Strength Stress Strife Stumbling Block Submission Suffering Supernatural Supper Surrender Syncretism Tags: Patience Taxes Teacher Teaching Tears Technology Temple Temptation Temptations Terminal Illness Test Testimony Testing Tests Thankfulness Thanksgiving The Curse The Day of The Lord The End The Fall The Grave The Holy Spirit The Law The Way The Word The World Theology Time of Visitation Times of the Gentiles Tithing Tongues Tradition Tragedy Transfiguration Transformation Traps Treachery Treasure Tree Trial Trials Tribulation Trifles Trinity Triumphal Triumphal Entry Trouble Trust Truth Unbelievers Uncertainty Unity Unpardonable Sin Utopia Value Victory Vigilance Vindication Virtue Virtues Voice of God Volunteer Warning Warnings Wars Watching Water Baptism Weary Wicked Wickedness Widows Wife Wineskins Wisdom Witness Witnesses Women Word of God Word of the Lord Works World World View Worry Worship Worth Wrath Yahweh Yeast YHWH Yoke Zion
Tuesday
Jun192018

Being a Righteous Man

Psalm 139:1-12; 19-24.  This sermon was preached by Pastor Marty Bonner on Father’s Day June 17, 2018.

Our passage today is not so much about fathers as it is about something that every father has to face.  It is necessary for a man to recognize the greatness of God and choose to walk in righteousness before Him.  This is not just for his sake, but also for the sake of his family, and the people around him.  When you step back and look objectively at our culture, there is not a lot of encouragement for a man to be righteous.  In fact, the word has become despised and is projected out of the mouth as if something vile was being expectorated.

Yet, Scripture calls men and women to reject self-righteousness, and embrace the righteousness of God.  This is not an excuse to sidestep the responsibility for decisions we make.  Rather, God’s plan is to set us in a place of safety because of the righteousness of Christ.  From that place of safety we are enabled by the Holy Spirit to hear God and obey Him, thus living out the righteousness of Christ.

In our psalm today we will follow David as he meditates on the truth about God and hopefully we will recognize how it should impact our souls and our lives.  Dads, may you choose to be a righteous man in the eyes of God, rather than in the eyes of this world.

Recognize the omniscience of God

Though David does not use the term omniscience, the word was created in order to name what David is talking about in this psalm.  He defines the truth that God knows all things in a multitude of ways.  In fact, the Bible is filled with a constant barrage of the teaching that God knows all things.

In verses 1-4 David speaks of God’s knowledge regarding the outward and the inward parts of our lives.  In regard to the outward, he mentions the fact that God knows when we are sitting down or rising up.  He knows what path we take and when we lie down.  In regards to the inner life, David mentions that God knows our thoughts even from afar off, and that He already knows the word that is just on the tip of my tongue before I say it.

In a day and age where governments and businesses at all levels seek to have more and more information regarding everything that we do, we can understand how this could be a scary thought.  With man all knowledge is used to restrict and control, and thus an omniscient government would exercise maximum restriction and control upon the people.  However, God is not a tyrant who wants control, despite the propaganda campaign that has been waged against Him.  If He was, we would not be having this conversation right now.  No matter how many years man spends trying to become as omniscient as God, we cannot escape the fact that He is already there, and knows us all completely, inside and out.

In fact in verse 5 David recognizes that he is completely surrounded by God.  He is hedged or enclosed by God, behind, in front, and even has His hand upon him.  Thus God is not only beholding everything, but everything is also within His purview.  Nothing is outside of God’s knowledge and ability to do something about it.  This sets up the next point that God is omnipresent.  But before we go that, let us take a moment to be amazed with David.

When you truly realize the absolute omniscience of God and spend time thinking about its ramifications, you should be filled with amazement, awe, and even a healthy sense of fear.  In verse 6, David recognizes this, but also that God knows us better than we know ourselves.  His level of knowledge is so great that we cannot even come close to attaining it.  All truth brings us to a decision place, where we must choose how we are going to respond to it.  So let’s read on and see how David responds.

Recognize the omnipresence of God

The omniscience of God is wrapped up in a similar idea that God is present everywhere at once.  That is, there is no place that God is not present.  Now notice in verse 7 that David couches this in the language of fleeing.  This should remind us of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  After they had sinned and heard God coming to visit with them, all they could think to do was run and hide from Him.  Of course their attempts to hide were futile, not because they lacked hiding skills, but because nothing can hide from the God who is omnipresent in all places.  Now David expresses that this futility is not just physical but also spiritual by mentioning heaven and hell first.  Of course if we went to heaven God would be there because it is His throne.  But God is in hell?  First, the term translated hell here is technically a word that refers to the spiritual aspect of the grave.  It is the holding place where all spirits, wicked and righteous, go to await Judgment Day.  Thus for the wicked it is a dry, dusty, thirsty, hot place.  But, for the righteous it is a place of peace and rest.  This holding place, or “the grave,” was created by God and is always before Him.  Thus even in death one cannot escape God.  Some live this life believing that there is nothing after death.  They assuage their conscience with the frail hope that there will be no accounting for this life.  But David recognized that God is not just everywhere in the universe, but also in the place our spirits go to when we die.

The futility of fleeing applies to geography too.  Like Jonah, one cannot even flee to the farthest places of the earth, but that God would be there trying to lead you back to the righteous path. And therein lies a twist.  David recognizes the goodness of God in that though he is clearly thinking of ways to flee from God, he recognizes that no matter where he goes, God uses His omniscience and omnipresence not to crush us, but rather to lead us and to hold us (vs. 10).  It is a scary thing for man through his technology to become omniscient and omnipresent, but God who already has these things can be trusted.  He is actually trying to help you, not control you.  Men’s hearts cannot be trusted with ultimate power.  But God has proven Himself time and time again through the millennia.  How great is the grace and patience of our Creator.

David even contemplates being in a place of complete darkness, and yet recognizes that God would see us there.  Sure, science tells us that there are all manner of wavelengths outside of the visible spectrum.  So our military can brag about “owning the night” because they use night vision goggles to pick up the infrared spectrum.  Thus the one who designed our eyes to pick up only a portion of this spectrum must be able to recognize every spectrum.  Yet, this is not what David means.  God is spirit and as such does not have “eyes” that pick up a larger spectrum of the electromagnetic radiation all around us.  Even if a human cooled themselves down to absolute zero and was encased in a shield designed to block out all radiation (Gamma, x-ray, etc.), yet God would still “see” you there and ask you, “What are you doing here?”  This had great encouragement for David because there were times when he was driven far away from the dwelling place of God, the tabernacle.  Yet, God is not held to a particular geographical place on earth.  Thus what could be seen as scary has a comforting side to it.

In fact this is what David goes on to recognize in verses 13-18.  We looked at these verses during Mother’s Day.  So if you want to check out the commentary on those verses go to the entry for May 13, 2018.  Suffice it to say that David recognizes that God was there when he was being formed in the womb.  God created us, knows us intimately, and thinks a great number of thoughts about us.  He is the ultimate loving Father who agonizes over the plight of a child who is far, far away from where they need to be.  God created you, intimately knows you, and thinks about you all the time.  Why would you run from Him?

Respond properly to these truths

In verses 19-24 David moves to his response to this contemplation.  Instead of running from God, David chooses to go towards God.  If Adam and Eve would have truly known the heart of God, they would have fled the serpent at first sight, and ran towards God.  Even after their sin, they should have run towards God, not away.  Only God has salvation and healing for us.  This is the proper response.

Now verses 19-22 can make some people squeamish, at least here in western civilization.  It seems to contradict Jesus who tells us to love our enemies.  It is important to recognize that David is speaking as a man under the law, and not as the Messiah who had come to lead Israel out from under the Law of Moses.  Still, it is better to recognize that the teaching of Jesus is a bit more nuanced than just that we love our enemies.  If you have ever tried to love someone who was bent on wickedness and rejecting the ways of God, then you know the agony of seeking God’s will in this matter.  What does it mean to love someone?  Jesus in no way suggests that the righteous should jump on the same side as the wicked and help them on their way.  Even Jesus warns us that we must make a choice that leaves the world behind in order to follow Him.  “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”  Luke 14: 26.  Ultimately all people must decide for themselves what side they are on, the side of the wicked or of those who follow God’s righteousness.  David has made his choice.  He hates the wicked with a “perfect hatred.”  Of course, being a man of war, it is no shock that he gives such a full-throated declaration of being on God’s side.

We should also notice that David is talking about people who actually hate God and His way.  It is one thing to care about people’s souls and love them enough to share the truth of Christ with them.  But when they spit it back in your face and say all manner of evil against God and Christ, then we cannot say, “O, isn’t that nice.  Blessings, brother.”  C.H. Spurgeon, a British, Baptist preacher of the 1800’s said about this, “To love all men with benevolence is our duty, but to love any man with complacency would be a crime.”  Thus through the years the adage, “love the sinner, but hate the sin,” was created.  The sad truth is that some people will not be separated from their sins and will cling to them in rage against God, no matter how much you love them.  Thus love is not complacent about the lost condition of the wicked, but instead lays down its life in order to open their eyes to Christ.

The last two verses of this psalm focuses on our response towards God.  We should open ourselves up to God and embrace His omniscience.  David has come full-circle.  A righteous man is not righteous because he is so wonderful.  He is righteous because even though his flesh wants to run from God, he has run towards God.  He has opened himself up to God in trust and in faith saying, “O God, search me and show me where I need to change!”  “Teach me the way to live that gives life everlasting!”

Men and women, how can we be righteous?  Not by pretense and image-tending on the outside.  Only by choosing to be vulnerable to The One whom you cannot fool and to whom you cannot defend yourself.  He is The One who loves you better than you can love yourself.  The well known ABC’s of salvation say it well.  We must admit that we are sinners in need of a Savior, believe on the Lord Jesus with full faith, and we must confess this faith in Jesus publicly that all men may know that we have chosen the path of God’s righteousness.  Amen!

Righteous Man audio