Psalm 9 – Sermon Manuscript

PLEASE NOTE: These are the notes I use to preach from, if you would like to hear them in context, please watch our YouTube channel.

Give Thanks

Psalm 9

-Wizard of Oz – the man behind the curtain. Looks impressive until you see what’s really back there.

-2 sections in this Psalm: one looks back, one asks for present help

-History of combining these 2 into 2 long Psalm (if you look at Psalm 10, no header) we’ll see the second reason in a bit



  1. Prayer for Past Deliverance (1-12)

-Begins with another musical note no one knows what this means (some translated it as “The death of the son”) 

-Again, we have no clue the bigger context, David wrote it, that’s all we’ve got

-We do know that it all these Psalms served as the corporate songs of the Jewish people throughout history, meaning the singers/writers have a vital part to play in the life of the church

-Have you ever thought about how music has a universalizing reach? Songs are written by 1 person or a small group of people sharing their thoughts/experiences, but when those thoughts/experiences get released out into the world, it becomes the mantra of a generation. 

-I love music. I collected CDs as I was growing up (mowed a lawn, got $20/week, bought me 1 new CD/week!)

-My favorite band toured on the 10th anniversary of their best album, the entire room sang along with every single song

-Music moves us, shapes us, fashions us, imbeds ideas into our hearts & minds – so be careful with music! It’s a gift/tool to help stir our affections toward the things of God – Gods loves beauty.

-Spurgeon: “Singing and preaching, as means of glorifying God, are here joined together, and it is remarkable that, connected with all revivals of gospel ministry, there has been a sudden outburst of the spirit of song.”

-Theological idea: New City Catechism question #2 Who is God? God is the creator of everyone and everything. God created beauty, God designed beauty, that’s part of the main idea from Psalm 8 – “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers” we are stirred/moved to worship.

-Someone in the church just got married, went to one of my favorite places in the world for their anniversary: Estes Park, CO. The reason places like Estes Park exist is to remind us of our finitude. You don’t look at mountains like that and go “wanna know how much money I have in my bank account?” 

-Secondly, if Estes Park is THAT beautiful now, what do you think it’ll look like when sin is no longer wreaking havoc on it?

-Similarly to places like Estes Park, which as beautiful, even art is/can be used to bring honor/glory to God. Music can be used to bring honor and glory to God. Writing. Working. Sleeping. Eating. Reading. Singing. Thinking.

-The reality is, God wants us to do things excellently, not as a form of pride, but to use our unique gifts/talents to be a blessing. Why am I talking about all this?

-This Psalm, combined with Psalm 10 are an acrostic. This wasn’t just written off the cuff, this took time and effort to create a beautiful poem that uses each letter of the Hebrew alphabet as a prayer point. 

-Ever thought of doing the same? Going through the alphabet as a prayer list. A – my sister Anna, B – thankful for the bread I ate this morning, C – God’s greatest gift of all COFFEE!

-Realize that we live our whole lives coram deo before the face of God. So even something as seemingly trivial as writing a song/poem can/should be an act of worship. God cares about beauty, He designed it, and inspired others’ skills/talents to write down thoughts/ideas that are beautiful works of art. The building of the temple in 2 Chronicles was done by skilled craftsmen.

  1. Thanksgiving (1-2, 11-12)

-David approaches God by giving thanks, with what? His whole heart.

-3 ways to approach God: no heart (shaking your fist at him), half-heartedly (what has He ever done for me?) whole heartedly (with all you’ve got!)

-God doesn’t want a little bit of you, He’s not asking to be your co-pilot, he’s looking to take over and redirect, refocus, re-shape everything you do!

-How are we to give thanks? By recounting ALL his wonderful deeds

-Maybe that’s why David uses every letter of the alphabet, it keeps his thoughts on track to continue recounting all the deeds God has done, A-Z! Maybe instead of the alphabet you need to use numbers: 1 – God, 2 – daughters, 3 – churches that loved me and my family and let me serve them.

-We, as the church, are commanded to be a thankful people, giving thanks with our whole hearts by remembering and celebrating all the things God has done, is doing, and will do in all our lives. How many blessings do we miss/neglect because we’re not taking time to be thankful for how God is working?

-As you read through the OT, does it ever strike you just how much time Israel is given to festivals and parties? Even Jesus when he comes is described as “eating and drinking.” Church, God has created us to be party people! Not saying we eat/drink in excess, but we even eat and drink to God’s glory, so I can eat my pellet smoked medium steak and really and truly enjoy it as God’s good gift, and we can invite our friend, neighbors, and even our enemies to come participate in a taste of the feast that will be waiting for us when Christ returns. Do you ever notice that one of the things Jesus does when He returns is feast, throw a big party? Where we’ll have the best family reunion in the world! But we’re not there yet.

-Notice in vs. 11 where we’re supposed to tell his deeds: the peoples. Share with all!

  • The Enemies (3-6)

-Just as David had enemies who were trying to subvert/destroy Him, we have an enemy who is doing his best to undermine the mission of the King, to distract us, to tempt us and to take us away from pursuing everything God has commanded us to do

-Remember what I said about a place like Estes Park, or even beauty, they’re meant to make us feel the need for transcendence, but what about those who don’t “give thanks with their whole hearts”, those who shake their fists at God?

-Almost like God vs. the world. The enemies will do their best to fight against him, to push against him, but who ultimately rules and judges? We’ll see this more fully fleshed out in vs. 7.

-Notice that these enemies stumble and perish. They can’t even keep themselves together. And when these enemies are compared to someone walking/living in holiness, God will bring about perfect justice.

-Not sure if you’ve been following what’s been happening in Afghanistan, but it is a humanitarian crisis. Read an article this week that contained some quotes from our brothers and sisters there “One brother described these days as “dark” and said they feel like a “storm.” Then he asked that we pray for “revival.”” Listened to a podcast that talked about Afghan Christians, for the first time, putting “Christian” on their identification card to set a new trajectory for their families, those people are now being singled out. A reported tweeted, “A person who works with house church networks in Afghanistan reports its leaders received letters last night from the #Taliban warning them that they know where they are and what they are doing. The leaders say they aren’t going anywhere. So it begins.”

-See, God has rebuked the nations, God will blot out their name forever, those in the Taliban serving Satan and his minions will face everlasting judgment for their sins, but it can be hard to keep that perspective when it seems like evil has the upper hand! 

-The word used to describe “wicked” in vs. 5 refers to those who are practical atheists, they hate God’s commands, commit sinful deeds, and speak lies and slander. 

Romans 1 describes these wicked people as “suppressing the truth.”

-Church, we need to remember not to suppress the truth, not to live for this world, this world is not our home! We are sojourner, aliens, and strangers. We need not fear any trial/tribulation here because what can they do, kill us? Then we see Jesus! What these enemies don’t realize is that they have an expiration date.

  • The Lord (7-10)

-But the Lord sits enthroned FOREVER. 

-Have you ever thought about the fact or reality that God has ensured that the church will never end, that His Words would be perfectly contained for millennia? 

-Multiple groups, civilizations, countries, rulers, laws, tribes, tongues, nations have done their best to eradicate Christianity from the face of the earth. Even “intellectuals” have declared “God is dead” since Nietzsche wrote that in 1882. But who is enthroned forever? And what is the purpose of His throne? JUSTICE. There’s that idea that we saw a couple weeks ago again.

-This idea ties us back to vs. 4. “You have maintained my just cause” 

-All of us want justice for ourselves, but what about when we’re the one deserving of the penalty for justice? 

-God is the one who judges with righteousness, and that righteousness, as we’ve seen throughout all these Psalms only comes by and through God Himself bearing the weight and penalty of these enemies who are opposed to God and His ways. Notice how those enemies are described in vs. 8

-world – people. The world is comprised of people, so people aren’t off the hook for the way the world is operating. That’s where we as the church have to be the city on a hill, light shining into the darkness, salt in the world who proclaim and demonstrate what justice looks like, because our world will keep fumbling around in the dark trying to come up with broken/inadequate solutions for a cross shaped problem.

-That’s what David says here in vs. 10 – “those who know your name” someone’s name in the OT meant something significant. Until my generation came along and started giving their kids names like “Apple” and “North West” names carried connotations. When God commands Moses to lead His people, He gives Moses His name, that is his character, his way of operating, his resume. So when you read in 1 John something like “God is love” that’s God using His name to remind us of truths about Him.

-What is the first thing you learn about someone? Their name! You have to teach that to kids – Calvin.

-‘It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.’ James 1:27 reminds us “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

-Religion is just a way of referring to a system of beliefs, your operating principle. What’s crazy about our religion, is it contains a relationship with God.

-After David has reminded himself of how God has worked in the past, he then turns to the present:

  • Prayer for Present Deliverance (13-20)
    • Deliverance to Praise (13-14)

-The theme of whining comes up again. David is in a tough spot and needs God to intervene on his behalf. He asks for God to be gracious, and to see/pay attention to his affliction. Why?

-So that he can return to praising God. Westminster Shorter Catechism question #1: What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. We are all created as worshipping beings, we’re created to worship God, but we don’t always do that! Because of the salvation freely given through belief in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, we get to praise Him together. 

-Everything you do, say, and are, is meant to be used to praise Him. Even our sufferings, trials, difficulties are an opportunity to rely more fully one Him than we did before! He won’t let anything go to waste!

-It’s one thing for s child of God to suffer, because we know the outcome, but what about those who are opposed to God, the enemies that were brought up in vs. 3-6?

  • The Nations (15-18)

-Remember the Wil E Coyote gifs I showed you 2 weeks ago? That’s how God views the nations. Pit they made, foot caught in their own trap

-The Bible calls those who are opposed to God foolish, and even the nations that are opposed to God and nothing compared to Him. Have you ever thought about the reality that no nation has existed forever? There was a time that the good old US of A didn’t exist. There may even come a time when the USA is a footnote in a history book somewhere. Every major nation has been defeated at some point. Egypt, Babylon, Rome, England. The ruins of the Roman Empire are tourist attractions today! The empire that tried to wipe out a flourishing Jewish sect called Christianity in the 1st Century. Who’s still standing today?

-So in response, God reveals himself (might only be after they die) but ultimately God will reveal Himself to everyone! Yet the wicked are still defeated by their own attempts to grab at power.

-C.S. Lewis The Great Divorce “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it.”


-It says the wicked shall RETURN to Sheol. 2 notes:

-Return signifies where they came from

-The biblical idea of repentance is the idea of returning. So everyone will return to something, either Sheol or the Father’s arms.

-Those are the ones whom forgot God, they will in turn be forgotten by God. What a terrible place to be!

-Lastly, see how evil these nations are: they neglect the poor and the needy. That’s exactly where we, as representatives of God are to care for those that our society deems as “poor and needy.” (James 1:27) Those who are evil don’t/won’t care for them, but they’re the very people God cares for. His Son was one of those poor/needy people! 

-In response to the way the poor and needy are treated:

  • The Lord Judges (19-20)

-No man can stand before God, we see in Psalm 2 that when the nations rage and the peoples plot IN VAIN, that God laughs at them! Everyone will have to face God someday and be judged for how they live.

-This idea goes completely contrary to the expressive individualism we see rampant around us. Talking with someone this week about our current education system. Did you know that originally public education was implement to help civilize people and train them to become good citizens? The purpose of education is to train people how to conform to the group/culture at large. Today, though, you’re not allowed to be conformed to some standard, the standard is supposed to be conformed to the individual.

-For we who are in Christ, we are to be conformed as a group into an individual – Christ. Our education in our faith is to be like Christ, and we all need to work to become more like him and help each other become more like Him “imitate me as I imitate Christ.”

-At the end of the day, all societies, nations, they’re just people, they’re not God! So why do we fear puny little men? God is giving his people (us) a peek behind the curtain here. Even if persecution comes for us, what are we afraid of, we’ve seen the little man hiding behind a curtain! Why do we worry/fret about our society decaying? We’re a part of a different society and we have a job to do! To reveal the little man behind the curtain for every other religion/ideology/thought that doesn’t have God as its’ foundation/author. One of the best ways we can do that is by giving thanks. This week, use the alphabet to give thanks! Come up with 10 ways God has blessed you. Every night Cara and I ask each other “what are you thankful for today?”

Psalm 7 – Sermon Manuscript

PLEASE NOTE: These are the notes I use to preach from, if you would like to hear them in context, please watch our YouTube channel.

Vindicate Me, Lord

Psalm 7

-Robert Frost The Road Not Taken: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

-Marty Robbins “ I walk alone”

-Greenday “I walk alone, I walk alone” 

-LOTR “one more step it’s the farthest from home I’ve ever been”

-but what about taking the way that is narrow that’s been trod by millions of saints before us?

-Eugene Peterson A Long Obedience in the Same Direction “There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness. Religion in our time has been captured by the tourist mindset. Religion is understood as a visit to an attractive site to be made when we have adequate leisure.”

-A expounding on last week’s idea “how long O Lord?” 



  1. David Pleads His Case (1-11)

0 – no one knows what Shaggaion means, used 1 other time in the OT. No one knows who Cush is! Benjaminite’s weren’t big fans of David.

-Saul was from their tribe, David replaced Saul

-Background to Psalm 3 reminded us that not everyone loved David. As part of Absalom’s revolt, David fled Jerusalem, Shimei, of the house of Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, threw stones at David, called him a worthless man that was cursed by God. 

-Therefore, not a stretch to think that whoever Cush is was saying the same thing

  1. Justice for Me (1-5)

-David begins by addressing God (again)

-Make a note of that! Underline it, highlight it, write it on your heart: within the first line of each of the Psalms we’ve read, David addresses God directly.

-Big difference between David’s addressing of God, and our addressing of God in the NT. God vs. Father

-Do you understand, marvel, give thanks for the reality that the God who once had to be approached with fear and trepidation, with an entire sacrificial system, completely set apart from where His people lived/operated where only 1 person/year could enter into his presence for fear of death can now be approached as our heavenly Father who is always with us?

-There is a sense of identity with David: O Lord MY God, but it sure doesn’t feel like it has the same sense of warmth as Father.

-Notice as well that the primary way David addresses God in the first half is as Lord, then he shifts in vs. 9 to God. There’s a reason we have all these different names for God throughout the Bible – do you approach God with all those names?

-Look at what David states next: in YOU do I take refuge.

-Think of that classic hymn “Rock of Ages” “Rock of ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.” Do you know the story behind this hymn? Story/legend says that Augustus Toplady (yes, that’s his real name!) was traveling through a gorge when he got caught in a terrible storm, and took shelter in a cleft in the rocks. Anyone else here hear the thunder at 6 AM yesterday morning? Weren’t you glad you were inside?

-Think of another Psalm that talks about this idea, Psalm 46 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”

-Church: do you view God in that way? When life is beating you down, when your friends have become enemies, when your reputation is in ruins, do you look to God as YOUR refuge and strength? This really is the culmination of the previous 4 Psalms: why is David trusting in God? Because God is his refuge and strength.

-This trust, this unshakeable foundation is what allows David to ask God to save him from all his pursuers.

-The position David is in (king) becomes shaky if the nation turns against him, doesn’t trust him. Not just in leadership, but in friendship as well. If your best friend is gossiping about you, do you continue trusting them with information? Doesn’t it feel like a lion is tearing your soul apart? 

-Plumer “A universal weapon against the friends of truth is the tongue.” (108)

-Mark Twain: “A lie travels halfway around the world before the truth is able to get on its’ pants.”

-The truth tends to be downplayed for a lie, and we Christians need to be opposed to lies in every context we find ourselves in! We represent the one who is the THE truth!

Barna: 1/3 of people who claim to be Christians are not coming back to church. It’s REALLY hard to be committed to THE truth when you’re not committed/engaged in the one place that is committed to that truth.

-Now, there’s an element here that we need to address, as David goes on in vs. to say, these accusations should lead us to self-reflection. Anyone here completely perfect in every interaction you have yet? Then we’re all in this together!

-David pleads his case before God. Notice all the IFs

-David is so assured of his innocence, that he barters with God. IF he has been unfaithful, IF he has sinned, then let his enemies win.

-Not necessarily something we should do. If we’re caught in sin, we should be quick to repent and seek reconciliation. 

-This is pointing us to the cross, where Jesus had done no wrong, had not repaid anyone with evil, had not plundered anyone, and his soul was overtaken, his life was trampled to the ground, and his glory was laid in the dust.

-We live on this side of that reality! There’s 2 ways to approach this coming judgment, and CS Lewis talked about it well in his Reflections on the Psalms

ancient Jews and Christians today view themselves in a court of law, Christians view themselves as a criminal being judged, Jews viewed themselves as the plaintiff expecting a huge payout. Where do you place yourself in that judgment? The criminal, or the plaintiff?


  • Justice for My Enemies (6-11)

-David then transitions from asking for justice for himself, to asking for justice for his enemies. 

-Look at the language he uses to call on God: arise, life, awake.

-God doesn’t ever slumber of sleep, never gets tired, is constantly holding all things together, why is it that David uses these words?

-He’s pleading with God to deal with the injustice that’s taking place around him! Begging God to bring about perfect justice in this situation.
-Last phrase here “you have appointed a judgment” is within the semantic range of the Hebrew word, I prefer the NIV “decree justice.” Similar to vs. 3 “If there is INJUSTICE in my hands”

-Justice is a major theme throughout the Bible – treating others as created in the image of God. Was reminded this week of a Bible project video related to this idea that I think would be worth watching, take a look!

-That idea of God executing justice continues throughout the rest of this section, and the connection between justice and righteousness is demonstrated as well. Let’s look at 

-vs. 7 – after calling God to bring about justice, he asks to call the witnesses. That word translated “assembly” is translated as “synagogue” in the Greek OT. 

-David is asking God to bring it to the highest court God has given: his people.

-God’s people (as we saw in the video) are meant to bring about a new justice system, and the hardest part about that is we’re supposed to live that true justice out as a demonstration to everyone around us. That’s what David goes on to say in vs. 8

-Ultimately the true lasting judge is God. Notice the personal pronouns David uses.

-First the acknowledgement that God judges the PEOPLES, then asking to judge ME

-Now if we were to ask God to judge us based on our own individual righteousness, not one of us would remain standing. 

-That’s where we all need to throw ourselves on God’s mercy and believe that He has counted us as righteous through the sacrifice of His Son. That’s where we see the righteousness of God given to every believer today, through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. See all of us who have been born again will never face the judgment/justice we deserve.

-(vs. 9) Throughout history, God’s people have pleaded with him to finally bring in the new kingdom.

-Think of the disciples in Acts 1:6 “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

-Tendency to think of/treat us as those who are “inside” and those who are “outside” acting as if the offending party is someone “out there” That’s what David is saying here! Let those filthy evil people out there be sacrificed for our sake, then those of use who are “in” who are righteous can finally have the peace we deserve. That idea is pervasive in the church! 

-Think of the story of the Pharisee vs. the tax collector. “Thank God I’m not like those other men.” Vs. “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” One of these men received justice. Which one was it?

-Or think of Paul in 1 Cor. 6. “Such were some of you.”

-It’s not the others who are the problem, it’s all of us who are the problem! See we too used to live in the kingdom of darkness, but we have been washed and sanctified, but we still have a tendency to give in to our sin. That’s why we need to be reminded that God has given us a job to do: to tell the world that Jesus is king, and we actually have to live like we believe that truth! 

-There is an “in” and an “out” but ultimately that’s up to God to decide, and up to us to do everything we can to get as many people “in” as we can! That’s where David ends this verse: God tests the minds and hearts, righteousness is found only in Him

-Then David reminds himself (and us) that God is the only one who can/will protect us

-God is our shield, God saves/rescues/restores, and because of that, He is a righteous judge. He can/will be indignant when people don’t respond to His gracious call to repentance. So how does God respond to a lack of repentance?

  • God’s Righteous Judgment (12-17)
    • The Unrepentant (12-16)

-God responds by destroying those who will not be obedient to Him.

-Remember we saw how we view these “imprecatory Psalms” back in Psalm 5, God is a kind, loving, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love to those who fear Him, but He cannot and will not tolerate an evil rebellious spirit, so there will be discipline and destruction doled out.

-Compare vs. 10 “who saves the upright in heart” with these verses.

-Whetting a sword is sharpening it, getting it ready for battle. Bent and readied his bow, the target is in His sights, all he has to do is twitch and the arrow will fly away. Not only are the arrows ready to go: he’s dipped them in tar and fire! He’s locked and loaded and ready to deliver punishment! Why is this the case?

-Because of how the wicked man lives his life. 

-Look at this progression: conceives, pregnant, gives birth

-He’s continually giving in to sin, lying dormant with it, can’t hide it. Same idea James picks up in James 1:14-15 “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

-Sin, like being pregnant, can’t be hidden, will take the life from you, will wear you out/down and will lead to death

-Do you realize how ridiculous this is? People are offered freedom, life, flourishing, and they trade it for evil, mischief and lies. And to double down on how ridiculous this is, look at the next 2 verses:

-A guy digs a hole and falls into it. Then he throws a boomerang that comes back around and hits him on the head.

-Anyone ever watch Looney Tunes? There’s a character named Wil E Coyote whose entire life goal is to destroy the Road Runner, but each time he tries to destroy him, it comes back around to destroy himself. He’s a literal gif! Have you ever seen these? You realize just how ridiculous this is, right? 

-CS Lewis has a beautiful illustration of this in The Weight of Glory. “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

-We keep distracting ourselves, we keep fooling ourselves, we keep tricking ourselves by playing with our tiny little mud pies when we’re offered an all inclusive beach vacation! We’re flying to Florida tomorrow to visit Cara’s family: while we’re there we’re taking our kids to Disney World. Anyone who’s been there knows it’s a magical place – my kids can’t even fathom what they’re going to experience! They’d be content to swim in the kiddy pool we have in our back yard because they can’t even fathom what they’re being offered this week. 

-That’s us when we continue playing in our sin. We’re offered a trip to Disney, and we’d rather play in the 2” of water that our dogs just got out of.

-God gives freedom, joy, a brand new life where people can finally flourish and people too often are content to play in their sin.

-Yet for those who are now righteous in Christ, we can give thanksgiving:

  • Thanksgiving (17)

-Because God has made us righteous, he has extended that righteousness to the world by believing in His one and only Son. Then, when we’re in Christ, we can sing praise to His name.

-Psalmists see through a mirror dimly, we see a little more clearly

-Because of God’s righteousness, we can now come before Him through faith in His Son, by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. That’s where we can take refuge in Him, we can find justice in Him, and we can give thanks to Him. So which path are you going to take? The path the world offers, which leads to death, or the path paved by Christ, which leads to eternal life.

-One of the ways the saints of old have walked the faithful path is by celebrating and remembering the Lord’s death in communion, so we take up the same path today: remembering and celebrating the reality of the resurrection. This is a family meal reminding one another which family we’re a part of, which kingdom we’re building, and to whom we’re looking for our refuge. If you’re walking in obedience to Jesus Christ having put your trust in Him, you’re welcome to celebrate with us. Use this last song we’re going to sing as a song of preparation for the celebration of communion together.

Psalm 6 Sermon Manuscript

PLEASE NOTE: These are the notes I use to preach from, if you would like to hear them in context, please watch our YouTube channel.

Be Gracious To Me

Psalm 6 (pg. 255)

-NIVAC: Student keeping a prayer journal reading through these Psalms: “What is it with these psalmists anyway? They’re such a bunch of whiners!”

-Could you imagine singing these songs day in and day out? Definitely in the minor key!

-Another theme popping up in these Psalms, while we begin in sorrow/mourning, we don’t stay there long when we look up to God

-As we’ll see through this Psalm, there may be extended seasons of mourning, one’s entire life may be marked by mourning, but we can know and trust that God is still working

-2 notes for us today as we work our way through this Psalm:

-Window – look at it, or look through it? The Bible serves as a window, gives a framework for viewing all of life. Not bad to look at the window AT TIMES 

-A couple BAD examples: counting up the number of verse to figure out when Jesus will return. Magic 8 ball pick and choose random verses.

-A couple good examples: soaking, marinating, meditating on the Bible both big and small sections at a time. Using the Bible as a template for prayers.

-Seasons of life – your life will have seasons of wobble. Need to know which season you’re in and be strategic about what you’re devoting yourself too. What do you do when nothing seems to work?

-Dark night of the soul – nothing wrong with emotions, but being completely dependent on emotions is a problem. Many church services today tend to be centered on an emotional experience. Even seen some people have weekly “how was your worship EXPERIENCE this week?” Need an anchor for our soul (Heb. 6:14), that will keep us planted, focused, in place in the midst of life’s trials/difficulties 


  1. My Mourning (1-7)

-Vs. 0 – choirmaster, played with string instruments, Sheminith (lit. “the 8th) leading to people thinking it should be song an octave lower, or a different tuning of the instrument, sung in the minor key.

  1. Greatly Troubled (1-3)

-As we read, you can see this is another moment of desperation for David

-Almost as if David lived by the mantra: life’s hard, and then you die

-But life doesn’t have to be ONLY hard, there can be lasting joy in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in

-Many scholars think this situation is referring directly to some sin David was caught in (if so, similar to Psalm 51 where David’s murder and adultery come to light) leading to a sickness 

-Based on the use of “rebuke me not” and “discipline” not a stretch to believe it’s in response to David’s sin

-“Heal me” in vs. 2 would point to sickness, in ANE sin and sickness were connected

-These 2 words have some interesting connotations:

-Rebuke – referring to legal argumentation, therefore tied closely to the concept of righteousness, or being in right standing. David is asking God to allow him to remain in right relationship and standing with God and others

-Discipline – refers to education and training. If you’ve got a dog you discipline them to get them potty trained, or if you’ve had kids you know you need to teach and train/discipline them to get them to figure out what’s wrong. Now there’s times/moments where you probably get angry with the lack of obedience/response – that’s the situation David is in now. He’s begging God to not respond to Him in anger or wrath

-We need to have a good understanding of God’s discipline in our lives. It is educational/equipping for a life of holiness. It seems that there’s a tendency to view God as wrathful/vengeful. Some have even accused God of being an egotistical maniac. God’s overarching desire is for everyone to be in right relationship with Him and others, and He will discipline to draw people to Himself. It’s not out of spite, it’s out of love. This is where we need to remember God is a good, kind, loving, caring Father, I’m guessing everyone here who had a dad (anyone not have one) was disciplined in some capacity.

-After dealing with the justice & righteousness of God, David shifts to other attributes of God: his gracious and healing nature.

-Be gracious – means “show favor” Despite being sick and caught in sin, David has the fortitude to STILL ask for God’s favor. Do you? The reality is: even when we’re sick, even when we’re in sin, God’s favor is still showered upon those of us who are in Christ. 

-David needs this favor because he is week, feeble, languishing on his own, desperate for some breakthrough

-Then he asks for his real need: healing.

-He says he needs healing for his bones are in trouble, he is too weak. Other places in the OT this phrase is translated “terrified out of one’s senses.”

-These bones are referring to the innermost physical self, but things could get even worse.

-His soul also is greatly troubled. NIV – “my soul is in deep anguish.”

-David’s entire world feels like it’s falling apart, but instead of running away from God, it’s spurring him to run TOWARD God

-Remember: read all these Psalms as a window through which we view the world around us, so when we feel desperate, like our world is utterly falling apart, we can still boldly come before God.

-Last thing we see in this section is a final cry of anguish: HOW LONG?

-Begins addressing God again, but can’t contain his exasperation 

-One thing we’ve seen throughout these Psalms is that God invites us to beg Him, plead with Him, repeat the same requests to Him, and while that’s true, I don’t think the same is true of us! It seems that many of us get tired of continually asking God for help, pleading and begging the same things over and over and over until the only prayer we have left is: how long?

-Part of the reason God allows times like this is to strip away our self-reliant tendencies. 

-When things are going well in our lives, we have a tendency to not give a second thought to God. We know God created us, saved us, but that was in the past, it’s up to me to get through today.

-Cannot fully appreciate/comprehend normal life until going through difficulty. One of the most striking examples of this in my lifetime was the difference between September 10 & 11 of 2001. From “normal” to “where was God?”

-Last thing from this section is from James Montgomery Boice:

-“Have you noticed how often in this psalm, even in the midst of his great anguish, David calls upon God? Five times in the first four verses. That is, once or more than once in each verse! And the name he uses for God is Jehovah, which characterizes God particularly as our Redeemer or Deliverer.”

-Movie Silence

  • Deliver Me (4-5)

-David shifts in this section to bartering with God (not the best idea, but when you’re desperate I supposed anything will do!)

-Longing for deliverance, for salvation. From desperation He realizes the only way He can be saved is through the grace of God

-And that remains true today as well! Even though we have a better understanding of germ theory, medicines, the way the body works, it is no less miraculous when God allows our bodies to be healed than it was 3,000 years ago.

-Notice how David approaches this plea: 

-Asking for deliverance because of the character of God: his steadfast love. That theme KEEPS popping up in the verses! Hebrew word chesed (חֶסֶד): covenant, lasting loving faithfulness that God extends to His people

-Then David gets to his bartering in vs. 5

-Once someone dies, David reminds God that they can no longer praise Him. And it’s true! Those who didn’t praise/worship God on this side of eternity will also not be praising God on that side of eternity. Brothers and sisters, what we’re doing right here and right now is meant to be a dress rehearsal for the final play: living in the new heavens and the new earth in perfect relationship with God and each other. But if there’s no one left on earth to praise Him, how will anyone else see or be made aware of these greater spiritual realities? 

-This is pointing us to the fact that God always has and always will have his chosen people who are specifically sent to represent Him to the rest of the world. I don’t know if David thought of this passage, but it reminded me of Moses’ encounter with God where the 10 commandments were delivered (The 1st time)

-Moses pleading with God in Ex. 32:7-14.

-Make a great nation out of you: don’t you think that would sound tempting? 

-Just as David does in this Psalm, Moses barters with God by pleading with Him regarding his character. Asks God what the world would think if Israel was spared from Egypt just to be destroyed in the desert.

-Same argument David is making here – appeals to God’s ultimate glory. If everyone is dead, no one will be left to praise Him. 

-Isn’t done because God is egotistical, isn’t done for spite, it’s done because God alone is worthy of our praise, He alone is the one to whom we should be orienting our entire lives towards, He alone is the one who can ultimately heal us. (soli deo gloria)

-The last section here David brings the focus back on himself because he is exhausted.

  • Exhaustion (6-7)

-This feeling is far beyond what a simple nap would cover. The Hebrew expression is David is swimming in his tears in his bed. His tears have cried tears, and those tears have their own set of tears. The guy is crying 24/7: where he sits during the day is drenched in tears, and where his bed has become a pool.

-I think at times we tend to treat these Psalms like the melancholy, depressed friend no one ever invites over. David is the Eeyore of his friend group here! And because these Psalms don’t hide behind facades, or safe language, we can at times wrestle with reading them. 

-Feel like you should tell him to “Man up! Dudes don’t cry!” But David doesn’t care, he’s letting it all out here!

-This is a good description of the “dark night of the soul.” The point at which you need to look back and remember how God has provided in the past because sometimes your history is all you’ve got. 

-Luther: “pray and let God worry” easier said than done!

-Another theme we’ve seen throughout these Psalms is that we need to be completely transparent before God. We can’t hide from Him, we can’t trick Him, so just let it all out!

-In vs. 7 David uses a weird (to us) phrase: singular: my eye wastes away.

-Way of referring to his physical health. Someone’s eyesight is still strong, they’re still full of life. As someone’s eyes for bad their health will go with it.

-Don’t know who his foes are, could just be from his physical sickness.

-The last thing to note about David’s exhaustion is that it demonstrates David’s trust in God:

-Luther: “no one who has not been profoundly terrified and forsaken and prays profoundly.”

-To say it another way, it takes trail and tribulation to learn to pray profound prayers, and we know this is true, because of the last characteristic about God:

  • The Lord Hears (8-10)

-Feels like David is bipolar, stark contrast between vs. 7-8.

-Whatever affliction David is walking through, in spite of swimming in his own tears, he knows God has heard and will respond.

-Still has the courage to demand anyone who does evil to leave him alone

-The reason David has this courage is rooted in God’s nature. Remember what David reminded himself of back in vs. 4: God’s steadfast love. His loving kindness extended to us! 

-Because of that loving kindness, God will answer & hear our plea, God will accept our prayers, because of the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit made possible by the atoning work of the Son to the glory of the Father.

-Remember, we saw last week that the Spirit will intercede for us even when we don’t have the words to say.

-Finally, we see that while David was initially ashamed and greatly trouble, his enemies will ultimately be the ones afflicted. 

-Since David is on God’s side, his enemies are God’s enemies, so lasting justice for all of them is what David’s asking for.

-Another way of saying this is: David is pleading for shalom, for true and lasting justice and peace.

-The “hello” of the Jewish people (even today) is the Hebrew word “shalom” which means everything is in its’ proper place and order. Just that first part is enough to want me to wish for it: everything is in its’ proper place. Anyone else ever lose their keys? 

-The difficult part is that won’t actually happen until Jesus returns, so until that day there will be times, seasons where we’re swimming in our own tears. So what do we do until Jesus comes back?

-We remember the man of sorrows who was languishing, the man whose bones and soul was greatly troubled. Who asked the Lord to deliver his life and was told no. Who sweat drops of blood when He looked at the suffering He was going to be experiencing. This Psalm is a description of what Jesus experienced in our place. We can take comfort in the fact that Jesus weeps with us. We can view our suffering and struggles through the window of Jesus, who uses our suffering to refine us and make us more like Him, for His own glory. That’s where we can have hope that Jesus hasn’t given up on us yet, and here’s the best part: He never will! Church, make sure you’re looking at your suffering through the right window!