Saturday, June 23, 2012

TGCW12 Session 4: Carrie Sandom, From a Miry Swamp: The God Who Comes and Delivers

Carrie Sandom, "From a Miry Swamp: The God Who Comes and Delivers"

Ps. 40

David is ensnared by his many sins, v. 12. He knows his sins are numerous and he is aware of them. He also has pressure from outside with his enemies seeking his downfall, v. 14. His situation is pretty desperate.

What does David do in this situation?

He remembers God's deliverance in the past, v. 1-10
Recalls another time when he was in pit of despair. His focus is on the Lord who delivered him. "LORD" is the covenant name for God, YHWH. David speaks within context of covenant relationship and recalls how he too was delivered like Moses and Israelites.

Look how he remembers the Lord's deliverance: The Lord inclined. He stooped down to hear my cry. This is the magnitude of God's gracious intervention. No way David could get himself out; the Lord's initiative and His alone. The Lord pulled him out and settled him onto solid ground where his feet could stand firm. His rescue lifted his soul, body, mind, spirit and a new song in his mouth: a song of praise to OUR God, not just my God. This is what Yahweh does for all His covenant people. His nature to deliver those who call on His name and put their trust in Him. He is the God who delivers.

Now David anticipates the many others who will come to know the Lord's deliverance and put their trust in Him. Those who know what it's like to be utterly desperate and wonderfully rescued will understand David's joy.

David responds to deliverance 3 ways:
1. He affirmed his faith in God, v. 4-5 Affirmed his belief that God's favor rests on those who put their trust in Him. Nothing this world offers can compare with the Lord God who has done marvelous deeds and revealed His purposes to His people! No one can match Him!
2. He dedicated himself to God's will, v. 6-8. "You have dug out my ears"; God has opened up channels so David can hear him clearly. He doesn't delight in ritualistic religions; wants instead a heart of devotion with inner resolve to be obedient. David wants nothing other than God's laws written on his heart and his life shaped by total submission. Desire to be obedient is a mark of true conversion.
3. Proclaimed God's word, v. 9-10. Uses negatives to underline the positives: I have not restrained my lips, I have not concelad your steadfast love. I have spoken of your faithfulness. David remembered God lifted him out and set him on firm ground and it is this past deliverance that gives him confidence. He now prays for God's deliverance in present.

v. 11 is turning point, hinge between two sections
Up to this point David has been remembering. David's situation has changed. Once again in miry bog and remembering gives him confidence as he asks for deliverance in present.

Battles on two fronts: internal with own sin which is so great: desire to be obedient was sincere but short lived. His flesh is weak but heart has failed. Also external battles. Surrounded by enemies seeking his downfall. Opposed by many different people seeking his ruin. Humbled by his sin and pursued by enemies: utter helplessness and cries out to Lord.

Lifts attention from self and unto the Lord focusing on two things. He prays with confidence because  of:
1. The Lord's unchanging character. His mercy never fails, v. 11. David ha snot kept his promises tot he Lord but know the Lord will keep his promises to him. His steadfast love with protect and preserve his people. David prays with confidence because he knows the Lord never changes.
2. The Lord's enduring promise, v. 16-17. David knows the Lord listens to the cries of his people. All those who seek him will rejoice because one day his salvation will come. He acknowledges the frailty of his situation but he knows the Lord is mindful of his people and has promised deliverance.

And then he waits, in confidence the Lord's mercy never fails and his deliverance will one day come.

What does this say to us today? Compared to David we stand in different historical context. We have even more reason to trust the Lord and to be confident in His deliverance.

Heb. 10:4-7
David couldn't obey God's will for long; he needed a Savior, one who could deal with his sin once and for all! The Lord Jesus Christ is the one who comes, the one who delivers. Impossible for blood of bull and goats to take away sins, it couldn't deal with the real problem, the problem of the human heart. So the Lord God prepared a body for Jesus, He was the one true sacrifice that dealt with sin forever. He took the punishment of sin upon himself, a substitutionary death, also a sacrificial death. Died a death we deserved and lived a life we couldn't. By His Spirit His law now written on our hearts and enables us to live a life of obedience.

Jesus is the one David speaks of in Ps. 40. Prophetic! It's the Lord Jesus who finally brought God's deliverance to his people. We have even more reason to trust 2000 years later. His mercy didn't fail! His deliverance came through death and resurrection of Lord Jesus

What are we to do?
1. We should remember God's deliverance in past and give thanks for Jesus. The cross is point of history we look to where God secured our deliverance for all eternity. Our battle with sin is very real but the penalty was dealt with once and for all by blood of Lamb.
2. On basis of that deliverance pray for present deliverance. Sometimes He will answer by changing our circumstances for better but He doesn't promise He will always do that in this life. Only in new creation will we be free from all our suffering. But our future is secure and we will enjoy eternity in His presence forever.
3. We can join with David and countless others and sing of the Lord's goodness, affirming our faith in him, dedicating ourselves to serving Him, but with Spirit within and enabling us. Proclaiming good news of Lord Jesus Christ to others. He is our hope and deliverer and has given us a new song to sing.

No memory of past deliverance? Realize your sin, believe His work on the cross and cry out to Him for deliverance! Join us in that new song of praise!

Note: these are my notes that were hastily typed during the presentation. Any and all error in transcription is mine and not the instructor's. Also, please excuse the multitude of grammatical errors!

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