Psalm 63 - Early Will I Seek You

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Sunday, 8. September 2019

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Leave your bibles open to psalm 63 if you would. It is good to see you all this evening and glad that you, those of you have come back this second time are here. Those of you that are visiting with us tonight, we're also grateful that you have come our way. Bear with me for a second to let me wet my throat again. There are some disadvantages for me when it comes to leading, singing and preaching at the same time, one of which is I can't complain about the songs. The song leader leads being too long and cutting into my time.

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It is a blessing to be able to do that. As much as I enjoy leading, the singing and I don't mind leading it from time to time and I don't mind doing that at all. It gives me something to focus my mind on other than the other things that I do as far as the classes and in the teaching, because I believe singing is one of those things that when we do it, we do it together. When we sing with the spirit and we sing with the understanding, then I get great joy out of that. But not because it satisfies me, but because it's what God has, has requested as part of our worship of him. And be to be able to do it with those who are like precious faith is, is special. And we've done that today. We do this every Lord's Day, Sunday morning, Sunday evening.

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Every time we come together we sing. And it's not something that's out of the ordinary, but it is something that I consider to be a blessing as part of our worship together. And I want to thank you for participating in it together. We are going to be looking at the psalms, and I've done this throughout the year, we've looked at several of the songs this year or over nine months, haven't really. I got thinking about it. I haven't taught as many of the psalms as I thought I had, but more than I thought I hadn't taught. Does that make sense? Uh, that is not as few as I thought I had but not as many as I thought I had either. So it's one of those things that when we look at psalm 63 we're going to be discussing some things about David that thought that early will I seek you in the verse one is something that stands out. This morning I kind of put Ron on the spot at the end of the Bible class and I told him that I was going to begin this lesson by asking one simple question.

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Who are you? I'm not going to ask him to do that. I you may be ready to do it but I'm not going to put you on the spot and make you do that. I know he's a little bit hoarse and I want everybody to hear him what he would have to say, but uh, that's not as important. What I'll do is I will tell you why I asked that. Want to ask that question. This past Friday, Cindy and I went to see a movie together on Friday afternoon called the "Overcomer." In this movie, there is a man who is in the hospital, he's lost his sight to diabetes. He's laying in the hospital bed and he's close to dying. He's, he's not, he's not going to be living a great deal of time. Longer a basketball coach for a private school accidentally comes in to his room and bumps into his door and his door opens and, and they develop a relationship over time.

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He's didn't the guy, the man didn't get many visitors and he really appreciated just the, the off chance that somebody accidentally poked their head in his door. As over time this basketball coach, he became a cross country coach and he relied on this man because this older man now was at one time the third best runner in the state. And so he got coaching advice on how to train individuals. One day they got into a very serious conversation and it was a conversation about God. And the man in the hospital bed because the coach was becoming a little discouraged. Asked him the question, who are you? First thing out of the man's mouth was, well, I'm a basketball coach.

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He said, we'll strip that away. Then who are you? He said, I'm a husband and a father. He said, strip that away then who are you? He said something else and he said, strip that away. Who are you? He said, one more thing. He said, strip that away. Who are you? And finally he said, I'm a child of God. And the man laying in the bed said, why is it so far down on the list describing who you are? When you start thinking about that, there is one more thing that this man said that really stuck out in my mind.

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"Your identity is who you're heart is tied to." I say that and having read the 63rd Psalm together, I believe that David knows exactly who he is. David knows that he is a child of God. David's heart is tied to God. And you see it in the words of this prayer. There's this a psalm that as it unfolds that David understands this. Now there is some background to the 63rd Psalm that we we might want to look at at first and we understand this that in your bibles many of them have had these little Italicized headings and they tell about what the psalm is. Mine here in in the Bible that using and right now she has joy in the fellowship with God, but it also tells me that it's a psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

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This tells me when I think about this that David is not in Jerusalem. It tells me that something has taken David away from Jerusalem. And when I'm looking at this and understand this, then it also helps me to understand that this particular psalm when you look at it, when he starts talking about those who seek my life to destroy it in verse nine who is who, who's trying to seek his life? Well, there've been many occasions in David's life that others tried to seek his life. And it is possible that it could be one of two situations here. It could be possible that it is Saul who is is chasing him. You turn your bibles to first, first Samuel Chapter 22 and First Samuel Chapter 23 and you see Saul's pursuit of David. We know that Saul wanted David's life, but then others believed that it could possibly be during the time of Absalom, his son, when David fled Jerusalem in Second Samuel Chapter 15 now, I don't know that the evidence here really supports one over the other.

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I'll I can tell you is, you know some strongly believe that it's Absalom at this time. I could see evidence basically for both because of the troubled situations that he had. Think about this. He has a father in law who wants him dead and he has a son who wants him dead. What's gonna run through your mind at this time? Think about all of these things. David now we know he's not in the city of Jerusalem. He has fled to the Wilderness of Judea for safety and what's running through his mind at this particular time? Well, he kind of gives us a hint when he writes this psalm. He's told us what is in his mind. Think about it. He's running from whoever it i., The heartbreak that he's feeling, the fact that that along with that there is fear for his own life and maybe not his own life, but for those that have come with him. He had supporters that at times you think about second Samuel Chapter 15 when he fled Jerusalem and Absalom was after him. He had supporters that left with him. So there would have been that possibility, uh, of that fear not only for his life, but for their's also, and then the despair that accompany this type of personal turmoil. You think about life's ups and downs. Would he think of God in ways that would not honor God? Now think about that for just a moment because when things are difficult in our life, when we are not at that, at the mountain top, you, everything's just great. How do we talk about God?

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How do we think about God? Do we think things about God that, that are not biblical thoughts about God? They're unscriptural thoughts about God. Do we blame God for the things that we faced because believe it or not, we're not that different than David. Every last one of us is going to face some trial in our life. And it may be that we face more than one trial in our life because David did. How we come through those and how we think about God and how whether or not our heart is tied to him really makes a difference in how we get through these things and how we approach these difficult times. There are going to be three points that I want you to consider in this lesson this evening. There's going to be seeking God and that's something that when you look at verse one early, will I seek you?

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David immediately addresses that very thought. Then we're going to talk about praise because when you do that, verse three, "My Lips shall praise you." And then there's going to be rejoicing and that's going to be found down in verse seven because you have been my help. Therefore the shadow of your wings, I will rejoice. You might tag on to this with rejoicing the fact that David remembers in verse six and it's what he remembers that brings him to rejoicing. And so as we go through this pslam together, this evening and look at these individually. Let's just take and consider, try to envision your own type, your own mind at this time. If your enemies are pursuing you, if someone wants to do you harm, if some trial in your life is taking you to that deep dark recesses of your mind.

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Is your link to God strong enough to think like David does? Is your covenant relationship to God strong enough to help you overcome and to reach that point of being able to rejoice? Because when you look at this and you look beginning at verse one again, it says, "Oh God, you are my God." Here's where David identifies himself as being God's. This is where he identifies himself as being tied to God. He said, "Early, will I seek you. My soul thirsts for you. My flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land." There's the despair, there's the difficulty. But even in that dry and thirsty land, what is he said, my soul thirsts for you. I long for you and so you think about those things because this wasn't the first time David sought God. You Know David, if you remember as as a young boy talked about God a lot. Remember that when he went out to face Goliath, who did he say would help him?

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It wasn't the armor of Saul was it because that was too bulky and too big for him. It wasn't the army of Israel that was going to stand behind him. It was going to be God that was going to give him the victory. You think about Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes, when are we supposed to remember our creator in the days of our youth? David, I would suggest began this very early in his life early will I seek you. But even in the dark days when you rise up in the morning, you begin seeking God then. Not just in your youth but in the days of trial early you seek him first and you look at David and and how he is. He is addressing this and he says, these things understand that David in both good and bad times felt that he was in God's presence.

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What happens to us when we go through these desperate times is we often believe that God has abandoned us. Don't we? We've asked God, where are you? David's not asking where God is. He knows God is there. Now he's, he's very confident in that. He's confident he is his child and so in that dry and thirsty land, he says, "I have looked for you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory." So we ask the question, do we only seek God when the Times are hard? You know? See that that would be the easy thing to do, isn't it? And think about this with in seeking God early, it doesn't mean we only seek him when the, at the beginning of the times that becomes difficult. There is a poem that Cindy and I, Cindy, I think Cindy gave it to me. I don't remember who it was or pointed it out that I preach a sermon based on it and use scripture to support the poem. But the gist of it is it's in the valleys where I grow. It's not always at the on the mountain tops where we grow. It's in those difficult times. It is there. When we find out how secure our bond to God actually is. Do we just, but do we just turn to him in those difficult times? What about those times where everything is going great? Do we forget to praise God? Do we forget to pray to God? Do we forget to seek him in those days?

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That is something that we have to consider. David, he praise God in the good days, in the bad days, he never forgot to look to God. He was always seeking God. He was always longing for God. You think about, let's ask this question real quick. Look at this song as a prayer to God. How do we treat prayer? You've heard me say this before. Do we treat it as a spare tire or steering wheel? Something that we use to help keep us between the lines on the road of life or only when we need it in an emergency and you consider this. This was not David's character at all. He is clearly expressing that longing for God. He's looking at God as that which can refresh his soul. And he's expressing that he loves that the care that God is providing him and he desires that care, that longing, that love.

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You see, what happens is seeking God is very personal to David. Seeking God should be equally personal to each and every one of us. You think about what we're, what Jesus said in the sermon on the mount, "seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness." How do you do that? Well, you go back to the beatitudes. You're told to hunger and thirst for his righteousness. That's where that seeking begins. When we have that true hunger and thirst for it. Seeking God requires this though to be in that covenant relationship with him like David was. Under the old law. David was in a covenant relationship. It is a covenant that is manifested in our lives. Whether we are experiencing great times or whether we are growing in those valleys. Through life's ups and downs. Prayer is not an emergency switch that we throw when times are dismal. Sometimes our lives, I really liked this phrase are a hot mess or I've heard other people describe their lives as a dumpster fire. But you know, is that the only time we see God? And think about this to think about how David is addressing him.

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Oh God. In that first verse in the Hebrew, that is the word Elohim, the same word that we see back over in Genesis chapter one to describe God, but that Hebrew word, Elohim means strong one. So who is David seeking? He is seeking the one who could provide him the strength to get through this time. He's not relying only on himself. He wants God. He wants God's strength and David recognizes him then as the only strength that he needs. So I seek you. So I have looked for you in the sanctuary to see what your power and your glory. Not who I am and how that I'm such a great king, but I'm seeking God in his power, in his glory. Consider this, that that second point that we look at is David praises God. And the reason he praises God is evident in verse three because your loving kindness is better than life. My Lips shall praise you. Think about that.

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Have you ever said anything like that about anything in your life that this is better than life itself? The only thing that could possibly fit that description is the loving kindness of God. To truly fit that because not only is it better than life, it's because he is the giver of life. I look at this and and I see David and say, wonder, why does David say he will praise God? Well, because of that loving kindness. That loving kindness is better than life. Socrates. I remember this example that was given to me years and years ago. Socrates had had a young man that, that came to him wanting to know the meaning of life, wanting to know all the answers to life. And he took him out into a stream or to a body of water and dunked the kid under the water, pulled him up out of the water and the kids gasping and said, what do you want?

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And the kid said knowledge. And he throws him back down under the water and holds him under the water again until he, he's gasping for air and struggling, pulls him back up out of the water. What do you want? Knowledge puts him back, does this several times. And finally the last time the kid comes up and says, AIR. Well when we reached the point in our lives where we realized that we need God that desperately and that he is the only thing that can provide us that strength, then we think about how we can understand that David is recalling, what he's recalling to his mind when he's talking to God of his steadfast love. Look at verses three through six or look at verse four cause we've already looked at verse three. "Thus I will bless you while I live. I will lift up my hands and your name, my soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips."

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Verse six, "when I remember you on my bed, I will meditate on you in the night watches." Now think about some of the that David has gone through in his life. You begin to understand how he can talk about the steadfast love of God as he is talking about him. Because David is recognizing some things about God. He understands the relationship, that covenant relationship that he has with God. He understands that God is a covenant keeping God. He also understands, I believe that God is a promise keeping God. And he knows that when you look at this, that God keeps his promises with those who are in that covenant relationship with him. We're talking about those who walk with God. David walked with God. He can say these things about the loving kindness of God because he's experienced them.

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He's experienced God's blessings. And you, you think about this, these, this is we're talking about people who are faithful to God. God's steadfast love is always with his people. So who are you? If you say that you are first his child and you're living that way in that covenant relationship with him, then he is always going to be with you. Remember the words that one of the songs that we sang tonight, he's not going to leave you or forsake you. Because you're in that relationship with him. Your heart is tied to him. "I will praise you singing lips that honor God because of his love. I will bless you because of your steadfast love." You think about this, if you live long enough, you're going to go through the hardships. You're going to have family troubles. You're going to have troubles at the job. You're going to have troubles at school. You're going to, you're going to have troubles in your life.

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You will find yourself living in a valley or the dumpster fire or you might just be one hot mess. But you'll find your place there. Will you praise God the way David did? Will you bless God or will you curse him in those difficult days? Remember Job? Remember job's wife? He's lost everything. Everything looks dismal. No hope left. What does his wife tell him? Curse God and die. What does, what does job's friends discuss with him? Well said. The reason that you're in the mess that you're in, is there sin in your life? You know these days that are like this. Those are the days that we're going to be most vulnerable to Satan, to allowing him to enter our lives and tempt us and cause us to stumble and fall. It is those times that we may compromise our faith. It is in those days that if he tempts us to believe things, that he will tempt us to believe things that are not true about God.

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For instance, in those days you might be convinced that God doesn't love you or God doesn't care. I don't see that with David in these verses do you? He's being pursued. Someone wants to do bodily harm and see him dead and yet he's praising God. He's, he's praising him for his loving kindness. He's, he's blessing him because of what he's done. "I will lift up my hands in your name" and we'll talk about that here in just a moment too because we mentioned that particular idea it last week in Nehemiah chapter eight there is a sense when you, when you look at this, he's there. He says, I will lift up my hands in your name. To the Jew went when they were doing this is they would lift up their hands in prayer to God and Nehemiah chapter eight if you remember that when we were talking about that those people that stood there from morning to noon, as Ezra was reading the Law of God to them bowed their heads and lifted their hands up to God during that time. David says, I'm going to do the same thing the Apostle Paul tells us at times in Timothy's letter to lift up holy hands. Well, what does that mean as it is he simply talking about a posture in prayer? Well, no, but it is a posture that we can take. We don't have to not do it because somebody else is doing it. But what it symbolizes is just this, that I'm putting my trust in you. Oh God, I'm empty and I need you.

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That what you're doing is, is you're showing the trust that you have in him. And David is expressing that very same thing. I will lift up my hands in your name. My soul shall be satisfied. My mouth shall praise you with joyful lips, even in the difficult times. This is David in the valleys, but it's also David on the mountaintops. Because that's who he was. He was a child of God. And then there's this rejoicing. David rejoices and, and you look beginning at verse seven, "Because you have been my help. Therefore in the shadow of your wings, I will rejoice." One of the things that I, I constantly pray and I, I've know that when I've led a prayer, I've said it here in times past, it's one of the thoughts that enters my mind. God, keep us in You're, always in your tender love and care. Keeping that in mind, that that's basically saying the same thing, that what David is requesting to be kept in the shadow of his wings. Because that is a place of protection. That is a place of loving care. And you'd look at this verse six go back to it real quick. When I remember well, why? Remember David? Why remember all these things? Why re joys?

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Because God has always been there for David and David knows that David recognizes that he remembered and rejoiced and God's forgiveness and he's had received that on a couple of times. If you remember, he was guilty of Uriah's death. He was guilty of adultery. He was guilty of covetousness, of wanting another man's wife. He was guilty of sin. And yet this is a man who got, or Paul describes in Acts, in the book of Acts by the testimony of God, that David was a man after my own heart who will do all of my will. David, why do you rejoice? Why do you remember these things? Because of God's grace. Because of his mercy, because of his kindness toward me. He remembers and rejoices because of God's forgiveness. He remembers in rejoices that God was his strength in times of distress. The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. And maybe this is David's saying that my soul follows close behind you because of these things.

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He rejoices in God's character. When you think about this, he rejoices in God's character that daily reminds him that God is with him and holds him up. There's another picture I get in my mind about God holding us up. Its a picture of an old barn that that's leaning. It's got posts that are stuck in the ground and hold it up and it says, prop me up on my leaning side that God does that for us all the time. Whether we realize it or not, David is confident, confident that God will defend him and that his enemies will be defeated. Verse Nine but those who seek my life to destroy it shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword. They shall be a portion for jackals. Why are you rejoicing? Because I know that God is with me. I know that God is my strength. I know this is what he's saying, that God's righteousness always wins.

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I know that God always takes care of his people. Do we believe that? Do we live like that? Who are you? And in rejoicing, the last verse, the King Shall Rejoice in God. Everyone who swears by him shall glory, but the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped. There it is. The righteousness of God always prevails. Just think about this. Where is your heart today? Are you tied to God in a covenant relationship? Are you his child? If not, let's ask the question one more time. Who are you? If you're not his child, why not start seeking him today?

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If you're not his child? If you seek him and find him, what will you do? Will you begin praising him only in the good times or will you continue to praise him in the times of trials as well when you find him. Will you remember? Will you rejoice that he is your God? Let's think about it. The God of David is the same God that sent his son into this world to die from your sins. The God of David is the same God who allowed his son to die on a cross, shed his blood for us so that we could have the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life. He died for you so that you could know who you are. That you are a child of God. And if you're one will you not please become one this evening. In obedience to his will be baptized for the remission of your sins. But if you've strayed from him, you forgotten who you are. Start remembering like David did. Come back to Him. He'll forgive you. We stand ready to assist you with prayer and encouragement if that is your need, but come to Jesus. He will save you. It's his invitation, so won't you come to him this evening? As together we stand and as we sing.