: The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 20:11-20 It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself If his conduct is pure and right. The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The Lord has made both of them. Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food. “Bad, bad,” says the buyer, But when he goes his way, then he boasts. There is gold, and an abundance of jewels; But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing. Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger; And for foreigners, hold him in pledge. Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. Prepare plans by consultation, And make war by wise guidance. He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip. He who curses his father or his mother, His lamp will go out in time of darkness.
President Donald Trump wrote a book called the Art of the Deal. And there is a certain artwork to dealing, especially when it comes to buying a car. I know some people who hate buying a car and having to haggle over the price. A few car dealerships have tried to capitalize on that by doing away with the haggle. But call me weird, I enjoy it. One of the things you do when you go to a lot and find a car you like is to make sure to point out all the things wrong with it. "There’s a scratch right there, the dashboard has a little nick in it. " “Well, there’s a few more miles on it than I would like, can you come down the price just a bit more.” Its part of the dance between you the buyer and that evil lying used car salesman. But then you get the price you want and you get out of dodge, telling everyone about the great deal you got on this sweet ride.
The book of Proverbs it is written: “Bad, bad,” says the buyer, But when he goes his way, then he boasts.” Of course, we as Christians need to be honest and fair in our business dealings but we also need to be wise and not only in buying or selling a car. Our enemy Satan is a shrewd buyer. He wants to convince us that the Christian life is drudgery, misery, and boredom. He loves to speak evil about what God has declared good so that we will give those things over to him.
The scriptures say that “God causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth, And wine which makes man’s heart glad.” Work, food, wine, and gladness are just some of the things mentioned in Psalm 104 as gifts from God. Our heavenly father gives good gifts to his children. These gifts come with responsibility and in our sinful nature we are tempted to abuse them. But if Satan can’t tempt you to abuse these good things, he will tempt you to give them up altogether. He will tell you that the work God has for you is painful toil with no gain or purpose. He will tempt you to feel guilty for eating a piece of pie on the 4th of July. He works hard get Christians to become prohibitionists of everything. He will speak evil so that you will sell out yourself to man-made rules rather than the law of God and then he will walk away boasting of your enslavement. If Satan can’t get you going bad, he will get you going good.
He is an expert artist of the deal. One way he paints his wicked masterpiece is by constantly nitpicking the faults of our fathers in the church and the nation. Everywhere we turn, we hear about how wicked those who came before us were. Satan and those doing his bidding have worked hard to cause us to curse our fathers. And to be sure our fathers have flaws. That’s easy to see. Our nation has some wicked stains in its past. The church hasn’t been perfect. But the Church of God is the bride of Christ which we are blessed to be a part of. And God has placed us in a nation where the gospel has had great influence even if we are only living on the fumes of that influence now. Satan wants to point out all the flaws of both so that he can buy them cheap and boast all the way home. Unfortunately, too many Christians have been willing to make a bad bargain.
If Satan can’t get you to idolize America and worship it, he will make you hate it. He will tempt you to be ungrateful about where God in his loving providence has placed you. If he can get you to give it over and just wait for a rapture out of here, he will go away boasting. If Satan can’t get you to blindly sit in the pew each week as an ineffective Christian thinking that is all there is to the church, he will turn you into someone who despises the local church. Satan is shrewd, but our Lord Jesus calls us to be even more shrewd. We need to be wise. Don’t sell out what God has given us. Honor your fathers in the family, church, and state even with their failures. Enjoy the blessings God has given us. Don’t come up with all kinds of man-made laws saying don’t taste, touch, or enjoy. Those have the appearance of wisdom but in the end, they are as President Trump might say “the worst trade deals” with Satan. Tell the Devil to go hell and then go get a French fry at McDonalds.
If you are able to kneel, join me in a prayer confessing how we are tempted to bad deals, to become those who give up what is good, and to hand over to Satan what doesn’t belong to him.
We are far too often gullible and double-minded. We go from excess and worldliness to a legalist aestheticism. We are tempted to draw lines where you don’t draw them. We want to put hedges of protections around your laws and in doing so we reject the good that you have given. We make rules about transfats, essential oils, carbs, organic, and gmo while not giving you the honor and thanksgiving that are due you. The Christian life is not found in eating and drinking. It is found in you and you are a good God who gives us work, food, and wine. Let us receive these things as gifts from your hands to be received with thanksgiving. Father, forgive us when we are tempted to buy the lies from Satan who tells us that your commandments are bad and what you forbid is good. How backwards we have it. To serve you is joy. Furthemore, God forgive us when we are tempted to dishonor those who came before us. Forgive us when we are tempted to be ungrateful of the church you have given us or the country you have given us to live. Our sinful nature rather fighting to preserve good wants to give it all over to Satan and have you take us out of here. God that is unfaithfulness on our part and we need your forgiveness. Give us eyes to see the goodness of your gifts. But Lord help us not to make idols of your gifts. Give us hearts that will serve you with thanksgiving. And finally help us to fight rather than give up. I pray this in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Come now, and let us reason together," Says the Lord, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool."- Isaiah 1:18
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Lift Up Your Hearts!!!!!
(From the 7/8/2018 liturgy of Sovereign King Church. Written by Joseph Spurgeon)