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 18:11-20 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination. Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor. He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him. The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But as for a broken spirit who can bear it? The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. A man’s gift makes room for him And brings him before great men. The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him. The cast lot puts an end to strife And decides between the mighty ones. A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a citadel. With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips.
The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But as for a broken spirit who can bear it?
This is a true statement, is it not? How often in life have you witnessed a man, woman, boy, or girl endure sickness, injury, or the loss of creature comforts? Think about Maple Manor, where the men and women, some Christians, some not, in general, seem to take their physical deterioration and illnesses in stride. As it relates to physical well being, most people seem to have a natural tendency towards self preservation and their innate desire to prolong life generally spurs them on in the face of some physical challenge, like illness or injury.
Matthew Henry notes: “Outward grievances are tolerable as long as the mind enjoys itself and is at ease. Many infirmities, many calamities, we are liable to in this world, in body, name, and estate, which a man may bear, and bear up under, if he have but good conduct and courage, and be able to act with reason and resolution”.
There is another sickness of a sort which even the strongest men and women can not bear up under. This ailment is of the type which sinks all the way down past bone and bodily organs, and into the very heart of man, woman, boy, and girl. This condition is spiritual, rather than physical, and has troubled many a faithful saint. It is the broken spirit.
This condition comes upon you in the middle of the night when you are fretting over relationships in your life which have taken a turn for the worse. A broken spirit creeps into your life when suddenly, without warning, job loss takes away your ability to provide for your family. Perhaps compromise with sin has led you to a place in your life where you never would have imagined being, and now you are feeling dejected, trapped, with a broken spirit.
For you, maybe it is a brokenness in spirit as you look around this world watching the wheels fall off of our nation, and rather than looking at things through eyes of faith, you are being led along by the flesh and are despairing.
King David knew something of despair. In Psalm 42 and 43 he asks “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me?”, and twice answers: “Hope in God.”
Brothers and sisters, if you are a child of God you are not without hope this morning. You have a Great High Priest, Jesus Christ the righteous, who sympathizes with us in our weaknesses (Heb 4:15), Who is Himself a “man of sorrows acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3), and remembers our frames, that “we are but dust” (Psalm 103:14). Be of good cheer brothers and sisters. You have a sure hope, and nothing can separate you from the love of God found in Christ Jesus.
If you despair because of sin: repent, forsake your lusts and worldly desires, and turn back to Christ. Perhaps your sorrow is due to outside pressures, enemies, and troubles: repent where you have taken your eyes off of Jesus and have instead allowed fear to toss you to and fro.
If you are able, let us kneel together at this time and call out to our Heavenly Father
“Please be merciful to me, the sinner!”
Psalm 42 To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah. As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Heavenly Father, please show us grace, that we might hope in You, praise You in the congregation, and teach unbelievers your ways. Please forgive us for our transgressions against You. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
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 6/21/2020 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)