Daily in the Psalms : Psalm 43
HELP AND ENCOURAGEMENT IN TIMES OF TROUBLE
Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalms 43:1-5
The Psalmist calls his enemies ďAn ungodly nation, deceitful and unjust.Ē The enemies of Godís people are always unmerciful and unloving. David had been a great blessing to this nation, but he now faces those that are ungrateful and cruel. It is hard to imagine, but these words may make us believe that David feels rejected by God. But we must notice the beginning words of verse two as he appeals to the God in whom he trusts. In verse one he says, ďJudge me, O God, and plead my cause.Ē His enemies were many and they took courage in the fact that it seemed he had been forsaken by his God. Their persecution and reproach increased and he calls out to God for vindication. Godís people can always honestly and fearlessly call out to God and ask Him to judge between us our the ungodly. David knew that he had done nothing to deserve the harsh treatment of his enemies and if God would intervene on his behalf, it would be a clear sign of Godís approval of him. David was not relying on his own strength; he was pleading for Godís strength and protection. Such a plea is never ignored by God. His great desire was to be restored to the sweet fellowship that Godís people have when they gather in His House. The child of God knows that he is out of fellowship with God when he is away from the House of God. Separation from Godís House brings His displeasure upon us. It makes the suffering of the persecution of our enemies much worse. He knew if he were restored to the House of God he would be quickly justified and obtain Godís promised grace. More than the comforts of his home, more than the security of his throne, more than the benefits of his riches, he desired fellowship with God. He could bear the want of material things, but the thought of being away from God was more than he could bear. Nothing brings joy, comfort, and security to the child of God like the fellowship of the House of God. We see Godís light as His favor or mercy. We see His truth as His faithfulness. He prays that through the mercy and faithfulness of God he might be led back to the enjoyment and privileges and blessings from which he was now deprived. The person that sets his hope firmly in the favor and faithfulness of God is surely blessed. His path will lead to a joyful end. David promised God that if he is restored to the House of God he will not waste the opportunity; he will worship the Lord. He speaks of the altar, which indicates sacrifice. He speaks of joy and delight. And he speaks of praise. Instrumental music was a great part of Davidís worship; he was proficient with the harp. He promised to use the talents he had to praise God. God does not demand the same from everyone, but He does expect us to offer the best we have. It is the least we could do and He surely is worthy of our best.
David encourages himself in the Lord. He is reminding himself that God will do as He has always done. Godís people ought to be examples of people whose hope is steadily fixed in God When other hearts fail with fear, our heart ought to trust in the Lord our God In the midst of personal storms we must learn to calmly trust in God In the midst of the fierce battle, we are to rest in God and His strength In the midst of conflict and confusion we must learn to love Him In the midst of our want we are to draw exceeding joy from Him We must see His presence as our most treasured possession Even in the face of sure defeat we must place our confidence in God to deliver us In the darkness of our trials we must be guided by the eye of faith God help us to take these and many other lessons from this brave and trustful man of God
THE ALTAR OF GOD
Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. Psalms 43:4
There is a lot of talk about worship today; some even claim to practice it. But most worship today is separated from the old fashioned altar. Altar worship is authorized worship and the altar is the sure door to approach God. Our worship is not like the worldís worship; some peculiar things are included in our worship. When we get to Heaven there will be no altar and no Temple. But in our present state, if we are to approach a Holy God, we must go by way of the altar. The altar reminds us of the sacrifice that was made for our sin and that reminder will convict us of any present sin in our lives. As sinful men we cannot draw near to God in our own name, we must go in the Name of Christ, our sacrifice. His Name cannot be linked with our sin. Worship is not the act of claiming our rights; it is our plea for mercy. We are guilty and the sentence of death is on us. In worship we flee to the atonement of Christ. David did not resolve to go to an altar of human devices; he was going to the altar of His God. The cross is our altar. There the Precious Blood of Christ was shed for our sin. That Blood is the ONLY accepted sacrifice and it is our ONLY hope. Through the Blood and only through the Blood are we cleansed and made acceptable to God. The continual fire on the altar assured the Priest that their prayer would be heard and their sacrifice accepted. Praise God the sacrifice of Christ never needs to be repeated, but it must be revisited. By revisiting the cross we acknowledge that Christ was offered once and for all. Our Risen Saviour will never die again; He has an unchangeable Priesthood. Because of Him we have access to the Throne of Grace and our prayers are always accepted. When we bow at the altar of God and do business with Him, the result will always be joy. We may have to bow in sorrow, but we will rise in praise. There is infinite glory in being reconciled to God by His grace. Coming into His presence always produces enduring adoration and gratitude. True Worship will result in God revealing Himself to us and we will see His infinite beauty, His glory, purity, and perfection.
Human words could never do justice to the statement made by David as he says, ďMY GOD!Ē All His glory is ours. He is the Everlasting God and because He lives, we shall live also. In Him we are absolutely secure, sufficiently provided for, completely protected, and all other attributes that are His become ours. I wish I had words to describe the benefits of worship, all I can say today is worship makes His wisdom, mercy, and love ours. The very reason we seek to worship God is because we lack confidence in ourselves and everything else. But in worship Christ assures us that we can absolutely confide in Him and rest in knowing that He does all things well. I am nothing, but I can look to God and upon God in worship. He loved me enough to come to this earth and die for me, and He loves me enough to personally meet with me in worship. Worship reminds me that He that so loved me will never leave me. Doubts and fears come into our lives so often. Those doubts and fears will chill our souls and oppress our spirit. But when we bow at His altar, our assurance is renewed, our faith becomes richer and our love becomes deeper. Those doubts and fears will quickly be washed away by the river of His love and grace.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalms 43:5
So Glad To Be So Saved
Danny "Preacher" Bezet