My text message to our men’s group tonight:
I’m in awe and wonder at how today’s message from Revelation 5 parallels what I see in my studying tonight in these chapters – 2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 4.
David really knew how to sing a new song to the Lord. He sang to the Lord, not just on the mountaintops but especially in the valleys — when He was faced by all kinds of enemies who sought either to destroy him or cast lies and accusations against his reputation.
The enemy will try to accuse you in hopes that you will forget who you are in Christ — but do NOT leave him room for any grip or foothold in your life.
Yes, like in Psalm 118, we should, in our hour of distress, call out to Him, and trust (even KNOW) that the Lord himself is our strength and our song.
Do you walk in the authority and power of Christ who lives in you, beloved? Do you understand this mystery of His love for you, humble servant? Have you felt the reassuring discipline and chastizement of Hebrews 12:1-13 that has verse 8 confirming that you are no illegitimate, deceived child of darkness?
REMEMBER… We partook of the body and the blood today as a reminder that we are partners both in the sufferings and in the Kingdom, children of God. So rejoice in your sufferings — you disciples of Christ, you martyrs who die daily to self, you songbirds who cry out to the Lord in your hour of distress — and may the enemy see the power of the grace and blessing and favor that the Lord pours out on His creation, through a people willing to humble themselves and draw near to the God who loves them and has set them apart for Himself.
Let the face of the Lord shine upon both His beloved and His enemies, as that consuming fire that is our God — burns away the tares but does not consume the wheat that carries the seed of His Good News wherever the wind blows.
So if you read that and wonder what in the world I am talking about, I thought that I could not just hope you follow the bread crumbs in my message – but that I would walk step by step through where this came from:
You can catch Brannon Poore’s message on Revelation 5 from this morning here:
And this is the passage of scripture he was discussing:
Then I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne. There was writing on the inside and the outside of the scroll, and it was sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it.
Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the sevenfold Spirit of God that is sent out into every part of the earth.
He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.
And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth.”
Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered— to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”
And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.”
And the four living beings said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.
Revelation 5:1-14 NLT
So when I lay down to do some studying tonight, after an amazing outreach event where around 150 from the church came out to worship and sing the praises of God in a local apartment complex parking lot (where I’m blessed with the opportunity of leading a weekly Bible study), the following verse was waiting for me to dig into when I got home:
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord , will keep me safe.
Psalms 4:8 NLT
Not wanting to take a single verse and interject my own thoughts and opinions into it to support whatever might “sound good to me” about that verse on its own, I looked at the whole chapter:
Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies?
You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him.
Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord . Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”
Let your face smile on us, Lord . You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord , will keep me safe.
Psalms 4:1-8 NLT
And I was wowed (as usual) by the depth of the Word of God, where it is clear to me that David in Psalm 4 clearly walked through:
1) HOPE: Cries out to God in his time of distress
2) TRUTH:Speaks to the enemies about the wrong they are doing to Him
3) FAITH: Speaks to the enemies about God’s faithfulness to hear his call
4) WISDOM/LOVE/SPIRIT: Speaks wise warnings to himself about rightly handling the situation
5) REJOICE: Praises God
And I wanted to know more about this chapter, which led me to these commentaries for consideration (of which I preferred the second) after performing a Google search simply for “psalm 4 commentary”:
And I wanted to know more about the phrase:
Answer me when I call to you
Which led me to several different chapters to review based on: https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-verizon&ei=uVzIWeneLIqPmQHxgYKgAw&q=i+called+out+to+the+lord&oq=i+cslled+out+to&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.1.0.0i13k1l2j0i13i30k1.14384.20962.0.227220.127.116.11.0.0.0.311.3213.0j5j9j1.15.0….0…1.1j4.64.mobile-gws-serp..1.16.3212.3..35i39k1j0i67k1j0i131k1j0i20i264k1j0i10k1j0i13i10k1j0i22i30k1j0i8i13i30k1.185.prDy_XJdydQ
Out of 2 Samuel 22, Psalm 120, Psalm 18, and Psalm 120, they were all beautiful, but 2 Samuel 22 castigated me and left me in awe and wonder:
David sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang:
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. I called on the Lord , who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.
“The waves of death overwhelmed me; floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord ; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears.
“Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the heavens shook; they quaked because of his anger. Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from him. He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet. Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dense rain clouds. A great brightness shone around him, and burning coals blazed forth. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot arrows and scattered his enemies; his lightning flashed, and they were confused. Then at the command of the Lord , at the blast of his breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.
“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. The Lord rewarded me for doing right; he restored me because of my innocence. For I have kept the ways of the Lord ; I have not turned from my God to follow evil. I have followed all his regulations; I have never abandoned his decrees. I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin. The Lord rewarded me for doing right. He has seen my innocence.
“To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You rescue the humble, but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them. O Lord , you are my lamp. The Lord lights up my darkness. In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.
“God’s way is perfect. All the Lord ’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the Lord ? Who but our God is a solid rock? God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. You have given me your shield of victory; your help has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.
“I chased my enemies and destroyed them; I did not stop until they were conquered. I consumed them; I struck them down so they did not get up; they fell beneath my feet. You have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet. You placed my foot on their necks. I have destroyed all who hated me. They looked for help, but no one came to their rescue. They even cried to the Lord , but he refused to answer. I ground them as fine as the dust of the earth; I trampled them in the gutter like dirt.
“You gave me victory over my accusers. You preserved me as the ruler over nations; people I don’t even know now serve me. Foreign nations cringe before me; as soon as they hear of me, they submit. They all lose their courage and come trembling from their strongholds.
“The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock! May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted! He is the God who pays back those who harm me; he brings down the nations under me and delivers me from my enemies. You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies; you save me from violent opponents. For this, O Lord , I will praise you among the nations; I will sing praises to your name. You give great victories to your king; you show unfailing love to your anointed, to David and all his descendants forever.”
2 Samuel 22:1-51 NLT
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord ; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.
Psalms 18:6 NLT
I took my troubles to the Lord ; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.
Psalms 120:1 NLT
In my distress I prayed to the Lord , and the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. Though hostile nations surrounded me, I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord . Yes, they surrounded and attacked me, but I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord . They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a crackling fire. But I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord . My enemies did their best to kill me, but the Lord rescued me. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the Lord has done.
Psalms 118:5-17 NLT
In all of it, I was reminded both of the promise of the Lord to those in distress:
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
And the revelation in the beginning of Hebrews 12 that seems to hinge on verse 8 that either assures me or denies me from calling out to the Lord with that same confidence as David:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord ’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
Hebrews 12:1-13 NLT
And is quite beautiful that once I’ve stepped past this opening in Hebrews 12, and that I can confirm that I am indeed disciplined and chastened by my heavenly Father, that I can receive the guidance in the rest of the chapter that calls me to listen to God.
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears. You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.” No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel. Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.
Hebrews 12:14-29 NLT
Fear and awe. FIRE SHUT UP IN BONES, MUST SHARE!
May the Lord bless you and write His Word upon your heart and lead you along the path of righteousness for His name sake, you who bear the seal of His name and His spirit. Amen.