Sermon preached on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at Visalia Evangelical Free Church during the morning worship service based on Psalm 25:8-22.
Take your Bible if you will and open it to the twenty-fifth chapter of the book of Psalms, Psalm 25.
Every believer needs guidance.
We need God’s guidance with regards to His moral will and so He has given us His revealed commands and principles in His Word to guide us. And so we pray, “Teach me thy statutes/judgments” (9x in Psalm 119 ).
We need God’s guidance with regards to non-moral decisions (i.e. the matters of practical living) which is simply applying doctrine to practical living and so we pray for wisdom. James says in James 1:5 –
5 … if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
We need God’s guidance with regards to His sovereign will. By sovereign we mean that He has control over all events. God is God and I am not and will act according to His sovereign will not mine.
Rightly does our Lord declare in Isaiah 55:8 -
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
From our human, earthly perspective, we can never see more than the “fringes of His ways” (Job 26:14). We cannot analyze in what manner the Lord decrees and establishes His counsel and purpose. But that’s ok for that is where trust/faith comes in and so we pray that we may “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col 1:9).
In other words, it is a prayer to be controlled (i.e. filled) with the knowledge of His revealed will in my life rather than being controlled by what I do not know. Stick with the truth that God has revealed rather than fret about what you do not understand or know.
That is why God calls us to dwell on “whatever is true” (Phil 4:8) not on whatever could be or is not true.
Not only do we need guidance with regards to His moral will, with regards to practical everyday living, and with the larger scope of things in God’s sovereign will, but we most definitely need guidance in unique cases, circumstances, and times in our lives.
Do we not? They are perhaps the most memorable to us for they show us God’s faithfulness and His lovingkindness.
It was at such a time as this that David wrote this psalm.
• He was being attacked by enemies (vv. 2-3, 19);
• he was lonely and afflicted (v. 16);
• he was in some kind of trial trusting in God to “pluck [his] feet out of the net” (v. 15);
• he was discouraged of heart believing his troubles to be “enlarged” in his heart (v. 17).
And so with pen and paper in hand, the lowly king asks for divine guidance to lead him in the midst of opposing darkness.
In an hour of desperation, David prays, pleas, and praises God and draws us into this hour that we too might be restored according to the Lord’s perfect will and trust Him fully to the very end.
Please stand as I read this soul sanctifying psalm. Read Psalm 25.
8 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11 For your name's sake, O Lord,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
12 Who is the man who fears the Lord?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
13 His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
18 Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
19 Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
20 Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
22 Redeem Israel, O God,
out of all his troubles. (ESV)
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