Bible: Outlines From the Psalms/Sermon: "Overcoming Spiritual Deserts"
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The Name of God
I. LORD (v. 1)
A. It is the Israelite designation for God; no other people call Him by this name. It is His covenant name.
B. It is connected with the verb “to be.” From Hebrew word hayah. (See Exodus 3 where it is translated “I am what I am,” or “I will be what I will be.”). We can also translate it “I am here for you.”
C. It appeared in the original text as four Hebrew consonants. The original only had consonants, no vowels. The Masoretes (AD 500-950) added them.
D. Not wishing to risk violating the third commandment, the Hebrews as early as Nehemiah’s time (c. 400 BC) did not pronounce the name as Yahweh, but substituted the title “LORD” Adonai whenever they read it aloud.
E. It also speaks of His self-existence, I.e., He is dependent upon no one but Himself for His existence.
F. The LORD Jesus identified himself as this Yahweh (John 8:50).
The Ark of the Covenant
Psalm 24: Worshiping the King of Glory
2 Samuel 6 recounts David's bringing of the ark of the covenant—over which the LORD dwelt enthroned—into Jerusalem where it would one day be housed in Solomon's temple.
The last four verses of Psalm 24 were part of a worship service used to reenact the processional bearing of the ark to the gates of the city where the people would acclaim the LORD King.
Situated in a prophetic part of the Psalms (22-24), it refers to the time when Messiah will come to set up his kingdom in Jerusalem, the capital of the millennial earth.
I. Recognize his right to receive worship (vv. 1-2)
a. He owns everything (the earth, animals, and people)
"For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills . . . And the wild beasts of the field are mine." (Psalm 50:10-11)
"His son, whom he has appointed heir of all things . . . " (Heb. 1:2)
b. He established the earth (waters under the earth support it)
II. Understand his requirements for acceptable worship (vv. 3-6)
a. Clean hands
"Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4:8)
"A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." (James 1:8)
b. Pure heart (right motives and desires- the heart is the seat of man's emotions, will and intellect.)
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can understand it? I, the LORD, search the heart . . . (Jer. 17:9, 10)
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matt. 5:8)
Other pertinent Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:7; Philippians 4:8; 1 John 3:1-3
c. Rejection of false gods/idols—
What are some current idols?
d. Faithfulness to one's word
What vows do we take?
What excuses do people make to get out of keeping promises?
". . . He who swears to his own hurt and does not change . . . “ (Psalm 15:4)
III. Welcome his victorious coming with worship (vv. 7-10)
- By "lifting up your heads" (Psalmist addresses gates and doors -figurative of the city.)
What do you think 'lift up your heads' means in this context?
Be strengthened/encouraged in spirit?
What Does America Need?
What do you think America needs to get back on the right track?
Overcoming Your Spiritual Deserts
*Look at spiritual" desert conditions" from three angles: individual, societal, and ecclesiastical
Big idea: We can overcome spiritual deserts by exercising biblical wisdom.
It's not often difficult to recognize when you've hit a "dry" period in your Christian life.
David shared one of his in Psalm 32. Please turn there. (Read vv. 3-4)
Transition: (As individuals, we know we're in a desert. . .
I. When our vitality is turned into drought (Bathsheba)
A. Warning signs of his spiritual life declining
1. Continuous, silent groaning (v. 3)
Why do we keep silent? Why do people often keep such misery to themselves?
In a word, it's pride (stubborn refusal to acknowledge that we've done something wrong, fear of public disgrace).
David's approval ratings would have "gone South."
How about us? Angry arguments with spouse or children.
What's a silent groan sound like?
2. That ''weighed down'' feeling (v. 4a)
Another word for this condition of feeling God's heavy hand is conviction.
God's Spirit puts his finger on some sore spot in our conscience--seared, callused, no feeling
3. Physical drain (v. 4b) lit. My juice, sap, life-moisture is transformed into a spiritual/emotional weariness.
What causes this condition? Is it always blatant sin?
Physical fatigue may have nothing to do with a spiritual problem.
However, if that fatigue results in biting someone's head off, then it's sin.
Sin often creeps into our lives because of a lack of balance.
B. Remedies--How can we reverse the drain?
1. Psalm: confess (read v. 5a; result: forgiveness (5b)
2. Lamentations: wait, submit (3:25-29)--compassion (22).
Transition: (On the societal level, we know we're in a desert . . .
II. When irreverence produces "Bible famine" (Amos 8:11)
What is famine? A condition in which there is no food.
Amos prophesied of a future day when God would not give revelation, so people would have no prophet to turn to for guidance.
Today--widespread biblical illiteracy, shoddy, ear-tickling teaching from the pulpit, majoring on the minors (how to solve social problems through economic means) instead of teaching solid doctrine and training in evangelism and discipleship.
1. Rejection of God
A. Refusal to accept his correction (4: 6-11), hunger (v. 6), drought (vv. 7-8), loss of production (v. 9), plagues (v. 10), urban destruction (v. 11).
What corrections has our society refused to respond to?
Much of the same, even though America is not God's people.
- Rejection of his message (7: 10-13)- Amaziah, priest of Bethel, tells Amos to leave the country
2. Treating God's commands lightly (8:4-6)
a. Verse 5 exposes the "I can't take a day off for God" mentality
b. Verse 6 speaks about the "take advantage of the little guy" syndrome--Israel was responsible to help poor and needy, but it was involved in slave labor.
How does America treat God's commands lightly today?
Doling out extra work without a just compensation, seeking excessive profit.
How can we help the poor?
Government handouts do not work. (Gal. 6:10- therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.)
B. Is reversal possible?
Repentance (Amos 5--seek the LORD and live, seek good and not evil).
America is not the Promised Land, and Americans are not the nation Israel.
But we can expect similar consequences if we turn from God.
Transition: (Most of the church today doesn't even know that it's in a spiritual desert
III. Because wealth hides our real neediness (Rev. 3:17-19)
1. Declaration of self-sufficiency (v. 17a)
2. Ignorance of true spiritual status (v. 17b)
1. Recognize true gold [a tried and refined Godly character]
(v. 18a; 1 Pet.1: 6-7--in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. . . )
2. Receive true righteousness [having put on Christ] (18b).
3. Regain true perception [see reality from Christian worldview] (v. 18c)
4. Recall true repentance [change their mind about their lifestyle] (v. 19)
How do I overcome my spiritual deserts?
If you are sinning, confess and repent; if not, wait upon the LORD and submit to His will. His compassions are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness (Lamentations 3)
© 2013 glynch1