The Lord Is My Rock (2 Samuel 22)

 

22:1 And David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.

  1. David spoke to the LORD
    1. He sings a hymn of praise
    2. Gives us guidance of what a hymn should be
      1. This one is recognition of deliverance
      2. Overall the “giants” at the end of chapter 21
      3. From Absalom and Saul
      4. From violence (v. 3)
  2. What are some hymns we sing that do this?
    1. A Mighty Fortress

 

2 He said, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, 3 my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. 4 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

  1. The specific lyrics praise Yahweh
    1. He is his Rock (literally a cliff, a place of security), Fortress (castle), and Deliverer (rescuer)
      1. He is the castle’s place and the castle and the rescuer who lives in the castle.
    2. He is “the God of my rock” (strength)
      1. He’s the place of refuge and the shield
      2. He is the “horn of his salvation” or the power that saves him
      3. Stronghold (high tower) and refuge
      4. He is a total savior from violence
  2. So, David will call upon him and admit that he is worthy to be praised

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Hallelujah! (Revelation 19)

 

  1. We just finished Revelation 18
  2. John heard the angel say, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen
  3. Then he threw a giant rock into the middle of the ocean to show that it will never be seen again

 

When the saints realize it, they begin to praise…

After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” 3Once more they cried out, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.” 4And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5 And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.”  Read More »

The Fall Of Rome Pt. 3 (Revelation 18)

 

  1. We started Revelation 18 last week and covered the first eight verses
  2. John saw a woman riding a scarlet beast
    1. She represents “Babylon the Great”
      1. Babylon was a major city and a major threat to God’s people in the Old Testament
      2. Well, John and his listeners have the same problem in their time with Rome
      3. So the whole point is to bless the saints as they learn what will happen to their oppressors
      4. And, of course, we also have spiritual warfare in our time
    2. So, John does this by showing Babylon as a woman who lives in luxury
      1. The world may be impressed, but God sees her as the mother of harlots and abominations
      2. The world may love her, but the saints realize she’s drunk on their blood
  3. And just as God had judged actual Babylon and other nations throughout history, he will continue to judge until the end
    1. The way he does this in Revelation is by causing the nations to hate the woman and tear her to pieces
    2. Then the angel cries out, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen
    3. And the nations suddenly regret their mistake.

 

They realize she had been a source of pleasure for them…Read More »

Study To Show Thyself Approved (1 Timothy 2)

 

  1. I’d like to take a break from Joshua tonight.
  2. I’ve been thinking about what it means to “study to show yourself approved” and to “rightly divide the word of truth.
  3. It’s found in Paul’s second letter to Timothy where he encourages Timothy to remain faithful in the face of persecution.
    1. Jesus and Paul suffered for the gospel, but it was worth it.
      1. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” (2:11-13).
      2. The deniers will be denied, but believers are joined to him through his death and suffering and will never be denied.
      3. So, Timothy should be strong and ready to suffer too.
    2. The primary way he’ll do it is through remembering and teaching sound doctrine:
      1. Paul tells him to “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me.” (1:13)
      2. He says, “That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.” (1:14)
      3. And finally, “the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2:2)
    3. Timothy can do it despite persecution, because “the word of God is not bound. 10Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” (2:9-10)

 

So, the command is…Read More »

The Fall Of Rome Pt. 2 (Revelation 18)

 

  1. The major blessing of Revelation is the promise of redemption and vindication
  2. We’ve seen that through what happens to the two opposing sides
    1. One side loses while the other wins
    2. One is destroyed and the other is made new
    3. One side mourns and the other rejoice
    4. One side blasphemes and the other worships
  3. In chapter seventeen…
    1. John saw a woman riding a scarlet beast
    2. This woman represents “Babylon the Great”
    3. She was dressed in luxury and called the mother of harlots
    4. She was drunk on the blood of the saints
    5. She ruled over the nations but was hated by them and eventually torn to pieces

 

Now, in chapter eighteen, it seems they regret their mistake…

And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Read More »

The Tricky Gibeonites (Joshua 9-10)

 

  1. Last time: Achan and Ai
    1. Another example of failure
    2. Proved Israel is not more righteous than other nations
  2. But still God intends to keep his promise and use them for judgment
    1. So there is Covenant renewal
  3. Now we’re ready for Joshua 9-10
    1. Potentially very offensive
  4. Needs background and preface
    1. First, read it in relation to the Fall and Promise
      1. Entire earth in turmoil and suffering from sin
      2. There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17And the way of peace have they not known: 18There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Rom. 3:10-18)
      3. God’s promise was to restore
    2. The way he does this is through judgment
      1. That’s what happened in the garden
      2. That’s the majority of Revelation
      3. That’s what makes the gospel such good news
      4. That’s one of Israel’s roles in the Old Testament
        1. Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Dt. 9:5)
    3. And the Canaanites deserved judgment
      1. They were guilty of witchcraft and idolatry: “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” (Rom. 1:18-23)
      2. They were known for sexual debauchery
      3. They sacrificed their children in fire (Dt. 12:13)
      4. The warning to Israel was “Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: 25And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.” (Lev. 18:24-25)
      5. And that’s exactly what was promised to Abraham when God said his descendants wouldn’t possess the land immediately, “for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” (Gen. 15:16)
      6. Watch the different reactions in tonight’s story (Gibeonites vs the other kings)
    4. The whole point is to make a holy place:
      1. So Israel couldn’t make peace with the locals: “When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, […] thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: 3Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. 5But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. 6For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” (Dt. 7:1-6)
      2. But they were required to make peace with foreigners if possible: “When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. 11And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. 12And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: 13And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: 14But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee. 15Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations. 16But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: 17But thou shalt utterly destroy them […] 18That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the Lord your God.” (Dt. 20:10-18)
    5. So read with these facts in mind:
      1. This isn’t unfair
      2. It’s not a racial issue or even a land issue
      3. It’s not a blood-thirsty God on a kill-frenzy
      4. Instead, it’s an act of justice and a removal of wickedness

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The Fall Of Rome (Revelation 17)

 

  1. The book of Revelation is a blessing to believers because it shows how God brings an end to the curse
    1. We first read Jesus’ warnings and encouragement to the churches
      1. Those who are faithful would be rewarded
      2. Those who fall away will be punished
    2. We got a glimpse of the throne and the worshipers around it
      1. We’ve seen the angels, elders and living creatures
      2. We saw the innumerable number of saints
    3. We’ve seen symbolic pictures of the spiritual war going on around us
      1. There’s a dragon a beast, and a false prophet
      2. The saints are often overcome and murdered
    4. We’ve learned of God’s judgment through seals, trumpets, and bowls
      1. These include major destruction
      2. Ultimate protection of the saints
      3. The end is in sight
  2. We’re ready now for chapter 17, and I’d like to summarize the rest of the book to get an overhead view and underscore the promised blessing:
    1. For starters, we’re going to see two opposite sides
      1. The main characters stand on one side:
        1. The dragon, beast, false prophet, the world
        2. The Father, the Lamb, and all the saints stand on the other
      2. Likewise, there are two cities:
        1. Babylon and Jerusalem
        2. One is destroyed and the other is made new
      3. There are two women:
        1. the harlot and the Bride
        2. One is abominable while the other is pure
        3. One is humiliated and destroyed while the other is betrothed
      4. One side will lose and the other will win
      5. One is destroyed and the other is made new
      6. One side will mourn and the other rejoice
      7. One side will blaspheme and the other will worship
    2. The question is which side does what
      1. 17 shows the Lamb’s victory over the beast and his harlot
      2. 18 shows the fall of Babylon while the wicked lament and the saints rejoice
      3. 19 shows rejoicing in heaven and the marriage  of the Lamb
      4. It also shows Christ as a conqueror who defeats the beast and false prophet
      5. 20 shows the binding of Satan, his torment in the lake of fire, and the final judgment
      6. 21 shows the new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem
      7. 22 closes the letter with the river of life, Jesus’ promise to return, and a warning against trying to change his words
    3. All of these work together to bless the saints and give us hope
      1. In the first-century it helped them endure Roman and Jewish persecution
      2. In later times it helped endure Catholic persecution
      3. Now it helps Christians in Muslim countries
      4. It helps believers who struggle in spiritual warfare
        1. The devil prowls like a lion
        2. The sin nature
        3. Atheism and challenges to faith
        4. The threat of death and mourning from loss
        5. Fear of big and intrusive government and possible persecution
        6. Feeling of being out of place in the world
        7. Chaos and violence of the world
        8. Confusion in “church”

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