Sunday May 17 2020

 

AWAKING WITH SATISFACTION

Ps. 17

I choose to begin at the end of this Psalm. Verse fifteen states, “As for me I will behold Your face in righteousness: I will be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” [KJV]

The complete Psalm is recorded on the last page of this message for your reference. Beginning with verse fifteen given above I will delve into some aspects of this Psalm and how it applies to us the church. The Psalmist speaks of a future day when he will behold the face of the LORD ‘in righteousness.’ The righteousness of which the writer speaks is, of course, not his own righteousness but that of the LORD. Another word for righteousness here is ‘vindication” as other versions translate the word. We are made righteous, vindicated, justified through our placement in Christ Jesus. There are three additional thoughts presented in the verse that deserve our attention. The Psalmist says that when he awakes he will be satisfied with Thy likeness. A future ‘awakening,’ resulting in ‘satisfaction,’ upon obtaining His ‘likeness.’

The awakening spoken of here is certainly the awakening on that Day when all believers will experience resurrection. Scripture speaks often of the fact that when believers pass they ‘fall asleep.’ Let’s consider a few Biblical references to this fact.

When Stephen was falling under the barrage of stones in Acts 7:60 we read, “And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, ‘Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

Martyrdom for the Name of Jesus is spoken of by the Holy Spirit as ‘falling asleep.’ A gentle slumber for a season.

In the two major sections of New Testament references to resurrection, we are instructed that those who have died in Christ are but asleep.

Consider, 1 Cor. 15:6, “After that, he [the resurrected Jesus] was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.” This refers to a large number of followers of Jesus, five hundred in all, who all witnessed the resurrected Christ at one time and Paul mentions that most of these witnesses were still alive, at the time of Paul, but that some had passed on or fallen asleep. Later in the same chapter we also have the phrase, “. . .fallen asleep in Christ . . .”  Later in Paul’s writing to the Thessalonians in 1 Thess. 4:13 and 15 we read, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep,” and “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord will not precede them which are asleep.”  Again, in 2 Peter 3:4 we have the statement, “For since the fathers fell asleep . . .” The New Testament clearly teaches that the death of the believer is but a momentary sleep in Christ.

And, we also find the same teaching from the Old Testament. Consider the following.

Daniel 12:13 “But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou will rest, [sleep] and then stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Earlier in this chapter in verse 2 we have, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Job also spoke of death as sleep. In Job 7:21 we have, “. . . For now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shall seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.” Later, Job expands somewhat on this in chapter 19 verses 25,26. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh will I see God . . .”  And though this sleep of the believer may seem a long one to us it is but a moment to Job and to all others – a twinkling of an eye. And it is a good sleep, cradled in the loving arms of Jesus, and we will awake refreshed, renewed and revived. And, as we often experience after a good night’s sleep, it will seem as though the night passed by so quickly – and it will have!  The root of the Hebrew ‘to awaken from sleep,’ contains the following two ideas. ‘To awake and become active’ and ‘to spend the summer.’ We are awoken by the voice of the Lord and become re-activated! And using a seasonal analogy we awake and are re-activated in the springtime of Resurrection and move on into the summer of eternity.

The second point of interest in verse 15 of Psalm 17 is that when one awakes the Psalmist states, “I will be satisfied.”  Satisfied from “Saba” meaning, to be satisfied, to be seated, to be fulfilled, to be surfeited. The meaning surfeited is an interesting one. To be surfeited is to cause someone to desire no more of something as a result of having consumed or done it to excess. This suggests to me that upon resurrection with our new bodies likened unto His, and seeing Him face-to-face, nothing more needs be added. Nothing can compare to the glory of the Lord. “Come and taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Total and complete satisfaction in His presence, is our state: totally fulfilled and filled up to overflowing with joy and peace and fellowship.

The third aspect of verse fifteen is contained in the phrase, “With His likeness.” Here is where we come full circle back to Genesis One – Let us make man in our image.” We began, created in the image of our Creator and back to that image, that likeness, we return, redeemed, revived and resurrected! Rom. 6:5 “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, [if we sleep in Him] we will be also in the likeness of his resurrection . . .”

We will not be “as gods,” for we are created beings. We will never attain The Godhead. But we will possess His likeness. We will be blessed with His mercy, His love, His peace, His patience, His longsuffering His . . .

So, how does one get to verse fifteen? Follow along beginning at verse one of Psalm 17.

The Psalmist begins, “Attend to my cry, hear my prayer, that comes from unfeigned lips.”  Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Hebrews 11:6 reminds us, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligent seek him.” Faith is always the first ingredient of our salvation.  Here the Psalmist moves his lips in faith that is why they are referred to here as unfeigned lips. When we seek the Lord’s forgiveness we don’t just give lip service, we don’t just mouth some rote prayer, we move our lips in faith believing that He hears and will attend to our heartfelt plea.  The Psalmist rests his ‘fate’ upon the justification and righteousness of the Lord not on his own good efforts.

This leads to the testing of our hearts, our motives. Ps. 139:23-24 reads, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” This searching, this testing, results in a purifying process that keeps one’s mouth; keeps one’s lips from defilement. This work of sanctification asked for by the Psalmist keeps his path and watches over his footfalls. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  (Ps 119:105) Throughout this ‘walk of faith’ verse seven gives encouragement to the journey by the demonstration of God “showing thy marvelous loving kindness.”  And that he along with anyone of us who has begun such a journey that we will be upheld and saved by God’s right hand. (Jesus Christ)

In verse eight we come across the phrase, “Keeps me as the apple of the eye; hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” The apple of the eye is from H380 ‘iyshown’ meaning pupil of the eye as in ‘middle of the night’ (that is the deepest blackness.) And also diminutive as in (little man of the eye.) So, no matter how small we feel we are, or how dark our surroundings, God keeps us in the middle of His will.

And we are kept under the shadow, H6738 ‘tsel’ from ‘to hover over’, thus shading us. Once we belong to Him, by our confession of faith we can be confident that He keeps us safely. We are dear to Him.

For much of the remainder of the Psalm we are reminded that no weapon formed against us will prosper. (Is. 54:17) We are reminded in verse fourteen that those of the earth, earth-dwellers, get their reward from in this life only. Our reward is what we spoke of earlier – to be satisfied!

In conclusion, “But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we will be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5:8-10) And further, [we are to ] reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. And, “to yield our members, [eyes, mouth, hands, tongue] as servants to righteousness and holiness.” (Rom. 6: 11,19).

Finally, from 1 Cor. 13:9-13 let us end with, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became mature, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then will I know even as also I am known. And now remains faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Let us grow in our faith of Him who is Faithful and True. Let us be confident that we are in His keeping even as we pass beyond the veil.

We will be awaking with satisfaction! Amen

Songs, “Who You Say I Am – Hillsong you tube

             “Mighty to Save – Hillsong

             “At the Cross (Love Ran Red) – Chris Tomlin

             “Heaven’s Gate – Robin Mark

 

 

PSALM 17

KJV

  1. Hear the right O LORD attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer that goes not out of feigned lips.
  2. Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.
  3. Thou has proved my heart; Thou has visited me in the night; Thou has tried me, and shall find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth           shall not transgress.
  4. Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.
  5. Hold up my goings in thy paths that my footsteps slip not.
  6. I have called upon Thee, for Thou will hear me, O God: incline Thine ear unto me and hear my speech.
  7. Show Thy marvelous loving kindness, O Thou that saves by Thy right hand them that put their trust in Thee from those that rise    up against me.
  8. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of Thy wings.
  9. From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.
  10. They are enclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.
  11. They have now compasses us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;
  12. Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion   lurking in secret places.
  13. Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is Thy sword.
  14. From men which are Thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly Thou fills    with Thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest   of their substance to their babes.
  15. As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I will be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.

FOR BIBLE STUDY THIS WEEK

Read and contemplate 1Cor. 15:35-50 Our Spiritual Body.

PASTORAL PRAYER

Heavenly Father, You are amazing, truly there is none like You. You are the One and Only True God: You are alive forevermore, You love, You see, You hear, You smell, You taste and You speak. Hallelujah! All other gods are mere counterfeits, false copies of You, but dead, unable to show any signs of life. They are merely images made of wood or stone. We want nothing to do with them or the lies they represent. We want only what leads to Life everlasting, to be Righteous by submitting to Your Word and Your Ways. We want only to know You, to love You and to walk in newness of life as the Redeemed of the Lord. Like Job, we say, “Our Redeemer lives.” Hallelujah!

You honour us Lord, as You keep us safe at all times, as the apple of Your eye. You cover us and shelter us in the shadow of Your wings. Help us to remember that no matter what the devil throws at us to derail us that You hear us and You fight for us and You save us by Your Righteous Right Hand, our Lord Jesus. Thank You Father that You are always pouring Your marvellous loving-kindness out upon us. You are our Vindicator Lord. Thank You for the  promise that You will deal with our enemies and preserve our souls from the wicked one and his partners in crime: men who are full of pride and have no love in their hearts as they make themselves our enemies. Lord You pour out the same blessings upon them that You pour out on us, but they choose to look for every opportunity to rip and tear at us.  They have no reward from You Lord, their portion in life is idle and vain. They live like moths in the night, and when they die, they will be no more, the blessings You gave them will be left to their children, bearing no everlasting fruit.

Thank You for showing us the better path of praising You and worshipping You.  We trust in You Lord and take refuge in You. Thank You for showing us Your Everlasting Love and providing for the Salvation of our Souls. We choose to continue to seek You first, to walk in Your ways and continually learn more about You as we read and study Your Word. We know Lord, that when we sleep, we shall awake  to Your Sweet Presence, with hearts full of praise and worship, feeling fully satisfied. Hallelujah!

Thank You Lord for Your Goodness and Your Great Love. Thank You Lord that every day with You is a new beginning. Forgive us Lord for our sins, known or unknown. Cleanse our hearts from all unrighteousness and make them white as snow. Give us this day our daily bread. Provide for every need we may have: our food, our shelter, our healing. May Your Kingdom come in each one of us indeed. Thank You Lord that we are all new creatures in Christ Jesus, that we have purpose and value. Thank You Lord that as we follow the teachings of Jesus we will not be like moths in the night but rather creatures of the day, living in the Light, walking in the Truth of Your Word. Help us to have earnest hearts Lord, zealous for fellowship with You. Help us to be disciplined in prayer and Bible study, knowing that You will reward us with Your peace, Your love, Your favour, Your joy and Your sweet incomparable companionship.  Nothing could be more wonderful Lord, hallelujah!

Father we miss seeing the faces of our loved ones whom we have not seen now for several weeks because of the lockdowns imposed by the Corona virus. We pray for an end to it Lord, that this virus be undone in the mighty name of Jesus, and rendered powerless. We pray that as this virus enters the  lungs of people, it will forget its DNA, the designed purpose to steal, kill and destroy –  and cause no harm. We pray for the restoration of freedom to return to our meeting places for worship, in Jesus’ name. To God be the glory.

We are hearing rumours of sinister plots about evil people with wicked agendas creating this virus and unleashing it for their own purposes. If these rumours are true, then, according to Your Word, Lord, we pray that these men fall into the net that they themselves have cast for us. You are the Righteous judge Lord, deal with them as You see fit.

As life goes on day by day, we are keeping our eyes upon You Lord, the giver and sustainer of life. Lead us onward and upward in the Way Everlasting.  Help us to stay strong and take heart, knowing that our Hope is in You. Hallelujah! Amen.

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