Psalm 94

Listen to a recording of this sermon: 

Download the notes for this sermon: 08172014Psalm94DonRuhl

Lord, Shine Forth! 

The wicked will not triumph if we call on the Lord to shine forth

Psalm 94

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 17, In the year of our Lord, 2014

Persuasion

  1. Psalm 94.1–3 – Lord, shine forth

    1 O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs—
    O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!
    2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
    Render punishment to the proud.
    3 Lord, how long will the wicked,
    How long will the wicked triumph?

    1. The double-start of the psalmist shows the urgency of his heart.
      1. Saying, “O Lord God,” “O God,” shows his feelings toward the Lord.
      2. He made another double-start in verse 3.
    2. The psalmist called on the Lord
      1. to shine forth,
      2. to rise up, and
      3. to render punishment.
        1. Darkness had taken over;
        2. the psalmist wanted the Lord to shine forth into that darkness.
          1. It appeared to the psalmist that the Lord slept;
          2. the psalmist wanted the Lord to rise up and to act.
            1. It appeared to the psalmist that the wicked went free;
            2. the psalmist wanted the Lord to punish them.
              1. Since vengeance belongs to the Lord,
              2. the psalmist called on the Lord to carry it out.
    3. How long will the wicked triumph?
      1. Does it seem that criminals have more rights than you do?
      2. This is your psalm.
        1. Read it.
        2. Pray it.
    4. The atheist questions God’s goodness and existence for allowing evil.
      1. The psalmist knew that the Lord exists, and
      2. he knew that the Lord works in our world, but
        1. he wondered when the Lord would act.
        2. Therefore, he pleaded with Him to do what He reserves the right to do.
  2. Psalm 94.4–7 – Do not let the wicked shine in their wickedness

    4 They utter speech, and speak insolent things;
    All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves.
    5 They break in pieces Your people, O Lord,
    And afflict Your heritage.
    6 They slay the widow and the stranger,
    And murder the fatherless.
    7 Yet they say, “The Lord does not see,
    Nor does the God of Jacob understand.”

    1. See the evil that the wicked appear to do freely.
      1. They speak against the Lord, His Bible, and His church.
      2. They break in pieces the Lord’s people through many distractions.
      3. They take away the widow, stranger, and fatherless
        1. from the care of the church, and
        2. the church agrees with it.
    2. To top it all off,
      1. they believe that the Lord does not see what they do,
      2. believing that He does not understand what they do.
        1. They teach our children that God’s does not exist, and
        2. they pervert science to affirm evolution and to deny creation.
  3. Psalm 94.8–11 – Let the wicked shine in understanding

    8 Understand, you senseless among the people;
    And you fools, when will you be wise?
    9 He who planted the ear, shall He not hear?
    He who formed the eye, shall He not see?
    10 He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct,
    He who teaches man knowledge?
    11 The Lord knows the thoughts of man,
    That they are futile.

    1. The wicked claim God does not understand, but
      1. the psalmist shows that the wicked do not understand, because
      2. they do not know the Lord.
    2. The psalmist tells the wicked
      1. to understand because they are senseless, and
      2. to be wise because they are fools.
        1. What is it that they do not understand?
        2. In what do they need wisdom?
    3. The wicked do not understand that the Lord created everything.
      1. He planted the ear, He can certainly hear what they say.
      2. He formed the eye, He can certainly see what they do.
      3. He teaches the nations knowledge, He can certainly correct the wicked.
    4. He who created the ear, the eye, and the nations,
      1. can, therefore, know what man thinks, and
      2. the Lord has concluded that the thoughts of man are futile.
        1. Every person and every nation has discovered
          1. that wickedness fails,
          2. that challenging God fails,
          3. that righteousness eventually prevails.
        2. When the wicked think in their hearts
          1. that they shall get away with their evil,
          2. futility has taken over their thinking.
  4. Psalm 94.12–15 – How the Lord’s people shine

    12 Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord,
    And teach out of Your law,
    13 That You may give him rest from the days of adversity,
    Until the pit is dug for the wicked.
    14 For the Lord will not cast off His people,
    Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
    15 But judgment will return to righteousness,
    And all the upright in heart will follow it.

    1. The psalmist again built upon the previous section, but
      1. this time from his own words,
      2. working on the idea that the Lord instructs man.
    2. If the Lord teaches you out of His law,
      1. you are blessed.
      2. Think about it!
    3. If you learn from Him who
      1. planted the ear,
      2. formed the eye, and
      3. knows your thoughts,
        1. can you find a greater and better teacher?
        2. How much knowledge could such a One have given us?
          1. Yet, what He decided to communication to us in language,
          2. we find in the written word.
            1. It is much for us to know, but
            2. pales compared to what He could have revealed.
              1. How important than are the Scriptures?
              2. Go home and determine to read the Bible more.
    4. Verse 13 reveals the purpose of the Lord’s instruction from Scripture.
      1. He wants to give us rest from the days of adversity, for
      2. judgment marches on for the wicked when He puts them in a pit.
        1. If you wonder when the Lord shall do something about the wicked,
        2. you need to learn more from His word.
    5. How do I know that the Lord shall give me rest?
      1. What the psalmist said in verses 14 and 15
      2. give us assurance of the promise in verse 13.
    6. You may think He has cast you off,
      1. that is why the psalmist uttered the words of the opening lines, but
      2. He would not cast off His people, because
        1. they are His inheritance.
        2. He has promised them certain things, and
          1. He wants to give those things.
          2. Therefore, He will not break His promise.
    7. Truly, in time you will see judgment rendered for righteousness, and
      1. the upright in heart will follow it.
      2. I used to think that “upright” was just a synonym for “righteous.”
        1. While the upright are righteous,
        2. it is their righteousness that makes them upright.
      3. Upright refers to posture.
        1. How do you picture the guilty and ashamed?
        2. How do you picture the guiltless and unashamed?
          1. They stand upright.
          2. Picture them like that in the spirit, in the heart.
  5. Psalm 94.16 – Will the Lord shine forth?

    16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers?
    Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

    1. The psalmist knew the answer, and
    2. he expected us to know the answer by now.
      1. Who will rise up for us?
      2. The Lord will rise up for us.
  6. Psalm 94.17–19 – The Lord has shined forth

    17 Unless the Lord had been my help,
    My soul would soon have settled in silence.
    18 If I say, “My foot slips,”
    Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.
    19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
    Your comforts delight my soul.

    1. The Lord rises up and stands up for us against the wicked.
      1. The Lord is our Ebenezer.
      2. First Samuel 7 shows Israel
        1. removing their idols,
        2. confessing their sin,
        3. rededicating themselves to the follow the Lord, but
          1. fearing that the Philistines had gathered to attack Israel,
          2. they pled for Samuel to pray for them.
            1. He offered a lamb as a whole burnt offering to the Lord, and
            2. Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel.
        4. The Lord answered Samuel in this manner, but observe Samuel,

          10 Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car. 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (1Sa 7.10–12).

          1. The Lord helped them because:
            1. they repented of their sin,
            2. they confessed publicly their waywardness,
            3. they rededicated themselves publicly,
            4. they asked for prayer.
          2. They wanted the Lord to act for them.
          3. Therefore, they acted for Him.
    2. Like the psalmist, if the Lord does not help us,
      1. our souls will settle in silence,
      2. deep, dark silence.
        1. We will have no hope.
        2. How many people do not know the Lord is our help?
          1. When life throws wickedness at them,
          2. when the world shows days of adversity,
          3. when a multitude of anxieties overwhelm them,
            1. they see no hope for their lives.
            2. They sink into seemingly irreversible silence and darkness.
    3. However, for those who learn from the Lord out of the Scriptures,
      1. for those who have the Lord as their helper,
      2. His mercy holds them up when their foot slips, and
        1. although they have a multitude of anxieties within them,
        2. they find delight in the Lord’s comforts.
          1. How does the Lord’s comforts in the midst of our anxieties
          2. put delight into our sous?
            1. You know that He will carry out the vengeance.
            2. You know that He rules.
  7. Psalm 94.20–23 – The Lord shines for the righteous and against the wicked

    20 Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law,
    Have fellowship with You?
    21 They gather together against the life of the righteous,
    And condemn innocent blood.
    22 But the Lord has been my defense,
    And my God the rock of my refuge.
    23 He has brought on them their own iniquity,
    And shall cut them off in their own wickedness;
    The Lord our God shall cut them off.

    1. The psalmist worked on the Lord’s heart and thinking.
    2. If the Lord allowed the devising of evil by law,
      1. the throne of iniquity would have fellowship with the Lord.
      2. The psalmist knew that the Lord would not go for that.
    3. What evil were they devising by law?
      1. They made laws against the life of the righteous.
      2. They condemned innocent blood.
    4. In the last two verses, the psalmist showed confidence in God’s work,
      1. that He would defend the cause of the righteous,
      2. that He is the Rock of our refuge.
        1. Captain Jack’s Stronghold in the Lava Beds National Monument
        2. illustrates well a refuge made of rock.
    5. Not only does He protect the righteous, but
      1. the psalmist also announced his confidence
      2. that the Lord will cause the wicked to reap as they have sown,
      3. that He will cut them off in their wickedness.

Exhortation

  1. Psalm 94 shows what we need to do: 
    1. 1–3 – Call on the Lord to carry out justice.
    2. 8–11 – Question the wicked.
    3. 12 – Learn from the Lord in Scripture.
    4. 15 – Follow righteousness.
  2. Remember 
    1. 1–3 – Vengeance belongs to the Lord.
    2. 8–11 – The Lord created us and knows our thoughts.
    3. 12 – The Lord is your teacher.
    4. 13 – The Lord gives you rest.
    5. 14 – The Lord will not forsake you.
    6. 17–18 – The Lord will help you and hold you up.
    7. 23 – The Lord will cut off the wicked.
  3. Do you know the Lord of whom the psalmist spoke? 
    1. 1,988 years ago, a Man began to tour the land of Israel.
      1. He gave sound to the deaf;
      2. He gave sight to the blind;
      3. He read the minds of men.
        1. We know Him as Jesus of Nazareth.
        2. Heavens knows Him as the Lord of Psalm 94.
    2. 1,984 years ago, that generation killed Him, but
      1. He used His death to save us from the judgment coming for the wicked.
      2. He also used it to provide rest from
        1. our days of anxiety
        2. when a multitude of anxieties fill our souls.
    3. Right now you can take advantage of His death.
      1. He experienced the judgment of God for you.
      2. He experienced the ravages of overwhelming anxiety.
        1. Do you recognize your sin?
        2. Do you wish to start over?