Satisfied in God Alone
May 30, 2017 Pastor: Don Green
Topic: Midweek Sermons Scripture: Psalm 63
Our text for this evening's study will come from Psalm 63 and I think you'll find that it is a perfect Psalm to follow the hymn that we just sang, "O love that will not let me go," and I'm going to read the Psalm as we begin to set it in our minds and then we will proceed from there. Psalm 63,
1 A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. 3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. 4 So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. 5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. 6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches, 7 For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. 8 My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. 9 But those who seek my life to destroy it, Will go into the depths of the earth. 10 They will be delivered over to the power of the sword; They will be a prey for foxes. 11 But the king will rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him will glory, For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.
You could title this Psalm "Satisfied in God Alone," and that's the title that I've assigned to the message for this evening. Satisfied in God alone. Satisfied in God over the highest choices and the highest privileges of life.
Charles Spurgeon said this in his exposition of Psalm 63. He said, "We are in very truth always in a weary land for this is not our rest. It is strange that believers do not more continually thirst after their portion far beyond the river where they shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore, but shall see the face of their God and his name shall be in their foreheads." The idea being that why are we so in love with life here on earth? Why does this life hold the affections of our heart as strongly as it does when we have something so far greater that is our possession? That our God belongs to us, that our God is our hope, that our God is our destination? In light of that, why would we cling to this earth as if it were the final destination, as if it were the culmination of our highest aspirations?
Notice in verse 3 of the Psalm that David says, "Your lovingkindness is better than life." The loyal love of God, the mercy of God on our souls, his faithfulness to his people, his greatness, his goodness, his everlasting love, especially as we know it now in the New Testament era on this side of the cross, the love of Christ shed abroad in our hearts as Christ lay down his life for us, turning away the wrath of God from your sin at the price of his own blood and life, isn't that more precious than life? Well, David thought so and that's what he's writing about here in Psalm 63. He's satisfied in God alone.
Now, this Psalm shares a lot in common with the prior two Psalms, 61 and 62. They are all three about close intimacy with the Lord and that's what we're finding as we go into the text of Psalm 63. There is some interesting background to it that gives us some of the flavor to the Psalm. The inscription says that David wrote this while he was in the wilderness and in verse 11, he identifies himself in the third person as "the king." That helps us place this Psalm in a very particular historical setting. David was fleeing from his son, Absalom. You may remember in 2 Samuel 15 and following that Absalom had rebelled against his father and had tried to set up a rival throne. He had gathered men to himself and proclaimed himself as king in the city of Hebron, just south of Jerusalem, and he was a threat to David and to David's rule. And what did David do? He fled to the wilderness in order to protect the city of Jerusalem and to gather up men to fight in better circumstances. He was in barren surroundings there in the wilderness and it's in that situation that David writes this wonderful Psalm of being satisfied in God alone. Here he is under a threat from his son, his son of all people. Some of you know what it's like to have a son rebel against you and the heartache that that brings. That would be enough to distract a lesser man, a lesser voice. Here he is in the wilderness apart from his kingly comforts that were back in Jerusalem, and not only that, he was separated away from the tabernacle which represented the presence of God with the ark of God within it. All that was dear to David he was separate from as he was on the run from this threat from Absalom. And yet in this Psalm, you will not find David making a single request. He makes no petition to God in it. This is a Psalm of pure praise, of complete trust as he writes here in this Psalm.
Now, as I like to do, I like to step back and invite you to consider your own life with the very real struggles that you're all facing to one degree or another: the sorrows of family, the financial challenges, the dissatisfaction with life, perhaps being alone when you would prefer to be with someone. And in all of that, recognizing that there is an aspect of wilderness, speaking very metaphorically now, there is an aspect of wilderness in your life right now where you don't know what the answers are going to be, you don't know what the outcome is and you have unsatisfied desires for things of life to be different and it is outside of your control to change them. Well, here in Psalm 63, Scripture invites you to set all of those things aside and make your God the exclusive focus of your attention and what you will find as you do that, as you follow along in the terms of this Psalm, is you'll find that in your God, in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, is everything that is necessary to satisfy the longings of your heart. It is in Christ alone where you find that which meets the deepest desires and the deepest longings of your heart and you find satisfaction there by which we mean contentment. A settled contentment and peace in life even though life in its external trappings is not what you want it to be. Beloved, don't you see that to say that God is your God is to say that this God belongs to me and I belong to him and all that I need is found wrapped up in him as he is revealed in the Scriptures.
This is what David is describing for us here tonight and, beloved, the dissatisfactions and the sorrows of life, even as you're struggling with sin and temptation, dealing with people who have betrayed you, deceived you, to take all of those things and to realize that God transcends those, that the excellencies of his perfection are enough to satisfy you no matter what is happening in the world around you, in life around you. And so we come with that sense of anticipation, finding that in our God we have that which is sufficient for us. And a passage comes to my mind that we've looked at in the past but I want to call it out here, Habakkuk 3. If you will turn back toward the end of your Old Testament just before the book of Zephaniah, if that helps you locate it. Beloved, this is not just an isolated theme in Scripture in one or two Psalms. This is the very heartbeat of what it means to be a believer in the true God; to belong to Christ, that in him is complete satisfaction, and Habakkuk expresses this. We've taught on Habakkuk many times. You could look for those files online. But in chapter 3, verse 16, knowing that judgment is about to come on his nation, the prophet says this, he says, "I heard and my inward parts trembled, At the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, And in my place I tremble. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, For the people to arise who will invade us." He's saying, "I know judgment is coming and all I can do is wait for it to happen. There is no changing the circumstances. This is what God has declared must come upon his people for their sin and now I must simply wait for it to come to pass."
And in verse 17 he recites what some of the consequences of that will be. He says, "Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls," verse 18, "Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk on my high places." He says, "Strip it all away, I understand that judgment is coming. And if our land is devastated and all of our normal food products are gone, there is nothing to rely on in our daily sustenance," he says, "even as the armies of judgment come down upon us, my heart will rejoice in the Lord. I will exult in him." Why? "Because he alone is sufficient."
He alone is sufficient for every need of your heart, beloved. And to the extent that that sounds ridiculous to you, you say, "But you don't know my circumstances. You don't know how bad it is. You don't know how much I've been struggling." Okay, I don't. I don't really need to in order for this truth of Scripture to stand firm. What you need to understand is to the extent that that sounds ridiculous or it still sounds foreign to your experience, beloved, what you must understand is that this is absolutely true. Nothing can contradict God's word and this is the experience of the writers of Scripture, it is the experience of David in the Psalms, it is the experience of Habakkuk, it was the experience of Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 when he said, "Your grace is sufficient for me for power is perfected in weakness."
What you have to understand, beloved, if you're in that desert area, you're in those trials of life, and I have been there and I speak with great sympathy of heart to you tonight as I say this. I am speaking to help you, not to scold you. You must understand that. What you must also understand is to the extent that this is outside of your experience in life, to the extent that it is outside your experience in your present circumstances, understand this: God is bringing his word to you here today to point you in the direction where those desires of your heart can be satisfied even if your circumstances do not change, even if people continue to betray you and reject you. Even if your circumstances do not change, this is the scriptural reality, this is the birthright, this is the prerogative of everyone who belongs to Christ, to find their heart more than satisfied, more than content, more than at rest, when the focus of your heart is on who he is.
Our outline tonight, you can turn back to Psalm 63, I'm going to pattern our outline tonight after that which the commentator, Derek Kidner, proposed and we're going to break this Psalm down in three parts. Psalm 63, and our first section of Scripture will be the first four verses of this Psalm and we could call it the desire for God. David in these first four verses is showing what his desire is and his exclusive desire for God. And one of the things about being in the wilderness is that it gives you the opportunity to purify your desires and to make them more exclusive to the extent that matters are withheld from you that you want, or trials have come to you that you don't want, this is the opportunity, this is the challenge that is set before you, to learn in the midst of the fire, in the midst of the cauldron, in the midst of the pressure of it all, to purify your desires and learn to want nothing else but your God in the midst of them. In other words, this meets us at our place of greatest challenge, of our greatest difficulties, and it calls us to higher ground. Not to rebuke us, not to shame us, but to let us find how great our God is and that our satisfaction really can be found in him alone, and that's what David is describing as we open here in verse 1. He says,
1 O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Notice how he says, "You are my God," that's the backbone of this Psalm. That's the foundation. Everything else is built upon that statement, "O God, You are my God. You are my supreme. You are my authority. You are the one I worship. You are the one I trust. You are the one that I fear. You are the one that I reverence." And in that lofty position, God begins to consume his thoughts and consume his desires and everything else burns away by contrast.
So he says, "I shall seek You earnestly." It can have the idea of, "I'll seek you early." It's drawn from the noun that is used for "dawn, the breaking of the dawn." And what David is saying here is, "God, I am eager for the blessings that you have for your own. I am seeking you as my first priority of life." It's not simply a matter of the time of day, he's saying, "This is the pre-eminent affection of my heart."
Now, can we step back for a moment and realize what a quandary the health and wealth gospel puts into people? They condition people to seek God for the blessings that he can provide, that you seek God because of the gifts rather than the Giver himself. And when inevitably health goes away and prosperity fails, what are they left with? They're left with the debris that is left over from having sought a false god. It's a shameful thing to teach people to pursue God for the blessings that he can give. No. No, what we must understand is that we seek God for himself. We seek him for who he is. Can you imagine a spouse and, I mean, this happens all the time, hopefully not to any of you here, but a man and woman coming together because of what they can get out of each other. The woman marries for money, the man marries her simply for her attraction and there is not any real concern for the person that is in the midst of that. They just want the external things that that person can offer rather than the person themselves. Well, there is no true love there, is there?
Don't you see, beloved, that in those times of wilderness that God brings into your life he is teaching you to want to love him and not what he can provide and it's actually a blessed gift? Because once you find that place of contentment as Habakkuk said, "Even though everything else fails, I will exult in the Lord." Once you find that place of desire and once you find that satisfaction, all of a sudden you realize that you are in an unassailable position. It cannot be taken away from you. No one can take your God away from you. You might lose your health, you might lose your family, you might lost everything else, but when you know who God is and you find your delight in him, you cannot be shaken. It can't be taken away.
That's what David is expressing here. The barren physical surroundings were a mere backdrop for the greater desires of his inner man. He's yearning for God, seeking him. Seeking him, I should say, emphasis on the "him." Seeking him despite his circumstances in the wilderness and asking for nothing other than the ability to praise him from a pure heart. Soul and flesh indicating, his whole man, his inner and his outer man are all in union seeking after, yearning after this God. In a dry and weary land where there is no water, where physical thirst would normally make a man focus on his immediate circumstances, David has transcended that.
As he goes on, he remembers in verse 2, he remembers past times where he had beheld God in the sanctuary appointed for worship. Look in verse 2 with me,
2 Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.
He remembers in times past where he worshiped in the presence of God that was appointed at that time, and the glory of that and the wonder of it, and he was physically there. Now he's far removed from it, he doesn't have that external means to continue and to prompt him in worship, he's physically separated from that particular manifestation of God, but his heart is back home. His heart is still with the glory and with the power of God with all of his divine attributes and excellencies.
My friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, can you not think of Christ with similar desires? Can't you think of him with similar affections? Can't you realize, can't you embrace the superior excellence of Christ to everything else in your life whether you have it or not? Everything that you want from this earth cannot begin to compare to the matchless worth of his being, the matchless worth of the righteous Son of God, the matchless worth of the righteous one who became sin on our behalf, by which we mean sin was imputed to him. He did not become a sinner. Sin was imputed to him and he bore the wrath of God for your sins because your righteousness was not sufficient to enter into the presence of a holy God and Christ in love stepped into the breach, stepped into the gap, and offered his life as a sacrifice, his righteous life in exchange for your sin. Your sin imputed to Christ, his righteousness imputed to you and now you have a perfect standing with God that entitles you to heaven itself. And why did he do this? Out of love for you. Out of a gracious spirit, out of a humble self-denial that put your interests ahead of his own.
Don't you see? Don't you see his matchless worth? Don't you see his matchless excellency? Don't you see how worthy he is of the deepest affections of your heart? So much so that it makes everything else pale by comparison. So much so that it makes earthly wealth and earthly health seem trivial in comparison to this great manifestation of eternal divine love set apart for the sake of sinners like you. Don't you see? And don't you see that in that love, you have all the love that you need? Don't you see that in that care, every other care is trivial by comparison? Isn't your heart as a believer joined with your flesh and yearning to be with him, yearning to know him better? That's the point. That's the point.
And if I may, and I guess I may, I have the floor here tonight. When you see the excellency of Christ, the call on your heart is this: to call out to Christ from the depths of your heart and say, "Lord, you are better than everything that I lack. If I never have that which I desire, Lord, I will still have everything that I want and more because all of the excellencies of God are found in you and you are the supreme goal of the affections of my heart. Let everything else go." That's what Christ is worthy of. That's what Christ deserves from your heart and that's what he calls you to. This is the invitation to satisfaction, being satisfied in him alone.
David was in a place in his affections where he could say this in verses 3 and 4. Look at it with me. He says,
3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. 4 So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
David here is explaining why he's seeking his God. It might seem like hyperbole. It might seem like an exaggeration for him to say, "Your lovingkindness is better to me than life itself." How could a man say that to an unseen God? How could anyone say that in sincerity? Surely David is just being swept up in emotion and is speaking beyond the facts. Really?
Really? Let's hold that up to examination and see what we really think about that. What can we say about this life? Well, we can say quite a bit about it, I suppose. It's the only thing that we know and it's hard to long for something that you cannot see in place of that which you do see. Beloved, think through the nature of life. Think through what life is. Think about it from the big picture perspective and you'll see that David is speaking divine truth with excellence here in what he says.
What is this life but a passing vapor? It's transient. What is this life except stained with sin and mixed with sorrow? What is ahead for us in this life, speaking only on a horizontal level? What is the certainty of life except that it will end in death? And if we don't go first, we'll be saying good-bye and separated from the ones that we love. We go on in life and health starts to fail. We look around at the world around us and we see all kinds of devastation and sin and rebellion against God and we look around and we say, "This place is not my home. I'm not at home here."
So actually David is not overstating anything. You compare that to the reality of the cross, compare that to the reality of the love of God which sent his Son for sinners like you. Compare that to the love of Christ who loved you and gave himself up for you. Compare that to the excellency of that loyal love that will one day usher you in, as it were, with angels carrying you into the very presence of heaven where that loyal love will be made manifest to your eyes, where that loyal love will have you in a condition of bliss that will go on into infinity, never to cease. Pure bliss. Pure joy. All of your sins forgiven. All of your sins removed. The righteousness of Christ imputed to you and you will look on him and you will be like him because you will see him face-to-face as he is.
Now, beloved, I ask you: isn't that better than life itself? If you can't say yes to that question, beloved, let me tell you something: you are not a Christian. You are not a Christian because the Spirit of God within every true Christian would bear witness to the certain reality of what we're saying.
So David says, "Your lovingkindness is better than life to me." And beloved, here you are, here you are in the midst of your difficulties, here you are in the midst of your sorrows and your discouragements, step back from that, stop being quite so consumed with that, stop thinking about that long enough to contemplate the love of Christ and the love of the cross. Will not the love that carried Christ to the cross also carry you all the way into heaven? Will he not perfect what he has begun in your heart? Will he not prove his faithfulness to you? Hasn't he said in Scripture multiple times that the one who believes in him will not be disappointed? Hasn't he said that? Isn't that stated plainly in the Bible in multiple places? Well, you believe the Bible, don't you? You believe Christ, don't you? Don't you understand that he who saved you will keep his promise and you'll never be disappointed? You won't be disappointed in the end? He will vindicate his faithfulness. He will manifest his love to you in a way that wipes away every tear, makes every past problem forgotten for the sake of being in the presence of him whose exultation will know no end.
If that's true, beloved, then isn't that where your heart's desire should go and can't you be satisfied in him alone? The apostles were when 11 of the 12 were martyred for their faith, the other one exiled. The saints through the ages have been satisfied, preferring death and martyrdom to denying their Lord. Some of you have godly parents who have manifested this to you and you respect them and you see the outcome of their faith and we read in Hebrews 11 all of the biblical heroes of the faith who lived by faith in the promise and were satisfied that even though they didn't receive it in this life necessarily, they were content. You see, this isn't just the way that we should be, this is what belongs to us. This is ours. We are independent of this world. We are separate from it. We have something of greater value than life itself in our Christ and that's enough to satisfy our hearts and that's why we say with David, look at verse 3, express it as your prayer to God even now in affirmation of his own word. It says, "Lord, your lovingkindness, your loyal love, it is better to me than life itself. I prefer you to everything in this life." And so verse 4, the outcome of that is praise. "I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name."
The love of God was his supreme good and so he commits to praise this God as long as he lives. "I will live up my hands," was an Old Testament posture of prayer. It symbolized prayer rising to heaven and receiving blessings from heaven. It's a picture of submission and trust. "God, I submit to you. I bow before you. I trust you completely. You are all I need. I put myself in your hand. Dispose of me as you wish. I know that it will be well for me in the end." No conditions. No qualifications. Satisfied in this God alone. That's how great our God is. So David expresses his desire for God.
Well, he goes on. We move into our second point here this evening and he expresses his delight in God. His delight in God. Because God is at the center of his thoughts, he is supremely content. Look at verse 5 where he says,
5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
The marrow and fatness might not sound too good to us in the 21st century but in the time when David wrote, he was picturing a rich banquet of food. These were the choicest things to eat at the best of banquets. It's a striking distinction from the thirst that opens the Psalm and he says, "Just as the physical body finds great satisfaction and delight at the best of banquets," he says, "my soul finds its richest delights in your love and goodness." And he says as a result of that, verse 5, he says, "And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips." "God, I honor you. I ascribe glory to your name. I worship you. I fear you. I reverence you. I love you because of who you are alone." Praise is the response of faith that honors God for his perfections. David cannot contain himself. Peace and joy fill his heart.
And it's all so simple. It's all so simple. You don't need, beloved, you don't need long explanations about why things happened to you in the past. You don't need that. You really don't. You don't need to have people come and beg you for forgiveness for wrongs that they've done to you in the past. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. It would be great if they did, but if they don't so what? You don't need that in order to be content. You don't need a reversal of your current circumstances. You don't need – I say it with love to those of you that are unmarried and would like to have a spouse – you don't need a spouse in order to be satisfied here tonight in your God. You don't need that. That's a good thing to desire. I hope and pray for you often that it will come to pass for you, I truly do, but you can be satisfied in God alone because of the excellency of who he is. You can rejoice in him right now exactly where he's at. I'm telling you the truth. This is reality. This is not make believe. This is not pie-in-the-sky. This is the reality of true spiritual life as it is revealed in Scripture to those who know God through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is it.
David's meditation goes on around the clock. Psalm 63:6, he says,
6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches,
The watches of the night were changed every four hours to guard against enemies. Night was a time when there was a vulnerability to enemy attacks and David says, "In the night when I can't see what's going on around me," speaking metaphorically. Those of you that are in circumstances that are dark and you can't see your way forward, in the night when it's black, when it's difficult, David says, "I meditate on you. I rehearse that which I know to be true and I find in you that which is enough to satisfy my heart. I'm not preoccupied with threats. I'm not preoccupied with what could go wrong. I am preoccupied with you and I lie on my bed in peace as a result. I'm not afraid of the human threats."
Oh beloved, do you see? Do you see that truth like this not only satisfies your heart, this is what produces men and women of great courage. This is what produces men and women who face trials or who face adversaries or face adversity with courage and don't back down. It's because they are consumed with the reality and they know by personal experience based on the revealed word of God that these things are true and this is what produces men and women without fear. This is where it comes from. This is where the courage of martyrdom comes from. This is where the courage to stand up against your foes comes from. This is where the courage comes to speak God's word to those who are hostile comes from. It's the reality that this God is who he is and that he is satisfied and he's all you need. He is your God.
You say, "Why are you raising your voice?" I've heard that in the past from little kids. "Why is Pastor Don yelling?" Well, I'm not really yelling. But how could these things be true and we speak about them in a monotone voice like we were talking about ketchup? As if this was just some ordinary thing? No, this sweeps us off our feet. This lifts our heart to another realm and it comes out in the way that we express it. And because of the urgency for you to see this, because it is here where every longing of your soul finds its satisfaction, I would encourage you, beloved, not to ask God to take away the trial, not to give you the earthly things that you want. Don't ask for that. To the extent that this is still a little bit foreign to your experience, say, "God, I want to know that. I want to know this satisfaction in you alone of which Psalm 63 speaks. God, it has to be true because it's in your word. It's been vindicated by the history of the people of God throughout the ages and, God, I know I belong to you, but somehow this is something beyond me right now. This is beyond my present experience. God, give it to me. Help me to see it. Bring me into it. God, I'm asking therefore answer. God, I'm knocking therefore open. God, I'm seeking therefore let me find."
David says in verse 7, he says,
7 For You have been my help.
"I've known your help in times gone by. I remember your help in the past, it strengthens my confidence in the future." And he says,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
God's wings, as we've often said, are a metaphor for his protection like a mother bird protecting her young. What David is saying is, "I'm not afraid. I'm confident enough in your protection that I can sing for joy even though my son is rebelling against me and is a threat to my kingdom and would threaten my life. God, I'm not afraid. My heart is free to sing with joy."
So he says in verse 8, in this great statement of security, this great expression of the reality of the perseverance of the saints. Verse 8,
8 My soul clings to You
The human side of it, "God, I am clinging to you," and yet it's not your clinging, your faithfulness that guarantees your ultimate deliverance. It's the fact, verse 8, look at it with me,
Your right hand upholds me.
We cling to God with all our might, weak and feeble though it is, and we rest in the knowledge that his greater unseen power is the force that ultimately keeps us. Christ said, did he not in John 10, "No one will pluck them out of my hand"? Do you know what? I'm in the hand of Christ. I belong to him. So do you if you're a Christian. No one can pluck you out of his hand. No one. You're not going to lose your salvation. God's not going to let go of you. He loves you enough not to let you sin your way out of salvation.
So we rest. This word for "clinging, My soul clings to You," it's the same verb that's used in Genesis 2 for a husband and a wife cleaving together. It's the same verb that is used in Ruth 1, if you remember from our study of Ruth, where Ruth was clinging to Naomi and wouldn't let her go. Naomi kept telling her, "Go away. Go away. I'm no good for you. Go away." And Ruth said, "Stop saying that. I will not leave you. I'm clinging to you. Your God will be my God. I'll go where you go. Your people will be my people." Clinging and utter refusal to let go. That's the idea. An utter refusal to let go.
David says, "God, I know your promises, I know your character, I'm clinging to that and I will not let go. I will not sacrifice that ground. I won't deny your name. I won't turn away from you. God, I'm going to cling to you with all of my might and I rest in the fact that you are clinging to me with an even greater might than I have." This is utter security. This is what fuels his delight in his God.
Beloved, God's power will keep you. God's love will keep you. And even though you're walking through the wilderness, let that be the refuge of your soul, the power and the love of God, the power and the love of Christ, the certainty that his love which shed his blood on your behalf will never let you go. That's what we were singing just a few minutes ago, wasn't it? "O love that will not let me go." We were singing that just a few minutes ago. You believed it when you sang it, didn't you? Sure you did. Well, then your heart has everything it needs to be at peace. Blessed be his name.
Well, let's look at the final section here, the third and final section of this Psalm: the defense in God. The defense in God. Because all of these things are true, it means a certain outcome for those that are opposed to David, that are opposed to the people of God. The reality is that those who oppose the people of God face a certain and gloomy end.
Look at verses 9 and 10 of Psalm 63 with me. He says,
9 But those who seek my life to destroy it, Will go into the depths of the earth.
Death is their portion, he says. Verse 10,
10 They will be delivered over to the power of the sword; They will be a prey for foxes.
The word could be translated "jackals." The idea is this: the depths of the earth, the power of the sword, is a picture of certain death. David is God's king and as a result of that, those who will resist him, those who resist him will ultimately die. Their outcome could not be positive. David is God's anointed king. God will protect him. God will keep him. That means that those who are enemies of David are ultimately enemies of God himself, so much so that their end will be so dishonorable that scavenger animals will eat the flesh off their bones. That's the picture. It's a dishonorable end without a proper burial. To state it more broadly, the outcome is never good for those who oppose the people of God because God loves his people. God protects them. God is the defense for them. God apparently takes his people seriously. It's not a trivial matter.
Beloved, let's say it like this: your life, your soul, your well-being, is not a trivial matter to God. Do you realize God has staked his name, his honor, on being faithful to his promises to you? For the sake of his name he'll keep his promises. It's not because you deserve it. I realize, I know about you and you know about me: we fall short of the glory of God. This isn't about the perfections of our faithfulness to God, it's about the perfections of his faithfulness to us and because he has promised to keep his people, because he has promised to bless us, it can come out no other way. It cannot come out any other way come what may in this life. Let the gates of hell oppose us, God will be faithful to us.
Christ will keep us and therefore knowing that promise, we have all we need to be content and to be unafraid, right? Right? That's right and David closes on that high and lofty note. He says in verse 11, look at it with me.
11 But the king will rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him will glory, For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.
The outcome is sure. David says the king will rejoice in God. He's speaking of himself in the third person, "I will rejoice in God." Do you know what? If you are here tonight, that is a true statement, that is a factual statement, not a wish for you. You can say based on Scripture, based on the fidelity of Christ, "I will rejoice in God." You can state it as a statement of resolution, "This will be the commitment of my heart"; you can state it as a future indicative, "This will certainly happen to me. This is so certain that I can speak about it as though it were a past event. It is as certain as a past event in history that God will bless us in the future." It can't come out any other way, beloved. It can't. God will stop being God before he'll break a promise to us and do you know what? God's not going to stop being God. David says everyone who swears by him will glory. To swear by God in this Old Testament context is to fear him, to worship him, to trust him.
And we can all take great encouragement from the close of this Psalm at verse 11. Let's look at that and then draw a final conclusion from it. David says, "the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped." David had people who lied against him, who tried to undermine him, and you do too. I get that. What David is saying is, "Their deception is only temporary. The slander may succeed for a time but it can't last because the outcome for God's people is always going to be praise. It will always be good in the end for us." So David says, "God, I know who you are. I know that you'll defend me from my enemies and therefore the outcome for me will be joy, and those who have lied against me will be silenced."
Before we close this beautiful Psalm, let's take one final thought to the greater David to which this Psalm points us, to David's greater son, the Lord Jesus Christ. David was speaking in the context of those enemies who were trying to undermine his earthly throne and he says, "God, I know that you will keep me safe." In a far greater way, do you realize that that is the position that Christ holds for everyone who believes in him? In a far greater way, Christ will protect us in the final outpouring of God's wrath against sinners and his judgment on Satan and all the devils under Satan's control, on all of the sinners who have wickedly opposed him and rejected the Gospel, all liars and all fornicators and all of that. And though we were once a part of them, though we were once like that, Christ has saved us and delivered us out of that and forgiven us our sins and given us a new birth and given us a salvation that can never be taken away. Do you realize what that means? That in the certain coming eschatalogical wrath when God pours out his wrath on this wicked world, do you know what he's going to be doing for you in the meantime? Protecting you, keeping you so that you are shielded from that wrath. So that the outcome for you is joy, not punishment.
Christ will protect us from Satan, protect us from every force that would oppose him and oppose his people, and Christ will deliver you from every earthly sorrow, every earthly sin, every earthly difficulty, and he will deliver you safe on the other side. And it is his loving gracious character, his great power, his great faithfulness, that is keeping you to make sure that that result occurs. Do you know what that does? That calls us, doesn't it, to praise him and to cling to him and say, "Lord, I know who you are and you are sufficient for me. I trust you. I rest in you and no one, to the best of my ability, I commit myself to stay right here clinging to you. Like Ruth clung to Naomi so, Christ, I cling to you. My only prayer is that you would cling to me even tighter and never let me go."
Friends, brothers and sisters, is this the call of your heart to Christ in response to this Psalm tonight? Have you truly fled from sin and found refuge in Christ alone for the salvation of your soul? If you haven't, don't you know that you're an enemy to him? That you're opposed to him as you reject the Gospel? And you see right here from the Scriptures, it couldn't be any clearer, it doesn't come out well in the end for those who oppose Christ. Why not take this opportunity under the sound of God's word and come to Christ for your salvation if you don't know him like this? God have mercy on us all and thank God for his mercy in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let's pray together.
Father, in response to this Psalm, we give ourselves over to you. We confess, Father, that no matter how imperfectly we might embrace this at the moment, we confess that you are our soul desire. You are the desire of our soul and you are the sole desire, the sole object of our affections. Bless these dear people, Father, in the myriad of circumstances that they face that would distract them and pull them away from this kind of devotion expressed in Psalm 63. Lead them into that full satisfaction that is found in Christ alone. And Father, may we all be found in Christ at the end of time, safe, secure in your heavenly kingdom as you've been gracious to bring us all in one-by-one. And Father, for the generations yet to come out of the loins of those that are with us here, Father, bless them as well and extend your grace to those generations yet to be born. Father, we pray big things. We pray big thoughts knowing that you are a very big God and that you love us and that you delight to answer our prayers. So we pray these things, Father, that the fullness of Psalm 63 would be known in the fullness of all of the hearts of the fullness of those who are here with us, over the live stream, and who will hear in subsequent media. Bless, Father, in accordance with the greatness of Psalm 63 we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.