Psalm 10- The Problem Of Evil

Psalm 10

Need for God’s Justice

Lord, why do you stand so far away?
y do you hide in times of trouble?
In arrogance the wicked relentlessly pursue their victims;
let them be caught in the schemes they have devise

For the wicked one boasts about his own cravings;
the one who is greedy curses and despises the Lord.
In all his scheming, the wicked person arrogantly thinks,
“There’s no accountability, since there’s no God.”
His ways are always secure; your lofty judgments have no effect on him; he scoffs at all his adversaries.
He says to himself, “I will never be moved—
from generation to generation without calamity.”
Cursing, deceit, and violence fill his mouth;
trouble and malice are under his tongue.
He waits in ambush near settlements;
he kills the innocent in secret places.
His eyes are on the lookout for the helpless;
he lurks in secret like a lion in a thicket.
He lurks in order to seize a victim;
he seizes a victim and drags him in his net.
10 So he is oppressed and beaten down;
helpless people fall because of the wicked one’s strength.
11 He says to himself, “God has forgotten;
he hides his face and will never see.

12 Rise up, Lord God! Lift up your hand.
Do not forget the oppressed.
13 Why has the wicked person despised God?
He says to himself, “You will not demand an account.”
14 But you yourself have seen trouble and grief,
observing it in order to take the matter into your hands.
The helpless one entrusts himself to you;
you are a helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked, evil person, until you look for his wickedness, but it can’t be found.

16 The Lord is King forever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
17 Lord, you have heard the desire of the humble;
you will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully,
18 doing justice for the fatherless and the oppressed
so that mere humans from the earth may terrify them no more.


Technically speaking, we are all depraved and have the capacity to do wicked things but there are levels of depravity as seen in the STORY OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN. The priest and the Levite did wrong but they would never do what the robbers did: beat a man half to death. Everyone is going in one of two directions: The Godly are like the Prodigal who has come to his senses and is moving toward the father. The ungodly are in a state of rebellion and moving away from God, they are bent on hell. Depravity has stages and the people David is describing are those who refuse to acknowledge God and have no fear of accountability [Robbers in the Good Samaritan]. They have sold themselves to evil. David gives us a list of their evil actions: they PERSECUTE [pursue], OPPRESS, SCOFF, SCHEME, SLANDER, BOAST, VICTIMIZE, they even TERRORIZE. They are VICIOUS, VIOLENT and VAIN. They will take advantage of you, hurt you and take pleasure in doing so.

All of us have the ability to hurt others but we are not talking about a misspoken word or even an unkind word– we are talking about violent crime: there are people out there who will do you harm and it will be premeditated. There intent is to harm.

I. The Profile of the Wicked

[1] The wicked are arrogant and boastful– v.2 In arrogance the wicked relentlessly pursue their victims.

[2] The wicked are relentless-Like the waves of the sea, they keep hounding and pounding.

[3] The wicked are boastful–v. 3 For the wicked one boasts about his own cravings; the one who is greedy curses and despises the Lord. They flaunt their sin.

[4] The wicked are schemers– V.4 …In all his scheming, the wicked person arrogantly thinks, “There’s no accountability, since there’s no God.”

II. The Mindset of the Wicked

[1] No God to give accountability to–He is either absent or non-existent… “There’s no accountability, since there’s no God.”

[2] Invincibility…. He says to himself, “I will never be moved.” The wicked feel invincible.

[3] God is Distant and Unconcerned “God has forgotten; He hides his face and will never see.”

[4] God is not Good nor Holy...Why has the wicked person despised God? He says to himself, “You will not demand an account.”

Illustration: The injustice toward Joseph, being betrayed and sold into slavery…was God near during this or distant?

III. The Fruit Of The Wicked

  • SCHEMING…V. 2 & 4
  • GREED…V.3
  • DECEIT…V.7
  • MURDER…V.8
  • OPPRESSION…V.10 & 12
  • TERRORISM…V.18 [Possibly, the worst form of evil and the most Satan like]

2 Timothy 3 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Difficult Times Ahead

3 But know this: Hard times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good,traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people.


Timothy Keller says there are three responses to evil: [1] The NAIVE [deny it’s existence] Disarmament will not make the world safer. Disarming the Police will not make the state safer; disarming law abiding citizens will not make the country safer. Don’t be NAIVE, guns are not the problem, EVIL is the problem. [2] The SELF-RIGHTEOUS–out there but not within the heart or the community. [3] The CYNICAL–if God doesn’t care, why should we.

Paul would add a fourth for sure… Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. [Ephesians 6


I would add one also…PRAYER‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ [Matthew 6:13]


Jesus And The Law

17 “Don’t think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all things are accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.


[1] These verses are found only in Matthew’s gospel. [2] The LAW AND THE PROPHETS represent the holy scriptures–what we would call the bible. The Sadducees believed only the first five books–the Torah–the books of Moses {Law} but the Pharisees and scribes accepted the prophetic books as holy and inspired and so does Jesus. [3] Jesus makes it clear: He did not come to abolish the law, not even to change it, not even one iota [jot or tittle]. He came to fulfill it and to make it clear.

Jews and The Law

1. The Jews had a record of being law-breakers…they had never practiced the law of Moses. Talked about it but didn’t put it into practice.

2. The Jews had misinterpreted the law.

3. The Jews had had twisted and perverted its original intent of the law

Jesus and the Law

1. Jesus fulfilled it–perfect obedience…met all of its requirements

2. Jesus revealed the true meaning of the law…He corrected the misinterpretation.

3. Jesus made it possible for us to be free of the laws condemnation. The Law demands perfection and we aren’t perfect or even capable of being perfect…Jesus was perfect for us.

4. Jesus taught us how to go beyond the law and to experience the freedom of grace.



[1] THE LAW IS GOOD, HOLY AND PERFECT. Paul said is Romans 7:12…So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good. The Law by nature is perfect, there is nothing wrong with the Law. If something is perfect, you cannot improve it. Jesus said, emphatically, “I did not come to change the law.” The LAW has never been the problem [2] The LAW IS HELPFUL TO MAN–Jesus said,
The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” The Jews had laid a thick crust on top of the original law: they had 365 laws regarding the Sabbath. They had so perverted the LAW that the Sabbath had become a burden rather than a blessing. In keeping their version of the Sabbath laws, they allowed people to suffer needlessly. The law was more important than the person. This was not God’s intention. He gave us laws to make life worth living. Laws are good–Anarchy is bad. [Illustration: sports without rules and officials]. [3] THE LAW IS OUR TUTOR–Paul said in Galatians 3:24…Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. The LAW is not our Savior, it was never intended to be our Savior. The LAW reveals our sinfulness and shows us our need for a Savior. Paul said, I would not have known that I was a sinner except to the law that said, “Do not covet.” The LAW reveals our imperfection. It also brings out our rebellion. What happens when you see a sign that says, “Wet paint, do not touch.” One day we are going to learn just to say “Wet paint.”


The Jews had so perverted the LAW, that keeping the law had become a huge burden. They were keen on the letter of the law but they had missed the intent. The goal of the law was to make life better, not bitter. Jesus taught that the LAW could be summed up in two commandments: Matthew 22:37-38…We are to LOVE the LORD our God with all our heat and our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. The Ten Commandments are divided into these two categories: 1-4 is loving God and 5-10 deals with loving your neighbor but as Paul said, the key to all ten is LOVE. God did not give us laws to make life miserable, He gave us laws because He loved us. Parents do not create rules to make children’s lives miserable: they make rules to protect them. [Illustration: Curfews]

Not only did God give the law out of love: His will is for us to reach a place where we obey out of love. My parents had laws/rules and my mother was strict. I was almost grown before I got to go swimming on Sunday and I never attended a movie on Sunday until I went with the Church. She made the rules, she enforced the rules: she never said, “Wait till your father get’s home.” I didn’t obey her rules perfectly; there was a lot of mischief in me, but the ones I obeyed were out of fear. I knew if I got caught, she was going to beat the ever-living-daylights out of me. This is typical for children but when I grew up I obeyed her for a different reason. As I matured, I began to honor my parents. I tried to please them because I loved them. I was independent, I no longer feared them but I loved them. When you obey out of love, you do it freely. You are obeying because you want to, not because you have to. LOVE is a far better motive than FEAR. Your life will take on a new dimension when you learn this lesson.

III. The Law and Grace

Again, Jesus reminds us that He did not come to do away with the LAW. Paul reminds us in Romans 7 that the Law is good and holy. There is nothing wrong with the law, there is something wrong with us–we are sinners and violators of the law. Lets go back and look at verses 19-20…Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

It is a huge mistake to think or teach that GRACE has replaced the law: that the law is no longer viable.

The LAW was never intended to be a SAVIOR. God never had a plan-A and Plan-B if A didn’t work. He knew the Law would not lead to our salvation because He knew we did not have the ability to keep the law. If we couldn’t keep ONE COMMAND [do not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] what makes you think we could keep ten. God knew we couldn’t keep them but we did need them for structure and guidance and we still do. Jesus has always been Plan-A, the Savior. The law is to guide us to Jesus, enable us to see our need for Jesus.

The Law is good [morally perfect] but is cannot give us spirit and life. Those who turn to the law for a Savior become legalistic and proud. They see everyone’s sins except their own. They become judgmental, harsh and critical. GRACE is not anti-law nor a replacement for the law: GRACE enables us to be law abiding. It enables us to please God. In Romans 7, Paul uses the illustration of marriage. A woman is married to Mr. Law. He is perfect and also demanding. She is imperfect and cannot meet his demands but Mr. Law died, leaving her free to marry Mr. Grace. Mr. Grace is also perfect but not demanding. He is kind, sympathic and caring. He gentley, tenderly helps his wife. When she can’t get things right, He even does it for her, in her behalf. When a guest comes in and brags on her house keeping, she points to Mr. Grace and says, “Really, he did it.”

We have a choice: do we want to be motivated by the law [which is good] or do we want to be motivated by love [Grace]? Some folks stay married simply because it is the right thing to do but there is a better motive, it is called love. If you will look down at verse 41, Jesus gives us a perfect illustration…. 41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile carry it two miles. Roman law required the Jews to carry a soldier’s back pack for one mile but Jesus said, “Go beyond the laws demands and become free to serve.” Once you go beyond the mile, you are in charge.

So think of it like this: would you rather operate under the motive of “I have to stay married…it is the legal think to do or I want to stay married because I love my spouse.” I have to go to church…I have to study my SS lesson…I have to hear another sermon…etc. This is not the best way to live.


All of us identify with REPORT CARDS. I know they have changed over the years but when I attended school you had A’s for excellent, B’s for not bad and C’s for average. Athens did not have D’s but I know many schools did: a D was not good in college, will not transfer. But we all know about the infamous F which stood for failure. There are kids who make straight A’s there are kids in college who have a 4.0 GPA. In life, it’s a little different, no one has a 4.0. All have sinned and come short of the perfection we see in Christ. Since God demands perfection, we have a problem. The solution to the problem is Jesus. Jesus lived a 4.0 life. Paul said something amazing in Romans 3…
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. 
So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.

Here is the deal: You put your faith in Christ [give Him your sin and shame] and He gives you His righteousness [4.0]. That’s how I am going to be saved, by His GPA, not mine.

Psalm 9

Psalm 9 NLT

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Death of the Son.”

1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will {rejoice} be filled with joy because of You.
    I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

My enemies retreated;
    they staggered and died when you appeared.
For you have judged in my favor;
    from your throne you have judged with fairness.
You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
    you have erased their names forever.
The enemy is finished, in endless ruins;
    the cities you uprooted are now forgotten.

7 But the Lord reigns forever,
    executing judgment from his throne.
He will judge the world with justice
    and rule the nations with fairness.
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
    a refuge in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

11 Sing praises to the Lord who reigns in Jerusalem.
    Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds.
12 For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless.
    He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer.

13 Lord, have mercy on me.
    See how my enemies torment me.
    Snatch me back from the jaws of death.
14 Save me so I can praise you publicly at Jerusalem’s gates,
    so I can rejoice that you have rescued me.

15 The nations have fallen into the pit they dug for others.
    Their own feet have been caught in the trap they set.
16 The Lord is known for his justice.
   The wicked are trapped by their own deeds.

17 The wicked will go down to the grave.[c]
    This is the fate of all the nations who ignore God.
18 But the needy will not be ignored forever;
    the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed.

19 Arise, O Lord!
    Do not let mere mortals defy you!
    Judge the nations!

20 Make them tremble in fear, O Lord.
    Let the nations know they are merely human. 


In this sin-cursed world where injustice, violence and vice are everywhere, believers can become discouraged and disappointed in the lack of justice and equity. Social Justice was a term coins by our Catholic friends back in the middle 1800’s and was not a bad phrase in the beginning but Progressives have bent the phrase to means something that it did not originally mean. To secular humanist or “progressive” as they like to refer to themselves, Social Justice mean uniform state distribution of society’s advantages and disadvantages. Social justice is really the capacity to organize with others to accomplish ends that benefit the whole community. In other words, their concern is not really justice, the unborn are case in point: their concern is equality in the social sense. When Jefferson talked about equality, he was referring to an equal right under the law to live and to pursue happiness. The left is a communistic idea or scheme to make everyone equal in economic and other ways. They do not see the INDIVIDUAL or individual rights: they think in terms of groups. Women, although they are a majority [more women than white males], are a DISADVANTAGED GROUP. They are given minority status. Thus their right to terminate a pregnancy overules the individual rights of a baby in the womb. In other words: there Social Justice is biblical injustice. According to scripture, it is murder in the first degree.

I don’t know about you but this GREAT INJUSTICE bothers me. I could never be happy in a world that kills babies.

I confess that David’s grief and concern was not abortion but he did face a pagan onslaught. His enemies were not God fearing people. They were idol-worshiping pagans and David felt the oppression of their anger toward God and those who serve him.


If you look at verses 1-2 of Psalm 9 in the CEV or the NLT, you will see David four wills:

  • I will praise You, Lord, with all my heart
  • I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
  • I will {rejoice} be filled with joy because of You.
  •  I will sing praises to Your name, O Most High.

This is the “will” or attitude a believer needs to live in a sin cursed world. Without this attitude, we are going to get awfully discouraged.

I. David’s Praise…I will Praise YOU LORD {With all my heart}

Since I have been using the Psalms for years as a prayer guide and since I begin my prayers with praise, I have learned to highlight the things in each Psalm that are praise worthy. Just look at this Psalm in your bible…

  • The LORD reigns forever–v.7
  • He Executes Judgment from his throne–v.7
  • He will judge the world with justice–v.8
  • He will rule the nations with fairness–v.8
  • He is a shelter for the oppressed–v.9
  • He is a refuge in times of trouble–v.9
  • He does not forget to punish the guilty–v.12
  • He listens to the cries of those in need–v.12

  •     executing judgment from his throne.
  • He will judge the world with justice
  •     and rule the nations with fairness.
  • The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
  •     a refuge in times of trouble.
  • 10 Those who know your name trust in you,
  •     for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

For the child of God, there is always something to praise God for.

~Jack Bailey

II. David’s Proclamation…I will tell of all the marvelous things He has done.

Understand David is a type of Christ. David experience past tense will be our experience future tense because our VICTORY IS IN JESUS. God had given David victory over his enemies…David never lost a battle.

First: David proclaims–My enemies retreated; they staggered and died when You appeared.

Second: For you have judged in my favor;  from your throne you have judged with fairness.

Third: You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked, you have erased their names forever.

Fourth: The enemy is finished, in endless ruins; the cities you uprooted are now forgotten.

III. DAVID’S PETITION– I will rejoice because of YOU.

If we have a passion for the LORD, we will have a passion to prayer. Our hungry for prayer will become as strong as our hunger for food.

  • LORD have mercy on me–v.13
  • Keep me from the gates of death–v.13
  • I will sing about YOU–v.14
  • I will be happy, rejoice in my salvation–v.14

IV. DAVID’S PASSION– I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

As followers of Christ, we are going to face some soul-searching, gut-wrenching times. I attended the COLS of a six year old child yesterday: her parents and grandparents are my friends and they are crushed with grief. How do we sing in this trying moments. The key is to understand the TRUTH and we see it here in Psalm 9…

Evil has no future!

Jack Bailey
  • The Nations will fall into their own trap–v.15
  • Evil people will be trapped by their own evil–v.16
  • The wicked go down to hell and all nations that forget God–v.17
  • The oppressed [poor and homeless] will not always be forgotten–v.18
  • The wicked are having a hay day but they have a court day coming–v.19
  • All humanity will discover how weak and helpless they are when they stand before God in judgment–v.20

The Light of The World

Matthew 5:14-16

14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.


John 8:12–Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

Light is a symbol of TRUTH. The function of light is to make truth and reality visible.


A man was hunting and got caught in a storm. He found shelter in the mouth of a cave and spent the night there. He woke up with the sun peeking through the mouth of the cave, the rays of the sun revealed to the man that he was not alone in the cave: there were bats and snakes and other creatures. LIGHT REVEALS TRUTH AND REALITY.

John 1

14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory,the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth15 (John testified concerning him and exclaimed, “This was the one of whom I said, ‘The one coming after me ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’”) 16 Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness, 17 for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

So Jesus is the LIGHT…As the Apostle John said in reference to John the Baptist…There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. The true light that gives light to everyone, was coming into the world .

Jesus is the True Light that gives Light to everyone.


Jesus said…No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house.

It makes no sense to hid light–the purpose of light is to make truth and reality known. If you don’t put the lamp on a table, folks are going to be tripping over the furniture. CHRISTIANITY IS MEANT TO BE SEEN; to be demonstrated. We let our lights shine in church {worship} but when we go out there, we put them under a basket, we cover the light. Jesus didn’t tell us to be light to the church, He said, “You are the Light of the world.” The world needs to see the light. They are stumbling in the darkness.


Again, the basic function of LIGHT is to reveal truth and reality. We need to see where we are going. Jesus had compassion on the multitudes because they were like sheep without a shepherd…they were wandering aimlessly, no purpose, no direction. The LIGHT gives direction. I absolutely love light. I love street lights. June has a smart car and it automatically brightens and dims the lights but when there are street light, it stays on dim. But we the street lights, you don’t have to have headlights. I’m bad to mess with her setting and she has it on automatic [my truck doesn’t have this feature] I left Huntsville a few weeks ago and I was almost to the Airport before I realized the lights were not on.

But in normal driving conditions at night, you must have headlights to guide you. Jesus is the LIGHT that guide us. There is an old hymn about following the LIGHT OF JESUS. You do it a step at a time..

Trying to walk in the steps of the Savior,
Trying to follow our Savior and King;
Shaping our lives by His blessed example,
Happy, how happy, the songs that we bring. :
How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior,
Stepping in the light, stepping in the light,
How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior,
Led in paths of light

With my nav system and my headlights, I can go anywhere in the country, even in the darkness. When I turn on to Iron Man Road, I only see what my head light reveal but as I move onward, they move onward. I simply follow the light. I don’t see my destination when I pull out of the garage but I follow the light and it will lead me to my destination.


Lights have always been used to warn people of danger. Our roads are filled with caution lights, warning us of dangerous intersections. William Barclay was a Scottish author, radio and television teacher, and Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow. I know he leaned toward universalism [Everyone eventually will be saved] but he has great commentary on most of the NT. He tells the story of a famous TEACHER AND PRINCIPLE, Florence Allshorn who was noted for rebuking students when she caught them in error. Most students dislike such teachers but this woman was loved and admired. When she saw a kid do something wrong, she went to him/her, put her arm around the shoulder and gently whispered in the ear. She rebukes with love and kindness and it worked.

This may be the most difficult aspect of bearing the light: most of us have no desire to rebuke but people need to be warned.


Look at what Jesus said… In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

How do we reconcile this with Matthew 6?

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness[a]in front of others to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward with your Father in heaven. So whenever you give to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be applauded by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.[b]

This is difficult but the key, and the thing Jesus is emphasing in chapter 6 is MOTIVE. MOTIVE IS EVERYTHING.

I answered the call to preach, along with four others, in a revival that took place in 1968 [My first year at UCLA]. I was 19 years old and only one of many young people that were fired up and ready to knock on doors. One deacon in particular got upset with us and he quoted part of this verse. He said in effect, I don’t have to tell anyone about Jesus, I just let my light shine before others. Letting people see your good works is only one aspect of the verse: are they giving you glory or God–this is the question. I’ve know a lot of good people who did a lot of good things but they never gave the glory to Jesus, never even mentioned his name.

How can Jesus get glory if you never mention His name? I use to pick up hitch-hikers until things got so bad that I’m afraid to do. I would tell them: “This must be your day.” Usually they said, “What do you mean?” “Well what I mean is that God is thinking about you today: you are on His mind because He sent me back to pick you up. If Jesus was not a reality in my life, there is no way I would have stopped. So God is looking out for you.”

I’ve had more than one to argue with me. I did something to help and they said something about me being a good man…I didn’t let that stand…NO, NO, NO, I am not a good man. Folks we better not be taking credit for what God is doing through His grace. They are to glorify God not us.


There’s only one way I can conclude this sermon and that is with a confession. I fail in a lots of ways but I feel more guilt about being a bad witness than I do about anything else. Before I surrendered to preach, I surrendered to be a witness and my pastor, Calvin C. Inman spent hours training me to share my faith. I’ve share Jesus with lots of folks but I have missed more opportunities than I have taken. So today, I rededicate my life to be a witness for Christ and to do it is such a way that God’s get’s glory.

Psalm 8

God’s Glory, Human Dignity

For the choir director: on the Gittith [String instrument]. A psalm of David.

Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is your name throughout the earth! You have covered the heavens with your majesty.
From the mouths of infants and nursing babies, you have established a stronghold on account of your adversaries in order to silence the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I observe your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you set in place,
what is a human being that you remember him, a son of man that you look after him?
You made him little less than God and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
all the sheep and oxen, as well as the animals in the wild,
the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea that pass through the currents of the seas.

9 Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is your name throughout the earth!


Before I say anything about this Psalm, let me point out that it begins and ends with praise… Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is your name throughout the earth! We do not know the occasion but it was a Psalm of David who spent a great deal of time under the canopy of the stars as he watched his father’s flocks by night.

I read from the CSB which uses the word “Magnificent” to describe God’s name. The AV translates the Hebrew word ‘addiyr eleven different ways and here in Psalm 8, it is translated “Excellent.” The NASB, NIV, NLT, ESV and NRSV translated it “Majestic.” What is the point? We don’t have enough adjectives in our language to describe the greatness of His name.

Magnificent means impressively beautiful, elaborate, or extravagant; striking. Some synonyms are: splendid, spectacular, impressive, striking, glorious, superb, majestic, awesome, awe-inspiring, and breathtaking.

Majestic means having or showing impressive beauty or dignity. Some synonyms are: exalted, august, great, awesome, elevated, sublime, and lofty.

Which adjective is untrue? None: we cannot exaggerate the greatest of God.

Transition: David’s Awe


Verse 1…Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is your name throughout the earth! You have covered the heavens with your majesty.

Verse 3…When I observe your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you set in place.

  • His Power/Majesty/Glory is EVIDENT. All you have to do is look up. When I look up at the stars of heaven which seem to be more clear late at night or very early in the morning, I go WOW!
  • The consistency we see in Creation is a testimony to the faithfulness of God.
  • It is visible [plain] to everyone who has sight. Paul talks about this is Romans one–Every human being has the witness of Creation and Conscience.
  • It is awesome. Beyond words: beyond our imagination.
  • Creation speaks without saying a word: it tells us that GOD IS GREAT! Infinitely great, unimaginably great.
  • Remember, the heaven and the earth [God’s creation] only partially expresses His greatness. We know that He is greater than His creation just like an artist is greater than his work of art.


Louis XIV had the longest reign of any European monarch [72 years]. Louis became intoxicated with himself and his power. Louis even declared, “I am the State” and he called himself the GREAT MONARCH. But in 1715 Louis XIV abdicated his throne…he died. Of course he had his funeral planned out to the finest detail in order to insure that his greatness would be proclaimed. To symbolize his greatest a single candle was lit on the top of his jewel laden casket. Thousands waited in hushed silence, gazing at that solitary flame. The preacher in charge of the service walked to the pulpit, then went down to the casket and blew out the candle. He walked back to the pulpit and said to a stunned audience “Only God is GREAT.”


Verse 4…What is a human being that you remember him, a son of man that you look after him?

What a contrast: Awesome God and weak and frail human being. God is infinite and man is finite–there is a huge gap in between.

The devil is a liar and the father of all lies, he whispers in my ear often: “God does not love you, why would He?” David is awed not just by the magnificence of creation but by the fact that God would even think about us. What is a human, that you remember him. KJV says, “take thought of him.” Other translations say “think” of him. You cannot remember without thinking. I’m impressed when another human says they are “THINKING ABOUT ME.” June and I got a lovely card in the mail last week with that exact message BUT that GOD {Creator, Sustainer, Ruler} is thinking about me, blows my mind.

Had it not been for the incarnation, we might have a lot of doubt but Jesus came because God was thinking of us. Jesus didn’t come in the first advent to display His divine powers, He came to seek and save the lost. To do this He had to make Himself weak. He gave His life as a ransom, a payment for our sins. If you doubt God’s love for you, watch the Passion Of Christ. It will clear up the doubt.


You made him little less than God and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
all the sheep and oxen, as well as the animals in the wild,
the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea that pass through the currents of the seas.

David is awed by what God has invested in man; that He has given man so much responsibility. He gave us a crown: He made us rulers. He put everything under our feet. WOW! God gave Adam and Eve a crown but they forfeited that crown when they believed the devil’s lie. Jesus came to get our crown back. In Christ, you and I will someday be rulers. The dominion that Adam lost, we get back in Christ. God has a plan for man. He will restore our dignity.

The emphasis here is not on MAN and his intellect [although I am amazed at man’s intelligence], it is on GOD’S ABILITY TO USE MAN for His glory. Think about this: The very men {Caiaphas, Annas} who sought to thwart God’s plan of providing salvation through Christ only furthered it, enabled it to happen. [Acts 4:28] You know what that tells me. God can overcome our weakness and or wickedness and He can and will use us to accomplish His purpose which is for us to have dominion, to rule and to reign with Christ.


To reinforce this final point, I want to go back to verse 2… From the mouths of infants and nursing babies, you have established a stronghold on account of your adversaries in order to silence the enemy and the avenger. The NASB reads… From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease. I like the NLT…it makes it clear You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.

God is so great, He not only uses men, He uses infants and small children. Jesus translated this verse like this...Out of the mouth of babes and infants You have perfected praise? Little children are honest to a fault, they have not learned to pretend. This gives them a huge advantage with it comes to sincerity.

I am a huge C.S. Lewis fan: In the Chronicle of Narnia, Prince Caspian, the enemy {Tamerlanes} are approaching the river and only one person stand in their way, Little Lucy Pevensie. She stand there in courage against an entire army. I love this scene. Lucy had more faith than the others: she saw Aslan when no one else did; she loved and trusted him more than her older siblings. You cringe in fear as you see this child standing before a fierce enemy armed to the teeth and mounted on chargers. But it only appears that Lucy is alone: Asland was near, hid in the brush. Lucy takes her stand unflinching and when she needs Him, Asland in by her side. It was not battle at all.

That’s how great our God is: He doesn’t always use the big and strong like Saul–He uses the ruddy kid like David. He doesn’t have to be at the mercy of the powerful or highly intelligent, He can use a child or someone with a child like faith.

Salt Of The Earth

Matthew 5:13 CSB

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”

Luke 14:34-35

34 “Now, salt is good, but if salt should lose its taste, how will it be made salty? 35 It isn’t fit for the soil or for the manure pile; they throw it out. Let anyone who has ears to hear listen.”


Here Jesus uses “Salt” as a metaphor to descibe the believer…We Christians are like salt. It was a brillant choice of metaphors as you will see. But before we get into the message note exactly what Jesus said, YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH. He did not say we are the salt of the Kindom of God but of the earth.

Our Catholic friends have misunderstood both metaphors {Salt and Light}. We can be neither if we are isolated, cloistered away in some monistery. For salt to be effective, there has to be contact. For light to be effective, there has to be visibility.

TRANSITION: Today, we will address the first…Salt


In the ancient world, salt was the puriest substance because it came from the sun and the sea working together. Without the sun and the sea, there would be no salt and nothing is more pure than light. The ancients had a more difficult time purifying their salt but today salt is 100% salt. When Jesus referred to the SALT losing it’s saltness, He was referring to contamination. For Salt to be powerful and effective, it has to be pure.


Salt was the most valuabe commodity in the ancent world. People were often paid in salt. It was the equalivant to money. Salt was used to preserve food. Without food, you starve. Salt either prevented or killed the bacteria that would ruin the food. There was no way to preserve meat without salt. I grew up on a farm and we had a smoke house. We never smoked our meat but we called the house where we kept it the smoke house. Daddy used salt and lots of it. I have watched him rub a ham or shoulder many times. The salt has to penetrate the meat. You can’t isolate the salt in one house and put the meat in another. It was the salt that keep the meat from rotting.

We are the salt that keeps society from rotting. We are not appreciated but we are needed. If you can, imagine a MORGAN COUNTY without a single church. Our sheriff is a Christian but image a county where there are no Christians in law enforcement. We have Christians everywhere including Congree [sounds like a stretch]. Our vice president is an outspoken believer. The world makes fun of us but they don’t have enough intellect or judgment to see the truth. If you took all the Christians out of Morgan County it would not be a place fit to live in by the end of one generation.


Although Salt is not a spice [they can lose their flavor over time]. Who wants food without salt. Without salt food is bland even sickening. It is amazing what one little pinch of salt can do. [Christians will never be in the majority but it only takes a little salt to change the taste of a big pot of beans]. Salt puts taste in food. Eating would not be enjoyable without it. In a sense, Salt is the ZEST of food. It makes eating fun and enjoyable.

When Jesus talked about the salt losing its taste or saltness, I think He is talking about not only our purity but our enthusiasm, our zest, ardor, zeal, passion and joy.


Oliver Wendell Holmes said: “I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted like undertakers”

Robert Louis Stevenson once remarked: “I have been to church today and I am not depressed.”

Constantine made Chritianity the official relion of the empire but when Julian became the emperor, he tried to turn the clock back. He is the emperor that promised the world he would stomp out Christianity and he tried. Julian was blind to all spiritual truth: he could not see the light of the Son. He mocked Christians…“Have you looked at these Christians? They are hollow eyed, pale checked and they brood their life away, unspurred by ambition. The sun shines on them but they see it not, the earth offers them fullness [pleasure] but they desire it not. All they want to do is renounce, suffer and die.”

Let’s make sure we don’t give the world the wrong impression. Living for Christ is exciting. We must celebrate our faith and what Jesus has done for us. We have to show a little enthusiasm, zeal, ardor, passion, excitement. The same gospel that once made men shout, now put them to sleep. We are endanger of the SALT LOSING ITS SALTNESS.


  • Colossians 4:6– Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.
  • James 1:27– Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
  • Algernon Charles Swinburne {19th Century British playwrite and hedonist philosopher}… Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; The world has grown gray from thy breath.