Mr. Big Shot

Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The loving-kindness of God endures all day long.

Your tongue devises destruction,
Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.

You love evil more than good, Falsehood more than speaking what is right.
You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.

But God will break you down forever;
He will snatch you up and tear you away from your tent, and uproot you from the land of the living. 

The righteous will see and fear, and will laugh at him, saying,
“Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge, But trusted in the abundance of his riches and was strong in his evil desire.”

But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the loving kindness of God forever and ever.
I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, and I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.

New English Bible

1-2 Why make your wickedness your boast, you man of might, forging wild lies all day against God’s loyal servant? Your slanderous tongue is sharp as a razor.
3-4 You love evil and not good, falsehood, not speaking the truth; cruel gossip you love and slanderous talk.
5 So may God [Or So God will] pull you down to the ground, sweep you away, leave you ruined and homeless, uprooted from the land of the living.
6 The righteous will look on, awestruck, and laugh at his plight:
7 ‘This is the man’, they say, ‘who does not make God his refuge, but trusts in his great wealth
and takes refuge in wild lies.’

8 But I am like a spreading olive-tree in God’s house; for I trust in God’s’ true love for ever and ever.
9 I will praise thee for ever for what thou hast done, and glorify thy name among thy loyal servants; for that is good.


Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior? Don’t you realize God’s justice continues forever?
All day long you plot destruction. Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor; you’re an expert at telling lies.
You love evil more than good and lies more than truth. Interlude

You love to destroy others with your words,
    you liar!
But God will strike you down once and for all. He will pull you from your home and uproot you from the land of the living. Interlude

The righteous will see it and be amazed.
    They will laugh and say,

“Look what happens to mighty warriors who do not trust in God. They trust their wealth instead and grow more and more bold in their wickedness.”

But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people.


David wrote this Psalm and he has a particular person in mind, Doeg the Edomite. The back ground is found in 1 Samuel 22. David had fled Saul with Jonathan’s help but David left so quickly that he had no weapon or food. He stopped at the Tabernacle at Nob where there was a village of priest. He asked for help and Ahimelech gave David bread and Goliath’s sword. Then David disappeared. He had told Ahimelech that he was on a secret mission for Saul: he did not tell him the truth, probably out of fear that the priest would not help him. Doeg, the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd was standing there and saw David and overheard the conversation between he and the priest. Saul became increasing paranoid and believed that David was leading a conspiracy against him. He was scolding his men for not telling him about Jonathan helping David when Doeg stepped up and offered information. He lead Saul to believe that Ahimelech was conspiring with David. Saul summons the priest who denied the charge and pleaded his innocence. Saul would not listen and had the entire village murdered, the priest [85], their wives, children, babies and live stock. Pure insanity. One priest escapes, Ahitub and he fleas to David.

David was dishonest and he realizes that this massacre is his fault. But Doeg the Edomite was an opportunist and he saw a way to advance himself in Saul’s eyes. What Doeg said was not a lie: Ahimelech did give David bread, bless him and give him a weapon but he never conspired with David against Saul. So Doeg told enough truth to get Saul stirred up but he did not tell him all the truth. Doeg was a cunning man who turned the truth into a lie, one that would advance him up the ladder of success. In other words, he was not a man of principle. He is one of the most reprehensible men in all the bible.


Most translations agree with the NASB and translate the Hebrew word gibbôr as MIGHTY MAN but the word can be translated powerful, warrior, tyrant, champion, chief, giant, man, mighty (man, one), strong (man), valiant man. When a man who is actually not mighty, not powerful but thinks in his own mind that he is mighty, powerful and strong–we call these people “Big Shots.” They are not big in character but they have big mouth, they are blow hards and they usually try to intimidate people with their wealth or position.

Doeg was not a man of faith, he was an opportunist. His chief concern was to advance himself and he did it at the expense of others. It amazes me what some are willing to do to climb the corporate ladder.

My mentor in the ministry was Calvin C. Inman. One of the things he drilled in my head and heart was to be very cautious about any move or advancement. He did not believe in promoting one’s self. He said, “Jack, you let God move you and then when things get rough, you know you are where He put you.” I have never had a resume. I have never dropped my name to anyone. I have never made the slightest effort to climb the ecclesiastical ladder. I’ve never even served as a moderator in an association. I have never served on any board or agency. In that regard, I have no regrets. I am not a big shot: heck, I may not even be a buck shot but I am having the time of my life.

Doeg wanted to be a big shot and he was more than willing to embrace evil to accomplish his goal. His treachery caused and entire village to die; all for the sake of getting brownie points from an insane tyrant.


David knows that what Doeg did was reprehensible and vain. David said, “God will snatch you right out of your tent and take you out of the land of the living.” In other words, David is saying, “Your days are numbered. You better enjoy what time you have because when God gets a hold of you, you will be a laughing stock.” People will watch you suffer. They will watch and worship–stand in awe of what God is going to do to you. {God had not done it yet–this is future}.

In other words, David said “I am not worrying with you. I have turned you over to God and He will take care of you.” Unfortunately, we don’t have the record of Doeg’s demise but I promise you it happened.


The righteous are like an olive tree planted near the sanctuary. Dr. Wiersbe believes that the Tabernacle of Nob was right beside an Olive orchard. It makes perfect sense. The tabernacle need the oil from the olives to trim their lamps, baking the bread and anointing oil. The OLIVE branch has been a symbol of peace since the flood but the oil from the olives as been a symbol of the SPIRIT. According to the Apocalpyse of Moses, an apocryphal Hebrew book, when Adam fell ill Seth went to request the “oil of mercy” to anoint Adam and restore his health. His entreaty was refused, as it was destined for Adam to die, but the angel Michael told Seth that the oil would be granted to the righteous at the end of days. So the Hebrews believed that the TREE OF LIFE was an olive tree.

There are things we definitely know: [1] The Olive Tree was productive and vital to the economy of Israel. [2] The Olive Tree was useful [3] It was also enduring. An olive tree can live for a 1,000 years.

Those who make CHRIST THEIR REFUGE are like Olive Trees: [1] Planted {deeply rooted} [2] Faithful {enduring} [3] Productive and [4] Useful.

In Contrast, those like Doeg, who put their confidence in wealth, riches, etc. will enjoy temporary success. They will be uprooted and cast out. They will suffer God’s judgment and become a laughing stock for their folly.

O the folly of trusting in riches. The worldly man knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. If you can put a price tag on it, it has no true value.

I was in a revival in Lawrence County and running late. June had a ford explorer that would fly, I drove an old GMC pickup so I swapped so I could drive faster. I made it in time to preach and on the way home, June called. She said, “I have some bad news, I had a little fender bender and now your truck has a dent.” I said, “Don’t worry about it honey, it is a piece of metal sitting on four rubber tires. It can be replaced. As long as you weren’t hurt that is all that matters.” I was so proud of myself for responding so nobly, then when I got home and seen the dent, I got sick at my stomach. It was not a little dent.

It is souls {people] that are valuable and we can take them to heaven with us. It is folly to trust in riches because you can’t take them. When you come to your final breath and departure, your money is worthless. Value people, not money. Love people and use money. Don’t get it backwards like the world: they love money and use people.


Psalm 22

In our last message on Psalm 22 we talked about the loneliness Jesus experienced on the cross and today we will think about the cruel mocking; the ridicule, the scoffing, jeering or hate speech.

We are using PSALM 22 in our communion services and today we are on verses 12-13…NIV

Many bulls surround Me;
    strong bulls of Bashan encircle Me.

Roaring lions that tear their prey
    open their mouths wide against me.


[1] David wrote this Psalm 1,000 years before Christ was crucified and yet it is the most graphic description of a crucifixion in the bible, history.

[2] David wrote this Psalm over 600 years before crucifixion even existed. Crucifixion was invented by the Persians between 300-400 years before Christ and the Romans picked it up and perfected it because it was such a deterrent to crime and rebellion. It was a slow death by torture.

[3] This Psalm is not about David. Whereas it is true that David suffered, he did not suffer what is described in this Psalm. No one has, other than Jesus.

I want to read the text again, this time in the NLT…

My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls; fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
Like lions they open their jaws against me, roaring and tearing into their prey.

We are all going to die, some of us sooner than others and I don’t know about you but I want to be surrounded but not by my enemies. I want to be surrounded by love ones and friends. The atmosphere in which Jesus suffered and died was hostile; yea even cruel.

Jesus was loved in Galilee but hated in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was home to the Jewish religious establishment. The Pharisees were the middle and higher middle class. They were devout in their religion but they loved money and the praise of men. Jesus had some converts among them but not many. Above them was the ruling class, the elites, the Sadducees. They were more political than spiritual. They controlled the wealth {all were filthy rich}, the priesthood, the temple and the Sanhedrin. They had tremendous power. They practiced the golden rule, he who has the gold rules.

Jesus was not popular among the Pharisees but the Sadducees hated Him and wanted Him dead. This group had no scruples, no convictions, no mercy and no conscience. They were ruthless.

When Jesus entered the city on passion week, He knew He was walking into the jaws of the lion. Incredibly, Jesus did not flinch. He knew what would happen and yet He did not fear.

The physical agony that Jesus endured on the cross if far more than I can imagine. The Romans knew how to drive the nails through the nerves. Nerve pain is excruciating. It shoots fire all over the body. I had a cortisone shoot in the heal about 25 years ago and I screamed; everyone in the clinic heard me. The first thing that popped into my mind after the shoot was over was Jesus agony on the cross.

But that is only one aspect of His suffering: he was surrounded by scoffers and haters. They came to enjoy, to celebrate His suffering. They laughed at Him, mocked Him, ridiculed Him.

Today we stop and pause: remembering His death, His agony, His suffering and all the horrible abuse He took for oursakes.

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying,

 “Take and eat; this is my body.”

27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying,

“Drink from it, all of you. [pause] This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Redeemed–how I love to proclaim it!

Redeemed by the blood of the LAMB!

Redeemed through His infinite mercy,

His child, and forever, I am.


May The Lord bless you and keep you; May the Lord make his face shine on you  and be gracious to you;
May the Lord turn his face toward you  and give you peace

Psalm 51

A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

14 Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise.
16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.


This is the fourth of David’s seven penitential Psalms {6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143}. This particular one is in reference to David adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah. It is recorded in I Kings 15:5, “During his life time, king David did what pleased the LORD, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.” [Obviously the murder was worse than the adultery] It is interesting to me that we find this entry in Matthew genealogy of Jesus…Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.

There is no question Uriah suffered the greatest injustice. Most men would prefer you take their wife over their life. You could give the wife back but you cannot give a life back once it is taken. The guilt that tormented David was the murder of Uriah.

I may not get beyond the introduction tonight because I am convinced that Bathsheba was complicit in this affair. There is no evidence that this was rape. I’ve heard preachers say, “Bathsheba was innocent because David was the king and he could not be denied.” That makes absolutely no sense. By nature, women are always ahead of men. Men don’t think–David saw, he wanted and took but he did not think. It was the spur of the moment, a spontaneous response for David. Women are thinkers {I am being nice}: they calculate, they plan; I will not say connive but I will say this– they know how to formulate a plan and then work the plan. They usually get what they want. Men are at a disadvantage and it shows.

When a woman baths in the nude on her back porch while your neighbor who just happens to be a man, is talking a walk on his penthouse roof which is clearly visible, it might be intentional. Men are visually stimulated and trust me, she stimulated David. If it had not been consensual, she would have hated David, right women? She would have loathed him which means she would never have let him known that he got her pregnant. You’ll never convince me that she went into his bed chamber without the intention of getting pregnant. Now David did commit the murder, but again, if Bathsheba was madly in love with Uriah, she would have despised David for murdering her husband. David acted out of lust; Bathsheba out of ambition. She wanted a son on the throne and she got it. So David does the dirty work, gets rid of Uriah and he takes the fall [blame]. But it takes two to tango.

One other introductory note before we get started. Most commentaries state that it was a year or more before Nathan confronted David. There is no doubt that David’s conscience was tormenting him but he may have thought that what he had done could be keep secret. If the preacher, everyone knows. The confrontation probably embarrassed David but it broke the ice and the confessions began to roll. WHEN IT COMES TO THEOLOGY: Psalm 51 is a masterpiece. Say whatever you like about David’s sin: God used this man in an incredible way.

One other thing: don’t despise David for his massive moral mistake {sin}. It could happen to you if you were in the same situation {power and opportunity}. Until these two converge, you have no really been tempted.

The First Thing I want To Address is THE BASIS OF OUR FORGIVENESS

I love the way the NLT translates verse one…Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion. Other translation use the word ‘according,’ the NASB reads, Be gracious to me, O God, according to your loving-kindness, according the greatness of Your compassion. Why does God forgive our Sin? It is because of who HE IS. He is merciful and compassionate. He is not only merciful and compassionate the word “Greatness” is throw in to modify his Mercy and Compassion. This same word is used in Genesis 16 when the Angel tells Hagar, “Do as I say and I will give you more descendants that you can count.” In other words, God Mercy and Compassion is INFINITE. It is so great that we humans can not measure it’s greatness.


Basically, there are three types of sin mentioned in Psalm 51 and three METHODS of forgiveness.

[1] Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins {Transgressions, literally}. A transgression is the violation of the law and is a willful act of rebellion. David knew that what he was doing was against God’s law and he did it anyway…this is transgression. {Wet paint, don’t touch} The remedy for willful acts of sin is to have them “blotted out.” This is an accounting word which means to erase. Wipe away, clean the slate.

[2] The second word for sin is in verse two is INIQUITY. This word means to bend or twist, to pervert or distort. Mankind has mastered the art of perverting the good things that God created: art/porn, music/rock, sex/a hundred different perversions. The remedy for INIQUITY is to be “Washed.” I don’t know about you but when I come in at night, I like a good shower. I’m usually so dirty I use my body wash twice. Even when my hands get dirty during the day, I feel a need to wash. Most of us want to be clean. Of course, we are cleaning the outside and Jesus can wash us from inside out.

[3] The third word for sin is sin. Like it’s NT counterpart, this word means to fall short or to miss the mark. The Remedy is purification or cleansing. This is not a washing of water, but a cleansing of the soul that comes with true confession.


[1] Sin is before us: David was able to recognize his sin and it was haunting him day and night. He had a guilty conscience. Some people are pathological, they have no conscience; others have seared their conscience by repeated rebellion. Thank God for conscience. I rejoice when God convicts me of sin. I am thrilled that He cares enough to speak to me about my sin. I begin everyday {practically} with my QT. I read two devotions, and one Psalm before I do anything else. Sometimes I have to pray as soon as I study my Psalm. I can’t remember a day, lately that God hasn’t convicted me of some sin. Yesterday devotions out of Proverbs was on ranting and I am a ranter. So when we sin, it is against our conscience and this keeps are sin before us. I don’t worry about those who confess sin: I worry about those who don’t.

[2] BUT as David says, Sin is primarily against God. God is the first to feel the brunt of our sin. He is the first to see it. We do our evil in His sight. He usually knows about our sin before we know. When we blatantly sin against God, and all sin is blatant to HIM, we offend His holy nature. Because He is holy and perfectly so, our sin offends Him most. Who took the brunt of our sins? Jesus. All of our sin first and foremast is against HIM.

[3] Sin, all sin has consequences. [Verse 4] What ever God says about our sin is final: whatever the consequences are, they are justified. Thank God David maned up, he didn’t whine about his punishment. He knew that God was just and blameless. DAVID DESERVED DEATH. He was given life but his sin caused the death of the innocent.


This is a good stopping place. We all deserve death and hell but Jesus died in our place. He suffered our hell and death. Our response should be eternal gratitude.

Psalm 48

Psalm 48

A song. A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

How great is the Lord, how deserving of praise,
in the city of our God, which sits on his holy mountain!

It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King!
God himself is in Jerusalem’s towers, revealing himself as its defender.

The kings of the earth joined forces and advanced against the city.
But when they saw it, they were stunned; they were terrified and ran away.
They were gripped with terror and writhed in pain like a woman in labor.
You destroyed them like the mighty ships of Tarshish shattered by a powerful east wind.

We had heard of the city’s glory, but now we have seen it ourselves— the city of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. It is the city of our God; He will make it safe forever. 

O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple.
10 As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory.
11 Let the people on Mount Zion rejoice. Let all the towns of Judah be glad because of your justice.

12 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers.
13 Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations.
14 For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die.


Before we read the Psalm tonight, we want to do a little back ground. Approximately 700 years before Christ, Sennacherib, king of Assyria invaded the land of Judah, subjugating most of the cities but when he got to Jerusalem, he was unable to take it. The Assyrians were fierce warriors, blood thirsty barbarians would be a better description. They did not just kill and destroy, they tortured their opponents before they allowed them to die. The thought of facing the Assyrians, struck fear into hearts.

Jerusalem in a walled city and located on the crest of a mountain. It was not an easy city to conquer. Sennacherib began with a propaganda campaign; he tried to undermine the citizens confidence in their leader Hezekiah and in God Himself. As you may or may not recall, Sennacherib failed to take the city. He actually never shot the first arrow over the wall. The Angel of the LORD paid a visit to his camp and killed 185,000 soldiers in one night. Sennacherib was devastated and returned to Assyria in shame and disgrace. A couple of months later, two of his sons assassinated him while he was at his temple to pray to his god with a little g. Three Psalms were written to Praise God for this great victory.


So before we read the Psalm: Note this is a Praise Psalm {song} celebrating this unbelievable victory.

[read the Psalm]


The second thing I want you to notice is the repeated us of the word CITY. Six times if I counted properly. Notice the adjectives used to describe the city…

—verse 2–High and magnificent, the whole world rejoices to see it!

—verse 8–The city of glory and security

—verse 12–The strength of the city


Since it is a Psalm of PRAISE, you see the emphasis on praise…

—Verse 1…How great is the LORD…How deserving of praise

—Verse 10…As Your name deserves O God, You will be praised to the ends of the earth.

We praise God for…

[1] God’s Awesome Power–[v.7]like a storm destroying the mighty ships of Tarshish.

[2] God’s Unfailing Love—[v.9]

[3] For the Victory He gives—[v.10]

[4] God is faithful and immutable—[v.14]


This is a quick overview of the Psalm, not let me give you some lessons to take with you.

1. WE DO NOT WORSHIP PLACES–CITIES OR TEMPLES. The Jews were tempted to worship the shadow and ignore the substance or the reality. We do not worship buildings, statues, edifices of any kind, this is idolatry. We worship God in Spirit and Truth. We worship a PERSON, not a place.

2. WE ARE TO CELEBRATE OUR VICTORIES. Nothing wrong with praising God for the good things He does. The Angels in heaven celebrate when one sinner repents. The Prodigal Father celebrates.

3. OUR FOCUS IN NOT ON GOD’S GIFTS OR BLESSINGS [Cities, buildings, temples, etc] BUT ON HIS PRESENCE. The glory of Jerusalem in not it its appearance: there is glory in it’s past and future. Mt Zion is where Abraham worshiped with Issac. It is where David brought the Ark of the Covenant, a symbol of God’s presence. It is where Solomon built the Temple. It is where Jesus died for our sins. Jerusalem, apart from Christ is just an ancient with with a lot of rocks and mortar. Jerusalem has no sky scrappers, no shopping malls, no sub-ways. It is nothing like Istanbul, New York or London. No parks, gardens, manicured lawns. You will see very few trees and very little grass. Mostly stone, dirt and mortar.

If I were to live in Israel, Galilee would be my choice hands down. They have vegetation, beautiful green mountains and lush green valleys. You will see none of this any where near Jerusalem.

The glory is not in the city itself. Jesus in the city, that was glory. Jesus in the Temple, that was glory. But in the temple and city alone, there is no glory.

Old Preachers Version of Burning Bush

Moses: “Wow, look at that bush!”

God: “Look closer, it is not the bush, it is MY glory on the bush.” Look over there Moses [other direction]…what do you see?

Moses…I see a bush

God…Look in the other direction and what do you see?

Moses…just an old bush.

God…That right Moses, just a bush. It is not the bush, it is my glory on the bush, any old bush will do!

A Merciful God

Exodus 34:6, NLT

The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.


This was God’s introduction of Himself to Moses: He said, I am {Yahweh in Hebrew} the God of compassion and mercy. I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

This verse is quoted 6 times in the Old Testament. I do not know on any other verse quoted that many times. Jonah even quotes it…In Jonah pitty prayer, he says to God,I knew it, I knew Your were merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and ready to forgive…” Although Jonah desperately needed mercy himself, he did not want God to show the Ninevites mercy. The Ninevites were cruel, barbarous people; they were so vile that they were hated by the know world, yet God had mercy on them when they repented.

I have my doubts and fears from time to time. Although all will not admit it, I think we all humans have times of doubt and fear. Yet I have no doubt that God is merciful: He cannot be otherwise.

My grandson and I were discussing the holiness of God the other night and I told HIM: GOD MUST BE HOLY. Again, I have no doubt. What would happen to Morgan County if you removed all law enforcement? How long to you think it would take for word to get out and thieves and murders from all over would flood this place. It would become a cesspool of violence and crime. Everything good about this country would be destroyed. This is the nature of evil–it is self-destructive. God governs His creation with certain natural and spiritual laws and if He and His law and order were removed, the universe would self-destruct. If God were not holy, we would not be here and the same is true of HIS MERCY.

We live each moment by HIS MERCY. Every breath we take is provided by HIS MERCY. Do we deserve this mercy? No, we executed His perfect Son. We all deserved death and hell but God is willing to show us mercy if we will repent and turn to His Son Jesus Christ.

God is merciful, that is who He is: Jack is impatient and had a hard time waiting on anyone or anything—that is who Jack is. God is merciful. He shows kindness and forgives sins because He is merciful…that is who He is.

God’s mercy is infinite, it is off the chart. We can imagine how merciful God is…Jesus prayed while on the cross, FATHER FORGIVE THEM, THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Our attitude toward those who tormented Him is more like Jonah’s, “Let them burn in hell, they deserve it,” but God was willing to show them mercy.

There is no one who does not need HIS MERCY and there is no one excluded from receiving HIS MERCY.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

I Timothy 2:3-4

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

Listen friends, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is no one who is righteous, not even one. Jesus died for us, He who knew no sin became sin in our behalf, so that we might be declared righteous in God’s sight. If you have never repented of your part in His death and never trusted Him as Savior and Lord, why not do it today.

Amazing Grace

Ephesians 2 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

From Death to Life

2 You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.

 BUT God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.


Rarely will I recommend a movie BUT if you have never seen the 2006 film AMAZING GRACE based on the life and work of William Wilberforce, you need to see it. It was not a box office smash; the film barely made enough to cover expenses but it is a classic and it contains several scenes with John Newton the author of the hymn Amazing Grace.

Since seeing this movie, and getting to know John Newton a little better, I have tried to come up with a better adjective than ‘Amazing’ to describe God incredible grace and I cannot.

To organize my thoughts in a presentable way: I have come up with an outline and I first want to talk about…


Paul highlights our desperate need for GRACE in verses 1-3…We were born dead. We inherited from Adam a body prone to decay and corruption and along with that, a ‘spirit’ that was dead toward God. It is our faith is Christ that made us alive…gave us a spiritual birth that eventually dominates the physical. Jesus talked about this birth to Nicodemus when He told him, “You have to be born again.”

Our spiritual deadness manifest itself in three ways:

[1] We follow the course of the world {Verse 2}

[2] We follow the prince of the air {Verse 2}

[3] We follow the desires of our flesh {Verse 3}

In verse 3, Paul makes it clear that ALL OF US are in need of His Grace…

All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.

When It comes to sin, disobedience and depravity: some are worse than others or if you prefer, better than others but it is a mute point because it takes on one sin to make us a sinner.

Lets say we have to jump the Tennessee river to go to heaven and it is over a quarter of a mile wide. So we line up on the bank and we start jumping. So I jump first and I go 7-8 feet, then comes Too Tall with those long legs and younger body and he jumps 15 feet, then along comes one of these youngsters and they jump 20 feet. Remember the river is over 1300 feet wide. This means we all came exceeding short, we all got wet, what difference does it make who jumped the furtherest.

We all need grace: the moralist, the Pharisee needs grace as much as a criminal: there is no one so good that they do not need grace and no one so bad that they can’t be saved by grace if they put their trust in Jesus.


I want you to listen to me…pay attention. I have many doubts, I am neither a paragon of virtue or faith but I tell you today, I have no doubt that SALVATION IS BY GRACE.

[1] First of all, it is the only way we can be eternally secure. [any salvation based on our efforts is in jeopardy] We humans are too flawed to save ourselves or to keep ourselves saved.

[2] Second: if Salvation is not solely of Grace AND a work of Christ, then Jesus is not our SAVIOR. He is more of a partner, a co-plot. If He can’t keep us saved, then He cannot be called a Savior.

[3] Third, Salvation involves a NEW BIRTH, which is from above and a gift. This destroys the argument that we Baptist believe you can make a profession of faith, be baptized and then live like the devil and still go to heaven. NO, my friend, if you made a profession of faith and was baptized but never born again, you are in a heap of trouble. {How do you know?} In Adam, you inherited a spirit of disobedience: in Christ you inherit a spirit of obedience. If you are still living the way you please and have no desire to obey Christ, you have never been saved.

[4] Every thing is scripture and history is about JESUS. I’m just telling, GOD LOVES HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN and He created the world through HIM and for HIM and it is His purpose for Jesus to get the glory.

Revelation 5:12….“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”


I see two kinds of church members [did not say believers] [1] Those created in Christ Jesus for good works…operate out of an overflow of grace [2] And those who work for favor…trying to obtain God’s grace by their own performance. THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT GRACE CANNOT BE EARNED.

I don’t care how many Sunday school lessons you have taught…

How many sermons you have preached…

How many you have baptized or lead to faith in Christ…

How many times you have read the bible through…

How many nursing homes you have visited…

It is the fact that you are keeping track of what you are doing that disturbed me. It is the fact that you think you are morally superior to others that bothers me.

GOD created you with two hands for a reason: one is for giving and the other for receiving. Sometimes there can be pride and a sense of superiority in giving and for the proud, receiving can be more of a problem. We have to humble ourselves to receive, to acknowledge that the gift is undeserved.

The Church At Ephesus

The Letter to Ephesus {CSB}

2:1 “Write to the angel of the church in Ephesus: Thus says the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and who walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil people. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. I know that you have persevered and endured hardships for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first.Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet you do have this: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

“Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.


The church of Ephesus would be your typical of some churches today. Matter of fact, I think this church is Ephesus but before you stone me, let me confess: I believe that DBC is also an Ephesus.

Listen to what Jesus says about this church…

  • This Church was active... It is a vibrant church. “I know everything you are doing and have done.” {CEV} There parking lot was full, their calendar was full, activities never ceased, they were hard workers and busy as beavers. This is not a bad thing: I know churches that don’t have any activity rather than a meeting on Sunday morning but we need to hear Jesus out of this one.
  • This Church is Orthodox…they do not tolerate heresy. The Nicolaitans mentioned in verse 6 were heretics and Ephesus gave them the boot so they moved on to Pergamum and Thyatira.
  • This Church is Steadfast…It is a strong church. They have endured many difficult circumstances and have emerged stronger than ever.
  • This is a Relentless Church…They don’t quit, they don’t give up or in [v.3]

Transition…the infamous BUT

Jesus said, BUT I have something against you. What on earth could it be?

  • The Church is Vibrant
  • The Church is Orthodox
  • The Church is Strong
  • The Church is Tenacious and Persevering

What more could you want?

You have abandoned the love you had at first.

What is this love: I am convinced it is LOVE FOR JESUS which embraces and loves others. What is missing is proper motivation. We do good things but we have forgotten why we do them. MOTIVE is everything in the Kingdom of God. Paul said you can speak every language, know every mystery and even give away all your belonging and even your life but if your motive is not love, there is not profit in it for you.

Jesus knows everything, He knows our heart and our motives and He desires that we be driven by a passionate love for HIM. LOVE FOR JESUS is to be our driving force.


LORD willing I will answer this question but before I do, let me ask you a personal question?

Husbands, does it matter to you if your wife loves you. Is her obedience and service enough to please you?

What about you wives: is it enough for your husband to provide for you and give you every dime he makes?

No, you want to be loved unconditionally. You want your spouse devotion and service to be driven by love.


When I was a child, I obeyed my parents part of the time but the only reason I obeyed them at all was because I feared the consequences. My childish love for my parents was a need-love. I needed them. I found my security in them. As I got older, I needed them less and less but my love for them increased more and more. I was in my late 20’s or early 30’s before I had a heart to heart talk with my daddy. It was not that daddy didn’t want to talk to me, I wasn’t ready, mature enough to understand what he had to say.

In the later years of their life, I loved them in a more mature way. It wasn’t a need love, it was much purer than a need-love. I wanted to honor them and make their life easier if possible. I loved them for who they were warts and all. ISN’T THAT THE WAY PARENTS WANT TO BE LOVED?

We were created in the IMAGE OF GOD and there is some likeness. Jesus wants our unconditional love. He wants us to love HIM for who He is and not just what He did for us. He wants our love to grow and to mature until nothing in our lives is greater than our love for Jesus.


Go with me to John 21…look at verse 15

15 When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”

Did you catch that? Jesus did not ask Peter if he was willing to serve or had he been teaching the SS class. He didn’t even say, “Peter, are you tithing?” Bible Study, ministry, tithing…all these things are important but that is not the question that Jesus ask. The question is…DO YOU LOVE ME?

In John 6, Jesus feeds the multitude fish and hush puppies until their stomachs are fully satisfied. Jesus then slipped away from the crowd because they were about to try to force Him to be their king. Jesus went off to Himself, the disciples got in a boat and went to the other side of the lake. Jesus joined them in the wee hours of the night when he came across walking on the water. The next day, the multitudes kept looking for Jesus until they found Him but Jesus told them: You are looking for Me because you want to see more miracles and have some more free fish and hush puppies, not because you believe in Me.

BOTTOM LINE: These people didn’t love Jesus. They were following Him for the benefits. Just like folks who move from church to church until they get all the free benefits. Oh, they admired Jesus, they admired what He could do but they were not willing to commit their lives to HIM.

Jesus want us to LOVE HIM with all of our heart, mind, body and strength. He wants us to Love him so deeply that nothing matters more than His glory and honor.


Go back one chapter in John to chapter 20 and you have the story of Mary Magdalene. I love this story. Mary went to Jesus tomb expecting to find His dead lifeless body. When she got there, His body was not in the tomb. Mary was frantic. She ran back and got Peter saying…“They have taken my Lord from the tomb and I don’t know where they put HIM.” Peter and John check out the empty tomb and then return to the upper room. Not Mary, she stood outside the tomb weeping, she wasn’t going anywhere till she could see a body, a dead lifeless body. As she was weeping, she decided to take a second look, this time two angels were in the tomb. They asks Mary why she is crying and she says to them, “They have taken away my LORD’s body and I want to know where they have put Him.

Let’s stop here and consider Mary’s motives: what can a lifeless, dead Jesus do for Mary? The answer: Absolutely nothing. A dead savior could do nothing but she didn’t care, dead or alive, she loved HIM. She was going to make sure His lifeless body was properly cared for. This is the kind of devotion and love Jesus wants. Mary didn’t love Him for what He could do, she loved Him for who He was and what He had already done for her.

The good news is: Mary found the body and it was full of life.

A High View Of God

Psalm 5[a

For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.

Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.

Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to You I pray.

3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.

For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
    with you, evil people are not welcome.

The arrogant cannot stand
    in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;

    You destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
    you, Lord, detest.

7 But I, by your great love,
    can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
    toward your holy temple.

Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies—
    make your way straight before me.

Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
    their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
    with their tongues they tell lies.

10 Declare them guilty, O God!
    Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
    for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
    let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

12 Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
    you surround them with your favor as with a shield.


In the Parable of the STEWARDS, those to whom their master entrusted money, the third servant has a low view of his master. Let’s pick up the story in Matthew 25…

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

2“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

As you can see, the servant had a very low view of his master. Some folks have a low view of God but David was not among them…King David a lofty view of God. What David believed about God affected his life. It stands to reason that God is going to bless, to favor those who have a high view of HIM.

Although David was the king of Israel, he knew God was the KING of kings, the Holy and Righteous One who inhabits eternity. David knew that the Almighty was his Strength, his Rock, his Shield, his Strong Deliver. David was never defeated in battle and he knew that this was God’s doing.

Transition: note first of all

1. David’s Communion

1 Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.

Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to You I pray.

3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.

David was not a perfect man but he was a passionate man and he had a strong habit of prayer. David knew when to pray…before the day’s activities begin. A king’s life is full of decisions and some are hard. David wanted God’s help, His divine intervention, His guidance, His wisdom. David knew that in his own strength, he would surely fail.

It is sad that his son and most of his descendants never came to realize this truth…David’s sons and grandsons were not as devoted to prayer as was He. They didn’t understand this basic truth: The arm of flesh will fail you–we dare not trust in our own strength.


For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
    with you, evil people are not welcome.

The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong;
    You destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful
    you, Lord, detest.

The Hebrew word of “Wickedness,” is resha` and it means a perverted righteousness. The wicked are they who twist God’s law. They twist and pervert it to meet their own desires and purposes. The wicked are they who use their own devices to get what they want whether it be money or power or the destruction of a rival. Wickedness is the opposite of righteousness. Thus the wicked are enemies of righteousness.

Evil is the Hebrew word raand it means bad, disagreeable, malignant, unpleasant, one who causes pain, unhappiness, misery to others, displeasing, worse than, unhappy, unkind (vicious in disposition).

The third word that we need to understand is translated “do wrong” in the NIV. The AV reads “Workers of iniquity”…The ESV and Holman reads “evil doers” which is the preferred translation for Calvinist.

Let’s list David’s conviction…

  • God is not pleased with wickedness
  • Evil people cannot approach Him
  • The arrogant cannot stand in His Presence
  • God hates all who do wrong or evil.
  • God detest those who thirst for blood and deceitfulness.

The only one that creates a problem for Christians is number 4, GOD HATES ALL WHO DO WRONG OR EVIL.

  • Technically, this would mean God hates us all because all have sinned and sin is evil. Does God hate both the sin and the sinner?
  • Jesus said in John 3:16 that God loves the entire world. We interpret everything through the lens of Christ who taught us to LOVE OUR ENEMIES, not hate them.
  • The Calvinist thing we evangelicals are wimpy at this point: They see God as an angry vengeful God who takes delight in the destruction or death of the wicked.
  • Make no mistake about it: there is coming a day when God’s wrath in full measure will be poured out on all who reject Christ but the bible makes it very clear that Christ died for sinners, those who do evil.


 7But I, by your great love,
    can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
    toward your holy temple.

Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies—
    make your way straight before me.

The Hebrew word checed here translated ‘love’, translated ‘lovingkindness’ in NASB is one of those words that Barclay says in untranslatable. It could be translated ‘merciful kindness’ or ‘undeserved favor.’ It is clear that David understands that God will show mercy to those who humble themselves before HIM which is exactly what he is doing. David BOWS and BESEECHES. His hearts desire is to obey the LORD, to follow His guidance.


Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
    their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
    with their tongues they tell lies.

10 Declare them guilty, O God!
    Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
    for they have rebelled against you.

Paul quotes David from selected Psalms in Romans 3…
There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

All are condemned a part from Christ because all have sinned. The Jewish Religious leaders did not view themselves as sinners, nor would they refer to themselves as wicked or evil but Jesus did…look at Matthew 23 for instance. Only Christ makes us RIGHTEOUS before God.

David is right in that NO REBEL HAS A FUTURE. You cannot rebel against God and hope to prevail. Sin by nature is destructive, Christ came to save us from its destructive power. Once a man determines to do things his own way, a part from Gods mercy, he seals his own fate. Sin will destroy him.


11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
    let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

12 Surely, Lord, You bless the righteous;
    you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

We cannot rejoice over evil, bloodshed, crime, war and all the things that are produced from man’s rebellion against God but we can rejoice that in CHRIST JESUS we have a shield from this evil that will eventually destroy all who are not in Christ {The ARK of safety}

Calm Assurance

Psalm 4

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.

Answer me when I call to you,
    O God who declares me innocent.
Free me from my troubles.
    Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

How long will you people ruin my reputation?
    How long will you make groundless accusations?
    How long will you continue your lies? Interlude
You can be sure of this:
    The Lord set apart the godly for himself.
    The Lord will answer when I call to him.

Don’t sin by letting anger control you.
    Think about it overnight and remain silent. Interlude
Offer sacrifices in the right spirit,
    and trust the Lord.

6 Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”
    Let your face smile on us, Lord.
You have given me greater joy
    than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.


Psalm 4 is a companion to Psalm 3: both are related to David’s distress when Absalom chased him out of Jerusalem, threatening his life and desiring his office. Psalm 3 is David’s morning prayer and Psalm 4 is his evening prayer. Before we get into the message, there are a couple of things that AMAZE me.

  • First, I am absolutely amazed at how God uses David to write these beautiful Psalms that inspire me. David was far from perfect, yet he writes the most beautiful poetry in the world. I marvel, I am astounded at how these hymns inspire and lift me and millions like me.
  • I am equally impressed that God can use our sorrow to touch the lives of others. David wrote these beautiful and inspiring hymns while he was in a state of distress. Is this amazing or what!
  • One other think I would mention is David’s spiritual disciplines. He begins, spends and ends his day with prayer. Awesome!


How did David weather this storm of distress?

Before I try to answer this question: let’s think for a moment about the conditions that caused David’s distress.

  • David’s life, job, security, family is being threatened by Absalom’s rebellion and Absalom has the support of the vast majority.
  • David has been the victim of a “Smear campaign. The democrats did not invent slander even though they seem to have a corner on the market. David’s reputation had been tarnished.
  • David is forced from his home; put to flight. Anyone of these things would cause distress but David faces all three.

How did David deal with this Crisis?

First: David Prayed

Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent.
Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

Dr. Jack Taylor said that we Baptist want to prayer so we can get on with the business, but PRAYER IS THE BUSINESS. Nothing is more important than prayer. My wife and I are in some distress as I speak. {Illustration: a rebellious child] In our distress, there is only one thing we can do…PRAY.

Second: He Calmed Himself With the Assurance of God’s Sovereign Love.

You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for Himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him.

Charles Spurgeon said, “The sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which we lay our heads at night.” I don’t know much but one thing I do know is that God is in absolute control and I am not. My daughter pays no attention to anything I say; she is destroying her life and I seem forced to watch but I know that God is in control. He can bring good out of bad. He can turn sorrow into joy just like He turned water into wine. David knew that God chose and anointed him to be king. This was God’s choice, not David’s. David had the assurance that he would be king as long as God willed it so his only prayer was “Thy will be done.” On the other hand, Absalom was a manipulator. He was using deception. He was using people to get what he wanted. He did experience a moment of glory but a moment was all God could spare.

David was a godly man in the sense that he was going in a godly direction. Absalom was a worldly man and he was going in a worldly direction. David knew that he was under the influence of God’s grace. This gave him calm assurance that everything would be alright. In the end, things would work out.

Third: David had A Solid Quiet Time

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.

Remember, it was David who wrote Psalm 46, “Be still and know that I am God.” We live in a age of noise, business and everyone seems to be on a frantic pace. If seems like the world and the devil have conspired together to destroy peace and quiet. If we are not in the noise of a busy workplace, we are in the noise of traffic and then we come home and turn on the TV because the quiet unnerves us. We AMUSE ourselves to death so we will not have to MUSE. We cannot think deep thoughts about God in a den of racket and we refuse to get alone with God. David knew that when we get in a hurry, we respond rashly and make bad matters worse. Why don’t we pull away from the noise, be still and get along with God. It is okay to be angry at sin but we cannot give way to our anger. If our anger is out control, it will lead to more sin.

I read this past week the story of Potiphar and Joseph. Potiphar had the most valuable slave in Egypt: Joseph could do everything. Potiphar only concern was what he was having for dinner. Potiphar’s wife was a floozy and she lied to her husband about Joseph’s behavior. Potiphar went into a rage and did the most foolish thing he had ever done: threw Joseph into jail. He did not act rationally, he acted in anger and haste.

Fourth: Understand Everything Is Grace

Offer sacrifices in the right spirit,  and trust the Lord.

David lived under the old covenant: you could not approach without a priest and a sacrifice. No one was to enter God’s presence without a sacrifice. Man is a sinner deserving of death: the sacrificial animal dies in our place, we enter only with the blood of the innocent sacrifice. David’s appeal is not based on merit. He is coming to God via the sacrifice. We cannot approach a holy God in our sinful condition. God demands perfection. Jesus came and lived a perfect life in our behalf, now we enter God’s presence in Christ {covered by His blood}.

FIFTH: Trust God

Offer sacrifices in the right spirit,  and trust the Lord.

The song writer said it best, “take your burdens to the LORD and leave them there.” Cast all your care on Him because He cares for you. Don’t worry about anything but pray about everything. The bottom line is: You can’t fix it. David could not fix his problem and he was a king. I certainly don’t have the ability to fix my problems. In Luke 18 Jesus said, “There are some things that people cannot do, but God can do anything.” There are some things you cannot fix; all you can do is trust God to fix them.


What is the result of a calm assurance in God?

Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”
    Let your face smile on us, Lord.
You have given me greater joy
    than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

  • God’s Favor [Grace]
  • God’s Joy
  • God’s Peace.

Triumphant Faith

Scripture: Psalm 3

O Lord, I have so many enemies;
    so many are against me.
So many are saying,
    “God will never rescue him!” 

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
    you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
I cried out to the Lord,
    and he answered me from his holy mountain. 

I lay down and slept,
    yet I woke up in safety,
    for the Lord was watching over me.
I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
    who surround me on every side.

Arise, O Lord!
    Rescue me, my God!
Slap all my enemies in the face!
    Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
Victory comes from you, O Lord.
    May you bless your people. 


Psalm 3 was written by David. He wrote this Psalm when Absalom chased him into the wilderness. Absalom deceitfully won the hearts of the people and his coup was highly successful in terms of numbers. The majority was backing Absalom and that includes the Elders. The odds were against David; he was supported by a small number but they were devoted followers of the king.


The Psalm is divided naturally into four stanzas with 2 verses in each stanza.

  • Verse 1-2–The Problem
  • Verses 3-4–The Protection
  • Verses 5-6–The Peace
  • Verses 7-8–The Petition
  • O

I. The Problem

O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!” 

  • So many enemies. This word enemy here can be translated adversary or foe. Those who oppose us and what we are trying to accomplish. But it can also be translated trouble, distress, affliction and sorrow. All of these would apply to David’s situation. Can you imagine the sorrow and distress that such a situation would cause: your own son, your own flesh and blood trying to take your job, your legacy and your life.
  • So many against me. Against is a preposition and synonymous with enemy. David had a great host against him. Absalom had won the hearts of the public. David’s popularity was suffering. He had not paid attention to his son nor what he was doing. By the time this coup comes to the surface, David realizes his unpopularity. This has to be a traumatic experience. I don’t think anyone, deep down, wants to be unpopular. One thing I have never appreciated is those people who come to me and tell me how hated or disliked I am by certain people. What purpose does that serve?
  • So many saying “God will not rescue [yeshua] him.” They were saying in essence, David is beyond saving. He is a hopeless case.


But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain. 

  • Hallelujah: God is our shield. David speaks of God being his shield often: [Psalm 18:2] The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. [Psalms 28:7] The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.
  • The Shield was a very vital part of the warrior’s armor. It would be suicide to go onto the battle field without a shield. David believed in divine protection and so do I. I have doubts about some things but one thing I do not doubt is God’s protective shield. Folks, no one knows my vulnerability or at least all of them. I stand before you as a living example of someone whom God has protected. I have survived two coups and even more threats. A man of some wealth vowed to ruin me and he would have had not God protected me.
  • Nothing humbles us like utter humiliation and this is what David faced. Not only did David need physical protection, his confidence and courage needed protecting. David avowed to the LORD, “You are my glory and the One who holds my head high.” Humiliation can cause us to lose our confidence.


I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.

  • David fled Jerusalem in the dark of night. He crossed the little Kedron brook with his small band of followers and passed through the very valley that Jesus would use as a garden for prayer. David is a good example of practical obedience: he trusted the LORD but he also did what he could to save himself and a part of that was flight. He put distance between his small army and that of Absalom’s. He traveled all night and all day before camping in the Jordan valley. Probably near Gilgal. Then they moved on to the East bank and Mahanaim, a mountain retreat in Gilead.
  • There is no question that David is exhausted and that he needs rest. He considers his night of sleep a gift from God and he attributes it to the peace that God grants to those in distress.
  • Like Peter in prison, David was able to sleep amidst unpleasant circumstances. {Personal testimony}


Arise, O Lord! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked! Victory comes from you, O Lord.  May you bless your people. 

  • It is a brief but sincere prayer, “Rescue [Save] me, my God.” It reminds us of Peter’s prayer on the lake, “Save me LORD.” It is not the length of the petition but the sincerity that counts.
  • “Slap my enemies in the face.” David didn’t want Absalom’s life but he did want to save face. David asked God to do what he could not. David was not in a position to slap his enemies.
  • “Shatter their teeth,” is a little stronger but again it speaks of a blow to the face, not death.


Victory comes from you, O Lord. May you bless your people. 

As believers, we always have to keep the end in mind. In the present, things are far from perfect but ultimately, God will set everything right through Jesus. We may lose a few battles along the way but we are not going to lose the war.