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Watch 2022 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - Road Trip Psalms - Part 2

Beth Moore - Road Trip Psalms - Part 2

Beth Moore - Road Trip Psalms - Part 2
TOPICS: Road Trip Psalms

Now let's do a bit of recapping before I read another translation of Psalm 126. So, a couple things to get our minds right where they need to be. What is our collection of Psalms called? And you're giving me that "s" on the end of it. That's just what I want to hear. In what book of the Psalms would you find the Psalms of Ascent? All right. Now, let me ask you where do they start? How many are there? And where do they end? Absolutely beautiful. And we know this when we remind you of these things, as we start into them again, we know that they are beautifully crafted.

And I want to read an excerpt to you by Eugene Peterson that I absolutely love, and it's on the Psalms. And he says this: "There was no literature in all the world that is more true to life and more honest than Psalms. For here we have warts-and-all religion. Every skeptical thought, every disappointing venture, every pain, every despair that we can face is lived through and integrated into a personal, saving relationship with God, a relationship that also has in it acts of praise, blessing, peace, security, trust and love". I love this part right here. "Good poetry survives not when it is pretty or beautiful or nice but when it is true: accurate and honest. The psalms are great poetry and have lasted not because they appeal to our fantasies and wishes but because they are confirmed in the intensities of honest and hazardous living".

And we have been called to hazardous living on this planet. And I believe, as God draws us to a place of greater and greater intensity and rejoicing in our worship, in the full stretch of the highs and lows of it, bring our full lament, and then our full released laughter, that we are entering into a becoming a personal psalmists, that we engage as the one did that he himself said is "a man after my own heart". This beautiful crafting, remember Psalm 121. We read it together, and t is really our theme. And in so many ways, for the Psalms of Ascent, I told you that there is a ladder effect in it and come to verse 5, in the first couple of words, it becomes very climactic there. "So, I will look to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth".

And remember, it comes to that point in verse 5 that it says, "The Lord is your keeper". That's the top of that rung, and it goes back down, and it's this one idea is carrying throughout the Psalms of Ascent. The Lord is your keeper. You want to hear something majestic? In Hebrew, not in English, but in Hebrew, there are exactly 58 syllables that come to that climactic point in the Psalm, where it says, "The Lord is your keeper," but it's two words in Hebrew, 58 syllables after, and then it ends. It is going just like this: boom, boom, boom, in a rhythm, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, "The Lord is your keeper".

Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, to get that rhythm of life, that in the midst of all the stepping, of all the going up and down, of all the ascending and descending of life on planet Earth, of all the triumphs and tragedies, that we go through, that there is this one platform right in the middle of it, and it is the Lord is my keeper, and that confidence says to me that when I go through something, that I wanted so much to go around. The Lord is my keeper, and nothing gets to come to me but by his hand, because I'm kept by him. I'm kept by him. I don't know what that word "kept" means to you, but one of the things I say to him often, multiple times a week, sometimes with my voice quivering, because it means so much to me, I will say to him over and over, "Lord, keep me. Keep me. Keep me".

I saw a reminder not too long ago in a book where I had written to him in the very beginning. I'd done the gratitude page, and it was the last one, because it was the most important one of all. And that just said, the Lord is the Word in print, "Lord keep me, keep me". And I know I can't lose my salvation. That is not my concern. What I want is for him to keep my most earnest and my highest affections. Keep me. Keep me. This has never been allowed to become routine to me. Keep me. No matter what I go through, no matter what happens, no matter what anyone says to me, or says about me, keep me, keep me. Do not let me look to the right or to the left. Do not let me stare over my shoulder to what was behind me. Keep me. I'm reminded in my journey, the Lord is my keeper.

I want you to glance before we look at our primary Psalm 126, I want you to look at the very last one. I want you to look at Psalm 134 with me. It's very short, and I'm going to read it to you, because I want you to get the feel of it. Now, remember, as we recap, that we started in Meshach, which is the place of woe to me, and we determined that if that's the state you're in, man, are you ever prime for a fresh pilgrimage and journey with God. Because when we are somewhere that we say "I am so miserable," we are needing an ascent into a place of fresh worship and fresh revelation of God. And so, I want you to hear how then it wraps up in Psalm 134, because it says, "Now bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who stand in the LORD's house at night! Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the LORD! May the LORD, maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion".

So, do you hear? Because they've made it in, they've made it in. And in the psalmist's words, they've made it as far as the regular person could go. And, of course, it's in the song, and it would not be in the reality of their feet that they would be able to stand in the holy place, but they were standing on the property, on the property where, to them, the manifest glory of God dwells. And so they had made it. They were there, and it was like, "Lift your hands and rejoice". "Our pilgrimage has brought us to the place of our highest destination". And so, for us, this is a journey we take many, many times. If you said, "How many times"? As many as it takes, as many as it takes, as often as we realize, "Oh, I'm in a dry place".

Now, I want you to look at this Psalm and see with me that it is divided into two parts. It's very obvious. You probably already noticed it. But I want you to see that one is looking back, and then one is looking forward. Look at 1 through 3 that is saying, and now I'll read it out of the CSV: "When the LORD restored the fortunes", so now we've got past tense, "When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Our mouths were filled with laughter then, and our tongues with shouts of joy. Then they said among the nations, 'The LORD has done great things for them.'" And it says in verse 3, "The LORD has done great things for us: and we were joyful. Restore our fortunes, LORD". Now, it says, "When the LORD restored our fortunes," so there was a past tense time when they had experienced this kind of goodness of God, when they had forfeited what was theirs in their LORD, and he had restored it like a gush of grace over them.

And so, he's looking. The psalmist is looking back, but now he's basically saying, "Come do it again". And so, I want you to hear with me, because they're in this season of tears and sowing. I want you to hear with me that he is in the gap between verses 3 and 4. And so, what I want to suggest to you is that many of us are suspended exactly there, that for many of us, and if not now, you remember it, if not now, it could be around the corner. But there is this place, this suspension in our journey with God, in our, in our trek, in our pilgrimage where we have seen him do great things. And, man, he came forth for us, and he came through for us, and he did truly what only he could do. And yet we find ourselves in desperate need for another, because what's easy to think something like that happened, and then we... oh. In that great triumph, I'm gonna lives at that triumphant level.

This is the new normal. It's always gonna be like this. And then life happens, and things happen to us, and we make foolish decisions, and forfeit some of the things that were precious to us. Didn't realize what we had. And we did not have them in our hands, and we find ourselves there. You've done this before. We're restored, restored again, like streams in the Negev. The Negev, the word Negev means that, the root word of it means dry. And this is what I want you to hear over these winter rains, because the winter rains is exactly what they were talking about, exactly what they were talking about. It would be when things when things looked the worst, winter always looks the worst to us in so many ways, but that, for them, in their part of the world, in that very dry part of the world, that was when the very few rains that were going to come that whole year, that's when they were going to come.

And because the land was so dry, when they came instead, necessarily being soaked in underground, they would just flow, I mean just flow. Then suddenly there could just be this bursting forth of streams and that's exactly what he's talking about. When we're surprised by a sudden gush of the goodness and grace of God, when we just may not, expended in wait, praying, frustration. And you think, I waited so long and it was like it happened so fast. So often, we didn't even regard what a glorious thing God did for us until we're in the next season when we don't sense it at all. We're talking this week about an awakeness to his goodness, to his grace, to his presence.

I want to think in terms for the next couple of minutes about fortunes. When we would say, as New Testament believers, is to remember our covenant. This is crucial to us to remember which covenant we're under. And we're new covenant believers. They are old covenant believers. So, how could we relate to these psalmists crying out? "Lord, restore our fortunes. Restore our fortunes". So, I want to try to define that a little bit in New Testament terms. Because let's think what their fortunes were. Their fortunes were the manifestations of the blessings of God that he had promised them, and he faithfully had fulfilled. So, for them, it all began with Abraham, and when he was called Abram, and he told him that he would bless him and he would bless all the nations through this nation and through Abram's line. And this was all, of course, going to be reckoned on the gospel that was preached through Abraham, that also involved him taking Isaac up, that substitutionary offering, where he went to offer his son, but God provided the sacrifice, and there was a substitutionary offering.

So, I mean the gospel is being preached all the way from Genesis 12, Genesis 15, Genesis 22, and forward. The gospel is being preached in this gorgeous story of the line of Abram. And so their fortunes very often were in very tangible ways. He said, "I will bless your land. It will produce for you. I will give you rains when you need them. I will give you the sunshine when you need it". He promised them that they would prosper if they walked in obedience to him. And so they saw a lot of that prosperity. Their fortunes, in a lot of ways, were very, very physical. They could see them. Come over then to the New Testament on this side of the cross, and the outpouring of the Spirit. There is no gift, no gift like the gift of the Spirit, none, none, none.

In Luke chapter 11, verse 13, when Christ is telling them, "How much more will your Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him"? Because he's talking about would, "If you, being comparatively evil parents, would give good things to your children, how much more would your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit"? So, here was actually what he's saying over and over again. The gift, the gift, Jesus would call it, "the gift, my Father will send you the Holy Spirit". So, that that had been their physical fortunate, ours is a fortune of soul and spirit. Ours is eternal. Ours is internal. The gift, God can bless you financially. I praise God if he has, and I praise God if he will. I know for sure that he meets our needs, because he says, "I will meet your needs, according to the riches I have in glory," and that's in the last chapter of Philippians.

So, we know that, but I'm not saying he cannot prosper us financially. I'm saying that's not the promise. For us, the promise is spiritual blessing. It is spiritual blessing, which we might think, man, we kind of lost out on that one. 'Cause I mean they got all the things. Listen, people with all the things aren't happy, if all they've got is all the things. There are people that have more money than they could spend in 10 lifetimes that end their own lives, we know better than this. We know that we could have it all. And if our souls were a canyon, we would still be miserable. We'd still be, "Woe to me, woe to me," because all it did was help identify how very miserable we are.

So, we open up Ephesians chapter 1, and it begins to speak about us having received, that in him, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every (everybody say with me) "every spiritual blessing". Say it again. Say it one more time. Every spiritual blessing in Christ. Why every spiritual blessing? Well, because in the old covenant, and in the people of the sons of Jacob, and then we see it again with Moses speaking over the tribes. These separate tribes had blessings on them, separate blessings he would speak. Jacob spoke these blessings over this son, over Levi, and over Judah, and over the sons of Joseph, and over, they had their separate prophetic blessings that were spoken over them. In Christ, what it's saying in Ephesians chapter 1 is every spiritual blessing is ours. In other words, I'm gonna wait until somebody gets that with me today. Because instead of, I tell you what.

This part of you, like this portion of you get this: this portion of you, this is your prophetic blessing; this portion of you gets it. No, he's saying, you know what? You are a joint heir with the Son, and every spiritual blessing is yours. So, we're just teemed with it. Well, we say we're so blessed. We're so blessed. Now, go with me here, and let's push this further, because he said, "I will bless you, and I will bless others through you". That's what he said to Abram. And so he did. And so they fully received it and acknowledged it and were engaged with God in it. And so, listen carefully because these are going to be key words. So, they abounded in the divine abundance. They abounded. They abounded in it.

So, they personally abounded in it. But then you know what? There were the gods of the other nations. And there were other things, that worldly people were doing, and those things looked so good, too, and so they forgot. They forgot and he told them over and over, "Don't forget. You remember. Nobody can bless you like I can bless you. And I'll put up with a lot, but idolatry is gonna get on my nerves". Because God knows there's no one like him, and it is insulting to God for us to act like there is, it insults him. And so here's how it starts. Repent, repent, repent, and they did not. And so they went into captivity, and their fortunes, so these fortunes, these manifestations of God's blessings were taken from them, and then they had had it restored, and they were looking back. They'd lost it again and were then thinking, "Could we have it restored again"? That's where they're caught.

How does this somehow apply to us? Because what has been given to us cannot be taken because it came through the cross of Christ. It's permanent. It did not rely on us. But we can forfeit, everybody with me? We can forfeit, abounding in our abundance. He said, "I've come that you might have life, and that you might have life more abundantly". In Scripture, when it says that all grace may abound to you, when it uses the word "abounding," that's coming from the exact same Greek word as "abundance," in abundant life, to the full, to the full. So, we have been given it to the full. But how much we abound in it is dependent upon how much we engage with him in it. Are we in that place of living life openhearted before him? Where we engage in real life relationship with him. There's no condemnation here. I just want to make the point. If we pray about once a week, we're not living in that place of engaged abounding.

So, we've got the abundance, the abundant life, but it's not being practically lived out in us. We don't remember the last time we felt any joy, real meaning, we're able to really tell that there's any fruitfulness at all, because we're not engaged. He's calling us to our fortunes, our fortunes, or our ability through the power of Christ to be awakened to the abundance we have in him, to walk in it, to walk in that awareness. Because when I am walking in awareness, and I'm engaged fully in my relationship with him, and all the flaws, all the getting it right, all the saying the right things and saying the wrong things, all the confession of sin, all of that, but it's open. It's engaged and it's active. So much less can really penetrate my heart with poison, because he's meeting so many of my heart needs. Does that make sense to anybody?
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