Monday, April 24, 2017

MEMORY WORK: This Week's Catechism Questions (2/23/17)

This Week's Memory Work:

First Catechism Questions:
FCQ. 6 – Are there more gods than one? There is only one true God. 
FCQ. 7 – How many persons is this one true God? Three. 
FCQ. 8 – Name these three persons. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Shorter Catechism Questions: 
SCQ. 12 – What special act of providence did God exercise towards man in the estate wherein he was created? When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death.
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UPCOMING EVENTS: This Week's Announcements (4/23/17)

Upcoming Events / Announcements

April 27-29 - Ron Taber Lecture Series here at OBPC
May 8 - Women's Fellowship at 6:30pm
May 13 - Mother/Daughter Banquet - 4:00pm at the Lacey Community Center
May 20 - Men's Book Study
June 3 - Spring Church Workday
July 6-13 - Teen Summer Camp in Kalispell, MT
Last Updated 4/23/2017
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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Another Choice Flower - Pastor Tito Lyro - Psalm 4

AUDIO LINK -- If you find these lessons helpful, or if you have questions please write to us at or visit us at We would love to hear from you and learn how we can serve you. 

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Another Choice Flower - Ps. 4

As we come to Psalm 4, we find David once again afflicted by his enemies, as he was in Psalms 2 and 3.  The tenor of the Psalm indicates that an overwhelming enemy was persecuting David.  Thus, we can place this psalm within two periods in David's life: the time he was persecuted by Saul or the time he was persecuted by Absalom as in Psalm 3.  Spurgeon refers to this Psalm as "another choice flower from the garden of affliction."  He also says, "Happy is it for us that David was tried, or probably we should never have heard these sweet sonnets of faith."

This Psalm has historically been called an evening Psalm because at the end David goes peacefully to sleep in the arms of the everlasting Father.  Together with Psalm 5, which is called a morning Psalm, this Psalm was adopted early in Israel's formal worship as a prayer to be recited in the evening.

I.             Points of Interest

A.  Directed to the Choir Master, title.

1.   This position was instituted by David and approved by God

1 Chr. 6:31-38 – Now these are the men whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after the ark came to rest.  They were ministering with music before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of meeting, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they served in their office according to their order.  And these are the ones who ministered with their sons: of the sons of the Kohathites were Heman the singer, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel, the son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah, the son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah, the son of Mahath, the son of Amasai, the son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah, the son of Tahath, the son of Assir, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, the son of Israel.

2.   Their job was to minister before the Lord.

1 Chr. 16:4 – And he appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the LORD God of Israel.

a.    The job description of the Choir Master, or Chief Musician, teaches us what the purpose of music is the worship of God.

b.   All music in worship is to have God as its object, that is, it is to be directed to God.

c.    They are to vertical in nature.

B.  This Psalm was designed to be sung with instruments.

1.   Nobody is completely sure what instrument Neginoth actually is, but there is somewhat of consensus that it was an instrument played with hands such as the harp or the cymbal.

2.   The command to have an instrument played as this Psalm was sung in the worship of Yahweh is not compatible with the teaching that we cannot use instruments in the formal worship of God, a variation of a teaching called Exclusive Psalmody.

C.  Verse 1 includes the only time God is called, "God of my righteousness."

1.   NIV does not do a good job translating this expression when it renders it, "my righteous God"

2.   The NKJV, ESV, and NSAB do a good job here.

3.   The suffix "my" is attached to righteousness, not to God.

4.   The importance of this expression will be considered later.

D.  The expression "sons of men" in verse 2 is a general address to mankind.

1.   The idea here is that there is nothing special about the people David is talking to, they are just men like he is.

2.   It is an expression much like C.S. Lewis's sons of Adam and daughters of Eve in the Chronicles of Narnia

E.   This Psalm is quoted once in the NT.

1.   Paul quotes verse 4a in Ephesians 4:26.

Eph. 4:26 – "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath.

2.   The meaning of the sentence in Ephesians seems to be the same as in the original context as we will see later.

D.  The quotation marks that open after the word "many" in verse 6 should close at the end of the verse (like ESV).

1.   The whole thing is being said by the many.

2.   We will the significance of it later.

{TRANSITION: now that we have taking care of these preliminary issues, we can take a closer look at the flow of the Psalm.  Concerning this Psalm, Calvin says the following:

"After David in the beginning of the psalm has prayed to God to help him, he immediately turns his discourse to his enemies, and depending on the promise of God, triumphs over them as conqueror.  He, therefore, teaches us by example, that as often as we are weighed down by adversity, or involved in very great distress, we ought to meditate upon the promise of God, in which the hope of salvation is held forth to us, so that defending ourselves by this shield, we may break through all the temptations that assail us."  John Calvin}

II.          We can easily split this Psalm into three parts: a prayer to God, a call to men, and the contrast of the peace of God and the peace of men.

A.  Prayer to God, 1.

1.   In time of trouble David knows that there is only who can help: God.

a.    He knows that because God had helped in the past, 1b.

b.   As in Psalm 3, David turns to his Ebenezers to see that God is his help.

1 Sam. 7:10-12 – Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the LORD thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel.  And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car.  Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us."

c.    Later on in Psalm 46, David describes God as "a very present help in time of need."

d.   So, it was obvious to him what he needed to do.

e.    Is it obvious to you that God is the only one who can help you in time of need?

2.   He addresses God as the God of his righteousness.

a.    Here we see the teaching that will be fully and clearly developed in the pages of the NT, specially in the writings of Paul.

b.   David says that his righteousness is God's.

c.    He has access to God because God counts David as righteous.

d.   Thus we have here indication that the OT saints knew that their justification before God was based on an alien righteousness.

Rom. 3:25-26 – … whom [Christ] God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

e.    God imputed to David the righteousness that was going to be earned by Christ through his life, death, and resurrection.

3.   As he prays David acknowledges that it is only because of God's mercy that his prayer is heard, 1b.

a.    A parent generally has his/her children's best interest in mind, yet at times we get annoyed by their repeated requests.

b.   But, God our Father hears the prayers of the saints, those prayers brought to him in the name of his Son.

Mt. 7:9-11 – Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

B.  Call to Men, 2-5.

1.   Here we move from the closet of prayer to the field of battle.

a.    Thus, we learn that alongside with trusting the Lord in prayer must go trusting the Lord in action.

b.   We cannot pray and not act according to what we prayed for.

2.   The sons of men are his enemies who thought they were men of high rank, but were nothing more than mere men.

a.    These men rebelled against the king who was anointed by Yahweh to the throne in Jerusalem.

b.   They stole the glory that belonged to the king and made a mockery of it.

3.   In the words of the first David we hear the voice of the final David, the Lord Jesus Christ.

a.    How long are you going to rebel in your sins against the anointed of Yahweh trying to steal the glory that belongs to him alone?

b.   How long are you going to pursue what doesn't satisfy?

1)   Here Christ tells us that pursuing anything else in the place of his glory is worthless.

2)   To pursue our own glory is to chase a lie.

4.   God is the one that set apart the godly one and he listens to him.

a.    David was the godly one set apart by God and God will hear David's prayers.

b.   But in a more majestic way, Christ is the godly one the Father will hear his pleading for the saints.

Heb. 7:25 – Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Rom. 8:34 – Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Lk. 18:7 – And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?

5.   If the enemies of the anointed of God would take a break from their constant agitation against him and would stay still and think, they would stop hating the anointed, 4.

a.    The expression "be angry and do not sin" means to be angry at the right thing with the right motive.

b.   In this case David and the Messiah are saying, "don't be angry at me; be angry at sin, particularly your sin."

c.    Two things I want you to note from this:

1)   Rebellion against God is unreasonable, illogical, unintelligent, and stupid.

a)   Continual rebellion will lead to more rebellion.

b)   To the point that God will give us over to ourselves.

Rom. 1:28-32 – And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

2)   Taking time to think is of the utmost importance.

a)   Here the psalmist refers to that time when you lay your head on your pillow and the house is quite and there are no distractions.

b)   A time when you can think without outside stimuli.

c)   What does it tell us about our culture's demand of always having to be stimulated?

"This exhortation has a respect to us all; for there is nothing to which men are more prone than to deceive one another with empty applause, until each man enter into himself, and commune alone with his own heart."  John Calvin

6.   Instead of being angry at the anointed of Yahweh, repent from your sin, 5.

a.    The idea here is that the sacrifice of righteousness IS putting your trust in Yahweh.

b.   David is speaking to his enemies within the covenant community of Israel and so is Christ.

c.    In essence the Messiah is saying "stop your hypocrisy; you say you serve Yahweh, but nothing in your life testifies of that.  Turn to him in truth."

d.   God says that the sacrifices he is looking for are "a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – these he will not despise."

C.  Peace of God versus peace of men, 6-8

1.   The "many" in verse 6 are the enemies of David.

a.    They complain that no one is doing them good.

b.   They even use biblical language in their prayer, 5 – Aaronic Benediction

c.    Yet, the only good they wanted was the material good – see grain and wine in verse 7.

2.   In contrast, David knew the goodness of the Lord, 7.

a.    He knew the Lord as his shepherd.

b.   He knew Yahweh as his righteousness.

c.    And that brought him more joy than any temporal blessing or provision.

3.   The result of knowing God like that was peace with God, peace with men, and peace with self, 8.

a.    Once again a good night of sleep is set forth as the result of trusting in God.

b.   David knew that God alone could cause him to dwell in safety.

1)   The armies of the enemy were but vapor when compared with the strong arm of the Lord.

2)   And in God's name one could stand against a thousand.

Is. 40:31 – But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.


So we can rest.  We can put our heads on the pillow knowing that our heavenly Father is watching over us.  We can also act and act boldly knowing that our Lord is for us.  So here we have it.  The evening Psalm instructing us to trust in the Lord.
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