The Deep Water: A Sermon on Psalm 18:1-16
The Deep Water
† In Jesus Name †
May the grace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ inspire you to relax and wait to be saved when you find yourself in deep water!
Where is the Lifeguard? Where is God
Picture this, you are out on a boat in Newport Harbor, not far from the harbor patrol docks and you see water shooting up from the bottom of your boat with more pressure than a firehose!
In a minute, you are in the water, and you can see the shadows of the boat as it sinks to the bottom of the channel.
You know the lifeguards are there on the dock, but what do you do until they arrive? How do you stop panicking? How do you stop from drowning?
I think we are in a time like that spiritually now, and it is not the first time. Peter saw that in the gospel, but his rescue was a second away. David wrote about such a time in Psalm 18, and that is where we will be this morning.
We are going to look at the problem verses in all of this, the one that hurts, the one I struggle with… especially in this time.
11 He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dark rain clouds. 12 Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him and rained down hail and burning coals.
Why would God do that? Why would He hide himself and His Glory, and how do we “keep the faith” in that time?
Is God doing that now? Is He shrouding Himself, casting a veil, and how are we supposed to keep the faith in these days?
It wasn’t always that way in the Psalms! In the first few verses, David starts out praising God the Father. He praises Him for the strength and protection God provides, and how God saves him.
These three verses rock! This is the stuff we know, the stuff we praise God for, but then in verse four, everything shifts, and something else dominates David’s view,
“The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path”
And then the cry for help goes out in verse 6, and all heck breaks loose.
Earthquakes, Smokes and fire, storm clouds, in verse 9, hurricanes and more dark clouds, hail and thunder and lightning, and the oddest sea storms ever!
And in the middles of it, God shrouds Himself, He’s coming but the storm veils His approach. All we have to rely on is His promise to save us…because we can’t see Him….
and in the face of the storm, we sink like Peter.
We think we shouldn’t sink, we think we should be stronger than that. And there perhaps, in our panic, is the biggest problem,
We want to put faith in our ability to depend on God, rather than in His promise. And the storm is too great! COVID is too damaging, and the other issues, financial pressures, family challenges, health problems, and everything else just keeps knocking us down.
We try to fight, we try to struggle, we try to make sense of it all, and in the meantime, we are over our heads in deep water…
He is rescuing us?
If you learn to swim, you probably heard the direction to simply relax, to get rid of all that is weighing you down, and wait for someone to help.
Spiritually, we need to do the same thing, to realize that help is on the way, to trust in its promise, and be still and know that He is God.
That is how we deal with a time like this. That is what Hebrews teaches,
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT2)
In other words, what the Psalmist says, “16 He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters.”
We need to keep our eyes out for Jesus, to have confidence in His ability to rescue us, to deliver us, That is why he embraced the cross! That is why He looked forward with it so that He could pull us out of the deep water that we get ourselves into, those times when sin and Satan and death wrap themselves around us and pull us down deep.
The Holy Spirit will cause those promises to come to mind, the ones we read and hear about when times are good, the ones we pray through week in and week out 70 feet or so that way…
We need to remember God has delivered His people, and He’s used the storms to help them. I don’t think Peter would have been the Apostle he was if Jesus hadn’t delivered him from the deep water. I know my confidence is there or will return when I get to commune with you and you all remind me that, “The Lord is with you”.
We just have to move slowly, look for others drowning and help them to calm down and float on the water, reminding them that Jesus is our savior.
There is our hope, in times where sin and Satan and death, or COVID or anything else threatens to overwhelm us…
God will lift us out of the water….
for He loves us and is with us…
And as we know that, a peace comes over us, His unexplainable, phenomenal peace… in which we are kept and guarded in Christ Jesus. AMEN!