A Time For Tears. A sermon based on Psalm 119:129-136
A Time for Tears
† In Jesus Name †
May the grace and mercy of God the Father and our dear Lord Jesus so transform our lives, that we can’t bear the thought of people going without it.
An Awkward transition?
I love the way the song we just sang told the story of Jesus….
From a throne of endless glory, to a cradle in the dirt
To reconcile the lost, to redeem the whole creation, You did not despise the cross…
the lamb had conquered death…
By His blood and in His Name
In His freedom I am free
For the love of Jesus Christ
Who has resurrected me!
I could go on, or we could just re-sing the song!
As I listened to the song yesterday over and over…the irony of the title of this sermon to the song…seemed huge…
How do we go from praising the Holy Trinity for how they have interacted with all creation, for how they interact with us
A Time for Tears?
Thinking about it, I re-wrote the sermon outline… and I will tell you this… it’s not time for tears… yet.
Unless they are tears of incredible joy.
Psalm 119 is going to cause us to be in awe, to be amazed at two things – the revelation of God’s word and the meaning of His presence in our lives.
So Let’s look at the blessings
The Blessings of His WORD
129 Your laws are wonderful. No wonder I obey them!
It starts by saying these words of God are wonderful! The word there is law – but it means the entire law – the entire story we just sang about, that David only knew a small part of, a tiny bit about.
And of course, you’ve heard it from me before – Biblical obedience isn’t blind; it is to treasure and guard these words because they are so incredible!
God’s revelation in His word is so miraculous… so incredible… it is just natural that we see it as our greatest treasure!
It goes on to talk more about this revelation,
The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand.
That is what God’s word does – as we heard in the song. We were alone in the darkness; life was empty, without hope. That dark, lifelessness was shattered by these words, I am with you! I love you!
What a simple concept, to look at this cross, and know Jesus was nailed to a cross, to not only free us from Sin- but to make us His! The Old Testament pointed forward to it. The New Testament constantly calls us to remember our Lord!
131 I pant with expectation, longing for your commands.
The more we realize that this is the message of God’s word, the more we thirst for it. The more we recognize our need for it.
I love the illustration of not just thirsting for the revelation of God’s love but panting for it! That we can be so thirsty to take it in, so aware of our need for it, that everything we are focuses on it. And as we are given Jesus, the living water, everything mellows, and our body begins to relax as life returns to normal.
It is the same as some of us have been able to come back to church, and we realize how much we miss the Lord’s Supper. (Remember – if you are at home – Dane, one or the other elders, or I will gladly bring you communion!
This is my prayer that you realize your need for the word and sacrament, not out of duty, but because we need to commune with God, to realize His presence and mercy and love!
What His Presence Means
We move from the incredible blessing of God’s word, revealing all the love and glory of God, to seeing what that practically means in a normal… David provides that in the Psalms as well,
132 Come and show me your mercy, as you do for all who love your name.
The first thing David asks for is God’s mercy, just as we did when we confessed our sins and heard the fact that we are forgiven! What a glorious thing it is we praise God for, knowing that all who love His God are forgiven!
133 Guide my steps by your word, so I will not be overcome by evil.
Because He is with us, God guides our steps with His word! Amazing promise here – for it is not just a casual thing! The Hebrew word talks of thoroughly guiding them, planning out the route, even preparing it for us.
134 Ransom me from the oppression of evil people; then I can obey your commandments.
That route preparation includes this, the ransom from the oppression of evil people. God’s faithfulness made such an impression on David that David knew – and the Holy Spirit wants us to know that we can pray for this. That God will indeed save us when we are under someone else’s power. That may be by removing us, or it may be by God converting our adversary, our enemy.
But when someone has that kind of power over us, we have an advocate, a defender in Jesus…
135 Look upon me with love; teach me your decrees
In the last section, what an amazing prayer of faith! Look upon us Lord, and teach us all that You have commanded into existence, from the promise of our sharing in the glory of Jesus to the freedom we have, that opens up our ability to enter your presence boldly, even as is recorded in Hebrews
19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. Hebrews 10:19 (NLT2)
This is the incredible message of God that David saw in part and treasured and wanted us to treasure…. More than anything.
All this that God called into being – so we could be His people, so He could care for us as our God.
This brings us to the title of the sermon… the thought that will bring us to tears… as it did David.
136 Rivers of tears gush from my eyes because people disobey (do not treasure) your instructions.
There are no words to say when thinking of people that go throughout this life without the love and mercy of God, who go without the comfort and peace that comes from seeing Jesus revealed. ….that will go without that, not only in this life… but will spend eternity without Jesus, in hell.
Thinking of this should flood this room with gushing tears… and there is nothing else to say…
All power and authority has been given to Jesus, who wants you to go make disciples of all people, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to treasure what He has called into existence,
And know this… He will be with us, teaching, guiding, comforting, and loving us, until the end of the ages! AMEN!