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THE WORD TO OUR HEART:
The Anchor For The Answer: Psalm 119:113-120 Samekh (ס)
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday August 25, 2019

As we walk through here is what we’ll see; four basic divisions within this section. The psalmist will give us insight into:

A. His Confession of the Problem (113-115). (Confessions)
 B. His Supplication (116, 117). (Supplication)
 C. The Answer (118-119). (The answer )
 D. The Lasting Anchor for the Answer (120).

Spoiler alert – the ultimate answer is God’s truth in scripture. Are you surprised from the book with a mention of scripture in almost ever single one of its 176 verses?

So if scripture is the psalmist truth and his answer, what keeps him on the path of truth. Scripture itself says that none seeks after God, no not one, so what CAN make us be seekers of God?

1 Chronicles 28:9 says:

1 Chronicles 28:9 (ESV)
9 “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.

When my heart starts to grow like a wild branch and seek after money, fame, and acceptance how do I stay true to God’s calling:

Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

So what keeps me motivated to the path of truth, what keeps me corrected when I sway and swerve?

As we see in:

Joshua 1:7
7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.

Lets see how the Psalmist moves from:

Confession to Supplication, to the answer, and puts down the anchor.

Psalm 119:113–120 (ESV) Samekh
Confession:
113  I hate the double-minded,
but I love your law.

There is much disagreement around how to render hating the double minded. Most seem to see the double minded as people who are unstable in their thoughts, who are undecided in religion, and by contrast there is nothing unstable in religion.

That is fine, I like Calvin’s thoughts on the translation of this passage.

We’ve said that Psalm 119 is broken into 8 verse sections that are in alphabetical order, that each verse would have started with the letter that we’re on – today we’re on Samekh, and the first word here “Seaphim” is a noun which Calvin believes are of the thoughts themselves, not of those who have the thoughts. The root noun would make us think of a branch and being applied to thoughts would be of thoughts that grow out of the heart like a branch from the trunk of a tree and spread in many directions.

I have this tree outside my house, we’ve lived in the house now for a while. In fact, we’re re painting, sanding, hand rails, replacing doors, patching walls, finishing bathrooms that have been either “storage bathrooms’ or partially finished, that’s how long we’ve lived here, that we have differed maintenance. At the same time, I went on to Zillow to look at our house and its interesting to see this little tree:

That same tree today is up-to the roof line. The branches have done what branches do, they’ve grown wildly, out from the branch stretching towards the sun. They need to be pruned, kept short, taught how to grow for the environment they’re in.

In the same way – our thoughts. If left to grow wildly, un-trained, un-tamed, they’re un helpful, and perhaps double minded. If this is the right way to think of “seaphim” the psalmist confesses that his wildly growing thoughts are unhelpful and in opposition to God’s law.

Don’t you find that to be true?

My own thoughts if unchecked to truth, if un-tested by the Word of God, if allowed to grow un tamed will not result in an obedient lifestyle that treasures God, will yours?

So what then is the Psalmist to do?

114  You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word.

Here he confesses to God, you’re my hiding place,

115  Depart from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commandments of my God.

Supplication:

What is Supplication?

A term used 60 times across scripture, it means to plead humbly, to make a request to God.

Philippians 4:6 (ESV)
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Ephesians 6:18 (ESV)
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

In prayers making requests to God, do you do that. When you’re anxious, do you pray and make requests to God, clear asks?

Paul would say:

1 Timothy 2:1
1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

So his pattern is confession, supplication, and then…

The Answer:
118  You spurn all who go astray from your statutes,
for their cunning is in vain.
119  All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross,
therefore I love your testimonies.

I find this passage reflective, the psalmist reflects on those who go astray, their cunning is vain, they’re discarded like dross. This is/these are the impurities that rise to the surface of molten metal, dross – slung to the floor, in the way of progress, are the wicked, and what does this do for the psalmist – makes him love God’s testimonies, God’s truth, the truth is his answer.

The Lasting Anchor

If truth is his answer, fear is his anchor.

120  My flesh trembles for fear of you,
and I am afraid of your judgments.

I remember in a discipleship group one time drilling someone and drilling-and drilling. I wasn’t drilling, someone else was, I hang out in the background to steal big impactful moments and look cool.

The question was this, if we claim people need to be saved from, WHAT does salvation save from.

What would you say, if someone said from what is someone saved?

The Psalmist knows, it’s something that he describes as “my flesh trembles for fear of you. Have you ever been that fearful? So fearful that you can describe your flesh as trembling.

I’ve been fearful – I’ve waited on a C-130 that goes light out to be more stealthy for sketchy landing places, as stealthy as a Lockheed C-130 Hercules being 10 feet wide 41 feet long capable of carrying 64 people with a hinged backdoor can be, I’ve watched a friend almost jump off a mountain face NOT clipped into a rope (accidentally), I’ve seen 5 children be born, I’ve been near large cows and huge bulls, I would say each of those was scary and highly-concerning, but not flesh tremblingly scary, which freaks me out. Because the fear described here is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.

The fear of God is otherworldly.

How could the Psalmist experience such vastly different feelings toward God and why is this the lasting anchor?

Consider the path to my grandfathers shop. In the summers, in Georgia, I’d walk what felt like a mile long path from the house to his shop, if I woke up late and missed the ride down with him, I’d walk to see him at work. Along the path was cow pasture, as a little boy those cows were intimidating and they’d be standing right at the fence edge staring at me, through “bob” in the mix it was terrifying because unlike the cows, he did have a strong desire to trample me.

When I was with my grandfather I’d walk boldly right into that pasture, throw hay for the cows and yell at that bull – when he wasn’t around I was terrified, he was my strength and comfort.

Now, I remember a time that I found a southern mans delicacy down at that same shop, Redman chewing tobacco.

I’d seen my grandfather a million times, take what seemed like half a pouch and shove it in his cheeks and chew while he worked. So I did the same, about 4 seconds later I swallowed liquid fire and hit the ground not knowing which way was up. I don’t know, and never will, if he knew what I did, something tells me the puke all over his shop floor next to a bunch of spit and a missing me clued him in, but we never talked about it.

In between sicking waves of regret, the fire of a million suns in my stomach, volcanic gasses moving up my throat, and waves of sickness second only to malaria, I feared my grandfather knowing what I’d done.

I feared his disapproval. I feared his tough hands. I feared letting him down in so many ways.
The only person who could comfort me, when I was most afraid caused me great fear when I was outside his desire for me.

So too, God. It is not that God is changing and we’re chasing Him, it’s that He is consistent, and we’re ever changing in relation to Him.

Fear of God is the anchor of obedience.

The otherworldly awareness that we SHOULD fear God, keeps us on the path of righteousness. This is why we should preach the gospel to ourselves daily, to be reminded that the price of our sin was so very high. That we want to be in accordance with God and truth. That He is to be feared, and that because of His son, Jesus, we are His children.

Like the psalmist we can fear Him and be comforted by him all at the same time because of our wandering branchlike hearts – His truth gives us pruning to our wild growth so we can join with the Psalmist in patterns of, Confession, Supplication and truth.

Do you need to repent, do you need confession to God? Take some time right now as we transition through these next songs and open up to God, confess and pray, with the ASK of supplication, and be anchored to his truth by knowing who God is.

Pray, Observe, Apply.