God's National Grace



We are living in a time when iniquity abounds and corruption is all around. Many catastrophes are coming over the face of the earth and many, here in the United States, that our country has rarely seen in many years. Some are saying it is God's hand of judgment, others scorn those who say such. The Word of God is the sure place to seek the answer to this important question.

This is the second, in a short series. The first being, "How Long Until God's Vengeance?" which covers a detailed look at Psalm 94.
In this message we will take a look at Psalm 106 and contemplate upon the weight it has for us today. May we have hearts to hear and receive what God's Word holds for us in this time of ever growing crises.

Psalm 106
1 Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?
3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.
4 Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;
5 That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.
6 We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.
7 Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.
8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.
9 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.
10 And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
11 And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.
12 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.
13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:
14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
15 And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.
16 They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the LORD.
17 The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram.
18 And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.
19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image.
20 Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.
21 They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;
22 Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.
23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.
24 Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:
25 But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD.
26 Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness:
27 To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.
28 They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
29 Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.
30 Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.
31 And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.
32 They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes:
33 Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.
34 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them:
35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
36 And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
38 And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
40 Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
41 And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.
43 Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.
44 Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:
45 And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.
46 He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives.
47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.
48 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.

This Psalm is a true, gospel-preaching, evangelical call. The critical difference lies in its calling those who call themselves "God's People" to turn to the LORD. It takes us through Israel's coming out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. It is as applicable to us in America as it was to the Israelites who would have sung this Psalm. Buckle up and prepare for the ride. This Psalm launches in the proper way to come before the Almighty God. Not only God, the universal creator, but LORD, the One who made a covenant with those He has called for His own. This entry into the Throne Room of Heaven starts in the position of humility, and recalls God's standards. Not ours.

1. Position of True Worship
1 Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?
3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.
True worship and gratefulness. Remembrance of such an incredible mercy that is overwhelming. This psalmist doesn't approach God on the terms of personal merit. Quite the opposite, he sees his own unworthiness for entering the presence of the LORD.

Next, he poses two rhetorical questions. They are his way of showing how great God is. God is so incredible, beyond our meager ability to communicate, that no one can adequately express the glory due to the LORD in simple speech. All we can begin to approach to, is to bow down and worship. Marveling at His incredible glory. The verse isn't even speaking of His person, it is only relating to His "acts". Even His acts alone are overwhelming, when we begin to see just the outskirts of what He has done.
What we see in the third verse flows from the first two. It turns to "righteousness" and "judgment", nonstop and constantly. This is the core in the mighty works of God. This is beyond the expression that has such limitations, but it is the action that proceeds as acceptable worship of God. It is the true blessing. As Jesus said to the woman who uttered a blessing on Jesus' mother:
28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. Luke 11:28
Jesus turned the focal point to what we find in this Psalm.
There is the point that those who don't "keep judgment" and "doeth righteousness" always are not blessed. They are self-deceived worshippers of God. They do not know the One they claim to worship. Knowing and understanding this is the starting point of a return to God.

Just briefly here, since this is core to the passage, "What is the difference between keeping judgment and doing righteousness?" I believe we could sum up "keeping judgment" as the observance of what God has revealed. God's judgments are sure words of revelations that we can read and know His will in the affairs of our lives. "Doing righteousness" is in reference to the constant conduct of our lives. The one is "discernment", while the other is "the outflow of our life". It is the balance of the outflow of the Spirit, in the subjective realm, coupled with the objective obedience to God's revealed Word. The two must work together!
Only as we understand these things are we ready to enter the right position to benefit from what is to follow.

2. Reconsecration
4 Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;
5 That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.
He begins his appeal by asking God to apply His gift of favour, for his salvation, to himself. The psalmist starts on the grounds of standing in Christ's atonement for our sins, since that is the provision God has made for our salvation. The psalmist asks for this so he may partake of three particular items.
The first is to be able to be a partaker with those who are God's chosen. He wanted to be one of the Great Shepherd's sheep. He wanted to start with the position of "seeing" the good.
Next, he wanted to go beyond "seeing" and enter into the "rejoicing". This was also speaking of a nation. A nation is more than just an individual. It speaks of a multitude of people who are united together under one government. We can see this in the whole of the church.
Finally, we have the psalmist desiring to "glory". This goes beyond rejoicing, it is an incredible comprehension of the body of Christ. The special one reserved for Christ to be presented without spot or blemish:
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:27
These verses, of the psalmist, speak of a comprehension of what he is consecrating himself to. He doesn't act on an emotion without an understanding of what "coming to God" is all about. He knows about God's provision for salvation as well as where it will lead. He understands about what God is like and the standard God is calling him to. With these things in mind, he decided to follow in commitment to be one of the LORD's own.

3. Confession
6 We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.
The psalmist takes the position of walking in the footsteps of his fathers. Confession begins on the corruptions that have long been a part of the national iniquities.
The word for "iniquity" carries the meaning of "perverseness". "Wickedly" carries the tone of "guilt". He essentially is saying, "We have walked in perverse behavior and gone in the way that brings the guilt of evil and crime upon us.". From here, the psalmist goes into detail of the sins of the fathers. His list is not random. It is carefully itemized in a logical, orderly sequence. Many will read such a list and think of it as random bantering of an old subject. They no longer look carefully at what God has included by His inspiration.
In the natural realm, many look at weeds in the field and see them as so much random, unorganized disorder. Ah, take a closer look and behold that some particular weed is very detailed and created in incredible intricacy. To the inexperience, undiscerning eye one weed simply looks messy. To the experienced botanist, that weed is carefully balanced. They have observed that particular plant always branches a certain number of leaves at one elevation and the number changes according to the elevation it's grown at. Take the seeds of that weed at 1,000 feet and plant it at 2,000 feet, behold it has the same number of leaves as those around it at the same new altitude of 2,000 feet. Take its seeds back to 1,000 feet and the leaves revert to the same number as it original grandparents. Always take the time to look a little closer.

4. God's Mercy and Grace With a Wicked People
At the Red Sea; Sinning Through Fear

7 Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.
8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.
9 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.
10 And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
11 And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.
12 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.

The psalmist starts with an interesting point in his recollection. His "fathers understood not". I had noted the psalmist personally came with understanding. Coming with understanding is a necessary foundation for the proper commitment to follow through.
The fathers also were ungrateful. They "remembered not" God's mercy in the salvation they received, when they were coming out of slavery.
Even with this poor group, God had a plan that was not to be thwarted by their fearfulness. Only after God had performed the great miracle of deliverance at the Red Sea did they turn and praise God and believe Him.
The psalmist's confession is starting with the fear of faithlessness that was present at the very beginning. It bears witness that God had not given them any reason for doubting. They had been provided quite the opposite.
This is an appropriate starting point for it affects the rest of their spiritual walk. Even with the corruption mixed from the beginning, God had a plan that would not be thwarted. Likewise, our present nation has much that is corrupted at its foundation, but God has worked with it, despite those flaws, for His ultimate plans and glory. We need to not be filled with pride of our heritage, but meekly confess our corruptions and reconsecrate to go in the right way this time.

In the Wilderness; Sinning Through Lust
13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:
14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
15 And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

He continues with the next major sin. They had forgotten again. Maybe we can begin to see the great importance of remembering the things God has done for us. Even now we look and see "Thanksgiving" turned into "Turkey Day" and the "Thanksgiving" cards are almost always so vague, you can read them as thanks to any god, if they really give thanks at all, which most do not.
Based upon this lack of thanksgiving, they naturally commit the next grievous sin. They simply do not seek direction from God. They think they are saved to go on in their plans. From this comes the unrestricted covetousness and challenging God to meet the demands of their lustful covetousness. A warning came with that answered prayer. There was no blessing there, though they "officially" got their way.
God does that in our country as well. We forgot his gracious gift of liberty and corrupt ourselves through our lusts. We even claim we have our liberty so we can fulfill our lusts, and no one dare try take it from us. God has poured out the things we demanded, but they have brought leanness to our country, and certain destruction looms just ahead, unless we take up the place of this psalmist soon.

In the Wilderness; Sinning Through Envy
16 They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the LORD.
17 The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram.
18 And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.

And who says they weren't spiritually minded? The record of Dathan and Abiram is the sin of envy of God's appointed spiritual heads. Our country is filled with men and women going in to the service of God whom God has never called. Look at the plethora of denominations and cults that have sprung from the soil of our country. Even more, look at the great iniquity in the ministers of the land. I heard, from Kevin Swanson, he was told at a hotel where they hold conventions, that the rooms demand for pornography viewing always increases whenever there are conventions of ministers going on in town. Satan is having a heyday with this sin, infesting the churches and delights to revel the debauchery even further with those who represent themselves as God's ministers.
This part speaks of religious sin in the right religion. That is addressed first. Begin at the house of God. From there the psalmist moves to the false religion in the following verses. Chronologically it happened in the reverse order. Spiritually, the house of God is to be dealt with first.

In the Wilderness; Sinning Through Idolatry
19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image.
20 Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.
21 They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;
22 Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.
23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.

Next, we see the psalmist address the sin of idolatry. This sin had been brought with them out of the land of Egypt.

The image of a "calf" had its origins in Egyptian idolatry. This particular form of idol was an attempt to mingle the true worship of the LORD with the pagan lies of Egypt. They claimed it was the god that brought them up out of the land of Egypt. Its origins were Egyptian, but it was their personal creation. They had to "invest", as it were, to get this "god".
We see that they "forgat" God. They forgot all that had gone before. I believe we can see one of the reasons the church is to constantly remember our Lord's crucifixion in the communion service. As we remember our great salvation, we will fear and tremble at God's grace and mercy.
It came through this forgetfulness, and false imaginations of religious deceit, that they incurred the wrath of God. God spared them for the sake of Moses' intervention. The favor was not repaid though, as we shall see shortly.
As for us, our country whose foundational document was signed, "In the Year of Our Lord..." no longer remembers that same Lord. It has replaced the true God for a pluralist god of their own imaginations. At the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., following the September 11, 2001 attack, they combined different world religions in a service and sang the famous hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" and left out the verse that refers to Jesus.
Again, the Presidential Christmas video took you into the White House with a view of the Christmas trees decorating it. One of the trees was done in "Harry Potter" theme. Could anything be clearer? Though I have my reservations on Christmas, the point of combining witchcraft with Christianity was obvious.
This stench of idolatry, being passed as the true religion of our deliverance, is openly practiced across the land. It is taught in our public schools. I remember my math class teacher leading class in a Transcendental Meditation session. Our military has "chaplains" for the different world religions while the true Christian military chaplain has been denied the right to pray "In Jesus' Name".
I believe our country has been spared judgment as long as it has, because of the work of godly men who can be found as we look back over our nation's history. We find George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards and Dwight Moody, to name a few of the more well known.

At the Promised Land Border; Sinning Through Faithlessness
24 Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:
25 But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD.
26 Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness:
27 To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.

This is so sad. Israel was at the very border of the Promised land. They sent spies to "spy out the land". Since the majority of the men were faithless, they brought back an evil report that disheartened the people in the same faithlessness. They were at the threshold of obtaining the long-awaited promise, and lost out because they wouldn't believe the promises of God. They took their discontented, faithless heart home and murmured of their harsh predicament.
Since they did not trust in God's promises, but turned to their natural reasoning, they sinned against God and brought the wilderness wandering sentence upon themselves.
May we fear murmuring like we fear the plague. Isn't it interesting to note that there was a time when our ancestors in America knew relatively little of possessions and were much less prone to murmuring. Remember the "Little House on the Prairie" books. Little Laura Ingalls was so happy to get a cup, some sugar stick candy and a piece of fruit for the total of her Christmas presents. She thought she had struck it rich and was truly grateful.
We have become fat and sleek and seem to know almost nothing of gratitude and living faith. It's such a hard and sour heart, the psalmist is recalling, that left a bitter taste in the mouth of our God. How much more tart have we become?

On the Brink of Crossing into the Promised Land; Sinning Through Fornication
28 They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
29 Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.
30 Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.
31 And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.

The psalmist recalls another grievous transgression of Israel's past. This one is committed after the 40 year wilderness delay. The previous generation all but expired and now they were heading back to go in and possess the land. This time they sinned through the wiles of the enemy. They were seduced according to the plans of enemies who wanted to overcome them. These enemies had been educated that the only way to overcome their enemy, Israel, was to seduce them to worship another god. The portion of the leadership was seduced, and brought God's judgment in a plague of death. We find a godly man arising, as a warrior for God, that saved the people further destruction and commended God's medal of honor upon him for "Valor in Combat"!
The parallel to our present situation is only to close. The enemy, Satan, has been working diligently to destroy this country. He knew that as long as this country walked in the "fear of the Lord", he could do little. His tactic took many fronts in attack, and won all across the line.

    Satan attacked the Scriptures. Through men, such as "Wescott and Hort", he introduced new, tampered Bible manuscripts. That front has led the day.
    Satan destroyed faith in the Bible through the work of such as Darwin and liberal theologians who convinced most that the Bible is not completely to be trusted.
    Satan attacked the church, and God's sufficiency in biblical ministers through introducing the false religion of modern psychology.
    Satan defiled the Christians through the mass media and music. They were seduced to attend "the sacrifices of the dead" at Baalpeor, as it were, in taking pleasure in listening to the services of such as "KISS", "Black Sabbath", "The Beatles", and other such infiltrators.
    Satan attacked the church within through false teachings of so many sorts. The end result of which, turn us from the true "fear of the Lord".
In this period, there are few Phinehas's left to stand in the gap. Notice too that the victory came, and the plague stayed, only when the fornicating criminals were dealt with. A truce and pluralism were not options. Are we ready to forsake our truces and pluralism to stop the plague? I fear too many, who are the leaders in our midst, are the very ones leading in being seduced, as the case was with Phinehas. We stand in a precarious situation with the plague beginning.

In Their Provoking of Godly Men
32 They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes:
33 Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.

Even the godly leaders suffer the effects of the wicked in stumbling. That is what we see in almost every Bible School across the land today. Many were founded by great spiritual leaders, but they have been weakened by the culture surrounding us. They have been weakened to compromise in our particular environment.
Moses was provoked, stepped outside the Spirit's guidance, and incurred a degree of God's wrath. There are many who have been seduced, but there are a few whose fall has been into the camp of belligerence. They are determined they will not be seduced and set military-like standards that will result in the cutting off, or belittling, of any brother who won't see all things like the leadership. In this case, the true "fear of the Lord" is missing, and they fail to tremble in careful handling of the affairs of the body of Christ. This position of leadership bears incredible responsibility and that is why the sentence against Moses was so great. What he did represented God improperly. So likewise, what the spiritual eldership of the church does, dare not be taken lightly, lest the elders smite the rock multiple times in violation of God's commands and bear the wrath of God upon themselves.
This should be a fearful thing folks!

In the Promised Land; Sinning Through Their Disobedience and Idolatry
34 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them:
35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
36 And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
38 And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.

The final item the psalmist lists is committed after Israel inherited the Promised Land. They attained their dream, but hadn't learned their lessons along the way.
The first important lesson here is that we have the RESPONSIBILITY to destroy the works of ungodliness. Israel did not obey the LORD's command on this and mingled with the nations and learned from them. We see that today in the people mingling with the American Indian's spirit religions and embracing their paganism. They are spoken of "reverently" now. Pagan devil worship, that is what the scripture calls it (1 Corthinthians 10:20), is part of the new pluralism of religious unity. There was a time when missionaries went to the Indians, such as David Brainerd and preached the gospel and translated the scriptures into their language. Now you go into tourist stores and find "fetishes" for sale and other Indian spirit paraphernalia.
Israel had gone into murdering their own children. Now, our people are sacrificing their sons and daughters in the abortion clinics of the land for the god of career, or money (can't afford to have a child now), or whatever god appeals to them. The land has become polluted with blood after seeing God's wonderful provision of this country. We somehow got into the land of liberty and forgot the God who has granted us liberty. Now we take it as the liberty to live as we please. (Oh yes, "Pro Choice - we have the right/liberty to kill our own babies if we choose!") No such liberty really exists! There is a God with whom all men and women will have to reckon.
We, like those Israelites of old, stand at the brink of this position. The brink that is already breaking forth with the wrath of God.

5. God's Righteous Wrath
40 Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
41 And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.
43 Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.
God's toleration does have limits. These verses clearly show us that God's love will change to God's wrath, even with His own people. His hatred became so great that His own people, in their appointed land, became the object of His utter disgust.
At this point, God did surrender them to the pagans of other countries. They actually came under the governmental head of those that hated them. Think about the United States today being conquered and brought under the oppressive ruling of either Iraq or China. You may be thinking, "We're so powerful, they could never get the upper hand over us." If that is your thought, you are clearly ignorant of God's overriding rule. Remember Egyptian chariot wheels falling off the attacking chariots when in pursuit of Israel through the Red Sea? Too late, those Egyptians declared, "Turn back, God is fighting for them!"
Israel was brought low for its iniquities. We have been too arrogant in our declarations of confidence that we are still so good, or there are still lots of good people here.

Remember this I tell you:
During the days of Elijah, God brought judgment upon the Northern Kingdom of Israel in the form of a great drought (1 Kings 17:1). Everyone suffers in a drought, good and bad alike. Cattle died, people died. Remember the widow that Elijah went to, who was preparing for her last meal with her son (1 Kings 17:13-15)? The drought had brought her to her end. God showed special mercy in her case, but she helps us to see how bad the scene was. Consider that this famine fell in a relatively few square miles of land. Northern Israel was only about 150 miles wide by 150 miles north to south. This would fit into the state of Wyoming almost 4 1/2 times. The population could only have been so large, yet we see the servant of king Ahab telling Elijah about the 100 prophets he had been hiding (1 Kings 18:3-5), that were still in the land and then again, within two months, God tells Elijah that He still had 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal (1 Kings 19:18). They were the remaining good in the land. They were smothered under oppression, so Elijah had the sense of being the only good one left, but they were there. That number would have to be a definitely noticeable percentage of the population for the land mass and the lethal drought still came!
I live in Wyoming, population of about 500,000 for a land mass of 276 miles from north to south by 364 miles from east to west. I have seen a good deal of the state and what the communities are like. Based upon my observations, I would have to find it incredible to say there are at least 7,000 who fear God in this area and population density. I would be surprised at even a quarter of that. What's more, I believe this is a drastically better state than most of the rest, if not all of them. If my rough data is anywhere near accurate, we are in big trouble with God. We certainly can't count on the outrageous argument of, "God wouldn't bring such suffering upon us because there are still a lot of good people around." THINK AGAIN!
One last portion I wanted to look at in that last verse, "they provoked him with their counsel". This is important for us democratic loving people. We pride ourselves on the majority ruling. The representing of the counsel of all. We see deliberate thought, organizing, commissioning, enabling (financing), enacting and implementing in such a phrase. This is the process of government and special interest groups. It is all too easy to see these processes as the driving force into the great levels of iniquity that have filled our country. (Good counsel is one thing, but we are not talking about God-fearing counsel.) We are told it was this counsel that "provoked" God. The resultant fulfilment of that "counsel" the psalmist called "iniquity". It was the completion of this process that resulted in their being "brought low".
Look back quickly at verse 13, we see, "waited not for his counsel". We have the two points that stand out. We either wait on His counsel or we seek our own counsel. There is no middle ground. We either work with God or we work against Him.
Remember Jesus' words:

30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Matthew 12:30

6. God's National Grace
44 Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:
45 And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.
46 He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives.
47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.
48 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.
Now we are at the wonderful hope this psalm holds for us. We have seen the wide scope of areas the iniquity of the people covered. There was:

Ungratefulness
Faithlessness
Forsaking seeking God's Word
Covetousness
Corruption in true religion
Corruption through false religion
Complaining bitterness
Undermining of true religion and mixing with false religion
Stumbling of the godly (1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! 2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Luke 17:1,2)

Learning and chumming with wickedness - participating in it
We see all this in our country. "Nevertheless . . ." there is hope. We are not crying to Him yet. We are beginning to cry, but not to Him. If we begin to turn and cry to Him in repentance, acknowledging our iniquities and forsaking them, we see He is ready to pay attention to our situation in "regarding" our affliction.
God then "repented" in His position toward them. This means He changed His direction of judgment when He saw them changing their direction in wicked living. He worked for their deliverance by changing the heart of the oppressive enemies who had the rule over them. The work of deliverance began at this point.
Before, they delighted in their mixture with the heathen. After God's judgment, their position changed to crying for God to deliver them from among the heathen. To be separated from them. What a change in attitude!
Verse 47 takes us to the glory belonging only to God. The deliverance did not come through superior tactics, or forces, that brought about freedom. It was also not a freedom to live as they pleased. The deliverance would be to separation from the world and consecration to God, thanking Him and praising Him.
They were to acknowledge God is worthy of all praise and honor from the beginning and forever. It is noteworthy that it called for "let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD." One or two may turn to the LORD in repentance, but for God's hand to be free to bless our land on a national basis, we will have to take this action "as a people". "Amen" is a Hebrew word meaning "So be it or it is true, truly". The people were being called upon to confirm the words of the psalmist in following in an intelligent repentance. Turning from these iniquities they embraced, and separating themselves to serve and glorify the true God alone. The final seal being a pure worship of God.

Our Stand:
Faithless Children of Iniquity or Repentant, God-Fearing Christians
I started this message pointing out this psalm was "a true, gospel-preaching, evangelical call". That is certainly the truth of it. It is more than what many would think such would encompass. Modern, Neo-Evangelicalism has become a watered-down 'easy believism'. "Say the prayer - you're saved, that's it and oh yea, be tolerant and loving. - Next!"

This psalm offers a host of answers to our problems. It presents the pathway to a sound conversion and a secured walk in the right path from there. It gives us hope, when we look at ourselves, with no natural hope in sight. In short, it can put us on the right path.
This psalm calls for national turning to God for national deliverance. Such is not brought about by "political parties". It is not brought about by militant "Roman Catholic" style conquest. How is it brought about? This turning is the hope we must strive for in prayer and ministry. We must pray for the furtherance of Biblical truth, as well as for the closing down of the centers of iniquity. (Hollywood's ungodly 'entertainment' production is a wonderful starting point.) We must become God-fearing communities that deal with crimes as God has shown. We must turn from being a land of "every man does that which is right in his own eyes, with the exception of removing those standing in the way of such philosophy" to upholding righteousness and holding to the scripture which says there is one lawgiver. He intends us to obey His laws, and not decree our own laws in violation of His decrees. This is a whole subject on its own, which is beyond the scope of this message.

I would like to bring this to a close with a passage from the book of James:
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? James 4:4-12

And let all the people say, "Amen. Praise ye the LORD."


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Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible


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