Sunday, 20 December 2020
Rev. Dr Daniel Poon
The second commandment of the Ten Commandments is not to make idols for yourself. We need to know that the heart of God behind this commandment – He cares about our relationship with Him, and He treasures our relationship with Him more than anything else. What is our relationship with God? I use my mobile phone to explain our relationship with God. Young people like to hold their smart phones wherever they go. This is the relationship God wants to establish with us. Now, let us look at the relationship with God from Palm 27 by King David.
- V1-6 Have faith in God
V1-3, David is shown here as a warrior. He said in verse 3 that “Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident”. Why did he have this confidence? Because in the verse 1 David believed “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” Here David told us three things about not being afraid of the enemy: he knows his relationship with God – he knows that God is his light, God is his salvation, and God is his strength of his life. David was saying to God, Lord, I am really nothing, everything I have is in Your hands. This was the faith he told God and he was willing to humble himself before God, and he was willing to give God all what he had grasped from the world. What is our relationship with God? What do you do when things are unsatisfactory, and you face unexpected difficulties? What would you think of first? What is the first thing to do? These questions are not only important for us on this morning, but also a particularly important issue for us to face our future life.
How do we deal with things on the earth? What priority do we place God in our lives? This is a question we have to face honestly. Do we seek God first, or use our own methods, experiences, relationships, abilities, and money to solve problems? This latter is what the world often does. It is a common method in life. Christians are different. We are chosen by God. We belong to God, not this world, because we know that the things on this earth are temporary, and God has prepared eternal life for us. What attitude and lifestyle should we have to survive on earth? David told us in Psalm 27 that through all the 66 books of the Bible, there is never a guarantee that life will be smooth after becoming a Christian. There will still be many setbacks and challenges in life. How should we face it? This is what the Holy Spirit through Psalm 27 will reveal to and encourage us. When we face problems and enemies, do we have the faith of David to say that God is my light, salvation, and strength of my life?
In Psalms 27, David put this declaration in the first verse, which is worth learning. In the verse 3, he said “my heart shall not fear”. How can our hearts not be afraid? We need to exalt God, and declare the presence of God, which is why verse 4 says “One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek”. He is still seeking “That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord”. David knew that as long as he was connected to God, his heart would not be shaken. This is what he learned. Even when he took care of the sheep at a young age and faced the bears, lions, and later the giant Goliath, he was not afraid because he deeply believed that God was with him. David had this kind of confidence when he was young because he held fast to the things the prophet Samuel had told him. He knew that from then on, he was anointed to become a king, and his identity changed.
When we are baptized and come out of the water, we are told that we have a new life, that the old things have passed away, and all have become new. Are we still living in the past? We are baptized and believe in the Lord, but what we believe and say is still the same. The difference is that I have the name tag of a Christian, I receive the salvation, I pray, but our lives are still the same. This is why many Christians are facing so many struggles today. God said, look at David – even after he had been abandoned by his father, and prophet Samuel had told him that he would become a king, he still shepherded the sheep faithfully. He did not care what people would think of him, rather, what God thinks of him. Although he was a shepherd, his identity had changed. Bears, lions, and giants should all run away when they encounter a king. The giant said that he would chop David’s head off. King Saul asked David to put on his armor. He didn’t think it was necessary, because he knew that the king didn’t need it. Even a small stone can be used by a king to kill a giant.
When we say that we are children of God, what do we seek in the world? God did not say that you are the children of the earth, you are the children of God, Who is the King of kings, why do we still care about the things in the world? Consider this example: suppose Queen Elizabeth visits Taiwan which is famous for its street food, and the Queen the street food very much. Will she say “they are delicious, and I want to live here”? She will not do this. Out of respect for Taiwanese culture, she may try a little. As a queen, she can eat whatever she wants. Jesus came here two thousand years ago but He did not enjoy the street food of the world. Even John the Baptist went to the wilderness to preach the message of repentance because he knew the value of this most precious message. Whoever wanted to hear it would follow him to the wilderness. What about us? Do we feel comfortable to preach the Gospel to people around us? How do we care about the Gospel? Do we really think the Gospel is important? Sometimes we live a double life. When we are in small groups and prayer meetings, we can easily talk about the Bible and Jesus. When we go out, it is difficult for us to talk about our belief. What is our relationship with God? Do we hold fast to God in every moment of our lives? This is what David is talking about here.
V5, For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
David knew that although he faced problems, God was still there and still guarded him. Although he was suffering, God was on his side, and God would lift him up on the rock. What does rock mean in the Bible? In ancient times, people built houses on the rock, not on sand. Because the rock is strong, a house built on it will not collapse in the wind and rain. Even in the face of adversity, God lifts us high on the rock so that there will be no need to fear any difficulties. In Jerusalem, people live on the hills. If houses are built on sand and when the earth becomes loose due to wind and rain, the houses will collapse. What they are talking about is a huge rock, which is bigger than the house you built, not a small stone. God is telling us that when we face problems, He is still big enough to support you and nothing can shake you. Where do we build our “house”? Do we rely on our experience, ability, finances, and the support of relatives and friends to build? These are our idols. Many Christians also build our houses based on past testimonies. We have had many testimonies in our lives, but are we eager to have more new testimonies to share? We enjoy the moments of encountering God in the past so much that we forget to move forward. The testimonies of the past have become our idols. The Hebrew word “testimony” means once again, not stopping once it happens. How do we experience the miracles and miracles of encountering God again? We too often preach about what God has done. We forget how low we were at that time and how we hold on to God. We only believed that God would do things for us. At that time, my life met God. What we believe, God will accomplish. We forgot how God made things happen when we humbled and hold on to God, then miracles happened. This relationship with God is continuous, a journey in our life.
V6, this is the future tense. David knew that his relationship with God would not change. Here he was saying, as long as my relationship with God does not change, I can hold my head up in front of all the enemies. I do not need to see how powerful you are but what I only need to do is to look up to see how great my God is. The reason that David has such confidence is that he always had a close relationship with God throughout his life. When he made a mistake, and the prophet rebuked him about it, then he immediately realized the problem and repented. If you are a king or queen, you have made a mistake and were pointed out in public that you committed adultery and murder, how would you respond? Maybe you would do nothing. You may ask, “How can I tell the truth in front of everyone?” How could David repent? Because he had a relationship with God. But then why did David make mistakes when he had a relationship with God? It is common – we also make mistakes, but when someone warns us, even if you are the king, you can admit it without fearing what others would say about you, because you are safe in this relationship. What is our relationship with God? We are not to say how holy we are, but to humble ourselves. It is okay to make mistakes – if these mistakes prevent us from meeting God, we will immediately repent.
In the past of my life, I did a lot of wrong things. I didn’t even realize the mistake. The devil told me that it was right. God told me through his servant that you need to come out of the dark and face the light. I repented immediately. When you have a close relationship with God, you will look up to God with your head up and have the courage to repent no matter how many people are in the audience. If I had not had such experience, I would not understand the sixth verse.
I was able to hold my head higher than the surrounding enemies, who just judged that you are not good enough. After Adam and Eve had sinned in the Garden of Eden, the first thing they did was to find leaves to cover their bodies. When sin comes in, they will cover their bodies, because the enemy accuses them, and they feel very ashamed. When we made mistakes when we were young, we would not stand up and say, “I was wrong”, but may say “I don’t know, it was someone else. ” Every time we find that someone is wrong, in the workplace, family, church, we will say “it’s not me.” Why is it so hard to admit the truth? Why is it so difficult for us to tell others that it is our fault? Because the enemy is accusing us saying that it is our fault. When God saw Adam and Eve covered with leaves, He killed the lamb and gave them sheepskins to cover them. Only God can cover our shame, not humans. Why did God kill animals? This was the first time He killed animals. At that time, animals were not created for people to eat. But because of man’s sin and for man’s sake, God is willing to kill lambs and use skins to cover man’s mistakes.
Brothers and sisters, only God can cover our shame. This is our relationship with God. Do you really cherish this relationship? The relationship must continue day by day, regardless of good times or bad times.
V6, Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Where is your tabernacle? Is it here in the church? Or in your house, in the workplace, bathroom, kitchen? In the car, on the phone? Have you created some idols with these to replace God? Young people use mobile phones to play games when they worship at church. Parents do not give them the cell phones to do this as it will destroy their relationship with God. When we start to do this, we will be farther and farther away from God. We must be alert to our weaknesses. God is the real God and He is holy. Do not dig holes in the ground and stick your head in. We have bears, lions, giants, and King Saul chasing us, because this is the world. They have been trying to make us give up our identity so that we lose our ability to testify our God to this world.
2, V 7-12 Pray to God
V7 – “…I cry with my voice!” I want to remind everyone that though we use smartphones in the world, God does not use smartphones. God created the world with His voice, and He wants us to worship with our voice. We rarely use our own voices; we use text messages to express our feelings. But God wants our voice. Our voice is especially important. If we lose our voice, we are just like ordinary people. If you face a demon-possessed person and you text him “I bind you in the name of Jesus”; nothing would happen. Our voice is capable of creation, so our prayer is critical. Whether you are in a good mood or not, we must pray.
In the second paragraph, we see that David had many examples to tell us. In verse 10, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.” David knew that if we rely on people, even our parents, there will be no guarantee, we need to rely on God alone. God will never abandon us. It is important to maintain a relationship with God.
In verse 11, why did David say “my enemies”? Who is this enemy, you may think it is David’s son Absalom. Applied to our lives, remember how Absalom changed his attitude toward David? It was because David did not take care of Absalom’s sister. If we want to walk on the path of God, our lives must be right and do what the Bible tells us to do. We should follow the whole Bible, otherwise we will treat part of the Bible as an idol. We may listen to some of the verses we like, but what about the other chapters? What about our spiritual authority’s instructions? We cannot treat parts of the Bible as idols. The only way to avoid them is to establish a relationship with God. We have daily morning devotions and year-round Bible reading plans. When we do this, we will all be on the same page in the flow of the living water that God has given to the church. Even if you come on Sundays, you will not receive the revelation, because the flow did not come suddenly on Sunday. What we are talking about aligns with our daily devotion. This year, we are talking about “Arise and Shine” every day. If you follow the morning prayer and year-round Bible reading plan, you will know how to abandon the old self and enter a new relationship with God, which is fulfilled by our prayers. He will lead us “in a smooth path” because of our enemies, and He does not want us to be orphans but His children, who are in the same flow.
3. V13-14 Proclaim to God
David was amid suffering. He encountered a problem, and he believed in God. Do you believe in God? Do you hold on to the hand of God? Or do you just want to take the easy path, or saying, “I have lived like this for decades, no problem, why should I change? I am confident that I did this before and I know it is good.” We forget what the Bible says that God is a God who does new things, not a God who created the past. Do we have faith and stand on the new path God has prepared for us?
Why did David say to wait for the Lord? Waiting for the Lord is not doing nothing. The Bible says that as we continue to carry out our duties, we need wait and see how God can accomplish for us. You have to see how God treats your enemies. God says “Go and wait to see what I do to your enemies,” and “He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”
No one knows what will happen in 2021. God knows that we cannot stay here, and the world is moving forward. The question is how we face all the challenges? God told us to have relationship with Him, wait for Him and see how the King of kings and the Lord of lords will deal with it. Maybe you are facing financial, health, and relationship issues, which we cannot prevent from happening. We can wait and see how God handles them for us.
Brothers and sisters, do you have the faith of David? We must have faith in God. God has a plan for this church and family, and I really hope everyone is blessed. Are you in the same flow?
V 13, I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.
For the last two Sundays of this year, in the land of the living, in New Zealand, the grace of God has been poured out. Let us align with God and the church, and you will join us in the abundance of 2021.
When sin entered the lives of Adam and Eve, they were accused by Satan. They felt ashamed, so they found leaves to cover them. But the leaves they found themselves could not cover their shame. God is a God of mercy and provision. He provided lambskin to cover them. More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus came to the earth and covered us with His blood. Entering the new decade in 2021, there are people who lack the joy of entering the New Year, because past experiences make you so ashamed and unable to look up. But as verse 6 says, “I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; … I will sing praises to the Lord”, a sacrifice of joy is something to be sacrificed. Even when you do not feel the joy, in your faith you still say to God, “Lord, I am willing to sing praises and worship You.”
引言：已经到了年底，好像很多事情没完成，但是我们仍然有信心，相信神仍然在未成就的事情上动工。上次我们学习十诫第二诫，不要为自己雕刻偶像。我们要知道神背后的心意，是他在乎我们与他的关系，他看重我们与他的关系胜过一切。我们与神的关系如何呢？我们要问自己这个问题，我们知道神，可能有些人第二三四代的基督徒，神对我们来讲是什么意义呢？如果我们只是把神放在我们时间表中的一部分，周一到周五上班，周五晚周六与朋友聚会，周日要去教会，那神只是我们的日程安排中的一部分而已，这不是神在十诫中跟我们说的，神看重与我们的关系。就好像现在的年轻人 – 我用手机解释我们跟神的关系 – 年轻人不管去哪里手机都不离手。这就是神想要跟我们建立的关系。今天从大卫王的诗篇来看跟神的关系。
V1-3，大卫在这里显示是像一个战士，即便是战士，在第三节说，“虽 有 军 兵 安 营 攻 击 我 ， 我 的 心 也 不 害 怕 ； 虽 然 兴 起 刀 兵 攻 击 我 ， 我 必 仍 旧 安 稳 。”为什么呢？因为在第一节说了，“耶和华是我的亮光，我的拯救，我还怕谁呢？耶和华是我性命的保障。” 大卫告诉了我们不惧怕仇敌的三件事：他知道自己与神的关系 – 他知道神是他的光，神是他的拯救，神是他生命的力量。大卫对神说的到底是什么？大卫在对神说，神啊，我真的是一无是处，我的一切都在你的手上。这就是他的信心。这是他告诉神的信心，他愿意在神面前谦卑自己，他愿意将自己在地上抓住的东西完全交给神。这就是从大卫来的信心。我们自己与神的关系如何呢？当事情不如意的时候，面对没有预料的困难时，你会怎么做？你最先想到的是什么？最先做的是什么？这问题不仅是今早对我们很重要，已经是年底了，面对我们未来的人生是很重要的问题。我们如何处理在地上的事情？我们将神放在我们生命的什么优先次序呢？这是我们要诚实去面对的问题。我们是否是先寻求神，还是用我们的方法、经历、关系、能力、钱财去解决问题。这是世人常常做的，是生命中常见的方法，你跟人说没有人会说你是错的，但是基督徒是不一样的，我们是被神拣选的。我们属于神，不属于这个世界，因为我们知道这地上的事情是暂时的，神为我们预备了永恒的生命。我们在地上要用什么态度、什么生活方式活出来？大卫在诗篇27章告诉我们，圣经66卷书，从来没有保证成为基督徒后生活会一帆风顺，生命还是会有很多挫折挑战，我们要如何去面对？这是圣灵借着诗篇27篇来启示和鼓励我们的。当我们面对问题和仇敌的时候，我们是否有大卫的信心，神是我的亮光、拯救、性命的保障？我们是否把这样的信心放在第一位？
在诗篇27，大卫就把这些宣告放在第一节，这是值得我们学习的。第三节，“我的心也不害怕。” 我们的心要如何不害怕呢？我们需要高举神，我们要宣告神的同在，这就是为什么第四节讲到，“有一件事，我曾求耶和华，我仍要寻求。” 他仍然在寻求。“我要一生一世住在耶和华的殿中，瞻仰他的荣美。” 大卫知道，只要他与神有连结，他的心就不会动摇。这是他学到的，即便他很小的时候，他照顾羊群面对大熊、狮子、以及后来的巨人歌利亚，他不害怕，因为他深深相信，神与他同在，他还怕谁呢？大卫年纪很小的时候就有这样的信心，是因为他紧紧抓住先知撒母耳跟他说的事情，他知道从那时候开始，他是被膏立要成为国王的人，他的身份改变了。当我们受洗的时候，从水里出来，我们被告知我们有全新的生命，旧事已过，都成为新的了。我们是否还活在过去的生命中呢？我们受洗、信主，但是我们所相信、所说的还是一样，不一样的是我有了基督徒的名牌，我领圣餐，我祷告，但是我们的生命还是一样，这是为什么很多基督徒仍然有很多的挣扎。但是神说，看看大卫，虽然他被父亲撇弃，撒母耳跟他说他是国王，但是他仍然要牧羊，不是在乎人怎么看我，而是神怎样看他。他虽然是牧羊人，他的身份改变了，面对熊和狮子，一个国王是怎样，熊和狮子、巨人都要逃跑的。巨人说要砍掉你，扫罗王说你穿我的军装，他觉得不需要，因为他知道王需要的不是这些。即便是一个小石头，一个国王可以用来杀死巨人。当我们说自己是神的儿女，我们在世界上寻求什么？神没有说你们是地上的儿女，你们是神的儿女，他是万王之王，我们是他的儿女，那我们仍然在乎世上的东西吗？大家仔细想想，举例说，伊丽莎白女王若去台湾探访，台湾最有名的是小吃，伊丽莎白女王很喜欢吃小吃，她会不会说太好吃了，我要住在这里。但是她不会这样做，出于对台湾文化的尊重，她只会尝试一点。作为一个女王，只要她想要，她可以吃任何她想要吃的。耶稣两千年前来到这里，没有享受世上的小吃，甚至是施洗约翰，传讲悔改的信心，他去到荒凉的旷野，不管是谁想要听到信息，就会去寻求他，他不会降低自己，因为他知道，他给出的是最宝贵的信息，人们应该看到它的价值。人们自己会来寻找这个好消息，他不需要去宣传，即便他要躲起来，人们还是会去找他。
V5，“因 为 我 遭 遇 患 难 ， 他 必 暗 暗 地 保 守 我 ； 在 他 亭 子 里 ， 把 我 藏 在 他 帐 幕 的 隐 密 处 ， 将 我 高 举 在 磐 石 上 。”
V6， “我 要 在 他 的 帐 幕 里 欢 然 献 祭 ； 我 要 唱 诗 歌 颂 耶 和 华 。”
二、V 7-12 向神祷告
V7 – 我们要用我们的”声音”。我要提醒大家，我们在世上用智能手机，但神不用智能手机，神想要我们用声音来敬拜他。神用他的声音创造世界，他想要我们用我们声音去敬拜。我们很少用自己的声音，我们用短信说我们的感受。但是神想要我们的声音，声音非常重要，如果我们失声，我们就像普通人一样。如果你面对一个被鬼附的人，你给他发短信说，我奉耶稣的名捆绑你，你觉得会发生吗？我们的声音是有能力的，声音能创造，5G不能，这很重要。祷告很重要，不管你心情好不好，我们都要祷告。
大卫为什么说要等候耶和华？等候耶和华，不是什么都都不做。圣经说的是，当我们持续做的时候，你要去等候观看，神如何为你成就。你有仇敌，你要怎么做 – 等候耶和华。你要看神如何对待你的仇敌。神说你要去，等候看我对你仇敌做什么。“坚固你的心，我再说，要等候耶和华。” 2021年，没有人知道会发生什么事情。现在悉尼再一次封城，神知道我们无法停留在这里，世界都在向前行，我们如何面对所有的挑战。神跟我们说，与我有关系，等候我，看，万王之王，万主之主如何处理？也许你面对财务、健康、关系的问题，我们无法阻止它们不发生，我们可以等候，去看神如何为我们处理？
V 13, “我 若 不 信 在 活 人 之 地 得 见 耶 和 华 的 恩 惠 ， 就 早 已 丧 胆 了 。”
当罪进入到亚当和夏娃的生命，他们被撒旦控告，他们觉得羞愧，他们就找了叶子来遮盖。但是他们自己找的叶子无法遮盖他们的羞愧，神是怜悯和预备的神，他预备了羔羊的皮来遮盖。2000多年前，耶稣来到地上，用他的血来遮盖我们。2021年进入新的十年，有人缺乏进入新年的喜悦，因为过去的经历让你很羞愧，无法抬起头。但是第6节说，“我 要 在 他 的 帐 幕 里 欢 然 献 祭 ； 我 要 唱 诗 歌 颂 耶 和 华 。” 这是喜乐的献祭，好像是要牺牲的东西，就是你觉得喜乐不起来，但是你仍然对主说，主啊，我愿意唱诗敬拜你！