2020-9-20 God Cares for You

Cornerstone EPC                                                                              Sunday morning
Franklin, NC 28734                                                                          September 20, 2020

“God Cares for You”
Psalm 34:15-18

As we continue through Psalm 34, David continues to reflect upon his deliverance: both upon his direct deliverance from Achish, king of Gath, and upon his indirect deliverance from Saul—his king and father-in-law.[1]  David, as led by the Spirit, responds with overflowing thanks to God’s favorable providence.  In this fifth sermon in our six-sermon series, we see once again, as in earlier sermons in this series, God’s matchless care for His own—particularly in their troubles.  Let us give our attention once again to the reading and preaching of God’s Word in this place.

(HERE READ THE TEXT)

David, led by the Spirit of the living God, notes—as part of God’s good care for us—that the eyes of the Lord see His righteous ones.  Let us understand clearly that we have no righteousness in ourselves (Romans 3:9-20).  Any righteousness we have comes from God—and we receive that righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Romans 3:21-31).  Thus, any among us who has obeyed God’s call to believe in His Son has His righteousness—a righteousness increasingly evident to all as we grow in His grace.  This righteousness dovetails nicely with what we heard in last week’s sermon: Who would delight in life, love many days, and see good?  Let him fear the Lord; let him worship Him and walk in His ways.

The eyes of the Lord are upon us.  That is, God is attentive to us, especially when we cry out unto Him for help when distressed.  This attention from God results in good for us.  This is true because the Lord is good and does good (Psalm 119:68), and this is true in view of God’s providential plan for us.  Note God’s word through the prophet Jeremiah: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).  Indeed, God’s eye is on His redeemed for good.

This watchful care is in stark contrast to His posture toward the wicked—toward the ones doing evil.  His face is against them—and no right-thinking person wants this.  These wicked are estranged from the Lord and are at enmity with Him—just as we who are in Christ were before meeting Him in saving faith.  The joys of the wicked are not to the full, and their pains are but the foretaste of the eternal misery yet to come.  Moreover, He cuts off memory of them from the earth, as Solomon declares in another place, “The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot” (Proverbs 10:7).  This is no place to be; let us spare no pains to be found safe in Christ through faith in Him, and let us enjoy to all eternity God’s watchful care of us.

We heard earlier that God’s eyes are on His redeemed in His Son.  His ears also hear His righteous ones.  We think at times that God cannot hear our cries, or we think He turns a deaf ear toward us and will not hear our cries.  This is untrue: God neither is unable or is unwilling to hear the cries of His own.  Rather, He hears, and delivers, His own.  He delivers us both from troubles and from troublers, and He delivers us in His time and in His way.  We, all too often, want our deliverance on our timetable and to our precise specifications.  God, being all-wise, all-knowing, and all-loving, to name but three, will deliver us at the right time in the right way—and we can trust Him with this.

The Lord’s eye is on His redeemed, and His ear is toward them.  Now we see that the Presence of the Lord is with them.  God is present—in fact, He is nigh unto—His hurting righteous ones.  He is near to the broken-hearted (literally to ones broken in pieces of heart) over sins they committed, over sins committed against them, and over life lived in this fallen world.  God is present—He is with (remember one Name of God Incarnate, Jesus Christ: Immanuel, which means God with us)—the ones broken in pieces and the ones shattered in heart.  Moreover, He saves them.  He saves those of His own who are crushed in spirit.  He rebuilds the crushed spirit, and He alleviates the conditions that crush spirits.  Truly His goodness, especially toward His redeemed in Christ Jesus, knows no bounds.

Is there anything over which you cry out to God today?  Do you cry out for yourself—because of personal distress?  Do you cry out to God today over the pains that your loved ones endure?  Do you cry out today over circumstances in our world?  We have no shortage of painful circumstances in our world today.  Whatever it is, bring that thing, and yourself, to the Lord.  First, place faith in the Lord Jesus as Savior from your sin and as Lord of your life, for none of these promised good things flow to us until we are safely in God’s covenant family through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Next, cry out to Him in your distress.  We are to cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us (cf. 1 Peter 5:7), and crying out to God in distress fits the bill.  Granted, He doesn’t need us to remind Him of our troubles, yet He would hear of them from our lips.  Cry out to Him in your trouble.  Then trust Him with it—and with your very self—for His eye is upon you, His ear is toward you, and His Presence is with you.  Remember also that our great three-in-one God will deliver you—in His time, and in His way.  May He encourage and gladden your souls in this inexpressibly good news.

AMEN.

[1] David married Michal, the younger daughter of Saul, king of Israel (1 Samuel 18:17-29).