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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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Pastor's Pen - June 20, 2007
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June 20, 2007

Psalms 36-39
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Chapter 36
  1. (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD.) The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
  2. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
  3. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
  4. He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
  5. Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
  6. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.
  7. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
  8. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
  9. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.
  10. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
  11. Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.
  12. There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.

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Chapter 37
  1. (A Psalm of David.) Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
  2. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
  3. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
  4. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
  5. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
  6. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
  7. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
  8. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
  9. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
  10. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
  11. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
  12. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
  13. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
  14. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
  15. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
  16. A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
  17. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
  18. The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
  19. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
  20. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
  21. The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
  22. For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
  23. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
  24. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
  25. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
  26. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
  27. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
  28. For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
  29. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
  30. The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
  31. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
  32. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
  33. The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
  34. Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
  35. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
  36. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
  37. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
  38. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
  39. But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
  40. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him. .

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Chapter 38
  1. (A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.> O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
  2. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.
  3. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
  4. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
  5. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
  6. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
  7. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
  8. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
  9. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
  10. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.
  11. My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.
  12. They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.
  13. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.
  14. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
  15. For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.
  16. For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.
  17. For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.
  18. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
  19. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.
  20. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.
  21. Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.
  22. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.

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Chapter 39
  1. (To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.) I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.
  2. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.
  3. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,
  4. LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.
  5. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.
  6. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.
  7. And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.
  8. Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.
  9. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.
  10. Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.
  11. When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.
  12. Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
  13. O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.

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Thought for the day:
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 Psalm 37 is another song of encouragement for the believer. In this passage the Lord reminds us that we always need to keep our focus on Him, regardless of what others around us may be doing. David opens this psalm with a warning against two different emotions that the child of God might have concerning the ungodly. First he informs us that we should not "fret" over evildoers. The word "fret" means to "blaze up": to get emotionally upset because of the actions of the unbeliever. This could involve worry or anger or grief. David tells us that we should not get all wound up over what those who reject Christ are doing. We tend to worry about what the unsaved might do to us, or whether they will win the next election, or whether they will get the next promotion on the job. We can get upset when they seem to prosper. David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us to relax. He then adds that we should not envy them either. How often have we as Christians looked at the seeming prosperity of our unbelieving acquaintances and secretly wished that we could have what they have. They may have more money than we do, perhaps because they do not give to their local church or because they sacrifice their family to bring in extra income, and we wish that we could be in their shoes. Perhaps we envy their "carefree lifestyle" and wish that we did not have the spiritual responsibilities that we do. David reminds us that they will soon be cut down (2), and that they will receive the reward for their iniquities (9, 20). Verse 13 tells us that the Lord sees their day coming, i.e., He knows that their judgment is near. Therefore, why should we be jealous of those whose condemnation and punishment are right around the corner?

 Rather than think about the prosperity of the unrighteous, David encourages us to focus on the greatness and benevolence of God. Verse 3-5 are often quoted, and rightly so, for they contain great promises. They read,

"Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
Look at what David says here. He tells the believer first of all to trust God and do good. Sometimes when we see the ungodly prosper it is hard to believe that God is doing what is best. Yet the Lord asks us to trust Him. Once we have decided to exercise that trust, we need to determine that we are going to do the Biblical thing even though it may seem that those who reject Biblical truth are getting ahead. God promised the Jews that if they would obey then they would dwell safely in Israel, and that their needs would be provided for. While we as Gentiles do not have the promise of land that Israel had, we can apply their promise to mean that God will allow us to do what we need to do wherever we are. Verse 4 promises that God will give His children their desires if they delight in Him. To delight means to find luxury. Perhaps we could put it this way: if you choose to treat the Lord as you would something marvelous and luxurious, and you want to be with Him as much as you want to be in the finest, most comfortable resort, then He will give you the desires of your heart. That which we delight in is that which we want to be around. Once we have determined that our relationship with the Lord is the most luxurious possession we have, I believe this will change our desires to be more conformed to what God desires. When a person delights in himself, his desires will be towards that which satisfies his flesh. When a man delights in the Lord, his desires will be towards that which pleases God. Finally David writes that the believer needs to commit his way to God. When I turn my life completely over to the Lord, and take my hands of the reins and give them over to Him, trusting Him to do what's correct, then He will bring my life to where it should be.

 The ungodly trust in themselves, ignore Biblical precepts, and will ultimately suffer the consequences for these decisions. The Christian need not fret over them, not certainly be jealous of them. God is in control, and if we will trust Him, delight in Him, and turn our lives over to Him, He will take care of everything.

Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery

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