Tuesday, June 19, 2012
"Let not those who wait for You, O Lord God of Hosts, be ashamed because of me; let not those who seek You be confounded because of me, O God of Israel. Because for your sake I have borne reproach; shame has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother's children; because zeal for your house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me. When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting, that became my reproach. I also made sackcloth my garment; I became a byword to them. Those who sit in the gate speak against me, and I am the song of the drunkards" (Psalm 69:6-12).
IDEA: Misinterpreted or misapplied passages have different degrees of consequences.
PURPOSE: To help listeners realize the importance of interpreting and applying biblical passages accurately.
I. Listen to these words of David and tell me whether this passage "speaks to your condition."
In Psalm 69:6, David prays, "May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the Lord Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel."
Can you identify with David in this prayer?
What is he asking for?
What is the "mood" of his prayer?
The awareness that my sin has become a door for someone else's sin and even that person's turning from the faith is one of the most devastating experiences that can come to a Christian man or woman.
II. Is that really what David is asking in this psalm?
The immediate context of the psalm shows us that this isn't either the thought or the mood of this psalm: " Because for your sake I have borne reproach; shame has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother's children; because zeal for your house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me" (Psalm 69:7-9).
Is David crying out for forgiveness for forsaking God? No, David—rather than being disloyal to his God—has been "consumed with zeal" for God's house.
He has been so devoted to God's interests that he can say to God, "The insults of those who insult you fall on me" (Psalm 69:9). He "took the hit" for God.
David has made God the passion of his life, but he paid a high price for it.
He has been mocked and scorned by the gossips at the city gate for his piety: "I also made sackcloth my garment; I became a byword to them. Those who sit in the gate speak against me, and I am the song of the drunkards" (Psalm 69:11-12).
Drunkards have made up bawdy songs about him (Psalm 69:12).
He feels utterly alone. He could not find one sympathetic friend.
III. What does the psalmist actually fear?
His fear is that because of what has happened to him, others may be kept from trusting in God.
Someone might conclude, "If that's what happens to someone who is zealous for God, I'm better off being wicked."
To discover that your sufferings for Christ are driving other people away from Christ plumbs the depths of spiritual agony.
How serious is it to get this passage wrong?