Sermon Audio & Review
Pastor Steve Sindelar
- Category: Morning Worship Series
- March 14, 2021
Continue to Trusting God When Oppressed.
When culture moves away from God’s truth, calling right wrong and wrong right, what happens to the Christian caught in that gap? Our Psalm today tells us that Christians must continue to trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God. Since our God is sovereign and good, all who trust in Him will be rewarded.
Reading through Psalm 62 reveals concrete expressions of God’s sovereignty and His goodness. The psalmist explores these two attributes of God in light of the oppressive nature of the culture as they aggressively attack the Christian’s truth-claims.
In the midst of oppression, when we view God as sovereign, our response is often silent trust. There is such a trust that not a word needs to be spoken. Not a defense needs to be made. No amount of words changes the sovereign position of our God. He is not threatened, nor does He change.
How can we be silent when we know the truth and the culture is fabricating falsehood? The Great Commission and New Testament requires us to proclaim God's Word. So in what sense does a recognition of God’s sovereignty cause us to trust God in silence? This silence is not:
- Keeping silence in the face of resistance to truth.
- Thinking that the world is so far gone, we must create our little bubble and not interact with "them."
- An abdication of most of us who don’t feel qualified to contend with the world’s truth claims, so we leave it to the pastor or apologist.
This silence is contrasted to "delighting in falsehood" in verse 4. What can you say to someone, much less a group of people, that are addicted to self-serving lies? When people peddle sayings that sound good, but are not good, words no longer matter. In such cases, the issues at stake are not the issues verbalized. There is only one person that can close that gap between truth and falsehood. The Lord Jesus Christ closes the gap by giving us new birth, making our dead souls spiritually alive, and making all things new.
The Psalm gives several word pictures for God's sovereignty. He is a Rock (verses 2, 6, 7) and a Stronghold (verses 2, 6). Because of this, the writer will not be shaken (verses 2, 6). This all is summarized in verse 11 that “power belongs to God.” The Psalmist remembers this in light of an attack from his own community. Though he is viewed as a leaning wall or a tottering fence, he is on solid ground because of His God.
In the midst of oppression, when we view God as good, our response is hopeful trust. Trust produces hope. This is the second side of trust that we see when the psalmist restates verses 1-2 in verses 5-7, but with a few small but noticeable differences. All of these descriptors are based on the claim that God is good.
When we are oppressed, we have a Place of Hope. We have hope because God is our refuge (verses 7-8).
When we are oppressed, we have a Perspective of Hope. It is easy to trust God when things are going well; but our conviction of God’s goodness must remain regardless of our circumstances. Paul could write “Rejoice always! And Again, I say rejoice!” from a prison cell. This trust is a community affair. Genuine trust in God moves from the private (silent) to the community (hope-filled response). It starts as an inner conviction, but it just can’t stay there! In community, we gather together and explosively affirm to each other to trust in God.
When we are oppressed, we have a Person of Hope. We can pour out our hearts to God because He is good. When we give all our troubles, cares, worries, and needs to Him, there is nothing left.
God is our only source of trust. In contrast, those who oppress have no substance when weighed on the balance of morality. Oppressors seem overwhelmingly powerful, but as G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”
The prohibitions in verse 10 present a clear choice between hoping in God and hoping in human ideas. We must not hope in the oppression of falsehood. Those who orient their lives claiming falsehood to be true will always be disappointed. We must not hope in robbery, deceptive ideas that will rob us of God-designed blessings. We must not hope in an abundance of possessions, even when there are financial incentives to caving to falsehood.
Verse 11 is the thesis statement of the psalm, highlighting God's power (sovereignty) and lovingkindness (goodness). To the Christian finding himself in the gap between God’s truth and man’s truth-claims, the psalmist's encouragement is that every person will be rewarded according to their work (verse 12).
May God help us to trust in God as sovereign and good no matter the cost. Like the first-century pastor of Smyrna, Polycarp, may we be resolute and say: “80 and 6 years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I [now] blaspheme my King and my Savior?”
- Is Jesus only your salvation? Even for all the cultural clamor happening today? While this world is out of control with its truth-claims, one who finds their salvation in Jesus Christ secure and at peace! What would happen if Christians were more silent on the popular issues and more verbal about their Christ?
- As the new community of God’s people, the church, we must be committed to gathering and encouraging one another to trust in God. The hallmark articulation of trusting in God is praise and rejoicing. Even when you don't feel like it, commit yourself to singing, fellowshipping, and worshipping with the community of faith. Your faith cannot exist apart from community.
- If you feel hopeless, disappointed, depressed, or let down, chances are you are removed from or will want to blame this community. Stop! God designed this community to reorient your perspective about hope and God’s goodness. Embrace it!
- Do you believe God is so good that when you pour out your heart to Him, you have no worries left?
Tools for Further Study
A Hymn to Encourage
’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise;
Just to know, Thus saith the Lord.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er,
Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more.
O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
Just in simple faith to plunge me,
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood.
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life, and rest, and joy, and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.