Sunday service, Detlef Stegen, 08 Jan 2017
Psalm 120:1 – 7.
1 I call on the Lord in my distress,
and he answers me.
2 Save me, Lord,
from lying lips
and from deceitful tongues.
3 What will he do to you,
and what more besides,
you deceitful tongue?
4 He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows,
with burning coals of the broom bush.
5 Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek,
that I live among the tents of Kedar!
6 Too long have I lived
among those who hate peace.
7 I am for peace;
but when I speak, they are for war.
God has given us all we need for Godly living. We have attended church for weeks or months or years and the Lord’s servant has travailed for our spiritual wellbeing. What hasn’t Jesus done for you regarding godly living? He has done more than any human being has. Do you lack anything? Do you need to be given more? Do you put into practice what you have been given?
I want to speak especially to children. Is it difficult to obey your mother and father? Why is it so difficult? Is it because you don’t feel like it or you are too big in your own eyes? Maybe you think your dad doesn’t care and it is difficult to obey his instruction. You think, “Where is his love for me?” But what is God’s instruction to children? Don’t you love the truth of God’s Word? Can’t you pray and ask for love towards your parents and gladly obey them?
Maybe you turn away while your mother is speaking because you don’t like her instruction. You come every Sunday so you can learn how to obey your parents. The Lord speaks and says how you have done wrong to your parents and how you should react to your parents. Go to your parents and ask them if they are happy with how you obey them. The Heavenly Father spoke in an audible voice to his Son with whom He was well pleased. To bring joy to your parents’ heart would bring joy to your heart.
Parents, is your instruction godly instruction so that your children can see Jesus in your lives? Maybe your conversation with your wife makes your child shy back because they know how their parents should behave. Parents make sure that you are one with the Heavenly Bridegroom so that your children can acknowledge you as a godly parent. Till when must you obey your parents? Until you finish school? If you think that way maybe there will be a curse and you will be cut off from the blessing of obeying your parents. Go into life with the blessing of your parents.
Psalm 120 is a song of ascents. When they went to Jerusalem they sang this song. They called to the Lord in their distress and the Lord answered. If you don’t keep what the Lord instructs you, it is a red light and you need to call out. They could go on the steps where they would find the Lord and sing and pray “Save me, oh God, from lying lips and deceitful tongues.” Can you sing this song, “Lord deliver us from lying lips.”? Children, do you say, “Save us from lying lips.”? How long can children lie to their teachers without blushing with shame? Children, the sooner you stop lying to your parents the sooner you won’t lie at school. And you won’t be telling lies when you come home after your studies either. What lies do you portray to your children? You will be punished for lies with sharp arrows and burning coals if you haven’t apologized to them. They will be like sharp arrows in your conscience. They will be like burning coals to you. God will shoot the arrows at your soul and conscience and your life will be bleeding and you will be weak because of lies. These coals will burn you and God will fire up those coals because of your deceitfulness and because of your deceitful tongue. What have you promised the Lord? Have you had lying lips to the one who has given you all for Godly living?
Malachi 2:15 says that God seeks a godly offspring. You parents profess that God brought you together in flesh and spirit. You belong to Him because He seeks godly offspring. Do you see what God seeks? You must be sure the Lord brings you together. In flesh and spirit they are one because He wants godly offspring. Why did Jesus find you in your lost state in the open country? He wanted to betroth you to Him eternally and there should be godly offspring in your life. Your friends, do they become godly because of you? Do they learn to tell the truth because of you?
Will you join me and walk up those steps and tell the truth? Do you recognize where you have a deceitful tongue? Jesus said of Nathanael, “Here is a true Israelite in whom there is no guile.” Can Jesus bless you like Isaac blessed Jacob? If His hand cannot rest on you, then the curse remains on you. We read in Deuteronomy 28 that the Lord promises us that if we diligently obey His commands then His blessings will follow. Children if you obey the Lord’s command “Honour your parents” then the blessing of a long life will be there that it may go well with you. Do you know what that implies? I don’t know what it all entails. The Lord has given you heavenly parents. Honour them that it may go well with you. God substitutes other parents instead of your fleshly parents. The problem is if you don’t accept them. God gave you parents that want the best for your soul but if you run away, then you will have Esau’s curse.
There is a story regarding deceit and lies. A mother instructed two little girls to do some work because she was going somewhere. When she returned and asked if they had done what she had said, they said they had done it. They didn’t know that the mother knew they hadn’t done it as she had said. The mother was hurt because they had lied. She said to them, “This week I am going to lie to you.” One morning she said, “I want to take you to a shop and buy you nice clothes.” The girls were delighted. But when they thought about this, their joy was limited because they thought maybe it was a lie. The mother arrived at the school with the car and she had her shopping handbag but the girls were worried that it was a lie. She said, “Your grandfather has a birthday at the end of the week. We want it to be a surprise. I’ll put you on the plane and he will be happy to see you.” They were so happy. They had never flown before and they were excited but when they reconsidered, they thought maybe it was the lie. They wanted to tell their friends but they said, “What if it is a lie?” But then they saw the tickets in their rooms. It continued to trouble them. Then they went to their mother and said, “Please tell us the lie you promised to tell us.” The mother asked why should she tell them? They said, “Because whatever you say we are scared it is the lie.” When you promise something and don’t fulfill it, people mistrust you. So these words in the Psalm are wonderful words: remove from me lying lips and deceitful tongues. Tell the truth and people will be able to trust you.
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