This is Only a Test
1 Psalm of David. In the LORD I have put my trust: how can you say to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?
I. Two Reasons to Flee:
A. Being under attack by those who don’t wholeheartedly serve God
2 For the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may secretly shoot at the upright in heart.
WICKED/UNGODLY = those who are part of the covenant community but who ignore the law of God, giving lipservice rather than obedience. Ps 50:16 to the wicked God says: "What right have you to recite my statutes, or take my covenant on your lips?
B. It really looks like God has given up...or is at least on vacation, because your world is being turned upside down
3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
RIGHTEOUS = those who are rightly related to God, their fellowman, and the environment
UPRIGHT = those who have weathered the hurricane and are still standing upright
II. Three Reasons to Trust:
4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
A. HOLY TEMPLE - God is separate or distinct form all other gods as seen by His answers to prayer,
for which He is praised at the temple
B. THRONE - God is sovereignly in control of all the events that occur on our planet
C. TRY/TEST - God tests the righteous [heat...skim...heat...skim]
III. Consequences of Passing/Failing the Test(s)
5 The LORD tries/tests the righteous: but the wicked and him that loves violence his soul hates
6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
7 For the righteous LORD loves righteousness; his countenance beholds the upright/the upright see his face
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. What are some things for which you’ve put your trust in God? Why would you want/be tempted to take back that trust?
2. What’s your “natural” response to the heat being turned up? What should your response be? How can you change?
3. T or F: All the emotional difficulties in our lives can be resolved by a proper view of God.
4. Under what circumstances/stresses are the impurities most likely to rise to the surface? What can you do to remove them?
5. Do you dread or look forward to being tried and tested? Why?