Vindicate me, O God! [draft sermon notes]
Published October 5th, 2022
43 1 שָׁפְטֵ֤נִי אֱלֹהִ֨ים ׀ וְרִ֘יבָ֤ה רִיבִ֗י מִגּ֥וֹי לֹא ־ חָסִ֑יד מֵ֤אִישׁ ־ מִרְמָ֖ה וְעַוְלָ֣ה תְפַלְּטֵֽנִי ׃ 2 כִּֽי ־ אַתָּ֤ה ׀ אֱלֹהֵ֣י מָֽעוּזִּי֮ לָמָ֪ה זְנַ֫חְתָּ֥נִי לָֽמָּה ־ קֹדֵ֥ר אֶתְהַלֵּ֗ךְ בְּלַ֣חַץ אוֹיֵֽב ׃ 3 שְׁלַח ־ אוֹרְךָ֣ וַ֭אֲמִתְּךָ הֵ֣מָּה יַנְח֑וּנִי יְבִיא֥וּנִי אֶל ־ הַֽר ־ קָ֝דְשְׁךָ֗ וְאֶל ־ מִשְׁכְּנוֹתֶֽיךָ ׃ 4 וְאָב֤וֹאָה ׀ אֶל ־ מִזְבַּ֬ח אֱלֹהִ֗ים אֶל ־ אֵל֮ שִׂמְחַ֪ת גִּ֫ילִ֥י וְאוֹדְךָ֥ בְכִנּ֗וֹר אֱלֹהִ֥ים אֱלֹהָֽי ׃ 5 מַה ־ תִּשְׁתּ֬וֹחֲחִ֨י ׀ נַפְשִׁי֮ וּֽמַה ־ תֶּהֱמִ֪י עָ֫לָ֥י הוֹחִ֣ילִי לֵֽ֭אלֹהִים כִּי ־ ע֣וֹד אוֹדֶ֑נּוּ יְשׁוּעֹ֥ת פָּ֝נַ֗י וֵֽאלֹהָֽי ׃
Send Out Your Light and Your Truth 43 1 r Vindicate me, O God, and s defend my cause against an ungodly people, from t the deceitful and unjust man deliver me! 2 For you are u the God in whom I take refuge; why have you v rejected me? Why do I w go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 3 x Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your y holy hill and to your z dwelling! 4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. 5 a Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? b Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Vindicate me, O God! Intro . Recap Psalm 42. Lots in common. But they are separate Psalms in the old Hebrew manuscripts we have. Psalm 43 builds on Psalm 42. When we suffer, Christians turn to God. Culturally, we turn towards ourselves (be better; or care for yourself better). When we suffer, it's quite right to care for ourselves more - but this is energised by the fact that we know and turn towards our Father in heaven, with all our honest questions. 1. Why have you rejected me? (v1-2) v1 plead my plea. The Psalmist is suffering some injustice from deceitful people. v2 why have you rejected me? Stronger words than last week. Even stronger next week in Psalm 44. Repetition of question from Psalm 42. At the heart of suffering is this 'why' question. Jesus inhabits this suffering. 2. Bring me to your dwelling! (v3-4) v3 his desire is to be in God's tabernacle/dwelling/holy hill. v4 God is his exceeding joy. These are themes which lead us to Jesus. In the Exodus, 'light' was 'leading', and the presence of God went with them in his dwelling/tabernacle. In the OT, 'truth' is 'faithfulness'; God's steady promise-keeping through time. Jesus: he is the light of the world, and he is the truth. The Word became flesh and 'tabernacled' among us. Full of grace and truth. In him, we are being built up as a dwelling/temple (1 Peter 2; 1 Corinthians 3.16-17, 1 Corinthians 6.19). So these verses are now and not yet for those in Christ. This is why abiding in his words is the way we enjoy God. Through Jesus' words, we know the Father. We are brought to his dwelling. Real-time communion. In the age to come, one huge 'holy hill', we will dwell with God in exceeding joy forever. Is our longing to be dwelling with God 'in his place'? Is he our 'exceeding joy'? How do we 'do' everyday life as those who are God's temple? 3. I will again praise Him (v5) Preaching to self. Since God is faithful, he can be hoped in, waited for, expected. Those who wait for him will not be disappointed. The Cross is the grand display of why we can say verse 5 with confidence. Right now, I am in Christ and he is in me. Therefore I shall again praise him. God's glory. His light and truth lead his people. He is the exceeding joy of his people [cf 'Jesu joy of man's desiring'] FCF. In the face of some awful injustice, feeling ignored and rejected by God. But our sin nature makes us not long for God and pray to him. Instead, we become angry at him and turn away. We do not long for his dwelling and presence. H1. If there's a God then how come XYZ. H2. Not asking for more of God as the answer and comfort. Instead, grimacing and bearing it. Finding ways to control what we can. Quiet, smouldering despair. Person of Jesus. How do light and truth lead us? Exodus theme of leading and light. Your 'truth' is 'covenant faithfulness'. Not like a system of doctrine, but of promise-keeping and sureness in the real world over time. Jesus is the light of the world, and the truth. He reveals the Father to us. Work of Jesus. Jesus is the only one rejected. He mourned and wept as he represented us, oppressed and abused. By ungodly people. The Father his greatest delight. In Jesus we have been raised up and seated, taken to the 'holy hill', since he himself is the true temple and dwelling place of the LORD. Union with Jesus. Comfort: If we are in him, we ourselves are being built up as his very dwelling place, since we are in the body of Jesus, his fullness filling us. You will again praise him. Rebuke: don't turn away from God in the midst of injustice; turn to him with honesty. Invitation: In Jesus, come into the very dwelling of God. Wrap up : Knowing God as he really is enables us to pray honestly. Vindicate me! Why have you rejected me! We long to enjoy his present. We know that we shall.