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“The Bloody Nile” (Exodus 7:14–24)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday PM, August 6, 2017

Exodus 7:14–24 (NIV)

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. Confront him on the bank of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16 Then say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.’ ”

19 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs—and they will turn to blood.’ Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.”

20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.

22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23 Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart. 24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile to get drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the river.

Recurring Themes:
Emphasis #1: Obedience
Emphasis #2: God’s superior power over Egypt’s gods
Emphasis #3: Counterfeit signs
Emphasis #4: Perpetual hardening of Pharaoh’s heart (Merida, Exalting Jesus in Exodus)

One Main Theme: The LORD (Yahweh) will be known as the one true God.

Structure: The first nine plagues are arranged in three groups of three plagues each.

Background: The Nile was the life source of Egypt. It was the center of their economic, cultural, and religious existence.

Outline:
1.    God directs his servants with his Word (14–18).
2.    God’s servants obey the Lord’s Word (19–21).
3.    The unbelieving and hard-hearted reject the Lord’s Word (22–24).

Theology and Application:
a)    In judgment, God shows mercy. Even to those who deserve judgment, God may send warnings to prompt a change of heart.
b)    Miracles are possible, but not all miracles originate with God. And people who ask for signs may not want to believe.
c)    The first plague brought upon Egypt revealed the power of God and the impotence of Egyptian deities.
d)    To whom are you looking to provide for your needs? People are tempted to trust in other things to provide for them, instead of God alone.

 

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“Promise, not Law” (Romans 4:13–25)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday AM, August 6, 2017

Romans 4:13–25 (NIV)

13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”  He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

1.    We are not saved by keeping the law (13–15).
        a.    Abraham was not saved by keeping the law; he was saved 430 years before the law was given to Moses at Sinai (Gal 3:17).
        b.    Salvation by keeping the law would render faith unnecessary and make the promise null and void.
        c.    Salvation can’t come by keeping the law because the law was not given to save people, but to show them that they need to be saved (Gal 3:10).

2.    We are saved by grace through faith in the promise of God (16–17a).
        a.    God gave the promise by grace: Abrahamic covenant.
                i.    Promise of land
               ii.    Promise of descendants
              iii.    Promise of universal blessing
              iv.    Promise of a Redeemer
        b.    Abraham believed the promise and was justified.
                i.    Righteousness received by faith magnifies God’s grace.
               ii.    Righteousness received by faith magnifies God’s grace to the whole world.

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A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
By Paul E. Miller

Learning to Trust Again: Part II: Chapters 9-11

“Understanding Cynicism” - Chapter 9

Understanding Cynicism

  • Cynicism is the opposite of a childlike spirit.
  • Cynicism is the dominant spirit of our age.
  • Cynicism leads us to doubt the effectiveness or value of prayer.
  • Weariness is on the edge of turning into cynicism.
  • If Satan cannot stop you from praying, he will rob you of its fruit.

The Feel of Cynicism

  • Satan is the author of cynicism; he led Adam/Eve to look at God through a cynical perspective.
  • Cynicism fosters doubt, skepticism, and causes us to look at everything and everyone with a critical eye.
  • Cynicism is deceptive in that it parades itself as “truth” – what is “really going on behind the scenes.”
  • Cynicism robs us of trust, love, passion, and enjoyment in the things of everyday life.
  • Cynicism dulls and deadens, causing us to feel nothing, to believe in nothing.
  • To be cynical is to be distant; it leads to a creeping bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit.
  • A praying life is the opposite of a cynical life.
  • Prayer engages evil, doesn’t take no for an answer, is persistent before the face of God, hoping, dreaming, and asking.
  • Cynicism merely critiques everything. It is passive, cocooning itself from the passions of the great cosmic battle we are engaged in.
  • If you try to add an overlay of prayer to a cynical or even a weary heart, it feels phony.
  • For the cynic, life is already phony; nothing can be trusted, hoped in, or provide meaning and purpose.

A Journey into Cynicism

  • Cynicism begins with the wrong kind of faith, a naïve optimism or foolish confidence.
  • On the surface, naïve optimism and faith can look the same, but the foundations are vastly different.
  • Genuine faith comes from knowing my heavenly Father loves, enjoys, and cares for me.
  • Naïve optimism is groundless, blind trust.
  • Genuine faith fuels bold action and diligent effort.
  • Our culture gradually shifted from faith in God to faith in humanity.
  • So, faith became simply faith in faith itself, rather than faith in God.
  • “Just believe” or “have faith” became the mantra, but without any reference to God – the object of faith.
  • Optimism rooted in the goodness or capability of people collapses against the dark side of life.
  • Real life doesn’t lend itself to groundless optimism.
  • Shattered optimism leads to weariness and then to cynicism.
  • The movement from naïve optimism to cynicism is the new American journey.
  • In naïve optimism, we don’t need to pray because everything is under control, everything is possible.
  • In cynicism, we can’t pray because everything is out of control, little is possible.
  • Cynicism’s ironic stance is a weak attempt to maintain a lighthearted equilibrium in a world gone mad.
  • At some point, each of us faces the valley of the shadow of death.
  • We can’t ignore it. We can’t remain neutral with evil.
  • We either give up and distance ourselves, or we learn to walk with the Shepherd. There is no middle ground.
  • Without the Good Shepherd, we are alone in a meaningless story.

The Age of Cynicism

  • Our personal struggles with cynicism and defeated weariness are reinforced by an increasing tendency toward perfectionism.
  • Believing you have to have the perfect relationship, the perfect children, the perfect body set you up for a critical spirit.
  • In the absence of perfection, we resort to spin—trying to make ourselves look good.
  • We end up with a public life and a private life. We cease to be real.
  • Media looks for the wrong in everything.
  • Psychology’s hunt for hidden motives adds a new layer to our ability to judge and be cynical about what others are doing.
  • Cynicism is the air we breathe; our only hope is to give Jesus our weary and heavy-laden hearts and follow him out of cynicism.
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“Faith Alone for All Peoples” (Romans 4:9–12)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, July 30, 2017

 

1.  Religious ritual cannot save you (4:9–10).

 

Historical Argument: Abraham’s justification by faith came before his circumcision. Implication: Circumcision has nothing to do whatsoever with one’s justification.

 

Theological Argument: Circumcision did not justify Abraham, because that was not its purpose and function. The purpose and function of circumcision was to serve as a sign and seal of Abraham’s faith that justified him before God.

 

2.  Ethnic heritage cannot save you (4:11–12).

 

7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. (Gal. 3:7, NIV)

 

27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:27-29, NIV)

 

These two points stated can be converted into two important, positive statements about the gospel:

 

  • Only faith justifies you before God.
  • It is faith alone that justifies anyone, from all of the world’s peoples.

 

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A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
By Paul E. Miller

“Learning to Be Helpless” - Chapter 6

Learning to Be Helpless

  • Children naturally tend to be more dependent and open to their own helplessness.
  • As we get older we desire independence and we become allergic to helplessness.
  • When we are confident in ourselves and think we already know the solution, we won’t pray.

Prayer = Helplessness

  • God wants us to come to him empty-handed, weary, and heavy-laden.
  • Prayer is bringing our helplessness to Jesus.
  • Prayer is an expression of who we are…we are a living incompleteness.
  • We were saved as helpless sinners; why should prayer be any different?
  • Prayer mirrors the gospel: helplessness leads to grace.

A Wrong View of Maturity

  • Mature Christians pray more, but it is not because they are better at performing a duty.
  • Mature Christians have learned how weak and sinful they are, which leads to a larger view of grace.
  • Weakness is the channel that allows them to access grace.
  • More maturity=more dependence.

When You Open the Door

  • Themes of good prayer:
           -Helplessness
           -Relationship
           -Repentance
           -Asking
           -Story
           -Hope
  • When you open a door to God, you find some amazing treasures inside.

“Crying ‘Abba’ - Continuously” - Chapter 7

Seeking God
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water (Psalm 63:1)
Our hearts are restless and will be restless until we find rest in God.
Our nagging personal faults can drive us into a continuous praying life.

Poverty of Spirit, Not Discipline

  • It is poverty of spirit that will lead us into a deeper and more continuous prayer life, not more personal self-discipline.
  • The Holy Spirit prays with us and for us in our dependence on the Father.
  • Abba – childlike, dependent
  • Poverty of spirit makes room for His Spirit.

Paul’s Example & Teaching

  • “Unceasing prayer” is Paul’s description of how he prayed and how he wanted the church to pray.
  • Paul frequently used words like:
           -Continuously
           -Without ceasing
           -Night and Day
           -Always
           -At all times

The Jesus Prayer

  • Early model of a short prayer:
           -“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
  • A praying life isn’t simply about a morning prayer time; it is about slipping into prayer at odd hours of the day:
           -Not because we are disciplined
           -Because we are aware of our poverty of spirit.

“Bending Your Heart to your Father” - Chapter 8

An Anxious Heart

  • Anxiety in our hearts can become a springboard to bending our hearts to God in prayer.
  • Instead of letting our anxiety churn over and over in our hearts, bring it to God.
  • Our anxiety can become a momentary prayer.

Brief History of Anxiety and Prayer

  • Continuous prayer was normal in Eden before the Fall.
  • Broken communication with God because of sin and guilt also brought with it anxiety.
  • Anxiety is unable to relax in the face of chaos; continuous prayer clings to the Father in the face of chaos.
  • Dependence frees us from anxiety.
  • We become anxious when we take a godlike stance, trying to control everything, and occupying ourselves with things too great for us.
  • We return to sanity by becoming like little children, dependent, and resting in our Father.

Invitations for Prayer

  • When you pray continuously, moments when you are prone to anxiety can become invitations to drift into prayer.
  • Anxiety transformed into prayer brings us from worrying to watching—watching what God will do in his unfolding drama.
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“A Snake against the snakes” (Exodus 7:8–13)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday PM, July 23, 2017

 

Exodus 7:8–13, NIV

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.”

10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.

 

  1. God prepares his servants for skepticism and unbelief: He equips them with words and wonders (8–9).
  1. God uses his obedient servants to display his power: He transforms creation and brings life out of death (10).
  1. God’s plan is not thwarted by the threat of cheap imitations: He mocks the futility of man (11).
  1. God demonstrates his supremacy over all authorities and powers: He conquers and defeats his foes. (12).
  1. God utilizes the hard-heartedness and stubbornness of the unbelieving in the display of his greater glory: He hardens as he wills (13).
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“God’s Grace to David (and Us)” (Romans 4:6–8)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, July 23, 2017

 

Romans 4:1–8 (NIV)

4 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

“Blessed are those

whose transgressions are forgiven,

whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the one

whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” 

 

  1. God does not owe anyone anything (1–5).

    1. God does not owe anyone any of the credit for their salvation—because it is all by grace through faith (1–3).
    2. God does not owe anyone anything in return for their attempts at good works—because salvation is all of grace through faith (4–5).
  1. No sin is too great to be forgiven by God’s grace (6­–8).

    1. David was a great sinner (like us).
    2. David’s God was a greater forgiver.
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A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World

By Paul E. Miller

 

“Learn to Talk with Your Father” - Chapter 4

 

Asking Like a Child

  • Everything and anything
  • Repeatedly
  • Transparently
  • Knowing our Father gives good gifts

 

Believing Like a Child

  • Confident of our Father’s Love

    • Asking persistently, confident in his goodness
  • Confident of our Father’s Power
    • Everything possible
    • Without cynicism and unbelief
  • Greater confidence in our Father’s power and love leads us to greater boldness to ask for the impossible.

 

Learning to Play Again

  • Not overly concerned about praying with a set structure or pattern.
  • More like the flow of a conversation with a person.
  • Instead of letting your wandering mind be a distraction to your time of prayer, integrate your wandering thoughts into your conversation with your loving heavenly Father.

 

Learn to Babble Again

  • Our Father understands our babbling, because he knows us and loves us.
  • Don’t be embarrassed by how needy your heart is and how much it needs to cry out for grace. Just start praying.
  • God has given us his Spirit to help us in prayer, when we don’t know what to say.

 

“Spending Time with Your Father” - Chapter 5

 

Spending Time with Your Father

  • Even Jesus, the Son of God, needed times of prayer with his Father.
  • He set aside times of prayer, in silence and solitude.
  • Even after a busy day, he woke up early to go and pray with his Father.

 

Why Jesus Needed to Pray

  • Clue # 1: His Identity

    • He was dependent on his Father.
    • If you know that you, like Jesus, can’t do life on your own, then prayer makes complete sense.
    • Jesus defines his identity completely in relationship to his heavenly Father.
    • Jesus’ prayer life is an expression of his relationship with his Father.
  • Clue # 2: His One-Person Focus
    • When Jesus interacts with people, he narrows his focus down to one person.
    • This one-person focus is how love works.
    • In prayer, our heavenly Father should be our one-person focus.
  • Clue # 3: His Limited Humanity
    • Though he was the Son of God, as man he had normal human limitations.
    • Jesus didn’t multitask. He focused on one thing and one person at a time.
    • He couldn’t focus on his Father and on the crowds at the same time.
    • He found solitary time to pray.

 

No Substitute for Time

  • Jesus’ example teaches us that prayer is about relationship.
  • When he prays, he is not performing a duty; he is getting close to his Father.
  • To grow, any relationship needs private space, time together, and conversation.
  • You don’t create intimacy; you make room for it.

 

Praying Like Jesus Prayed

  • Jesus’ pattern of morning prayer follows the ancient pattern of the psalms.
  • But this is not the only time to pray; Jesus also prayed in the evenings.
  • Jesus prayed out loud in the pattern of the psalms.
  • Praying aloud can add a reality and concreteness to our thoughts. We pray to a God who lives and hears.

 

Overcoming Objections

  • Constant prayer and short prayers throughout the day can’t take the place of dedicated times of prayer.
  • Busyness is no valid objection.
    • If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money, and talent are all you need in life.
    • A dependent life will prioritize times of prayer.

 

Take Baby Steps

  • Don’t set impossible goals.
  • Start slowly with attainable goals.
  • Don’t multitask.
    • Get to bed.
    • Get up.
    • Get awake.
    • Get a quiet place.
    • Get comfortable.
    • Get going.
    • Keep going.

 

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​“God’s Calling Renewed” (Exodus 6:28–7:7)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday PM, July 16, 2017

Exodus 6:28–7:7 NIV
28 Now when the Lord spoke to Moses in Egypt, 29 he said to him, “I am the Lord. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything I tell you.” 30 But Moses said to the Lord, “Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?” 1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.” 6 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them. 7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

Exodus 6:12–13 NIV
12 But Moses said to the Lord, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?” 13 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he commanded them to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.

Exodus 4:10–17 NIV
10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” 13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” 14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”

1. The weakened confidence of God’s chosen deliverer (6:28–30).

2. God’s gracious renewal of Moses’ commission (7:1–7).
      a. Renewal of Moses’ and Aaron’s roles in the mission (1–2).
      b. Reminder of the mission’s challenges (3–4a).
      c. Reassurance of the mission’s ultimate success (4b–5).
      d. Response to the mission’s mandate (6).
      e. Removal of normal human limitations (7).

Main Idea: When we are most discouraged, let us look to God to remind us of our purpose and mission and be reassured of his strength and victory.

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“God’s Grace to Abraham and David” (Romans 4:1–8)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday AM, July 16, 2017

Romans 4:1–8 (NIV)
4 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”

Romans 1:1–2 NIV
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures

Romans 3:21 NIV
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

Romans 3:31 NIV
Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

1. God does not owe anyone anything (1–5).

      a. God does not owe anyone any of the credit for their salvation—because it is all by grace through faith (1–3).

Genesis 15:6 NIV
Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

      b. God does not owe anyone anything in return for their attempts at good works—because salvation is all by grace through faith (4–5).

Romans 3:25–26 NIV
25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

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A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World By Paul E. Miller

 

Learning to Pray Like a Child: Part I: Chapters 3-8

“Become Like a Little Child”: Chapter 3

 

Become Like a Little Child

  • Jesus often told his disciples to become like little children.

14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mk. 10:14-15, NIV)

  • One aspect of childlike behavior that is important in prayer is children say what is on their minds.
  • There is usually very little pretense with children. They say what they are thinking, and they often speak before they think.
  • This kind of genuineness and transparency should be part of our communication with our heavenly Father in prayer.
  • Too often, we try to be “spiritual” when we just need to be genuine.

 

Come Messy

  • The problem with coming as we are is that we are messy, and prayer makes it worse.
  • We don’t know how bad we are until we try to be good. Nothing exposes our selfishness and spiritual powerlessness like prayer.
  • Little children never get frozen by their selfishness. They come just as they are, totally self-absorbed.
  • And we as parents welcome them.
  • Our heavenly Father also welcomes us, imperfections and all.
  • The gospel teaches us that the welcoming heart of God cheers us when we come to him with our wobbling, unsteady prayers.
  • The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy.
  • Don’t try to get the prayer right; just tell God where you are and what’s on your mind—like children.
  • We know that to become a Christian we shouldn’t try to fix ourselves up in order to be accepted by God.
  • But when it comes to prayer, sometimes we forget that. We try to fix ourselves up or put on a front.
  • Private, personal prayer is one of the last bastions of legalism.
  • In order to pray like a child, you might need to unlearn the non-personal, nonreal praying you’ve been taught or seen modeled.

 

The Real you

  • If you don’t come to God as you are, then you are artificial like the Pharisees.
  • Unlike the disciples, who blurted out whatever they thought, the Pharisees were guarded and never told Jesus what they were thinking.
  • And Jesus called them hypocrites.
  • The only way to come to God is by taking off any spiritual mask. The real you has to meet the real God.
  • It might be good to slow down and stop and think before we pray…then we might actually be open before God about what our hearts are troubled by.
  • Our hearts and desires are probably askew, and that’s okay. You have to begin with what is real. Jesus didn’t come for the righteous. He came for sinners. All of us qualify.
  • When you bring your real self to Jesus, you give him the opportunity to work on the real you.
  • God would rather deal with the real thing.
  • Jesus said he came for sinners, for messed-up people who keep messing up. Come dirty.
  • The point of the gospel is that we are incapable of beginning with God and his kingdom.
  • Many Christians pray for God’s kingdom, but all the while their lives are wrapped up in their own.
  • You can’t add God’s kingdom as an overlay to your own.

 

Touching Our Father’s Heart

  • The opening of the Lord’s prayer: “Our Father”: you are the center of your heavenly Father’s affection. That is where you find rest for your soul.
  • If we remove prayer from the welcoming heart of God, then prayer becomes a legalistic chore. We do the duty but miss touching the heart of God.
  • When we come “weary and heavy-laden” we discover God’s heart.

 

Questions

  • In what ways does Jesus want us to become like little children?
  • Describe the differences between coming to God messy and coming put together.
  • Why is it important to come to God just as you are? Why is this hard for us?
  • What kind of people did Jesus come for (Mark 2:13–17)? What kind of person must Jesus have been like—that “tax collectors and sinners” enjoyed him?
  • How does the knowledge that you can come to Jesus weary, distracted, and messy (or cynical like Nathaniel) impact you? How is this like the gospel?
  • What is the heart of prayer?
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“The Deliverer’s Family” (Exodus 6:13–27)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday PM, July 9, 2017

 

Exodus 6:13–27 (NIV)

13 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he commanded them to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.

14 These were the heads of their families:

The sons of Reuben the firstborn son of Israel were Hanok and Pallu, Hezron and Karmi. These were the clans of Reuben.

15 The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. These were the clans of Simeon.

16 These were the names of the sons of Levi according to their records: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi lived 137 years.

17 The sons of Gershon, by clans, were Libni and Shimei.

18 The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years.

19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi.

These were the clans of Levi according to their records.

20 Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years.

21 The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg and Zikri.

22 The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan and Sithri.

23 Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

24 The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah and Abiasaph. These were the Korahite clans.

25 Eleazar son of Aaron married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas.

These were the heads of the Levite families, clan by clan.

26 It was this Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, “Bring the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.” 27 They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing the Israelites out of Egypt—this same Moses and Aaron.

 

  1. The Lord uses ordinary people as a part of his redemptive story.

 

  1. The Lord extends his grace to ordinary people.

 

  1. The Lord often chooses an ordinary person out of an ordinary family to serve a larger role in his redemptive story.

 

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“Where Is Boasting?” (Romans 3:27–31)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, July 9, 2017

 

Romans 3:21–31 (NIV)

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

 

  1. Since righteousness is based on grace through faith in what God has accomplished in Christ and not on human works or merit, boasting is completely ruled out (v. 27–28). (The gospel of justification by faith alone humbles sinners and excludes boasting.)

 

  1. The oneness and exclusivity of God demands that Jews and Gentiles are justified in the same way: by faith (vv. 29–30). (The gospel of justification by faith alone unites believers and excludes discrimination.)

 

  1. Faith does not nullify the Law, but establishes it. It does this by causing the ethical commands of the Law to be fulfilled in us through faith. (The gospel of justification by faith alone upholds the law and excludes antinomianism.)
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A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World

By Paul E. Miller

 

“What Good Does It Do?” Chapter 1

 

What Good Does It Do?

  • We struggle with many symptoms of a dysfunctional prayer life:

    • Cynicism – because of unanswered prayers or insincere lip-service to prayer
    • Guilt – not praying long enough, often enough, well enough, focused enough, worshipful enough, etc.
    • Hopelessness – we begin to wonder if prayer makes any difference

 

Problems Not Surprising

  • We should not be surprised that we struggle in prayer with God.
  • We were designed to pray and communicate with our Creator.
  • But the Fall disrupted our ability to commune in fellowship with God.
  • Evil has marred the image of God in us.
  • We want to talk to God but we can’t or we find it very difficult.

 

The Hardest Place in the World to Pray

  • The busyness of American culture

    • Work, productivity, & success
    • Entertainment & leisure
    • Discomfort with silence and inactivity
    • Intellect, competency, & wealth sometimes make prayer seem unnecessary.

 

The Oddness of Praying

  • Prayer seems one-sided compared to other conversations. How do we talk with a Spirit?
  • How do we know we aren’t just listening to ourselves when we think we’re hearing God?
  • What should I pray for?
  • How do I pray?
  • Why pray if God already knows what I need? Isn’t that nagging?

 

A Visit to a Prayer Therapist

  • Imagine a visit to a prayer therapist or counselor to help you with prayer

    • How would you answer the question to describe your relationship with your heavenly father as a son or daughter of God?
    • Would it sound more doctrinal and formal or personal and relational?
    • What is it like to be with your Father, and to talk with Him?

 

“Where we are headed” Chapter 2

 

The Praying Life…Feels Like Dinner with Good Friends

  • Jesus describes the intimacy he wants with us in Revelation 3:20:

"Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. (Rev. 3:20, NLT)

  • Our prayer life should become more and more like a natural conversation between friends or family members.
  • More focus on God and less on prayer

 

The Praying Life…Is Interconnected with All of Life

  • Prayer is all about relationship, so we can’t work on prayer as an isolated part of life.
  • Frustrations with prayer come from working on prayer as a discipline in the abstract.
  • Prayer is interrelated to our growth in faith, love, kindness, wisdom, etc.
  • Learning to pray is identical to maturing over a lifetime.
  • Don’t hunt for a feeling in prayer.
    • We often desire an experience of prayer or an experience with God.
    • Once we make an experience our quest, we lose God.
    • You don’t experience God; you get to know him. You submit to him. You enjoy him. He is, after all, a person.
  • A praying life isn’t accomplished in a year; it is a journey of a lifetime.

 

The Praying Life…Becomes Aware of the Story

  • God’s sovereignty, love, wisdom, and patience combine to make a divine story.

    • If God is sovereign, then he is in control of the details of my life.
    • If God is loving, then he is going to be shaping the details of my life for my good.
    • If God is all-wise, then he’s not going to do everything I want because I don’t know what I need.
    • If God is patient, then he is going to take his time to do all this.
  • We are actors in God’s divine drama.
  • You can’t have a good story without tension and conflict, without things going wrong. Unanswered prayers are part of the tension. They draw us deeper into God’s story.

 

The Praying Life…Gives Birth to Hope

  • If God is sovereign, loving, wise, and patient…and is writing a story with our lives—that gives us hope. Our lives are not static; they are part of God’s ever-moving story.
  • Many Christians have become functional deists, thinking that prayer doesn’t really work and God is not directly involved in his world. This leads to cynicism.

 

The Praying Life…Becomes Integrated

  • Many assume that the spiritual person is unruffled by life, unfazed by pressure, and somehow floats above life.
  • A praying life is not a disconnected one…living the quiet, contemplative life without the busyness of life.
  • Learning to pray doesn’t offer you a less busy life; it offers you a less busy heart: Outer busyness/Inner quiet

 

The Praying Life…Reveals the Heart

  • As you get to know your heavenly Father, you’ll get to know your own heart as well.
  • In the process, your heart will be changed by God.
  • God is a person. We don’t learn to love a person without it changing us
  • As you develop your relationship with your heaven Father, you’ll discover cynicism, pride, and self-will.
  • This process will unmask our hearts.
  • None of us likes to be exposed. We have an allergic reaction to dependency, but this is the state of the heart most necessary for a praying life.
  • A needy heart is a praying heart. Dependency is the heartbeat of prayer.
  • “Abandon all, you will receive heaven.” When you give God your life, he gives you the gift of himself.

 

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“Moses’ Distress and God’s Assurance of Deliverance” (Exodus 5:22–6:13)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday PM, July 2, 2017

Exodus 5:22–6:13 (NIV)
            22 Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”
            6:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”
            2 God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself fully known to them. 4 I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.
            6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’”
            9 Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.
            10 Then the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country.”
            12 But Moses said to the Lord, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?”
            13 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he commanded them to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.

1. The Servant of the Lord Is in Distress over Apparent Failure of the Mission (5:22–23).

2. God Reassures His Servant that the Mission Will Ultimately Be Successful (6:1–13).
            a. The mission will succeed because of the power of God (1).
            b. The mission will succeed because of God’s zeal for the glory of his own name (2–3).

Duane Garrett (247–248):
Refrain          6:2c    I am YHWH.
Stanza 1.1      6:3a    And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
                        6:3b    As El Shaddai.
                        6:3c    But my name is YHWH.
                        6:3d    Did I not make myself known to them?
Stanza 1.2      6:4a    And also I set up my covenant with them,
                        6:4b    To give them the land of Canaan,
                        6:4c    The land of their sojourning,
                        6:4d    In which they sojourned.
Stanza 1.3      6:5a    And also I heard the groaning of the Israelites,
                        6:5b    Whom the Egyptians were enslaving,
                        6:5c    And I remembered my covenant.
                        6:6a    Therefore, say to the Israelites
Refrain          6:6b    I am YHWH.
Stanza 2.1     6:6c    And I will bring you out from under the heavy labor of the Egyptians,
                        6:6d   And I will deliver you from their service
                        6:6e   And I will redeem you with an outstretched arm,
                        6:6f    And with great judgments.
Stanza 2.2     6:7a   And I will take you as my people
                        6:7b   And I will be your God.
                        6:7c   And you will know that I am YHWH your God,
                        6:7d   Who brings you out from under the heavy labor of the Egyptians.
Stanza 2.3     6:8a   And I will bring you to the land
                        6:8b   That I lifted my hand [in an oath]
                        6:8c    To give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob,
                        6:8d    And I will give it to you as a possession.
Refrain          6:8e    I am YHWH.

            c. The mission will succeed because God is faithful to his covenant promises (4).
            d. The mission will succeed because God listens to the cries of his people in distress (5).
            e. The mission will succeed because the Sovereign Lord has determined that it will (6–8).
            f. The mission will succeed in spite of his people’s doubts, excuses, and complaints (9–13).

Main Idea: In our service to Christ, we will face distressing times, failures, delays, and resistance from unbelievers, but we can be assured of the ultimate success of God’s mission. So, let us not delay or shrink back from participating in God’s gospel mission.

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“Christ, Our Propitiation” (Romans 3:25–26)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, July 2, 2017

 

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood-- to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21–26, NIV)

 

  1. God took the initiative to justify us.

 

  1. God justifies us through the sacrificial death of his Son Jesus Christ.

 

Christ is the ἱλαστήριον (hilastērion)– the sacred place in God’s presence where the means of sacrifice is accepted, which atones for our sins, placating the holy wrath of God against sinners, being consistent with and for the magnification of God’s glory.

 

  1. God’s gracious gift of justification is received by faith in Christ.

 

  1. In justifying sinners through Christ, God satisfied his justice for all time, past, present, and future.
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“Darkness before the Dawn” (Exodus 5:10–21)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday PM, June 25, 2017

 

Exodus 5:10–21 (NIV)

10 Then the slave drivers and the overseers went out and said to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I will not give you any more straw. 11 Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.’” 12 So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw. 13 The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, “Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw.” 14 And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed, demanding, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?”

15 Then the Israelite overseers went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why have you treated your servants this way? 16 Your servants are given no straw, yet we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Your servants are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.”

17 Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are—lazy! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks.”

19 The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.” 20 When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, 21 and they said, “May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

 

  1. The Deteriorating Conditions for God’s People (10–14).

 

Application: When the name of God is being proclaimed in an unbelieving world, God’s people may endure greater hardship and opposition from the world (10–14).

 

  1. The Appeal to Pharaoh for Justice and His Rejection (15–18).

 

Application: Appealing to an unbelieving world for justice and mercy is often spurned and is instead met with hostility and slander (15–18).

 

  1. The Blaming of God’s Servant-Leaders for Their Miserable Conditions (19–21).

 

Application: God’s people may be tempted to blame God or God’s servant-leaders when worldly opposition grows more hostile, but this response is near-sighted and misdirected.

 

“…someone who speaks the truth cannot be blamed when evil people respond to the truth with violence.” (Duane Garrett)

 

Main Idea: When the message of God becomes more unpopular and is met with more resistance from the world, the solution is not to blame God or his messengers or withdraw from our mission. The solution is to trust God, faithfully speak his message, and wait for his salvation.

 

 

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“Everyone Is a Sinner; Everyone May Be Saved” (Romans 3:22b–24)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, June 25, 2017

 

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood-- to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21–26, NIV)

 

  1. When it comes to the severity of our sin and our desperate need of God’s salvation, every person is the same (22b).

 

“There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,”

 

  1. We are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory (23).

 

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

 

“everything that does not come from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23, NIV)

 

“There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.  12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10–12, NIV)

 

  1. We all may be forgiven and declared righteous before God through the atonement of Christ (24).

 

“and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

 

Main Idea: Today, we need to know that we are all sinners, and we all need to be saved and can be saved only through the redeeming work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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“Fathering like the Father”

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

June 18, 2017 Sunday AM Father’s Day

 

  1. As Fathers, we must learn to be Merciful as our Heavenly Father is Merciful.

 

Luke 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

 

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

Psalm 103:8-14   The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;  10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;  12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;  14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

 

  1. As Fathers, we must be Faithful as our Heavenly Father is Faithful.

Deuteronomy 7:8-9  8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.  9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

 

  1. As Fathers, we must learn to Love as our Heavenly Father Loves.

 

1 John 3:1  How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

 

1 John 4:7-8  7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:16  16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

 

John 3:16   16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

  1. As Fathers, we must be Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy.

 

1 Peter 1:14-17  14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;  16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."  17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

 

Main Idea: To be a godly father means to father like God.

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Psalm 5

For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.

 

Listen to my words, LORD,

consider my lament.

Hear my cry for help,

my King and my God,

for to you I pray.

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;

in the morning I lay my requests before you

and wait expectantly.

For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;

with you, evil people are not welcome.

The arrogant cannot stand

in your presence.

You hate all who do wrong;

6     you destroy those who tell lies.

The bloodthirsty and deceitful

you, LORD, detest.

But I, by your great love,

can come into your house;

in reverence I bow down

toward your holy temple.

Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness

because of my enemies—

make your way straight before me.

Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;

their heart is filled with malice.

Their throat is an open grave;

with their tongues they tell lies.

10 Declare them guilty, O God!

Let their intrigues be their downfall.

Banish them for their many sins,

for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;

let them ever sing for joy.

Spread your protection over them,

that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

12 Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous;

you surround them with your favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5, NIV)

 

Willem A. VanGemeren proposes the following structure for Psalm 5:1

 A.  Prayer for God's Justice (vv.1–3)

           B.  Affirmation of God's Hatred of Evil (vv.4–6)

                     C.  Hope in Fellowship With God (v.7)

A'. Prayer for God's Righteousness (v.8)

          B'. Affirmation of Evil (v.9)

                    C'. Hope in God's Righteousness (vv.10–12)

 

[1] Willem A. VanGemeren, “Psalms,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1991), 87. Unless otherwise indicated, all commentary is from VanGemeren.

 

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