Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lesson 27 - Trusting God in the Dark

Lesson 27 – Trusting God in the Dark

What meant the most to you from this chapter or helped you think more accurately about God’s character and the truth of His Word?  What offered you the greatest challenge or blessing, and why?

Remembering God’s Wisdom and Knowledge
Look at your dictionary definitions from last week.  Copy below your 5-10 word summary of the terms unsearchable, unfathomable, inexhaustible, inscrutable, and impossible.  .  It is impossible to understand; therefore, His wisdom calls us to faith.

Here are a few things God knows about you:
Ø  God knows every situation in your life.
Ø  God knows why each situation is in your life.
Ø  God knows how each situation will end.
Ø  God knows when each situation will end.

How does the truth that God knows all about you enable you to better accept the unacceptable, difficult, and painful situations in your life?

Acknowledging God’s judgments
Read Psalm 19:9-11. 
9  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
What do these scriptures say about wisdom?
11  Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

How are God’s judgments characterized in verse 9?
Ø  Fear of the Lord ... enduring
Ø  ... true

What two desirable things described in verses 9-10 are less desirable than God’s judgments?
Ø   Gold
Ø  Honey and the honeycomb

What is the result of heeding God’s judgments (verse 11)?
Ø  great reward

Read Psalm 119:137. 
137 Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.

How is God’s judgment described? Righteous (Good, honest, honorable, moral, and blameless) and upright (decent and honest).

Read 119:1-8.
1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

The psalm appears to be intended to show the excellency of the law and the happy effects of obeying it, in every variety of form, and with every variety of expression.  The psalmist here shows that godly people are happy people; they are, and shall be, blessed indeed.

All men would be happy, but few take the right way; God has lain before us the right way, which we may be sure will end in happiness, though it be straight and narrow. Blessedness’s are to the righteous; all manner of blessedness.

Now observe the characters of the happy people.

Those are happy,
1. Who make the will of God the rule of all their actions, and govern themselves, in their whole conversation, by that rule: They walk in the law of the Lord, (verse 1).

God’s word is a law to them, not only in this or that instance, but in the whole course of their conversation; they walk within the hedges of that law, which they dare not break through by doing any thing it forbids; and they walk in the paths of that law, which they will not trifle in, but press forward in them towards the mark, taking every step by rule and never walking at all adventures.

This is walking in God’s ways (verse 3), the ways which he has marked out to us and has appointed us to walk in. We must walk in his ways, not in the way of the world, or of our own hearts, Job. 23:10, Job. 23:11 Job. 31:7 .

2. Those who would walk in the law of the Lord must keep his testimonies, that is, his truths. Seek him with their whole heart. They do not seek themselves and their own things, but God only; this is that which they aim at, that God may be glorified in their obedience and that they may be happy in God’s acceptance. He is, and will be, the rewarder, the reward, of all those who thus seek him diligently, seek him with the heart, for that is it that God looks at and requires; and with the whole heart, for if the heart be divided between him and the world it is faulty.

3. Who carefully avoid all sin (v. 3): They do no iniquity; they do not allow themselves in any sin; they do not commit it as those do who are the servants of sin; they do not make a practice of it, do not make a trade of it.

They are conscious to themselves of much iniquity that clogs them in the ways of God, but not of that iniquity which draws them out of those ways. Blessed and holy are those who thus exercise themselves to have always consciences void of offence.

We are here taught,
1.      To own ourselves under the highest obligations to walk in God’s law.

(verse 4): Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts, to make religion our rule; and to keep them diligently, to make religion our business and to mind it carefully and constantly.

To look up to God for wisdom and grace to do so (verse 5): O that my ways were directed accordingly!

not let anything be a hindrance to us, but a furtherance rather, in the service of God, that our hearts may be so guided and influenced by the Spirit of God that we may not in any thing transgress God’s commandments—not only that our eyes may be directed to behold God’s statutes, but our hearts directed to keep them.

2.      To encourage ourselves in the way of our duty with a prospect of the comfort we shall find in it, (verse 6).

It is the unquestionable character of every good man that he has a respect to all God’s commandments. He has respect to all the commandments, one as well as another, because they are all backed with the same authority (Jam. 2:10, Jam. 2:11 ) with same purpose, the glorifying of God in our happiness.

Those who have a sincere respect to any command will have a general respect to every command.

Those who have a sincere respect to all God’s commandments shall not be ashamed, not only they will be kept from doing things that will bring shame, but they will have confidence towards God and boldness of access to the throne of his grace, 1 Jn. 3:21 .

They shall have credit before men; their honesty will be their honour.

In verses 7-8,

I.                   David hopes to learn God’s righteous judgments. He knew much, but was still pressing forward and desired to know more.  As long as we live we must be scholars in Christ’s school, and sit at his feet. God’s judgments are all righteous, and therefore it is desirable not only to learn them, but to be learned in them, mighty in the scriptures.

II.                David coveted to be learned in the laws of God, so he might give God the glory of his learning. Those have learned a good lesson who have learned to praise God, for that is the work of angels, the work of heaven. It is an easy thing to praise God in word and tongue; but those only are well learned in this mystery who have learned to praise him with uprightness of heart, that is, are inward with him in praising him, and sincerely aim at his glory in the course of their conversation as well as in the exercises of devotion.

God accepts only the praises of the upright. That he might himself come under the government of that learning: When I shall have learned thy righteous judgments I will keep thy statutes. We cannot keep them unless we learn them; but we learn them in vain if we do not keep them.

III.              David’s prayer to God is to not to leave him.  Good men see themselves at great risk if God leaves them; for then the temptations will be too hard for them.

List some of the other words used interchangeably with God’s judgment.
Precepts - These point to our essential duty toward God.
Statutes - "prescribed matters."

Accepting without Answers
When the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would bear God’s Son, she accepted something she did not understand. 

What do you think keeps you or others from responding to the un-understandable events of life with Mary’s accepting attitude, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38)?

Acknowledging God’s Ways
God’s ways are the methods by which He carries out His judgments. 
Text Box: Loving God…Even More
Read this section in your book again.  As you consider the contents of this chapter and God’s amazing love for you, what can you do this week, in obedience to Christ…

…to think on the truth about God?

…to trust God “in the dark”? 

 …to love God with all your mind?

Oh what a wonderful God we have!
What do you learn about God’s ways in Isaiah 55:8-9?
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

How does the fact that God’s ways are unsearchable and unfathomable help you to “trust God in the dark” in your difficult situation?

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