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The Cry 1. The Cry of the Oppressed

The Cry 1

The Cry of the Oppressed

Key Text: Psalm 5

It is generally agreed that South Africans feel frustrated. This is displayed in our violence towards one another; to our ranting on social media to our road rage etc.

I don’t want to go into the reasons for this for they are many and systemic. What I want to address is this we all feel like we are not coping at one stage or another like life is crushing us and we have nowhere left to turn. If it has been our own fault or the fault of others or life feels like it is generally against us we all get to that place where we feel giving up.

Because of this we need to find out where to turn in these times and how we should respond.

And so for the next two week we will be doing a two part series called “the cry” where we will look at psalms 5 and psalms 6 looking at David’s response to two real feelings that we all go through; feeling oppressed and next week feeling guilty.

Tonight we will be asking the question where do we run when we are feeling oppressed?

Our text for tonight is Psalm 5 and it is agreed that this psalm was written during one of David’s dark times; it was probably not written during His exiles; however the theme of the Psalm is one of oppression and opposition.

So let’s read

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

1Listen to my words, Lord,

consider my lament.

2Hear my cry for help,

my King and my God,

for to you I pray.

3In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;

in the morning I lay my requests before you

and wait expectantly.

4For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;

with you, evil people are not welcome.

5The arrogant cannot stand

in your presence.

You hate all who do wrong;

6you destroy those who tell lies.

The bloodthirsty and deceitful

you, Lord, detest.

7But I, by your great love,

can come into your house;

in reverence I bow down

toward your holy temple.

8Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness

because of my enemies—

make your way straight before me.

9Not 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.

10Declare them guilty, O God!

Let their intrigues be their downfall.

Banish them for their many sins,

for they have rebelled against you.

11But 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.

12Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;

you surround them with your favour as with a shield.

In our dark times I suggest like David we make three cries Lord: Lord Hear me; Lord Lead me and Lord Shield me.

David starts his cry with Lord…

Hear Me Verse 1 and 2 say;

1Listen to my words, Lord,

consider my lament.

2Hear my cry for help,

my King and my God,

for to you I pray.

David starts where most of us start when we feel oppressed when we feel that life has come against us; Lord hear me!

Even Hollywood depicts this; if there is a god out there please help!

David doesn’t just pray to anyone who is willing to hear; He prays specifically; David calls on the covenantal name of God YAHWEH and then justifies this in verse two I will pray to you. Effectively stating I will only pray to You YAHWEH!

I love the way David states this; YAHWEH please hear me because I’m not going anywhere else! I love the full commitment to seek God’s ear as there is no alternative.

“My groaning and my cries are to you alone, for you alone are the covenantal, God who is above all things!

We will all get to that stage where praying feels like you are talking to yourself; where if feels like your prayers are not leaving the room take a page from David’s book; “Lord, I am seeking you and not going anywhere else until you hear me!”

I am more and more convinced that God not only hears us in our distress by is emotionally moved by that distress. I am convinced that He connects and understands us in our groaning and in the cries of our heart, He listens to those times and sees deep into our heart to hear the real cry of our hearts!

Because of this David seeks God’s face day by day early in the morning waiting expectantly on God to answer. Church as we call on God let us wait on Him to hear us; let us with expectation – like David did – call on our God and wait for His reply.

David then calls on God to…

Lead Me David reminds himself of the fate of the wicked and contrasts that with the great love that God has placed upon him that he can enter the house of God and because of this – becauseof the unending grace of God – Davidworships God.

But David doesn’t stop there he Then calls on God to lead him. Tell me what I need to do. Most of the time when we are going through rough times we tell God what He should be doing; David changes this he says Lord tell me what I need to do. If you don’t my enemies will prosper.

I love the heart of David in this psalm. A heart that recognises that he can only overcome by the leading of God; not by wisdom, nor by insight or intuition, but by the leading of the Lord.

We have discovered in previous weeks what it means to be led by the Spirit of God, it is a dependency on and a permeating by and a domination of our will to His. It is getting out of the way.

This is hard for anyone. We all want to be in control, we long to have things our way. David knows that in his oppression the best thing he can be doing is waiting on God and getting out of the so that God can lead.

This seems to be the current lesson God is driving home in my life; get out of the way; stop making this about you; I need to let Him lead and stop trying to make my own way.

The sad thing is that we miss out on what God is doing and on the peace hat he longs to give because we long to be in control. Get out of the way and trust in His leading.

I have had to do this in so many different aspects of my in this phase where in surrender and not cleverness I have to let God lead me.

In aspect of our finance that I have to trust God to lead me, in aspects of my personal development. In aspects of things I am struggling with.

The interesting thing is God has been so gracious to me in this time as I have in my own strength put things in my life that sustained me, but in this It allowed me to be led, so God in His grace took these away for a season so I can again be dependent upon Him.

Finally David calls on God to…

Shield Me David end this psalms in reminding Himself of who God is to the believer. These words are truly powerful to us;

12Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;

you surround them with your favour as with a shield.

The NLT states “ O Lord you surround them with your shield of love.”

Church God is our shield! He fights on our behalf and protects us and covers us with His love and goodness!

And what a shield our God is; for our security is not found in things that are malleable and changing; it is not in the economy; nor good governance; nor good things coming our way; it is the Lord!

He is the Everlasting I AM God who never changes who there is no shadow of variance within Him.

What He says is true and He will be faithful to His word and His word promises us here that He surrounds us with His favour as with a shield!

Church we have a rock on which to pivot and build our lives upon! This rock is the promises and faithfulness of God!

This is why Paul could write in Romans 8

38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, norpowers,39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Church our lives are secure in this knowledge our hope is secure our future is secure; because they are in Him!

The problem is that we don’t always feel that way; but as I have shared before you don’t have to feel it for the truth to be the truth.

Can I encourage you tonight church? Life will come against us; the world will come against us; situations will come against; we will suffer lost; we will be set back, crushed by emotions, we will lose, however in all that life can through at us, when the weight of the world comes crashing in on us; we have a God who is near!

Call out to Him! Cry out to Him! I am sure because I have experienced in my own life that He does hear us. He leads us; even when we stubbornly refuse to be led; His grace is sufficient even in our stubborn times! And church He becomes our shield.

This is one of the most faithful things we can experience; when we can look back in retrospect and see in the muck and mire of our lives; when things have gone wrong that God indeed was their leading us; hearing us and shielding us!

Church the cry of the oppressed is heard! God listen to His people and is faithful to the answers His people with goodness and grace!

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