THE BLESSINGS OF THE RIGHTEOUS

[Psalms:25:1-22]; [Psalms:94:1-23].

Lesson No.: 
246
Class: 
Senior
Memory Verse: 

“The secret of the LORD  is with them that fear him; and he will shew them His covenant” (Psalm 25:14).

Cross References: 

I Confidence in Prayer
1. The Psalmist prayed, knowing that God would answer his prayer, [Psalms:25:1-3]; [Matthew:7:7-8]; [Hebrews:11:6]; [1 John:5:14-15].
2. The prayer was uttered with sincere desire to know God’s way and will, [Psalms:25:4-7]; [John:7:17].
3. Knowing God’s attributes brought faith into the heart of the man of God, [Psalms:25:8-11]; [John:3:16]; [1 John:4:10].
4. Those who fear the Lord will be brought into His covenant, [Psalms:25:12-14]; [Hebrews:8:6]; [Hebrews:9:14-15].
5. Integrity and uprightness will bring the child of God out of all his distresses, [Psalms:25:15-22]; [Hebrews:10:35-36].

II Terror to the Persecutors
1. The Lord was called upon to notice the wickedness of men, [Psalms:94:1-4].
2. It seemed that no evil was too base to be practiced, [Psalms:94:5-6].
3. Sinners think mistakenly that God does not behold their deeds, [Psalms:94:7]; [Galatians:6:7].
4. The Creator of all things takes note of all conditions in the earth, [Psalms:94:8-11]; [Genesis:6:5]; [Romans:3:23].

III Peace to the Persecuted
1. God has a purpose in the chastisement of His people, [Psalms:94:12-14],; [Hebrews:12:5-11].
2. Righteousness shall prevail at last, [Psalms:94:15-18]; [Isaiah:33:14-17].
3. God’s precious promises are sufficient defence against the wicked [Psalms:94:19-23]; [Romans:8:31], [Romans:8:33-39].

Notes: 

A Prayer Warrior
King David was truly a man of prayer. Under a dispensation in which the value and power of prayer seemingly were not widely known, the king of Israel often availed himself of this open door into the storehouse of God’s love. This prayer-life was the secret of David’s victorious living and of the influence that he had among men. The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New, and the same God who heard David’s prayers is still in Heaven to answer the petitions of an honest heart today. The importance of prayer has ever been emphasized under the Gospel dispensation, and there should have been a band of prayer warriors to mark every era since the time of Christ on earth. It must still be said, sadly, that men are slow to take advantage of the greatest source of power that the world can ever know -- that of securing God’s help for every need known to man. What would we be willing to give of our possessions to have the victories that are recorded in the Bible? Similar victory in any need is obtainable by any man who will pray the prayer that the men of the Bible have prayed. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” [John:15:7]). This is the foundation of God’s blessings to the righteous.

A four-fold petition rings out in this twenty-fifth Psalm. David prayed for deliverance from his enemies, instruction in the pathway of life, forgiveness for past iniquities, and the perseverance of the saints. The ninety-fourth Psalm takes up a very similar theme, wherein is shown the final destruction of the wicked and the eternal victory of those who trust in God. David directed his prayer to the Lord. Personally he presented his petition. He knew that more depended upon his trust in God than just his personal gain. The enemies of the Lord watched David’s life, the same as the enemies of the Gospel watch the life of every Christian today. If David’s faith and trust in God did not produce the results that the Word outlined, the enemies of David would not only laugh at and mock him, but they would ridicule the God of Heaven also. David was concerned that his prayer would not go unanswered, because prayer answered is a thing that cannot be refuted.

How many Christians have taken an absolute stand on the Word of God -- for healing or deliverance from trouble -- and have had to stand, in the midst of the jeers and persecutions of unbelievers? If God failed to answer prayer in that hour, His name would suffer reproach as well; but faith does not go unanswered, and God will vindicate His name every time. Each man who takes his stand for God and perseveres in his trust will see the answer to his prayer, and the name of God will be glorified.

Seeking God’s Way
The ultimate end of life should be to know God and to walk in the way that He has ordained. A true prayer will very often include the plea that the petitioner might be shown the pathway of duty, because it is a pathway that leads ever upward -- and without guidance the wayfarer can become lost very easily. There are many crossroads upon the path of life, but God will willingly instruct those who seek His counsel. David had a heart that longed to be led by the God of his salvation. He was a man who was not destitute of worldly wisdom, but he knew that the knowledge of this world would avail nothing toward the favour of God.

“Shew me thy ways, O LORD.” The revelation of God gradually unfolded through the years of history. More and more the children of men learned to know what God expected of them. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” [Hebrews:1:1-2]). Jesus came to earth for the express purpose of being a clearer revelation of the Father to humanity, to show men how to live in accordance with God’s will, and to give Himself as the great sacrifice for the sins of the world. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” [John:14:6]). When men seek with an honest heart today to know the will and way of God, they will find Jesus. Following closely in His footsteps, they will arrive at the destination they so desire. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” -- a peerless blessing to the sons of men.

The pathway of life is a wonderful way. The Psalmist spoke of it as a way of mercy and truth. The testimony of the Christian is that it is a way of peace, joy, and victory over sin. The triumphant words of Christians who have departed to their rewards contrasted with the wails of dying sinners, should prove beyond all doubt that God’s way is the best way. All who are on the highway of holiness know the joys of that way, and every Christian admonishes the men of the world to give this way a fair trial in their lives and prove for themselves the supreme satisfaction that can be theirs.

Teaching Sinners
God declares in His Word that He has never left Himself without witness in the world. In one way or another the sinner comes to the knowledge that there is a true God; and, if he would follow the dictates of the conscience that God has given every man, the sinner would soon come to an experimental knowledge of God. “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” [John:1:9]). All men who do not serve God have an excuse ready as to why they do not, but we are told that an excuse will not stand at the great White Throne Judgment, wherein the sinner will be judged for his sins. The Bible tells us that those who stand in judgment on that day will stand there speechless, because God taught them sufficiently, even in their sinful state, to enable them to miss that place if they had only taken heed.

There are many ways by which God teaches the sinner that God is and “that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” ([Hebrews:11:6]). We remember the many testimonies of those who thought they knew nothing of God, yet called upon Him in trouble or distress and saw God work in their behalf and answer their prayer. They were sinners, yes, but from that hour forward they knew that God was in Heaven and would answer prayer. The time came when they prayed to God for forgiveness of sins and found Jesus as their personal Saviour. Other sinners came in contact with some of God’s children; and seeing the Christian life lived day after day caused them to seek the Saviour for themselves. The open Bible, a testimony on the street corner, a sermon in a church, a printed page from some Christian publication -- these are a few of the other means that God uses to enlighten the hearts of men. One thing is sure and certain “Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.’’ If any man has to answer for his sins in the day of God’s judgment, it will be the result of his refusal to hearken unto and do the things he knows should be done. If this fact was true when David lived, it is true to a much greater degree in our generation. “Have they not heard? Yes verily their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world” [Romans:10:18]).

Vengeance
Although God is good and upright, the children of men have no license to think that He will pass over judgment or acquit the wicked. God may suffer a sinner to continue a number of years, in order to give that man a chance to repent. Often times it seems that men can commit any sort of indignity against God or His people and escape without punishment; but God, “to whom vengeance belongeth,” notes every act of every man and will surely render a reward to the wicked. “Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God” [Ecclesiastes:8:12-13]).

There are two underlying false thoughts in the mind of the man who continues in sin with no thought of repentance. He thinks, first of all. that his sins will not be found out; but God instructs every sinner, “Be sure your sins will find you out” [Numbers:32:23]). The Psalmist brings forth the unanswerable argument: “He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?” The Creator who gave the gift of hearing to man, does not He have the same ability to hear, only in a much greater degree? The God who hears the prayers of the righteous, does not He also hear the words of the wicked? The God who sees the petition of a heart hungry for more of His love even before it is spoken, does not He also see the unspoken thoughts of evil? Just as surely as He punishes the heathen for their wickedness, so surely will He judge those who come under the light of His Word. Truly the Lord knows every thought of man and sees every sin. Every unrepented misdeed is recorded in God’s Book. (See [Revelation:20:12].)

The second false thought that many men entertain is that the punishment for sin, even if found out, will not be as severe as the Bible states. Eternity is long and severe for the sinner, and no chances should be taken. The words of Jesus, the Son of God, in regard to the future abode of the wicked, should warn all to shun that place. The testimony of the rich man in the story of Lazarus should show enough torments of hell to cause all men to flee from the road that leads to destruction. The scenes that John the Revelator saw when he beheld the future worlds, reveal the terrible punishment that is reserved for the sinner. Do not tempt God and find your soul cast into a burning lake of fire, but flee from the wrath to come by fleeing to the mercy of a loving, but righteous, God.

The Psalmists ended these Psalms with the thought of final triumph for those whose trust is in God. The heathen may rage and the people imagine a vain thing, but the cause of the righteous shall prevail at last. God will ever make His people more like Himself -- more righteous and holy -- until He takes them home to Heaven. This perfection in the members of the Bride of Christ is often brought about by the enemies of the Gospel in persecutions to the Church, and through afflictions and sufferings, and through chastisement; but Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith and will not suffer any man to go through more than he can bear. The hope of the Christian is not in the things of this world. His hope lies in the things of Heaven, and this hope maketh not ashamed because it is beyond all compare.

Questions: 

1. Why was David so earnest in his prayer that his enemies should not triumph over him?
2. What did the Psalmist desire that the Lord would show him?
3. Name some of the attributes of God upon which these prayers are based.
4. Describe some of the blessings of the righteous.
5. What does the Bible say about vengeance? To whom does it belong?
6. How does God know when sin has been committed?
7. Why do God’s people go through affliction many times, but the wicked prosper?
8. Contrast the difference between the righteous and the wicked in eternity.
9. How do the righteous triumph in the end? Who is their refuge?