Evening Bible Study
Next Week is Movie Night – “The Robe”
The movie is based on the fictional book “The Robe”, written by a minister
when someone asked him, “What became of the robe of Jesus that the soldiers
gambled for at the cross?”
It was the first movie ever produced in Cinemascope (wide screen).
It was the movie that made Richard Burton famous.
Tonight we’re in the Psalms
Psalm 120 – Liars
: A Song of Ascents.
We are starting a group of fifteen Psalms known as the “Songs of Ascents”
Most scholars think that these were the songs of pilgrims. Three times a
year the Israelites were to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. These were the songs they’d sing
as they walked the fifteen miles from Jericho to Jerusalem, climbing 3000 feet
as they traveled. For the most part the songs are short, just the kind of song
you’d like to sing as you are breathing hard from making your way up a hill.
:1 In my distress I cried to the Lord,
And He heard me.
This is what the Psalmist does when he is faced with difficult people in
his life. He prays.
:2 Deliver my soul, O Lord,
from lying lips And from a deceitful tongue.
:2 from lying lips And from a deceitful tongue
This is what’s causing the Psalmist distress. People around him are lying.
Truth or Lies
Tonto and son
Tonto says to his son, “Son, you push-um outhouse off-um cliff?” The kid
says, “No, me no push-um outhouse off-um cliff.” Tonto says, “Son, me tell-um
you story of Great White Father, George Washington. Many moons ago, when Great
White Father was young boy, him chop-um down cherry tree. Him father ask-um,
‘Georgie, you chop-um down cherry tree?’ George say-um, ‘Cannot tell lie,
Father. Me chop-um down cherry tree.’ Him father say, ‘Georgie bad, but Georgie
honest, so you no get-um punishment.’ Now I ask-um you again...you push-um
outhouse off-um cliff?” The kid says, “Yes, Father, me push-um outhouse off-um
cliff.” The Tonto grabs the kid and gives him the worst spanking in his life. The
kid says, “Father, Great White Father tell truth and get-um off scott-free. I
tell-um truth...why you give me such big spanking?” Tonto says, “George
Washington’s father not in cherry tree when George chop-um down.”
Sometimes we get the idea that it’s safer not to tell the truth sometimes. Sometimes
we prefer the “lying lips”. Yet truth is essential to who we are as Christians.
Truth is essential if you want to know God.
(John 4:24 NKJV) God is
Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The “truth” is not just the truth about Jesus, but all
truth. God wants us to be real, honest, truthful people. He doesn’t want us
blindly believing in lies. He wants us believing in truth.
The truth brings freedom
(John 8:32 NKJV) And you
shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
In context, Jesus is talking about freedom from sin.
One day the world will follow the lies of the antichrist because it does
not love the truth of God.
2:9–12 NKJV) —9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of
Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception
among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth,
that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they
should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but
had pleasure in unrighteousness.
If you do not want to believe what’s true, you will find
yourself believing a lie.
We grow in holiness through truth. Jesus prayed,
(John 17:17 NKJV) Sanctify
them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
Truth is a key to maturity
NKJV) but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him
who is the head—Christ—
Truth is part of how we fight our spiritual battles.
NKJV) Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth
Truth is the belt that holds all a soldier’s weapons in
When we talk about “truth”, we’re not just talking about what’s doctrinally
correct in our knowledge about God, what is real and true in all of life.
Many Christians pride themselves on being absolutely correct on all their
doctrinal positions, but their lives are a mess because they won’t recognize
the truth about who they are, what they’re doing, and how God wants to work.
:3 What shall be given to you, Or what shall be done to you, You false
:4 Sharp arrows of the warrior, With coals of the broom tree!
:4 coals of the broom tree
This is what the Psalmist wishes for the person who has been lying to him –
arrows and coals.
The broom tree was used for firewood because it burned longer than many
Paul gave us a way to heap up burning coals on another person when he
quotes Prov. 25:22:
NKJV) —19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to
wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says
the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your
enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so
doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be
overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
:5 Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech, That I dwell among the tents
:5 I dwell in Meshech
Meshech was the son of Japheth, grandson of Noah. (Gen. 10:2)
His descendants settled north of Israel, in modern Turkey.
:5 the tents of Kedar
Kedar was a son of Ishmael (Gen. 25:13), his descendants settled in
It seems the Psalmist is simply trying to say that he’s living with
unbelievers, people who are antagonistic to him.
:6 My soul has dwelt too long With one who hates peace.
:7 I am for peace; But when I speak, they are for war.
:7 I am for peace
The Scripture speaks of a time that is coming when the antichrist will rule
the world and will begin a huge persecution of the Jewish people, even worse
than Hitler. When Jesus returns, He will rescue the nation of Israel and those
that have survived the Tribulation and come to trust in Jesus as their Messiah
will return to Jerusalem.
(Isaiah 51:11 NKJV)
the ransomed of the Lord shall
return, And come to
Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; Sorrow and
sighing shall flee away.
As these scattered Jews return to Jerusalem, do you want to guess what
songs they might sing as they make their way up the hill?
Could they sing our songs of Ascents?
The Jews who have survived the Tribulation will have been fleeing from the
antichrist, the one with “lying lips”, the one who “hates peace”.
Psalm 121 – He Never Sleeps
: A Song of Ascents.
:1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help?
:1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills
Today on the tour bus, most bus drivers will play a version of this next song
as you are driving up Highway 1 to Jerusalem.
It was thought that Psalm 121 was the song that the early pilgrims sang
when they first caught a glimpse of Mount Zion, where Jerusalem was and they
made their way up the hill.
The verse ends in a question. Where does your help come from?
Keep in mind, the psalmist is not looking to the hills expecting that the
hills are going to help him. The Bible says,
NKJV) Truly, in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, And from the
multitude of mountains; Truly, in the Lord
our God Is the
salvation of Israel.
:2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
:2 My help comes from the Lord
Whom do you trust?
A long time ago there was a little old lady that used to go to Calvary
Chapel Costa Mesa. She was 4’11” and was in her nineties. She had a ministry of
traveling around the country speaking and encouraging churches. She drove an
old, old Cadillac. When she was speaking in a church in Texas, a fellow came up to her at the end of
the service and told her that he owned a fleet of tow trucks and service
stations across the country. He gave her his card and offered free auto service
anywhere she went. If she had any trouble all she had to do was call him and
he’d send out someone to help her. She handed him back the card and said “thank
you” but “no”. She knew there might be times when she would call and get a busy
signal or perhaps the fellow wouldn’t be home. She had learned to trust in the
Lord to take care of her. He was always there to help. And she intended to keep
on trusting in the Lord.
Does that story make you feel uncomfortable?
I’d like to argue that this old gal was foolish for not taking that card.
I might even argue that perhaps God was going to use this man’s auto
service as a way of helping her.
My hope is that we don’t talk ourselves out of opportunities to trust in
Sometimes we can tend to play it a little too safe, having all our backup
plans in place in case God doesn’t come through.
I know that I often have many of those “backup” plans in
my back pocket, just in case.
When Deb and I started to consider that God was calling us from our
comfortable church home and comfortable job as assistant pastor at Calvary
Anaheim, I was praying for direction of how and when to start the church.
At one point I felt like God had reminded me that David had 30 mighty men,
and so I wanted to wait until we have 30 families to help us start the church.
I was teaching the Sunday Night study at Calvary Anaheim, and my text for
the night was:
11:8 NKJV) By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place
which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he
I was convicted by the text. I realized that my
“condition” of waiting for 30 families to go with me was not exactly a step of
I wanted our church to be a place founded on faith, and
not on my superb planning.
So we decided to give our two-month notice at Calvary
Anaheim when I think there was about three families who were willing to go.
In the end, when we left we had close to thirty families,
but that happened after the decision.
Be careful about making your life so comfortable that you leave no room to
act in faith.
(Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)
without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to
God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who
diligently seek Him.
:3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not
:4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
:3 He will not allow your foot to be moved
Keep in mind that the
pilgrims are making their way up the mountain. Perhaps they are concerned with
the steps they’re making. Perhaps they’re worried about slipping and falling.
:3 neither slumber nor sleep
God is not like us.
He does not sleep, He does not need to sleep.
Even when He “rested” on the seventh day, it was more for our example, to
teach us to “rest” than because He needed to rest.
:5 The Lord is your
keeper; The Lord is your
shade at your right hand.
:7 The Lord shall preserve
you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
:8 The Lord shall preserve
your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.
:7 He shall preserve your soul
Fear or Trust
A HIDEOUS NOISE
The Englishman finds a nuns’ convent and
thinks great, a bed and some food. He knocks on the door and a nun invites him
in, they are all very welcoming and give him food and drink. After that they give
him with a room to use for the night. After being asleep for a few hours he
wakes up to this hideously loud thumping noise that terrifies him. He finds a
nun and asks her what this terrible noise is. She replies, “I can’t tell you,
you’re not a nun.” At this the Englishman flees the convent.
Later that night, the Scottish man comes
across the convent and thinks “great!” The nuns welcome him in and give him
food and drink. Later they give him a room to spend the night in. A few hours
after being asleep, he wakes up to the hideous noise. He asks one of the nuns
what it is, but the nun replies “I can’t tell you, you’re not a nun”. At this,
he leaves the convent.
Even later that night, the Irishman goes
into the convent. He has food and drink, then goes to bed. During the night he
wakes up to this frightening noise. He goes out in the corridor and asks a nun
what the noise is. She replies, “I can’t tell you, you’re not a nun!” At this
he finds a storage cupboard containing a nun’s habit. He puts it on and finds a
nun. He says to her “Hello, I’m sister Riley, the new nun, can you please tell
me what that terrible noise is?” “I’ll do better than that, I’ll show you,
follow me!” she says. She takes him up a corridor to two big oak doors, through
the doors is a long winding staircase leading to two big iron doors. Through
these doors there is a massive room with a hole in the floor and a ladder
leading down the hole. They go down the ladder into another room and through
another door. Then the nun says to him “This is where the noise is coming
Do you know what it was?
SORRY, I can’t tell you, you’re not a
I’m afraid that too much of our lives are lived in fear, wondering what’s
making the big noise. And we don’t even
know what it really is that we’re afraid of.
I wonder if sometimes we’ll ever know what we’re really afraid of.
The truth is, God promises to protect His people.
Of course there are some limits to how we apply this – Satan tried to get
Jesus to jump off the top of the Temple, but Jesus refused to “test” God in
this. That’s simple common sense.
God has wonderful promises to protect us.
43:2 NKJV) When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through
the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall
the flame scorch you.
Think about the three young Jewish men standing before
King Nebuchadnezzar, who demanded that they bow to his statue or face the fiery
They said to Nebuchadnezzar,
3:17–18 NKJV) —17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to
deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from
your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve
your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
They trusted God no matter how God decided that the matter
God did not keep them from the furnace, but instead helped
them in the fire, providing a mysterious one “like the Son of God” to be with
Are you going to trust God or live your life in fear?
(Isaiah 26:3 NKJV) You will
keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
I lift my eyes up
To the mountains
C F C G
Where does my help come from
My help comes from You
Maker of Heaven
C F C G
Creator of the earth
C F C
O how I need You Lord
You are my only hope
F C G
You're my only prayer
C F C
So I will wait for You
To come and rescue me
F C G
Come and give me life
Psalm 121/ Words & Music by Brian Doerksen / © 1990 Mercy Publishing /
Psalm 122 Jerusalem Peace
: A Song of Ascents. Of David.
This Psalm was written by David.
:1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
:1 I was glad when they said to me
A mother went to wake her son for church one Sunday morning. When she
knocked on his door, he said, “I’m not going!” “Why not?” asked his mother.
“I’ll give you two good reasons,” he said. “One, they don’t like me. Two, I
don’t like them.” His mother replied, “I’ll give you two good reasons why YOU
WILL go to church. One, you’re 47 years old. Two, you’re the pastor!”
I know that on Thursday night I’m preaching to the choir when I say this,
but I think it ought to be in the heart of every believer to be thrilled with every
opportunity to draw close to God.
I get concerned when it seems that our lives are so busy that one of the
first things we decide to cut to catch a moment of peace is time at church with
:2 Our feet have been standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem!
:3 Jerusalem is built As a city that is compact together,
:3 a city that is compact together
You see it especially in the “Old City”, surrounded by an ancient wall.
There’s not a lot of room for big backyards.
When the pilgrims from around the nation would gather in Jerusalem for the
annual feasts, the city would be even more packed.
:4 Where the tribes go up, The tribes of the Lord, To the Testimony of Israel, To give thanks to the name
of the Lord.
:5 For thrones are set there for judgment, The thrones of the house of
:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.
:7 Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.”
:7 Peace be within your walls
Jerusalem is a wonderful place with a wonderful heritage.
There is no other place like it on earth.
I hope that you will all one day be able to visit Israel, and especially
Video: Israel – “Beauty”
:8 For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be
:9 Because of the house of the Lord
our God I will seek your good.
:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
David asks his readers to pray for Jerusalem.
Pray for Israel
There are people who call themselves Christians in the world today who are
anti-Semitic. These are obviously people who don’t spend much time reading the
We may not always like the things that Israel does. We may cringe at some
of the things they do. But God loves Israel. We ought to be praying for Israel and for
the peace of Jerusalem.
Pray for our church
Could I ask you to be praying for our church as well? Pray for God’s
blessings on our church.
Take time to pray
Psalm 123 Looking to God
: A Song of Ascents.
:1 Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens.
:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their
masters, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look
to the Lord our God, Until He has
mercy on us.
:2 as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters
In ancient Bible days, masters only had to make a gesture to instruct a
slave what to do. Just a wave of the hand.
We want to be counting on God, looking to Him for His direction in our
:3 Have mercy on us, O Lord,
have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
:4 Our soul is exceedingly filled With the scorn of those who are at ease,
With the contempt of the proud.
:1 Unto You I lift up my eyes
What do we do when we’ve had our share of scorn and contempt? We look to
Looking To God
When we pray, it’s very important to think of just who we’re talking to.
R.A. Torrey in his book, “How to Pray”
writes (pg. 25-26),
“Very much of so-called prayer, both public and private, is not unto God. In
order that prayer should be really unto God, there must be a definite and
conscious approach to God when we pray; we must have a definite and vivid
realizations that God is bending over us and listening as we pray. In very much
of our prayer there is really but little thought of God. Our mind is taken up
with the thought of what we need, and is not occupied with the thought of the
mighty and loving Father of whom we are seeking it. Oftentimes it is the case
that we are occupied neither with the need nor with the One to whom we are
praying, but our mind is wandering here and there throughout the world. There
is no power in that sort of prayer. But when we really come into God’s
presence, really meet Him face to face in the place of prayer, really seek the
things that we desire from Him, then there is power. If then, we would pray
aright, the first things that we should do is to see that we really get an
audience with God, that we really get into His very presence. Before a word of
petition is offered, we should have a definite and vivid consciousness that we
are talking to God and should believe that He is listening to our petition and
is going to grant the thing that we ask of Him. This is only possible by the
Holy Spirit’s power, so we should look to the Holy Spirit to really lead us
into the presence of God and should not be hasty in words until He has actually
brought us there.
When we pray, we ought to take a moment and think about what we’re doing,
who we are talking about, and just what we want to say to the King of the
This is the pattern of prayer taught in the Bible. Jesus said,
(Matthew 6:9 NKJV) In this
manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Psalm 124 On Our Side
: A Song of Ascents. Of David.
:1 “If it had not been the Lord
who was on our side,” Let Israel now say—
:2 “If it had not been the Lord
who was on our side, When men rose up against us,
:3 Then they would have swallowed us alive, When their wrath was kindled
:4 Then the waters would have overwhelmed us, The stream would have gone
over our soul;
:5 Then the swollen waters Would have gone over our soul.”
:4 the waters would have overwhelmed us
We mentioned that at the end of the Tribulation the Jews will be returning
from a time of great persecution. Here’s something that they’ll have been
NKJV) —14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might
fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and
times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the
serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he
might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and
the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had
spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war
with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the
testimony of Jesus Christ.
This takes place during the Tribulation period. God saves Israel from the
“flood”, the attack of the antichrist, like the “proud waters” in Ps. 124:5.
God is on Israel’s side. He will rescue them from the antichrist. Some of
the wilderness places Israel will be hiding in will be places like Petra, and
also a place known as Bozrah (both in modern Jordan).
NKJV) —1 Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed
garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in
the greatness of His strength?— “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is
Your apparel red,
Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? 3 “I have
trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have
trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have
stained all My robes. 4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year
of My redeemed has come.
He alone will deliver them.
Can you imagine the singing of the Jews as they’ve been rescued from the
antichrist, making their way up to Jerusalem, singing this song, “If it had not
been the Lord who was on our side
:6 Blessed be the Lord,
Who has not given us as prey to their teeth.
:7 Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; The snare
is broken, and we have escaped.
:8 Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
:1 the Lord who was on our
He’s on your side
You may feel at times that everyone is against you, but God is not against
you. He’s on your side.
We can do much greater things when we realize that God is on our side.
David faced Goliath. A small young man faced huge experienced warrior.
Goliath had all sorts of weapons, David had a five smooth stones and the help
of his God.
(1 Samuel 17:45
NKJV) Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword,
with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of
Israel, whom you have defied.
Gideon faced 150,000 Midianites with only 300 men.
God didn’t want Gideon to have more men because God wanted Gideon to see
that when God is on your side, you have more than enough.
When Xerxes invaded Greece,
he came with an army of 2.6 million men. He started in the north in Macedonia. The
southern Greek states needed time to build up an army to face Xerxes. King
Leonides came with his 300 men of Sparta
and held off the Persian army at mountain pass called Thermopylae
long enough for Greece
to get ready for the attack.
Charles Spurgeon writes,
When the Spartans marched into battle they advanced with cheerful songs,
willing to fight. But when the Persians entered the conflict, you could hear,
as the regiments came on, the crack of the whips by which the officers drove
the cowards to the fray. You need not wonder that a few Spartans were more than
a match for thousands of Persians, that in fact they were like lions in the
midst of sheep. So let it be with the church. Never should she need to be
forced to reluctant action, but full of irrepressible life, she should long for
conflict against everything which is contrary to God. If we were enthusiastic
soldiers of the cross we would be like lions in the midst of herds of enemies, and through God's help nothing would be able
to stand against us.
God is for us.
(Romans 8:31 NKJV) What then
shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be