In verse 6, the Psalmist gives his testimony. How gloriously simple is God’s way of salvation — A CALL. As he testifies of God’s goodness, the Psalmist considers others and pleads with them earnestly in verse 8. It presents a picture and and an explanation! It is our text.
I. WE CAN NEVER HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST UNTIL WE TASTE HIM
1. Most people have a religion which is very superficial. Many take the name of Christ upon their lips but they have never tasted of Him. “Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men,” Isaiah 29:13.
2. Just as our knowledge of food is limited until we put it in our mouths so we can never know the sweetness of Christ until we receive Him into our hearts. Taste buds tell us what food is like. The taste buds of our heart alone can tell us the sweetness of Jesus. “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste,” Song/Solomon 2:3. Many reject Christ yet have no knowledge of how sweet He is.
3. Christ is set forth in the gospel for sinners to taste. Isaiah 55:1-2, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.” The gospel sermon is like a sample’s counter displaying Christ and inviting sinners taste to freely taste.
II. THOSE WHO TASTE CHRIST DISCOVER HIM TO BE GOOD
Here is the reason for tasting.
1. You can never know the goodness of God until you taste Christ. Queen of Sheba, “And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard,” I Kings 10:6-7.
2. Christ is the receptacle which contains all the goodness of God. “All spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ,” Eph 1:3.
“Redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” Rom 3:24. “The love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Rom 8:39. “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,” II Cor 2:14. “Our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus,” Gal 2:4.
3. As the food tasted is assimilated into our bodies so by tasting Christ we spiritual assimilate Him. We become one with Christ by receiving Him by faith. Read John 6:51-57.
III. AS THE FOOD WE EAT SCENTS OUR BREATH SO CHRIST PERFUMES THE SPIRIT OF THOSE WHO TASTE HIM
“Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man,” Matt 15:18-20. Man’s sinful nature is breathed out daily in his actions and words. The stench of sin is everywhere. When Christ is received He cleanses, purifies, purges and perfumes the life.
“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ,” 2 Cor 2:14-15.
IV. OPPORTUNITIES FOR TASTING CHRIST SOON GO BY
The old man Barzillai, “I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king?” II Sam 19:35. Now is the time for tasting. Eccles. 12:1, 5.
Here is the substance of the open-air meeting, held July 1st on Kilskeery’s village green following the evening service. We hope to have a recording made of the continuation of this vital subject in the next open-air, which in the will of the Lord, will take place next Lord’s Day evening. The preacher was Rev Ivan Foster.
Scripture: “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” Rev 22:20.
This is the third time in this chapter that the Saviour states this glorious truth. Verse 7: “Behold, I come quickly.” And and verse 12: “And, behold, I come quickly.”
Let there be no doubt about this matter – JESUS IS COMING AGAIN!
Please note this great truth.
I. THE LORD JESUS IS COMING AGAIN TO THIS WORLD FROM WHICH HE LEFT 2000 YEARS AGO.
1. The last words of a person are always important. Great respect and honour is given to a person’s “last will and testimony” for they are their last words.
Christ’s very last words would have men know that He IS coming again.
2. That He repeats these words adds importance to them. How the Saviour wants us all, especially the Christian, never to forget that He will return one day. The Christian in turn is charged with testifying to the world of His return.
There is very, very little consideration given to this truth, even amongst Christians, yet the last words in the Bible are all about Christ coming back.
I stand opposite a graveyard tonight. Often at the open grave these words have been read. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you,” John 14:1-2. But this sweet passage does not end there. The next verse declares: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also,” John 14:3.
Little thought is ever given to these wonderful words. Please think about this great event which affect us all and be prepared for it.
3. His second coming will differ greatly from His first coming.
a. The Second Time He will come Visibly. Jerusalem and Herod did not know that the “King of the Jews” had come. The shepherds would not have know had not the angels told them. Only Mary and Joseph knew about the coming of the Messiah.
But it will not be so at His second coming!
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen,” Revelation 1:7.
b. The Second Time He will come Gloriously. How mean were the surroundings of the manager in which Christ was laid the first time. But His second coming will be marked by a splendour and glory the like of which this world has never seen before.
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory,” Luke 21:25-27.
c. The Second Time He will come Triumphantly. During His earthly ministry, the Saviour was the subject of man’s verbal and physical abuse. The events that led up to His cross were marked by the Lord Jesus being humiliated by men. “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men,” Isaiah 52:14. “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. . . . . He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.” Isaiah 53:2-3, 7-9.
How different it will when He comes again!
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS,” Revelation 19:11-16.
Tell me, have you ever thought about this wonderful event that lies in the future, and maybe not in the too distant future. Have you made preparation for that day.
Matthew 22, in the parable of the Marriage of the King’s Son speaks of one who was not properly prepared for the event. “Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:8-14.
If we would be ready for Christ’s return we need to now don the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness which alone will fit us for His glorious presence when He returns.
1. God’s truthfulness assures us Christ will come again. “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began,” Titus 1:2.
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up,” 2 Peter 3:8-10.
2. The fulfilment of the promise of His first coming shows that. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,” Gal 4:4.
3. The justice of God assures us that Christ will come again. Mankind cannot go on defying God more and more. “To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him,” Jude 1:15.
4. We are given pictures of the day in prophecy. Prophecy is history written before it happens! We are given many wonderful details about Christ’s return. 1 Thess 4:15-18. What is a comfort to Christians ought to be a warning to any not saved!
The ‘transgressors’ are the ‘rebels, the revolters’ that are part of that latter-day ‘perilous times’ spoken of by Paul. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come,” 2 Timothy 3:1.
The word ‘full’, as used by Daniel means ‘the consummation’, the ‘final finish’.
We have a picture of the meaning of these words in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Genesis 15:13-16. There is the same word ‘full’ as employed by Daniel.
I. WE CAN SAY THAT THE END OF THIS AGE AND THE RETURN OF THE LORD JESUS WILL COME WHEN MAN’S REBELLION HAS REACHED ITS FULNESS.
See Daniel 8:17-25.
1. That is a pattern seen many times in the outworking of God’s purpose amongst men. The Old World – Gen 6:11-13. Sodom & Gomorrah – Gen 18:20-21, 19:12-13, 27-28. The Jewish nation – 1 Thess 2:13-16.
All these events are illustrative of the final outworkings of God’s judgments against men’s sins.
2. We can see that pattern developing around us.
a. Politically. God is openly and repeatedly defied by legislators who pass laws that legalise that which God has outlawed and making illegal that which God commands! Divorce, penalty for murder, abortion, gross immorality and now the ultimate defiance – legalising of sodomy. All imposed upon the nation by a small but vociferous lobby!
b. Ecclesiastically. The professing ‘Church’ has embraced apostasy and championed that which is not of God.
Christ’s commission – Matt 28:18-20. Today, the ‘Church’ sees its commission to defy that commission. Mustard tree invaded by ‘birds’, Matt 13:31-32.
c. The Christian will feel the influence of this rising tide of sin. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold,” Matthew 24:12. The phrase means “To cool by blowing”. It is what we do with our porridge! Christian, have you grown cool like the Laodiceans, “lukewarm? Rev 3:14-18. Beware!!
This prophecy refers, in the first instance, to a good king such as Hezekiah. It is to be noted just how beneficial godly leadership is for a country. The cost of its absence is all too clear for us in Ulster. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn,” Proverbs 29:2.
God’s woe is pronounced against our leaders, Isaiah 10:1-2. They have released upon us the very elements that they should have sheltered us from.
The full application of this verse can only refer to Christ and His work of saving sinners.
I. THE MULTITUDE OF DANGERS AND DISTRESSES THAT BESET MEN IN THIS WORLD
Wind, flood, drought and heat. These four troubles encompass all the distresses that befall sinful man.
1. The wind. — The devil, Eph 2:2. The restless spirit that constantly buffets man.
2. The tempest/Flood. — Sin, Isaiah 59:19. It floods the land, changing its appearance and destroying the comforts of men and women.
3. Drought. — A shutting of heaven. Heaven is closed against the sinner because of his disobedience, Eph 2:12, 4:18.
4. Heat. — The burning sun speaking of the wrath of God that abides upon the sinner. John 3:36.
II. THE ONE WHO CAN SAVE FROM SUCH A MULTITUDE OF TROUBLES IS NO ORDINARY PERSON
The Lord Jesus is no ordinary person.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” Isaiah 9:6. He has infinite wisdom, immeasurable power, unfathomable compassion.
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” Col 2:9.
* He is God manifest in the flesh. He is mighty to save, Isaiah 63:1.
* He is able to save to the uttermost, Hebs 7:25.
The Lord Jesus has many titles because of His all-glorious person.
III. IT IS PLAIN FROM OUR TEXT HOW THE LORD JESUS SAVES THE SINNER
1. In all the metaphors there is a similarity. He comes between the sinner and his trouble. The cross is here pictured.
Wind cannot reach you in a hiding place.
Flood cannot reach you in a covert.
Drought cannot reach you by a river.
Heat of sun cannot reach you in the shadow.
2. The help is available to you now. Will you not enter the shelter and comfort of Christ’s salvation?
“Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast,” Psalms 57:1.
“For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall,” Isaiah 25:4.
“And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people,” Isaiah 51:16.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Matthew 23:37.
Let these words be your testimony from this day.
“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste,” Song of Solomon 2:3.