Psalm 34:17-22 Sermon, Taking Refuge In The Lord.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.(Psalm 34:17-22)

See then that the righteous cry out, to whom? They call out to the Lord. Then it says “and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” 
Yet notice, the righteous turn to the Lord in their distress. Yet often the wicked would not!


Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless person would dare come before him! (Job 13:15-16)

The godless heart may neither believe God to exist, and if he or she did, be terrified to even draw close to God. For the sinner lives in fearful gloom at the thought of the Lord God. Their consciences accuses them before their maker on high. Through lack of knowledge or outright hostility toward God, they may shrink away in fear or vaunt their rage toward the heavens when calamity strikes. 

For they know the darkness, they know their sin, they often cling to their pride and refuse to humble themselves before He who sits on the throne. If they did, they would find Him to be beautiful in mercy and great in compassion toward even them! Yet what greater sin is their then pride and idolatry? These keep them bound in the shackles of the dark prince.
Instead, the wicked turn to self, or the arm of the proud. They may devise and scheme to find deliverance from the day of woe. They may seek false predictions to ease their fearful hearts. 

When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.(Isaiah 8:19-22)

That is, if they find no faith to approach God to humble themselves, and receive His great mercy. Jesus came gently to save sinners. “Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

(Luke 5:31-32)
Yet unbelief may trap such a fellow in his or her destructive way, fearing the Lord may brandish against them a club to drive them away! Yet behold, the Psalm says
“The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.”

So then if a sinner, aware of their desperate plight comes to their senses and flees to the Lord hoping for His mercy and aid,

37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (John 6:37)

Jesus welcomes all who will run to Him and take refuge in him. In essence, to take refuge in the Lord, from the anger of the Lord, means salvation and mercy for even the most guilty soul. 

Before this we read, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.”

Yet the broken hearted sinner who is wicked, yet grieves with heavy heart, will not the Lord graciously also pardon them, if they seek refuge in Him? Certainly this is the Gospel! “No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.”

Now about the believer, saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus, the Psalm forewarns “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.”
Yet our precious Savior and Lord also speaks this cheering word,

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

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