From the Psalms of David
The psalms speak much about God helping His people; especially the Psalms of David. David was a man who lived in constant danger from His enemies; and often times lived in fear for his very life. It is no wonder he wrote so much about his need for God's help, and how that God helped him in all his times of troubles. Forty-eight of the 144 passages where the word help or one of its derivatives is used is found in the Psalms; most of which refer to God's help for His people. This no doubt is one reason why the book of psalms is so well loved and read by God's people- because we draw strength in knowing that God is our helper.
What comes to mind when we think of the word "help"?
1. To make the burdens of life easier and more enjoyable- to share the work
2. To make doing a task possible by a joint effort. (salvation?)
3. To accomplish a task by the independent efforts of the of helper
4. God provides all of these kinds of help to His people
1. We all appreciate help as we go through this life- it makes life so much better- so much more enjoyable! This is one of the blessings of a good spouse; good neighbors; helpful children; and brothers and sisters in the Lord- to help bare one another's burdens- whatever they may be. Some people go through life without help- from other people, or from God- how miserable is their state!
2. We all need help to achieve certain accomplishments or to make it through difficult times in our lives; whether this help be directly from God Himself, or from a friend, or neighbor, or brother or sister, whom the Lord uses to help His people.
3. And then there are those times in our lives in which we are unable to provide any strength or help of our own. Sometimes we are flat on our back (literally or figuratively), and totally dependant on the help of others to make it through. Sometimes we are in such a bad state that God alone can help us. Everyone, without exception, is faced with these times and circumstances in their lives- but not all receive the help they so desperately need from God.
I. Does the Lord help His people?
1. Many people don't think so (Psalm 3:2).
Atheists, agnostics, skeptics, critics, every fool who says there is not a God…
-They say "there is no God that can help you".
-And "Even if there is a God", they say, "He couldn't or wouldn't help you or anyone else"!
-Please despair with me a moment, and consider with David this awful thought that God either cannot or will not help you because you are so sinful and undeserving. Such a thought is the epitome of despair in the human heart.
2. He surely does help His people (Psalm 72:12).
This fact implies:
-His power and ability to help.
-His personal and active relationship with His creation.
-It confirms His love and goodness and compassion toward his people.
II. Who does the Lord help?
We know that the Lord doesn't help everyone in every situation in life. God is sovereign, He does whatsoever He pleases in heaven and earth, and therefore He helps those whom He wills to help. But there are many Biblical examples of God helping people who need Him. We want to look at just a few of these this morning:
1. The Lord helps the poor and needy (40:17; 34:6).
God has a big place in His heart for the poor and needy of this world, and for the outcasts, and the widows, and for the fatherless, and the whores and whoremongers, and all manner of vile sinners. And God helps those who are poor in spirit, who are of a broken and contrite heart- those who realize their need for God, who cry out to Him in faith from the midst of their troubles.
We don't know who this "poor man" was in 34:6; there is no other reference to him- some say he may have been David or even Christ- both of which are possible; but all we know for certain is that he was a poor man who cried out to God, and God heard him and delivered him from all his troubles. If this poor man is you, I assure you that if you will cry out to God in faith and sincerity, that God will hear and save you this morning.
2. The Lord helps those who see their need for mercy (109:26).
The wise man will see his need for mercy. (Think about that). It is not justice we need from the Lord- but mercy. We justly deserve death; and that the second death in the lake of fire. But what we need is mercy and grace. "Lord have mercy on me a sinner!" "Lord, have pity on my miserable soul!" The Lord will hear the plea for mercy, because He is a merciful God- yea, His mercy undureth forever. He delights in the sinner's cry for mercy, and He will help those who come to Him for mercy!
3. Lord helps those who are beyond human help (108:12; 146:3).
Too many people trust in men, and their achievements. But as we mentioned earlier, there are those circumstances and situations that will come in your life when no man can help you- even the prince cannot help with all his authority; he cannot help himself when faced with his frail moments. Mankind is so puny; his greatest achievements require the providence and blessing of God to be successful. And when that time comes in your life, will God be your helper.
God helps those who are beyond the help of men. When mankind has reached his limit, and can do nothing and can offer nothing to deliver from the critical hour. (94:17) What are these critical moments in life, when only God can help you? It may be a foxhole experience where there was no human hope of survival; or you are caught in a raging storm at sea or any "natural disaster beyond man's control"; or a traumatic automobile wreck where you miraculously escape unharmed or you are injured so bad that the physicians don't expect you to live; or an incurable deadly disease or medical enigma where the best of medical science is at a total loss; it may be demon possession, or a nervous breakdown or other mental condition for which there was no known human help. What about broken homes and marriages? I've seen the Lord work miracles in peoples marriages, that were beyond repair!
4. The Lord helps all of His people (115:9).
Because they are His Chosen, His beloved. He sent His Son to die and shed His blood for them; and suffer great wrath for them- He most certainly will help them through all their sorrows of life, and their trails and afflictions- of which we all are partakers. He will help us through persecutions, and through our darkest hour- when Jordan over-swells her banks, and takes the child of God down in the deep waters of death, the Lord will help bring his child safely over to the other side.
5. The Lord helps those who occupy a special place of service (115:10)
What would a pastor do without the Lord's help. How can one in a position of spiritual leadership perform his office without the Lord's help? We are totally dependent on the Lord for sermons- to bring out those much needed words that will be a blessing to the saints of God; and the message that the Lord will use to save that lost sinner. And above all the increase is in the Lord's hands, we are totally dependent on Him if anything is to be accomplished in His service. How I need the Lord's help- I am thankful He helps me, and all of His pastors who are standing for the truths of the Word of God.
6. The Lord helps His faithful and godly children (12:1).
However godly and faithful we might think that we are, we will never reach a place in our sanctification where we won't need the Lord's help. If anything the very opposite is true. Our text tells us that the godly and faithful ceaseth and are failing. There are fewer and fewer persons who are faithful to the Lord today; who stand for righteousness and personal holiness. If ever there was a need for the Lord to help the godly and the faithful to stand, it is today!!! Oh, Lord help your people- help your churches; help us to "deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live godly and righteously in this present evil world", is my prayer!
7. God helped the Lord Jesus Himself during His earthly ministry (22:1, 11, 19).
If the Lord Jesus needed the help of His heavenly Father, then certainly there is not a man or woman among us who is not totally and utterly dependent upon the Lord's help ever day of our lives!
III. What kind of helper is our God?
1. He is a very present help (46:1).
He is not far from anyone, anywhere- but He is everywhere present and to help everyone of who call upon His Name in faith and sincerity. This is a foreign concept to all other religions, that God is present and active among His people to help and protect and defend them. Only our God, the only true God, is an ever present help to time of need.
2. He is a strong helper, and a safe refuge from the storms of life (46:1).
We are in Him and He is in us; therefore nothing or no one can break in to our safe refuge to cause us any harm. Thank God, He is our hiding place. We are safe in Him for time and eternity- nothing can break in, and nothing can pluck us out of the Father's hand- never, no how!
3. Our helper is almighty; the Creator of heaven and earth! (121:1-2; 124:8).
Consider it! A God Who created the entire universe and all things therein in 6 days; is there anything to hard for our God? Is there any help beyond His power. Is there a need so great that our God cannot supply, if it is His Will to do so? Oh, how we can trust our great God to help us, however great the need; however difficult the circumstance- He is well able to help us abundantly above all that we are able to ask or even think!
IV. How does God help His people?
We want to notice just a few of the ways in which God helps His people:
1. God helps His people through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ (20:2).
Christ is the sanctuary. And all the furnishings of the sanctuary represent the many glories of His person and His work on Calvary in behalf of His people. Everything about the sanctuary represents the Lord Jesus Christ. We can only receive help through Christ. Outside of Christ there is only Judgment for the sons of men. But in Christ there is plenteous redemption and mercy and grace. It is Christ who intercedes in our behalf; Who is our merciful and great high priest; Who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. It is through Christ and by Christ that all our help comes- May we never forget this for a moment! Outside of Christ there is only wrath; but in Christ there is help from the Lord.
2. God helps His people with His right hand (119:173).
The hand of the Lord is significant of the active work of God; especially in the lives of His people. The Holy Spirit is the one primarily responsible for working in the lives of God's people, thereby carrying out the will of the Father and of the Son. The Holy Spirit was given to the Lord's Church to be our helper and our comforter. I am sure that we are mostly unaware just how much the Holy Spirit of God helps us every moment of our lives. The Holy Spirit is active in our lives, not passive. He is constantly protecting, leading, directing, teaching, and convicting us of our sins and our need to stay on the straight and narrow way. We are sealed with the Spirit, Who preserves us and causes us to persevere in the faith.
3. The judgments of the Lord are given to help His people (119:175).
Whether it be the providential, predestinated decrees of God in behalf of His people, or the written judgments contained in the Word of God, which are a lamp unto feet and a light unto our path. The judgments of God are given to help His people. Where else can one receive help for our souls like we do from the Word of God. We spoke about the help we receive from the Lord Jesus Christ, and from the Holy Spirit- but let us never forget or neglect the written Word. It is the scriptures that are able to make thee wise unto salvation. Most of what we know about God we learned from His written Word. And all of what we know about God is confirmed by the Word. This message, and all messages are only true and useful as they conform to the book. All else cometh of evil and cannot be trusted. How much danger and destruction have we avoided because of the teachings of the book?
4. The Lord helps His people as we faithfully fear and trust in Him (28:7; 115:11).
I won't say that the Lord does not or will not help those who don't trust in Him; as I know He does. He helped me for twenty-seven years before I was saved, and He helps me thereafter in times of doubts distrust. But, having said that, there certainly is a special sense in which the Lord helps those who place their trust in Him. I've certainly realized the Lord's help in my life far more when I have trusted Him than when I've doubted Him. Often when we live and walk by faith and trust in the Lord we not only look back on the Lord's help in our lives, but often He lets us see His hand at work in our lives to help us by defeating enemies, providing ways of escape, and tearing down the devil's strongholds in our behalf. What a blessed life; the life of trusting the Lord. It is the life of walking with God, and beholding Him work in our lives.
V. Why does the Lord help His people?
The Lord helps His people no doubt because He loves us. But we want to notice a few other very important reasons why the Lord helps His people, which will give us assurance that His help toward us will never fail.
1. He helps us for His mercy's sake (44:26).
The two reasons we will look at here we will notice are founded in God Himself, rather than with us. I'm glad of that because I fail, and I change from day to day. But God helps us for His mercy's sake, which He told us in His Word endureth forever. God helps us because it is His very nature to faithfully and consistently help His people. "For I am the Lord, I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed"(Mal. 3:6). God will not fail Himself, or His very attribute of mercy; therefore we who are His children are assured of His constant help.
2. The Lord helps His people for His Name's sake (79:9).
We must realize that God's name represents all of His person, including all of His glorious attributes. His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability, faithfulness, truthfulness, holiness, righteousness; not to mention His mercy, love, and grace- are all a part of His name. He is a covenant God, who keeps His covenant with His people, even when we so often fail Him. God has placed His entire person behind His personal guarantee to help His children all the way to the end. Now what more assurance and confidence could we be given than this?
What is the result of having God as our helper? (146:5).
What mankind is seeking for; what most time and money is spent for; what most people live, and unfortunately, die without- the most elusive, and most unfulfilled desire of all Adam's race- yes, it is happiness! The only people who begin to know what true happiness is, are those who have the God of Jacob for their help. Why is this? The reasons are too many to mention here. But briefly, unhappiness is the result of Adam's sin and the subsequent fall of the human race and the curse placed upon the entire world. God's help to His people cancels out much of the unhappiness and human misery that accompanied the fall, and restores a portion of the blessings and fellowship with God that Adam knew before the fall. Therefore, it is not too hard to see why only those who have God for their help have true and lasting happiness.
Is the God of Jacob you’re your helper? We encourage you to take your place as a poor and needy sinner, realizing that only God can help you. Trust in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ as your only hope and only help for eternal salvation. In this you have no strength to help yourself. He must do all of the work in salvation, as you but a sinner, dead in trespasses and sins. Your only plea is that Jesus paid your sin debt on the cross of Calvary, was buried in the tomb, and that He rose again the third day to purchase your pardon and to give you eternal life. You cannot work and you have nothing to pay the Lord for your salvation. You have only to believe the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Believe in Jesus now, that He is your helper, and that He is your Lord and Savior.
(Sermon preached by Pastor Burke at the Faith Baptist Church of Lawtey, Florida)