You know who our next president is. I don’t.
NOVEMBER 4, 2020
Zach Van Dyke:
You know who our next president is, I don’t. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
This is Key Life here to communicate the freeing truth that God’s not mad at his children. Steve Brown invited Zach Van Dyke to teach this week. Zach’s the teaching pastor at Summit Church here in Orlando, Florida. If you’re a struggling believer, you’ve come to the right place.
Zach Van Dyke:
Thank you Matthew. And thank you all for tuning in again today. If you were here at the beginning of the week on Monday, I let you in on a little secret and that is sometimes here at Key Life, we pre-record what we teach. So, what that means is you are in the future, and I am in the past. In fact, I’m recording this week way early, much, much earlier than usual. So, you know, right now, who our president will be going into this next year. I do not. I have no idea. Again, I don’t know if it’s Biden. I don’t know if it it’s Trump. I don’t know if Kanye made a reappearance in the presidential race and somehow won. I have no, you know so much more than me. Now, maybe you don’t know, maybe they haven’t decided maybe, maybe it’s not clear right now. So maybe you don’t know, but just still know way more than I do. But what I wanted to talk about this week was about the kingdom of God. And I wanted to talk about justice and I wanted to talk about what is keeping us from being people of justice. What is, what is it that’s enslaving us. Jesus talks about in his first sermon, how he came to set the oppressed free, to proclaim good news. So what, what is it that is enslaving us? What’s keeping us from, from, from living out the kingdom of God. And I said, it’s wickedness. And I told y’all that during COVID, I’ve become a lover of the Psalms, which has never been the case for me. And I was reading through Psalm 10 and it just struck me. This picture of wickedness that’s presented in Psalm 10. And I thought, man, I think we need to spend some time as Christians really wrestling with this description of wickedness. And I use that quote from C S Lewis yesterday about how a bad person essentially thinks they’re okay. They don’t, like a really bad person, doesn’t think that there’s anything wrong, but a good person knows that there’s evil in them. A good person knows, C S Lewis says, both good and evil, a bad person doesn’t know either. And so, it’s important for us to wrestle with God’s word and wrestle with what he, he reveals to us in Psalm 10. And so, yesterday I read the entire Psalm. You can go back and read through the whole thing. I encourage you to do that, but what I want to do today and tomorrow as we wrap it up is, I just want to go verse by verse and look at, okay, what is it saying about wickedness? How is it describing wickedness and then allowing that to kind of inform our own self reflection on wickedness. So the first one, first, the first thing,the Psalmist says about the wicked person. So, let’s look, verse two,
In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.
So the first thing it says, is the wicked is described as a hunter, who manipulates the weak. Anyone else sell Cutco knives in college? You know, and I I’m, I’m kind of being silly, but, but, but there’s a sense in which wickedness is marked by seeking out easy targets, like college students, and then developing a plan that will take advantage of them. A plan that promises them easy wealth, but in the end really ends up costing them most things, maybe even more than they expected, that is wickedness. Wickedness is lending practices that take advantage of people in desperate circumstances. Verse three,
He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
The Wicked’s greedy, but what an interesting way to describe greed, right? The wicked is greedy because he designed, his desires win out every time. Because he thinks he knows best. The desires of others are always subject to his own desires, to his discernment. He follows his heart. If it is right for him, if he believes it in his heart, it must be right. The prophet Jeremiah warns in 17:9,
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure, who can understand it.
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
I thought about this one, this one hit kind of hard, it hit pretty close to home, because there’s something in it that seems to confront the prideful rugged individualism behind the American Dream. I mean, essentially it’s describing the wicked as someone who believes they are self-made. They didn’t need God. In fact, God didn’t give him a leg up, he had to work hard for everything he has. None of it’s a gift. It’s all earned. He pulled himself up by his own bootstraps. Now listen, I know some of you have worked really hard and maybe you started from, from very little that’s my granddad. He built a company from the ground up, for really with, with nothing to start from. I recently did a funeral for a man who came to this country not knowing a bit of English. And he was able to build up a business also and provide for his family and to provide for other families. And he came from such a humble beginning. So it’s not wicked to work hard and to provide for yourself and for your family. It’s not wicked to build something from the ground up that blesses you and others, but it is wicked and not think those bootstraps are a gift. That the ability to pull up on those bootstraps is a gift. The wicked has no room for God because he is self made. Verse five,
His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies.
This is an interesting one that I had to think about for a while. Think about it, his ways are always prosperous. What does that mean? What’s that saying about the wicked? It’s saying, he always wins. He always prospers because no matter what he wins, his ways never cost him anything. Think about that. Wickedness means you always win. If you always win, what does that mean? No one else ever wins. You just keep getting richer and richer and more powerful and more powerful. And it never costs you anything, but what is it costing others? The wicked, they don’t care. Wickedness doesn’t cost you like obedience does. And Jesus was very upfront about this to his disciples in Matthew 16:24, he looked at him and he said, listen,
Whoever wants to be my disciple, you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.
Essentially, Jesus said, sometimes winning is actually losing. Verse six,
He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me”.
He swears no one will ever do me harm. The wicked believes he is unstoppable. Right now I’m reading through Genesis for my, for my morning devotions. And I really can’t believe how current the book feels. I mean, it’s the very first book of the Bible that kind of sets up who God is and who we are in relation to God. But it feels so relevant. And even with all the crazy stuff in Genesis, like arranged marriages and angels wrestling with people and oaths made by placing your hand on another man’s thigh. Genesis 24:2, check it out. Even in spite of all of that, the whole first book of the Bible is really showing us how after the fall left on her own, without God intervening, we will have this mindset of being unstoppable. We really believe we can be like God, just as the serpent promised. We see that in its fullest expression at the tower of Babel, remember, in chapter 11 of Genesis, the people say, come let us build ourselves a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves. Otherwise, we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth. The wicked believe they are unstoppable. Verse seven,
His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue.
The wicked lies. What he says, can’t be trusted. And if he’s called out, he threatens, he bullies. One of the other pastors of the church that I serve has really been encouraging to me, especially in this time of just so much tension and misunderstanding and words being taken out of context. And he’s told me so many times with great patience, that I need to first listen to understand, not to agree or disagree. The wicked doesn’t listen to understand first, he immediately decides if he agrees or disagrees and then goes on the defense, goes on the attack. Verses eight and nine, I’m combining these cause this is getting to be too much, right? I mean, we need to wrap this up, right? This is a grace ministry. All right. Verses eight and nine,
He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent, his eyes watching in secret for his victims, like a lion and cover; he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless.
He lies in wait, he watches in secret, like a lion in cover, the wicked doesn’t engage in a fair fight. Why do wrestlers have to weigh in before they fight? To make sure it’s a fair fight, but the wicked is a coward. He refuses to fight with equal footing. In verse ten,
His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength.
The wicked adds burden to the already heavy laden. More bricks, less straw. Don’t you hear the echo of the slave masters in Egypt over the people of God, but y’all Jesus says in Matthew 11:28,
Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
If God has ever sounded like a slave master to you, it wasn’t his voice. It was the voice of the wicked, because God’s voice is always a voice of grace.
Thanks Zach. That was Pastor Zach Van Dyke, continuing his exploration on justice. Today, discussing what the Bible says about wickedness. Zach will wrap up this series tomorrow, make sure you join us then. And if you missed any of this week’s episodes from Zach, great news, you can access those episodes at the brand new keylife.org. This new version of the website has been more than two years in the making. It has a cleaner layout, it now loads quicker, simpler navigation. It’s never been easier to find what you’re looking for, and to discover new content that you’re going to love. Check out the station finder tool that lets you know what nearby stations will be playing Key Life and Steve Brown Etc. Also brand new transcripts. for Key Life. Now, everything you hear Steve and Zach teach, you also have an in print. In addition to that, all your favorite stuff is still there, our just released digital magazine, sermon videos, Key Life Connection, and even more audio content and all of it is still free, thanks to the generous support of listeners, just like you. If you’d like to donate the Key Life, just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. Or, you can mail your donation to
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