PHBC June 28, 1998

Series: First Peter, Ser. #52

GOD'S BLESSINGS UPON THOSE WHO FOLLOW THE PRESCRIPTION FOR LOVING LIFE AND SEEING GOOD DAYS


Scripture: 1 Peter 3:10-12 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

TEXT: 1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

INTRO: In our recent studies in First Peter we have seen various things a child of God must do if he is to be able to love life and to see good days. Our text for this message sets forth the assurance that the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and his ears open to their prayers. But, it also contains a warning. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

I. THE IMPORTANCE OF DOING WHAT IS RIGHT IN THE EYES OF THE LORD

A. His eyes run to and fro in the earth beholding both the good and the evil. Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

B. The Lord is compassionate toward his people who do right before him. Deuteronomy 13:17-18 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers; 18 When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.

1. We have seen in our study of chastening that God is being compassionate even in chastening, no matter how unpleasant it may be.

2. It may seem to us at the time that he has turned his back on us and is pouring out his anger upon us.

3. God's people must learn that we cannot sin without there being chastisement for the Lord's eyes behold what we do and when we are involved in that in which we should not be involved he will deal with that to purify our lives. Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

4. When Israel played around with that which was unclean or accursed in the eyes of God, his eyes were upon them and they felt his hand of correction upon them.

5. When David, a man after God's own heart, did evil in the matter of Uriah, God's chastening hand was heavy upon him.

a. David's record was very good for the most part; he was a righteous man in the eyes of the Lord. 1 Kings 15:5 Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

C. Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord. 1 Kings 15:9-15 And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah. 10 And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his motherís name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom. 11 And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. 12 And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 13 And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron. 14 But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asaís heart was perfect with the LORD all his days. 15 And he brought in the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which himself had dedicated, into the house of the LORD, silver, and gold, and vessels.

1. He removed all the sodomites out of the land of Judah; under Asa you could not live in the land if you were a homosexual and this was right in the eyes of the Lord.

2. He removed all the idols his father had made.

3. He removed his own mother from being queen because of her idolatry.

4. He brought in the things that were dedicated to the house of God into it.

5. He also commanded Judah to seek after the true God. 2 Chronicles 14:3-7 For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: 4 And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. 5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him. 6 And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest. 7 Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the LORD our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.

6. All this was right in the eyes of the Lord and God rewarded him by giving him a time of peace in the land, rest on every side.

II. THE BLESSINGS FOR DOING WHAT IT RIGHT IN THE EYES OF THE LORD

A. We have already seen that God blessed Asa when he was doing right in the eyes of the Lord by giving the land rest and peace.

B. When we do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord he will surely bless. Psalm 34:15-18 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. 16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

1. His ears are open to our cry.

2. He hears our cry.

3. He delivers us out of our troubles, or, as in the case of Paul, he gives us the grace to endure them.

4. He is very near us and saves us from much that would otherwise come our way.

C. When we do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord he glorifies us and is our strength. Isaiah 49:5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.

III. A WARNING TO ALL WHO DO EVIL

A. Let us remember the context of this verse. 1 Peter 3:8-11 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

B. In its context this warning concerning doing evil is especially addressed to the saved.

1. David, the man after God's own heart, most of his life did what was right in the eyes of the Lord did evil and found God against him in that matter of Uriah the Hittite. Because of this thing David did which was not right in the eyes of the Lord the sword never departed from his house. 2 Samuel 12:10-14 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

2. Listen to his cry when God was dealing with him for this sin. Psalm 32:3-5 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

3. Hear him again in another Psalm written to show his sore distress under the chastening rod of God. This psalm is titled A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. Psalm 38:1-10 O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. 2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. 3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. 4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. 5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. 6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. 7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. 8 I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. 9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. 10 My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.

C. On another occasion, David sinned in numbering Israel and a terrible price was paid. 2 Samuel 24:1-15 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2 For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people. 3 And Joab said unto the king, Now the LORD thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing? 4 Notwithstanding the kingís word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel. 5 And they passed over Jordan, and pitched in Aroer, on the right side of the city that lieth in the midst of the river of Gad, and toward Jazer: 6 Then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtimhodshi; and they came to Danjaan, and about to Zidon, 7 And came to the strong hold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beersheba. 8 So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men. 10 And Davidís heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. 11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, Davidís seer, saying, 12 Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. 13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three daysí pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. 14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. 15 So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.

D. Asa did that which was righteous in the eyes of the Lord but he did evil in the sight of the Lord in paying the king of Syria for help in protecting his kingdom against Israel, God saw that also and chastised him severely.

1. The seer, Hanani reminded Asa that the eyes of the Lord behold both evil and good. 2 Chronicles 16:7-13 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. 8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand. 9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. 10 Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time. 11 And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians. 13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.

2. Even though God chastened him Asa did not turn to seek the Lord; but put the seer who rebuked him in prison for telling him the truth.

E. Hezekiah was a godly king who did evil by being lifted up with pride which caused him to show visiting ambassadors from Babylon all his treasure. 2 Chronicles 32:24-31 In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. 27 And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels; 28 Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks. 29 Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much. 30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. 31 Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.

F. Solomon was a great and godly man for much of his life, but he let his wives turn him to idolatry which was a great evil in the eyes of the Lord. 1 Kings 11:4-114 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. 9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. 11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.

G. Paul admitted that evil was always present with him and that he sometimes sinned as a result. Romans 7:21-2421 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

H. A man, a saved man, in the church at Corinth did evil and was excluded from the fellowship of the church. 1 Corinthians 5:1-4 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his fatherís wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ.

CONC: Time fails me to speak of others in Scripture, godly people whom the Lord blessed greatly, but who did evil and the Lord's face turned against them. As to our covenant relationship and standing in Christ God is never against us. As to our practical life, he very well may turn against us and chastise us severely.

In the context of this verse a number of things are named, which if we do, make us guilty of doing evil. 1 Peter 3:9-12 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

If we would love life and see good days we must never do evil for then the Lord is against us. Let us practice righteousness for then the eyes of the Lord are upon us for good. His ears are open to our prayers.

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