Preached by Dr. Gene Scott on June 12, 1977
Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily;
be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence
to save me. For thou are my rock and my fortress;
therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.
IN 1ST SAMUEL 23, David is in the wilderness of Maon. That is a rocky, dry miserable desert place. He is running from Saul; he is being lied upon. There were those who did not even want to associate with him out of fear of the consequences of the association. Yet, here is God’s anointed kin, hiding.
Back in chapter 16, Samuel had changed David’s life. David did not solicit or seek the kingship. God’s prophet singled him out, to the surprise of David’s family, and poured the anointing oil on his head. In that moment David became king over God’s people. (1st Samuel 16:13) He sure didn’t look like it here: he was running from what appeared to be certain death. He had just separated from Jonathan, the one true friend who was willing, it seems, to come to where David was, but even Jonathan went back to the house of Saul. So David and a motely band, who had followed him because they were in debt and in distress and discontented, were hiding in the wilderness.
Grab hold of your mind, and put yourself inside that shepherd boy, anointed king, who had become an instant warrior and now is in hiding. He looked around in a place of towering rocks and shadows cast by the rocks. He was probably hiding in the shadow of one of those giant rocks. And right there in the shadow of a great rock, he penned Psalm 31.
“In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily.” Then David, seeing the rocks, says, “Be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress. . .” The translators of the King James Version changed a word in their desire to be poetic. The words defence and fortress are the same word in the Hebrew; both mean “defense or high place.”
I want you to underline in verses 2 and 3, “be thou my strong rock,” and “For thou art my rock.” Well, if “thou art my rock,” why do I have to ask You to “be my rock?” Because that is the way God set it up. In the New Testament context, “You have not, because you ask not.” Does that mean I can ask anything? No. Ask according to the will of God. That same passage goes on to say that sometimes we ask and do not receive because we “ask amiss,” seeking to heap upon ourselves what we want rather than what God wants. (James 4:2-3)
The church is on the verge of a revival. But I do not want a revival that simply reaches an emotional peak and then just settles down. I am believing God for a church that can literally seize the gates of hell. But there are laws in the spiritual world as operational as the laws in the natural world, and we must learn how to relate to them.
Let me give you some logical promises: God will not be other than what He wills to be. But God wills to be a lot of things He will not be. To say it a different way, God wills to be a lot of things that He cannot be by His own covenant limitation; because many things God wills to do and to be, by covenant, require an asking voice.
The asking voice is another expression of the power of the tongue. The importance of the spoken word is demonstrated throughout God’s book. It is a worthwhile study to take a concordance and trace the words tongue, mouth, word, declare and any other words signifying a specific spoken-forth utterance. These words were created by the Word of God. The book of Hebrews says that Jesus was the agent, but He spoke them into existence.
When God created man, He created something other than Himself. God is other than me; I am other than God. It was Martin Buber who brought this thought to full fruition in Jewish theology; the deepest spiritual relationship with God is a dialogue relationship, just as the deepest interpersonal relationships are.
Did you ever travel on foreign soil and try to relate to somebody over a long period of time with just a grin and a handshake? It is a dull relationship until you can talk, until you can have a dialogue. In Oriental religions, which are based on the philosophy of idealism, “God” is found when you lose consciousness and become one with the “that which is behind all that;” they won’t even give it a name. The Christian frame, by contrast, is philosophically grounded in realism. There is always “this plus that” having relationships, and the ultimate relationship involves dialogue.
This little tongue is the bridle that steers the whole being. It either kindles a fire of evil or it releases good. (James 3:3-6) Among the many ways in which God, by covenant, has “tied His hands,” He covenanted a plan whereby certain facets of His being would only be released in response to an asking voice. That’s what Romans 10 is talking about: “Say not that you have to go up and get Him, and bring Him down; or that you have to descent into the depths and bring Him up. The Word is nigh you; it’s in your mouth, speak if forth.” He has put this power into a channel that is available to us. Like turning a spigot to release the water, the words of thy mouth release that which is God’s nature.
There are two intercessors spoken of in Romans 8. Jesus is our Intercessor up there in Heaven; He is the One who is interceding before the throne. (Romans 8:34) No one fully understands the Trinity; it goes beyond human understanding and the ability of words to express. But whatever else the Trinity means, it was Jesus’ tongue that God spoke through. When Jesus was here, He wasn’t up there. When Jesus left here, He was no long here. While He is not here, He has sent another Comforter; and while the other Comforter is here, Jesus is there. And while He is there, He is interceding. A child can understand that. He is quite adequate to do His job up there.
Down here on Earth, there is another intercession that goes on: we don’t know how to pray as we ought; therefore the Sprit helpeth our infirmities and maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:26) In the Greek, the word translated intercession is comprised of three different words joined together. It means someone who comes and lights upon you alongside, and does not take your burden from you, but lends his shoulder to the burden you are carrying and helps you carry it. An intercessor is one who takes the place of another and maketh intercession for us according to the will of God. The covenant requires an asking tongue.
In 1st Corinthians 12, Paul defines the expression of the Spirit. He gives correction to the church and its nitty gritty activity in chapter 14. But before he talks of the corrections fully, he talks of love in chapter 13, and the first application of love is to the spiritual gifts. That means I ought not to want to seize for myself the opportunity to display these gifts all the time. If I truly practice love in regard to spiritual gifts, instead of seeking to be the mouthpiece all the time, I will in love want others to have that joy. I won’t be rude; I won’t be self-serving and self-seeking.
Let me go further; there are needs in the body of Christ. There are needs that you and I do not know; to know them would overwhelm our minds, and we ought not to know them, because most of us couldn’t keep them confidential. But because God in love sees the needs, and since by His own covenant plan He has determined that His power and nature will not flow to the need until the covenant is activated with an asking voice, the yielded vessel becomes His instrument, and the Spirit which knoweth the deep things maketh intercession for us. It would be better if some people who prefer to show off their gift were to be an instrument to quietly yield themselves in intercession for others. It is an outpouring that bypasses what we know to pray about; from out of the innermost being, the Spirit who has come to abide in us can give the utterance unto God. There are needs that God, in love, wants to be prayed for; if the activated tongue can bring the covenant before the Throne of God, He is then released to act.
There is a much more important function of the tongue than just proving to yourself that you have the Holy Spirit, when you ought to believe you have the Spirit because God’s Word says you have the Spirit. You are not to base your spiritual experience on your feelings. I do not believe that speaking in tongues is the proof that everybody who does it is full of the Holy Ghost. There are many people speaking in tongues who have never yielded large dimensions of their personality and life to Jesus Christ. I happen to believe, if you define fullness as every instrument of my being capable of being used to God’s glory coming under His control is that tongue, which is the biggest problem we have. I cannot find anywhere that God denies us what He gave to those in the New Testament. I believe that tongues are an inevitable accompaniment of the full expression of every dimension of our being when we are in full possession by the Holy Spirit. But God wants all of you, and there’s a much more important function of the tongue, which is activating the covenant. That’s why we need to teach and learn God’s Word.
Many people are impressed with Elijah’s great ministry. He was king of the prophets. How did he start? The first thing that Elijah did was he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. (James 5:17, 1st Kings 17:1) Isn’t that an idiotic prayer for a man in the desert? Who in their right mind would pray earnestly, in the desert, that it wouldn’t rain?
Back in the book of Deuteronomy, God had said in His Word that if His people ever worshipped idols, He would shut up the heavens and wouldn’t let it rain anymore. (Deuteronomy 11:17) You might think, “God said it; therefore, He’s going to do it.” No! God wills a lot of things that, by covenant, He cannot do absent an asking voice.
Long before Elijah came on the scene, Jeroboam became the ruler of the northern kingdom. He introduced idol worship at Dan and Bethel. Elijah dwelt in the Carmel range, north of Samaria, where Jeroboam’s kingship was established. Ahab and Jezebel, living in Jezreel, had brought idol worship to its peak, but it had been going on for a long, long time. God’s Word said He would stop the rain when they started worshipping idols. They started worshipping idols, and it kept raining. Right on through Jeroboam, right on through Ahab, right on into Jezebel’s horrible dominance of the kingdom, it rained. How did it finally stop? How was God’s Word activated? That saint in the desert added his prayer, saying, “God, will You do what You’ve already said You would do?”
I want us to learn to pray; I want this church to learn to pray. You pray according to God’s will, but you seize and claim in prayer what is according to His will, for God’s will by itself is not the guarantee of the happening. That may challenge the theology of some, but it’s true: God waits for an asking voice. That is why David said, “Be thou my rock.”
God is a Rock. Probably nothing in God’s book has been used more as a metaphor to describe God. He is “the rock of thy strength.” (Isaiah 17:10) He is the “shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” (Isaiah 32:2) God is the claved rock from which waters gushed out. (Isaiah 48:21) He is the high fortress rock. (Psalm 18:2, 61:2-3) God is a rock on which you build and a rock that you can hide under. (Matthew 7:24, Isaiah 2:10) Everywhere you turn, He is called Rock. God promised it; David knew it. But he had to say, “Thou art a rock, but be my rock.” That’s why we need to teach and learn God’s book. This book reveals what God wants to be, so you can seize it. Like radio energy in the air, the same electricity surrounds both you and a native bushman. The difference is you know how to seize it.
I could apply this to every declaration of God. Do you need healing today? God has promised, “I am the LORD that healeth thee.” (Exodus 15:26) Claim it, but claim it with your mouth. You might say, “But I’ve done that.” Then keep on doing it. I’m quite sure that there was just as much dust in David’s nostrils when he got done saying this as when he started. But ultimately God did establish David’s kingdom. He might not have made it, if in that desert place he had not said, “Be thou my rock, For thou art my rock.” Underline the personal pronouns.
If you need healing today, say, “Thou art a healing God; be Thou my healer.” Don’t beg Him; claim it! If you have knots in your stomach from fear or anxiety, say, “Thou are the Lord of peace; be Thou my peace.” If you need provision, say, “Thou art the Lord that provides; be Thou my provider.” Whatever God has promised, you make His promise become yours.
Turn to Matthew 16: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? . . . whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou . . . for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee but my Father which is in heaven . . . upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Gates are barriers. No gate conceived in hell can stand against the church that builds upon this foundation. “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom,” that’s authority, “and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Greek is a very interesting language. The Greek language is very precise; you can recognize the grammatical function of a word by its ending. In Greek grammar, you are going to find what is known as tense, mood and action. The tense has to do with the timing, whether an event occurs at “a certain time,” or “a past time,” or at “a time in the future.” The mood is the contingent aspect, describing whether something is factual or possible. The action tells you whether something happens once or is continually ongoing.
We can interpret the phrase, “whatsoever you bind on earth” in simple terms that express the whole setting of tense, mood and action. The tense is “if at any time.” If at any time you come upon a circumstance, by surprise, chance occurrence or whatever, that runs contrary to what God Himself has uttered as His will, you face a decision. Every hour of every day in your walk through this life, at any moment, there is a challenge conceived in hell against that which God has willed. That is the condition; that is the mood contingent. Then you become the uncertain thing; you become the “moody element.” At that moment, you become the key. At that moment, seize it, and in the name of Jesus you bind that which comes out of the gates of hell. Whether you see any results here or not, at that moment, it has already been bound in Heaven, waiting your statement.
The tense of your action is “at any time,” but the moment your mood causes you to act, there are no conditions on the heavenly circumstance. The occurrence entered your life; in that moment you seize it and become the action that God already sealed in Heaven. The circumstance has been bound; all God was waiting for was for you to turn the key. That’s why I’m against star-making theology. Any saint of God can become the voice of God to activate His covenant.
The same word for intercession is used when Jacob left his father’s house, having even deceived his father. Yet, because God saw the heart of that heel-catcher, by chance, “he lighted upon a certain place” and there made his camp. But that chance was God’s appointment: a ladder from Heaven came down and the promises of God exploded. (Genesis 28:11-15)
There are no “chances” in God. We seize each opportunity. The moment the circumstance which in the natural would crush you falls on you tomorrow, that is your opportunity! You say, “Oh, God, heal me now; I’m sick again.” Your mood can say, “Oh, God, I’m crushed,” or your mood can say, “That happening is my opportunity to seize God’s promise of healing,” and you bind it on Earth. God already had it bound in Heaven; it was waiting for you to act.
Read what appears to be one of the driest chapters in God’s book, Joshua 19. It says that God gave this boundary to Asher and it reached up to the river of so-and-so. And God gave this boundary to another son, and its boundary reacheth unto this; and this boundary reaches unto that. They did not possess the land; but the boundaries were clearly defined. Again and again you see the repetition of “boundary, reach,” “boundary, reach.” It is not very inspirational, until you know that the word in the Hebrew that is translated reacheth is “intercession.”
This is what God wants us to do. That’s why “the gates of hell shall not prevail” against the church! God already defined the boundaries and as we come upon circumstances that conflict with what God has promised, we ought to dive in and, by action, hang our body on God’s promises, binding the boundaries that belong to Him. “Devil, take your hands off! Take your hands off God’s church! Take your hands off these saints!” We will claim the boundaries that God has promised.
Reprinted with permission from Pastor Melissa Scott
“The devil is not fighting religion. He’s too smart for that. He is producing a counterfeit Christianity, so much like the real one that good Christians are afraid to speak out against it. We are plainly told in the Scriptures that in the last days men will not endure sound doctrine and will depart from the faith and heap to themselves teachers to tickle their ears. We live in an epidemic of this itch, and popular preachers have developed “ear-tickling” into a fine art.”
“Playing Marbles with Diamonds”
“God has left enough ‘footprints.’ He doesn’t owe us a sign. Only one sign is needed, the sign of Jonah.”
-Dr. Gene Scott
“Eternity hangs by the integrity of God.”
-Dr. Gene Scott
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