“Don’t live your life choked by the dust of earth, be revived by the breath of Heaven“
A sermon preached on the 11th of October 2020 at Revelation Church. You may find the whole sermon at the YouTube link below
Here is the outline, verse references and further notes on a fascinating subject. Trust it will aid to release you from the burden of dust. Jesus is willing to get intertwined with us, His Spirit/voice/word will elevate us to a new and fruitful life.
My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. Psalms 119:25
I. Soul – h5315. נֶפֶשׁ nep̱eš; from 5314; properly, a breathing creature.
II. Cleaves – h1692. דָּבַק ḏâḇaq; a primitive root; properly, to impinge, i.e. cling or adhere; figuratively, to catch by pursuit: — abide fast, cleave (fast together), follow close (hard after), be joined (together), keep (fast), overtake, pursue hard, stick, take.
II. Dust –
h6083. עָפָר ‘âp̱âr; from 6080; dust (as powdered or gray); hence, clay, earth, mud: — ashes, dust, earth, ground, morter, powder, rubbish.
Naturally, we, proceeding from heaven, grow roots into the dust and the dust lends us its hopelessness, curses, and shackles.
A. Concerning Dust In the Bible:
The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
19 By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”
In Exodus, plagues are hidden in the dust:
The Plague of Insects
16 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become gnats through all the land of Egypt.’”
The Plagues of Boils (Disease)
Soot/ashes (Death) are closely connected to dust – the same word in Hebrew for both! The plagues of Boils (Disease) is connected to fine Dust. Viruses/disease travel vast distances on dust.
8 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Take for yourselves handfuls of soot from a kiln, and let Moses throw it toward the sky in the sight of Pharaoh. 9 It will become fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and will become boils breaking out with sores on man and beast through all the land of Egypt.” 10 So they took soot from a kiln, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses threw it toward the sky, and it became boils breaking out with sores on man and beast.
In Numbers, dust makes holy water “the water of bitterness that brings a curse” Numbers 5:18
In Judges and portions of the OT, Dust represented the most desperate wickedness, disgust, sorrow, and repentance. Dust represents God’s judgment, meaninglessness, futility, and an inefficient place to hide.
Other attributes are it’s ability to cloud up and obscure progress or lead to destruction. It’s a fascinating study and meditation.
Dust in the above symbolic derivations are ever-present in our existence. Life in general, news, movies, social media, mainstream music, et.al. actually throws a ton of dust upon on us, careful not to choke on it! Be washed with the water of God’s word…
The most positive quality scripture attributes dust is its sheer magnitude (interesting how technology and development have wrestled with it! And we are a source so it can’t really be fully removed!!)
III. How God revives us from the dust.
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Our hope is the breath of God – The very first time the word dust is used in the Bible, the verse also contains our only hope, God’s breath. We must move from the bread of the dust (Gen 3:19) to the Bread of Life from Heaven (Jn 6:33,35)
That why Jesus said – Man shall not live by bread alone (produced from the dust to sustain dust by the “sweat of our brows” till dust we become) but by every word (Breath) that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4)
Without breath, dust has no life or heavenly value. God’s breath helps us live a spiritual life and the dividends are limitless. The spirit part of us is created to channel us to God. Too many of us live and are defined in the dust when we were called to live by the spirit.
Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
25 For our soul has sunk down into the dust;
Our body cleaves to the earth.
26 Rise up, be our help,
And redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness.
Numerous passages express God’s intense desire to raise us up from the dust, it’s His breath that does it.
“He raises the poor from the dust,
He lifts the needy from the ash heap
1 Samuel 2:8a
In Psalm 119- A List of what revives us out of the Dust
i. According to His word
My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. Psalms 119:25
ii. A fixation on His ways
Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Your ways. Psalms 119:37
iii. Longing for His precepts and righteousness
Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me through Your righteousness. Psalms 119:40
iv. God’s faithfulness to His promises.
Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth. Psalms 119:88
Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your ordinances. Psalms 119:149
v. By memorizing His Word
I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have revived me. Psalms 119:93
vi. God’s mediation
Plead my cause and redeem me; Revive me according to Your word. Psalms 119:154
vii. God’s forgiveness and mercies
Great are Your mercies, O LORD; Revive me according to Your ordinances. Psalms 119:156
[An Addition from other Psalms]
viii. For His names sake
For the sake of Your name, O LORD, revive me. In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble. Psalms 143:11
He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Psalms 23:3
I. Lick not the dust of the earth – the portion of the wicked – but feed on the manna (the bread) that comes out of heaven. Live not by the flesh but by the spirit!! And surely you will overcome and be raised up.
The serpent works overtime to make us lick the dust like him.
16 Nations will see and be ashamed
Of all their might.
They will put their hand on their mouth,
Their ears will be deaf.
17 They will lick the dust like a serpent,
Like reptiles of the earth.
They will come trembling out of their fortresses;
To the LORD our God they will come in dread
And they will be afraid before You.
II. God wants His disciples constantly washed of the dust by His word. Only such are His disciples! Jesus washed His disciples’ feet of the dust of this earth… Please allow Christ to do this daily or we will “have no part in Him”
5 Then He *poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 So He *came to Simon Peter. He *said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” 8 Peter *said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” 10 Jesus *said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”
III. Christ Expects the Church also to constantly cleanse each other of the dust and serve as vessels filled with the water of His Word (Ephesians 5: 26), Jesus instructs us in the same passage –
12 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18 I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’ 19 From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
IV. What proceeds from Jesus cleanses and empowers dust to achieve miraculous things! His Spit and resultant mud heals the blind! And the context of the conversation is the effects of sin. THIS UNDERLINES GOD”S WILLINGNESS TO STEP INTO OUR CURSED SITUATION AND OVERPOWER THE CURSE BY HIS GRACE AND WORD.
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing.
John 9: 1- 12
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
V. Jesus seeks to remove the condemnation written in Dust and write the Law of the Spirit in us and thus No condemnation. When Christ writes on the ground, the dust, for one caught in adultery (thus surely cursed) – Christ’s intervention rewrites the curse and condemnation to life, forgiveness and freedom.
They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” John 8: 6 -11
There are many more applications, I hope this encourages you to pursue your own study and discover the great depths to which the Bible takes us. I have personally never come across a book like the Bible in thirty plus years of reading. Endless, uplifting, refreshing, liberating, infinitely profound and relevant. Jesus Loves you!