God’s Answers to Our Uncertainties

daniel-9

Sermon outline for my message last July 10, 2016 in Bacolod City, Philippines.

Text: Jeremiah 32:36-44

-How do we react to tragedies?
-When tragedy comes, what are your thoughts? When troubles come, what are your fears?
-How do we react if God promises one thing, and what’s happening is the opposite?

-The answers of Jeremiah are a comfort for us too, when we are in deep trouble.
-When troubles come, had God rejected His people?
-When God seems to forget His promises, uncertainties

God has promised to bless Abraham and David, but Israel is in deep ruin. Babylonian Invasion. Their nation and temple is destroyed. War, death, famine abound. His promises to Abraham were:


God’s Covenant to Abraham

 Genesis 17:3-8: And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram,[b] butyour name shall be Abraham,[c] for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I willestablish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”

 -To make him a great nation.
-To bless him and make his name great.
-To be a blessing to the whole world
-To possess the Promised Land

I. The Law and the Covenant

The Mosaic Covenant

 

Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.

The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth… Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other… There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts. Deuteronomy 28:36–37

When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where He scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and bring you back.[1]  Deuteronomy 30:1–4

 

-God’s Wrath is necessary: Still, God’s wrath must be experienced until the purification of His people had been completed. “In the days to come you will understand this” (v. 24).

Destruction because of the repeated sins of the people.

They provoked the Lord to anger. The only solution was to give them to Babylon, a land of idols. God gives you to the consequences of your actions.

 

  1. God’s Answers
  2. God Reveals a Better Covenant: The New Covenant (Chapter 31:31-34)
  3. Jeremiah buys a field to demonstrate confidence in God’s promises (32:1-15)
    1. To reveal the unchanging purposes of God
    2. Good theology leads to a confident heart
    3. “house and fields and vineyeards shall again be bought in this land.” (v.15)
    4. WE BUY LANDS AND INVEST FOR THE COMING WORLD –to show that this world is not our home
  4. “Nothing is too hard for the Lord” (32:17)
  5. God shows steadfast love to thousands (v.18) –God hasn’t forgotten
    1. Steadfast = Unchanging, immovable, steady, certain, consistent, constant, not easily disturbed, unwavering, solid, bato, fixed, does not fluctuate
    2. Our survival is not based on us, but based on his steadfast love
  6. Remember God’s history of rescue and faithfulness (v.19-25)
    1. Beware of forgetfulness
    2. Count your blessings
  7. God is sovereign in allowing troubles in our lives (v.26-35)
  8. Read Text:

PURO “I” – Perseverance til the end is the work of God alone

 

  1. He scatters, he gathers (v.36-37)
  2. God gives safety (v.37)
  3. He gives our true identity (v.38)
  4. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
  5. God will give us one Heart (v.39)
    1. -One Focus, all seeking the Lord, call upon the name of the Lord
    2. -We seek for the joys of the world to come
  6. One Destination
    1. Outward direction
  7. God will cause us to fear him
  8. For our own good and our family’s good
  9. It is an everlasting covenant
  10. God rejoices in doing us good
  11. God is faithful to plant us
    1. “with all my heart and soul”

 

The New Covenant

 

“The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to My covenant, and I turned away from them,” declares the Lord. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be My people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. I will forgive their wickedness, and will remember their sins no more.” -Hebrews 8:8–12

 

Conclusion:

 

Comparing the 3 Covenants

 

 

Facing Discouragements

Facing Discouragements
Text:
(Isaiah 40:27-31)

Sermon outline for my message last June 26, 2016 in Bacolod City, Philippines

Do you sometimes feel that God has abandoned you? This is exactly what the nation of Israel felt.
“Why do you say, O Jacob… my way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God.?” (v.27)

“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.” ESV (v.31)

Why did they feel that way? It’s because of their disobedience. The nation of Israel continually rebelled against the Lord and God brought them to terrible judgment- they were ransacked, destroyed and conquered by a pagan foreign nation.

For me, I think I could endure if something bad happens and I know if my conscience is right before God. But how about if something bad happens to me because I did something evil also? Both spiritually and physically, no one can endure a prolonged separation from God and from a good state of life.

That is unbearably discouraging. That’s what Israel felt, and that’s what we could feel too.  Israel kept on worshiping idols and serving other gods, and God disciplined them by sending Assyrian conquerors to chastise them. It was too hard for them to bear. It’s too difficult. They want to give up. In the midst of the misery of our own consequences, like them, we may say…

“My way is hidden from the LORD and my right is disregarded by My God (v.27)” –the way in Hebrew refers to life, course, journey and road. The Israelites are like saying that the Lord does not care for their life anymore.  The Lord does not look at what they are going through. Do you sometimes feel that God has abandoned you? And He does not see what you are going through? In Filipino, it’s like May mga pinagdadaanan ka ba? Na sa tingin mo walang Syang pakialam?

You think that maybe it’s your fault, that that’s a consequence of your sins in the past, or that maybe God does not love you anymore. The worst thing that could happen to us is when God leaves us to our own.

At the cross, Jesus did not complain of the nails, the beatings and the injuries. He complained, “My God My God why have you forsaken me?” He complained of His Father’s separation.

Discouragements could be caused by many forms- it could be caused by a sick loved one, failed relationships, financial struggles, coldness, emotional pain, a toxic job, a stressful career, physical discomforts, unrealized dreams, etc.

The Hebrew word for “right” means plea. A case, a plea. The Israelites felt that their plea isn’t heard. Their prayers fall into deaf ears. For them God is silent.

Do you have prayers that until now haven’t been answered? Na sa tingin mo nagbibingi-bingihan lang ang Dios? Tapos sabay kakanta ka ng Natutulog ba ang Dios? Have you plead so many times for deliverance, for provision , for healing but God did not answer?

The Deliverance

Many times, the greatness of our discouragements overpower our sight of the greatness and superiority of God.

Verses 28-31 of Isaiah 40 demonstrates to us that God is superior than anything else- even superior than the Babylonian Giants that conquer us and the giants of our discouragements.

 

“Have you not known? Have you not heard?”

Isaiah transitions to the solution. But he first describes what Israel is lacking.  Are you not aware? Are you not informed? Was it not revealed to you? Are you not familiar? Did somebody not taught you?
We must never forget who God is.
1. He is Eternal –“The Lord is the everlasting God.” (v.28)
2. He is All Powerful-“The Creator of the ends” (v.28)
3. He is Omniscient- “his understanding is unsearcheable.” (v.28)
4. He is always alert. “He gives power to the faint…” (v.29) Not only He does not faint, but He gives power to the faint.
5. He is Compassionate- “To him who has no might He increases strength” (v.29)

“Even the strong young men will… “ (v.30)
In Hebrew, young men refers to “men who were drafted/selected”
1. Faint
2. Be weary
3. Fall exhausted
Think of superstar athletes- the brightest and the strongest of men living today- Lebron James? Irving? Curry? Michael Phelps?- yes, even them will grow weak. Even the mightiest of humans will have a point of exhaustion and ultimately a point of expiration.

“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.” ESV (v.31)


“But they that wait”

In Hebrew, the word wait means:
1. To Hope
2. To look forward with confidence
3. Focus with anticipation of a future event
4. Eager expectation of salvation or deliverance

I. “shall renew their strength”
1. Shall go on
2. Shall change state
3. Rest
4. Experience being invigorated
5. Restoration

The best comes to those who wait…”

Believers whose hope is in the Lord shall be infused with spiritual power. And shall be like:

I. A flying eagle- known for their strength,speed, size, power, vision
II. A running athlete in a competition
III. A hiker in a long trek

Olympic Motto: Swifter, Higher, Stronger

Ps 42:5    Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my * salvation

FB Meyer, “Lord I feel so unfruitful and I lack spiritual power. Christ then said, give me all your keys of the doors of your life. He gave all keys except one key, and that is the door to his life. Jesus said, “If I am not your Lord of all, I am not your Lord at all.”