Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Messiah Finally Arrives

Introduction: In Shakespere’s history of Henry the V, the king takes the cloak of a commoner and walks amongst his men. It is 3.00 am and the sound of hammers hitting against metal ring out in the night. It is a somber sound of what is to come and the men know it. Soon they will be in battle against the French, who outnumber them by a large number. In the course of his walk, and incognito, he stops and chats with some of the men. Shortly, their conversation grows terse. One of the men tells the king that if they weren’t getting ready to battle, he would box his ears. Of course, he doesn’t know he’s the king. The king tells this man to give him something that he would recognize later on. He tells the man that he’ll wear it “on his bonnet”. So then, when he sees him again, and recognizes his property on this man, he can do just that – box his ears. As a reader, you know this guy would never threaten to beat up the king. But this guy has no idea who he is talking to… he has no idea who is in his presence.

1 Corinthians 2.8 says: None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The religious leaders who killed Jesus failed to see who was right there in their midst. They had all of the information, but their minds failed to process that information.

Which brings me to the task this morning:

  • Identifying the Messiah.
  • And 2ndly, properly presenting him to the world.

t.s.: this morning, I want to help us fix our eyes upon Jesus… and see him for who He really is. And then, present Him to the world. The text I’ve chosen to do this with is Philippians 2. Look with me at Philippians chapter 2.

In Philippians 2.5-8 we learn some important doctrinal concepts about who Jesus is. Rd Phil 2.5-6a;

1st we see that Paul is teaching us that…

I. Jesus is God (5-6)

exp.: Can I preface my remarks with the statement that it is most difficult to describe a spiritual existence with physical terms; Paul writes that he is ‘God in form’; μορφή; you’re most familiar with the word metamorphosis meta: change; Μορφή: form

ill.: Mark 9.2: μεταμορφόω

Here, Paul is teaching us that Jesus is God. Before we know him any other way – He is God. His nature, his form, his essence, his position is God. Let’s continue; Rd 6.b; 2ndly, Paul says that Jesus is equal to God, that is: ‘God in equality’; if a=b and b=c, then a=c; if the Father = God and the Son = the Father, then the Son = God. John brings this out multiple times in his Gospel; in Jn 1.1; In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Two uniquely individual parts or persons in the same Godhead. In Jn 5.18 this very clear concept was a very real problem for the religious leaders: 18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

app.: Paul’s teaching is clear: Jesus isn’t partly God; he isn’t from God or of God; Jesus is God – 100%

t.s.: notice 2ndly that Paul teaches us that…

II. God became a Man (He condescended) (6-7)

exp.: rd v 6b-7a; God becoming man is really an incredible action; and hard to fathom; there are certain traits Paul uses to describe this action; the one trait he magnifies in this passage is Humility (v3, 8): rd 6b; though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped… look at this humility displayed:

  1. Though he was equal with God, he let that go; he condescended, he stooped down, rd v 7a;
  2. Though he was fully God, he Poured himself out; κενόω; Emptied himself; This word means to pour out until empty – to empty out something, like pouring our everything within a pitcher. Jesus was fully God, but made a choice to empty himself of those divine qualities, characteristics and become a man. But there is more…rd 7a-b;
  3. Though he was master and King, he became a slave; δοῦλος; BTW: same word here, μορφή; Talk about a swinging pendulum – talk about a major transformation! Not did he just go from God to Man, but he went from God – the highest place, to the lowest place, a slave. Rd 7c; being born in the likeness of men.
  4. Being born means that he became human. Our text last week focused upon the fact that he was born of a woman – the fulfillment of prophecy. He could have arrived in pomp and circumstance in God form, but he would not have been able to die for the sins of man.

app.: Before we move to v 8, I’d like to clarify a couple of misperceptions about what we’ve just read.

  1. Jesus never stopped being God. Even while he was in the flesh as man, he was and is still God. His form may have changed, but who he is never did. Having emptied himself of certain divine characteristics it did not limit his ability nor his function as God. Jesus, becoming a man, never stopped being God.
  2. He wasn’t a mixture of both (say 50%-50%). He was 100% God and 100% man. James 1.17: 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. We probably first learned this doctrine from the song: “Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not. As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

So, if Jesus never stopped being God and he isn’t a mixture of one part and another part, how is it that he sometimes seems limited?

  1. His glory as God was hidden beneath or behind his human nature. So well hidden was this phenomenon, that some people actually thought he wasn’t a very good man, let alone, that he was God. Others saw it clearly (John 20, Thomas: My Lord and my God). Still, those who couldn’t just could not get past this idea that Paul says: he emptied himself. For them, Jesus wasn’t anything near what they had expected – a mere man, as they saw him. He hid his glory beneath or behind his human nature.

t.s.:  now, let’s read v 8; Paul is teaching us that God sent us His son to die for us.

III. Jesus was sacrificed for our sin.

exp.: Jesus is the One who was to come. He is the Messiah. We would know that he was to come because for centuries God had told all about him. The information is there… we just need to process it.

His one purpose, as we looked at it last week in Galatians 4.4-5, was to redeem us.

1 Jn 3.16: 16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. You see two parts in this verse:

  • The sacrifice of Christ and
  • Our call to sacrifice for others.

Let’s deal with this 1st part: Christ’s sacrifice.

Why? Why would Christ die for us? Truthfully, that is an ocean too deep and too broad for us to comprehend. When you consider the sum of its parts, you’re left undone. Really, you are! Consider the 1st part of that verse: By this we know love.

  1. God is love… it is who he is… and so, he loves us. That in itself is almost too much to take in: that God in perfection would love someone like me – a sinner. Someone who rejected him. Someone who is selfish and can be so unkind. 1 Jn 4.8 says point blank: God is love; I don’t mean to imply that God is touchy-feely or that he is akin to humans. We must never take our human traits and place them upon God. True, we are made in his image, but please remember the he is not to be made in our image. He loves differently than we do. His love is a perfect love. Our love fails in so many ways. Which brings me to my second application.
  2. His work to save us comes to us totally free and undeserved. God’s love is unmerited. Eph 1.4: even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. You and I don’t love that way. We try, but we fail. Not God – in his perfect love, he offers this precious gift of salvation through the sacrifice of his Son, free and unmerited.

Ill.: In our Community Group I asked our folks to ponder the lengths God went to in order to save us…in order to save you! Let’s do that for a moment. Move beyond this moment in time we’re looking at – when Christ was sacrificed and consider what God was doing to get to this place. God was at work before the creation of the world to restore what would go wrong. God was always… God has always been at work bringing about the restoration of what was destroyed in the garden.

Which brings us to our second goal this morning: properly presenting him to the world. In Mark, Jesus is quoted as saying: Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

In our video, Kevin DeYoung said: as you’ve probably heard by now and should definitely tell someone else…

See the verse above and when you consider this word world (Go into all the world), I want you to think ‘badness’ over ‘bigness’ (D.A. Carson in his little book, The Difficult Doctrine of Love brings this out so beautifully). The word world is often times used to describe the evil that has infiltrated God’s creation because of sin. There is not doubt that at times this word means the earth, but at other times it is used to describe the sinfulness of man.

  • Be in the world, not of it.
  • Paul said of Demas in 2 Timothy: 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Paul isn’t saying Demas loves this big planet, but rather the wicked ways of this world.

When you hear 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Think badness, not bigness.

The word So is not a definition of God’s love, but rather the demonstration of God’s love. I’ve used the terms manner and measure before. Then, consider the world not in its bigness, but in its badness. And, let that settle over you. Oh, how amazing God truly is, that He would work to restore what has been destroyed.

When you look at the whole picture from Creation to today, stop at the flood. God was so repulsed at the world, that he destroyed it all and started over. This time though, he sent his son.

The 2nd part of 1 Jn 3.16: 16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. This is our call to sacrifice for others.

For sure, there is no place on this earth that we should not go to take this message. But don’t think of it geographically, but rather as demographically. Infiltrate all of its badness with this good news to every single person. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is the only antidote – the only hope against evil.

Lisa was telling me this week that one of her messages, Bible studies for the children during VBS was John 3.16. One task with the kids was to answer why Jesus came.

Why did God the Father send Jesus? Jesus came to Restore what had been damaged at Creation through Adam and Eve’s rebellion.

What did he do for us? Their 2nd task was to Recognize what Jesus did. He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin; thereby, making this restoration possible.

3rd, they were asked, “How should you Respond to this Good News?” Believe and Receive. 2ndly, go and tell. Because they don’t know – they’ve not heard. It is as if Jesus is right there in their presence but they just don’t recognize him.

Transition: All of what happened from the very beginning has pointed us to this moment – the virgin would be with child and give birth to a baby boy, who would be called Emmanuel: God with us. This baby would grow into a young boy and into a young man. He would live a perfect and sinless life, thereby making him the only one who could pay the penalty for sins: yours and mine. He would die on a cross, making atonement for our sin. He would rise from the dead and ascend to the Father where he rules and reigns in glory as we await his imminent return.

Why did he come? He came to restore that which had been damaged. Our part then is to recognize the lengths God went to restore what has been damaged in sending his son to die for our sin. And, then we should respond appropriately with that Good News.

Conclusion: I met Jesse as a young man in the Army. We were stationed together and he had just been reassigned to my company. He was to me, larger than life. He had a personality they just drew others to him, including me. What was truly amazing to me was that he wanted to be my friend. I’m not sure anyone has influenced my life like Jesse did. Sure, many have had an influence, but Jesse influenced me as a total person.

He could always tell a good joke. He made me laugh so hard. I wanted to be able to tell jokes like he did. So, I practiced. Sometimes, I could just look at him and he’d make me laugh. He could just make a certain face or movement and he would set me off.

We went to the same church. Jesse could give me the giggles and that’s bad during a sermon!

He was so outgoing – not afraid to talk to anybody. I liked that in him. So, I tried to be more like him when I met people. I think some of that was already in me, but Jesse brought more of that out in me.

Jesse was very much an outdoorsman. He could scuba dive, skin dive, surf, boogie board, snorkel, sail. He could hunt and fish. We would go night diving and spear fish while they were sleeping. Sometimes, he would go down and pet a gigantic fish while it slept. He could reach out and grab a lobster with his hands. I could never do that. Jesse could hold his breath for what seemed like endless minutes. He would go down, find a lobster or gigantic eel, like those in the Little Mermaid, and then call me down. I would swim down, holding my breath. He’d point out something fascinating and then I’d have to go back up to catch my breath. He’d stay down there for a while and then swim back up. Amazing.

Jesse was the best friend I think I ever had. In many ways, I wanted to be just like him.

As I look back on that relationship, I worshipped Jesse in many ways. I know I have to be careful when I say that, because it can be misunderstood. But that is probably a good word to describe the relationship we had.

App.: When you worship something or someone you begin to take on those characteristics and manners. When you take someone or something and hold it out there before you – and, it consumes your focus and attention – a part of you changes. Now, that can be really good or that can be very bad.

What or who do you worship? What or who influences your life? Your decisions? Your actions? If Jesus is your idol, your object of worship, you will become more like him. And that, my friends, is one of the ways the people around you will see him. Then, when you tell them about him – it will all come together.

How will you respond to Jesus? I hope he will become the center of you attention and life.

Invitation.

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Filed under Messiah, Philippians, Sermon

Living in Silent Times

Title: Living in Silent Times

Text: Galatians 4.4-5

Introduction: We’re in Galatians 4 this morning. We’ll also be in Romans 5, so you can set your bookmarks in those places if you’d like.

Silence. Silence can be difficult to endure. We often grow uncomfortable with silence. When we first began the practice of ending our services in quiet reflection back in 2009, I noticed it was hard for people. You know, when we have our time of ‘Silent Reflection”. At home we turn on the TV or in the car we turn on some music to fill the void. There is a commercial by T-Mobile that is out right now about a couple who flees the city to finally get to go camping. We’re here, we’re finally doing this: We’re Camping! You hear them say as they lay in their tent. And then they lay there listening to the silence. There is nothing but the sounds of the night. An Owl hoots. Crickets and Frogs are singing in the background. Maybe a coyote barks in the night. Then, they grab their phones and upload the sounds of the city so they can sleep! There are horns honking and sirens…

Nothing eats away at a husband more than when his wife won’t talk to him. He knows he has done something wrong. And, it is the same for all of us when we want to hear a Word from God, but there is only silence. It seems as if the clouds are creating a buffer, a barrier that won’t let our prayers through.

Silence can be deafening. And the longer it goes, the louder it gets!

We pick up in His Story at just such a time in the life of Israel. The people have been experiencing a silence from God. Amos prophesied 300 years before it began that God would create a famine for his Word. He would stop sending them prophets. They didn’t listen to them anyway because they didn’t want to hear from God.

HiStory begins at Creation when things are perfect. In the Garden, Adam and Eve hear his voice and converse with him in beauty and simplicity. But the conversation is disrupted when sin enters into the picture. Life in the fall was ugly. It got so bad that God decided to flood the world, destroy everything in creation and start again with just 8 people: Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives. After that God chose a man from whom would come a nation – a nation of people who would be His people. The Man’s Name was Abram. God chose his son, Isaac. And then he chose Isaac’s son, Jacob. Jacob had 12 sons who through time would have descendants of their own and would make up the 12 tribes of Israel. They would be slaves in Egypt, but God would bring them up out of Egypt and give them a land of their own – a promise he had made to each of their forefathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So understood was this promise of God for a land and a people, that Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Jacob, made the people of Israel promise that they would bring his bones up from Egypt to the place his great grandfather and great grandmother were buried, his grandfather and grandmother. And, he buried his father there, too.

Israel was to be God’s people in God’s land. They were to be distinct and different. Their existence was to be a message to the World that God was their God. But they refused to act like it. He gave them his commands, but they rejected them. He gave them priests to intercede for and shepherd them like sheep. But, the priests very selfishly lived for themselves. He gave them kings, but very few led them to follow God. He gave them prophets to tell them what they were doing wrong and what they needed to do to get back on track. But, they didn’t like what the prophets had to say, so they did their best to silence them – even if it meant killing some of them.

Now, that they needed a Word from God but nothing comes. Only silence.

This period of time in the history of Israel is pretty much unknown. The quills, known as the prophets’ pens lie still on their desks. The ink in the jars has dried up. No Word from God. No words; no signs; no object lessons.

Basically, the words of the prophets end by 427BC. Let me see if I can outline this for you.

History from 586BC:

  • Exile in Babylon begins in 586BC. They have rejected God’s commands for long enough. Off to Babylon they go for 70 years! Jerusalem and its Temple are utterly destroyed.
  • The Temple is rebuilt from 536BC to 516BC – 70 years later as had been foretold. You can read all about this in the book of Ezra.
  • Nehemiah, who was governor of Jerusalem, rebuilds the Walls of Jerusalem around 445BC.
  • According to John Bright, the prophets disappear from the scene by 427BC.

Amos foretold of this event in his book. Rd Amos 8.11-12: 11“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. 12They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it.

The information we have about the Jews who’ve returned from exile seems to indicate the genealogy of the Priests and Levites down to the end of the 5th Century (so, 400BC). You can read about them in Nehemiah 12. The Chronicler records David’s Descendants, as well (1 Chron. 3) to about that same period. But it is as if the last names are read in Nehemiah or in 1 Chronicles and then silence.

By 400BC God’s voice had grown quiet. And it would be quiet for a long time.

So, from this point forth, there is silence in the World of the Jews. Truth is, we know almost nothing about Israel from 400BC until about 175BC when the Maccabean Rebellion against the Seleucids occured.

We know that during the Exile, the Babylonians fell to the Medes and the Persians. Then, the Persian Empire fell to the Greek Empire. By his death in 323 BC – Alexander the Great had conquered most of the known world and Israel lay under his authority. In due time, in the 1st Century BC, Rome would conquer Greece and the Jews would be under Roman authority at the time of Christ’s birth. (Cf.: Daniel 8)

At his death, his four Generals divided up his empire and Israel fell under the rule of Ptolemy. Over the next nearly two centuries, Israel would be ruled by either the Seleucids or Ptolemies.

In 175BC, the Jews would face fierce persecution from the Seleucids. It was out of this persecution that a famous rebellion arose, known as the Maccabean Revolt. These battles are recorded and we enter back into a time of information of Jewish History.

But, in all that was going on in the world and in Israel, God’s voice still lay silent.

For roughly 400 years the Jews lived without a Word from God. 400 years! That’s an incredibly long time to not hear from God. But, when the time was right – I mean perfectly right – God sent his Son! Let me show you what I mean. We’re in Galatians 4.4-5: But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Transition: I find three interesting facts about God’s timing in these two verses:

  1. God’s timing in sending his son was perfect.
  2. God’s timing in sending his son was foretold.
  3. God’s timing in sending his son was purposeful.

Notice first, God’s perfect timing.

I. God’s Timing was perfect.

exp.: fullness of time; not one more drop – there is the picture of completion. If this were a picture, one more stroke would mess it up. If this were a poem, one more word would mess it up. If this was a recipe, one more ingredient would ruin it. If this were a glass of water, one more drop would cause it to spill over. Romans 5.6 says: For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. This was the message of Jesus as he came onto the seen in Mark 1.15: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

This gives us a sense that God was doing everything to save his people in his own time. He was at work in History to make things perfect for the arrival of His Son.

t.s.: 2ndly notice, his timing was the fulfillment of prophecy.

II. God’s Timing was foretold.

exp.: He had told his people all along that this Messiah would come.

ill.: Prophecies fulfilled by Jesus:

1.  That he would be born of a woman

 

Gen. 3:15; Gal. 4:4

 

2.  That he would be from the line of Abraham

 

Gen. 12:3, 7; 17:7; Rom. 9:5; Gal. 3:16

 

3.  That he would be from the tribe of Judah

 

Gen. 49:10; Heb. 7:14; Rev. 5:5

 

4.  That he would be from the house of David

 

2 Sam. 7:12–13; Luke 1:31–33; Rom. 1:3
5.  That he would be born of a virgin

 

Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:22–23

 

6.  That he would be given the throne of David

 

2 Sam. 7:11–12; Ps. 132:11; Isa. 9:6–7; 16:5; Jer. 23:5; Luke 1:31–32
7.  That this throne would be an eternal throne

 

Dan. 2:44; 7:14, 27; Micah 4:7; Luke 1:33
8.  That he would be called Emmanuel

 

Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23

 

9.  That he would have a forerunner:

he would look like Elijah.

 

Isa. 40:3–5; Mal. 3:1; Matt. 3:1–3; Luke 1:76–78; 3:3–6
10. That he would be born in Bethlehem

 

Micah 5:2; Matt. 2:5–6; Luke 2:4–6

 

11. That he would be worshiped by wise men and presented with gifts Ps. 72:10; Isa. 60:3, 6, 9; Matt. 2:11

 

12. That he would be in Egypt for a season

 

Num. 24:8; Hos. 11:1; Matt. 2:15

 

13. That his birthplace would suffer a

massacre of infants

 

Jer. 31:15; Matt. 2:17–18

 

14. That he would be called a Nazarene

 

Isa. 11:1; Matt. 2:23

 

15. That he would be zealous for the Father

 

Pss. 69:9; 119:139; John 6:37–40

 

16. That he would be filled with God’s Spirit

 

Ps. 45:7; Isa. 11:2; 61:1–2; Luke 4:18–19
17. That he would heal many

 

Isa. 53:4; Matt. 8:16–17

 

18. That he would deal gently with the Gentiles

 

Isa. 9:1–2; 42:1–3; Matt. 4:13–16; 12:17–21
19. That he would speak in parables

 

Isa. 6:9–10; Matt. 13:10–15

 

20. That he would be rejected by his

own people

 

Ps. 69:8; Isa. 53:3; John 1:11; 7:5
21. That he would make a triumphal entry

into Jerusalem

 

Zech. 9:9; Matt. 21:4–5

 

22. That he would be praised by little children

 

Ps. 8:2; Matt. 21:16

 

23. That he would be the rejected cornerstone

 

Ps. 118:22–23; Matt. 21:42

 

24. That his miracles would not be believed

 

Isa. 53:1; John 12:37–38

 

25. That his friend would betray him for

30 pieces of silver

 

Ps. 41:9; 55:12–14; Zech. 11:12–13; Matt. 26:14–16, 21–25
26. That he would be a man of sorrows

 

Isa. 53:3; Matt. 26:37–38

 

27. That he would be forsaken by his disciples

 

Zech. 13:7; Matt. 26:31, 56

 

28. That he would be scourged and spat upon

 

Isa. 50:6; Matt. 26:67; 27:26

 

29. That his price money would be used to buy a potter’s field

 

Jer. 18:1–4; 19:1–4; Zech. 11:12–13; Matt. 27:9–10
30. That he would be crucified between

two thieves

 

Isa. 53:12; Matt. 27:38; Mark 15:27–28; Luke 22:37
31. That he would be given vinegar to drink

 

Ps. 69:21; Matt. 27:34, 48; John 19:28–30
32. That he would suffer the piercing

of his hands and feet

 

Ps. 22:16; Zech. 12:10; Mark 15:25; John 19:34, 37; 20:25–27
33. That his garments would be parted and gambled for

 

Ps. 22:18; Luke 23:34; John 19:23–24

 

34. That he would be surrounded

and ridiculed by his enemies

Ps. 22:7–8; Matt. 27:39–44; Mark 15:29–32
35. That he would thirst

 

Ps. 22:15; John 19:28

 

36. That he would commend his spirit

to the Father

 

Ps. 31:5; Luke 23:46

 

37. That his bones would not be broken

 

Exod. 12:46; Num 9:12; Ps. 34:20; John 19:33–36
38. That he would be stared at in death

 

Zech. 12:10; Matt. 27:36; John 19:37
39. That he would be buried with the rich

 

Isa. 53:9; Matt. 27:57–60

 

40. That he would be raised from the dead

 

Ps. 16:10; Matt. 28:2–7

 

41. That he would ascend to the Father

 

Ps. 24:7–10; Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51

 

t.s.:  finally,God had told them, but they wouldn’t listen. And when God spoke again: Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son… when God spoke again through His Son, most didn’t want to hear it then – even though God had been silent for so long!

III. God’s Timing was purposeful.

exp.: God did what he did when he did what he did because he had a purpose: to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. I don’t see this as two separate purposes, like you can have one without the other. The New American Standard presents this beautifully and so literally: 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

app.: God has always been at work saving his people. And, I would propose to you that remains the same today:

app.: It has been nearly 2000 years since Jesus died and rose again and ascended to be with the Father. Nearly 2000 years have passed since he gave us his promise to return. When you look at the time frames of HiStory, you notice patterns. I believe that where we are in history fits that pattern and the time for his return is very near. It is so close to happening that I stand here this morning and feel the need to repeat the words of Jesus: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” As the prophets of old shouted at the people to get ready for the Lord – it is time for us to do the same. Ladies and Gentlemen, We are in the last days.

t.s.: It is time to stop thinking so much about ourselves. It is time to stand up and be heard: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” I fear that people around us live in silence – the silence of God’s Word. They don’t know of God’s love them. They don’t know their sin separates them from Him, but that a way has been made for them to find forgiveness of sin.

Conclusion: Mindy Belz: Lost and Found

August 2014, almost three years ago, ISIS had infiltrated and captured Qarakosh in Iraq. A desperate mother of four struggled with what to do. Aida’s husband, Khader, is blind. Running with him would be impossible, especially with a three-year-old daughter to try and deal with. Sure, she could run with her three older children, but the other two… impossible. And she would never leave them. In fear and with a torn spirit, she pushed her three oldest out the door: two sons and a daughter. Run! She urged them. Save yourselves!

The terrorists would take Aida, Khader and their little girl, Christina captive. They would be loaded onto a bus headed…who knows where. As Christina sat on her mother’s lap, suddenly an emir snatched Christina from her momma’s lap. Mom screamed and cried, but with a gun pointed at her head, she was forced to remain as they carried her daughter away. Christina’s father heard what was happening, but he was helpless to do anything.

This couple would be forced to flee with 150,000 other Iraqi Christians from the Nineveh plain to safety. Aida and Khader were reunited with their older three children, but what had become of Christina?

Mindy Belz writes of their family in one of the many refugee camps: There Aida and Khader spent sleepless nights sorting rumors about their daughter: They heard ISIS had put her in the care of a Christian woman also captured and taken to Mosul, then “married” the girl to a fighter, then gave her to a Muslim family.

A couple of years later Christina’s older brother found a picture of her on Facebook. It was just after her 5th birthday and proof that she was still alive, but they really knew nothing else. Christina was only 30 miles away, but she was held in ISIS territory. There was no way they could get to her.

Basically, they lived in silence. No word, no hope. Then a miracle happened. Iraqi Special Forces liberated a poor neighborhood in Mosul. Word was taken to Aida and Khader that their daughter had been found. They rushed to her and found her safe and sound. She was shocked and speechless. You see, she didn’t remember them at first. She didn’t even know she was lost.

Show pic: but now she’s been restored to her family.

I wonder how many people out there in the world around us don’t even know they’re lost. Like Christina, they live an existence they think is their own, but they have no idea they’re really captives. The silence of God’s Word continues for them, because you and I haven’t told them that He has spoken to us through His Son, Jesus. They don’t know that they can be set free from their captivity. They don’t know that they have a Father who loves them and moved heaven and earth that they might have a relationship with Him.

 

 

 

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Filed under Amos, Galatians, Prophecy, Sermons

The Prophets

Title: The Prophets

Text: Luke 24.13-27

Introduction:

In 1 Kings 13, we meet a man of God. You see the title of the message today: The Prophets. “Man of God” is another title for a prophet. This man of God, a prophet remains nameless. He was summoned by God to go to Jeroboam, the new and 1st king of the northern kingdom and bring him the Word of God. A couple of interesting events happen here:

1st, The man of God tells the king that a future king from the house of David, named Josiah, will sacrifice the priests of the high places and burn their bones on it.

  • Hey, 1st  – King of the Northern Kingdom, a future king of the Southern Kingdom will sacrifice the priests of the high places and burn their bones on it.
  • Oh, and so you know it is God’s Word, a sign will be given to you today –

2nd, He gives him a sign: this altar will be torn down and the ashes that are on it will be poured out.

That’s a pretty bold statement by the prophet – in the face of the King, no less!

So the king gets mad, as you might expect and yells out a command to his servants: Seize Him!

3rd, Instead of the man being seized, the king’s hand and arm are what seize up. Ruh-Roe! The King realizes he’s in trouble. The altar is torn down and the ashes are poured out from the altar just as the man of God predicted.

And so the King pleads with the man of God to intercede to God on his behalf, that he might be healed. The man of God does so and the king is healed.

The year this man of God spoke this prophecy was roughly about 930 BC. Josiah’s reforms took place from 621 BC. That’s 300 years later. You can read about it, that is the fulfillment of this prophecy, in 2 Kings 23. Not only did Jeroboam not live to see the prophecy come true, but 19 other kings would come and go. And, by 620 BC the Northern Kingdom no longer existed. It disappeared in 722 BC. It had already been gone for nearly 100 years.

Such is the work of prophets. They speak of things to come, often as if they’ve already happened. You and I are blessed because the work of the prophets showed us Jesus before he was born. And, many other men of God have documented and outlined the fulfillment of those prophecies for us.

We’re in the midst of a sermon series: HisStory. That is: The Story of Jesus. The premise is that all of God’s Word is about Him. From Creation to Revelation, its not just history, it is His Story. Here’s how we got here:

1. Intro: His Story The Bible
2. Creation Genesis 1-3
3. The Fall Genesis 4-11
4. The Patriarchs Genesis 12-50
5. Israel: A New Nation Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
6. Kings Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles

Here is a quick look at the messages to date. The point of them all has been to communicate that each story points us to God’s work of saving his people. And, that points to Jesus. And that won’t change this morning. Really, it is even clearer as you consider the prophets.

7. Prophets Luke 24.13-27

Turn to Luke 24.13. rd Lk 24.13-27; this must have been an incredible experience for Cleopas and his traveling companion. The Master himself explains to them just what the Prophets had been saying about him. What clarity!

This leads me to some questions – question I hope to answer in my message today:

  1. Who were these men, the prophets? Were any of them women?
  2. Where did they come from? What were their origins?
  3. What was it these prophets said? Or, What had they laid out before hand that Jesus ‘interpreted’ to Cleopas and this other disciple? How did they do that?

Transition: I’d like to begin by answering this 1st question: who were they?

1.  These men were called of God. The first man called a prophet was Abraham in Gen.          20.7; the 1st woman I find being a prophetess is Miriam in Exodus 15.20 (cf.: Isaiah’s          wife, Deborah; Anna); the pattern of a prophet was Moses. He set the example for the        people of Israel that they would look for in a prophet whom God would raise up                  among them. He was the standard by which all other comparisons were made. But, he     also was the example set for them of “The Prophet” – the One who was to come and           The One the Israelites were waiting and watching for.

2.   In answering the question: Where did they come from? At first I was curious about             geographical areas. Where did they live and what did they do before they became             prophets? But this quest took me in a different direction. Where did they come from?         In answering this question I found…

a. Prophetic ministry begins and ends with God. Nowhere do we see prophecy                       with its source in humans (or anywhere else for that matter).

b. A prophet had a private and public call to his ministry. Therefore, a false                               prophet did not have that call upon his life. A Prophet of God was a man who                       had (1st) stood in the presence of God (think Moses) and then (2ndly) stood                           before the people of God telling them the Word of God. Turn to Deut. 18.15-18                       once again;

i. God will “raise up” a prophet. God is the source by which this man will come.

ii. This prophet will speak God’s Word. And I will put my words in his mouth,                             and he shall speak to them all that I command him.

Note: A Prophet wasn’t necessarily a predictor of the future. I think a lot of times that is the way we think about prophets – that they predicted the future. In many cases that was true. But, it was so much more than that: a prophet’s main duty was to communicate God’s Word.

c. In Jeremiah 7.25 God declares that He as been doing this since He brought                           them up out of Egypt: 25 From the day that your fathers came out of the land of                     Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them,                       day after day.

Because of this fact (Prophetic ministry begins and ends with God), we should take note. This is God’s doing and these are God’s Words. Let that sink in. God has accomplished this incredible feat of preserving His Word – over thousands of years – just so you and I would have it here with us today! In all of literature – all of literature – there is nothing anywhere comparable to God’s Word. Nothing! What a precious gift. Would you want to hear from God?

Ill.: Michael Card: “Present Reality,” I want to know you in the now. Well, if truth be told – no, I don’t think we really would. If God could appear before us as He did with the Israelites at Sinai, I think we’d respond and be just like the Israelites at the foot of the Mountain. We would cry out: Please, Dear LORD, don’t speak directly to us. If you do, we’ll die. Write it down for us to read and learn about. Give us godly men and women to teach us – but don’t present yourself to us! We won’t be able to bear it.

app.: In this regard, modern day prophets still speak forth God’s Word. They have it here before us and open up in all of its beauty and encouragement and life-giving information. And they speak plainly God’s Word. Thus saith the Lord.

Because this is God’s Word, future events have context. Because this is God’s Word, a prophecy concerning the future, these future events, as they take place, now have context. We are uniquely positioned to understand the events as they unfold. And the reason we understand them is simply because God has communicated them to us before hand.

More than that, we have confidence, because He has been faithful to do so in the past. We see where He has spoken and what he has said came about. We understand the circumstance so much more in that God had a plan and a purpose.

Ill.: Our community group has been experiencing this in our studies. We have God’s Word to help us interpret the data before us. You look at the Grand Canyon and you see these pancake layers. Use modern day, evolutionary explanations that scientists have theorized to understand this and you’ll be confused. And the more information they provide, the more confusing it gets! But, when you look at the Grand Canyon through the eyes of Genesis 6-9, things begin to make sense.

I don’t have a picture of it, but in our study we saw another area north of the Grand Canyon some 70 miles. And in that location, there is another pancake layer of sediment that isn’t found here. It is actually found between two of the layers you see here. If it took millions and millions of years for each layer to be deposited, then how in the world did a different layer – that supposedly took millions and millions of years to be deposited – get deposited between the two layers? Well, it can’t it is impossible. But, when you consider a cataclysmic event, such as The Flood, then these layers make sense.

We have God’s Word to explain the past and so we can look forward with the same clarity.

App.: Listen to I.H. Marshall: One of the smartest Theologians of the past Century. History became revelation because there was added to the historical situation a man prepared beforehand to say what it meant. Moses was not left to struggle for the meaning of events as or after they happened; he was forewarned of events and of their significance by the verbal communications of God. So it was with all the prophets. Alone of the nations of antiquity, Israel had a true awareness of history.

Christians are blessed with this same awareness. We don’t look back and feel confused; God has answered those questions in his Word. And, we don’t look forward and feel confused – even if some things are not yet revealed. We know that God has given us context. You and I shouldn’t be confused that the World has legalized gay marriage. If you read the book of Revelation, you already know that the world would become more and more licentious and immoral.

t.s.: So, who were these men and where did they come from? These were men and women that God raised up for the purpose of communicating His Word to His People. Here’s another question: Just how did they do that?

 

3.  The prophets were careful to do exactly as God commanded. God’s Word was                      presented to the people in various ways:

  1. Spoken: God said, simply tell them; or tell him; or tell her. 2 Samuel 12
  2. Visual Aids or Object Lessons: Ezekiel 4.1-6; rd Ezekiel 4.1-6
  3. A Demonstration of God’s Power: 1 Kings 18 (calling down fire from heaven)

If you think about it, we saw all three of these expressions used by the unnamed prophet in 1 Kings 13 – the story I opened up with. He spoke God’s Word concerning the future, gave the object lesson of the altar being torn down and the ashes being poured out, and a demonstration of God’s power through the King’s arm ‘seizing up’ and also healing him.

Which brings me to one final section this morning. It isn’t answering a question per se, but is more of a quest for us: Christ in the Old Testament. Let me say there is no way to know every verse of prophecy in the OT. Many are obscure. People don’t even agree on the ones we have.

One day God will reveal it all and we’ll understand it all so much better. But for now, we do know some very important prophecies of the Messiah from the Old Testament. I thought it would be fun to show you at least one reference to Christ in each of the Old Testament Prophets Writings. We’ll look at the Major Prophets first, then, the Minor Prophets.

Let me begin by saying that ‘Major’ and ‘Minor’ prophets are not good English terms. It isn’t like these were more special, so they are called ‘Major’, or that these were insignificant so they were deemed ‘minor’. These are old English terms. Simply put, it has to do with the Volume of material. Think of ‘Larger’ for ‘major’ and ‘smaller’ for ‘minor’.

Let me also say: this list is not exhaustive. I simply chose a verse or two that I am familiar with. A couple of them, I had no idea, so I had to search. This was more for fun than for this message. But, turn with me to Isaiah and let’s make our way through the prophets and look at some of these.

Isaiah: born of a virgin, king, the Suffering Servant (7; 9; 50; 53) Jeremiah: a king like David; the ideal King (30.9) Ezekiel: A king like David; the ideal King (37.24-28)
  Daniel: the 4th man in the fire (3.25); ‘Son of Man’ who is given authority by the ‘Ancient of Days’ (7.13-14);  
Hosea: He is the one who redeems his adulterous bride. (3) Hosea 11.1 is the verse: Out of Egypt I called my son. Joel: His is the Name that is called upon (cf.: Rom 3.10). (2) In those days I will pour out my spirit… the coming of the Holy Spirit. Amos: He is the Lion from the tribe of Judah that roars from Jerusalem. (1, 3.6-7) 2.16: fleeing naked; Mk 14.52; 4.13 – the one who knows our thoughts;
Obadiah: He might be the Messenger who speaks in v.1; He is the King who shall reign over Mt. Zion with the redeemed in 17, 19-21 Jonah: Just as Jonah was in the belly of the giant fish for three days, so also, Jesus was in the tomb for three days (1.17). Micah: He is the King who breaches the gate and goes before his people (2); He will be born in Bethlehem (5); will be a light to his people (7); the steadfast love of the Lord is demonstrated through him (7.18-20) cast our sins into the depths of the sea
Nahum: His Character is displayed in 1. He is the one who breaks the chains and free his people (1) Habakkuk: He is the Everlasting One (1); The Righteous One (2) and the one who reigns in his Holy temple (2). My Strength & my Salvation Zephaniah: He is the one who saves you, rejoices over you and quiets you with loud singing (3); In His Name one finds a refuge.
Haggai: Zerubbabel is a pattern of this future King. He will be God’s Signet Ring in that day (2); Zechariah: again, Zerubbabel is a pattern of this future King – He is called, The Branch (3); He is the The King coming, riding on a colt, the foal of a donkey (9); The One whom they have pierced (12); He is the stricken Shepherd (13). Malachi: the sun of righteousness; The announced by Elijah (4) coming before the Messiah.


Conclusion:

Because of their message, because of their work, we now have the hope of salvation. 1 Peter 1.10ff: 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Let that resonate in your spirit. These servants of God, prophets, did their work, faithfully, so that the message you have now received might be made known to you. God was at work all along, preserving it, protecting it.

My friend, what an incredible message from these prophets: that a Messiah would be born to you and that he would die on a cross, taking away your sin and my sin. If you’ve never committed you life to God through His Son Jesus, let today be the day.

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Filed under Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, Prophets, Sermon

A King like the Promised King

Title: Kings: A King like the Promised King

Text: Joshua-2 Chronicles

Introduction: Open your Bible to the Table of Contents. I’m guessing in all your years of sermon listening, you’ve never had a preacher pick the Table of Contents to go to… The Table of Contents is at the very beginning of your Bible.

We began our journey in Genesis. See it there? The 1st book of the Bible!

Review: what got us here: This sermon series is entitled, “His Story”. My premise is that the Bible is one story: His Story. If you think about it, the story begins with him and it will end with him. He really is the main topic and focus throughout the Bible. I began with an introductory sermon on the subject.

1. Intro: His Story The Bible
2. Creation Genesis 1-3
3. The Fall Genesis 4-11
4. The Patriarchs Genesis 12-50
5. Israel: A New Nation Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
6. Kings Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles

Then, I opened the series on the Creation account. John 1 tells us that Jesus created everything – He simply spoke creation into existence. Nothing was created that has been created that was not created by him. Nothing. Colossians tells us: 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

We went from covering 3 chapters in our first message on creation to 8 chapters of Life in the Fall. There was perfection. Then, there was sin and all of creation was marred. The relationship between God and man was fractured – broken. Then, we covered 38 chapters when we looked at the Patriarchs. God was at work saving his people all along. You see this pattern emerge as you work your way through the texts.

  1. A desire to return to the garden’s perfection. There is always the promise of the land. For Israel, it is the land flowing with milk and honey.
  2. A promised man who would come and restore these things. Repeatedly, men would arise who would be types of this man. These men would be examples, patterns, illustrative of this promised man. But, none would be him. They would give us examples of the Promised One, but none was a perfect fit.

Well, last week we covered 5 books in one sermon: The Pentateuch. The story of the Pentateuch is basically how God took one man (Abraham) and made a nation. Today, we’ll go even bigger, still growing, to cover 8 books of the Bible in one sermon: from Joshua to 2 Chronicles.

The storyline flows from their conquest of the Promised Land to becoming a nation, possessing the land and experiencing the blessings as God had promised Abraham. Today we will see the pinnacle for this nation. It will reach its zenith and come closest to experiencing the promise of God. But that is it. It will quickly dissolve and come unraveled. They will become like Adam and Eve. They will fail to live up to their promise, their commitment to God.

But, in this moment, God will show them, and us, more of what this promised deliverer will look like.

At this point you might be asking if I’m planning to preach the whole Bible – covering every book. Well, yes and no. No in that I will not be covering every book. But yes, in that I am doing my best to show that this book called the Bible is really just one story. We’ll start in Joshua 24 and work through some of the texts in 1 & 2 Samuel. Turn to the Joshua passage… 24.

Transition: For our purposes today, I’d like to just summarize some of these books with the intent of offering direction. I want you to see the bigger picture here. Oh, there are wonderful stories that fill our storyline. These stories offer us teaching lessons – examples for us to follow or avert. And I may touch on one or two of these stories, but for now, let’s hit highlights. Let’s look at Joshua first.

I. Joshua: as we continue the story, the Nation of Israel did move into the land after their 40 years of wilderness wondering. It wasn’t easy. This is much of what the book of Joshua is all about – the conquest of the Promised Land. The really sad part about this story is that we find the people of Israel did not totally displace the previous inhabitants as God had commanded them. The Canaanites then became a constant source of trouble for Israel and were a real hindrance to them for their entire history.

ill.: I felt a bit of this as we traveled across Israel last summer. One can’t help but notice the tension as you enter into an Arab controlled area. There are these check points. Some places we didn’t go – not because we weren’t allowed, but because it wasn’t safe. There is a lot of land that Israel controls, but there is also a lot land in Israel where the Arabs are in control – very similar to what it was like over 3,000 years ago when they first settled the land. I have a couple of photos of Jericho, from miles away. I really would love to see Jericho and visit the ancient city with its walls knocked down. But you can’t at this time. It is too dangerous. I also have some pictures of a van. It has these cage like wire over the windows and dents all over the hood and fenders. We were told that it was a van of someone who lives in an Arab section of Israel. The people throw rocks at the van as it drives through the streets to work and also returns back home.

But more than dangerous, the religious practices of those people plagued Israel, too. They were a constant source of leading the people astray to worship the Baals and Ashteroths. They would build these images and offer sacrifices to the pagan gods of the people there in the land.

And even though the book of Joshua concludes with a renewal of the covenant – Joshua challenging them to follow God whole-heartedly; the people would fail in their commitment time and time again. Rd Joshua 24.14-26

II. Judges: so they move into the land, and are then led by Judges. That’s the next book: Judges. It is a relatively short time in their history. Judges is mostly recognized for the cycle of sin Israel finds itself in. they made the commitment to follow God, but they don’t put away their idols.

  • A Time of Blessing
  • A Warning of Failure
  • Sinful Rebellion
  • God Punishes their Rebellion
  • They Repent and Pray for Salvation
  • God sends a Savior, Deliverer

And the reason they fall into sin is because they are envious of their neighbors and want to be more like them. This leads to their ultimate rebellion against God – they reject him as their king and want a king of their own – a king to rule over them just like the other nations have. And that leads us to Samuel and his story…

III. Samuel: probably the most famous and most popular Judge is Samuel. In some respects, it is very understandable wanted a different leadership. Samuel leads them faithfully as a judge and prophet; however, his sons are evil and wicked. And it is during his time of leadership that the People of Israel ask for a King. Look with me in 1 Samuel 8. In 1 Sam 7.3ff you read the end of a cycle, then, they ask – not they demand a king like the people around them. rd 8.1-9; God tells Samuel that they’re not rejecting him, but rather, they’re rejecting God. They’re acting like they always do… they chase after the things they see – their hearts follow their eyes.

The irony in this to me is that God warns them through Samuel how bad it is going to be. But they don’t care.

ill.: have you seen those commercials where they promote some medication that is going to get you back out into life? And then they close with a few warnings: this medication has been known to cause anal leakage, uncontrolled drooling and hair to grow between your toes. Don’t take this medication if you are a male or a female or have been known to sleep at night or have at times grown hungry if you’ve not eaten in three days.

I see these commercials and think I don’t ever want to have to take that medication! It sounds like the side effects are worse than the ailment!

exp.: rd 8.10-19; He is going to make you his slaves… Oh, that’s ok… we want a king!

The truly most amazing part of all of this is that God was still so good to his people. Yeah, the first king blew it. And, to be honest they all blew it to some degree or another. Still, in their rejection of God… He never turned his back on them. Turn to 1 Samuel 12.

  1. In verses 1-5 Samuel defends his ministry and the integrity of heart before them.
  2. In verses 6-11 Samuel reminds them of their continued descent into sin in spite of God’s continued deliverance. He would save and they would run back to sin.
  3. In v 12-13, Samuel reminds them of their foolishness to ask for a king like the nations.
  4. In v 14-18, Samuel warns of their rebellion and give a demonstration, a sign of God’s great power.
  5. In v 19, the people acknowledge the sin, in fear of God’s great power. And they cry out in fear…

Follow with me in v20-22 and see the incredible mercy of God.

6. In v23-25, Samuel confirms his commitment to God’s people to love and pray                       for them.

God gives them what they ask for in a king and it turns out pretty bad. Saul’s story is one of selfishness and pride. It is one of impatience and a lack of faith. Saul’s story ends up as it had been foretold – just like the people were warned. It is all pretty sad and the people are no better off for it.

But God uses this moment with them to give them a little taste of what he wanted for them. 1 Samuel is all about this first king, Saul and his horrible failure as King. But then God chooses another man, David. This man – again, chosen by God – will be a type of King they’re to look for in the Promised King. He’s in 1 Samuel, but his reign as King begins in 2 Samuel.

We meet David when he’s pretty young. It would be so much fun to spend a lot of time on this man… David, but we just don’t have time this morning.

Can I pause for a moment this morning and say that having a king was never the problem. God had actually set up rules and regulations for a king for Israel in Deuteronomy 17. The problem wasn’t a king, per se. It was Israel’s rejection of God. It was their desire to be like the other nations around them and not to be distinct and different.

But that was all a part of the bigger story. For in this new King, God would show the people of Israel a little of what is to come. He would offer them hope in what they see. God demonstrates this by establishing his covenant with David.

The pattern of covenant is repeating itself in this story. There are many of the same elements as we’ve seen before with Abraham. Turn to 2 Samuel 7. In 2 Samuel 7 we find elements to the covenant promises God gave to Abraham. Rd 2 Sam 7.8-19

12 Now the Lord said to Abram,

  1. “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
  2. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
  3. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts,

  1. I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.
  2. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

 

  • God took Abraham from Ur and placed him in a new land. He took David from shepherding sheep in the field to be a shepherd of God’s people.
  • God promises Abraham descendants – who he will build into a nation. He does the same for David – his house will be a dynasty and the promised one will come from this long line.
  • He promised this land to Abraham’s descendants. He promised David to establish and firmly root God’s people in this land.
  • He promised Abraham to make his name great. He does the same for David there in v 9.
  • God promised to bless the nations through Abraham and he does the same for David. You pick up on this in v 19.

Israel will reach its highest point of success under David and Solomon. Israel will experience that land flowing with milk and honey under David’s reign. But it will soon be lost.

IV. 1 & 2 Kings: The Kingdom is divided after Solomon. The Northern Kingdom will have 19 Kings over the next 200 years. Nary a one will be good. Every single King of the Northern 10 tribes led the Israelites to rebel against God and worship idols. Their demise will come by 722 BC when the King of Assyria conquered and carry off their people. Forced intermarriage happens and the Jewish descendants disappear. A new people will emerge known as Samaritans. This happens in 2 Kings 17.

As for the Southern Kingdom, there are only two kings of all the kings worth noting who followed God anywhere near what David did: Josiah and Hezekiah. There was a hand-full of kings who were ok, or repented and tried to do right after being bad. But for the most part, David is the example of the man who is to come.

Let me offer you a note about Kings and Chronicles.

  • 1 & 2 Kings: the book of kings was probably written during the exile to explain their exile. Isn’t it odd how we as humans reject God for so long and then are shocked when God disciplines? Some theologians think that the writer probably used Deut. 12 as a litmus test for those kings. Where they failed and where they succeeded can be measured against Deuteronomy 12.
  • 1 & 2 Chronicles: the book of Chronicles was written after the exile with the goal of encouraging those who were returning to the Promised Land to live a life faithful to God. The goal, of course, would be to not repeat history!

We didn’t mention Ruth, though Ruth plays a huge part in the genealogical line of the Messiah.

Conclusion:

This idea of Kingship is one main source of our understanding of the Messiah. The Messiah, the anointed of God, when he comes, he will be King – not ‘a’ king, but ‘the’ King (King of Kings). We must understand that this king isn’t an earthly king though. He won’t be like the kings of today or even of those from previous centuries or millennia.

When Jesus came and died in the flesh a century after David, he conquered Satan. He was the Snake Crusher they’d all been waiting for. His rule today isn’t over a land as much as it is over the hearts of a people. Oh, many in Israel wanted him to be king. They wanted it badly as they threw down their palm branches and coats to create the red carpeted Triumphal Entry of the King. But when he wasn’t what they thought he should be, they killed him.

They missed it when he came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”  Mark 1.14-15;

Zechariah prophesied it when he said in Luke 1

68     “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,

for he has visited and redeemed his people

69     and has raised up a horn of salvation for us

in the house of his servant David,

70     as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,

71     that we should be saved from our enemies

and from the hand of all who hate us;

72     to show the mercy promised to our fathers

and to remember his holy covenant,

73     the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us

74         that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,

might serve him without fear,

75         in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

76     And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

77     to give knowledge of salvation to his people

in the forgiveness of their sins,

78     because of the tender mercy of our God,

whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high

79     to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

 

Zechariah is saying that this promised King is now here. But he isn’t a king like you think.

Simeon understood as he held the Baby King in his arms:

29     “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,

according to your word;

30     for my eyes have seen your salvation

31         that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

32     a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

and for glory to your people Israel.”

This statement by Simeon is acknowledgement that the Kingdom of God has arrived as announced by Isaiah.

Application: So, what do I want you to take away with you this morning?

  1. What seems a mess, isn’t really a mess at all. What they wanted, as they saw it, God was using to teach us. It was a part of His great master plan. Remember this as you look at our world today and think: what a mess! God is not finished working his plan.
  2. King David was meant to show us what the Promised King would look like. He was what theologians call: A type. He was a man after God’s own heart. Yes, he failed – and that should teach us valuable lessons, too. But more than that, he pointed to the future King who would come.
  3. An Edenesque existence will one day be restored. The height of David’s reign displayed the potential for a return to the Garden. Never were the Israelites closer to the land flowing with Milk and Honey than when David obediently led his people as their king. That is only a taste of what is to come!
  4. Next week we’ll talk about the Prophets – another role assigned to the Messiah (Prophet, Priest, King). The prophets worked tirelessly to stop the decay and decline of their nation. They did everything they could possibly do to get the Kings to return to God and to return the people to God. They always held out the hope before the people of a perfect king who would lead his people to restoration and renewal. They of course, never saw that King, but he did come – and his name is Jesus!

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