Wednesday, November 14, 2012

God Hears - God Knows - God Delivers

Scripture:  (King James Version)
2 Samuel 5:13-16
"And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.  And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammuah, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia, and Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet."
Verse 16 is my text...."And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet."
Today many parents name their children after some popular celebrity or sports hero.  In the Bible days this was not so.  Children were named to be living reminders of some experience with God.  Hidden in the names mentioned in our scripture is a message from God.  This text doesn't mean much without a little research.... but, when you discover the meaning of these names it comes alive.  Many a great truth is missed with only a surface reading and study of the Bible.  We have to read and reread; pray and meditate; study and wait upon God.  The Holy Spirit is the great revealer of truth.  He leads and guides into all truth.  1 Corinthians 2:10 says, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Sprit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."  He helps us to study and search and dig out truths He would have us to know and profit from.

I knew that Solomon meant "peaceful."  But, I was interested in the meaning of Ibhar and found it to mean "whom God chooses."  I thought about the fact that every time David looked upon Ibhar he was reminded that he (David) was chosen and called of God.  He was called to be a leader and King of God's people.  But, to discover the meanings of these 3 names grouped together in the text stirred something in my soul.

Let's translate these names into language we all understand and let the Holy Spirit minister to us.
                     E-lish-a-ma.......means God Hears.
                    E-li-a-da .......... means God Knows.
                    E-liph-a-let........means God Delivers.
Immediately, we get the message.  I praise God for this message.
                                           God hears...God knows...God delivers. 
Realizing that God hears our prayers and knows our needs is one thing...but, it would mean little if He couldn't do something about what he heard and knew.  Thank God He can!  My God is able to deliver!

God met Moses at the burning bush and delivered this same message.  He said in Exodus 3:7-8 "And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians......"
Verse 19 (2 Samuel 5:19) is an illustration of that fact.  David had some great experiences with the Lord.  He knew God hears and answers prayer.   He said in Psalm 109. "They have surrounded me with words of hatred. Spoken against me with a lying tongue.  Fought against me without a cause.  I have loved them yet they are my adversaries.  BUT I will give myself to prayer."  David said in essence              "You can talk about me all you please, but I'll talk about you down on my knees."

David knew that the eye of the Lord was upon him; that God knew all things and had delivered him again and again.....when he faced the bear and the lion, Goliath and Saul.  He thought of Elish-a-ma, E-li-a-da, and E-liph-a-let, his Sons who reminded him of these experiences and victories.  No doubt David praised God many times as he remembered how God hears - He knows - and He delivers.  You and I have a right to rejoice and give praise when we remember God's blessings on us.

David wrote most of the Psalms.  They are full of praise.  David knew the power of prayer.  He knew that God's ears are not heavy that He cannot hear. (Isaiah 59:1) Isn't it good to have someone that will listen to us, someone who cares?  The world is not interested in our troubles - but God is.  "Cast all your care upon Him for He careth of you." (1Peter 5:7)  Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there.  What a friend we have in Jesus.  He says "call unto me and I will answer thee." (Jeremiah 33:3)  We have a loving God to go to.  You can depend on God!  If you put your trust in organizations, education, money, fame, material things, you will get what those things can do for you.  But, put your trust in God and you will get what God can do for you.                
                                     All things are possible with God!

David could say to E-lish-a-ma, "Every time I look at you Son, I am reminded that God hears and answers prayer.  David could look at E-li-a-da and remember that God knows.  David could not hide his sin.  No one can.  God knew what David knew.  He knew all about Davids sin of adultery, his lying and the murder.  God sent Nathan the prophet and said to David; "Thou art the man."  David had this Son as a constant reminder that God knows. (2 Samuel 7)
                                 What is there in your life to remind you that God knows?
                         Is it something you haven't repented of and asked God's forgiveness?
                                                            God knows.

Aren't you glad that God knows your needs?  Aren't you glad He knows your sorrows and your burdens?  People don't know your heart.  They don't know what you are going through.  They don't understand.  But, aren't you glad God knows and understands?

Then, there is E-liph-a-let....God delivers.  Verse 19 - he inquired of the Lord.
                                           God hears...God knows...God delivers. 
Isn't it good to know that there is one who see and knows and is willing and able to help us?
                                                                 God delivers!  
God not only knows our needs and hears us when we call on Him - but, He loves us and does something about our needs.  2 Samuel 5:19 - "And David inquired of the Lord, saying Shall I go up to the Philistines?  wilt thou deliver them into mine hand?  And the Lord said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand."   The Lord said yes.

There is an altar of prayer.  You have God to go to.  You can call on Him and He will hear you.  You can leave this altar and the place of prayer with everything under the blood.  You can leave having peace with God.  You can go singing He set me free, yes He set me free.
          If you are bound by some habit; in chains of moral, mental or physical imprisonment...
                                                     ..Jesus is here to set you free.
                                                  It is the Gospel.  It is Good News.

                 God hears...God knows...God delivers.

David's life is proof of God's great love.  He forgave David and He delivered David.  God will also deliver you.  David said in Psalm 34:6 - "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles."
                                   Friends, Jesus is here - right now. 
                                         He knows your needs. 
                                               He hears your hearts cry and will deliver you 
if you will but come to Him and call upon Him.  

                          Won't you call on Jesus today?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The King Is Coming

Scripture:  King James Version
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as  others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
St. John 14: 2-3
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

Here in the scripture portion (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18), we have recorded the great message of the Lord's return as written by the Apostle Paul.  His topic....The King Is Coming!  Jesus is our King.  He is the King of Kings...and He is coming again.  There is no message that comes through with more repetition, especially in the New Testament, than the message of our Lord's return; His coming again.
Truly, He is coming again.  The signs are everywhere. (The subject of "the signs of the times" is another sermon of its own.)
Recently someone made the comment and suggested that our Kings return was so close that we needed to stop looking for the signs and start listening for the sound.  The sound of a "shout from Heaven" by our King.  "...The voice of the archangel and the sound of the trump of God."  The Psalmist David said in Psalm 89:15 "Blessed is the people who know the joyful sound...."

The message of our Lords return - "The King Is Coming" is...
**A Great Historic Event.
It will certainly be just that.   Our King is going to make an invasion into time and into history.
When the Bible speaks of "the coming of the Lord", it is not referring to an experience of death or some other mystical experience.  The return of the Lord is not something to be spiritualized.  It is the literal, personal return of the risen Christ.  It will be the same Jesus that was born of the Virgin Mary.  It will be the same Jesus who walked this earth, was crucified, died, was buried and who rose again.  That same Jesus is going to break into the history of this sinful world.  The above scripture states, "For the Lord Himself - (get that) "The Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven."  It is going to be a great historical event.  It is going to be the next great love act of our Lord.
Notice also that this message of our Lord's return conveys
**A Great Dramatic Event.
Note -Verse 16
Can you think of anything more "dramatic than that?
Actually, Paul was using terms here that were well understood in his day; military terms.  When a Roman army was asleep at night it took 3 blasts of the trumpet to bring them to order.
1st blast - AWAKE - get up from your sleep.
2nd blast - GATHER around in your respective groups.
3rd blast - ADVANCE.
This whole military concept is revealed here as Paul speaks of "the Shout - the Voice -and the Trump."
The SHOUT - those asleep in Jesus will arise.
The VOICE of the Archangel - assembling of respective groups.  It it not only be the dead in Christ but those that alive and remaining.
The TRUMP of God - they will advance.  " caught up together to meet the Lord in the air..ever to be with the Lord.
                                        What a dramatic event that is going to be!
The message of our Lord's coming again also carries
**A Specific Intent.
What is the specific intention that God's Word is conveying to His people?  Why was Paul given this great message of the Lord's return?  Verse 18 - It is intended for our comfort.  How does this message comfort the people of God?
A - It strengthens our faith.  The fact of Jesus coming again is the greatest faith builder and strengthener in the Bible.  Our King is coming for His people.  He is coming to deliver His people and destroy their enemy.  I sure do not want to miss His coming!  All of our great space exploration deeds that have caused the world to marvel and wonder are nothing compared to what is about to take place....the Great Operation Uplift into the clouds of Glory.  As stated in the scripture above ..." we shall be caught up together."  We will be caught up away from the crime, the drugs, the danger, the sin, sadness, sorrow, pollution, politics, poverty, and the wickedness of this evil world.  Praise God the church, God's people will be caught up and everything will be made right and straightened out.  The King is coming to right this old world.
One of the great English preachers of the past once gave a message about what's wrong with the world.
He talked of the things that were "out of place."  Friends, the believer, the followers of Christ may get out of place, but Jesus is never out of place.  He has every thing well timed, well purposed and planned. When He comes again He is going to set everything right.
B - The message of our Lord's return comforts God's people by stimulating our hope.  The context of the scripture (Verses 13-16) reveals that these words were directed to people who had lost their loved ones.  They had put them in their graves and were sorrowing, saying "now what is going to happen?  We thought Jesus was coming back before they died.  Now they are dead.  Will we ever see them again?"  These people were sorrowing.  Paul said to wait for "the shout."
C - Finally, this message of our Lord's return searches our hearts.   Are we ready for the King to come?  Are we living in such a manner that we will not be ashamed at His coming?
 The King is coming.........

Are YOU ready?