13 November 2007

"Blessed Be"--he who trusts the LORD (part 1)

Who do we trust? I think it’s safe to say that some of us have been burned a time or two when we trusted someone. It happens. We don’t like it, it hurts. But it happens. A few years before he passed away, my dad went into business with another fellow. Dad was the "silent partner." He put up some monsy, the other guy made most of the decisions. Long story short, when the business failed, dad lost a ton of money.

When a person takes advantage of our trust, it makes it that much harder to trust the next person. But guess what? That’s the bad news. How ‘bout some good news? I know somebody you can trust. Someone who will never lie to you. Will never let you down. Will never leave you nor forsake you. His name is YHWH—the LORD our God. How do I know I can trust Him? Because every promise He has ever made—He’s kept them all.

OK, OK, you don’t believe me. Fine. I guess I'll have to show you.
Genesis 12:1-2 says, Now the LORD had said unto Abram, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Later on we read these words of the apostle Paul in Galatians 3:7-9—Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, "In thee shall all nations be blessed." So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

In 1st Samuel 16:1—...the LORD said unto Samuel…"fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons." Well, Samuel goes to Jesse's house, Jesse brings out his first 7 sons. They're all strapping, handsome young men. Samuel goes up to the oldest one, thinks, "Ooh, this has got to be the one!" God says, “No." So, he goes up to the next. Again, God say, "No." And one after another, God tells Samuel, "No…no…keep going…not yet…” Finally, Samuel asks Jesse, “Have ya got any more?” Jesse’s like, “Well, there’s little ol’ David out there with his sheep. He’s kinda scrawny, but I guess he’s kind of a good-looking kid. Hey, David!! Get over here!!” And along comes little ol’ David—cute little kid—and in verse 12, the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him: for this is he." Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him…and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.

Then we have the promise that God made to us in Isaiah 7:14--Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. And I think we know how that one got answered. There are many, many more promises that God gave to His faithful. Promises that He was bound by His holiness to keep. Because God—not only does He not want to lie. Not only do we have the promise that He will not lie. He cannot lie!
Titus 1:2—…in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began…
Hebrews 6:13-18—… when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, saying, "Surely
blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee." And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise…God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the unchangeability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation…

When we read the promises that God has given us in his word—if we don’t believe God, what do we believe in? Where do we put our trust; where do we put our faith? Do you know it takes more faith to be an atheist, than to believe in God? One of the greatest theologians of our time is a fellow named Norman Geisler. He wrote a book called, “I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.” Because you have to believe, beyond any shadow of any doubt, that there is no God. You have to look at the world around you—in fact, you have to look at the existence of this whole universe—and believe with every shred of your being, “Eh, it just kinda—happened.” And you have to believe that there is no Hell where you will go for not believing.

And that is another promise we have from God. That there is a literal, eternal, fiery Hell for those who deny God. There are many preachers today who don’t want to talk about Hell, because it may make someone feel bad. Friends, I say this with all the love in my heart—I would rather hurt your feelings for a little while—even if it’s for the rest of your life—than to have you suffer undeniable, unbearable, inescapable pain for all eternity. That is why God sent His precious, beloved, only begotten Son. See, in Genesis 3:15, God promised a savior. And he provided one. To bear the punishment for our sins on the cross. Christ Himself said in Luke 19:10, “…the Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost.” The apostle Paul said in 1st Timothy 1:15, …Christ Jesus came to save sinners…

There are 4 passages in Psalms that tell us—in different ways—“Blessed is the man whose trust is in the LORD.” And each one of these shows a different benefit, if you will, for trusting in the LORD. When we trust the LORD, He assures us of four things: SALVATION, SUPPLY, STABILITY, and He will allow us to be His SERVANT.

First, we trust the LORD for our SALVATION
Psalm 2:7-12.
I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel."

Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

This passage—of course—is talking about Jesus Christ. Verse 7 says it plainly. When Jesus comes up out of the water at his baptism, the Holy Spirit comes down, the heavens open, and a voice from Heaven says, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The writer of Hebrews even mentions this verse in Hebrews 1:5. Then look at verse 8. That word “nations”—the KJV says it best—“heathens.” Gentiles. Who needs to believe in Christ as their Savior? Everybody. There is not one person who has ever been born, who has NOT needed to be saved by the blood of Christ. And what’s the question people like to ask? “Well, what about the pygmies in Africa?” Or, "What about a tribe in the jungles of South America?" Yeah, them too. Or they’ll say, “Well, I’m a good person. I’ve never killed anybody. I try to obey the Ten Commandments.” Hey, that was me!!

There’s just one problem with that. If someone thinks that keeping the Ten Commandments will get them to heaven, they’ve just condemned themselves. How many of us have kept the Ten Commandments perfectly, every day, all our lives, never ever ever ever breaking even one of them? See, that kind of thinking points to a man-centered salvation. By that I mean that we save ourselves. We do enough good things, we live a good enough life. We help little old ladies across the street. We grow up in church, in Sunday School. Then we go to youth group. We “do church” all our life. So that means we’re saved, right? Nah!

In this passage, God is telling His beloved Son, “Every person, in every nation, must honor You as their Savior. Or they will be condemned.” And look at what He says in
verse 9. Get this picture in your head. A lead pipe. A clay pot. Do the math.

And check out the warning He gives to those who are in positions of authority. Verses 10-11. In a few weeks, we’re going to be looking at Psalm 33:12. And why I believe—and I ain't afraid to say—that sometime in the not-too-distant future—maybe in this generation, maybe the next—if this country continues to elect people who would strike His name from people’s lips, and who would say when and where you can and can't mention the name of Jesus—this country will suffer some type of Divine Judgment. I truly believe that 9/11 was a taste of what’s to come. This country’s got something bad coming. And I can't say we don’t deserve it. Look at what it says in verse 12. Kiss the Son. You've seen presidents of countries, when they visit another country, they do the kiss on the cheek thing. In the days when the Psalms were written, this was a sign of homage, respect.

Ever remember the old song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands?” It’s true. And if He wanted to, He could crush the whole thing, and we wouldn’t even be a memory. When we get mad, we can break things. The largest countries with the most powerful armies can destroy entire cities. Think of what nuclear weapons can do. Then think of what God can do to us. “When His wrath is kindled but a little.”

But blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. We don’t have to worry about whether we’re good enough to get to Heaven. Because we’re not! And we don’t have to be perfect—because Jesus is! And it’s our trust and faith in Him as our Savior that makes us righteous! He has taken the burden off of us, and has taken it on His own shoulders on the cross
! 2nd Corinthians 5:21. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.


Part 2 tomorrow.

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