14 November 2007

"Blessed Be"--he who trusts the LORD (part 2)

Part 1 here.


By trusting in Him, we have SALVATION. Next we have SUPPLY.
Psalm 34:8-10.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.

We all know the 23rd Psalm, right? But how many times do people just kinda let the words fall out of their mouths without really thinking about what it says. Ya know, I think there may be just as many verses in the Bible about God providing for our physical needs as there are about Him providing salvation. And here’s why I believe God does that. In the story of Gideon, God sends him to battle against 135,000 enemy soldiers with an army of about 300. Why did He do that? Judges 7:2—And the Lord said to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.' "

God wants us to depend on Him—not so that we can be some pitiful beggar at His Heavenly doorstep—but so that He can show Himself to be a great Provider, one who will never let His children go without, no matter how desperate the situation seems to be! So that when things look impossible, and He comes through with some miracle we would have never expected—the world can see and some will say, “Praise the LORD!!”

We have another illustration of God’s ability to supply our needs: Abraham and Isaac. When the angel of the LORD told Abraham to sacrifice his son on that hill—and here’s a freebie for ya: many experts believe that this was the same hill that was later called Golgotha, or Calvary—when they got to the top of the hill, Isaac looked around and said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Isaac didn’t realize at the time that HE WAS the burnt offering. If he did, he might have thought twice about going up that hill with dear old dad. But then Abraham says, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for the offering.”

And on what may have been that same hill, a couple thousand years later, God did indeed provide for Himself a Lamb for a sacrifice. And it says that Abraham called the name of the place, YHWH-Jireh, which means “The LORD will provide.” He provided His people with manna every day for forty years when they were out in the desert. They didn’t have to do anything for it to come—every day at sundown, boom, it just fell from the sky. If they got thirsty, Moses struck the rock, and water came out. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:25-34--

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? [or, "Which of you...can add one minute to your life?"--Ed.]

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Verse 10 here. “Young lions.” People who look to the things of this world to fulfill their needs. They can't see tomorrow. They get all worried and nervous. They suffer—heart attacks, and stroke, and HBP. Jesus said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow has enough problems, let it take care of itself. Trust in God and He’ll give you what you need!” Philippians 4:19 assures us that God is able to supply your needs according to His riches in glory. Those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.If we trust Him, He will give us SALVATION, He will give us SUPPLY.

Then He will give us STABILITY.
Psalm 40:1-4.
I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Look at verse 2. Have you ever tried to walk on clay? When it’s dry, it crumbles under your feet. When it’s wet, it sticks to the bottom of your shoes—and anything else it gets on. I’ve been helping a friend of mine build a house in south Knoxville. And if there’s one thing that I've noticed about that red clay, it’s this: once you get it on your clothes, or your socks, it ain't coming off. Unless we know Christ Jesus as our Lord and our Savior, our sins are like that clay. They're stuck to us, and there’s nothing we can do to get rid of them. But listen to what it says in Isaiah 1:18--Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow. Though your sins be red like crimson, they shall be like wool. Some sins make our paths crumble under our feet. Some stick to the bottom of our shoes, and we slip and we slide and we fall down. But when our trust is in the LORD, He picks us up out of the clay, He washes our feet, and sets us on solid rock, and points the way we should go, and leads us in paths of righteousness.

In the last part of Luke 16, Jesus shows us what happens to those who trust in their own “goodness”. They're not wiped out, like Jehovah's Witnesses say they are. They suffer in torment because they put their trust in themselves. It’s the story of the rich man and the beggar. The rich man was in hell, the beggar was in heaven. Why? Because the rich man depended on his own merits to save him, and the beggar trusted in the LORD. And let me tell ya something my friends, no offense, but you are the last person you want to trust with your eternal soul. I’m the last person I want to trust. Jeremiah 17:9--The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? We don’t even know our own heart. But as the writer of that old song said,

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand.

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

Matthew 7:24-27--Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus says that He is the chief cornerstone. How important is the cornerstone? In construction, all the angles of a building are measured according to the cornerstone. If an angle of that cornerstone is off even a single degree, it can cause problems when you get further along into the construction process.But if that cornerstone is perfectly square all the way around, all the angles in your house will line up. Every board, every truss, joist, every wall will fit together the way they're supposed to.

The house my wife and I are living in? Not so much. There ain't a level floor in it. You could set a marble on the floor inside of the front door, and it will roll all the way out into the back yard. It’s probably come from the foundation settling or something. But that’s why you build on solid rock. And that’s why our trust, our faith—why our hope is nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Because if you are building according to your own design, or somebody else’s, you're gonna run into some major problems. “Well, I’m not as bad as that person.” Yeah, but you're not as good as you need to be. You're not as good as Christ. And that’s the only standard that matters. We should be building according to the chief cornerstone—Christ Jesus.


Part 3 tomorrow.

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