April 28, 2013 – Pastor Tim – “Questions”
John 12:27-28a Jesus said, “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name…”
We all have questions. Jesus gives us insight into the question, “What is going on, Lord?” Let’s read verse 27 again, “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Isaiah 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,?Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,?So are My ways higher than your ways,?And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
There is an African proverb that says, “The one who asks questions doesn’t lose his way.” This concept will be helpful as we consider David’s questions in the Psalms. He was clearly seeking God’s guidance for the way he should go. David had some tough question for God. He had discovered what it was like to lose his way when he excluded God and followed his own sinful path. But as he penned the Psalms, he was a man in search of godliness, which meant he probed God’s mind about difficult subjects.
Let’s look at some questions he asked:
1. Psalm 6:2-4, Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak;?O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. 3 My soul also is greatly troubled;?But You, O Lord—how long? 4 Return, O Lord, deliver me!?Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake! The question, “O Lord—how long?” has probably been asked by all of us. A question of eagerness to see God’s plan—His Word accomplished. Psalm 18:1-3, I will love You, O Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;?My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;?My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;?So shall I be saved from my enemies. This Psalm is an example of David’s struggle and how God heard his prayer and answered. Jeremiah 29:11-13, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
2. Psalm 8:3-4, When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,?The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that You are mindful of him,?And the son of man that You visit him? This is a question of awe that God even cares about sinful man.
Romans 9:13-15 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” If you have ever heard the gospel, if you’re here this morning, this is God’s mercy and compassion for you. Have you ever wondered why God hated Esau? To me, the harder question is why did God love Jacob?
3. Psalm 10:1, Why do You stand afar off, O Lord??Why do You hide in times of trouble? This is a question that reveals a longing for God’s presence. We talked about this a little last week: what do we do when all we feel is an absence of God’s presence. Will we trust His Word? Hebrews 13:5, Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” This verse is quoting Genesis 28:15, “ Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” We are not immune to trouble, but with God, our perspective of trouble should be different. (higher ground is a tactical advantage) When we go to our knees in prayer, God lifts us above all things.
4. Psalm 15:1, Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle??Who may dwell in Your holy hill? The ultimate question of who may live with God. Luke 9:46-48, Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. 47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”
Romans 10:9-10, 13, that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation… 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Like David, we have questions. So what do we do? Well, keep asking. Then, through faith in God’s Word and the work of the Holy Spirit, let’s listen as He leads us in His way.
My son, do not forget my law,?But let your heart keep my commands;
2 For length of days and long life?And peace they will add to you.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you;?Bind them around your neck,?Write them on the tablet of your heart,
4 And so find favor and high esteem?In the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,?And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,?And He shall direct[a] your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;?Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your flesh,?And strength to your bones.
Joan of Arc said, “I am not afraid, I was born to do this.”
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