Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob.
~Psalms 114:7, NLT
There are no maverick molecules in the universe.
The Jews sang Psalm 114 along with 113 before observing the Passover meal. Passover was their 4th of July and Easter all rolled into one. It was a celebration of their deliverance from Egypt and the birth of the nation. Passover was a look back and as the Jews looked back, they could see God’s invisible hand of providence working in their deliverance from Egypt and through the wilderness. Israel’s sanctification [wilderness experience] began and ended with a miracle. It began with the miracle at the Red Sea and it ended with the miracle of the Jordan: on both occasions, God parted the waters for Israel to move through. As the Israelites looked back over their history, it was evident that God was working in their behalf: He was for them–over them–with them–and He went before them. There is no question: The God of creation is involved in the affairs of men and He governs all that He has made.
Sproul was probably a Calvinist: there is one maverick in the universe and that is man. To my knowledge, man is the only rebellious creature. God told Jonah to get and go to Nineveh. Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction. Whereas Jonah had the power and freedom to rebel against God, he had no power to thwart God’s purpose. God achieved His purpose in spite of Jonah’s rebellion because He controls all the elements. God hurled a storm in Jonah’s direction to halt the ship and convict the sailors. God sent the fish to pick up Jonah and carry him in the right direction. Later God used a gourd, then a worm and then the wind. Everything is under His control which gives Him the ability to make good come out of bad.
The Israelites had a problem with God being invisible. They longed for a God they could see which explains why they were prone to worship images. They wanted to feel the peace of God’s presence: to know that He was with them, protecting them and providing for them. The wilderness was a boot camp where God put them to the test: what would they do in a crisis? What would they do when their needs went unmet? Well, we know what they did, they complained and grumbled saying, “Is the LORD with us or not.” Unmet needs is not an indication that God has abandoned you, it is a test of your faith to see if you will trust Him during trying times. God is omnipresent: He cannot be absent. He did give them a manifestation in the shekinah glory cloud which was visible both day and night, but that was only for a time. God wants us to mature in our faith. We need to move beyond visible manifestations. Job did not lose his faith and he could see nothing.
I went to Salem Springs in 1970 to fill in but by God’s marvelous providence, I filled in for the next 75 Sundays. They did not call me: I was not officially their pastor, just filling in but during those 18 months we Baptized 24 people and saw the church double, actually, more than double. We won the banner at the YOUTH FOR CHRIST meeting more than any church in the Association: all I had to do was tell the young people what time to meet at the church and a herd would show up. I thought I was something. I also thought this was the typical church and that I had a very bright future–WRONG! I was an immature Christian and God was graciously giving me manifestations that affirmed my call but I got my baptism by fire in Seminary and afterwards. Looking back, it is not difficult to figure out. God needed to humble my proud spirit and show me my depravity and He used the difficult times to do it. God wants us to rely on HIM, not miracles and signs. Job said, “Even if He kills me, I will trust HIM.” This is the kind of tempered faith that God wants us to have. Then we can begin to praise Him as He deserves.
- October is Pastor’s appreciation month and Bro. Ken threw us a dinner to appreciate us yesterday. It was a good dinner and we thank our DOM. I enjoyed the fellowship as much as the food: our table had a blast. We shared Seminary stories.
- Our BLOCK PARTY here at the house in October 21, at 4:00 pm. Mt. Zion Baptist Church has partnered with me as I reach out to my neighbors. I don’t need money but if you would like to help, I can probably find something for you today. The main thing I need is prayer.
- Going to try to get the DIGEST out today or tomorrow.
- Bobby from LA sent me a list of sponsors if you want to call: We are invested in PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble. Don’t boycott them, just try to get them to stop sponsoring the NFL which is an arm of the democratic party. The NFL is a proud supporter of gay rights, same sex marriage and disrespecting the military and the police force. I am sure Obama is proud of them but you shouldn’t be. Let’s bend the iron while it is hot. Get this, Hollywood is supporting the NFL. What a shock! According to Facebook, the NFL ratings were down last week.
Campbell’s Soup 800-257-8443
Mars Snackfood 908-850-1753
Dairy Management Inc. 847-803-2000
Bridgestone Tire 904-779-8300
Procter & Gamble 513-983-1100
Papa John’s 513-737-3506
Zebra Technologies 846-634-6700
TD Ameritrade 800-237-8692
Extreme Networks 888-257-3000
Nationwide Insurance 800-882-2822