How Big is your God?
Please open to I John 4:4 à “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
I) Who is our Lord? Well let’s take a look at His statistics.
Please Open to Psalm 136:1-26à “O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endures forever. O give thanks unto the God of gods for His mercy endures forever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for His mercy endures forever. For He alone does great wonders: for His mercy endures forever. To Him that by wisdom mad the heavens: for His mercy endures forever. To Him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for His mercy endures forever. To Him that made great lights: for His mercy endures forever: The sun to rule by day: for His mercy endures forever: The moon and stars to rule by night: for His mercy endures forever. To Him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for His mercy endures forever: And brought Israel out from among them: for His mercy endures forever: With a strong hand, and with an out-stretched arm: for His mercy endures forever: To Him that divided the Red sea into parts: for His mercy endures forever: And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for His mercy endures forever: But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for His mercy endures forever: To Him which led His people through the wilderness: for His mercy endures forever. To Him which smote great kings: for His mercy endures forever: And slew famous kings: for His mercy endures forever: Sihon king of the Amorites: for His mercy endures forever: And Og the king of Bashan: for His mercy endures forever: And gave their land for a heritage: for His mercy endures forever: Even a heritage unto Israel His servant: for His mercy endures forever. Who remembered us in our low estate: for His mercy endures forever: And has redeemed us from our enemies: for His mercy endures forever. Who gives food to all flesh: for His mercy endures forever. O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for His mercy endures forever.”
A) Verses 1&2à say that the Lord is good, and we should give thanks unto the God of gods.
Verses 3&4 à says He is the Lord of Lords, and it is He alone that does great wonders
Verses 5&6 à says by His wisdom are the heavens made, and it was Him that stretched the earth out above the waters.
Verses 7-9à says it was He that made great lights, made the sun to rule by day, and the moon and the stars to rule at night.
Verses 10-16 à says it was He that smote the firstborn in Egypt, and brought Israel out of slavery (10). He did this with an outstretched arm, and a strong hand (11-12). He divided the Red sea to let Israel pass through on dry ground, but destroyed Pharaoh and his soldiers when the sea crashed back to earth (13-15). He led His people through the wilderness with a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire at night (16).
Verses 17-20 à says it was God that smote great kings, and slew famous kings. In 19&20 it gives names of specific kings that the Lord dealt with.
Verses 21-22 à says God gave the land of these kings to His servant Israel.
Verses 23-26 à says who remembered us in our low times, who saved us from our enemies, who gives food to everyone? The answer is given in verse 26, give thanks to the God of heaven: for His mercy endures forever.
As we read this portion of scripture what does it make you think? We see that the Lord is a God of mighty wonders, and awesome strength. It is in the Old Testament which took place a few thousand years ago. A little distant from our time of today. Does the re-telling of God’s mercy, and power seem a little like a fairy tale to some of us? Don’t look around and try to pick someone out of the audience, that might think it is a fairy tale. These things really did happen. So most of us now are thinking, that sounds like a pretty foolish point to make. Except that is not my point, do you still believe that our God is capable of doing the same things today?
II) Are you Fighting your own Battles here on Earth?
We see in the account in Psalm 136, that God fought for His people. It is called Holy War, when God fights for His people. Why do we try to fight our own battles? I will bet that a lot of us don’t think that we are fighting our own battles. Have you been in sin lately? I don’t want anyone to yell out, yes I have been in sin, or I am right now. Just answer to yourself. If you have sinned, then you are trying to fight your own battles.
A) In Psalm 143: 6-11 à “I stretch forth my hands unto you: my soul thirsts for you, as a dry thirsty land. Hear me quickly, O Lord: my spirit fails: hid not your face from me, so that I won’t be like them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear your loving-kindness in the morning; for in you do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto you. Deliver me, O Lord from my enemies: I flee unto you to hide me. Teach me to do your will; for you are my God: your Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Revive me, O Lord for your name’s sake: for your righteousness; sake bring my soul out of trouble.”
1) David seeks God like a dry land seeks water. (6)
2) David’s spirit is feeling downtrodden, and lonely. David is begging God to come quickly. David begs God not to hide His face from him, so that he won’t be like those that go down into the pit (hell). (7)
3) David wants to hear God’s loving-kindness when he wakes up in the morning. He trusts God, and wants God to cause him to live a life of obedience. He wants God to lift up his soul. (8)
4) When David’s enemies come he flees to hide behind God. (9)
5) David wants God to teach him to do His will, because the Lord is his God. The Lord’s Spirit is good, and he wants God to lead him into the land of uprightness. (10)
6) David wants God to revive him, for His righteousness’ sake, and for His name’s sake. David realizes that he doesn’t bring God anything special, he realizes that he is a sinner. David realizes that God will draw him back into fellowship with Him, only because He is holy, and not because David deserves it. (11)
The whole reason that I read this passage is because, David gets it. He understands that God is the One that fights the battles, and that He is in control. David doesn’t want to sin anymore, so he asks God to teach him His ways. He wants to fellowship with God, so He asks God to come quickly.
He wants to be saved from his enemies, so he asks God to deliver him. But notice in verse 9 à David doesn’t stand beside of God, while God delivers him from his enemies, he hides behind God.
B) Think of when you were young, and you were out in public and something scared you. Most times you would run and hide behind your mother’s legs, or you would run to your dad so he could pick you up. You did this because you were small, and couldn’t protect yourself. You knew that they would protect you.
People in Florida know that hurricanes are a dangerous reality where they live, so they keep themselves prepared by stocking up on supplies and necessities. When a hurricane comes many times they have to run to a shelter that is sturdy enough to endure whatever disaster may come. Why do we in our own lives know that the storm will come, and we stand out in the open to take the brunt of the storm, saying to ourselves “this storm isn’t that bad.” God tells us that trials and temptations will come, and He is our shelter from the storm. He is our rock, and we should build our house on His rock. Let God fight your battles. All He wants you to do, is ask for help.
David was a man after God’s own heart, and here is one of his many pleas for help.
C) Psalm 54:1-7 à “Save me, O God by your name and judge me by your strength. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Behold, God is my helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in your truth. I will freely sacrifice unto you: I will praise your name, O Lord for it is good. For he has delivered me out of all trouble: and my eyes have seen his desire upon my enemies.”
III) How Big is your God?
A) Romans 8:31 à “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us.”
1) The prophet Elijah knew how big His God is. In 1st Kings 18:17-40, Elijah proposed a boxing match between God and Baal. Elijah was doing this because the King of Israel and the people were trying to worship the false god Baal, and the Lord at the same time. In verse 22, Elijah points out that he is the only prophet of the true God, but there are 450 prophets of Baal.
2) In verses 23-25 Elijah tells them to set up some wood, and then put a bullock on it. They were to then call out to Baal, and see what he would do.
3) In verses 26-29 à They called out to Baal from morning until noon, and Baal didn’t answer. And they leaped upon the altar, but still no answer. Elijah then mocked them saying, “Cry aloud: for he is a god, either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or perhaps he sleeps, and he must be awaked.” (27) They cut themselves open with knives trying to get the attention of Baal, and they did this until the evening.
4) In verse 31, Elijah tells the people to come near to him, and he took twelve stones that signified the twelve tribes of Israel, and he made a trench around the altar that was filled with water. Elijah had them pour four barrels of water over the wood and the sacrifice. (Have any of you tried to start a fire with wet wood before?) Read verses 36-38 out-loud. à Elijah calls out to God, and God sends down fire and consumes the sacrifice and everything that was around it, including the water. The people fell on their faces and worshipped God. Then Elijah said to the people to kill all of the prophets of Baal, and they did.
Elijah had been persecuted by King Ahab for all of this time, and finally he said, God take care of my light work.
Romans 8:35-39 à “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Now I will close with this, James 4:5-10 à “Do you think that the scripture says in vain, the spirit that dwells in us lusts to envy? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded. Be afflicted and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
We can’t be separated from His love. So since we aren’t standing alone, let’s have Him do the fighting for us. He is much better at everything, than we are good at anything.