“ARE YOU SERIOUS?”: MAKING PROMISES AT THE MOST UNPROMISING TIME

There is a little verse in Psalm 105 where the Holy Spirit goes back a few thousand years to tell us about “when” God promised something at an unpromising time.

 

11 Saying, “ To you I will give the land of Canaan

As the portion of your inheritance,”

12 When they were only a few men in number,

Very few, and strangers in it

(Psalms 105:11-12)

 

This little portion of Scripture is pretty amazing and pretty typical of God.  He promises stuff when it seems impossible

 

GOD SAID (to Abraham)….I WILL GIVE YOU THE LAND OF CANAAN

 

HIS POSITION….only a few people….in fact ,very few it says….and to add insult to injury, they are strangers in the land.  Very unpromising resources to make this kind of promise.  

I will give you the land is insane. 

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WHY WORSHIP IS DISAPPEARING FROM OUR CHURCH SERVICES

PRAISE IS THE  NATURAL RESPONSE TO PRAYER.

David says in no uncertain terms “THOSE WHO SEEK HIM WILL PRAISE THE LORD” (Psalm 22:26).  Can that be any clearer.  If you seek God , then you will praise God.

Praise comes from prayer.

Praise has it’s origin in seeking God.

Which means if there is no prayer meetings then there are no worship meetings. 

 

Prayer is the greatest catalyst for praise.

A praying church is a praising church.  Good music does not mean good worship.  Good prayer gives good worship.  

 

I believe that the prayerlessness of the 21st century  church today has fostered all the gimmicks that are now happening on stage for the worship services.

We have to go to low lights, smoke, spots, and the concert like feel because our churches don’t praise anymore….they spectate.

Don’t believe me, just turn around during the songs and see who is lost in praise and worship.

Most congregants will watch but they don’t participate.

That is why lattes work at church now.  If you are really praising, you don’t have time for a latte.

It’s tough to meet the living God with coffee in hand.

They watch the show on stage but it never seems to seep into the audience.  My challenge to worship leaders is really look and see if the people are worshipping (not singing or swaying or twisting).  

 

 

So when a church does not praise, then you have to keep it entertained for the 20-30 minutes with all the peripherals.  This is exactly what AW Tozer said:

A church that can’t worship must be entertained; and people who can’t lead a church to worship must provide entertainment. 

 

 

Congregational Praise is so much more exciting and exhilarating than watching 7 people on a stage do it for you. If I want that from a stage then I will go to see U2 for their Songs of Innocence tour and maybe that will be just as “free” as their CD on iTunes.  

 

Who would be more exhilarating and enthralling than God showing up?  We have put so much stock in the stage that we have forgotten the people in the seats. And when we finally remembered the pews , we have tried to do everything we can to provoke praise instead of what the Bible clearly says….THOSE WHO SEEK HIM WILL PRAISE HIM.


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I NEVER WOULD HAVE READ “THAT”…

… AND THOUGHT OF “THIS”
(Jesus fulfilling the Psalms in His Life)

It’s always easier to see stuff when you know the whole story and the big picture.

I have read the Psalms many, many times and the Gospels equally. I have to tell you that I don’t know if I have, even with the whole life of Jesus before me, been good at correlating the two.  The Bible is a supernatural book and it cannot be exhausted with one reading.

I love what Spurgeon said…

“No Scripture is exhausted by a single explanation. The flowers of God’s
garden bloom not only double, but sevenfold; they are continually pouring
forth fresh fragrance.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Well, I just started smelling some of the fresh fragrance of the Psalms being fulfilled in the life of Jesus.  Psalms that I have read, but never thought of Jesus.

When I read the Bible, especially the OT, I need to think “Jesus”.
Listen to the words of the resurrected Jesus….

Luke 24:44
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you,
while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were
written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, AND IN THE PSALMS,
concerning me.

Wow, did you get that?
Jesus in the Psalms!

Let me show you what I stumbled on and how I started to read Psalms differently.
It was in John 15.

John 15
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

I have read the Psalms many times.  I can’t tell you that there has been many times when I have read a Psalm and said that was fulfilled in Jesus’ life and ministry. I know the Psalms are part of David’s life, but when I ran into this verse in John 15 and Jesus said “I am the fulfillment of ‘they hated me without a cause'” – whoa!.  I have read Psalm 35 many times (and this verse) and have never read Jesus is coming to fulfill that verse.
How many more verses are there in Psalms that Jesus fulfilled.

There are a few things that I learn from this.
First, those who try to tell me that the OT has no correlation with the NT is just not true. Or to see Jesus in the OT is very very much allowable and encouraged by the resurrected Jesus.

When we read the Gospels and many of the stories of the Bible, we know the end.  EVEN WITH THAT ADVANTAGE, I don’t know how many of these Psalms I would read and think Jesus.  I need to learn to read differently. I need to see Jesus more.

Let’s look at some

PS 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

Would you have read Psalm 8 and thought triumphant entry and the children singing on Palm Sunday?
Not me!

Here’s another…

Psalm 110:1 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand,until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Would you have thought this applies to the question that Jesus asks the Pharisees….”What think ye of the Christ and whose son is he?”
My mind was not going to Psalm 110 with that question!

Matthew 22
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
44 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

In Matthew 23 Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and their unwillingness to come to Him.

Matt 23:37
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

I have not read Psalm 118 thinking about this moment with Jesus

Ps 118:26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.

Let’s keep reading…..

Let’s see Jesus at the last supper washing the disciples feet and letting them know that someone will betray Him…

John 13:18
18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

What Psalm had I read that would associate with this?

Psalm 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

I think when it’s all said and done, I have a new prayer that I pray when I start reading the Bible.
It’s a request that some Greeks made but it sounds more like prayer to me. They said to Philip , “Sir , we wish to  see Jesus” (John 12:21).

1. Ps 8.2 > Mt 21.16
2. Ps 110.1 > Mt 22.44
3. Ps 118.26 > Mt 23.39
4. Ps 82.6 > John 10.34
5. Ps 41.9 > John 13.18
6. Ps 35.19, 69.4 > John 15.25