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Quarterly Lesson Week 6: Playing God

Mark Howard

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Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism

Sponsor

Recorded

  • February 6, 2021
    9:00 AM
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Father in heaven I just thank you for the Sabbath day I thank you for the privilege of being with fellow believers these brothers and sisters here in California Lord in the beautiful sunshine and I thank you for the opportunity have to meet in person I prefer Holy Spirit would be with us that you would shield us you would protect us from adverse circumstances this morning we pray that you would be with all of the proceedings throughout the day that your name would be uplifted and glorified in all that we do for we ask and prayed in Jesus' name amen All right does anybody want to tempt the memory verse this week it starts with the word behold. I'm going to I'm going to I'm going to go through part of it and I'm going to have a mike for this one I'm not seeing any hands or not seeing any Crick volunteers you know why because we're just not used to doing this like nobody ever asks that well I'm asking you this morning behold this is our good we have. Waited for him. This is. A mess my also is a this is the Lord we will. Be glad. And read joyous and His salvation that's a great verse isn't it. I'm praying that that would be on every lip here when Jesus comes again because it's not going to be on everyone's it's not going to the sponsor of everybody the 2nd coming of Jesus Lord help it to be our response now the week that the lesson this week is playing God And one of the things that we have been doing past camera 9 our department with our program talking points if you're aware of that that's part of what we're out here for is to train in that area. The idea of talking points was to try to help teachers to distill the lesson into a more workable format because our experience has been so often when we come to the adult lessons the teacher struggles and does the best he or she can to get halfway through Monday and then it's like we're out of time I sure wish we could cover this great stuff unless we're not going to get through it. And we really want to get around that and so we've encouraged trying to draw out some points and if the teachers care on the points that he or she wants to get across they can get those across in the allotted time whatever that time maybe even if they're short on time I have 3 such points this morning and we have been again I'm I'm saying this for the sake maybe those who haven't heard of this heard us this week but when you study the lesson if you're a teacher and you're teaching your and I would encourage you if you have not been a part of teaching Sabbath school. I would pursue that some of you maybe have thought of that because there is no better way to learn than teaching others in the same school teachers here say amen to that it's a great way to grow spiritually but we have said that your you if you were to go through the lesson and drop points that you felt were important may not be the same as mine that's fine there are things that come to my mind just like come to your mind when you study that are perhaps relevant to your own experience. Or the class that you typically teach in you know that things would maybe resonate with that class the 3 points I'm going to touch on this week are as follows Number one we're looking at the chapters I should say. We're going to talk about this a little bit more this afternoon in our post-game analysis of actually if you Quarterly's But today's lesson actually covers how many of you study Bill and I'm going to ask that. I should but I'm going to ask that we're in a habit of not studying the lesson often and this week's lesson covers 15 chapters in the book of Isaiah there's no teacher who's going to be able to cover stows 15 chapters and so you're going to draw out stuff no one point the 1st point that I've drawn out is that Isaiah 14 reveals the great controversy of all it's all explained with what I mean by that a look at some passages as if 14 explains a great controversy that's really an important point because there are a lot of Christians and you're going to get this very shortly that really don't think in great controversy terms like 7 they haven't is 2 it's a 4 it's a it's almost a foreign concept to them in fact if you watch some really great even Jellicoe apologist it is defenders of the faith people like Robbie Secor riots and and others like that and they try to explain the reason for the existence of evil why is there so much evil in the world they've got some really great explanations but you know where they never go to the great controversy like brilliant men it's like why don't you bring up the controversy that started in heaven with Lucifer they don't go there and that's that's amazing to me so I say 14 reveals great controversy our 2nd point that we're going to look at this morning out of the lesson this week is that God's discipline is redemptive. And what the implications of that are on you and me and finally our final point is a remnant shall return again drawing that out of this week's lesson lesson number 6 on playing God Now I want to begin by asking you to take your Bibles and we're going to Isaiah Chapter 14 and just so you know we'll be spending our time basically between Isaiah 14 and 27 I was it young 13 and 27 I think is where the lesson goes we're going to start in verse 4 or Chapter 14 as if 14 and verse 12 and fact I'll probably start back just a little bit from that I'm going to certain verse we're going to read verses 3 and 4 and then I'm going to jump to verse 12 as if 143 says it shall come to pass in the day the Lord gives you rest from your sorrow from your fear in the heart bondage of which you were made to serve but you will take up this proverb against to the king of Babylon and say how the oppressor has ceased the golden city seized Ok so you got the context of Proverbs being taking taken up against to the king of Babylon now we jump ahead to verse 12 and notice what the Bible says I'm reading in the New King James version it says how you are fall in from heaven oh Lucifer son of the morning how you are cut down to the ground you weaken the nations for you have said in your heart I will ascend into heaven I will exalt my throne above the stars of God I will also sit on the Mount of the congregation on the far the size of the north I will ascend above the heights of the clouds I will be like the most high and obviously we can be more than that now the quarterly bring asks this question. On Tuesday's lesson Here's the question. The 1st question on Tuesday how question how could I say a 1412 to 14 applied to a king of Babylon now the reasoning the authors reasoning I can only guess at here is likely because it says how you're fallen old Lucifer right and so it says Lucifer how could it have to do with the king of Babylon However when I studied in this lesson I found something interesting and what I'm going to ask is for a few volunteers perhaps to read Isaiah 1412 if you have a different translation from the King James or the New King James if you have the n.i.v. the any s.p.d. e s v I'm going to ask if there are some people who could read that passage and we have people with mikes ready to come around too so if you are if you want to read stand up hold your hand up and I'll get a mike to you I see Arden over here standing up somebody wants to bring a mike this way you guys with mikes right there and I. Never thought of that on Ok having cast down or. You one. Thing you want to leave me Ok so what's missing there what is it Lucifer Oh oh that he would be missing right but at any rate it doesn't say Lucifer says Son of the morning or something Arden which version you took somebody get a mike over to Arden right here oh. Well when you raise your hand no I'm just kidding Ok somebody else which version was that and I'd be so we've got another one right here. This century king of Babylon Morning Star far from heaven even though you are right right interesting all the nations are here. But. Ok so one more do we have somebody with the maybe e.s.p. or the New American Standard Bible. If not let me just make this point I believe the King James in the New King James are the only Bibles outside of the Latin Vulgate that use that term Lucifer the word Lucifer is a Latin word it's found in the Vulgate it means light bearer or Daystar and it's it comes from the Hebrew word hail which means shining one and so the author is asking the question and it I think very much from an admin as mindset how could this be talking about a king of Babylon but as I read through the commentaries most non minute non have been a say how could this be talking about the devil like it says king of Babylon in the context and the original Hebrew word says shining one how could this be talking about the devil Now that's an important question I thought because much of our interpretation of the great controversy rests on this passage and the passage in is equal Chapter 28 maybe we should look at as well let's not do that. In Isaiah 14. If you look at this passage again there's a few things that I know I'm going to go to come back let's go to chapter 28 and one of the things that helps us is he old gives us some parallel thoughts that I think help us decipher and know that we're on the right track and Isaiah. Jeremiah limitations is e.q. this turn to the right as he can 28. And I want you to notice. From If you just turn verse 1. 1 in 2 is equal 281 says the word of the Lord came to me again saying Son of man say to the Prince of Tyrus or the Prince of Tire the says the Lord God because you are what heart is lifted up and you say I am a God I sit in the seat of God etc etc Now we're going to jump ahead and we're going to look at verse 12 and again it's a Son of Man take up a limitation for the King of Tire and say to him thus says the Lord God You are the seal of perfection full of wisdom and perfect in beauty you are aware and even I'm going to tell you new earthly king was in Eden So we're getting a little bit of a an insight here that whether this is must be going beyond the King of Tire every precious stone was your covering the sword is a topaz a dime in the barely onic suggest Perceptor turquoise an emerald with gold the workmanship of your timbales and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were born that what it says day you were created now and you could make an argument created born same difference but just follow along verse 14 you were the anointed cherub who covers what is a chariot it's not a human being right and so here it is equal as much as it starts with the King of Tire clearly we see the Bible starting to go behind the scenes if you will because we're talking about a creature that was created not born he was in Eden and he's a covering cherub and I'm assuming that you've studied these passages before now we have applied this is well to prefer Lucifer but that passage gives us insight when we're back there in Isaiah 14 I think we're spot on in our interpretation of as a 14 but I found it interesting when I looked at the lesson in that question was asked you know how how could this prophecy have to do with the king of Babylon and I saw all the commentators from other faiths saying how could it not. And as you go back through Isaiah 1412 there are things in there obviously it starts out with the king of Babylon but then it goes on to say how he said in his heart now incident I need to say this I didn't bring this up so the Hebrew word is hail which means shining one but in this particular verse it's the only verse in all of Scripture where hey Larry is used as a proper name Ok so that's so it's not just used in a typical sense here it's naming somebody and a somebody is naming was saying his heart I will ascend into heaven I will exhaust my throne to the stars of God I will be like the most high Well the king of Babylon never made it to heaven and you can say well he is one to aspire and I suppose that would lead me to my next question and that question is as a reading here in Isaiah and it starts out with the king of Babylon and moves on what do you think the significance is of tying in this original fall of Lucifer with the king of Babylon watch out of those things even go together what are some thoughts on that anybody have thought Why would I say a why would the Lord through Isaiah link Lucifer's fall going to him back here hold your head up high if you get just so the people of Mike's can see it or I can see it and if I don't see it you know do one of these you can stand up and jump up and now whatever because I don't want to miss anybody. You know there are more. People out. There yes you do but some would. Be Ok here. You. Are. Ok so you're getting a little bit of a hind the scenes insight there's some power prompting the actions of the king of Babylon very good another thought somebody else have a thought on that. Right here morning read Ok that Mike's not working can somebody else come over there you've got somebody on their way. The king of Babylon that is or. See Israel captive and see all. Of. That critiquing of this on my own career. You want to be. Absolutely we see a lot of parallels there can anybody recall an incident from the life of never can mess or that would be similar to what we see in the character of Lucifer outlined in Isaiah where he said in his heart I'll be like the most time he lifted himself up or or like easy. Can you think of an event in the course of never going to life say when he wandered around like a wild beast for 7 years because even after warned by the prophet Daniel of his pride within 12 months he's walking through his palaces saying is this not great Babylon that I have built by my own glory and power are there similarities that we see in the character in the pride. Of Never can Mr Best say oh yeah that's very much like the pride of Lucifer wanting that high position now there's so much we could say about the great controversy. A couple things I would say are in the light of our Isaiah lesson I praise the Lord for these behind the scenes insights and I and I I we're some other faiths would see and recognize him but you know what that's why God has you and I why he's given you and me the truth for this time it's not just to sit on it and camp out around it is to share it with others isn't it. And this is a great controversy theme I'd like to just say this for us sitting here this morning I'm going to ask the question Who is your greatest hindrance to spiritual success if you said any other answer than me it's the wrong answer the devil himself cannot force us to sin God has guarded our choice that's what the great controversy is about he gives us that freedom of choice and he continually through our lives in very many different means and ways and we're going to talk about some of those as we go on today 6 to get us to make the right choice but I'm never forced that choice in the devil can't force that choice it was Lucifer's pride of a heart that got him into trouble it's our pride hard to gets us into trouble it's our pride hard to keep us from submitting to God's will and we come up I have no church members that come up with all kinds of excuses for why they don't follow certain teachings of the Bible one of the most convenient is say I don't think the Bible teaches I think it's one of the church's teachings or whatever and they cast it aside but you know what is really at the heart of it all I'm just proud and I don't want to submit I want to do it my way and the great controversy if nothing else should teach us that Lucifer still works through the children of pride and the Lord wants to free us from that pride and give us the self-effacing character of Jesus Amen as I said there's more that could be said about the great controversy theme in Isaiah but I'd like to go to Isaiah 26 and look at something that the lesson did not highlight but I caught this is I was reading through the passages that the lesson was based on and this really grabbed my attention Isaiah 269 and 10 now I read through this again a reading in the New King James I want you to think through what it's saying I think it's pretty plain and straightforward but it's I think it's a little contrary to how we tend to think Isaiah 26. 9 and 10 somebody read them for me here's a volunteer I was going to read I'm going to have some around here read that this morning who wants to do it not everybody who wants all right I see him back there I say up 269 in 10. Twenties 1st. Or so here was your. Choice for marriage for heaven's world right here where you have no right to know where. You are yes. The majesty of the Lord All right thank you now I'm going to read the last part of 9 1st part of 10 and I want you to see there's a contrast being drawn here and I want I'm going to ask you what it is want you to think about it. For when your capital y. speaking to the Lord Lord when your judgments are in the earth do you in a habitants of the world will learn righteousness let Grace speech shown to the wicked yet he will not learn righteousness. What's the contrast Did anybody catch it you can shout it out to you not to wait for Mike necessarily do you see contrast in there what are they Ok learning righteousness in both cases where one case they're learning righteousness in one case they're not what is that what is being contrast and what's the difference in whether a person learns righteousness or doesn't learn righteousness Lord when your judgments are in the earth or the judgments of God are judgments the kinds of things we look forward to when we pray for for ourselves Lord please send judgments on me that how your prayers go likely not when your judgments are in the earth it says the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. But then what does it say Next let Grace be shown to the wicked and it's not going to learn righteousness let Grace be shown one set talking about what's another word for grace perhaps mercy loving kindness right when you're asking for God to deal with you in a certain way what do you typically ask for I know all the time I'm asking Lord have mercy mercy on me a sinner I'm undeserving of the blessings of God Lord have mercy treat me deal with me mercifully and he does doesn't but let me ask you this question do you tend to be more in earnest seeking God when things are going smooth in your life or things are difficult in your life how many would say when things are difficult I mean I have to say and I hate to say I hate to admit it but it's a reality in that's exactly what it's telling us here in Isaiah God loves to show mercy but the problem is we shows mercy people tend to take the blessings of God and worship the gift instead of the giver and so God has to speak in judgments in fact listen to this fantastic statement from the book patriarch some prophets page for 70 it says God speaks to his people in blessings be stowed that's what God loves to do he loves to show his blessings to us he speaks to his people in blessings bestowed and when these are not appreciated he speaks to them in blessings removed that they may be led to see their sins and return to Him with all the heart that's just telling us what Isaiah is telling us here and it's unfortunate but it's a reality and so my talking point drawn from this is that God's discipline is redemptive. That is the focus of church discipline and I'm going to tell you as a pastor of 20 plus years that if there's anything that we slack on in the 7th Avenue Church it's church discipline church discipline because it has become a thing that's unloving it's bad to do and we're not going to in so what has what happens I'm just going to tell you the real deal from a pastoral perspective because the church is being loving and incidentally let me just add to somebody but I had a conversation with somebody recently and their concept of discipline was the only kind of church discipline is removing somebody from the church membership that's not the only kind of discipline backed the much more common kind of discipline if it is practiced is church censure your goal of discipline is always to keep people in the church not get them out of the church but at the same time when a person is choosing to live apart from the church the church has to recognize that God doesn't force people into heaven and we can't force them into the church but as I said we've got a lot of loving churches who say well we're going to just keep them on the church books and so as I've come into churches to Pastor churches the last church I pastored was a church of 408 we had 485 members on the books and Cameron I talked about that the other night feels real good at how many oh we're 500 members in Archer but of that book membership on a good Sabbath it was a Cademy church so not counting the parents that would come for an Academy week on a good Sabbath we'd have 150 people and when you would ask the church leaders because I'm the new guy I'm the new guy Pastor coming in and and their leader said been a church for 101520 plus years where is this person where is this person I'm looking at the names on the books they say I don't know who's been to see them why believe and you're telling me you're being loving you understand what I'm saying that that's the mindset that we have gone to uses discipline and even in the context of the church for redemption. And we've allowed the devil to skew our understanding of discipline to make it always a bad thing and in doing so we've missed opportunities to redeem people and so if there is a this was a huge take away from me just we've got to we've got to understand and judge things the way God does not the way man does I'm not going to cause I'm not going to determine what's loving and not loving by humanity are you kidding me I'm going to determine was loving and not loving by what God does because God is love and God's discipline is redemptive. So the lesson in that vein asks this question and it's a good question and it's probably a question you've had and heard debated quite a bit Thursday's lesson down through the bottom of the page asks this does God really destroy the wicked I just talked about discipline being redemptive So what about the destruction of the wicked does God destroy the wicked there been I know in my ministry I've heard a lot of debates over whether or not God destroys the work. In fact and that's one of the reasons the lessons contributor is bringing this out and he highlights the point which I'll get to in a minute the mindset of some is that God is love and so it's contrary to his nature to destroy and I would agree with that and so then the conclusion is that if there is ever any kind of destruction it never comes from God It always comes from the devil God passively removes his restraint and lets the devil destroy because God is not a destroyer I don't know if you've heard that before now I do believe that happens sometimes but there's a statement I believe it's in the book great controversy where own wife says What evil angels do when God allows heavenly angels doing God commands speaking of destruction. And my question would be this is the quote Less I'm asked the question Does God really destroy the wicked my question would be would it be wrong for God to actively destroy the wicked would that be a wrong thing for God to do now I know a lot of people wrestle with that is it contrary to the character of God to destroy I think it is and then the question be well why would he even do it how could how could it be possible so I'm going to ask if you have a thought on what might be merciful now so we're talking about discipline in redemption don't redemptive discipline but destruction the Wicked has gone beyond that there's no more redeeming Now in other words this is the final destruction so God has exhausted every effort to even through his judgements try to redeem people not comes to the destruction of the wicked how money God's destroying the wicked be counted as loving or merciful any thoughts on that. Let me ask it this way let's put it in a church setting how might disfellowshipping a person from the church be loving that hand over here. Because that. Was. What did happen. People. Ok And of course the disfellowshipping of somebody from the church is not the final step it's not the final destruction the work of that person can can come back and I've seen many who do come back and say I'm staying for now and they'll say I wasn't thankful them but I'm thankful now the church did what they did because it helped me to realize my need for Christ Carlos. You. Were someone. Right that's a very good point some people if you choose not to go to heaven why thank you for that so I was jumping up and down in the back and I caught you finally sorry for making it so yes if. We go ahead with the other thought and then there's a hand over here. Yes. And I did read. That part. Of people loved it and it turned out to be. The good. Of all. Right and I've heard so many people. Are Oh I don't want to turn a light. On the little one. I want one. Right here right all. I did every week and. When. I'm going to be that. You're not being able to be miserable. All right now it's a little bit of what Carlos said the 1st part I'm going to touch on that one more comment here and then I'll make some comments moved our next point. You mentioned why would God destroy the within Yes you mentioned the Concord very good believe that's true but so is sin that's right. About then and so for the sake of well all of you love me and your love try on testimony and it's a test 1st and then the Love You think just removes and from them yes yes for this and. That is a great point in fact and I'm looking at my time here and I was going to go here but I want to ask you to Turn to Romans one real quick. And it makes the point read that you were just touching on Romans chapter one I want you to see something here a lot of people tend to misread the Romans Chapter one Verse 18. And I'm going to read it and I'm going to expect you to catch where I misread it if that makes sense Romans one verse 18 for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodly and unrighteous men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness did I read it correctly No because I told you I was going to read it correctly what did I say wrong I said that the wrath of God was against men right Ungol the in unrighteous men is that what the Bible says what's the wrath of God against according the Bible the young godly ness and unrighteousness of men What's the difference in one case it's against the person in the other case it's against the sin and that's the point that Reid was drawing out that God's wrath is against sin and God hates sin because of what it does to his children and he has pledged to destroy sin and so right now in this period of probationary time God is working desperately to separate us from since of that when he destroys it we won't be destroyed but he's not going to take away our choice and there are going to be those who choose not to be separated from their sin Now the brother in the back made the point and I think it's one that we often overlook when we think of discipline we think of destruction of the wicked especially We rarely think of the ones still left in other words there are multitudes of chosen to serve God and if for no other reason in mercy to them God has to destroy the wicked the same way as a parent that you might say I'm not I haven't you play with that neighbor kid anymore well it may seem mean but it's out of mercy to your child. Ellen White makes a statement it's found in the book The Last Day events page $241.00 it says the plea may be made that a loving father would not see his children suffering the punishment of God by fire while he had the power to relieve them but God would for the sake of his subjects' and for their safety punish the transgressor God does not work on the plan of me and he can do infinite justice that man has no right to do before his fellow man Noah would have displeased God to have drowned one of the scoffers and mockers that harassed him but God drowned the vast world Long would have had no right to inflict punishment on his sons in law but God would do it in strict justice as last day Vince page 241 God sees things from a perspective that we don't always see and one of the purposes in this world is for us to start seeing an understanding thing God's way I have a comment right here if somebody would get a mike to this gentleman. Immediately. Monday but. That's right. That's right and one thing that I should make clear that seems to be a confusing thought with people God never stops loving anybody when the weaker destroyed is not because God stopped loving them it's because of the choices they made and so when the Bible talks about God wiping away every tear from the eyes that happens at after the millennium because there's going to be tears as people share the same burden that God does for the last. And more you'll be set on that but I want to move to this the last point of many is that in the course of of this chapter you know I had 2 children and God told him to name the children different things in their names in fact he says I says later that these children were to be assigned to Israel their names were speaking a message and his 1st son's name was Jr Yes Shoop And so you are just 2 literally means a remnant shall return now what's fascinating about that is that when he ma'am she argues you know this is a preach this is a sermon to the people and they had not gone into captivity yet now they contributed less and makes the point that perhaps God had a double meaning here a remnant shall return maybe God is saying look because Israel was already in apostasy I shouldn't say Israel says it Judah specifically this was this was in his interaction with Judah and King as but you know part maybe the message could have been saying he returned to me before you have to go into captivity Perhaps that's. An application but ultimately God knew that his people were going to go into captivity and it's just interesting to me like. He's names the son as a testimony to the people a remnant shall return before it so it's almost like. I want you to know I love you and I'm going to drop I'm going to bring you back to myself but incidentally by the way I'm going to send you always captives in other words as Prince before the cat he's given the promise but it's in the wake of a coming destruction that cannot be averted if you read in 2nd Chronicles 36 The Bible says the Lord sent his prophets as messengers rising up early and sending them until there was no remedy there is nothing more he could do. Except for to turn them over bring the judgments as we read it and Isaiah $26.00 hoping that that would turn them to righteousness. And then inserted in there was a promise that he would bring his people back and it's just fascinating to me from this perspective and I don't know how this is going to land with you I wish I could say that ever since I became a Christian I stop sinning. I don't like to make mistakes anymore I never speak unkindly to my wife or children I wish I could say that I can't and it's interesting sometimes when we are at our very worst that the promises of God come to us maybe even couched in a judgment and God says look now you're going through some consequences of your bad choice and I'm letting that happen but I want you to know I've not given up on you have not for sake and you and bringing you back to myself and to me that's it's it's a fascinating testimony no matter where we are that God's ultimate goal is that a remnant shall return to him it's a pledge and a promise to you and me the only hindrance to that promise is us it's our choice and I want to finish up with some passages here in Isaiah just very quickly Isaiah 261 through 4 Isaiah 26 verses one through 4 the Bible says in that day this song will be sung in the land of Juda we have a strong city God will appoint so vacation 4 walls and bulwarks open the gates of the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in you will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you to promise to those who trust in God verse 4 trust in the Lord forever for in ya capital y. age is the proper name of God Jehovah or ya away for any Ya know the Lord is everlasting string so there is a little promise that he gives and if they're there laced through all of it in the midst of all of these judgments in Isaiah you have all of these rich promises jumped to verse 19. The 1st 1900 you're dead chillin together with my dead body they show a ride is awaken seeing huge well in the dust for your do is like to do of herbs and the earth shall cast out the dead so here's that promise of the resurrection from the dead death itself cannot keep God's remnant from returning if we put our trust in him jump to Chapter 27 verse one now this is interesting 20 summers one says in that day the Lord with his severe sword great and strong will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent of time permitted we were I would show alibi of him is an illustration the Bible uses for the devil the great red dragon of revelation what have you done with it in the lore goes on to say I will punish Leviathan the thing serpent a Viking that twisted serpent and he will slay the reptiles in the sea god is telling us in a prophetic term I'm going to bring the devil to an end I'm going to bring your persecutors to an end I'm going to return you to myself I'm going to raise the dead to life versus 4 and 5 Notice verse 4 God says fury is not in me who would set briers and thorns against me in battle I would go through them I would burn them together in other words if you want to come against me you're not going to I'll plow you down you know in other words you can't resist your anger when fighting against God But he says the next verse or you can take this option let him take hold of my strength capital m. that he may make peace with me and he might make peace with me as I would as. He shall make peace with me God says if you feel like you don't have enough strength to be faithful take hold of my strength that you might make peace with me stop fighting against my will and you shall make peace. I mean these are just incredible promises of course remember verse behold this is our God we have waited for him and he will save us this is oh Lord we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation and that's just a sampling of so many rich promises that God's people even in the midst of their apostasy God is giving these rich promises of how he wanted a remnant to return and in the same way this morning no matter how far you feel you may have gone from the Lord the Lord wants to return you to himself if you will just take hold of his strength Amen how many of you want to take hold of the strength of the Lord this morning is that your desire Let's pray this morning Father in Heaven Father as we reflect upon the passages of Scripture we've looked at this morning and some of the thoughts drawn out I pray your Holy Spirit would continue to stir up our hearts and minds Lord especially throughout these Sabbath hours when we have to special time with you I pray that the time of fellowship and and hearing your word and reflecting upon it that all of this time would help us to reflect the image of Jesus more fully and I would pray that as we go into this coming week people would see just a little more of Jesus in us and they did before thank you for hearing and answering our prayer thank you for your precious promises we ask and pray these things in Jesus' name and for his say amen. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about the universe or if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a visit w w w. U or.

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