Pastor just finished reading the book
"Hatred's Kingdom" by Dore Gold.
It's about the founded religion, "Wahhabi," pronounced <wa-hab>. This religion was founded by Muhammad Ibm Abd al-Wahab
(1703-1791). By 1811, the Wahhabi followers ruled all of Saudi Arabia and were a threat to the entire world. Later, they were defeated by
Muhammad Ali (not the boxer). However, Wahhabi regained power 20 years later and held it for several
decades only to lose it again by way of the British. They regained power for a third time when Ibn Saud captured Riyadh in 1902.
Saudi Arabia and Wahhabi have been closely tied together ever since. "9/11" was not the first time they
have done that horrible evil--it has been a lifestyle for over 200 years. They are a frightening group
of people. They will use whatever weapons that they can get their hands on to destroy all people not
in accordance with their beliefs. They kill their own people as fast as they would kill us. But
as evil as they are, we are to live with no fear.
March 9th, 2003, Sunday Morning
Times of war are not times of fear for believers
(A compare-contrast to the potential 2003 U.S.-Iraq war)
OPENING: Psalm 27:1-6
WE ARE TO NEVER LET WORLD CIRCUMSTANCES DETRACT US FROM OUR PRIORITY IN LIFE
- In this passage, the Psalmist, David, faced frightening difficulties
- The following verses come from David, at the time his son Absalom, rebelled against him and
took his throne by force (as a result of David's sin with Bathsheba--2 Samuel 11:1 to 2 Samuel 12:11) which, as a result,
- Psalm 27:3: An outnumbering host gathers around him ... war rises against him...
- Psalm 3:6-7: However, David will not be afraid of the enemies around him--no matter how many--because
he simply trusts in God
- This is a time which would detract most people to desire isolation so they can focus on
their problems by themselves without help. However, David keeps the correct priority:
- Psalm 27:4: Right after fully recognizing the unstoppable odds around him,
David first desires to be in God's house; notice in this verse, of all David asks for, he doesn't ask for protection
because he knows that will automatically be granted him
- Prayer is only part of our responsibility
- Matthew 7:7: Jesus says to ask and seek
and it will be given and revealed to you, respectively
- The priority (as said by David) is to "dwell in the house of the Lord"
- Old Testament perspective (from David)
- Psalm 23:6: Says David, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the
days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."
- Psalm 26:8: Says David, "Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house,
and the place where thine honour dwelleth." (where "house" = God's temple)
- New Testament support:
- Hebrews 3:6: Christ is the Son over this house (which you are within IF
- 1 Corinthians 3:9: We labor together with God (which implies God is currently
working, too) and you and I are God's "building" (creation)
- 1 Corinthians 3:16: Present tense: you are an integrated
part of God's temple and, at the same time, God dwells within you (if you're saved)
- Ephesians 2:21: And all the parts (people) of this temple fit together, perfectly,
and results in a holy temple
- House/temple = the people of God; troubling times (like war) are the times we most need to
be with each other, specifically in Church--not alone and afraid, scared of the worst
- We cannot make it on our own--remove yourself from God's temple and you'll wither and die
- Why did David want to be with other believers (in God's temple) at his most troubling time?
- Psalm 27:4: He wanted to see and be comforted by God's beauty
- "behold" = look on with gratification
- "beauty" = favor, pleasant, delight
- Look with gratification at beauty: beauty is simply pleasing to the eyes--we love to look at beauty
- Within the body of Christ (a.k.a., "while at church"--with God's people), we study and
discover and gaze upon God's truths because...
- We're gathered together as a group--Christ's body--not alone
- We see best in a group (i.e., we can marvel at the Grand Canyon's sights alone but discover and
be even more amazed when tour guides, beside us, tell us more facts about the Canyon)
- Philippians 4:8: Paul reinforces the fact we are to "think on"
(meditate) and gaze upon
those things: "true", "honest", "just", "pure" and "lovely"
- David wanted to meditate in God's temple
- Meditate: to
seek, contemplate, consider and reflect upon
- Notice this word is not in the worldly sense of affixing your body in a certain position, closing your
eyes, and chanting. Simply put, to meditate is to think about something, at length.
(I.e., when you studying for an exam, you're meditating on that subject)
- Joshua 1:8: Joshua says in order to have a
life, full of "good success," meditate on God's Word (the Bible) day and night
- We meditate to be careful
- Careful is to do what is right
- Therefore, when we do what is right, we will be prosperous and succeed
- ILLUSTRATION: When troubles happen to people, most pull out of church
indefinitely to focus 100% of their energy--by themselves--on their problems and how to solve them.
David does in the opposite in that his solution to solving his problems with his son Absalom is to find
church--to seek the Lord to make the right decisions, among God's people
- The godlier you become, the more you have a need for the house of the Lord (church)
- We operate only within the body of Christ (when saved);
without (outside Christ), saved or not, we will not function
- It would be easier to hide but hiding is not the solution; worshipping in the Lord's house (church) is
WE KEEP THE RIGHT FOCUS BECAUSE OF OUR CONFIDENCE/FAITH
IN THE PROMISES OF GOD
- Psalm 27:5: Notice David's confidence in this verse: he doesn't say he hopes
God will conceal ("hide") him but that God will hide him
- Why is David so sure? Because God hid him from Israel's former king Saul for many years
- We are not promised to escape the days of evil
- Psalm 27:5: God will not prevent us from encountering evil but rather He will
protect us within it
- The word "hide" is used twice here indicating how precious and important the treasured
item us (in this case: man's value to God); what's the proof of our value to God? God sent his only
Son to die not for the world (the political way of saying it) but for yours and my sins--John 3:16
- 2 Timothy 4:18: The eternal promise that God will soon be coming back to take
us away from evil forever ("the Rapture")
- Psalm 27:5-6: And not only will God protect us in the midst of evil but will
cause us to rise above our enemies
- ILLUSTRATION: In the years Israel's king Saul sought to kill David, it was David whom
was given the opportunity to kill the enemy--the king (1 Samuel 24:3).
But not only did David not take that opportunity, he honored and obeyed the king because Israel's kings are appointed by God
(1 Samuel 24:6). This is an example of God protecting and raising an obedient follower
of Him above his enemies--no matter their strength or rank.
- In times of danger and pressure, how confident are you in God?
- Psalm 27:1: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is
the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
- Most people will fold in times of trouble but God's people
are unafraid and trust in God because they trust God's grace to take care of them
OUR CONFIDENCE WILL RESULT IN JOY AND PRAISE TO THE LORD
- Joy and praise are two crucial elements in the worship of God
- Joy and praise cannot be manufactured (pretended)
- They are spontaneous responses when something great happens
- Psalm 27:6: Notice David says he'll not only worship but with shouts of joy
- In David's case, the shouts of joy are a result of God protecting him from his enemies
- EXAMPLE: "shouts of joy" are experienced at a basketball game--at first no one starts
jumping up and down but when the game becomes intense and the score tied near the final seconds and
your team makes the basket and wins, that team's crowd spontaneously and instantly jump and down,
shouting with joy
- True joy comes when you have experienced real victories in (from) Christ
- Manufactured joy is the result of: living in fear, without joy; you hide and cut yourself
off from the world at every possible turn until you "have" to go to church on Sunday to simply
sing along from a "soul-stirring hymn book" without joy
- Psalm 27:6: Joy is not all the Psalmist David has--he sings, too
- When reading the Old Testament, you'll discover every time there is a victory, a song is
written about it
- Music at a sporting event is an indicator of man (crowds) singing with joy
- Singing is a sign of being filled with the spirit--a response to the
grace of God at work in your life; it's not a planned event
Times of war (or any time of tragedy--even those personal to you) are not times of fear for
believers. It is
exactly the time to stay prioritized with God first in your life: worshipping with fellow believers
in church, "seeing" the beauty of the Lord, reflecting on His greatness with others and knowing we are
protected by His grace, worshipping with joy and song.
No fear--we know the true and living God!