Sunday, September 14, 2014

Psalm 112

"Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
 who find great delight in his commands." ~ Psalm 112:1

Though chilly weather brought frost this week, the warmth in our sanctuary emanated from all corners as Pastor Brad warmly welcomed us to worship today.

Parent meeting next Sunday after church.

After a time of worship we took the offering but first Brad noted that we will be looking at Psalm 112, which ties to the notion of generosity, and the notion of choices.

Brad led us into prayer by asking if anyone wished to share something God had done for them this week. Pearl stood and shared how she felt God's presence all week since falling last week. She was grateful for our prayers, and no broken bones. Many other prayer needs were shared and lifted up.

Psalm 112

Like Psalm 1, this is a wisdom psalm. Two paths are laid out  side by side. In Psalm 1 you have a choice to be like a tree that bears fruit or

In this psalm there are seven benefits if you choose to fear the Lord and delight in His commandments, and one awful consequence of choosing wickedness.

Brad asked how many have been to the Grand Canyon? He shared with us the emotions he felt when he went there and saw it in person. Unbelievable. So much greater than he could have imagined. And so it is that God is vastly more than we can imagine or comprehend. If we saw Him face to face we would fall on our faces and cry out, "Holy, holy, holy."

Delighting in the law of the Lord is not trying to appease God by obeying rules, but it's a matter of trusting the architect of the universe and appreciating His expertise.

Here are the promises from the psalm:
Children will become mighty in the land
Wealth and riches
Good will come
No fear of bad news
Hearts secure, will never be shaken
Horn will be lifted up...

Now do all these things always happen to every follower?

Brad chose to illustrate the psalm by making a story about a character he called Ichabod whom he tells to read his Bible. Ichabod follows through and eventually reads Ephesians where he discovers a verse that says he should be working. So he gets a job, and reads further to Colossians 3:23 where it says work as unto the Lord. Because he takes this admonition to heart things go well for him...

As time goes on he reads Proverbs 3:9-10 which says "Honor the Lord with your wealth..."
and in Malachi 3:10 he reads that he should bring his firstfruits to the Lord... should tithe.

As he reads he comes to I Timothy 5:8 he realizes he needs to take care of his family.

As he reads on and keeps reading, he sooner or later will come to I John 3:17 which reminds him that he should take care of his family when they are in need.

Every day he keeps reading, and eventually comes to Proverbs 22:7 which notifies him that debt is bad, that the borrower is slave to the lender so he decides he wants to avoid debt.

Then he sees Proverbs 21:20 across the page and learns that with these blessings he has received he should set aside some and store up for the future.

Titus 1:7 admonishes him to avoid dishonest gain and to live a blameless life.

When he reaches Proverbs 13:22 he learns that a good person leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

At the end of his life, what does Ichabod say?

His horn would be lifted up. He was a person who delighted in the Lord. He won a victory over greed and consumerism. The wicked will see and gnash their teeth. They will groan because we have but one life and they wasted it.

Brad used this hypothetical man to make a point regarding the manner of blessings that accrue to those who follow Christ. "As your pastor I care deeply for you. I want good things for your kids. I don't  want you to get to the end of your life and regret what you didn't choose."

The Christian life of blessing begins with delighting in God and His Word. "God's ways are better than my ways and when I follow Him I will be blessed."

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