The Lord is Our Portion

These are the sermon notes from 2/3/13.

I.  God Protects His People:  Ezekiel 9:1-7

Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.” And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple.  And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple. Then He said to them, “Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!” And they went out and killed in the city.

Do not be deceived, God is willing to carry out judgement upon the wicked.  Some emphasize the love of God to the point that people may think that God would never pass judgement with severe penalties.  That would be wrong.

Even in the midst of judgement against evil, God is able to look out for His people.   He does not forget us.

II.  Even in Judgement, God is Faithful: Lamentations 3

A.   Affliction vv1-3:

I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.
He has led me and made me walk
In darkness and not in light.
Surely He has turned His hand against me
Time and time again throughout the day.

Jeremiah was a faithful servant of God, yet he was caught up in the judgement that fell on Jerusalem.  He was mistreated by the people to whom he proclaimed the word of the Lord.  He experienced much hardship.

B.  More Hardship vv16-18

He has also broken my teeth with gravel,
And covered me with ashes.
17 You have moved my soul far from peace;
I have forgotten prosperity.
18 And I said, “My strength and my hope
Have perished from the Lord.”

Jeremiah experienced great misery.  He did not blame the devil, or people for his suffering,  he rightly recognized that God had allowed those things to happen to him.

C  Hope vv19-21

Remember my affliction and roaming,
The wormwood and the gall.
20 My soul still remembers
And sinks within me.
21 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.

Even in the midst of his suffering he has hope.  Hope is something that is precious, and God offers to us all a hope that goes beyond our circumstances.

D.  God is Faithful vv22-25

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.

God is faithful.  His mercy is new every morning.  God is good to His people.  Most importantly “the Lord is my portion”.  We have the ability to be in a relationship with God.  Our fellowship with Him is not destroyed by difficult circumstances.  God is with us always.  If we were more aware of His presence, the afflictions of this life would be much easier to bear.

III.  There is a Reason  Lamentations 3:37-38

Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass,
When the Lord has not commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That woe and well-being proceed?

Nothing can affect us without God’s permission.  God is in control even though people are able to exercise their own wills, God is watching over everything and can intervene at any time.  God has a reason for allowing what He allows, He is not being mean, nor arbitrary, nor ineffective.  We just do not have the capacity to understand.  Remember Job “Thou He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

God is our portion.  In Him, we are content.  No matter what may happen, we may be secure in Him

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