Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Those He Gathered

Psalm 107

Those He Gathered

When you look at God’s people, we are collection of all sorts of people from every walk of life. There does not seem to be any “one” type of us. We come from different backgrounds with different stories and different experiences. That’s the way God designed His church to be...

Fact is God brings all types of people to Himself.


I.         Some of the types are mentioned in Psalm 107.


            A.        God brings people whose lives are lost and empty. [v 4]

*****There is no “reason” just fact.*****


                        1.         Some thins are out of our control.


                                    a.         Tendencies:


                                                1.)       We “blame” those in need.


                                                2.)       We feel “injustice.”


                                    b.         Fact: sometimes people suffer because of things beyond their ability. “It is what it is...”


                                                1.)       People are homeless, hungry, thirsty, sick, in prison.


                                                2.)       When we look for motivation or reason, instead of seeing and meeting the need, we sin (by being judgmental – an attitude that does not give the other person a chance or the benefit of doubt).


                        2.         Having lives that are lost and empty can be a blessing...


                                    a.         At least when we are here, we know our need.


                                    b.         This place is much closer to salvation than being self-righteous.


            B.        God brings people who are prisoners to sin. [v 10]


                        1.         Reasons for the prison of sin:


                                    a.         Rebellion against the word of God. [v 11] (Hebrew: “to be contentious” [BDB] “to be [make] bitter” [Strong]


                                    b.         Despise (reject with contempt) the counsel (purpose and plan) of the “Most High” (one of the many Old Testament titles of God.)


                        2.         Sin must be dealt with.


                                    a.         On God’s part: the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.


The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” [1 John 1:7b]


                                    b.         On our part: respond in repentance and faith.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” [Acts 3:19]


            C.        God brings people who have acted foolishly. [v 17]


                        1.         “Fool” is a technical term: Someone who has chosen to live like there is no God.


                                    a.         A “fool” despises wisdom, mocks when guilty, is quarrelsome, and is licentious (“promiscuous and unprincipled in sexual matters” – Oxford) [BDB]


                                    b.         In a sense the “fool” as become their own “god” deciding right from wrong (and mostly getting it backwards).


                        2.         Notice the damage done to themselves by their own actions:


                                    a.         The trouble with acting foolishly is: “hurt people hurt people,” “misery loves company.”


                                    b.         The Hebrew for “suffering affliction” caries the idea of regretting the past, worrying over the future, to be depressed.


            D.        God brings people who are distracted. [v 23]


                        1.         People in pursuit of “the good life.”


                                    a.         We might call them good and hard working.


                                    b.         Problem: If pain or sin does not keep us from God, then pursuing good things will.


                        2.         Success and potential are just as big of lures (and traps) as anything and are just as deadly.


II.       What is God look for in those He gathers?


            A.        An attitude of “desperation.” [vv 6, 13, 19, 28]


                        1.         Jesus called sinners NOT the righteous to repentance. [see Luke 5:32]


                                    a.         If you DO NOT see your need, you will never do anything about it.


                                    b.         If you DO NOT want to change, God will not force you. (Caution: there are consequences to running the stop signs.)


                        2.         Problem: When you think you are “ok” you are very close to destruction:


“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” [Proverbs 16:18]


                                    a.         Jeremiah complained about those who “dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. "Peace, peace," they say, when there is no peace.” [Jeremiah 8:11]


                                    b.         If you don’t have the desperation, you will not see the problem and consequences of NOT having a faith that changes you and lines you up with God.


            B.        The ability to “cry.”


                        1.         Why cry?


                                    a.         We see crying as a sign of weak people, of those who are helpless, of people who are emotionally unstable.


                                    b.         BUT crying is basic, it was our first form of communication before we learned to talk.


                                                1.)       Prayer is sometimes seen as a very complicated idea.


                                                2.)       All it takes is to cry out to God.


                        2.         Why cry out?


                                    a.         Ever ask for help? That’s crying out.


                                    b.         It can offend our pride but that’s what God wants. It’s called humility. Simple. Different. Effective.


III.      Why should you ask God to help? (Two reasons)


            A.        God is good!


“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.” [Psalm 107:1]


                        1.         Love that endures forever is difficult to translate because we have no way to say it in English.


                                    a.         KJV – “mercy,” ESV – “steadfast love,” ASV – “lovingkindness”


                                    b.         It is based on God. God is merciful. God is faithful. It’s all about God not us.


                        2.         The concept of “forever” is way beyond us (unless we are standing in line).


                                    a.         At most we think of a “live time.” God thinks in eternity.


                                    b.         Literally we are talking about “infinity.” God’s love never fails in time or circumstance.


“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” [Romans 5:5]


            B.        God delivers and saves. [vv 6, 13, 19, 28]


                        1.         God’s promise is both spiritual and physical.


                                    a.         God wants to deal with the core issue of your separation from Him.


                                    b.         God wants to deal with the here and now.


                        2.         Where ever you are, whatever your direction, God offers you something more... something better.


IV.      What to do:


            A.        [v 43] “Heed” and “consider” God’s love for you.


                        1.         “Heed” means to pay careful attention.


                        2.         “Consider” means to seriously consider.


            B.        Cry out to the Lord.


                        1.         Recognize your need and God’s provision.


                        2.         Set aside any self-reliance and ask God.


            C.        [v 2]    “Let the redeemed of the LORD say this.”


                        1.         If God has done something for you, don’t keep silent.


                        2.         Others need help too... they don’t know where to turn. You can point them the right direction.


(Ill.) In Africa they have a saying “Evangelism is one beggar showing another where to find bread.”



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