Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Sermon - Where was God?

<>By Pr David Edgren

Preached Jan 1, 2005 at Colinsvale, Tasmaina
Preached Jan 8, 2005 at Rosny, Tasmania

Intro:
A little girl holds a sign for all the world to see – she is alone. A father stands holding the clothes of his infant daughter, the mother stands nearby sobbing. Earth movers dig a huge mass grave along a train line to bury everyone in the train. Whole villages and islands have been cleared of their population. Putrefying bodies left by receding waters now threaten the remaining population with disease.

"This was the worst day in our history," said Sri Lankan businessman YP Wickramsinghe. "I wish I had died. There is no point in living."

"People told me it was as if God had unleashed his anger on the people,'' said Haji Ali, a resident in Patong Labu.

Was this mighty earthquake that shook the seabed and unleashed a devastating tsunami that took over 125,000 lives an act of God? If not, where was God?

Act of God vs Act of Satan

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Matt 13:24-30;36-43 Wheat and Tares

Kingdom of Heaven – man sows good seed

Enemy sows Tares at night (when all are asleep)

Q. Where does evil come from? Who plants the evil in this world?

A. v39 – Satan sows them

Q. What (WHO!) are the weeds?

A. v38 – The sons of the evil one

Q. When is Evil “weeded” out?

A. At the end of the age

The Origin of Evil

Rev 12 – War in Heaven

Devil-Deciever, serpent,

Took 1/3 of the angels with him

Eze – 28:12-15

Satan (king of tyre) was in Eden,

Was in Heaven

Was a guardian Cherub

Lucifer made a devil of himself

Q. Did God make Lucifer faulty? Did he create him with a bug in his system?

A. He was perfect, but corrupted himself

Challenged God for rulership of heaven

Isa 14:12-14

Visions of Grandeur

He had “I” trouble! – The mentally ill use the words my, me, and I much more often than normal people

Wanted to be like the most High God – HOW? Creature overthrowing creator? Impossible!

Thought he could run the universe better than his creator

Why didn’t God destroy Lucifer when he went bad?

  1. God is a god of love and wants us to love and trust him – not be afraid of him
    1. Illus: your children – did you get a contract saying, “they will be perfect, faultless, and kind.”? Did you even expect that? No – you probably expected “selfish, dirty and mean”! (WHY DID YOU HAVE THEM?)
  2. God gives everyone the freedom to obey or disobey
  3. Allowed Satan to have a “test case” scenario
    1. Earth became the stage for the great controversy
    2. 1. cor 4:9 – “We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.”
    3. Eph 6:11-12 – Satan will use whatever means he can to deceive us therefore we must wear armour made especially for this type of battle
    4. Gen 3 – Satan misled and lied to Eve, calling God a liar and unfair
    5. Satan had hijacked the newborn world – becoming the Prince of Earth
    6. Blame Game – Adam à Eve à Serpent à God (who made serpents!)
    7. John 8:44 (Devil is a liar and father of lies)

A total of 8,810 promises in the Word of God.

· 7,487 promises by God to man

· 2 promises by God the Father to God the Son

· 991 promises by one man made to another

· 290 promises made by man to God

· 21 promises made by angels

· 1 made by a man to an angel

· 2 made by an evil spirit to the Lord

· Satan made 9 promises (and lied 9 times)

Q. What role does Lucifer play in our lives now?

Quote: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.”

Luke 13:16 – Jesus healed a woman whom Satan had bound for 18 years

Job 1:7-

  1. Job 1:7 – From where do you come (ie ‘who invited you!’) Earth
  2. Job 1:8 – Job=blameless and upright man
  3. Satan – “raise your hand against Job” Jesus – “I will lift my hand of protection, you do what you will… but…”
  4. 1. cattle stolen, 2 lighting kills sheep, 3. camels stolen, 4 all 10 kids killed
  5. Job 2 Satan says – Hurt Job. God says – I lift my hand, you can touch him
  6. Who was it that plagued Job? Satan!
  7. The Lord may allow things to happen, but Satan is responsible for all evil on earth

Q. What role does Lucifer play in our lives now?

A. Satan is responsible for all evil, pain, sorrow and death

Illus: Tsunami warning centre – “We don’t have anyone in that area in our address book”

Frantic warnings
In Los Angeles, the head of the
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said US officials who detected the undersea quake tried frantically to get a warning out about the tsunami.
But there was no official alert system in the region, said Charles McCreery, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's centre in
Honolulu.
"It took an hour and a half for the wave to get from the earthquake to
Sri Lanka and an hour for it to get ... to the west coast of Thailand and Malaysia," he said.
"We tried to do what we could. We don't have contacts in our address book for anybody in that part of the world," he said.

Q. So, where was God when the Earthquake hit and the tidal wave began to roll towards hundreds of thousands of helpless people?

A. He was there. Watching. Where is he now? Still there suffering with those who have lost loved ones.

1 peter 5:8 – Satan=roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour!

God Gave us freedom by giving his Son, and His Son gave himself to die on the cross

John 3:16 – God sent his son to save us, because he loves us!

Heb 2:14 – thru death he destroyed him who had the power of death (the devil)

We see earthquakes, tidal waves, death and destruction. But what we don’t see is the Devil standing behind the supernatural curtain controlling and causing all the evil on this earth.

2. cor 11:14 – “for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”

Rev 16:14 – Satan and his angels can work miracles “They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs”

Matt 24:24 – Satan cal give men power to do miracles – false Christs, false prophets

23At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible. 25See, I have told you ahead of time.

1 Samuel 11 – Nahash (serpant) the Ammonite besieges Jabesh Gilead – victims “make a treaty with us!”

Nahash – Ok. I will make a treaty with you if you allow me to gouge out the right eye of every man.

Right eye – fighting eye. As long as we are on the devensive Satan is happy. He just doesn’t want any offensive Christians.

What do you pray for? Protection, peace, happiness? Or… Bravery, Power to act, Desire for lost souls?

Q. Has the Devil Gouged out your fighting eye? How can we fight today?

Illus: Pregnant woman – picnic at riverside – toddler falls in water. Woman can’t swim. She knows if she jumps in she will die. She screams for help. Watches her child flailing in the water. Help comes. Too late. The man jumps in and recovers the body of her little boy only to discover that the water is only waste deep. The woman could have saved her child with no danger to herself. But she failed to try because she believed it to be impossible.

Q. How do we fight today?

A. Stop believing yourself to be incapable. Jump in the water. The people in the world don’t need rocket scientists, they need a quick helping hand. You can do it! Go on the offensive! Attack the Devil by plucking people out of the quagmire of sin. Drag them to shore, take them to Jesus. And he will give them life!

Who’s side are you on?

Matt 11:28 – come to me! ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

John 6:37 – if you come, he will claim you- “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

Wont you choose Jesus to be your Lord and King?

And if you have taken Jesus as your Saviour wont you serve him by saving others?

My family and I were enjoying the most beautiful island Phi Phi when without warning hell broke loose. I had only moments [before] left an Internet cafe when people started running. My first thoughts was that something such as a movie star was on the island and so the locals were running to see, then a person just said one word, "wave". There was no time to wait and see as the crowd running had now within 10 seconds had turned into something similar to the "running of the bulls" . I was not with my wife and 2 children but just started running. About 50 metres up the greatest site hit me when I saw my family exit a shop where my boys were having haircuts. I yelled for them to just run. The mass of people running were now starting to trample people as the sound of the wave was evident and a reality to us. I saw a Thai man veer away from the crowd and duck through a 1 metre wide gap between a building. The water was now only 20 metres behind us and was coming from all directions. I felt that the people running were running blind and that the Thai man that went through the gap must know where he was going as to make that choice. We followed him and he led us to scaffolding and up into a concrete building site. The water hit 5 seconds later underneath us. We were some of the lucky ones who lived. We spent the day up in the rainforest hills on Phi Phi until I ventured down to asses the situation. There is so much more to tell. The death and injured was surreal to understand. Us "foreigners" bound together, language problems seemed irrelevant as we knew what had to be done - help the injured.

- Joshua Magnus who was holidaying with his family at Phi Phi.