This blog will include the sermons I have preached as a lay minister with the Anglican Parish of South Queens in the Diocese of NS and PEI in the Anglican Church of Canada. Because my preaching schedule varies, the frequency of postings will vary.
I hope that these sermons will enrich your spiritual life as much as they have enriched mine.
Saturday, 17 September 2016
Psalm 79:1-9 The Consequences of Sin
you ever noticed that life isn’t always fair? After all, if it was fair, people
who believed in Christ would never suffer and evildoers would always be
punished. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and we saw a good example
of this in Psalm 79:1-9.
psalmist wonders why it is that those who don’t acknowledge God are not
punished immediately while those who know God and acknowledge him suffer. God
will punish evildoers in His own time and in His own way. God hates evil, but
he allows it, especially when it serves his purpose In the case of the
Israelites, he allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed because the Israelites turned
their backs on God. God wants to lead his people to a safe place, but he also
passes judgment on his people when they turn away from Him.
people of Israel expected God to treat them differently than he treated other
nations and in return Israel was to live faithfully to the covenant. God
doesn’t work that way, especially when sin is involved. The Israelites turned
their back on God, and so they had to suffer the consequences of their actions.
God was jealous. Human jealousy can be irrational, but God’s jealousy is a practical
commitment to receive the exclusive loyalty of his people.
the temple was destroyed. The temple was the centre of Israel’s religious life.
It was the place where God lived according to the Jews. It gave meaning to and
an anchor for Israel’s faith. The temple’s destruction was a desecration. It
threw the Israelites into a pit, but God was with them in the pit. Psalm 79 is
a prayer from that pit. It addresses God. It also expresses the contradictions
of our human hearts to God. He’s the only one who can sort out these
psalmist prayers for divine vindication for his people, not in a spirit of
vengeance but in a spirit of justice. Without any regard for God, the heathen
desecrated God’s land and left His people desperate. After a severe blow-the
sacking of the temple-the people did not ask “why?” They asked God how long
they must suffer. The question serves as a transition from a lament in verses
1-4 to a prayer in verses 6-9. In the end, the Israelites wanted God’s
forgiveness. The people cried for relief. They wanted God to be honoured in the
world. We want the same thing today. God’s reputation is tied to our
well-being, and our well-being is tied to our faithfulness.
we have the same desires for revenge today, and we want God to unleash his
wrath on someone who has done a great evil. These feelings are a natural part
of our human nature. The appropriate response for us as Christians is to bring
these feelings to God in prayer.
destruction was seen as a consequence of the disregard for God’s kingdom, moral
order and authority. God’s anger is real. God is urged to turn his wrath to the
nations that attacked Israel, and then he is asked to change his relationship
with the Israelites. They asked for forgiveness and mercy. When we pray for
something in God’s name, we urge him to act in order to defend his reputation,
to make his glory known, to honour him and let others see his majesty and
greatness. When God acts, he will vindicate His name before those who oppose
him. A landmark of spiritual maturity is concern for God’s reputation.
consequences of sin are hard. The price is heavy. It’s time to plead for God’s
mercy. It’s time to confess our sins and ask God to restore and rebuild us. We
must not give up on God, because he does not give up on us. God can break the
cycle of sin. God wants us to come to him because we love him, and not because
we think God will bring us good things.
David: The Jeremiah Study Bible, New King
James Version (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013; pp. 759-760)
Bible. Part of Wordsearch 11 Bible software package.
& Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s
Commentary Series, Vol. 14: Psalm 73-150 (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson
J.F. Jr.: The MacArthur Study Bible, New
American Standard Version. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers; 2006)