Sermon on MARCH 6 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Psalm 136
We all love celebrating! Here is a Psalm known as the Great Hallel, the Great Psalm of Praise. God is not merely good in times of celebration. To say His love endures forever twenty-six times, is twenty-six times too little…
Praise God for:
1. HIS BEING – THE GROUNDS OF HIS LOVE! (v1-3)
God Himself is the ultimate standard of good. All that He is and does is worthy of His approval (Ps 100:5; Ps 106:1; Ps 107:1; Ps 34:8). Are we learning to see God’s goodness in the challenges as well as the celebrations?
‘…God is good, no matter what the diagnosis or the prognosis, or the fearfulness of the uncertainty of having neither. The key to knowing that God is good is simply knowing Him.’ (Ethel Herr after a double mastectomy and news that her cancer had spread).
2. HIS CREATION – THE THEATRE OF HIS LOVE! (v4-9)
Look around and praise God for His wisdom:
- in creating for us a technicolor world and ‘ the great lights’ (v7). All 100 000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 of them!
- in providing for you a church family, with resources and people, to make His name and ways known.
3. HIS SALVATION – THE DISPLAY OF HIS LOVE! (v10-22)
The exodus and conquest for Israel proved God enduring, covenant love – for a powerless people at the end of themselves. We have been delivered from far greater enemies than Pharaoh and the Red Sea.
Through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection He has trampled over sin, death and hell (John 3:16)
‘God has done more for you in giving you Christ — than if He had made you angels, or had given you the whole world! God cannot give a greater gift than Christ — who is all in all’. (Samuel Rutherford)
4. HIS PROVIDENCE – THE PERSISTENCE OF HIS LOVE! (v23-26)
Can you celebrate when you are at your weakest?
‘He remembered us in our low estate, His love endures forever’ (v23)
Because God’s love endures forever, endings are for gratitude and beginnings are for faith!
Let’s celebrate – and go on faith! Whatever we face, whatever crossroads you have arrived at, imagine what the Lord can do when you are continually humbled by looking back in gratitude and continually emboldened by looking forward in faith?
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
- Why is praise always honoring to God? How would you describe a grateful person and how would this affect our witness in the world?
- How do we normally use the word ‘good’? What standard do we use to define it? What is ‘good’ according to the Bible? Read Mark 10:17-27. What point is Jesus making?
- What does the creation tell us about God’s goodness? How does it display His love? Read Psalm 19 :1-6 and Rom. 1 :18-21.
- Why was the exodus and conquest of the land so important to the Hebrew people? Where do we see God’s enduring love most clearly? How would this impact both our celebrations at significant moments (like God’s provision through Ready for the Future), and times when we struggle to see reasons to celebrate? (See 1 Thess. 5:18)
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