God, You and Troubled Times

Sermon on March 22 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi

Scripture:  Psalm 90

How we react now and where we set our minds upon in uncertain days, will impact our children and their children.
When disaster invades your life:

1. KNOW YOUR GOD – IN A FRAGILE WORLD!
As believers we live at two addresses at the same time. (v1-2) God knows your address, He knows where you live and He knows how to keep you secure

‘The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you, saying ‘Destroy them’ (Deut. 33:27)

  • We are living in a transient world (v3 -6)
    Things are changing as fast as today becomes yesterday – see how fragile we all are.
  • We are living in a cursed world (v7-9)
    We live in the fall-out of a sinful creation, including disease and death – disasters are commands to repent but not all who are touched, are more sinful than others (Luke 13:1-5)
  • We are living in a difficult world (v10-11)
    44% of the content of the psalms are lament – we will not be spared suffering so we must learn to trust God in it.

“The 1st action is to pull ourselves together. If we’re going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb (i.e. Corona), let that bomb (virus), when it comes, find us doing sensible human things – praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing our children, playing tennis, chatting to friends – not huddling together like frightened sheep, thinking about bombs (viruses). They may break our bodies (as microbes do), but needn’t dominate our minds.”
(CS Lewis : “On Living in An Atomic Age” 1948)

2. TRUST YOUR GOD – THROUGH FEARFUL DAYS!
Are you praying like Moses?

  • Give me wisdom to prioritize (v12)
    The best days for learning, are wilderness days. God teaches His people not just how weak they are, but how wise it is to trust Him for a future they cannot see
    What are your learning about God and your heart in these days?

‘Jesus, during a time of recommended social distancing, show us how to supersize our neighbor-love, caregiving and servanthood.’ (Scotty Smith)

  • Give me the love that satisfies (v13-14)
    When your heart is stabilized and filled up with God’s love, that was proven at the Cross to wash away all your sins, your love will spread way faster than the virus.
    As plagues swept through cities in the second and third centuries, Christians did not flee but were the primary care givers.

‘..they took charge of the sick, ministered to the needs, were infected…and many in nursing and curing others trans-ferred their death to themselves and died in their stead’ (Dionysius, bishop of Corinth on the plague in Alexandria 252)

Do not ignore social distancing and be unwise, but if you know God’s perfect love, you will be more caring than fearful.

  • Give me a work that multiplies (v15-17)
    These are days of opportunity. Will we be passive or active, even in times of restriction?
    Through God’s overflowing kindness in Christ, you can take the mundane and establish those works in the lives of others.

Remember! As God’s people, we can live in our temporary address with the boldness of those who know their true dwelling place, and ultimate purpose.

 

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

  1. What does it mean to have God as your dwelling place, in a transient world? What does it look like in the mundane, familiar areas where you live? Be practical and share with a friend how God’s Word is stabilizing you during this crisis.
  2. In what way do times like these highlight your earthly dwelling, reminding you that you are fragile. There are difficult times – think back to days of sorrow that you passed through in the past. How did the love of God satisfy you? The enemy wants to discourage you but Moses wants you to know there is a better and surer way. How will you encourage your family to think more about Christ and our eternal dwell-ing place in these days?