10/1/2000 11:00 AM
(verse 1)"The mighty God hath spoken..." God in these last days has spoken to us by his son. We are glad we listened. When God speaks, people need to listen to what he has to say. God has called to us. He invited and encouraged us to come to him. When God spoke at Mt. Sinai, it thundered and lightninged and he gave the law. But God did not just give the law, he called to us. The law would be a fearful thing if God had not called us to him. God called "whosoever will." (verse 2) "Zion, the perfection of beauty..." God can give us the beauty of holiness. We want God to be able to shine out of our lives. We want others to know God is there for them like he was for us. (verse 3) God will not keep silence. It is a wonderful thing when God speaks and we are able to hear. When Israel did not hear from God, it was a terrible thing. God would speak to everyone, but we need to listen. (verse 4-5) He describes who the saints are, "those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." We have been made children of God through the sacrifice of Christ. The covenant - giving our life to God. (verse 6) "God is judge himself." God will be a righteous and fair judge. God said he would take care of "vengeance". God is judge and because he is we can know we will be treated right. (verses 7-13) God calls their attention to the fact that he is not so much interested in the ceremonial aspects of their worship. Everything we have is God's and what we give belonged to God in the first place. The good things we have, God gave to us. We, as a people, have been blessed. In our day, jobs can be trying, but we can be thankful that we have good jobs that pay the bills. God allowed us to be born here. God wasn't concerned with the sacrifices, but how they came to him. (verse 14) This is what God was interested in - appreciation for what he has done. Thanksgiving is you telling God to his face the appreciation you have for what he has done for you. Fulfill what you promise God you will do. If we tell God we are going to do something, let's do it. Be careful not to promise what you can't do. It shows we really care if we do what we say. It's better sometimes not to promise than not to do. (verse 15) God invites us to call on him in the day of trouble. God wants to take care of our troubles. If we will let God work in our troubles, he will get the glory. Bring both big and small troubles. God wants to help us in our troubles. (verses 16-20) How can God shine in a people that don't listen? He can't. How can he shine in a people that joins the world in their sin? He can't. How can people shine who use their mouth to defame others? This describes conditions that would keep them from showing forth the glory and goodness of God. We don't want to use our mouth to the damage of others. We need to build up others. (verse 21) Sometimes God keeps silence, but that doesn't mean he has no opinion or that he won't deal with things. When God speaks and reproves, he reproves with mercy. (verses 22-23) We need to give both thanksgiving and praise to God. Thanksgiving is giving glory to God to his face. Praise is to make known to others what God has done. An example of praising a pie maker is "You know... so-n-so makes a REALLY good pie!!" and not... "Praise the pie maker, praise the pie maker, praise the pie maker." When we praise God, we testify of what God has done. It is more than whooping it all up and getting all the emotions stirred. Praising God - "My life was a mess, but it isn't today because GOD...." People can see what God has done. Praise is a better offering than bulls and goats. He that conducts himself right will see the salvation (deliverance) of God. God's deliverance is a change of life and conduct. It is God's purpose to work in our lives this way. If people won't look to God as helper and guide, he can't shine in them. God still wants to work in his people - to be lifted up in us.