In a village, there was a competition between what each group believed to be a real God……
Each was to present their perception of God in a miraculous fashion.
The first group then had their first chance – prepared a bull, had it cut into pieces, placed on the wood but would not light it. They called to their gods for hours and hours but nothing happened…..
Then the other person said to this first group;
“Shout louder, perhaps your god is deep in thought ((meditating), or busy, or travelling and there is no network where he is?”
This went on for hours and hours again, nothing happened, then……they gave up….
The other person who was alone, then had his chance…..
He prepared his bull, and demanded that water be poured on his altar (three times)….then he called once to his God…
And the fire of God came from heaven and burned up the sacrifice. When the people saw this, they cried out “The LORD, – he is God. The LORD – He is God.”
Today, I would like you to think and not just end there but also decide today for whom shall your life be lived, whom shall you serve?
Is such a God not deserving to be served?
Just like Elijah, here is a psalm that presents God……you must decide whether he is worth your worship….
Turn with me to Psalm 113 & 114 (Some background)
Psalm 113 – 118 form part of what is known as the Egyptian Hallel / praise.
Psalms 113 -114 are known as descriptive psalms whilst 115 may be classified as communal confidence.
116 on the other hand is an individual thanksgiving hymn.
These were sung during the Passover celebration as a reminder of God’s great wonders amongst his people during their time in Egypt.
113 -114 were sung before the eating;
115- 118 were sung after the meal;
Which makes these psalms of particular interest as we note that on the last Passover that Jesus and his disciples had, these were the psalms that they would have sung.
Today we are looking at Psalm 113 & 114.
Who is like the Lord our God?
The psalmist starts by
- A call to praise Him at all times (vs.2-3)
This psalm opens and closes with a call to all who serve the Lord to praise him.
To praise him, means that each dedicates his or her life to the honour of God…..
You tell of God’s goodness, you tell of God’s kindness……you tell of his wonders…..
You are unambiguous about what and to whom your life owes its being, in other words, all the benefits and blessings are credited to God……
You cannot begin to have a worship or praise that comes from the heart and that is acceptable in the sight of God unless you can tell what God has done in your life……
Are there things which bear witness to God’s goodness in your life?
If you can’t find anything, then let me show you what the Psalmist calls to mind to his recipients.
- Praise him for he is worthy to be praised
Vs.4-9 He is the Sovereign God (over all) yet stoops down to care for the needs of his people……….
That is what the Psalmist brings to the fore……
God is over all, he is in charge over your life and my life…..in charge over every detail of your life….
Even in times of confusion, it helps to remember that God is still God…..God has lost his Throne…..
God will not lose his throne……God still sits and reigns over all. Will you remember this today? Will you rise from your ashes as it were and praise Him, He is still the Lord?
You may not see the full picture, but will you remember and will you hold on to the fact that he is in charge over all?
Such a great reminder of such a great God evokes this – vs.5 “Who is like the Lord?
Yes, enthroned above all and yet stoops down to meet the needs of his people……
Vs.7-8 “poor and needy” and he rescues them and he sits them with princes (Israel knew that)
Vs.9 – many in the history of God’s people – Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah……..these were blessed with children of their own……
Every little detail…..God stoops down and he cares about these……
Whether you have food, you have money for the house, money for school, able to have a child…..able to call a child your daughter…..
You will do well today to remember that God cares about your every detail of your life…..
Where else do you find God presented as the one who stoops down and as the God that sustains all things yet stoops down?
Do you remember these words said about our Lord Jesus Christ?
Hebrews 1:1-3 ; Read
Here is God in every way……he is presented as the very God in heaven…..presented as the one who sustains all things (thus sovereign over all).
He stoops down takes the form of a servant and he even dies (death on the cross).
Just so that he meets the needs of his people…..just so that you can God (My Father).
You can cry out in your time of need (knowing that somebody out there sees and cares about my life).
His death on the cross has achieved this…..
The Psalmist says that is the reason we must praise him (he stoops down to care for you).
Further reason we are called to praise is given in Psalm 114.
Why should we praise Him?
The nature listens to him? Vs.3-8
Here the Psalmist calls to mind the great miracles of God upon his people when he rescued them from Egypt……
Vs.3-6 & 8
What God is this who does such things? Who is like our God? Can we actually compare any God to this?
What have they done?
Which God has stooped down and died so that he meets the needs of his people (so that he pays for their sins)
Which God summons the seas and rivers and rocks to do as he pleases?
Which God can even be seen centuries later doing the same things?
Speaking to the nature so that it listens to him.
Was this not the Lord Jesus Christ presented by Mark in 4:35?
He is with his disciples and is asleep and a storm (heavy and rough storm) begins.
He is in a boat with his disciples and they are afraid and they cry out “do you not care that we die?”
The one who stoop down because he cares about his people – is asked “do you not care that we drown and die?”
He wakes up and rebukes the storm “Be quiet” and it’s quiet.
And they asked the question – who is this man that even the storms listen to?
Beloved, this is the God who illustrates such care for us that he stoops down and dies on the cross…
This the God in charge over all, the God who sustains all things by his powerful word.
What response deserves such a God?
Bow before Him……for there is none like Him…..there is no God beside Him……
Offer your life to him…..dedicate all that has to do with your life to this God….
Even when you don’t see the direction…..remember “He stoops down to meet your needs”.
He left heaven and died for you……how much proof do you need?