Stand Sunday, November 8, 2020

Psalm 68:1-6

Stand Sunday, November 8, 2020

Our history of engagement in the world of foster care and adoption speaks for itself. 

But why would we do this kind of work? 

Are we just trying to make a name for ourselves? 

Are we just gluttons for punishment? 

Are we just trying to find a ministry niche that gives us a leg up on the local church competition? 

NO!

We are compelled by the Bible to believe that this work is God’s work because he will see to it from his very nature as “Father” either with us or without us. 

  • (It is often done by people who do not share our worldview, and then Christians complain about it.)

We believe God calls his people to imitate him as a father to the fatherless and settling those who need forever homes into forever homes. 

Psalm 68 will show us a glimpse of God’s nature as “Father” and what he does from his being as THE Father in verse 5-6. 

Keep in mind that “…This is “a song” celebrating God’s triumphal ascent to Mount Zion.” (Allen P. Ross, “Psalms,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 842.)

  • This Psalm would be sung by David and others who are going to worship celebrating God’s triumph is choosing and settling Jerusalem. 
  • This Psalm celebrates a mulititude of truths about God’s nature. Each one a sermon. 

Verse 1-2 Yhwh scatters his enemies. 

Verse 3-4 Yhwh’s righteous’ are glad and worship as they are commanded to because he is worthy. 

Vese 5-6 Yhwh is a Father, the Father, and he cares for those who need a father. 

Verse 7-10 Yhwh provides for his people and those who are in need. 

Verse 11-14 Yhwh speaks his word, and he scatters kings and nations. 

Verse 13, though difficult to understand precisely, seems to refer to Judges 5:16 which speaks of reproval of some Israelites who were remiss in supporting the Conquest. While some Israelites were sleeping at night in the open air, refusing to engage in battle, God blessed His dove, i.e., Israel; (cf. Ps. 74:19). Allen P. Ross, “Psalms,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 843.

Verse 15-18 Yhwh reigns! Yhwh chose Zion where he would put his presence, and he is among his angelic hosts in a mighty display of power, and nations will pray tribute to Yhwh. 

Verse 19-23 Yhwh delivers his people from death, and judges their enemies. 

Verse 24-27 Yhwh is to be worshiped publicly led by those considered the smallest and least leading the way. 

Verse 28-31 Yhwh’s power is at work for his people and his presence in Jerusalem causes kings to give to his cause as he subdues creatures and those seeking war. The “elite” of the world long to know God as his people know him. 

Verse 32-35 Yhwh calls to the nations to come worship him who rides in the heavens and to ascribe all power to him whose majesty is over his people because he is truly awesome in giving strength to his people. 

Wow! A truly theologically rich Psalm revealing so much truth about the nature and holy character of God. 

Let’s put our microscope down on verse 5 and 6 for a few minutes on one specific attribute of God. 

What does Psalm 68:5-6 tell us about God’s nature?

Psalm 68:5-6 triumphantly reminds us that:

  1. God is Father. 
    1. God, Creator of all mankind, defines a piece of his personhood as Father, thus the basis from which we rightly understand our roles as fathers to our children. 
  1. Sin has broken the family structure and brought about separation, destruction in the home, death and disease, and humans find themselves in the dark wretchedness of fatherlessness and loss of family. 
    1. But, Father God is not content to leave the situation as such. 
  1. God takes up the role of Father for the fatherless and and protector of the widow and he is quite serious about how his people display who he is through how we act. 
    1. Exodus 22:21-24 (ESV) You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 22 You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

How does God tactically deploy the promised provision from his personhood to those in need?

  1. God intends his people to be his hands and feet. 
    1. 1 Corinthians 12:27 (ESV) Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
    2. Ephesians 1:22-23 (ESV) And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
  2. It is our job to tactically deploy the theological reality of God’s concern for the fatherless as his body, his physical presence.
    1. This means there are a multitude of unique jobs to be done in being “parents” to the fatherless.  

What is the need in Floyd County?

  1. As of Friday: 234 children in care. 
  2. 40 local foster homes (32 DFCS and 8 CPA).
    1. If you want to learn more about fostering, you can reach out to:
      1. Griffin Nolan at 706-512-2443
  3. Floyd County is on track to finalize 36 adoptions this year. 
    1. Lower than the 65 from last year. 
  4. There are currently 8 children that are completely available for adoption and need a forever family.
    1. These children have experienced a great deal of trauma in their short lives and need a family that will commit to them and help them overcome their trauma so they can continue to grow and thrive and, BE INtRODUCED TO JESUS. 
    2. We can train you in how to help these little ones with TBRI training right here in our church. 
      1. Jennifer, Jeff, Mary Margaret, and me are all trained TBRI practitioners. 

What prevents the church in Rome, GA from solving this problem?

  1. We are not going to blame it on the process that is wonky. When we want something, we’ll go after it.
  1. A soft view of the fear of God that leads to lesser FEARS that become our reason for not obeying the Lord’s clear word.
    1. “Those who have not learned a proper fear of God are tormented by a thousand lesser fears.” – J. Gregory Lawson
      1. Fear of God in the Bible is always positive becaue it is the fear of God that saves us from caving into our own sifnul nature that will actually kill us. 
      2. It is not being terrified of God. 
      3. It is always being aware that sin will put me under the judgment of God when there is actually nothing but love available if I’ll only turn to him and follow his way. 
    2. So much of the need in our city is likely not addressed by the people of God because our fears of temporary discomfort prevent us from taking on the hard and emotionally costly labor of being the hands and feet of Jesus to the hard work of healing our city and preaching the good news. 
      1. It is easier to have a corporate united w orship service at a stadium than to have all the pstors get their skin in the game and lead their churches to take the kids!
    3. A proper fear of God alleviates fretting because we’d rather take hard work head-on rather than give account to God for fearing little hardships when we could have had his supernatural help in overcoming the challenges. 
    4. We should rather get in over our heads and need much help than to stand before God and discover a thousand graces we missed becaue we didn’t just do the obvious act of obedience. 
  1. Pastors have to get their skin in the game. Churches will look like and act like their leaders. 
    1. This is a hard word, but it is a fact. 
    2. We are far more converend with church growth than kingdom advancement in Rome, GA. 
  1. As a church with skin in the game, we all have to be more committed to not letting our foster / adoptive families down. 
    1. Keep up the solid work care communities. Look at the opportunies to be a part of the team that are available today. 
  1. Read God’s word, hear his voice, respond in obediences, and worship. 
  1. Ezekiela 36:37-38

Ezekiel 36:37-38 (ESV) “Thus says the Lord GOD: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock. 38 Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”

  1. Increaase our people. 
  2. Increase our holiness.
  3. Increase our sending.

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