Tag Archives: suffering

Fire in the Silence

Fire in the Silence
Exodus 3:1-14

Background. 3:1
3:1 Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

1. The attention 3:2-5: The burning bush
2 The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.
3 So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.”
4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
5 Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.

2. The assignment 3:6-10: The promise of freedom
6 He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

4 fold response of God toward His people
7 The LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.
8 “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.

Two questions that Moses would have had:
a. Why didn’t God come earlier?

b. Why should he succeed?
9 “Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.
10 “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”

3. The antinomy: Excuses 3:11
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”

Exodus 4:1 Then Moses said, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’”
4:10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
4:13-14 But he said, “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.”
14 Then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses

4. The answer: Presence 3:12a
12 And He said, “Certainly I will be with you…

5. The affirmation: Worship 3:12b -14
12 And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”
13 Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

John 8:58 – Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him…

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

12. this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”

Revelation 22:3-4 (NLT) No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. 4 And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads.

Isaiah 53:5 (NIV) But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Galatians 1:3-4 (NIV) the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age…

The Fulcrum of Pain

Contemporary news has been inundated with stories of people suffering – from natural calamities to religious persecution. This sermon examines the concept of Suffering and Pain from a Christian viewpoint. Not a sermon for little children.

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The Fulcrum of Pain

Text: 2 Timothy 1:8-14

1.0 Christian Suffering and Pain.
2 Timothy 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,
Acts 22:25 But when they stretched him out with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?”
Matthew 19:29 “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.

2.0 Suffering and Shame
2 Timothy 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.

Luke 9:26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
1 Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness..

3.0 Why is there Suffering and Pain?

3.1 Punishment theodicy.
John 12:8 “For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”

3.2 Soul-making theodicy.

4.0 Kinds of Suffering and Pain
4.1 Physical
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

4.2 Mental/Emotional.

Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

4.3 Spiritual.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God…

5.0 The Gospel and Suffering
What is the gospel?
Romans 3:23 – all have sinned
Romans 6:23 – wages of sin is death
Romans 10:9 – that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me
Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Revelation 21:1-4 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”