Sunday, December 6, 2009

Complaining, A Sermon



1 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he has done.
5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.


You may have heard me say in the past that I could never understand the people of Israel.

They continually saw the work of God first hand.

They knew that The Lord would never desert them.

He remained faithful to them in all that they did.

He set them free, he kept them, not just alive in the desert, but well and living on manner, the food of angles.

Sure he seemed a little slow to respond at times, but surly they had come to point that they realized there was always a lesson in it.

Even still they complained.

It was something I was convinced I would never do.

But as I went through life I found myself to be more like the Israeli people than I would ever like to admit.

It seems that I too was far more comfortable with complaining than with remembering his mighty works.

So you see that I can understand how hard it would be to follow the instructions in this Psalm.

Not only that, I think I can say that I know how hard it is for all of us, not to complain.

Complaining is a part of life.

What would we do, they say, if we didn't have something to complain about.

The Psalmist begs to differ!

His expectation is that we speak of that....

3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.

We are exhorted to speak of the great and mighty things that God has done.

4 We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he has done.

No one said it was easy.

The psalmist knows how hard it is not to complain.

2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.

What sort of sayings are they ? "dark sayings"...

They are so dark that they are like a parable and require thinking about.

They are dark because no one likes talking about them.

But this is much more than a request.... it is a command.

1 Give ear, O my people, to my law: The psalmist says.

And to what purpose is this law ?

..... that they should make them known (that is the deeds of The Lord God)to their children:
6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:

But what value is there is these people knowing ?

The value is ....

7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

And there is the rub.

If we turn our minds continually to the problem and never to the positive solution:
If we set our minds and hearts to dwell only on the difficulties and against each other:

If we tell each other how bad things are and never of the good God is doing.

Then we forget God.

And if we forget God, there is no hope.

And if there is no hope, we may as we throw in the towel right now because life is not worth living.

The choose is ours.

We can either concentrate on the wonderful things that God is doing 
and our in lives and ..."not be as their fathers" a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.

And I think we know what will be the consequence of that !

These are "dark sayings" for dark times but if we choose to be truly God's people we must turn from our complaining and glorify the works of God.

Because only then can we enter in the experience of

Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Fairdinkum

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