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A Truth You Dare Not Dismiss, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
December 30, 2021 7:05 am

A Truth You Dare Not Dismiss, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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Why does God allow hardships in our lives rather than make things go easy? What's the purpose of those crazy seasons when we feel like our circumstances are just spinning out of control?

Well, sometimes we're given momentary relief, but most times life is just, well, difficult. Well, today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll reminds us God not only knows about our suffering, He's assigned purpose to it as well. Today and again tomorrow, we'll give our complete attention to the inscrutable wisdom of God. Chuck titled this message, A Truth You Dare Not Dismiss. Last time we were together, we gave thought to the title of my message, which had to do with a treasure you must not forget.

I hope through the week you have remembered it. It had to do with the providence of God, how ahead of time He has thought through a plan and put it together in such a way that it all works together for good to those of us who love God and those who are called according to His purpose for our good and for His glory. Today, we look at the other side of it and focus more on God Himself as we think about a truth we dare not dismiss.

That has to do with the sovereignty of God. I know when I use that word, a few of you cringe. I did for years, for over 20 years of my life. I was afraid of the term, as I'll tell you about in my message today. I felt if I really did embrace it, I would lose my zeal for the lost.

I'd become more passive, and on the contrary, quite the opposite happens. As a matter of fact, that began a process in my life of stopping all the worry about the details of life. He has them all covered, all in His plan, all beautifully arranged, including last week. Don't think things are out of control.

Our God reigns. We just can't unscrew the inscrutable. We can't fathom the unfathomable. That's okay. Unfortunately, if you're highly educated, that's not okay, because you feel the need to explain everything.

Little by little, you learn you can't, so you don't try. Anyway, I don't want to preach two sermons. Well, I do want to, but I won't preach two sermons today.

I'll hold it down to one. I want you to take that little thin ribbon that's in your Bible, pull it out, and move it over to Daniel chapter 4. Just place it there in the crease over in the Old Testament.

Give you a moment to find that. Just locate Daniel 4, where we'll begin in a little bit, and then we'll come on to Romans 11, 33 through 36. As we look at this truth, we dare not dismiss. Having marked Daniel 4, let's look together at the last several verses of Romans chapter 11. I'll begin reading in verse 33, down through 36. Stand with me as we read God's Word together.

I'll be reading from the New Living Translation. You follow along in your Bible, and we'll move through these verses very carefully. They're deep. They're beyond our comprehension. Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge. How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways. For who can know the Lord's thoughts?

Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever. All glory to him forever.

And we all together say amen. You're listening to Insight for Living. To search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures studies by going to slash studies. Chuck titled his message, A Truth You Dare Not Dismiss. My life was forever changed in the summer of 1961. I was at that time a 26, soon to be 27 year old student at Dallas Seminary, but we were living temporarily in a home owned by a lunar scientist out in Northern California. He and his family had moved temporarily to West Texas because that particular terrain was most like the moon, and he was very much involved in the moon shot that was yet to be taking place.

We stayed in his home in Los Altos. I had been invited, I was very grateful to learn, to become a part of a small team of pastoral interns at a church in Palo Alto Peninsula Bible Church. It wasn't the church that drew me, it was the man who was the leader of the church. A man I had known only from a distance and respected him. A fellow Dallas Seminary graduate and one who had distinguished himself as an expositor and a trainer of disciples, and I was honored to be invited, along with a friend of mine from the school named Gib Martin.

I was going to enter my third of four years, and Gib was already getting ready to enter his fourth year, so he was an upperclassman. Gib lived with us, he wasn't married, so he and Cynthia and I teamed up together in this home in Los Altos. Ray let us know after we had begun that there was another young man who would join our team whom he had met in South America in a ministry. He had head down there, he had been very impressed with this man, who as I recall was in banking, but he really had gifts for ministry, especially in the realm of evangelism. And Ray had, having been taken by him, really impressed with his gifts, invited him to become a part of the first team of interns that would be there at the church for that summer. And it wasn't long after his invitation that the man chose to come. He and his wife Patricia arrived with their newborn twins, and we got to know him.

His name was Luis Palau. The three of us at that time were unknown individuals, grateful to have the opportunity to learn at the feet of a man who had earned the right to be followed. And the thing I loved about Ray that was so unique is that he cared enough to spend time with you.

We didn't come simply to watch a man do his work, we came to learn how he did it. And Gib and Luis and I often talked about what a treasure that was. Ray loved to toss out theological subjects and then dialogue with us. He didn't do most of the talking, he listened to us. We would crawl out on the end of a limb and he would saw us off with a hard set of facts, as we had a lot of great times together. He always wanted to know what concerned us, what troubled us. For me, it was the sovereignty of God.

And I said, so, early on. He was drawn to that, I think, and was especially interested in my working through the subject, because it meant so much to those in ministry, certainly had meant much to him. But he let the Lord do the teaching. He also asked each of us to choose a book to study. I don't remember what Gib and Luis chose, but I chose the book of Daniel.

I never really looked much into Daniel. It was one of those Old Testament mysteries to me that included six chapters of pretty amazing biography, and then the last six chapters of some amazing prophecy. And I thought there's plenty here to dig into.

And I hope that there would somehow be some link to my questions about sovereignty. I smile today because of the remarkable way God had his hand in all of that. Bear with me. At that time in our lives, we knew nothing for sure. As I said, I was entering my third year, which is the toughest of the four years at the school, at least it was then. I had no idea where we were going. Might be the mission field, might be counseling, might be evangelism.

It could be the pastorate, though I doubted that. And I didn't feel very qualified in many ways, so I was anxious to know. Emphasis on anxious. I was facing in my third year 21 hours, and then my second semester 23 hours, if you can believe it. That's academic suicide.

But I wanted to get all I could get during my time there and included in my studies that third year. Rapid Greek reading from Stanley Toussaint. You know Dr. Toussaint is this wonderful, dear man who taught our marathon class. I knew him as a professor in Greek at Dallas Seminary.

Whole different guy, but a wonderful teacher, perhaps one of the best I ever had. We called his course, Rabid Greek Reading, because of the way he took us through the Greek text. I also had Bruce Waltke in Advanced Hebrew that year.

He had just got his degree in English, and we were in for quite an amazing semester as we spent our years. I remember Dr. Waltke would hold his Hebrew Bible and would sort of rock back and forth as he would read from it, and would sometimes get tears in his eyes. I read my Hebrew Bible and got tears in my eyes for other reasons as I was sitting in class. It helped me to know that at first I had it upside down. So I was sitting in class. It helped me to know that at first I had it upside down.

So that was an eye- opening experience to get it right side up. I wasn't a very good husband then either. We'd been married over six years, and it was all about me.

I was very important to me, and I didn't appreciate the treasure I had in the wife God had given me. She was carrying our first child, so we had the uncertainty of that birth facing us in September of that year, as well as what it would be like to share our lives with a newborn. In those days, you didn't know whether it was a little boy or a little girl until later on in the pregnancy, and by then we realized it would be a little boy, and our apartment was really tiny. We lived in a seminary apartment, number nine, right next to Mosier Library, and I'm not saying it was small, but you had to go out in the hallway to cross your legs.

It was really little, and we had one little room that was, I guess, supposed to be a bedroom, but we turned it into the baby's room, and then the other single room was going to be our bedroom and dining room and living room and all the other things, a tiny little kitchen and a minuscule bathroom, and there we would spend the next all four years of our seminary time. Then I was in Daniel 4 on a summer morning in Palo Alto in a little study. When I came across a name I'd never heard of, looked like a misprint, Nebuchadnezzar. It's a Babylonian name for the king of Babylon, and I read on through the fourth chapter, and I read about what a powerful king he was.

They had overthrown Israel and brought the exiles back. Among the exiles was Daniel. As Daniel writes the book, he writes of Nebuchadnezzar, who in this fourth chapter, there's a record of a dream he had.

You must read it sometime, if you haven't before. It was a troubling dream. In fact, so troubling that he called in all of his magicians and soothsayers and charmers and palm readers and and astrologers, and none of them could tell Nebuchadnezzar what the dream meant.

It was in two parts. Someone told him that Belteshazzar could interpret dreams. That's the Babylonian name given to Daniel, and he called in Daniel in verse 24 of chapter 4 of Daniel.

I began reading that summer morning in my study, words I had never read before. Listen closely. This is what the dream means, Your Majesty, and what the Most High has declared will happen to my Lord the King. In fact, Daniel has already said, I wish this dream had been dreamt by some one of your enemies. It's dreadful what happens in this dream. You will be driven from human society. You will live in the fields with the wild animals. You will eat grass like a cow.

You will be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven periods of time will pass over you while you live this way. That's the biblical way of saying seven years.

Did you hear that? Seven years you will be a beast in the field living like an animal. And then the verse ends, until you learn that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to whomever he wishes.

But the stump and roots of the tree were left in the ground. This means that you will receive your kingdom back again when you learn that heaven rules. Twice in the verse we read when you learn, until you learn.

The word learn comes from the Hebrew term that means to recognize. More precisely, it means to acknowledge. There's a difference in learning and acknowledging. When you acknowledge something, you accept it.

You, in fact, embrace it. Until you embrace God's sovereignty, you'll live like an animal. Seven years, Nebuchadnezzar, until you learn. Look at verse 27.

Talk about courage. You can't appreciate it because we've not been in Babylon and we've never been in a situation like Daniel, but listen to how he talks to this king. King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning.

Do what is right. Break from your wicked past. Be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper. In other words, turn to the God of heaven.

Learn from the warning. Lest you go through this, you have an opportunity to acknowledge that it is God who is sovereign, not you. When you read on, you will read of the grace of God. Look at verse 28. All these things did happen to King Nebuchadnezzar 12 months later. For 12 months, the king had time to think about Daniel's warning, Daniel's interpretation of the dream. Daniel's long index finger pointed at his sternum saying, get your life together. Turn from your evil ways.

Trust in the God of heaven who rules over you and all of life and all the kingdoms of this world. 12 months later, he was taking a walk on the flat roof of the royal palace in Babylon. Now listen to the arrogance. The pride of a man still enthroned on his own life. He looked out across the city and said, look at this great city of Babylon.

By my own might, my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor. There's no humility there. There's no acknowledgement of God in it all.

It's all about the king. You're listening to the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll. He titled today's message, A Truth You Dare Not Dismiss. To learn more about this ministry, please visit us online at Now before we hear an important closing comment from Chuck, let me remind you that while you're with us for this program today, there's a global audience joining you as well.

Insight for Living is heard in multiple languages and on more than 2,000 radio stations around the world. In fact, anyone with a cell phone can hear the practical Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll. With this in mind, we're calling on every listener to join us in the command to go and make disciples of all the nations. And because it's the responsibility of every Christian to respond to this great commission, we sat down with Chuck Swindoll to discuss the practical implications of Jesus' command.

What does it mean to make disciples in these modern times? His 30-minute conversation is posted online so you can enjoy the entire exchange. Just look for the link at Chuck, the gifts we receive right now will determine our course for the future. With this in mind, we're calling on every listener to do his or her part in contributing to the future of Insight for Living.

Thanks, Dave. For several weeks now, you've heard me talk about the financial needs facing Insight for Living Ministries. So I'm not going to belabor the point, only to say this. As the new year draws near, there's a growing urgency to reach the incoming goal before us. Can I count on you to give generously before midnight, the last day of this year, December 31?

Let me be very clear. Your gift does far more than pay the bills. The outcome of your generosity is, in fact, life-changing. You are the channel God uses to deliver His message to someone who truly needs a touch of His grace. Can you remember the first time you felt and understood God's grace? You remember the heavy burden that was lifted from your shoulders?

Remember how much it meant when someone put his or her arms around you and helped you survive your lowest moment? That's what your generous gift will mean to someone in the new year, someone you may never meet this side of heaven. So please, we're running out of time.

Midnight, December 31, is the deadline. So give us a call. Go online. Maybe you'd prefer to send a check in the mail. Whatever method you choose, I can assure you of this. God will use your gift as a fragrance of His grace in the lives of others.

Thanks for responding. Thanks for being generous and for being all of that today. As Chuck said, you can become a fragrance of God's grace by giving your special end-of-the-year contribution at slash donate. You can also give us a call if you're listening in the U.S., dial 1-800-772-8888. The number once more, 1-800-772-8888. Or give online at slash donate. Join us when Chuck Swindoll continues to describe A Truth You Dare Not Dismiss, Friday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, A Truth You Dare Not Dismiss and the sound recording were copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-03 16:01:11 / 2023-07-03 16:09:09 / 8

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