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June 12, 2019 2:00 am
This regard, the story of a cathedral in Europe that will become famous worldwide will because of a stained-glass window that towered high above its older people came from all over the world to come and see that magnificent stained-glass window. Nothing like it in the world.
But one day a violent storm shot of the beautiful window into a thousand pieces in the church custodian was so reluctant to throw away the fragments of the gingerly picked them up and put them in a box and stored them in the basement of the church, a well-known artist came to the church and he petitioned the trustees to give him the fragments and did not know what he wants to do with them. He took them in one back up to his studio and two years later he invited the trustees to come because he was going to unveil some of his major works, and so when they came to their other amazement of their astonishment, he unveiled the restored stained-glass window because it looked more like magnificent and looked more beautiful than you ever was before, and I thought when I read this and as it is not incredible how that most of us at some point have experienced the blasting of a storm in our lives in the midst of God's blessing and if you haven't been there already. Or if you are going through that right now I want to tell you if you have not already experience God's restoration act God's restoration work, you will not tell you that on the authority of God's word because God specializes in restoring fragments of life into a magnificent and more beautiful way of living God specializes in remaking beauty out of ashes and lies the blasting and the blessing somehow seem to go hand-in-hand in life. The high and the low are closely related in life, trial and triumph somehow working very close succession. In fact, that is precisely what is happening at this very point in the lives of the man of God. The larger any lodges only in exhibit a here just an object lesson we seeing how God works in life of one of the servants we saw.
First of all, God was hiding Elijah in the brook Sheriff and told you that often when God hides us is in order to humble us when God hides us is to provide for us. When God hides us is to protect us, even though most of us don't like God's hiding places. Even though most of us resent God's hiding places and you God's hiding places of the only places in which his promises and his purposes in your life can be truly fulfilled and then we saw in the last message how God led a larger to the land of bail worshiping Zada fast, very fast. The Phoenician city. The city just south of Lebanon. There, God gave a large an opportunity to exercise risking faith. Not only that but he got them to challenge a pagan woman a bail worshiping woman, a woman who does not know Yahweh. He challenged her to do. Risking faith and the promise of God's man.
She also risked her life trusting in God alone. Zada fast the city that is really means melting because there they melted metals in the city is distinct then God is melting the flash out of his man taking away all the dross of the flash and purifying him in here today to see a larger demand of God moving from being tested in a passive way to being tested actively on the most of us don't like the active testing another because I'm one of your but here we gonna see how in the midst of God's blessings where the flower keeps coming every day with the oil just keeps pouring out every day comes testing and calamity of this in first Kings chapter 17 beginning at verse 17, the Phoenician woman and her son and the prophet of God were experiencing a daily medical daily blessing daily provision dog were just giving them daily blessing right in the midst of it read of how the son of this Phoenician woman this pagan widow who risked faith according to the word of God from the mouth of the man of God. We see how her son became ill and then he dies another human words leaves us to know that what it means in Hebrew word means. His soul left him. He was dead as a daughter.
Amen. There is no fainting. He was dead. Verse 18 the woman said. Three. Larger what you have against me. The man of God, did you come to rely me of my sins and killed my son before I get to her anger here, I want to tell you something else. If you look at the verse 16, we gonna find that verse 17 flows out of verse 16.
The two are really connected and the purpose of God.
Verse 16 is a picture of Zana fast the little village information which had been a place of uninterrupted medical exam, fast has been a place of honor hampered medical new oil every day, new flower every day when I wake up in the morning. Here is a numerical they faced every day when they woke up before they go to sleep at sundown. They've experienced a miracle of God again, morning and night medical of God is happening.
So in verse 16 we read of God's miraculous blessing and immediately in verse 17 we read of lives tragic blasting all of the center and the woman's cry. In verse 18 is a very natural cry. I wanted to listen to me very carefully. Please because I know that some Christians have mixed up views on this. Do I ask God why is a very natural thing and don't ever let anybody allow yourself to deceive yourself of thinking that you are committing a sin against God. When you asked a simple question why why is a natural question. All the great heroes of the Bible have asked why in the book of Judges chapter 6 when the Midianites came in there about to decimate the people of Israel. Give Jim cried out that he said why did God allow this to happen in the book of Job, Job, the man of God who was blessed of God when he lost his family when he lost his entire fortune, and he found himself with sores in his body sitting on a heap of dirt he cried out to God and he said why wasn't I born dead.
Recall the words of the Lord Jesus when he hung on Calvary and he asked his father, my God, my God, why has thou forsaken me, God's own son asked why, so don't let people put you under guilt trip when you ask God why it is a natural question. I know that there are times in life when the highest dreams get crushed. There are times in life when the best of hopes get – there are times in life when you find yourself almost feeling like you you hanging upside down in the natural question at that time like this winter of Zana fast God, why this question must be pounding the doors of heaven broken hearted people everywhere. It rises from hospital wards.
It rises from lonely bedrooms and it rises from the gravesites and the prizes from each personal guest seminary when a troubled soul pleads in private agony. I wanted to him a ride please. I am not talking here about the pain that results from disobedience. I'm not talking here about the grief that is a natural consequence of sin and rebellion.
I'm not talking about the fruit which the natural fruit of departing from biblical principles and doing it yourself. That's not what I'm talking about here I am talking about being in the very middle of the will of God doing God's work. The best way you know how unsettling last blasting seemed to be going to blow you away. Many of us are no understand the paradox of this woman, while knowing God's blessings in one area in her life she was experiencing life blasting in another area in her life all at the same time, most preachers don't like to talk about themselves but somehow I don't mind it at all special to go to bring glory to God because I can tell you very distinctly that I have experienced that many times in my life back in March 1964 when I finally surrendered my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ that was in March of that year. In July of that year. My mother who was my prayer warrior died at the age of 54.
God's blessings from last blasting back in 1990 as we were beginning in this ministry of this church and experiencing the blessings of God and growth in the church allies may change. Miracles are happening in our midst right in the midst of that year we had one child in intensive care unit in a very serious condition. But God came in a supernatural way and delivered in the next week we checked in another hospital with my wife was having a serious operation God's blessing and lives blasting somehow seem to come hand-in-hand. You do not want to know how I prayed those two weeks. It will not edify you. Trust me God's blessings on last blasting verse 12 of first-in 17 when there was a famine in the land this woman calmly was going to eat the last piece of bread for her and her son and both were going to die. Both will die, and there were colonists in the heart about all this.
There was a sense of resignation to the calamity and then I looked and I began to compare it with verse 18 that intensity that attack with anger and accusation upon a Lodge of the man of God, and I realize one thing, listen carefully, our emotions are unpredictable.
Our emotions cannot be trusted. Are you hearing me. Our emotions are like a barometric pressure goes up and goes down a totally unreliable, you cannot trust your emotion.
The only thing that you can trust. When you are in the midst of calamity is the word of God and the promises of God and man belongs here, but this poor woman hooray that was directed toward God lashes out on a larger Elijah was bearing the brunt of her anger toward God. I want to tell you I've experienced it firsthand. Often when people are angry with God.
When the people not getting their prayers answered the same way they want to be answered.
They always take it out on the preacher. I have files to prove the movie but I will tell you something else.
Listen carefully. Some of you have been there when you have a family member or a friend who is angry with God was mad with God is not getting their way from God.
They often take it upon those godly people who are nearest and dearest to them because you represent God to them like this woman, this type of anger is often accompanied with guilt watch it next time it happened to you. Look at verse 18. She said did you come to remind me of my sin until my son Beth. Somehow seem to help bring up to the surface.
A lot of guilt, a lot of guilt. I have seen people grieving funerals, half the grieving for the loved one.
But that often the other half is that they are grieving with their own sense of guilt and failure in the face of the inevitability of this but I want you to understand the way God works this by worshiping woman did not know Yahweh as you should, and those period of time when Elijah was there, but she tied the hour with the same brush as bail a new member in the first message I told you that Vail was a vindictive God bail was a God of tit for tat bail was the God of blow for blow. This is our perception of that falls God that there were worshiping and she thought Yahweh, the God of heaven and the God of earth was like bail that he is a vindictive God and because of her guilt and because of her sin. She thought God killed her son wanted tell you something. Listen to me very carefully. This woman son did not die because of her sin. Like the disciples in John chapter 9, who came to Jesus when they saw the man born blind and they said to him, they said because he sandal his parents sin, so that he was born blind and Jesus very lovingly said to him, he said neither he nor his parents that God might be glorified. They believe that God can be glorified in you calamity you believe that God can be glorified in your desperation. I believe it with all my heart. But you know we often so quick to draw conclusions. We saw quick to pass rash judgments. We saw quick to connect between sin and telemetry. Only God knows that but instead watch and see how God can use all these things to bring glory to his name. Watching he wanted to watch but I want to get away from this woman and her anger in her guilt, because to me, or if she represents millions of Americans who live without God, who ignored God, who deny God only when the hip stone in life. Only when the live begins to blast and then they shape the first to get amazing.
They never comprehended ideas how they can be met with somebody who they don't believe exist, but I wanted to look at what how this man of God reacted.
I wanted to see what you do that cause God to perform the very first resurrection that is recorded in the Bible. This is vitally important. Marketing your Bible have several principles only share with you very quickly. The first principle is this verse 19 when she anger accused Elijah. He did not defend himself. He did not try to give her theological lesson. Not tried to condemn her false view of God, no, he only said four words give me your son. That's all he said just been attacked here just been assaulted here just being reviled and yet he knew that this is pain talking in you that this is her talking. He knew that this is guilt talking many times when you are in the pit of pain. You lash out at those who are most innocent, often those who are nearest and dearest to.
There is a second principle here. I wanted to watch a nest. Elijah saved his questioning of God until he was with God alone. The Bible said that you must let your moderation be known to man in your desperation is not the word.
This bodily program I'm using adjust to the rhyme. We will desperation be known to God and what we often do we going make our desperation known to man and all moderation known to God. You got it wrong reversal formula verse 20 when Elijah carried the boy went upstairs and he said to God, is that all Lord God, why is that why did this something here think very significant that I don't want you to miss. Please Elijah never said that downstairs where the unbelieving woman was struggling with the same question but I want to tell you about said also that verse 20 that prayer of the larger was a bad prayer is that women blaming bad prayer that Elijah, the great prophet of God, the great men of God pray to the city of nonetheless is a wrong prayer Elijah were just as long as this widow but he was perplexed he was agitated. He must've had fondness for the boy and his prayers were wrong, but because it accused God of bringing tragedy by causing the widow's son to die, but is what I wanted to him say that God is an awesomely good God.
And because God is an awesomely merciful good God, he allows us sometimes to say some very sorry prayers especially when were confused and agitated when you get frustrated and agitated and desperate in your prayer. Sometimes you pray the wrong way but I want to tell you this, God is not going to get busy and fall of his throne because of your own prayer on imagine God sometimes and have a new no sitting up there saying when I got to take anymore of this bad prayer letter dated anyone can imagine God doing that can imagine the precious Lord doing that now I can't God is an infinitely merciful God, then there's 1/3 principle, and it is this your intense persistence in praying according to the will of God makes a difference not only in you going to pull off resurrection I don't mean that. But when you have nothing left except God. When you have stripped yourself of everything except God. When you have taken hold of the horns of the altar and persisted in prayer. Your prayers will make a difference in as 1/4 principle here that the life of a large of how God works. Elijah went to the place where he met God on a daily basis. Elijah went to the process chamber where he communed with God on a regular basis. Elijah went upstairs to the place where it has already been sanctified by the hours and hours are displayed on his knees praying in communion with God showing calamity struck when calamity came, he took that calamity to the place yes givers do have a place where you made God everyday. You have a place to set aside so that when calamity strikes you know where to go with it.
Look at verse 21, and I wanted to since the intensity by which this man of God, pray just since that intensity, the Bible, so he stretched himself upon the boy free time to know that means you know why he did this they want to know why he did this by having of the foggiest idea what somebody tried to tell Mr. Trinity father-son Holy Spirit three times in the Bible doesn't tell me try to tell you what the Scripture says this is the first resurrection recorded in the word of God.
Elijah didn't have a manual that he can go to and turn to page 97, section C, subsection D raising a Gentile boy from the dead know you didn't have a manual to go by. He didn't know what I am convinced them all right as I lived with that passage that I think the old man was shot brokenhearted that he was weeping he did not know what to do. He wanted not know what else to do and is that I do is if he is trying to pass his own vitality upon the boy listen carefully place this is a picture of the kind of prayer that does something with God in this humble home of a Phoenician Gentile bail worshiping widow God. The first recorded resurrection and the word of God it wasn't in Jerusalem and it was and indelibly it was in Zana Fass. God wants to answer the prayer of an obedient heart knowing James said the prayer of a righteous avail as much is he saying the prayer of the obedient avail us with God and this woman risked everything for God, a God that she did not know and do you think God is not done on her hair, risking in faith as I conclude I want you to notice couple friends wanted to notice how restraining the word of God is Bible said the Lord heard the largest cry in the boy's life restored and he lived. Exit exit. Imagine if the modern moviemakers were making a movie of this scene.
It has thousands of extras and of angels singing in trumpet blowing and it would have all those things and that's not the way God's word is presented to us with no showmanship, no television cameras no fundraising gimmicks. The boy didn't write a book, a best-selling book about how what I saw on the other side of death is man's way spends way. God's way is very simple.
You don't have to try to convince anyone when it is a word of God. You don't have to explain it away.
You don't have to defend it. Martin Luther think is one who said that the offending the Bible is like trying to defend the line and this is the secret of the authority of the word of God. This is how you know that it is the word of God. It is unexplainable.
It is unexplainable. It simply says God did it. One of the unbelieving woman's testimony was God. She said now I know that you are God's man.
Why because she saw the reality, the intensity and the integrity of faith on the fire. She testified to the word of God when she said I know that the word of the Lord is from UMass.
Do you know that this woman was honored later on in the New Testament, but only the Jesus used her first text of his first public sermon synagogue in Nazareth, but he is also in the book of Hebrews chapter 11, where the lists of the saints in the Hall of Fame.
The saints Hall of Fame. The big pros Abraham and Isaac, and Sarah. This woman gets included in chapter 11 of Hebrews verse 35 he talks about women receiving back their dead raised to life again. This woman whose name we do not know where the rollcall of faith for all time. She came to know the living God. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael.
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