Welcome to Live with Lon. It is so great to have you with us today. This wonderful spring day.
I'm kind of projecting forward that hopefully it will be a wonderful spring day when you listen. And we are continuing today in our study of the Gospel of John and today we're going to study an aspect of our God that is mysterious and often confusing to us. But it's very important that we understand this part of God's nature and character.
So I hope I've piqued your interest. Let's pray and we'll dig in. Dear Lord Jesus, one of the reasons you gave us the Bible of course was to tell us how to get saved and get eternal life. And another reason you gave us the Bible of course was to reveal yourself, your nature, your attributes, your habits, your likes, your dislikes, how to please you, what kind of attitudes and behavior you cherish and take pleasure in. So Lord today as we talk about that I pray that you would open our hearts by your spirit and teach us so that we understand this very important point about the Living God and how it affects our lives. And we pray this in Jesus name and everybody said what what'd you say come on here we go. Amen. And now what? Amen.
You bet. Now John chapter 11. Here we go. New King James version of the Bible and remember what we study here on Live with Lon.
What do we study? Say it with me. Come on now. The Bible. Say it. The whole Bible.
Say it. And nothing but the Bible and then we apply to our life. That's what we're gonna do today. So we're in John 11 and we've done the first four verses in the last two weeks and you say man if we only do two verses every week we're gonna be here forever.
Well so what? If the Lord comes back and we're still in John 11 and what difference does it make? What a great chapter to be in when you take off to go see the Lord in heaven. So let me read you the verses we've studied.
Let's put them on the screen. Verse one now a certain man was sick Lazarus of Bethany the town of Mary and her sister Martha and it was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped his feet with her hair whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore his sister sent to him saying to him Jesus saying Lord behold he whom you love is sick meaning Lazarus and when Jesus heard that he said this sickness is not to death but for the glory of God that the Son of God may be glorified through it. Now where was Jesus that they had to send to him? Well look with me at the end of chapter 10 verse 40 it says and after leaving Jerusalem he Jesus went away again beyond the Jordan that is River to the place where John was baptizing at first and there he stayed. So Mary and Martha and Lazarus they are living in Bethany just over the Mount of Olives a mile to two miles outside of away from the temple in it right near Jerusalem and Jesus has gone down to the Jericho region about 13 miles away and then across the Jordan River to rest and escape the conniving and plotting of the Pharisees to try to trap him and arrest him and kill him. So that's where they are this is why the Bible says they sent to him down there by the Jordan. Now the next verse verse 5 now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus and we said last week this was not just oh Jesus loves everybody it's more than that he often stayed at their house remember I told you this last week and he often ate there slept there took a bath there maybe they packed him a bag lunch to take to Jerusalem I don't know but he knew them on a much more familiar level of then he just knew some stranger and he had a special personal friendship love for them in addition to the love he just has for everybody okay so they were good friends Mary and Martha and Lazarus and Jesus Jesus loved Martha and her sister Mary and Lazarus verse 6 so when he heard that he was sick Jesus hurried away quickly to Bethany to get there before Lazarus died you say what what version the Bible you reading from I'm not reading from any version of the Bible that's not what the verse says and no that's what you might we would all logically think the verse would say that Jesus would hurry to get to Bethany which could be done in a matter of a few hours on foot no look what verse 6 says it says so when he heard that he Lazarus was sick Jesus stayed two more days in the place where he was now have you ever seen two more contradictory statements mashed together juxtaposed together like verse 5 and verse 6 look verse 5 Jesus loved Mary Martha and Lazarus as great personal friends he loved them deeply for six so when he heard Lazarus was sick he didn't go anywhere for two days he didn't go to him you talk about two opposing ideas two contradictory statements he loved them but he didn't go to him he loved them but he didn't leave where he was and travel to Bethany he loved Lazarus but he didn't move immediately to go heal him how contradictory can two things be now folks this is an oxymoron an oxymoron many of you know the term an oxymoron is a let me give you the definition from the dictionary an oxymoron consists of two apparently contradictory terms or statements that appear in conjunction to one another two apparently contradictions that are hooked up to each other so you say what are some examples all right I wrote some down bittersweet how can it be bitter and be sweet there's an oxymoron open secret if it's a secret how can it be open pretty ugly he a pretty and ugly don't go together oh how about this one I had a friend tell me this I'm not responsible for this and somebody in the military told me this how about this one military intelligence it's not me I had a military friend tell me that military intelligence I'm sorry don't all right me it's not mine actually it's in it's it's online and you know there's a list of all these things military intelligence okay that's that's you know I'm kidding obviously uh but you understand now what a an oxymoron is now we have this is what I want you to get today an oxymoronic God it's part of the way he loves to operate you say what you say I'm not sure I get that well if you love Martha Mary and Lazarus then you stay at the other side of the Jordan for two days makes no sense it's it's an oxymoron it makes no sense they're contradictory if you love them you would go to them all right you got it and often God's oxymoronic behavior can be explained by if and then if and then you know I'll get for you English teachers just so you know that I actually did pay a little bit of attention in high school we have a protasis and an apodosis you're like those two new kinds of candy bars no no a protasis pre ro a protasis is the if statement and the apodosis is the then statement you say are you trying to impress us no I'm not trying to impress you trying to educate all of us a protasis and an apodosis and I'm also trying to to give a you know something to make English teachers feel good okay so if and then so here's some how about these if God loves me then why is my child sick if God loves me then why did I have a car accident if God loves me then why am I facing a financial crisis if God loves me then why am I in poor health if God loves me then why does he let people treat me the way some of them do if God loves me then why was I passed over for promotion at work if God loves me why have I got a toothache see the all the oxymorons here every one of them is from a human logic point of view an oxymoron if God loves me I shouldn't have a car accident if God loves me I shouldn't my children shouldn't have the problems they do if God loves me now I shouldn't have a dental problem or whatever you understand on a human level now I remember just talking about a dental problem I'm not a big fan of going to the dentist and I know when I say this it drives particularly dentist crazy but it drives everybody out there crazy who likes to follow all the rules the way they're supposed to be followed I understand that but I don't go to the dentist every six months my wife does no I don't go to the dentist every 12 months I don't go to the dentist every 24 months in fact I don't go to the dentist until I absolutely have to go to the dentist and I'm sorry about that but I don't I don't like going to the dentist and that's you know I'm sorry I just don't anyway I had this tooth God that was really hurt and bad and so I went to see my good friend Stanley Levin who used to be an entodontist up here in Falls Church hey Stanley I don't know if you're listening but God bless you brother I grew up with Stanley we went to high school together Jewish brother who did root canals and I went to see him saying Stanley I hope I'm not gonna need a root canal and he looked at my tooth and he said I'm afraid you do you know he took x-rays and everything I was afraid I might so Brenda had come with me because I knew I'd get Nova had to get Nova caned up if I'm if I needed it and she was sitting out in the waiting room and I said well Stanley I said I said he said let's do it now I go what he goes let's do it right now I'm like what I said no Stanley no no no no no I didn't come in here prepared for us to do it today I'm not emotionally ready he goes what what do you mean you're not emotionally ready I said Stanley you don't understand some of you understand I'm not emotionally ready I said besides I got to use the restroom before we talk about this anymore so I went in the restroom I was looking in the mirror and I was like hyperventilating I was like oh no no no no no and I went out the other door the restroom had two doors and the other door went into the sitting area the reception area and I said okay Brenda come on we're leaving and she said well what did he say and I said I'll tell you on the way home come on we're going and she said no what did he say and Stanley came out the door into the waiting room and he said Lon are you ready and I he and he had the little the whole he had filled the whole you know the big horse needle up they put in your mouth in there so he was holding that and Brenda said uh what's what's going on and I said well well Stanley thinks I says I need a root canal but I'm not ready to get it today I said let's go and she said Lon Solomon she said look at me right here my wife she'll look at me right in the eyes she said you get your parts right back in there right now and you get that root canal right this minute you understand me and I'm like I don't know and she's like Lon Solomon you go in there and you get that root canal so I did you say was it as bad as you thought every bit anyway if God loves me why do I need a root canal if God loves me y'all know what I'm talking about now there are a lot of people in the Bible who could have said this very same thing Joseph could have said if God loves me then how come I'm in this pit that my brothers threw me in and they're about to sell me into slavery into Egypt if God loves me Ruth could have said then why did my husband die and why am I poor as a pauper and have to go out in the fields and and glean and pick up the grain the that the harvesters drop on the ground why if God loves me Esther could have said and Mordecai if God loves me in the Jewish people then why is Haman in the position he's in with the power he's in and and about and and and ready to wipe all the Jews in the Persian Empire out if God loves me Daniel could have said well how come these people ratted on me and now I'm getting thrown in a lion's den if God loves us his three friends how come we're getting him thrown into a furnace of fire when we stand up for the Lord and they're gonna throw us in the fire I mean I could go on and on David could have said if if God loves me how come I've spent the last seven years running away from Saul who wants to kill me friends you and I aren't the first people to say if God loves me then why is this bad thing happening these are oxymorons if God loves me he shouldn't be throwing me in the lion's den if God loves me he shouldn't be letting my brother sell me into slavery if God loves me he shouldn't have let my husband die Ruth could have said and on and on now this is exactly what happened in John chapter 11 if God loved Lazarus so much then why did he stay two days and allow him to die okay now that's as far as we're gonna go in our passage but we're gonna ask our most important question now are you ready come on here we go one two three so what you bet and you know what what do we say come on how sweet it is to be studying the Word of God today you bet now what's the takeaway what's the not a sermon just a thought what's the so what here friends our God does a lot of oxymoronic things the ones that he did to some of the people in the Bible we have the advantage of seeing how they worked out and why God's oxymoronic behavior was not bad behavior unloving behavior a foolish behavior I mean how dare we God call God foolish unkind behavior God knew what he was doing even though his behavior at one point in the story was oxymoronic he knew by sending Joseph to Egypt he was going to become Prime Minister of Egypt and save the Jewish people from extinction he knew by taking Ruth's husband first husband that Boaz was gonna marry her and she was gonna become the great-great-grandmother of King David and the great-great-great- great-great-great-grandmother of the Lord Jesus Christ he knew that by throwing the three youths into the fiery furnace in Daniel's time that Nebuchadnezzar was going to come I believe to believe in the one living God of of Israel as a result of that so the oxymoronic behavior made perfect sense in light of the ending that God knew but the people going through the oxymoronic behavior did not know now that brings us to you and me folks God many times many times does things that are oxymoronic in fact it it's kind of part of his operating system this happens often and let me tell you why this happens it's because the reason it looks oxymoronic is because in our human logic our human thoughts our human ways makes it make it look that way but you see let me read you what God said in the book of Isaiah Isaiah chapter 55 look at this for my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord for as high as the heavens are above the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts this is why God often does things that seem oxymoronic on the human level but they're not because his ways are above the human level and his thoughts are above the human level and his plans are above the human level and his intended outcome is above the human level of what we can conceive in our minds at the time they're exceedingly abundantly beyond what we can ask or even think Ephesians chapter 3 and so let me close by saying this I have lots of oxymoronic things that are going on in my life right now I have things that make no sense if God loves me then why is God letting this happen to me to my family to my children to my grandchildren and I don't have an answer and I'll bet you you've got a lot of oxymoronic things going on in your life that you don't have an answer to either okay well you know this is the reason a lot of people don't believe in Christ because they'll say if we have a loving God then why are children suffering all over the world if there's a loving God then why is all of this war and death going on in our world if we have a loving God then why are there all these diseases in our world if our God were a loving God then why why why why I cannot believe in a loving God existing in light of all these other things I've just named this is where many people are and you know I understand on the human level of that they feel this way but you see this is why God often does oxymoronic seeming things because it demands that we walk by faith if I encounter a person who says if there's a loving God then why why why that's why I can't believe in him my answer to that has got to involve faith that they believe in this God even if they can't explain his choices in his behavior at a given point and what he allows what he doesn't but that demands faith to believe that God is who he says he is even if we can't explain what he's doing that's faith and that's why we as Christians walk by faith and that's why the only answer we can give people who make this objection to believing in Jesus is a faith answer and that faith comes because we know Christ and we understand him so let me just say this in closing the if part is always true even if you can't explain the then part that's what I want you to take away God loves to act in oxymoronic ways he often does but the if part is always true if God loves me if I am a child of God if I am precious in the Lord's sight those ifs are always true even if the then statements are inexplicable by you then why then why then why then why you may not be able to explain that oh but the if statements are still true or to put it another way and I wrote this down so I'd get it just right the beginning part of this apodosis protasis apodosis the if then the beginning part is always true even if I can't figure out the end part the if parts always true if and I even if I can't figure out the then part do you understand the beginning part is always true does God love me yes am I his child in Christ yes am I precious in his sight in Christ yes okay it's always true even if I can't figure out the end part folks the if then oxymoronic protasis apodosis beginning part and end part of this is always true and we just have to walk by faith and believe the beginning part even if we can't explain the end part this is how our God does it to demand that we walk by faith let's pray and with our heads bowed and our eyes closed if you've got some if then problems that you've talked to the Lord about complain to the Lord about griped about that you're befuddled about and bewildered about and that you just cannot figure out how and why if the if part is true then the rest of this is happening I want you to take a moment right now let's ask God to forgive us for trying to figure out his ways and his thoughts when they're way above anything we could possibly put together and help us just tell him that we're gonna trust him even if we don't understand Lord Jesus I need your help just like I think everybody listening to me needs your help in these if then oxymorons that I struggle with Lord if you really love me why would you do this why would you let this happen or why isn't this thing happening that I want to happen and and why are you letting people treat me this way and how are you letting them get away with treating me or my children this way and on and on why are things going the way they're going at work why is this teacher picking on me at school whatever Lord Jesus remind us that the if part the beginning part is true your love your mercy your cherishing us as your children us being precious in your sight even if we can't explain the then part the end part encourage our faith and help us walk by faith and recognize that these oxymoronic things are part of the way you operate to demand that we walk by faith and we pray this and Lord help us understand your operating procedure better as a result of our time in your word in Jesus name we pray amen okay oxymoronic behavior by God hey it's it's regular it's normal for God to do this so don't let it upset you he did it with Lazarus don't let this upset you he did it with Ruth and Esther and Daniel and and and and Joseph don't just keep prostituting I hope we'll see you next week God bless you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-26 12:14:46 / 2023-03-26 12:23:35 / 9