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Mar17SunMarch 17, 2019Call to Worship: Psalm 18:1 “I love you, Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”Songs: Your Words - Third DayYou Are Good - Travis CottrellMade Me Glad - Travis CottrellScripture: Psalm 18:3-45Song: Let My People Go - Matt RedmanSermon: “A Promise to Return”Closing Song: Joy of the Lord Rend Collective
Benediction: Psalm 18:46 “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior! 47 He is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me, 48 who saves me from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. 49 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name. 50 He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing love to his anointed, to David and to his descendants forever.”----------------------------------------------Sermon: “A Promise to Return”I wanted to remind us about our present journey. Yes we are focused on these 46 days but our true focus is on eternal life and making sure we are on the right path. It has been made clear that we have been raised in desolation just as Gideon was. Judges 6:6 “Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.” This is why when God spoke to Gideon he said Judges 6:13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” We also ask where is the power. The answer God gave to Gideon was this; Judges 6:14 “The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Now if you are thinking you don’t have what it takes, you are right as you don’t but if God sends you you do! Gideon responds 15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” 16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” This is what we are coming from and why we are rebuilding. Nehemiah said Nehemiah 1:17 “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” Ezra 5:11 “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished.” As we continue to move forward, have faith and trust in God’s word so that what once was will be again. Jeremiah 32:42 “This is what the Lord says: As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them. 43 Once more fields will be bought in this land of which you say, ‘It is a desolate waste, without people or animals, for it has been given into the hands of the Babylonians.’ 44 Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds will be signed, sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, because I will restore their fortunes, declares the Lord.” Stand firm and let nothing move you.Yesterday in our blogs I talked about the unsaved masses. These are people who think they are saved because they go to church. Men and women have told them that they are secure, yet they have fallen for a different way a different gospel. Paul said Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—7 which is really no gospel at all.” Yesterday we read Jude that talked about those who secretly slipped in among you of which I will talk more about next week in the sermon called Wall against Wall. Yesterday I said “Do not be deceived by men and women who have gone their own ways and are leading the masses astray as wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God. I asked the question what have you been saved into? The problem we face today is that everyone thinks they are heading in the right direction and very few stop to ask is it the right way. What needs to happen now is like Gideon we need to be saved out of this desolation we have been raised in. So like Israel they were saved out of Egypt and out Assyria and the remnant survived. What doesn’t happen in our day is the calling out for God to hear our cry from the distant lands he has sent us to. Yes I know living in Ontario Canada doesn’t feel like a distant land but it is. Obviously the distant land I refer doesn’t mean location but captivity. Why are we in a distant lands? Deuteronomy 29:25 “And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.” 2 Kings 22:13 tells us “Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” This is what happens when we break the covenant with God.What most people in the church are not asking is what happens when we do not act in accordance with the word of God. They don’t ask what happens when we disobey? They just change scripture instead. Well most gloss over it by saying God is love and everyone continues along their own path like a charging horse into battle. Deuteronomy 29:19 also said “When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.” Week after week people attend church thinking all is well because that is what they have been told yet they have been taken into captive, sent into distant lands and they don’t even know it. Jeremiah 16:10 “When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us? What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the Lord our God?’ 11 then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law. 12 But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying me. 13 So I will throw you out of this land into a land neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’ 14 “However, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 15 but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.” Come let us rebuild!The good news is Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil so that we would have eternal life. Yes he defeated death and yes he defeated satan but we must do as Jesus did. If we do not obey and do as Jesus did we loose we loose. The bible makes that clear. What the bible also makes clear is that if we cry out God will hear our cry and save us. David said 1 Chronicles 16:35 “Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” If we return to God he will return to us no matter how far into other lands he has sent us. Deuteronomy 30:1 “When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you (and they have) and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, (and we have) 2 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, (and we are learning) 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. 6 The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”So we have great hope of being set free. That was the plan from the beginning. John 8:31 “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Remember people are not asking what happens if you don’t hold. The answer is simple; you are not my disciples. Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” For this to happen we must believe the words of Jesus not the words of men and women who change what the bible says to suit their own beliefs and needs. Since we have followed the empty ways of those who went before us, our land is desolate and we stand powerless to defeat our enemies. Leviticus 26:17 “I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.” Deuteronomy 28:25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth.” The curses happen when we do not obey. Millions of people think they are obeying but they are only obeying what the church they attend has taught them therefore our enemies overpower us. Was that how it was meant to be? No! Deuteronomy 28:7 “The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.” Leviticus 26:7 “You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.” We are only defeated in disobedience but victorious in our obedienceSo here we are captivity like Daniel. In Daniel 9 he prayed. Please understand that this exact thing has happened to the church and we have prayed the same prayer. Daniel 9:4 “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. 7 “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. “Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.” This is today’s church. Yes Daniel was also written for us. Just like Daniel said all this disaster has come on us yet the church does not seek God.When we look back to Egypt, we see the misery of the people. Exodus 3:7 “The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Do you see why it is so important for us to cry and do you see why satan is deceiving people into believing they do not need to cry out as he has them believing in ta false sense of security. If we cry out God frees us and gives us the Promised Land.So in response God sends Moses to free His people. God will always raise someone up to do his work. 1 Samuel 2:35 “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind.” So God sends Moses the very one who ran from Egypt. When Moses returned Exodus 4:29 “he and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.” Moses then went to Pharaoh and said Let my people go and their conditions got worse. Please understand this can happen to us also. God said to Moses. Exodus 6:6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’” 9 Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.” The question is; are you listening or are you only seeing your harsh conditions in discouragement. You know the rest of the story and they were freed.Then jump ahead to where Israel is removed from God’s presence even though God had given them the land of His promise. 2 Kings 17:16 “They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger. 18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, 19 and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. 20 Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.” I would like to point out that following false gospels the same as what I just read. Saul was told 1 Samuel 15:23 “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” Isaiah 2:6 “You, Lord, have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and embrace pagan customs.” Ezekiel 13:6 “Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words.”Later Judah was also removed. 2 Kings 23:27 “So the Lord said, “I will remove Judah also from my presence as I removed Israel, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and this temple, about which I said, ‘My Name shall be there.” Now as we read in Daniel 9, we see it was time to be freed. Daniel 9:2 “I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. He goes on to say Daniel 9:15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us. 17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”Daniel 10 tells us about a future time, our time. Daniel 10:1 “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel. Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.” This revelation concerned a future time. Daniel 10:12 “Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. (I trust you take solace in those words as we have also humbled ourselves before God.) 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.” Daniel 8:26 “The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.” We are at war as the church has been decimated but just as Daniel prayed that the seventy years are up, our time of desolation is coming to an end. Daniel was told about this future time, which has taken place. Daniel 9:27 “And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” This is the future time talked about. Notice that this revelation to Daniel was future and the revelation to John was present. These are two revelations given to two men that affect all of us. Revelation 10:22 “Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”So just like Daniel, we prayed to be freed from this desolation and captivity. The good news just as Daniel saw, God has answered our prayers because we have turned back to him. He has heard our cry. That is a guarantee from scripture. Malachi 3:7 “Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.” We were told to wait, so we wait for our redemption. There is a war presently taking place like no other. Millions of christians have fallen from their secure positions because of false teaching. People were supposed to be saved but are now worse off than they were before. 2 Peter 2:17 “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”Even though there is a vast army against we can be courageous. 2 Chronicles 20:12 “Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” If we trust God, he will free us from our captivity. That is how it was supposed to be in the first place. Isaiah 42:5 “This is what God the LORD says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: 6 “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” This was the task given to Paul. Acts 26:17 “I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.” Isaiah 49:8 “This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, 9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!.” Jesus said Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” But the church decided to follow their own ways, their own truths and lead their own lives and now we remain in captivity in distant lands.The good news is God has heard our cry and wants to free us. Ezekiel 11:16 “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.’ 17 “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’ 18 “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.” 2 Chronicles 30:9 “If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” This week our blogs will be talking about returning to God and yielding our hearts to Him.This gives us hope and great expectation of what God has in store for those who obey. John 14:15 says, “If you love me keep my commandments.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him—10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.” Psalm 103:11 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.”So just as there were those who were saved from Egypt and entered into the Promised Land and just as the remnant were saved from Assyria and went back to the promised land, we too will be saved and no man will stand against us and everywhere we set our feet will be ours. Think of the great rejoicing as people are freed from their captivity. Jeremiah describes it this way. Jeremiah 31:7 “This is what the LORD says: “Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard, and say, ‘LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’ 8 See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. 9 They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble.” 10 “Hear the word of the LORD, you nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’ 11 For the LORD will deliver Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. 12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD— the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. 13 Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. 14 I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty,” declares the LORD. 15 This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” 16 This is what the LORD says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the LORD. “They will return from the land of the enemy. 17 So there is hope for your descendants,” declares the LORD. “Your children will return to their own land. 18 “I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning: ‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return, because you are the LORD my God. 27 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will plant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals. 28 Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the LORD. 31 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ” declares the LORD. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” 35 This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name: 36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD, “will Israel ever cease being a nation before me.” 37 This is what the LORD says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,” declares the LORD.” This is that amazing promise to David that there will always be a remnant of the faithful.I want to conclude todays message with another passage of how the Lord will save his people and how we will return to Him. I trust today that you have great expectation as to the power that is available to all who believe. I asked yesterday that you focus on Paul’s prayer in Ephesians concerning the power that is available to all who believe. God is a merciful God but also a jealous God and will not tolerate our disobedience. Exodus 34:14 “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Exodus 20:5 “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” So if we keep his commandments God wants to bless us in ways we cannot imagine. Exodus 34:10 “Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you. 11 Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 12 Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. 13 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles.14 Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”If you want to be part of the family of God, we cannot associate with Canaan. There will be more on that this week in the blogs.Now to the passage in Zechariah. Zechariah 10:1 “Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime; it is the LORD who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. 2 The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd. 3 “My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the LORD Almighty will care for his flock, the people of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle. 4 From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler. 5 Together they will be like warriors in battle trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets. They will fight because the LORD is with them, and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame. 6 “I will strengthen Judah and save the tribes of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the LORD their God and I will answer them. 7 The Ephraimites will become like warriors, and their hearts will be glad as with wine. Their children will see it and be joyful; their hearts will rejoice in the LORD. 8 I will signal for them and gather them in. Surely I will redeem them; they will be as numerous as before. 9 Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return. 10 I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon, and there will not be room enough for them. 11 They will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up. Assyria’s pride will be brought down and Egypt’s scepter will pass away. 12 I will strengthen them in the LORD and in his name they will live securely,” declares the LORD.”As we approach the spring, hopefully sooner than later, trust in the word of God and follow wholeheartedly so that His plans will unfold in our lives. Deuteronomy 11:13 “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.” 16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you. 22 If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him— 23 then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. 24 Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. 25 No one will be able to stand against you. The Lord your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go. 26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known. 31 You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you have taken it over and are living there, 32 be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.”