Call to Worship:Nehemiah 9:5“Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.
Songs: Sing - Travis Cottrell
Joy of the Lord -Rend Collective
Everlasting - Brian Doerkson
Scripture: Haggai 1
Songs: Soul On Fire-Third Day
Build Your Kingdom Here -Rend Collective
Send the Fire - Nashville Singers
Sermon: “Rolling Thunder”
Closing Song: Save Us Oh God - Kevin Prosch
Benediction: 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.” 36 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the LORD.”
Last Sunday night I had the pleasure of waking up at 2:00 am wide-awake. So as I was lying there thinking I would be able to fall back to sleep, a very loud thunderstorm rolled in and stuck around with no chance of falling back to sleep. The power of flashes of lightening and the rolling thunder was amazing, even though that ended any chance of falling back to sleep. I am always moved by the power of God’s creation. Man doesn’t stand a chance if God unleashed his power on us, yet man continues to reject him. They refuse to acknowledge that he is the creator of this amazing yet very powerful universe. One hurricane can devastate a country and there is nothing man can do about it but pick up the pieces and if God did not relent there would be no pieces to pick up. The good news is as His servants that power is available for us. David said 1 Chronicles 29:10 “Praise be to you, LORD, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. 11 Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”
When we think about facing our enemies David also said 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. 3 I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies. 4 The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 5 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. 6 In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. 7 The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. 8 Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. 9 He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. 10 He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. 12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. 13 The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. 14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them.”
So yes a storm can be frightening, yet it draws us to the power of our God. As I pondered the thunder that I heard that night, I could not help but think that this same God who created this thunder says Genesis 26:24 “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.” Deuteronomy 20:1 “When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.” Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” 1 Chronicles 28:20 “David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.”
So here we find ourselves seeking this same God who said Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11 “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. 12 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. 13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. 14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” This same God said seek me and find me as Jeremiah said, Jeremiah 29:10 “This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Moses said to choose life not death. Deuteronomy 30:1 “When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, 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, 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 because we too are in exile as God has turned his face from us. We wait for God to free us and return us to the land, as that is his promise. Remember the land is now everywhere we set our feet. Deuteronomy 11:22 “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.” Because God has turned his face from us, we are in captivity and there is no power as there should be. So we have started over and have repented and we wait for God to turn his face to shine on us once again as intended. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Now we really should not have had to lay the foundation again but we lie in ruins. Amos 9:11 “In that day I will restore David’s fallen shelter— I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins— and will rebuild it as it used to be, 12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name, ” declares the LORD, who will do these things.” But once again the church, like Israel has decided we don’t need to follow the maker of the heavens and the earth and we can do it ourselves yet people flee when the storms come. We should not have to be starting over but we are. Hebrews 6 says Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.” But because those who have gone before us have not acted according to his word, God is angry and we do not have the power so we start over and repent in the midst of the onslaught by an enemy to powerful for us. In the midst of this onslaught we have hope Psalm 18:16 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. 17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. 19 He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” After returning the land Ezra 3:11 “all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.” This only will happen if we turn back to him.
Our journey has been one of laying a foundation. Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” This is the foundation we are returning to. This is why we persevere and do not give up because we are asking that once again God will dwell in us by his Spirit. When that happens the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ will flow once again and the church will once go out in power. Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” If you have been wondering what God has been doing over these last years, wonder no more as God is building us a rock solid foundation. As David said to Goliath 1 Samuel 17:47 “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
Hezekiah helps us here as we have the same problem he had. His father Ahaz had 24 gathered together the furnishings from the temple of God and cut them in pieces. He shut the doors of the Lord’s temple and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem.” Unfortunately for us, those who went before us were not building on the true foundation as they had gone their own way. 2 Chronicles 29:1 “Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. 3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the LORD and repaired them. 4 He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side 5 and said: “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the LORD, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. 6 Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the LORD our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the LORD’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. 7 They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, the anger of the LORD has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. 9 This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity. 10 Now I intend to make a covenant with the LORD, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us.” 16 The priests went into the sanctuary of the Lord to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the Lord’s temple everything unclean that they found in the temple of the Lord. 19 We have prepared and consecrated all the articles that King Ahaz removed in his unfaithfulness while he was king. So the service of the temple of the Lord was reestablished. 36 Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so quickly.” They then celebrated the Passover. 6 At the king’s command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read: “People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 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 promise applies to us but we also must return to the Lord.
Later when Senacherib was invading the land 2 Kings 19:14 “Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: “LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, LORD, and hear; open your eyes, LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God. 17 “It is true, LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 19 Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, LORD, are God.” 20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. 21 And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons, his own flesh and blood, cut him down with the sword. Isaiah had said 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken against him: “‘Virgin Daughter Zion despises you and mocks you. Daughter Jerusalem tosses her head as you flee. 22 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. 31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.”
This same God that is God over all the kingdoms and creator, gave a promise to David will fulfill that promise in those who seek him. 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. 8 “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. 9 See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.” There will always be a remnant of the faithful, those who seek the Lord and follow his ways not their own. David said 2 Samuel 22:47 “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior! 48 He is the God who avenges me, who puts the nations under me, 49 who sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. 50 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name. 51 “He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.”
The temple, no not stones, will be rebuilt. We will once again be part of the temple that Jesus is the cornerstone of. Again I want to read Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” We can say 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 you know from Ezra and Nehemiah there is much opposition to rebuilding the temple. satan will have an unbridled furry against us because he knows his time is short so we must stand firm on the word of God. The church has been decimated and lies in ruins and there is great desolation. Nehemiah said, Nehemiah 1:3 “They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” Nehemiah said Nehemiah 1:4 “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said: “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. 8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ 10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king. So Nehemiah had it in his heart to rebuild the walls. After inspecting the walls he said 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.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.” They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.” Again this is the opportunity all who are willing can be part of. 2 Chronicles 29:31 “Then Hezekiah said, “You have now dedicated yourselves to the Lord. Come and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the temple of the Lord.” So the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all whose hearts were willing brought burnt offerings.
Earlier we read Haggai 1. You may have noticed the word was to the remnant. Haggai 1:12 “the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord. 3 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. 14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month. Earlier we see a summary of what had happened before that and what was happening. 2 Chronicles 36:15 “The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. 18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there. 20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah. 22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: 23 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’”
So the plans of God will be fulfilled. We never have to worry about if, when or how. God even used the King of Persia. Just know that 2 Chronicles 16:9 “the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” So it is time to rebuild the temple, which means we once again do what Jesus commanded us to do and that is go and make disciples in power. Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” For too long now the church has focused on themselves and what they can do in their own strength but now God’s spirit will show man that the Lord He is God. God will provide just as he did then. The church we see today is not the temple but what mans hands have made. Doctrines of demons dominate the landscape and the gospel of Jesus Christ has been set aside for the ways of men and women. There is no power. There is no fear of God in the land and everyone does as they see fit but as Moses asked what will you do in the end? The church of Jesus Christ is not what we see today. They have followed another gospel, which is why there is no power. 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. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!”
So we find ourselves having to do what Josiah did. Josiah came along and tore down and demolished and repaired the temple. 2 Kings 23:25 “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.” We too are the servants of the Lord and we have been called to return to the way the truth and the life as those who went before us followed the ways of men and doctrines of demons. The God we serve is a God of power and strength. He will not leave the remnant helpless. Those who seek him will find him and they will go to the ends of the earth in power.
Haggai 2:1 “On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 2 “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, 3 ‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? 4 But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 5 ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’ 6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
We have been praying that the glory of the Lord will fill the temple once again. That temple is where God lives by his Spirit. We are supposed to be that temple. Psalm 68:32 “Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord, 33 to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens, who thunders with mighty voice. 34 Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens. 35 You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!” Romans 1:8 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”
We do not want to be part of that so when you look to the heavens and see the sun moon and the stars, worship the creator of the universe. Psalm 148:1 “Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights above. 2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. 3 Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. 4 Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for at his command they were created, 6 and he established them for ever and ever— he issued a decree that will never pass away. 7 Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, 8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, 9 you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, 10 wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, 11 kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, 12 young men and women, old men and children. 13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. 14 And he has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his faithful servants, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the LORD.”
Today we have an opportunity to serve the God that controls the rolling thunder. God said to Job 38:22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, 23 which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle? 24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? 25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm.” 34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water? 35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?” 40:9 “Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his? 10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. 11 Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at all who are proud and bring them low, 12 look at all who are proud and humble them, crush the wicked where they stand.” This God has chosen his people so that 2 Kings 19:30 “Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. 31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. “The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Romans 11:5 “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.” Deuteronomy 14:2 “for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.” Deuteronomy 18:5 “for the Lord your God has chosen them and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the Lord’s name always.” Remember the promise Jeremiah 33:17 “For this is what the Lord says: ‘David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, 18 nor will the Levitical priests ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.’” Acts 22:14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4 “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you,” 2 Thessalonians 2:13 “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” 1 Chronicles 9:1 “All Israel was listed in the genealogies recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. They were taken captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness. 2 Now the first to resettle on their own property in their own towns were some Israelites, priests, Levites and temple servants.” 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
So be hopeful and know that God will hear our cry as we seek him. He will save us because he said he wouldI am going to read our benediction and then we can sing our closing song as a prayer.
Benediction: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.” 36 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the LORD.”