Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The Psalmist tells of the pain of going through the fire. He has become like a bottle in the Smoke.

(Psa 119:81-83) "For I am become like a bottle in the smoke..."

Years ago I helped clean out a house that had been burnt in a fire.

The dear lady for whom we were working asked us, that as we went through the rubble, to pull out anything that might be salvageable.

She had a collection of antique or unique bottles that were ruined in the fire, and she looked at each one to see if any could be saved.

She saved only a couple of them, most were destroyed beyond use.

As I read this passage I was reminded of that job and of the many things we pulled out of that fire.

I remember family picture albums and other personal items that were scorched and ruined.

> I remember the sad expression she gave each item before discarding them.

As I read this verse, I remembered pulling out all those unique bottles and bringing them to the woman for examination.

> The Psalmist had evidently seen something similar.

> Some suggest it was a wineskin...

Regardless of what kind of bottle, he saw an item ruined in the smoke.

> He was able to relate to this situation.

> He realized how his own life had become sullied and ruined.

> He had become "like a bottle in the smoke."

I. What Does it Mean to be Like a Bottle in the Smoke?

A. A bottle in the smoke has been through the fire.

1. This has been a very sorrowful 18 months.

2. I am talking about a people who have been through the fire

3. It was easy to tell that these bottles had been through the fire.

> The tell-tale signs were all over those bottles.

> They were black and sooty.

> They were oily to the touch.

> They were ruined beyond use.

> Anyone that looked on them knew instantly, These bottles had been through a fire.

4. You can see the tell-tale signs on God’s people.

> They walk slower.

> They stoop lower.

> They talk softer.

> They cry often.

> They seem to have a deeper perspective on life!

> Anyone that looks on them knows instantly, These people have been through the fire.

5. The Psalmist said: "I am become like a bottle in the smoke..."

> I have all the signs of one that has gone through the fire!

B. A bottle in the smoke becomes fragile.

1. A few of those burnt bottles broke the minute we picked them up.

> They were very brittle.

> Even the unbroken bottles had lost some of their strength.

2. When you have gone through the fire, often you come out very fragile.

> Have you ever consider how fragile life is already.

> Even without the strees of going through the fire, life is already fragile.

Psa 90:9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

Psa 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Eccl 12:5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

Job 14:1-2 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

3. Life is fragile and brief. Often too brief.

> But, when you have come through a fire it seems some of that life has been sapped out of you.

> It seems that life becomes more fragile; More frightening...

> The Psamlist said, "I am become like a bottle in the smoke!"

C. A bottle in the Smoke has little or no value.

1. Loses any potential for doing good.

> Who wants to put an ugly burnt bottle on display.

> That dear lady whose house we cleaned, didn’t keep but one or two bottles that she thought she could save.

2. Who wants to drink out of an old charred bottle.

> It is of no value for display, nor of any practical value.

> It can no longer be used for its intended purpose.

3. Sometimes the fire ruins a Christian’s potential for doing good.

> Often the fire will cause some to lose hope their faith.

> They find themselves unable to fully trust God again.

4. Some get so burned that they never regain the standing they once had.

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Jonathan Campbell

commented on Jun 11, 2011

Very interesting study. Thank you.

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