Summary: Part 5 in a series on the church covenant
A COVENANT WITH GOD
THE CHURCH COVENANT
Date: July 14, 2002
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: Psalms 126:1-6
For the past several weeks and again for the next few months we will continue to look at and study our church covenant. We come to a place in the 2nd paragraph in our study to look at two words that I believe can be taken very confusing to some. “To promote its prosperity and spirituality”. I will not repeat last weeks sermon, but I believe when we talked about living a holy life this takes care of the spirituality. A God that says “be holy for I am holy” calls us to live a life of holiness.
So many people confuse religion, and spirituality with Christianity. Let me give you some of my definitions: Religion is man’s way of getting to God; Spirituality is matters concerning the soul; But Christianity is a person relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.
The word here prosperity is a word that is very popular today among some churches and preachers today. And there are those who would tell you from the pulpit that if God is not blessing you, if you are not prospering you are not saved, or at the very least you have sin in your life
This Psalm describes the end of the Babylonian captivity of the nation of Israel. King Cyrus made a decree that the Jews could return to their own land and rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple.
The joy of returning was soon turned to sorrow when they saw the condition of their city and Temple. They realized that many were still in captivity. But, because of their unselfish labor their sorrow was turned into singing again!
In this Psalm we see The Processes of Prosperity. Israel went from Captivity to Prosperity. But it was not an easy road! There are some things we must experience, some things that we must go through if we are to receive the blessings of the harvest! And if we do, those old words of that great hymn will be true for us as ; "we shall come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves.”
What are The Processes Of Prosperity?
I. THE REALITY OF A DREAM. vI-3
A. It was an unbelievable reality. v1
1. They could not believe their ears when Cyrus made the decree! They had been praying and had been held captive for many years.
2. It seemed like a dream because of what was happening and how fast it happened.
3. God’s work is almost unbelievable sometimes!
B. It was an undeniable reality. v2
1. It was not a dream, it was real, they were liberated!
2. The heathen even recognized the great things the Lord did for them.
3. When God does great things in our midst, lets rejoice, but lets always give Him the glory.
C. IT WAS AN UNDERSTANDABLE REALITY. v3
1. Understandable because the Lord had done it!
2. They not only recognized the great works, but the great God who did them!
3. God does things in ways and times that we have to recognized that it is He, a Holy God, who does it!
II. THE REMORSE OF A DROUGHT.. v4
A. DESCRIPTION OF THE DROUGHT. v4b
1. But suddenly, their singing was turned to sorrow.
2. The reality of their dream has really set in - they saw the devastation and realized many were still in captivity.
3. It was descnbed as a dry, parched land, empty riverbeds of the south!
B. DESIRE OF THE DROUGHT. v4a
1. This is a prayer for the end of the drought- for God to deliver the rest of the captivity.
2. "As the streams in the south" when the winter rains came and the snow melted, the river beds flowed again with water and the desert flourished!
3. They would not be satisfied until they all came home and the rubbish was removed so they could rebuild!
Then the words of the psalmist seem to turn and be speaking to the farmer or those that did the planting
III. THE REWARD OF A DEDICATION. v5-6
A. THE PREPARED SOIL. v6a
1. REQUIRES COMMITTED HANDS. v6aa
a. "Goes forth" involves preparing the hard, dry ground
b. Israel "had a mind to work," they cleared the rubbish and began to build.
c. There is toil and labor in preparing the soil.
2. REQUIRES A CONTRITE HEART. v6ab
a. " They wept"- They were broken and they were weeping because of the absence of others and the difficulty of the work.
b. There are tears and lamenting in preparing the soil!
The soil had to prepared to build but also the soil had to be prepared to plant so they could eat.