Summary: Why did God do that? What was His purpose? And why did He place such an emphasis on the subject of being a "blessing"? (Powerpoints available - #121)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER RIDGE CHAPEL
(Powerpoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #121.)
(Title Slide) A GREAT OPEN DOOR!
A. One day, almost 4,000 years ago, God spoke to a man named Abram, who was later called Abraham, & said to him,
(Slide 2) “Leave your country, your people & your father’s household & go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation & I will bless you;
(Slide 3) “I will make your name great, & you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, & whoever curses you I will curse; & all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
Now why did God do that? What was His purpose? And why did He place such an emphasis on the subject of being a “blessing”?
(Slide 4) Well, as most of you know, I spent the first few years of my life with my parents on the border of China & Tibet. And the 2 Tibetan women that you see projected on the screen may help us understand why God was doing what He did.
(Slide 5) You see, the great majority of Tibetans are followers of Buddha & believe that there are thousands of different gods.
(Slide 6) How about this idol? It is almost 9 feet tall, & they say that it is made of solid gold. They worship it as a “Thousand-armed goddess” involved in almost every aspect of human life.
(Slide 7) Day after day, year after year they bow down before idols & offer sacrifices – not because they love them, but because they fear them & are seeking to appease them. You see, they believe that every bad thing that happens in life happens because some god is angry & has sent evil demons down to punish them.
(Slide 8) But which god, & why? And how can you appease that god? Well, of course, you can offer sacrifices to one god after another until finally you hit the right one. Or you can go to the Lama priests & pay them to determine which god is angry & then to offer sacrifices & intercede on your behalf.
(Slide 9) Here are some Lama priests preparing to take part in the new year’s festival. For 3 days the people bring offerings & sacrifices to the Lama priests to do their “devil dances” to drive away the evil demons from their village.
(Slide 10) Finally, on the 3rd day, when the priests have collected all they can from the people, the high priest comes & does the “Stag Devil – King of Hell” victory dance, & he announces that they have successfully driven the evil demons away from their village for another year.
(Slide 11) But for these 2 Tibetan women, nothing seemed to help. No matter to which gods or how much they sacrificed, their troubles & the evil demons that they believed had caused them did not go away.
Finally, the priests told them that somehow they had so angered the gods that nothing they had done so far was sufficient to appease them. There was just one thing left to try, the priests said.