Summary: Is your life heavy with burdens? Look up! See a vision of God. He has a plan.

February 8, 2003

A. Introduction:

1) Cartoonist’s perspective on life

a) A man chained to the wall inside a 4 by 8 feet prison cell

b) Behind the man are two guards with guns, guarding the man 24 hours a day.

c) Inside the cell, there is a small window, with vertical bars to prevent anyone from escaping through the window.

d) Outside the window, there is a river. Along the rivers are several crocodiles swimming back and forth.

e) On the other side of the river, there is a high wall. The top of the wall is lined with barbed wire.

f) On both sides of the wall, there is a guard post. You can see two guards manning a machine gun, ready to shoot at anyone who will attempt to escape.

g) In the cartoon, there is a small caption. The caption reads: “I have a plan.”

B. Body:

1) How is life treating you?

a) Is your life treating you unjustly and unfairly?

1. “I am faithful to God, but still I am suffering. Others who are less faithful to God are gaining success.”

2. “I’ve been praying for healing, but still I am sick.”

3. “I’ve tried to do my best for my children, but they don’t want to heed to my counsels.”

b) Is your life full of challenges?

1. “Envy of other people because you want to be faithful to God.”

2. “People spreading rumors against you.”

3. “Friends deserting you because of your beliefs.”

c) Is your life full of burdens?

1. Burdens with health

2. Burdens within the family

3. Problems at the workplace

4. Problems at school

5. Financial difficulties

d) Consequently, have you lost your enthusiasm for life? Because of your difficulties, you have decided to give up on life.

2) The answer: “I have a plan.”

3) Full answer: God has a plan

4) What is this plan?

a) Vision of Himself

1. Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

2. Proverbs 29:18 (ASV) “Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint; But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

3. Proverbs 29:18 (RSV) “Where there is no prophecy the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.”

b) Vision of His plans

5) Vision of God throughout the history of God’s people

a) At the Fall

1. As the pair was driven out from the Garden of Eden, it was a devastating experience.

2. As they saw the wages of sin in the death of the trees and animals, it was a heart-wrenching experience.

3. As they walked out of the gate of the garden and heard the clanging of bars, only despair filled their hearts.

4. As they saw the angels guarding the gate, they could only cry in agony.

5. Vision of God

a. Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

b. Vision of the Great Controversy

c. Vision of victory

d. God’s people will triumph

e. The Garden that Adam and Eve have lost, will be regained again.

f. The Deceiver, or the Devil, will be destroyed.

b) At the Flood

1. Genesis 6:11-14, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.”

2. Widespread wickedness

3. Destruction of all mankind

4. Vision of the remnant

a. God will keep a remnant for Himself

b. God will keep a faithful for Himself

c. Noah and his sons will replenish the earth

c) Isaiah’s Vision of God

1. Isaiah 6:1-4, “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.”

2. Widespread apostasy was the menu of everyday life in Judah.

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