Summary: God takes bruised and bleeding people and restores them to health and wholeness.
“By the Hem of His Robe”
“This is what the LORD Almighty says: "In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'" Zechariah 8:23 NIV
Intro: Zechariah was a prophet of Israel about 500 years before Christ. He was born in Babylon as a slave. He was a member of the family of High Priests. His family returned to the land of Judah under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua. (Zechariah genealogy, see Nehemiah 12:4.)
In Zechariah’s time all that was left of the nation of Israel was a small remnant of the past Jews. After 70 years in Babylon, during the first year of his reign, Cyrus King of Persia released the Israelites to return and to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem in hope that the Messiah would come.
But when they returned to their homeland they were met by foreign people practicing a mixture of religions. They were met with hostility. They were judged and condemned by the Samaritans. They were mocked and ridiculed as a people who had lost everything: Imagine having everything about who you are ripped away from you. Their home, their city, their self-value, even their identity as a people of God, their Temple, the Ark of the Covenant. A people abandoned and forsaken by their God. A faithless people whose God allowed them to be exiled into forced captivity and servitude. Others joked about their God as either too weak or too uncaring to liberate the nation before it crumbled into utter annihilation.
We all have our vicissitudes in life: A negative change in circumstances. An unwelcome reversal. A downward shift of events. Instabilities, and uncertainties. Whether they are in our relationships, our finances, our business, our family, our emotions or our physical health or our spiritual soul. We live with ups and downs, twists and turns in life. We can be going along just fine. Then something happens and we are faced with an illness, a job loss, death, a disaster, a betrayal. Maybe things get better for a little while but then in reoccurs again. Some are short term or temporary. Others last for months or years or even through generations in our family history.
Today’s sermon is about a God who can take a bruised, wounded, bleeding and broken group of people and restore them back to health and wholeness again.
What are some of the things you are hoping for? What areas in your life do you want to see changed? What things have you been praying about? Problems you have been trusting in God to turn around. Defeat, and discouragement, disaster, and turmoil, storms and trial. That is not your final destiny. That is not the last chapter in your book. Keep believing, keep expecting, keep honoring God and God will change your circumstances. “You would not be here today if you did not already believe it.” Let me repeat that. “You would not be here today if you did not already believe it.”
Your faith has brought you out into this crowd. Your faith caused you to come here. You know that Jesus is in this place. You came here today hoping and expecting to meet Jesus in a song, to see Jesus on a face, to hear Jesus in a message, to feel Jesus in a prayer, to experience Jesus in worship. You believe it. You have faith in it. You came here, now claim it.
Faith is speaking words and taking actions that activate God’s power. Let the word of God take root in your spirit. Let the word of God grow in your heart.
The devil may try to talk you out of it. But your job is to believe and have faith. Then to act on that faith. Your struggle has to go. Your problem has to go. Your sickness has to go. Your troubles have to go. Your sadness must go. A new sense of joy is coming. You just have to know that God wants it for you.
This is what the lady in Luke’s Gospel chapter 8:43 did. The experts said she’d never get well. God wanted for her a better life than what she had been living. Her condition was so that she could not be with a husband. She could not hold a child or ever hug another person. She spent all her money on doctors without results. She could not go to the temple to pay. She had to cover her head when on the street to hide her identity. But she knew that God wanted her to get healthy and get well. She heard Jesus was coming to town. Something inside you this morning said get up out of bed and go to church. Turn to somebody beside you and just say, “Something inside me this morning said get up out of bed and go to church.” Even though she was weak from losing blood, She moved thru the crowd to get to Jesus. If I can touch Him I know I will be healed. Healing is coming. Favor is coming. Blessings are coming. Joy is coming. Let me tell you God wants good for you.