Summary: Remembering God's power, provision and presence.
GOD IS IN CONTROL
Years ago a military officer and his wife were aboard a ship that was caught in a raging ocean storm. Seeing the frantic look in her eyes, the man tried unsuccessfully to allay her fears. Suddenly she grasped his sleeve and cried, "How can you be so calm?" He stepped back a few feet and drew his sword. Pointing it at her heart, he said, "Are you afraid of this?" Without hesitation she answered, "Of course not!" "Why not?" he inquired. "Because it's in your hand, and you love me too much to hurt me." To this he replied, "I know the One who holds the winds and the waters in the hollow of His hand, and He will surely care for us!"
Today is Palm Sunday. If you were to ask me a few months ago if I would be standing in an empty church talking to people at home on Palm Sunday I would have thought you were crazy! The last few weeks have been crazy, and there does not yet seem to be any idea of what is coming next. We do not know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future.
Romans 8:31-39 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I want to remind us of three truths this morning;
1. God’s Power – (31) who can defeat us?
You hear a lot today about the devastating power of the corona virus. As you look online you see the number of people that the virus has killed. That number keeps increasing.
I just want to remind us all today that no matter how powerful you think the virus may be, God is more powerful, and God is in control. God is our defender.
In 2 Kings chapter 6 we read the story of Elisha. The king of Aram was wanting to attack Israel, but every time he tried the prophet Elisha knew what was happening and would warn the king of Israel. The king of Aram was so frustrated that he sent his army to Elisha’s town to find him and kill him.
2 Kings 6:15-18 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked. 16 Don't be afraid, the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 17 And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, "Strike these people with blindness." So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.
This is an amazing story. You wake up in the morning and you walk outside and see an army with horses and chariots are surrounding you ready to kill you. Would you start to panic? I know I would. Elisha just calmly says “don’t be afraid.” Elisha say the situation from God’s perspective.
We need to pray during times of crisis that God would open our eyes and remind us that he is in control, not the enemy. God has ultimate power. What I love about this story is not that God blinded the eyes of the enemy. The story continues;
2Ki 6:19-23 Elisha told them, "This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for." And he led them to Samaria. 20 After they entered the city, Elisha said, "LORD, open the eyes of these men so they can see." Then the LORD opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria. 21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, "Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?" 22 Do not kill them, he answered. "Would you kill men you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master." 23 So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel's territory.