Summary: In tragedy we need a word from the "Great I AM"
The Sunday after Columbine I began my sermon with the question: “WHY?”
Today I want to respond to Tuesday’s tragedy with “What now?”
One of the things that I want to affirm today:
God was not ringing his hands over what happened on Tuesday.
He was not at a loss for words like were—He Has a WORD for us today.
He is still on His throne.
He is still the Great “I AM.”
The title, “I am,” is more than a name that God called himself. “I Am” speaks of the unsearchableness of God.
As much as the rubble in Manhattan may seem unsearchable, eventually every brick will be overturned. However, the God of the Bible (Not Ala) will never be known completely. Our finite minds just couldn’t handle it. “His ways are higher than our ways.”
Still, God does have a response to what has happened. It is vital that we know some things about Him because those things will bring us strength as we navigate the days ahead. When we wonder “what now” we need to remember “I AM”
God’s response to Humanity
Exodus 3:14, “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you.”
In His Authority we must go forward.
Isaiah 20:25, “In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill.”
John 4:13, “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:21, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.”
On every mountain, on every rooftop. Matthew 10:27, “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.”
We can allow this blanket of hate to hide our eyes from the Holy One or we can allow this blackness to become a piece of velvet that displays the diamond of God’s love more clearly.
It is up against the backdrop of hate that love is most distinct.
God’s response to Hostility
John 8:58, “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM.”
Hate for Christ (and for those who follow Christ) is not a new concept.
Matthew 10:22, “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
Luke 6:22. “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name because of the Son of Man.”
Folks, we are in good company!
John 15:18, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”
God’s response to Hysteria (Jesus walking on water)
Mark 6:50b, “Immediately He spoke to them and said, “Take courage it is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Greek reads, “Have courage I AM.”)
When we don’t know what to think God gives us wisdom.
When we are afraid, Jesus is with us and gives us the peace that passes all understanding.
When we feel alone we must remember that He never took his eye off of us.
God uses storms to reveal himself to us.
Our reaction as a “Christian nation” has been unity. (Our leaders of government singing on the steps of the Capital building “God Bless America”)
Our reaction as a Christian community has been unity. (Prayer meetings in every town and city.)
As hard as it is for us to understand, in the hands of God, even this tragedy can become a good thing.
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those that love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
This tragedy can make us a stronger as a nation.
It has already led many people to look to God again.
What Satan meant for evil God meant for good!
Jesus inspires courage by His presence.
A Spirit of Fear is not from God.
2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV), “For God hath not given us the spirit fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
There is a healthy kind of fear—stepping out of the way of a moving car—(that is a gift of God)
Henry Ward Beecher, “God planted fear in the soul as truly as he planted hope or courage. —It is a kind of bell or gong which rings the mind into quick life and avoidance on the approach of danger. —It is the soul’s signal for rallying.”