Summary: When you think of God, who or what do you think of? This sermon encourages the hearers to take a fresh look at the God of all creation.
“Let’s Take a Look at God” Zeph. 3:17
INTRO – When you think of God, who or what do you think of? What is your favorite name for Him?
Tonight, I want us to take a look at God. Not that we have never done this before, but let’s just gaze upon Him one more time, and see if we see something new. If He is eternal, everlasting, almighty, and all the other “big” words we use to describe how awesome He is, then there must be some aspect of Him that we have never thought about before.
Some people have a hard time thinking of God as their Father b/c of a negative connotation that that term brings to them. Past experiences w/ their earthly father colors their understanding of their heavenly Father. To them, God seems
Even though they are Christians, they suffer from nagging doubt, mistrust, bouts of perfectionism, and an inability to feel forgiven.
Counselor David Seamands – even straight-A seminary students would say, “I don’t know if God cares about me; I’m not sure I know He exists. If He does, I’m not sure He’s concerned.” Even though these students could articulate theological concepts about God and receive good grades, they felt in their hearts that He was untrustworthy, mean, unforgiving, and uncaring. Many felt they were trying to please an unpleaseable God. They were on the “performance treadmill.”
600 yrs before Jesus came to show us God’s love in a tangible, “hands-on” way, the prophet Zeph. described G’s love for us in a beautiful way – Zeph. 3:17.
One person said that this verse was the “John 3:16” of the OT. It is worth examining closer to take another look at God.
I. A CONSTANT COMPANION – “The Lord your God is w/ you…”
A. Kenneth Copeland on TV last night – walking back up onto the platform and said something like this – “What’s that Lord? Oh yeah. I’ll be sure and tell them that. Don’t let me forget. Thanks for reminding me.”
1. Not sure how valid that was.
2. If it was valid, God is really w/ him!
B. Someone tell us about a time when you knew that God was w/ you.
C. What does it mean to that He is w/ us?
1. In the original language, “is w/ you” means “in the midst of.” He is not just by you, walking along as a companion. He is right in the midst of whatever you are in the midst of.
2. How does that make you feel?
a. Encouraged – “Ever present help in time of trouble”
b. Strong – “The Lord is my strength”
c. Convicted – Are you in the midst of things that you would not want the Lord your God to be in the midst of? (Pursuit of Holiness)
II. A HELPING HERO – “He is mighty to save…”
A. Heb. – connotation of “mighty to save” is that God is a victor, a hero who will help us.
1. NEB – calls Him “a warrior, to keep you safe.”
2. RSV – calls Him “a warrior who gives victory.”
B. God’s heart is to help those who are humble, who recognize their utter, desperate dependence on Him.
C. Dt. 10:18 – “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien.”
D. In a world where our kids’ greatest heroes are professional wrestlers, we need to know that our God is the ultimate helping hero.
III. WE ‘RE THE APPLE OF HIS EYE – “He will take great delight in you…”
A. KJV – “He will rejoice over thee w/ joy.”
B. The Almighty God derives great delight in our relationship w/ Him. But that is the biblical picture of the Father – unsurpassed joy over His people.
C. The Father’s rejoicing over us echoes throughout the entire Wod of God.
1. Lk. 15:7, 10
D. His heart beats w/ joy over those who come to Him in repentance. He loves to restore the joy of our love relationship w/ Him to us b/c it brings Him great joy, too.
1. Ps. 51:10-12
2. When God heard that cry from David’s heart, it had to cause His great heart to rejoice.
3. When He hears that cry from our hearts, it does the same thing.
IV. HE’S THE STRONG, QUIET TYPE – “He will quiet you w/ His love…”
A. Original language – “He will be silent in His love.” KJV – “He will rest in His love.”
B. Theologians have wrestled w/ this phrase:
1. B/c of His love, God will keep silent regarding His people’s sin;
2. The Lord’s love will be so strong and deep as to hush motion or speech;