Summary: This is the first in a series of message dealing with Letting God Be God in all areas of our lives. This offering is an attempt to show how we can allow God be God God when we experience the pain and perplexity of Death.
“In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried.”
On Saturday a week ago, I went to King’s Convenience Store across the way to procure some nutriment for my body, because I had become famished. And while I waited in line impatiently, a young man ahead of me was meticulously and methodically buying Lotto Tickets. I noticed that he already had selected a handful of tickets. It looked like he already had 30 in his hand. And while I waited in line to buy 2 link sandwiches, I witnesses him selecting 30 more Lotto Tickets.
Because a line was forming at the counter, a young man came to the other register, and I was spared the ordeal of waiting any longer for my links. And upon my departure, that young man was still purchasing even more Lotto Tickets.
And while I was crossing MLK returning to the church, it struck me that that young man is a classic example of the kind of person who will Not Let God Be God in their life. That young man is representative of that class of people who believe tenaciously in Luck, Chance, even Miss Cleo. He places his faith in some Blind Fate; some Lucky Pick of Numbers; some Random Pick of Ping-Pong Balls; a Toss of the Dice.
But what he and others like him fail to understand is the fact his belief is ignorance. Because those trivial occurrences in life which seems to have no meaning to us is but providence which arranges every so-called chance for purposes beyond our knowledge. Chance is providential coincidence which we cannot understand, and do not need to trouble ourselves about.
If chance is taken to mean the utter absence of all causal connections, then that is error; In Luke 10:32, our Savior says: “By chance a certain priest was going down that way.” By chance is not meant lack of cause, but the coincidence in an event of mutually independent series of causes. Therefore, the un-purposed meeting of two persons is spoken of as a chance one, when the movement of neither implies that of the other.
Not all chances are of equal importance. The casual meeting of a stranger in the street need not bring God’s providence before me, although I know that God arranges it. Yet I can conceive of that meeting as leading to religious conversation and to the stranger’s conversion. When we are prepared for them, we shall see many opportunities which are now as un-meaning to us as the gold in the river-beds was to the early Indians in California.
What I am laboring to impress upon our psyches at this point is that Chance is nothing but Providence.
And so, we need to Talk. I want to use the next Sundays’ preaching moments as a platform upon which to exhibit a Series of Messages entitled “LETTING GOD BE GOD.” The Text, upon which, I shall base my theological reasoning is NUMBERS 20:1-13.
But in this Introductory message today, I shall explore the Idea of “LETTING GOD BE GOD IN DEATH”
Based upon VERSE 1 OF NUMBERS CHAPTER 20.
The very premise to all these messages is the idea that ALL OF US, AT TIMES, MANIFEST A STUBBORN RESISTANCE TO AUTHORITY! AND ONE SUCH TIME IS THE DEATH OF A PROMINENT PERSON FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.
It was the renown and profound Preacher/Pastor, Gardner C. Taylor who reminds us that Life Is A Journey. We are Pilgrims, not Motorists who are out to see interesting sights. Along the way, we shall see many fantastic and startling things, but we are Pilgrims and we are on our way somewhere. Said the Lord Jesus, “They that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
Life Is A Road that Courses and Passes through the Years. It starts in the east with the dawn and fresh breezes of youth. How bright the path seems, how confident we are, what a spring and bounce there are in our steps! How happily we swing our arms and smile as we walk and skip along the road. The road passes thru the noonday -- how many of us have reached that point! The sun beats steadily upon us and we toil along and time passes quickly. LIFE IS A ROAD. On we go into the afternoon and “Our shadow begins to fall behind us.” That is a sure sign that the sun that in the morning was at our back is in the west and falling in front of us. On into the sunset, the twilight and then the way disappears from human view. We pass out of sight. LIFE IS A JOURNEY that ultimately ends at some point and place in time.