Summary: Liberty To Remember
380 years have passed since Africans came on slave-ships to America and her plantations. 140 years have passed since Abraham Lincoln passed his Emancipation Proclamation making Negro slaves African Americans thus citizens of the United States. 49 years has passed since Rosa Parks’s refusal to stand triggered an 11-year war against racial prejudice, known to many as the Civil Rights Movements. 40 years has passed since a dreamer declared that he had a dream of justice and equality.
These dates are milestones in the portion of American history classified as African American history. But what is a heritage, unless it is used to educate the following generations? What is a past, unless it used to prevent the next generation from making the same mistakes? What is a culture, unless it taught to the children and instilled into their very being?
That is the importance of the text. The psalmist is reminding the people of their past. Israel had been in and out of slavery their whole lives. They had experienced many hardships, mess-ups and mishaps, had many troubles, trials and tribulations.
1. The First thing we see is a location. Verse 10 implies the fact of becoming too comfortable in sin. Yes, too many times do we become comfortable in sin? Like when you know that God has called you to do something but you run in the opposite direction. Come here, Jonah. Jonah was called to preach at Nineveh, but he didn’t want to go. No, he said that those folks down there is hard-headed and hard-hearted, and they don’t want to hear me. Those folks will kill me. So he decided to run to Tarsish. He got so comfortable that he went down in the bottom of the boat and went to sleep in the midst of the storm. But he had to pay for his mistakes.
A man tells a story of how Satan tempted him to leave his wife and two children. He wais all he could see was pleasure after pleasure. Several years have passed. He has remarried and so has his wife. He went to his pastor and said,’ Preacher, the day I decided to walk out and leave my wife and kids, I had no idea what a price I had to pay. If I could do it all over again, knowing what I know now, it would have been no temptation at all. But then I was blinded by sin.
If many of us knew what it would cost then we would have done better. And since many of us have taken the wrong route we must remember our sins as well as their consequences that we don’t fall for the same things.
Not only must we remember what we did and the consequences of those things but also we must remember -
2. God’s Delivering power. God brought us out of darkness into the marvelous light. But why?
Verse 13 says that Then they cried unto the Lord…” They called on God in the right way.
There are 5 conditions for effective prayer.
1. We must have a contrite spirit. 2 Chronicles 7:14 declares: If my people which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land. And Isaiah concurs and say in the 58th chapter and the 9th verse: Then shall thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I Am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out of thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water fail not.
2. We must pray whole-heartedly. Jeremiah says it this way, in the 29th chapter about verse 13: And ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
3. Successful prayer requires faith. Matthew 11:24 says this: Therefore I say to you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and receive them, and ye shall have them.
4. We must live right. James said in this way, he says this in 5:16: Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
5. We must finally pray and obey. John in his first epistle spoke of this in the 3rd chapter around verse 22 saying: And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are; pleasing in his sight.