When God We Trust
“Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” Genesis 25:23
Intro: These verses of scripture…, teach us about the birth and beginning of the Nation of Israel.
We need to understand that the word “Israel” has very specific and separate, distinct meanings in the bible.
Israel-which we get from the Greek, is originally in the Hebrew, “Yisrael.”
Yisrael means, literally, “He who strived with God.”
Or to break it down exegetically:
“Yi” in Hebrew is the masculine form “he.”
“Sra” in the Hebrew means “to strive or wrestle.”
The word “El” in Hebrew is a form of the word for God.
When you see “el” in any Hebrew name, it is a form of the word for God.
See other names such as Ishmael (God has heard.)
Michael (Who is like God.)
And Daniel (My judge is God.)
So Yisrael Old Testament Hebrew or Israel New Testament Greek means: “He who strived or wrestled with God.”
To better understand the meaning of the word Israel we need to turn to Genesis chapter 32:28 (hold that place in your bibles.)
As you remember Jacob and Esau are twin brothers.
Esau was first born…, Esau was the heir of his father Isaac’s birthright…, fortune and wealth.
Esau was the beneficiary of his grandfather Abraham’s spiritual Covenant with God.
A birthright was a special honor given to the firstborn son.
The oldest son could sell his birthright…, the oldest son could give his birthright away is he chose. But in doing so he would lose his both material property and his leadership position as head of the family.
Esau by trading his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup…his place of honor.
(Think more about honor your father and mother…, keep the morals they taught, honor the standards we grow up with, and how we trade these things in for temporary pleasures and things of the world.)
Esau showed complete disregard for the spiritual blessings that would have come his way had he kept it.
Esau traded the lasting benefits of his birthright for the immediate pleasure of food.
As a result the bible says in Genesis 27:41 “Esau hated Jacob.”
This hatred went on for many years…
Until finally one day Jacob said that he would go to his brother Esau.
Jacob would humble himself before his brother Esau
and say to him, “I have been living with Uncle Laban until recently.
I have grown up, I now own oxen, donkeys, sheep, goats, and have many servants.
I am coming to you…, hoping that we can make-up and be family once again…
But Jacob’s messenger returned with the news that Esau was on his way to meet Jacob—with an army of four hundred men!
Isn’t that just like you or someone in your family?
1. You try to make-up
2. You try to ask for forgiveness.
3. You try to humble yourself
But they won’t accept it…, plus it just seems to make things worse, because now you have an army after you!
Jacob was terrified at the news.
Jacob divided his household into two camps.
Jacob divided his flocks and herds and camels into two camps.
Jacob thought, “If Esau attacks one group…, perhaps the other group can escape.”
Then Jacob went out to meet Esau…, alone.
That night Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac—O Lord, you told me to return to my land and to my relatives and you promised to treat me kindly.
I am not worthy of all the faithfulness and unfailing love you have shown to me.
When I left home I owned nothing, and now you have blessed me with enough to fill two camps!
O Lord, please rescue me from my brother Esau.
I am afraid that he is coming to kill me, along with my servant and my family and my children.
During the night Jacob was alone in the camp.
Think about times in your life when you did not know what was going to happen tomorrow. You did not know what tomorrow would hold and you worried about the future. You felt all alone.
In my life…, “alone” has often been the prelude to God answering my prayer.
Because during my alone time with God is when I truly wrestle with my faith and discover God is with me.
And the bible says Genesis 33:24 “a man came into the camp and all night Jacob wrestled with this stranger in the camp…, all through the night Jacob and this man wrestled until dawn.
When the man saw that he could not win the match.
He struck Jacob’s hip and knocked it out of joint as the socket.
Then the man said, “Let me go for it is dawn.”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
And the visitor asked, “What is your name?”
And he replied, “my name is Jacob.”
Now open up your bible to Genesis 32:28 that I told you to hold with thumb.
And the man told him, “Your name will no longer be called Jacob.”
Your name is now “Israel” because you have strived with both God and men and had won.
(1) Therefore, we can definitely say that the first meaning of the word Israel in the bible was the name of the man Jacob.
(2) Second we know that Jacob whose name is now Israel became the father of twelve sons—which is why we hear the phrase, “twelve Children of Israel.”
(3) Third the bible talks about Israel being a Nation. Even a Nation among the company of nations with Kings among the descendants.”
(4) Finally we have in the bible Israel the Nation of God or Israel the Assembly of Believers.
Which Jesus was dying on the cross in Matthew 27:42
The religious scribes and elders and chief priest were looking for the earthly King of Israel instead of the spiritual King of the Spiritual Kingdom of God.
Christ identified us as the chosen or the Christians as the Church as the spiritual kingdom or nation of God.
They mocking Jesus said… “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” Matthew 27:42 (KJV)
But Jesus chose not to come down off the cross…
But rather chose to die on the cross…, as a sacrifice…, as a sin offering…,
So that those who believe of the Lord Jesus Christ become
“Ekklesia” or church or assembly of all believers…
Nation of believers…, Israel the Kingdom that is not of this world.
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36 (KJV)
Israel or “chosen race” is not based on ethnicity, nationality, nor gender, BUT on faith in Jesus Christ. Chosen race does not mean that God deliberately excludes some people in favor of others.
For example John 3:16 “For God so loved the “Jews” that he gave his only begotten Son that…
NO…, No…, It says “For God so loved the “World” that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Think about how God sent Jesus for the whole world. This includes you…, not just the Jews.
Therefore you and I are included as God’s chosen nation.
So now we have all these different meanings of Israel in the bible.
But no matter which Israel the bible is talking about…, What God asked for was that Israel would love Him, that Israel would obey Him, and that Israel would serve Him.
But what did Israel do?
Time and time again we read in the bible that Israel denied the Lord, Israel defied the law of God, Israel defiled the land that God had given them as a great Nation.
Today the parallel and similarity between Israel and America is both obvious and alarming.
No two nations have ever had a Christian beginning like Israel and the United States of America.
We too have been given the Lord.
When our Founding Fathers formed The Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776
They acknowledged God as our Creator
And that we are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
The Signers of the Declaration of Independence wrote the words, “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.
Even a school child can see, that they were saying they put their trust in God to help them accomplish what they believed to be the will of God.
Only 87 years later…, on November 19, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln stood before a crowd of 15,000 people to dedicate the National Cemetery at Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
In his “Gettysburg Address” Lincoln said: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”
Today we are still “testing whether or not this nation can long endure.”
When the Nation was in the most deadly war America has ever been involved in, Christians emerged during the Civil War and “In God We Trust” was stamped on coins by the Treasury of the United States.
In 1956 and Act of Congress made “in God we trust” the national motto.
Turn to somebody and say “He is about to tell us what the WORD says.”
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34
One of the greatest mistakes you can make in spiritual warfare is to wait to train for the battle in the midst of the battle. The time to train for battle is before the battle ever begins.
The first church I pastured was Bradfordsville UMC. I remember being brought into the sanctuary
And being showed the ceiling where the roof was leaking. The carpet was molded and the floor was soft. They said, “Yep, we got to it just in time.”
I said, it did not look to me like they got to it just in time, the damage was already done.
How many times in life do we live in the “repair” mode?
Always in the repair mode instead of the “prepared” mode.
Thank God for the times we can live in the prepared mode.
When I am living in the prepared mode: (1) It does not matter whether I live or die. If they find me dead in the morning you can say he died prepared. Thank God for the times we can live in the prepared mode. (2) When I am prepared to receive a BLESSING…, but instead if I get a CURSING I can say, “just calm down” because I am a prepared Christian.
Behind me are two flags.
One is the Christian flag. The other is the Flag of the United States of America.
In 1963, Madelyn Murray O’Hare won a lawsuit against the Baltimore School System which resulted in a ban on school prayer and labeled it “unconstitutional.”
Did you know over twenty states allow students to sign a statement of objection to saying the pledge to the American Flag?
I pledge Allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands,
One nation, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
Trust in God is slowly and steadily being removed from every public place.
It started in the public schools, and churches did nothing.
It has spread to court houses, our coins, our pledge of allegiance, graduation, and sports events.
We living in a time where Merry Christmas is reduced to “Happy Holiday.”
It is no longer just about separation of church and state,
But rather it has become the separation of America from God.
If America is to Trust in God as a Nation, it must start with us.
I believe it must begin in places like Whitley County
And in churches like Williamsburg / Pleasant View
And in people life you and me.
In the bible when Israel turned away from.
Let’s just sit and think about that for a moment.
In the bible when the nation of Israel obeyed God and followed God’s will
The nation of Israel, the children of Jacob, the people of God prospered…
But in the bible when the nation of Israel disobeyed God…
When they strayed from His Covenant…, when they did not follow His will…, the Nation of Israel suffered.
I say again, there is a parallel between the nation of Israel in the bible and the nation of America today.
Can I trust God even when my life gets stormy?
Can I trust God even when things go unexpectedly wrong?
Can I trust God even when my situation is so discouraging that I see no way out?
Can I trust God when the doctor says I’ve got some bad news?
Can I trust God when the company says “layoffs” or you are fired?
Can I trust God when the bank says repossession or foreclosure?
Can I trust God when the son or daughter says, “Mommy or daddy I hate you.”
Will I trust God when things seem hopeless?
Will I trust God when I want to hear yes…, but the only answer I get is no.
When will I trust God?
Will I trust God?
There is story about a parakeet named Chippie who had a very bad day.
It began when the bird’s owner decided to clean his cage with a vacuum cleaner.
She was almost finished when the phone rang, so she turned around and answered it.
Before she knew it, Chippie was gone.
In a panic she ripped open the vacuum bag.
There was Chippie, covered in dirt and gasping for air.
She carried him to the bathroom and rinsed him off under the faucet.
Then realizing that Chippie was cold and wet she reached for the hair dryer!
Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.
His owner was asked a few days later how he was doing
“Well” she replied, “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore. He just stares.”
Have you ever felt like that?
One minute you are whistling through life…, the next minute you are caught up in a whirlwind of wrestling and struggles.
When life unexpectedly grab you and pulls you into its vacuum…, and just when you think you are about to recover from one trouble another whirlwind of adversity and hardship throws down.
Don’t be like Chippie the parakeet. Don’t let the song go out of your life.
In 1922 Helen Lemmel, the daughter of a Methodist preacher wrote
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Closing: But how do we turn our eyes upon Jesus?
The Psalmist David…, the veteran warrior of God knew it was Trust in God.
“When the wicked even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.” Psalm 27:2
When God We Trust…
It becomes possible when we focus on who God is, how great God is, and what God means to us.
When God We Trust
He is our light…, He is our salvation. We are no longer living in the darkness of sin. No enemy can take God’s salvation from us!
When God We Trust
“Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.” Psalm 27:3
I am confident that “When God We Trust” there is still hope for the nation called America…, but our hope lies in the words God We Trust.