Summary: God is a good God who loves to reward those who follow Him.

“Favor to the Faithful”

February 16, 2020

Psalm 113

The very first memories I have are walking down an old dirt road, up in Northern Minnesota, with my mom and big brother. We were walking a mile or so to go see my Aunt, Mom’s sister. My family of five lived in a one room tar paper shack. As I got older, I never knew or thought we were poor. I thought everyone lived in tar paper shacks that had no running water, electricity or indoor plumbing. It was only when I got into my teen years that I noticed my clothes were not as nice as others and I didn’t have what other kids had. And I began to become angry. Deep down I felt inferior, insecure, and had low self-esteem. I got into a lot of fights because I couldn’t take any put downs. When I enlisted in the Army it culminated in me hating life. I felt like life was not worth living and I and the world would be better off if I died. I felt like the world was a mature pile and I was cast off into that pile.

God somehow got to my heart. He pursued me until I found Him. I came to Him feeling low, worthless and ignorant. Then He began to build me up. He began to say things like,

“Everything is possible for one who believes." Mark 9:23

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

“If God be with us – who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

All of them built me up but the one that really touched my heart was this one,

“He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.” Psalm 113:7-8

The American Standard Version puts it, “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, And lifteth up the needy from the dunghill” Psalm 113:7

I related to that. I felt like I was cast out on that manure pile. And God promised to lift me up from that garbage pile; He promised to lift me from the dust – but that was only part of the promise. The other part was to give me a place with the princes of my people. The princes are the leaders; they are respected and honored. I have experienced that in my life. About that time God gave me another promises.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor;

no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”

Psalm 84:11

Through the years I have seen God keep His promises. He exceeds all expectations. He is good; He is generous; He is loving – treating us as a loving father treats his children. There are four things I want to share with you this morning that I have experienced with God.

First, He is a champion of the needy. Read the Psalm with me again.

“He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.” Psalm 113:7-8

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.” Proverbs 19:17

“Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.” Proverbs 28:7

“Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.” Proverbs 22:16

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

So if we want to be blessed by God we need to help the poor and needy – right? No. You can do all kinds of good things and help the poor and miss out on God’s blessing, Jesus says in Matthew 7:21. We need to help the poor AND remain pure and unpolluted by the world. Always understand that it is not your works that justifies you. In is the blood of Christ as we remain in a loving and holy relationship with Him. Having said that, I have found that God is a champion of the needy. We need to be as well.

Secondly, I have found that God gives life to the dead. Elisha did. He brought the widows dead son to life and then when he died some people were in a hurry and threw a dead guy in Elisha’s tomb and when he touched Elisha’s bones he came back to life. We see Jesus raising people to life, Lazarus being just one of many, and even when He died on the cross, dead saints came to life. Peter raised Dorcas, a dead godly saint, to life again. But the most amazing to me is to take a spiritually dead person, living with no hope, no future and give him life. Jesus said,

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