Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Is it not a true testimony that the “word of God is a living powerful”, and that “ all God’s promises are Yes and Amen?” Is not our God an awesome God? Who is like him? Who can guard like him? Who is so loving as he is? The whole bible is full of promises



Introduction, History- Many years ago, in Europe, there was a great plague that killed one third of the population. It was called the black plague. Tens of thousands were killed each and every month and the population was terrified by the thought of facing death in their families and homes, and no one knew who would be the next to die. Many Europeans who were able to go to a safer place did that. There was a man in England whose family left the country to go to a better place. They persuaded him to come then, otherwise he would be condemned to die by plague, they said. This man didn’t feel peace to leave like that and he asked them to give him a day to decide. He knew the situation. He knew that if he stayed he would possibly be on death roll. He knew that his decision would be the most important in his life. In a way, he had to decide whether to live or die. After a long time of prayer. He took his bible, and he read few verses as the Bible opened to him. Amazingly enough, the text he read was Psalm 91: “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand: but it shall not come near you.” He took these words by faith and he didn’t leave the country. He continued to minister to the dying around him, and he lived during the plague and after that.

Transition- Is it not a true testimony that the “word of God is a living powerful”, and that “ all God’s promises are Yes and Amen?” Is not our God an awesome God? Who is like him? Who can guard like him? Who is so loving as he is? The whole bible is full of promises that God will protect, will guard, will keep, will send his angels to encamp around those who fear the lord. How important is it to be sure that whatever is going to happen, you are under Gods protection? Human life is short and full of dangers; spiritual life is internal and much more jeopardized by spiritual evil powers. Who is your guard? The author of Psalm 121 demonstrate in a beautiful poetic passage that there is no better guard than God.

(Read Psalm 121 here)

Historical background- Three times a year, every Jewish man was required to attend the sacred worship at the temple in Jerusalem. Larger number of people from all over Palestine, in long caravans of pilgrims, leaving back their homes and places, made the tiresome trip up to Jerusalem. Over the mountain-range, with steep paths, ravines and gorges, the hiding places of wild beasts and robbers, the pilgrims moved toward Jerusalem, the sacred city where Yahweh dwells in his temple. It has been said that Psalm 121 along with the other 14 “Psalms of ascents” were sung in this way to Jerusalem; this particular Psalm was probably sung as an encouragement in this narrow and heavy path, in the expectance of getting close to Gods temple. What strong confidence In God’s protection does this Psalm reveal ?.

Need element- I’m sure you know that we have a long way to travel. We do not have to travel to Jerusalem to meet God there; God is ever present near us, even in our hearts. Our spiritual pilgrimage is directed toward heaven on a way opened by Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Many difficulties, trials, temptations, and dangers, are in our way, since Jesus never promised us to have a smooth path, but one with many troubles.

It may be that as you sit here today you are right now facing deep valleys in your life, difficult times, struggles, and temptations, and you see no solution in your needs. Maybe, as the man in this Psalm, you rise up your ears and look for help in different places. You would like to escape somewhere, you live in fear of your future, you are continuously troubled In your heart. Maybe you try and find someone to rely on, to give you help, to stay with you all the night long and give you protection and comfort. You need someone to guard your body and soul, to stand powerful between you and your enemies, to be able to protect you day and night.

My dear friend, I’ve got news for you today. There is no better Guard than God. Maybe you say; “How can it be/ God is there, in his heaven; I’m here with my struggles. He is too far from me. Maybe he doesn’t care about me. How can I be sure that what you say, or what the Psalmist say is true? Why is God the best guard for me? Listen to the holy spirit of God and he will reveal to you seven reasons by which you may know that, indeed, the best guard for you is God and in him you will find much blessing and comfort for your troubled heart.

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