Summary: Our Lord said, “Go into all the world & preach the good news to every creature.” What is that good news? I think it consists of two things that need to be proclaimed - that would really be “good news” to the world today. (PowerPoint Available - #288)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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TEXT: Psalm 74:20
A. The scripture passage that I want us to consider this morning is found in the 74th Psalm. It is a beautiful &, at the same time, a tragic psalm. In it the Psalmist is speaking to the people of Israel. And this morning I particularly want to call your attention to vs. 20.
He writes, & I’m quoting from the King James Version, “Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.”
Do you understand what he is saying? He is saying to his people, to the Jews, “Thank God for the covenant we have with Him. It makes us a special people, His people. We’re not like other nations. We’re God’s people. And as a result - as long as we serve God & obey Him - God will continue to shower His blessings upon us. So have respect for this covenant. Thank God for this covenant!”
Then he continues, “…for the dark places of the earth…” And by that he means the nations who don’t know God, people living in superstition & fear, bowing down to idols made by hand, people who fear their gods & worship the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the spirits. He says that those places, “…the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.”
B. Now if this were true back when the Psalmist wrote, I think it’s still true today. If he could say, “Thank God for the covenant,” how much more can we today say, “Thank God for Jesus Christ, for the new covenant, for the opportunity to know our Savior & our Lord, & to belong to Him!”
It is sad that the last part of that verse is also still true today. The dark places of the earth, where the people do not know the good news of Jesus Christ & God’s love, are still full of the habitations of cruelty.
C. Now most of you know that I spent the first few years of my life out on the border of China & Tibet. My parents were missionaries, & I remember a lot about that area, the roof of the world, the Himalayas.
For example, I remember the idols that the people worshiped. I’ve been in one pagoda, or temple, alone that had over 10,000 different idols, each one representing a different god: rooster gods, gods of the wind, gods of grain, gods of every imaginable sort.
ILL. I remember one idol – in fact, the picture of this idol has been in the National Geographic. It is an idol that is about 9 feet tall. It has 38 arms, supposedly to bring good things down from the heavens to the people who worship it. And they say that it is made out of solid gold.
I have a picture of another idol that is 3 stories tall, & each ear on that idol is bigger than I am.
Then there is another idol that I especially remember. It was made for a special festival somewhat like our new year’s. This idol weighed more than 3,000 lbs. And it was made out of butter - yak butter. Boy, what a popcorn party we could have had with that one!