Summary: God is sovereign!
I feel this morning somewhat like the numerous TV reporters covering events in the Middle East, who have to stay alert to a variety of events beyond their control while trying to focus on the story they are reporting. Off-balance is probably a good description.
Being off-balance also describes us. We don’t have to be standing the desert with missiles dropping around us and scrambling to get chemical protection suits on to feel off-balance. And we feel off-balance not just because of events in the Middle East, but because of employment issues, health issues, family issues, and a host of other issues that have kept us on the move, and sometimes it seems, on the defensive. We have alternated between a quiet hope and a deep uncertainty. But, I also believe that we have had and continue to have moments when the presence and peace of God has been real to each one of us.
My main point this morning is a simple one - God is sovereign! Now what does that mean? For something or someone to be sovereign is to be “supreme in power or authority!” So what I am saying in total this morning is that God is the supreme authority! And we can take comfort and strength in that fact.
But, what do I say this morning? My desire and my intention is to say what God would have me say because I believe that we need to focus on God this morning even though world events and personal issues impinge upon us.
So my sermon this morning are not my words, but those of scripture. They are from the Psalms because I know that the words of the Psalms provide us with comfort and strength during difficult and challenging times. The Psalms also give us words to our emotions that we sometime do not know how to adequately express.
Let us hear the word of God this morning as a reminder of the fact that this is our father’s world! I am going to read the following Psalms: 2, 14, 23, 27, 37, 42, 91, 121, and 150. As you hear them read I challenge you to reflect upon God’s sovereignty that is expressed in them. Following the reading of scripture, we shall spend extended time in personal and corporate prayer this morning. No one will be asked to pray aloud unless you feel led to. And we will be praying for some specific groups of people today that I will name in a few moments. Now, let us hear the word of the Lord.
Why do the nations rage?
Why do the people waste their time with futile plans?
2 The kings of the earth prepare for battle;
the rulers plot together
against the LORD
and against his anointed one.
3 “Let us break their chains,” they cry,
“and free ourselves from this slavery.”
4 But the one who rules in heaven laughs.
The LORD scoffs at them.
5 Then in anger he rebukes them,
terrifying them with his fierce fury.
6 For the LORD declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne
in Jerusalem, my holy city.”
7 The king proclaims the LORD’s decree:
“The LORD said to me, ‘You are my son.
Today I have become your Father.
8 Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,
the ends of the earth as your possession.
9 You will break them with an iron rod
and smash them like clay pots.’”
10 Now then, you kings, act wisely!
Be warned, you rulers of the earth!
11 Serve the LORD with reverent fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry,
and you will be destroyed in the midst of your pursuits—
for his anger can flare up in an instant.
But what joy for all who find protection in him!
Only fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
no one does good!
2 The LORD looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if there is even one with real understanding,
one who seeks for God.
3 But no, all have turned away from God;
all have become corrupt.
No one does good,
not even one!
4 Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread;
they wouldn’t think of praying to the LORD.
5 Terror will grip them,
for God is with those who obey him.
6 The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed,
but the LORD will protect his people.
7 Oh, that salvation would come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel!
For when the LORD restores his people,
Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.