Sermons

Summary: There are many times in life when we feel alone and separated from God. The Scriptures, however, assure of of God’s constant presence and steadfast love.

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Psalm 22:1-5, 19-26 “Where Is God When We Need God?”

INTRODUCTION

One of the qualities of God with which humankind has always struggled is God’s hiddenness. God has certainly revealed himself in the person of Jesus Christ. God’s love, forgiveness, and God’s desire to have a relationship with us is clearly evident in the cross of Jesus Christ. Still, there are times when it is difficult to see God, to discern God’s presence and to witness God’s power.

· God remains hidden in the Iraq crisis. We have gathered together and prayed for peace, yet we continue to move toward war. We have a president who appears to be determined to enter in to war against the council of the United Nations and without the backing of our traditional allies. We have a dictator who is unwilling to comply with the requests of the nations of the world, and who seems intent on developing weapons of mass destruction. And we have thousands of religious fanatics who believe that it is God’s will that they kill and maim innocent people. Where is God?

· God remains hidden in our sluggish economy. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs. Millions have seen their retirement savings and incomes evaporate. Farmers fear a drought that will worsen and ponder whether or not it is worth planting a crop. Herds, which have taken decades to build up, have been sold. Where is God?

· At our own back door, Wayne State College faces a $2 million cutback. Jobs will be lost. Our lives and those of our neighbors will be affected. What do we say, when people who know we are Christians, defiantly ask, “Where is your God in all of this?”

FORSAKEN

This psalm begins with a cry of despair. The writer feels that he is alone; forsaken by his God and left to his destruction.

God is hidden in his life. All the writer see is himself, his suffering, and an unpleasant future. He has no hope and he despairs of life himself.

Though he believes that God has forsaken him, he does not forsake God. The writer continues to pray, but his prayers go unanswered. He wonders if God even hears his prayers, and if God does, then why doesn’t God answer him.

There are times when we have been able to identify with the writer of this psalm. It was the psalm that Jesus remembered (and perhaps recited) while he hung on the cross. He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” echoing the words of this psalm.

PAST HISTORY

The writer looks upon history. It brings him both comfort and further despair.

Throughout the history of Israel, God has been faithful. God has led them out of slavery in Egypt to life in the Promised Land. God delivered Israel from their adversaries. God stood by Israel even when the people of Israel were unfaithful to God.

The writer wonders why, if God has been so faithful to Israel and has answered their prayers, God isn’t faithful to him and answer his prayers.

The writer comes to the understanding that faith is new each day. Believing and trusting in God’s faithfulness and steadfastness can be strengthened from past experience, but it still must be believed during the present day.

GOD RESPONDS

By the end of the psalm, its tenor has changed. No longer is the psalmist groaning under a heavy burden, which he must bear alone. He no longer feels forsaken, or wonders why God does not answer his prayers.

God has moved. God has demonstrated God’s love, and power. God has answered the prayers of the psalmist.

The psalmist has discovered that God is like the cavalry in classic American westerns. They always arrived in the nick of time and so does God. God is never early, nor is God ever late. God is always right on time.

CONCLUSION

Where is God when we need God? God is right beside us, walking with us. Though we do not sense God’s presence and question God’s love, God never forsakes us. God will reveal himself at the appropriate time.

Amen

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