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SermonTrusting God Unconditionally Even Unto Death
An all-creatures Bible Message

Trusting God Unconditionally Even Unto Death
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
26 October 2014
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Deuteronomy 34:1–12
Psalm 90:1–17
1 Thessalonians 2:1–12

Trusting God unconditionally even unto death is not something we should consider only when we face death; it is an attitude, as a way of being that we should be living as peacemaking children of God.
 
If we are truly trusting God unconditionally in His heavenly will, it should not matter whether we live or die as long as we are doing what God desires us to do; this is all an integral part of our trust relationship with God.
 
In Deuteronomy 34:1-12, we are given an account of the end of Moses’ life, but more than this, it is a story about trusting God unconditionally even unto death.

1. Now Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan,
 
2. and all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah as far as the western sea,
 
3. and the Negev and the plain in the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar.

It is virtually impossible to see all of this with the naked eye, so Moses must have been seeing all of this through the eyes of God.
 
Moses was used to God calling him up to the mountain top, but this time it was to be different.

4. Then the LORD said to him, "This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your descendants'; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there."

What is Moses going to do?
 
Will he trust God or will he try to argue with God about His decision?
 
Moses didn’t say anything, for he was one who had been trusting God unconditionally even unto death for most of his adult life.

5. So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.

Are we willing to live this way?
 
This is all part of what it means to live in the heavenly will of God as His children.

6. And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day.
 
7. Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated.

Can you imagine yourself climbing up a mountain when you are 120 years old?
 
If God so willed it, we could.
 
But just as we would accept this challenge to climb a mountain, so should we be willing to die if the Lord so chooses, even if we are still in excellent health.
 
The Buddhists teach that we should not even humanely put another living being to death, but here we see that God chooses to cause a healthy individual to die.
 
It is very important for us to remember this.
 
We also have many people ask us if it is okay to euthanize a sick and perhaps dying companion animal so that they won’t suffer any longer, and we always tell them that it is a proper thing to do, for we do it in love, which is part of our caring for the whole of creation, just as God told us to do.
 
This is the only acceptable way of causing another living being to die, for there is nothing loving or compassionate about causing another living being to suffer or die for our greed, lust, food or clothing.
 
With this in mind, let’s return to our Deuteronomy passage.

8. So the sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.
 
9. Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses.
 
10. Since then no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,
 
11. for all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and all his land,
 
12. and for all the mighty power and for all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.
NASB

We may want to perform the same kinds of mighty deeds that Moses did, but as we are told, God has not given that power to anyone else.
 
Thus, we have to face the fact that we are to be trusting God unconditionally, even with doing the smaller things we can do under the power that God has given us, even when it comes to ending the horrible  pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death that is so prevalent in the world around us.
 
Sometime before the time of his death, Moses composed his thoughts into a prayer which has been passed on to us today.
 
With these thoughts in mind, let’s look at Psalm 90:1-17 together.

1. A Prayer of Moses the man of God.
Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
 
2. Before the mountains were born,
Or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.

We hope we all see this kind of majesty in God, and that we exist because He lovingly created us; not as things, but as living beings who can think and act, hopefully in the heavenly will of God.

3. Thou dost turn man back into dust,
And dost say, "Return, O children of men."
 
4. For a thousand years in Thy sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night.

Consider this in terms of our concern for the horrible corruption of creation and the suffering of animals, and in terms of our question, “How long, O Lord, will you allow this suffering to continue without stopping it?”
 
We look at it in terms of how long we’ve been trying to end the suffering of animals and the corruption of creation, which seems to go on and on with no sign of ending, and we forget that even our whole lifetime is less than two hours of God’s time.
 
We all too often forget that God commanded us peacemaking children of God to free creation from its present corruption.
 
As the human race, we’ve been doing a lousy job, with more people furthering the corruption of the earth rather than freeing it from corruption.
 
God knows those of us who are trying to free creation as the peacemaking children of God He called us to be.
 
He also knows who the people are who continue to corrupt and exploit this earth and the living beings who live upon it.

5. Thou hast swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep;
In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.
 
6. In the morning it flourishes, and sprouts anew;
Toward evening it fades, and withers away.
 
7. For we have been consumed by Thine anger,
And by Thy wrath we have been dismayed.

This is all part of God’s righteous judgement, which we should understand if we are trusting God unconditionally.

8. Thou hast placed our iniquities before Thee,
Our secret sins in the light of Thy presence.
 
9. For all our days have declined in Thy fury;
We have finished our years like a sigh.

God brings death upon the unrighteous, even if He allows them to live to an old age, and sometimes He causes a righteous person to die for Him, as He did with Moses.

10. As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.

But at the same time, God allowed Moses to live to the ripe old age of 120 years.

11. Who understands the power of Thine anger,
And Thy fury, according to the fear that is due Thee?
 
12.  So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.
 
13. Do return, O LORD; how long will it be?
And be sorry for Thy servants.

Thousands of years ago Moses prayed for the same things that we pray for today, and this is our personal prayer for every day.
 
Please Lord, return and end the suffering once and for all time.

14. O satisfy us in the morning with Thy lovingkindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
 
15. Make us glad according to the days Thou hast afflicted us,
And the years we have seen evil.

But even for those who have truly repented, they still are filled with emotional suffering because of all the evil things they see and know about that are going on in the world continually.

16. Let Thy work appear to Thy servants,
And Thy majesty to their children.
 
17. And let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And do confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
NASB

If we are trusting God unconditionally, we should be satisfied in not having God confirm these things, but most of us are not fully sure that we are always doing things the way God wants us to, because we are not seeing the confirmation or the successes of what we are doing.
 
This is most noticeable when it comes to ending the horrible suffering of the animals and freeing creation from its present corruption.
 
In 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Paul writes about the successes he sees through his trusting God unconditionally.

1. For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain,
 
2. but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition.

This is all part of trusting God unconditionally even unto death.

3. For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit;
 
4. but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts.

God sees the true intent of everyone’s heart and soul; we cannot deceive Him.

5. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed — God is witness — 
 
6. nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority.

Part of trusting God unconditionally is being humble about everything we do, for this is the way of all true children of God.

7. But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.
 
8. Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
 
9. For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
 
10. You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;
 
11. just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children,
 
12. so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
NASB

Paul is encouraging the people that they should also be trusting God unconditionally and living in the heavenly will of God.
 
This is the only way we can help free creation from its present corruption and bring true peace to the world for every living being, whether they are humans or other animals.
 
We can do this if we want to.
 
Amen?
 
Amen.

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