SermonReliance Upon God
An all-creatures Bible Message

Reliance Upon God
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
27 September 2020
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Exodus 17:8-16
Psalm 78:12-16
Matthew 21:23-32
 
Reliance upon God is trusting in Him to guide your life all the way to heaven.
 
Reliance upon God is not acting negatively or blaming God when things donít happen as we want them to, or they are not happening as quickly as we want them to, or doing things on our own that are not in the heavenly will of God.
 
However, reliance upon God is working with God according to His heavenly will to achieve the goal we seek, such as freeing all animals from human exploitation.
 
Letís begin our discussion about reliance upon God by looking at Exodus 17:8-16Ö
 
8. Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim.
 
Amalek was the son of Esau's son Eliphaz, and was presumably the eponymous ancestor of the Amalekites, according to Jewish history.
 
This happened shortly after the Israelites grumbled against Moses and the Lord because they were thirsty instead of praying to the Lord for water, but nevertheless God brought forth streams of water from the rock.
 
The Israelites were not relying upon God; they grumbled against Moses and the Lord, because they were angry with Him for not having water there waiting for them.
 
So we canít help but wonder if the Lord allowed this Amalek attack to happen because of the lack of faith and hardness of heart of the Israelites, and their non reliance upon God, for the vast majority of them sure donít seem to have learned very much from all the miracles the Lord had performed before their eyes.
 
9. So Moses said to Joshua, "Choose men for us, and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand."
 
Did Moses pray to God about this? Did God tell Moses to do this, or was he acting on his own?
 
We simply donít know, because the Bible doesnít tell us, but it is definitely something to think about when we face tough decisions, because we should always seek Godís guidance first.
 
10. And Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
 
Is this reliance upon God or mankind?
 
11. So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed.
 
Did God put Moses in this horrible position because he acted on his own, or was it to show the people that Moses was their leader and they needed to trust in him?
 
Again, we donít know because the Bible doesnít tell us, but it is definitely something to think about.
 
12. But Moses' hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.
 
We are not as strong as God, and like Moses, we need to rely upon teamwork to succeed.
 
We canít help but think about this in terms of the animal rights movement, where we lack uniformly and solidly working for a common goal such as freeing all animals from the exploitation of humans, and working together on every incremental step that brings us closer to that goal, and to add credibility to our efforts, we should also be vegan.
 
Another problem with the vegan/animal rights movement is that most of the activists involved donít have a reliance upon God, and often work at cross purposes with His heavenly will.
 
13. So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
 
Since God is a peacemaker, did He advocate this violence or did He just use it as a judgement against Amalek when the Israelites went after Amalek?
 
But based upon other Biblical records, the Lord could have fought the battle for them as He did with the Egyptians when they were trying to stop the Israelites from crossing the Red Sea.
 
14. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this in a book as a memorial, and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."
 
This battle doesnít seem to be the end of Amalek, because we are told that God will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek.
 
But his name and memory were not blotted out to this very day, for we see it here in the pages of our Bible.
 
So what did God mean when he said ďI will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven?Ē
 
And, biblical scholars believe the modern day Amalekites are the Iranians.
 
15. And Moses built an altar, and named it The LORD is My Banner;
 
16. and he said, "The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation."
NASB
 
Something doesnít make sense, at least from what we know about the heavenly will of God as peacemaker; we know that Israel had many encounters with the Amalekites because of their disobedience to God, but was it really God who fought against them?
 
Was this reliance upon God or mankind?
 
Letís continue our discussion by looking at Psalm 78:9-16Ö
 
9. The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows,
Yet they turned back in the day of battle.
 
This happens when we act on our own without reliance upon God.
 
10. They did not keep the covenant of God,
And refused to walk in His law;
 
Simply claiming to be Godly doesnít make it so, as is the case with many Christians and Jews today, for in order to be truly Godly, we need to live in the Lordís heavenly will.
 
11. And they forgot His deeds,
And His miracles that He had shown them.
 
This is exactly what happened to the Israelites in the wilderness, and unfortunately most Christians today, for they continue to live in the corrupt and evil ways of this world.
 
12. He wrought wonders before their fathers,
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
 
13. He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through;
And He made the waters stand up like a heap.
 
And even with all of this, most of them didnít have any reliance upon God.
 
14. Then He led them with the cloud by day,
And all the night with a light of fire.
 
Even if some people donít believe that these events actually happened as the Bible tells us, how can people claim to be Christian and not follow the teaching of Jesus?
 
And this is the problem we face today, and why we believe the world is so full of violence and corruption.
 
15. He split the rocks in the wilderness,
And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths.
 
16. He brought forth streams also from the rock,
And caused waters to run down like rivers.
NASB
 
And even if some people donít believe these events happened, we believe that we should listen to the lesson that they teach and have reliance upon God.
 
Letís close todayís discussion by looking at Matthew 21:23-32Ö
 
23. And when He had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him as He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?"
 
The temple leaders seemed to know that what Jesus was teaching was from God, but they were the ones who were supposed to be teaching those precepts but were not.
 
So instead of being convicted in their hearts and souls to teach these things, they tried to protect their jobs by trying to make the people think that Jesus was wrong.
 
There are people who are just like these temple leaders with us today, and like the temple leaders these self-serving religious leaders are living in the corrupt ways of this world, and saying that this is the way God wants us to live; beware of such people for they can lead us astray if we follow them and not the heavenly will of God that Jesus taught us to live by.
 
24. And Jesus answered and said to them, "I will ask you one thing too, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things.
 
Jesus saw their evil intent and wanted everyone else to see it too.
 
25. "The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?" And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?'
 
Jesus has them in a position where they cannot tell the truth without admitting their own ungodliness.
 
26. "But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the multitude; for they all hold John to be a prophet."
 
We are to serve God and not man, and those temple leaders knew that, which is the reason they feared the multitude.
 
27. And answering Jesus, they said, "We do not know." He also said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. 
 
Jesus knew that a lot of the people understood that His teachings were from God.
 
28. "But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.'
 
Jesus responds further by telling them a parable.
 
29. "And he answered and said, 'I will, sir'; and he did not go.
 
These kinds of people are passive resistant, and Jesus teaches us they are among those who end up in hell.
 
30. "And he came to the second and said the same thing. But he answered and said, 'I will not'; yet he afterward regretted it and went.
 
These kinds of people have a conscience (they hear the unction of the Holy Spirit, and repent, and do what is right in the sight of God.
 
31. "Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The latter." Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you that the tax-gatherers and harlots will get into the kingdom of God before you.
 
The religious leaders knew the truth but didnít do the Godly things; they fought against the truth to preserve their perverse way of life; they had little or no reliance upon God.
 
32. "For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax-gatherers and harlots did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him. 
NASB
 
We are not to be like these religious leaders; we are to be the peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will and do everything in their power to help free creation from its present corruption.
 
We should always have our reliance upon God.
 
Amen?
 
Amen.

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