Sermon- The Pocket Sermon

July 2012

There is part of us would like the solution quickly. We can grasp the awful consequences of losing the Garden, but certainly God could give us a solution within a generation or two. Okay, maybe Cain was bad news, but how about Seth? He wasn’t a bad guy, let him apologize and fix it. Well, it didn’t happen. The good thing about knowing that the solution is available, and that all the important parts were written about, is that we can look back and see the solution in perfect retrospect. God’s perfect retrospect. 

The problem was that the issue was deeper than we could fathom. Imagine holding a plate. Imagine throwing the plate to the ground, shattering it into a thousand pieces. Imagine apologizing. It can be done, but the plate doesn’t come back together. Some actions have consequences that must be spiritually pieced back together, in God’s time. The solution is not only repenting, it is the ability to control the desire to break it in the first place.

So fast forward to other “stories” in scripture. What does the culture of Noah tell us about solving the problem? Well, first of all, that we can’t do it ourselves. In fact people made very little effort, they made “going their own way” an artform so grievous that God was almost convinced to erase mankind from the Earth. Now He didn’t, because one man, one family, was found righteous and had made the right choices. So God selected him to play his part of the solution. 

Does this mean that Noah’s righteous could have been enough for the solution? Sadly it was not so, the lesson is that the sin was so deep that after a while it creeps out and then multiplies. While Noah and his sons appear to get it, it wasn’t long before generationally there were bad choices appearing over and over. The lesson is that “the solution” may take years, and generations, of discipline. 

Dealing with sin is a lot easier when it is repented of, and not repeated. But once we chose to follow our own way, God knew it was going to be a long trial and error period before we could control and subdue our actions. He wasn’t going to do it for us, but he would provide a way.

Looking back we can see His plan was to create a people, a Chosen People, that would be called out, that would receive the Word, protect it, teach it through the generations, and eventually provide the lineage that would lead to the Savior. And the Savior would bring back individuals, families, and nations, into a relationship with the eternal God. 

It took a longtime to even get to Abraham, to find a leader who would guard God’s word and train the people up in the way they should go, out of their own free will, or maybe despite their free will. By the time Israel and his sons came along the stage was mostly set. A people had been identified and the basics of the truth, the one and only God, was established. But they were far from ‘trained up’ in controlling their desires or understand the role they had in God’s Plan.

It was very apparent that the tribe chosen to be the line of the Savior had huge problems. The most important appears to be the tendency to forget, they are constantly told to remember. Another problem is that they tended to bring in Canaanite influence. The very inheritance of the land was in danger, and the separation line between idol worshippers was blurred. How can God’s plan unfold if the people were lost?

So we have the story of Jacob and Joseph. We just finished this story in our weekly bible study. It a very exciting story, full of intrigue, theft, lies and deceit, and dare I say “sex”. If you just look at the summary of Jacob’s family, and the fate of Joseph I think it would compare very favorable to some of the best dramas on television. In fact, this one little chapter is the most exciting of the many short stories. But it would be a mistake to read this isolated from how it fits into God’s plan for our salvation. 

The better that we see how all that is written in the Bible has an application that can be used, but it can only be used effectively if you know how it points to the completion of God’s work and the promise if salvation. 

The LORD bless you, and keep you; 

The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; 

The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’ 
Adonai will kneel before you presenting gifts and will guard you with a hedge of protection, Adoni will illuminate the wholeness of his being toward you, bringing order, and he will beautify you, Adoni will lift up his wholeness of being, and look upon you, and he will set in place all you need to be whole and complete!