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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Word For The Week


Pain. Suffering. Death. Why is this kind of catastrophe allowed to happen? How can a just and loving God allow people to suffer through the effects of Katrina? Yes, He sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous, but I am sure that there are people asking these questions because when times get tough we often go to God and ask, "My God! Why have you forsaken me?" When things get tight you have to have a personal relationship to call out, "My God!" Not some god, or a god, or momma's god, but my God! My God who created the heavens and the earth. My God who sits high and looks low. My God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the car dealerships on a thousand corners. My bridge over troubled waters. The LORD my provider. The father to the fatherless and the mother to the motherless - my God. When you find yourself in a jam you have to call out to the God who can make a difference in your situation, because with my God all things are possible! So when I'm in a jam I call out to my God, "My God!"

Now I don't know about you but sometimes I have to ask my God, "Why?" Yes, I'm saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Spirit, but sometimes I want to know why. A police officer was shot here in Louisville for no apparent reason. Why? My brother-in-law is 37 and suffering from cancer. Why? George W. Bush is still in the White House. Why? I don’t know about you – maybe it’s just me – but sometimes I’ve got some questions for my God. Sometimes I’ve got to cry out, "My God, Why?"

Can I be really transparent here? Have you ever felt like God let you down? Have you ever felt like God didn't come through for you? Have you ever felt forsaken by God? I know that I have - and maybe it's just me - but I've had to ask God, "Why have You forsaken me?" I expect people to let me down - people are fickle and trifling. People will smile in your face today and run your name through the mud tomorrow. People will always do you wrong, but I expect more from God. I expect friends and loved-ones to forsake me from time to time, but have you ever felt forsaken by God? Is it just me? Sometimes I've asked my God, "Why have You forsaken me?"

While we're being honest, let's also 'fess up that we are most concerned about God forsaking us. It's a pity if someone halfway across the globe fells forsaken, and it's not cool if someone we know feels forsaken, but if it's me then it's the end of the world as we know it. "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?" No weapon formed against me shall prosper, but weapons certainly form and sometimes they get to looking pretty prosperous. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I ask My God, "Why have You forsaken me?"

But God has not forsaken us.

It's hidden in the text, but like Ragu, it's in there. Jesus spoke Aramaic in his daily life. When he taught His parables He spoke Aramaic. When He performed miracles He spoke Aramaic. When He healed the sick He spoke Aramaic. When He was angry He spoke Aramaic. When He was sad He spoke Aramaic. Jesus spoke Aramaic, so why is this cry recorded in Hebrew? It is recorded in Hebrew because Jesus was quoting the Hebrew Scripture, Psalm 22 which foresaw the death of the messiah by crucifixion. Jesus was not screaming out of anguish of being forsaken by the Father, He was quoting Scripture to people who should have known the Word of God. If you read Psalm 22 you will see that the messiah is not forsaken, but is instead highly exalted to the right hand of the Father.

The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees should have known this passage of scripture - it is one of the primary messianic Psalms - yet they thought that Jesus was calling for Elijah. They didn't even know their Hebrew! Isn't it amazing how things never change? Those who would hold people accountable to their interpretation of the Word of God don't know the Word of God for themselves - the more things change, the more they stay the same. There is truly nothing new under the sun. Look at their response to Jesus' declaration: "Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him." The problem with too many Christians is that we have a "Let us see" kind of faith. You have to believe it in order to see it - seeing is believing only to the carnal-minded, because without faith it is impossible to please God. Don't you know that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him? But when you don’t know the Word of God then you can’t know the Will of God – that which is good and acceptable and perfect. You have to know the Word of God in order to get a word from God.

So hear this Word from the LORD – God has never forsaken you, and He will never forsake you. God cannot deny Himself. Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God. God did not distance Himself from Jesus on the cross, for that was not the point of atonement. The lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the world. Before "Let there be" the lamb was slain. In the beginning the lamb was slain. In the beginning atonement was made. In the beginning God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son. This deal was done in the beginning, such that as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. We who believe in His name are secure until the end, as God has sealed us and given us the Holy Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. He cannot forsake us lest He forsake the Holy Spirit, and He cannot forsake Himself.

The reason that we feel forsaken from God is that we are focused on ourselves. Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” All of these concerns will be taken care of if we make the Kingdom of God our first priority. The writer of Hebrews said, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” This thing is all about God in Christ, and we have to run this race for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. That has to be our priority – God has promised that if we take care of His business then He’ll take care of our business. When we feel forsaken it isn’t that God has forsaken us - we have forsaken God and the advancement of His Kingdom.

So seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of that other stuff will be handled. After all, He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him, such that if you seek first the Kingdom of God, if you thirst after righteousness, you will be blessed and you will be satisfied. The songwriter Tonex put it best, “God has not forgot. God has not forgot. God has not forgot. God has not forgot!”

May The LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who will never leave you nor forsake you,
My He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM

Read or Post a Comment

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me...

If you didn't see Russert today or haven't seen this video of Mr. Aaron Broussard, President of Jefferson Parish, La... I think every American owes to these people to hear this man speak about what happened there and to take action accordingly.

I warn you though... it is hard on the heart to hear this man tell of how the government has abandoned his people... OUR people.


Posted by Blogger Andrew C. White @ Sunday, September 04, 2005 2:24:00 PM #

here is a great video answer to the question My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Matthew 27:46 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCSCzJHBb38

Posted by Blogger CMS @ Thursday, October 11, 2007 9:35:00 PM #
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