A Feast in Abundance(풍성한 축제)/ Psalms 23:(시23:)/ 2012-02-12
A Feast in Abundance(풍성한 축제)
In 1872, Lord Wolseley, an English Lord, wrote in the Soldier’s Pocketbook these words, “In all siege operations, it is most important that all possible advantage be reaped of every hour of darkness.” This idea of taking “advantage of every hour of darkness” struck me. Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet, also spoke about treasures of the darkness. So what I want to say right from the outset, while I should be speaking on Psalm 27 today, I just couldn’t let go of Psalm 23. It’s such a beautiful Psalm.
I would like to review the last two verses of this Psalm with you this morning. Psalm 23 was not written at a time of idyllic ease. It was written when life was difficult, complicated, and burdensome. Otherwise, David would not have penned the words, “Thou hast prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” This was probably not written when he was a young boy tending sheep in the Judean hills. There probably was a great catastrophe in his life. The reality is that we would long for life to be trouble-free. If life were trouble-free, then we wouldn’t need something like Psalm 23.
When we long for a trouble-free life, where you can simply soak in the sun and do nothing but relax and enjoy yourself, we forget the old Arabian proverb: “all sunshine makes a desert.” It is probably not in our best interest to have a life that is truly trouble-free. (It’s all academic anyway, because no one experiences such a life.) Life is full of all kinds of trouble.
Some of you, while you are listening to me, are going through difficult, dark moments. You’re here this morning hiding a lacerated heart. Some great travesty, injustice, disappointment or something else you’re trying to overcome here. God bless you in that process. So those of us who are not going through dark times, rest assured, guaranteed, you will. Even if you have, it does not preclude the fact that you will again.
That’s why Psalm 23 is so pertinent to any Christian living and breathing at all. Jesus Christ never suggested that we escape life. The Christian is never encouraged to try to escape life. People today, all around us, are trying to escape life. That’s what drugs are. They are simply an attempt to escape the realities of life, to move to a different, higher and supposedly better plane. One’s fascination or involvement with some kinds of music, books, or movies, or whatever the case might be, often is an escape from reality, because reality is so difficult to cope with.
Jesus never suggested that we try to escape from life. He taught us how to live life, how to cope with life—even when it is incredibly difficult! When worse comes to worst, and the uphill climb becomes a struggle, Isaiah’s words are very significant. He talks about the treasures of the darkness. Can it possibly be that even in the darkness, there are treasures?
The apostle Peter talks about it in I Peter verse 1, “It is God’s power that guards us through faith for salvation.” So we are guarded. Those of us who follow Christ are guarded through faith.
Psalm 23 is a reminder that God cares for us even in our darkness. So we come to verse 5: “you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” God’s blessing is so sure that even though your enemies may gather around and watch, there is nothing they can do to stop the blessing of God from reaching the one that He loves and wants to bless.
The tragedy today is that so many Christian people, young and old, tend to think that when the storms beat upon their lives, they are no better off than people who don’t believe. They look at their situation and ask, “What advantage is there to being a follower of Christ?”
The apostle James, the brother of Jesus, writes on one occasion, “the reason why so many Christians don’t have is because they have never asked.” If we are reluctant to ask God for miracles in our lives, we shouldn’t be surprised when we never receive one. But if we dare to ask, dare to believe, dare to lay hold on the promises of God, and say “Lord, this is what I need for your glory,” then he will rise to meet whatever needs we might have. This God that we deal with is a God who rains bread from Heaven. He’s a God who sent ravens to feed a prophet. He’s a God who takes a few morsels of food and multiplies them so they can feed a multitude.
Our Lord Jesus Christ himself reminded his own disciples, as he would remind you today, “don’t be like the non-believers.” The difference between a non-believer and those who follow Christ is your heavenly Father knows everything that you need. He has promised to supply your needs according to the riches of his glory. His timing may be different from yours, and that’s always a frustration!
For example, a couple of days ago this week I was trying to sync my Palm Pilot with my computer. It wouldn’t work. I got boggled and upset. Sometimes God’s timetable and our timetable don’t quite “sync.” That can be frustrating. But believe me, He will never come a moment too soon and He will never come a moment too late.
The lovely book of the Bible, The Song of Solomon, is a beautiful love poem between lovers. The people say to the bride in front of the groom, “he brought you into his banqueting hall. He prepared a table before you. He placed a banner over you. The banner said, ‘This is my love.’”
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” The Lord promises, there will never be a time in your life while you are a follower of Christ that your needs will go unmet. There will never be a time when the table will be bare. He is going to take care of you. No matter what the enemy may threaten to do, you are safe and secure. That’s the great confidence that exudes from these verses in Psalm 23. What glorious words are these!
David goes on to say in the second part of verse 25 that not only will “He prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies,” but “He anoints my head with oil. My cup overflows!” What David is telling us is that not only is God willing to provide for us and take care of us, he gives us the confidence and the hope that as a follower of Jesus Christ, you will always be in the palm of his hand! We will never have to worry that every need will be supplied. That’s His promise; He will do it in abundance!
“You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows!” You see, one of the things that I love about the Scriptures is the superlative language. For example, in the wonderful story of the Prodigal Son, it’s not just the calf they kill. No, it’s the fatted calf! It’s not that he will just give us peace, but it will be a peace that will pass all understanding! It isn’t just joy, but it is joy unspeakable and full of glory! It is grace abounding! You see, almost in every way David alludes to the fact that when God supplies our needs, he will do it in abundance. There is always that note of bounty in the provision of God. Jesus came not to give life, but to give more abundantly. Jesus spoke, not that he might give us joy, but that our joy might be full!
When you conceive of God and his provision for you, it’s a picture of the great divine shylock in the sky measuring out the pound of flesh drop by drop and pound by pound. No! No! No! He anoints your head with oil and your cup overflows. In the overflowing cup, what David is saying is that He gives you more than you need. He not only meets your needs, he gives you more than you need. Then, what overflows from your cup might fall into the cups of other people. So it behooves us to be like Christ: to be equally generous, to commit that cup to overflow into the cups of others.
There is something about traveling in Africa and coming back from Nigeria that helps me to realize that we in America are blessed beyond what we deserve. We are the most blessed nation in the entire world. Coming back from Africa, one realizes afresh the immense affluence and wealth that is here.
As Oprah Winfrey said in her interview with Diane Sawyer this week, that when people say to her that the need is here in America as well, her response was, “You have no idea.” That is not to say that there are no needs in America, but you have no idea how people are living in other parts of the world. They are living on garbage dumps. Their homes are made of cardboard. They are giving birth nowhere near hospitals or doctors. They are dying of AIDS.
I love what God is doing with Oprah Winfrey and also with Bono of U2 in trying to raise the awareness of the western world to the plight of the orphans, in particular in Africa, whose parents have died of AIDS and many of who are dying of AIDS themselves.
As Americans, we must learn to give in a measure that we have been given. We must be generous if we would seek to be like the Christ whom we follow. We are instructed Biblically as followers of Christ to give one-tenth of all our income to the work of God. I hope that you are endeavoring to do that. When I look at the immense need of the world, even a tenth is a paltry amount compared to the amazing need that is all around us.
Even though I am thankful for Oprah and Bono in raising awareness, I am very cognizant of the fact that in many ways what they are saying and doing is trying to meet the need of Africa at its surface level. In other words, we are applying band-aids to the folk in Africa. But it is only by investing in the Church in Africa that we will begin to solve the root problem, the source of the problem dealt with. As the Church seeks both to educate the people of Africa and also by preaching a higher standard of morality so that the problem that is AIDS today in Africa can be addressed.
My cup overflows. Verse 6 says, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” David is saying is that there will never be a day throughout the rest of your life when you will not have two heavenly escorts. Every moment of every day following close behind there will be these two escorts: Tove and Hesed. Tove is the glorious goodness of God and Hesed is the loving kindness of God. The old versions of Psalm 23 interpret Hesed as mercy. The new versions translate it as love, mercy, grace, goodness, kindness and all those things. They are all wrapped up because there is no English word that describes this Hesed of God. Still, they are right there by your shoulder following you all the time.
I have a little dog at home. Everywhere I go she is by my feet. I change direction and she’s there. I sit down she sits at my feet. She’s always getting in the way. She is always there. That’s what David is saying. Every now and again you want to take a look over your shoulder, because right there will be goodness on the one hand and kindness on the other. It’s always following you.
It was Francis Thompson that was inspired by this verse to write his poem The Hound of Heaven. Dale Evans, Roy Rogers’ wife, is brought back to God through that poem. This is what she writes:
I saw that it [Psalm 23] told my own story of running and hiding from God for over 18 years, of sunshine and shadow, toil and treasure, success and defeat—trying hard to get out of my life the sound of those steady strong haunting feet that followed me everywhere.
David adds the very first word of the verse there: surely. This isn’t just that goodness and mercy will follow me, but surely it will follow me. I ask David, why are you so sure that it’s going to follow you every moment of every day. You will never be able to escape it, no matter what! Looking over your shoulder is the loving kindness of God. How can you be sure that there will never be an instant when he’s not there when the presence of God is not with you? He responds, “Because God is God! God is everlasting. God is unchanging. God has pledged himself and promises goodness and kindness to me. God has set his love upon me and will not forget me in eternity.
Even though there will be days when you may be downhearted, days when you are sad, days when you feel lonely, days when life will seem dreary and sunless. This is not about your feelings—it stands a sentinel to the soul. This is the reality. This is the walk of God beneath our feet. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me every moment of every day of every year of my life—this persistent unending love of God! It’s not just that you are loved. I’m embarrassed just how much you are loved. God lavishes his love upon you and he never gives up—never. Even when others have given up on you or when you have given up on yourself. Even then, God, the Hound of Heaven, has not given up.
Did you ever see the movie Mutiny on the Bounty? Christian Fletcher was the gentleman on the Bounty that led the mutiny against Captain Bly. Captain had set out from England with his crew to find rare fruit trees. He finished up in Tahiti. The women in Tahiti were very accommodating to the men. The men wanted to stay in Tahiti. But eventually Captain Bly got pried away from Tahiti, and a short distance out, Christian Fletcher led the mutiny. Captain Bly and a few loyal sailors were given a little boat. It’s an incredible miracle that enabled them to sail across 4,000 miles of Pacific Ocean to the East Indies to safety. In the meantime, the mutineers had turned back to Tahiti and persuaded 12 Tahitian girls to be with them. Obviously they couldn’t stay in Tahiti because the wrath of the British Empire would have been down on their heads. (That’s when the British Empire was an empire!) So they sailed away to the first place they could find. They found an uninhabited island and decided to live there. But one of the sailors got into making whiskey. He got everybody drunk. Some of the men went out of their minds. At least one committed suicide by throwing himself off a cliff. The rest went over to bestiality. The women and the children born of the unions moved to another part of the island. This, by the way, is where the movie ends.
But I’m going to tell you the rest of the story. They moved to another part of the island and had nothing to do with the men. One by one, the men died until there were only two left; Alexander Smith and Edward Young. Edward Young was older. He knew he was going to die. So he decided to teach Alexander Smith to read. As he rummaged through the possessions of the bounty, which had since been scuttled, burned, and sunk in the bay, he found the bounty’s Bible. He started with Genesis. He taught Alexander Smith to read word by word. As they read word by word, the revelation of the goodness and kindness of God dawned upon their souls. They began to pray as they had never prayed before. Unfortunately, Edward Young died before they ever got to the New Testament. But Alexander Smith went on to read even the New Testament. He got the full revelation of God’s forgiveness, love, and pardon. When an American ship first set sight on the island, the women by this time had recognized the change in Alexander Smith and moved back. The Captain of that American ship brought news back to the United States saying there was one mutineer who survived 19 years after the mutiny itself. He added these words: “Never in all my life have I seen such a perfect Christian society as the one I encountered there.” That’s the persistent goodness and kindness of a God who never gives up.
As if that isn’t good enough, even great enough to be able to say surely goodness and infinite loving kindness will accompany me, will watch and guide my steps every moment of every day of my life. Wow!
David even adds that he’s going to enjoy a nice forever. The last part of verse 8, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. The Lord gives abundant life in the present and a glorious inheritance in the future. Now here he writes, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord not only all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord, but I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever to behold the beauty of the Lord.
One thing that I’m beginning to notice with the passing of the years is the recognition that our nature is not keyed toward the temporal. It’s really keyed towards the eternal. There is within the human heart this longing for a sense of permanency and a sense of home, because life at times seems, at best, transient. It’s hard to hold in your hand, it’s like a vapor, like water running through your fingers. The days pass so quickly. You wonder if there is anything more permanent than this.
David is telling us that there is goodness, mercy, love, and kindness will attend to us every day of our lives. As if that isn’t good enough, when he dies, he says, it gets even better: we will enjoy the company and the presence of God for all time—for we will be home with God, a place that death cannot invade, where our friendships will not be impaired by time—a place of permanent abode. It’s with this that the minstrel closes his song. I will dwell in the house of the Lord. I will be at home forever more.
What is it about home that is so compelling to us? It was a few years ago when I found myself back in my hometown in Ireland, in the city of Belfast. I was passing through the city and stayed the night in a hotel right in the heart of the city. I remember I went out for walks on familiar streets. Even many of the stores I had passed daily were still familiar after decades of being away. I remember standing by the spot where my brother was killed in a road accident when he was a young man of 20. I remember going to see the street on which I was raised, past the Church that I used to attend—a place where I discovered Jesus Christ as the Savior of my life. Yet as I walked those familiar streets and felt that beautiful Irish soft morning where the rain almost hung in the air and the sun was hidden by the clouds, I listened to the accents that were strange accents that I recognized but couldn’t understand. But I realized as I stood there, that it was no longer home. My parents were no longer there. My brother was dead. Many of my friends have died. My sister had moved away from the city. It was the strangest feeling to be in a familiar place and not feel at home, because home is not a familiar place. The appeal of home is not in bricks and mortar. It’s in being with people you love.
That’s why Heaven is ultimately and finally the home of all who believe. Where the entire family of God will one day be gathered and we will never know separation again. Surely goodness and loving kindness will dog my every step. “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” This is the confidence that I encourage you to hold fast. This is a God who is going to take care of you no matter what. This is a God who will protect you. This is a God who would bless your going out and your coming in. Even when we come to leave this world, what he has prepared for us will be beyond our imagination.
Let me finish with a little story that I always found amusing. You will understand when I start that you are not to take this story literally. It’s a once upon a time story of twin boys conceived in the same womb. As the weeks passed, and as their awareness grew, the boys laughed with joy. “Isn’t it great to be conceived? Isn’t it wonderful to be alive?”
Together the boys explored their world. When they found the mother’s cord that gave them life, they sang for joy. “How great is our mother’s love,” they said, “that she shares her own life with us?”
The weeks stretched into months. The twins noticed how much the other was changing. “What does it mean?” asked one. “It means that our stay in this world is drawing to an end,” said the other. “I don’t want to go, said the first. I want to stay here always.” “We have no choice,” said the other. “But maybe there is life after birth.” “But how can there be,” asked the first. “We will shed our life cord and how is life possible without it? Besides, there is the evidence that others were here before us and none of them have returned to tell us that there is life after birth. No, this is the end.”
So the one fell into deep despair, saying, “if conception ends at birth, what is the purpose of life in the womb? It’s meaningless. Maybe there is no mother after all.” “But there has to be!” protested the other. “How else did we get here? How did we remain alive?”
“Have you seen our mother?” asked the first. “Maybe she lives only in our mind. Maybe we made her up because the idea made us feel good.” So the last days in the womb were filled with deep questioning and fears.
Finally the moment of birth arrived. When the twins had passed from their world, they opened their eyes and they cried, for what they saw exceeded their wildest dreams. The author of the story adds these lovely words: “Eyes have not seen, nor has the ear heard, nor has it so much as dawned upon humanity what God has prepared for those who love him.”
My beloved, He has set a table before you. He has brought you into his banqueting hall and he has set a banner over you and the banner says, “This is my love.” He has anointed your head with oil, has blessed you far more than you can even contain. And will continue to do so. As a result, it is certain that his infinite mercy and glorious loving kindness will dog your every step for the rest of your life. When life comes to an end, it will even be better. This is not pie in the sky by and by, this is God’s word to his people today—to bring this confidence and hope as you live out the Christ life—as you live it out generously, as you live it out lavishly!
Pastor Alan J. Meenan
A man who is worthy of God(하나님께 가치 있는 사람)/ Matthew 10:37-39(마10:37-39)/ 2002-11-15
A man who is worthy of God(하나님께 가치 있는 사람)
A man who is worthy of God
37 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Who is Worthy of Me
Over the past two weeks we have been going through our autumn season of early Morning Prayer. Through this prayer we are calling out to the title, teaching the lesson and conducting our training in the Lord. In this title, how is the Lord teaching and training us? And finally what kind of apostle he wants to make out of us? This is what we were learning during Early Morning Prayer.
Today, our word will be about the conclusion of all of this training and learning over the past two weeks.
What kind of apostle to we want to be? That is one who will take his cross and follow our Lord. That is the kind of apostle he wants.
Lets read today’s scripture Matthew 10:37-39
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
When we look at this word, there are three times it says “not worthy of me” what does this mean?
What kind of person is worthy of me?
Anyone who loves me more than his father or mother. worthy of me.
Anyone who loves me more than their son or daughter. worthy of me.
Who ever take his cross and follow me. worthy of me.
Follow me; is not the people who say they have found their life. Even though he has lost his life and takes his cross without fear, is the person who is worthy of me.
This has a very deep meaning to touch your heart.
Ah, when we hear this word, we see that it is not easy to truly follow our Lord. It is not too easy to be an apostle of our Lord. It is not going to be easy to work for the lord. We can feel this through today’s scripture. And yes, this is right, it is not easy.
Of everything in this world, nothing is easy. Following our Lord, is actually not that simple.
Well, lets look at today’s scripture with a little more detail.
Today’s scripture says “not worthy of me” a lot, but when we look through this, it shows who is worthy of our Lord.
First, what people are worthy of the Lord?
Looking at verse 37,
Anyone who loves me more than his father or mother. worthy of me.
Anyone who loves me more than their son or daughter. worthy of me.
When we hear this word, we feel a frightened. What does this mean?
But, Maybe by looking at this word and understanding it, people with a family who are unfaithful or with a different religion and in this family one begins to love Jesus. these are the people who I think understand this word the best.
Because of the fact that this family is going to start going to church, it is going to cause difficulties among the family.
I wish to give you a better understanding of today’s scripture. By looking in front of today’s reading. look at verses 34-36.
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to turn
“a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.
What? What is the “good” meaning here?
This is when people start to believe in the lord. The people who have no belief and those of different religions. In this kind of family, with this new religion in Christianity comes to them. It comes to them with a new and different view. it comes with a different way of doing things. Naturally, what would automatically change in this family? What is their response? I am sure it is not peace but more than likely fighting. We need to be prepared for this.
Actually, if a person wants to do something. at all costs of reason they are going to get mentally prepared for this. That is how we can make it all possible. It’s like water. if you pour water into water, you get water. but if you pour liquor into water you get liquor. Two wrongs can’t be right. you cannot be right by both ways. Even in the following of Jesus. Keeping your faith and staying on the right path this is not a simple task.
So, that is why it says, in verse 37
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
Secondly, who is worthy of the Lord?
Let’s look at verse 38 of today’s reading,
38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Who takes his cross and follows me.
Most people in church go to church regularly and well. But most people remove their cross.
What about these people? I am not sure which of you are this kind of person, but most people are like this.
Let’s think about this for a minute. What do we think of ourselves on this?
Are we people of faith? Do we try really hard to know our own crosses? And do we even try to carry our crosses through our life of faith? Or do we just want to take those crosses off?
Which way is your faith going?
If I ask you, it might be very difficult or uncomfortable to answer. We should all check our own faith. Maybe we should all do things in a little different way.
While I am living my life of faith, I want to carry the smallest cross possible. Are we like this person? Or What ever the cross that our Lord has given us we carry without complaints. Are we this kind of person?
What do you think?
Before we check ourselves, we need to be honest with ourselves. If we are not honest we won’t be able to take care of our problems.
Third, who is worthy of the Lord?
Let’s look at verse 39.
39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Even if they loose their lives, they do not fear. This is worthy of the Lord.
This word is very important.
Because, without this word, all that we have learned so far might be a great big misunderstanding.
Like what the Lord said in verse 37
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
It is like these words, that it is possible for some misunderstanding, but verse 39 it makes it all easier to understand.
Before closing, I would like to better organize this message.
Today’s scripture tells us like this. Who is not worthy of the Lord.
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Let’s think about this one more time.
Let’s look at the first and second part.
Anyone who loves his own family more than Jesus is not worth of the Lord.
Earlier with explanation we could understand. but let’s look at it a different way.
First it says, father and mother. What does this mean?
This means in our family. the people in our family that are higher than us. Of course we love, respect and support them. This is right; this is what we have to do. BUT, it is not worthy of the love of our LORD.
And the second word is that of your son or daughter. and this means that in our faithful lives, we have people in our family that are of lower status than ourselves. and we love and take care of them. Yes, this is also right, but we do not do more than our love to the Lord.
I hope you don’t misunderstand this part.
Especially in today’s message, taking the Cross and finding our lives. This we need to look at carefully.
Why do we need to look carefully? Because many people just go through the motions of church. But, we live our faith lives without worry or connection with our crosses. And, we don’t feel heavy or burdened, without pressure to believe in Jesus. There are many who live like this and come to church.
Also, not just this; what I am trying to say is more important than this. That is how we try to do our faith without carrying our crosses, what kind of situation are we going to fall into? What kind of mistake will we make?
What do you think of this point?
Ok, we go to church, every Sunday. We do our worship service. and yep, sometimes we pray hard and learn something. We look at these people as people of faith.
So, we can’t see anything in their spirit of their love for the cross of Jesus.
So, when we keep our faith in this manner, how do we get in? They are falling because of their superstition. This is their mistake or error.
This is very important.
So, that is why the Lord said it that way as in verse 38. Anyone who wants to follow me must take his cross and follow me.
Especially, we look at the middle of this word. It says, follow me. we have to be careful not to say, “Learn from me.”
Follow me: How do we follow the Lord? What should we do? Not just carrying the Cross. but we must take our Crosses and follow the Lord.
Maybe, not following the Lord, and just knowing of the Lord or just learning of the Lord. It is possible to do this without carrying your cross.
We put our bible on our desk, and we can sit at our desk and learn.
But if we follow the Lord we take our cross and follow the lord. Everything is possible. And when we follow the Lord, without carrying the cross, we can be easily tested by temptation. And we can complain and blame others easily over the smallest matters. Making it easy for us to give up and fall down. It was this point that our Lord already knew.
So, anyone who wants to follow Jesus must take his cross and follow me.
That is why he said clearly. 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
If we look at the hymnal, there are a lot of hymn’s about the cross. but I found one #365 that shows the meaning well.
Verse one and two of this hymn.
1. Must Jesus bear the cross alone, And all the world go free? No, there’s a cross for every one, And there’s a cross for me.
2. The consecrated cross I’ll bear Till death shall set me free, and then go home my crown to wear; For there’s a crown for me.
What does this mean? The Consecrated Cross I’ll Bear?
This means the cross that is rightly mine. So, I hang mine from my neck to be my burden. This cross of mine I will always take care of and follow the Lord and then go home my crown to wear. That is what this Hymn was about.
Lets all sing together. Verse one and two of this hymn. #365
Last week we began voting for our elders, and we have yet another week of voting this week. We have to choose. Like in today’s word. we have to choose those who are worthy of the Lord. We should never vote for someone who called in secret and asked us for help or offered a bribe.
I want to be an elder please support me, vote for me. No, we shouldn’t vote for them. I don’t know who did it, or who asks a favor but you know who they are.
So, who do we need to elect to these positions?
Not the secret or covert people, but the ones who honestly and sincerely give worship to the lord. He who carries his cross and follows the Lord. It is that person we should support and elect.
Why? Well, those people are worthy of the Lord.
No doubt about it. It is this kind of person we should elect to work for our Church.
So, those who ran their secrets and bribes should be blocked and not allowed to be an officer in our church. This should be made impossible. So, that is how our church can be a real church.
I as your pastor, ask you all a very serious favor.
This is our holy church. Not part of the outside world. Don’t vote in the way of the outside world. This would be absolutely incorrect.
Does he really have the worth of the Lord?
Can he give his life for the church or the Lord?
Not thinking of his position of Honor. But is he in a good place of service?
Let’s all take time to pray for this and the good decision of our congregation.
I want our church to be a good example of a church here in Daegu. When the voting is all finished, I don’t want to hear or say anything bad about the way anyone was elected.
When we vote we should pray and let the Holy Spirit help us make our selections so that we may truly celebrate the elected. And so that we may be able to help these people provide a great service to the Lord. We should support him or her in their needs. In the meantime, the ones who were not elected, we should pray to comfort them. Giving them support as well. Let’s make our church of one mind, and a beautiful congregation.
Pastor Jung-suk Lim(임정석 목사)
Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way(내 눈을 돌이켜 허탄한 것을 보지 말게 하시고 주의 길에서 나를 살아나게 하소서)/ Psalm 119:37(시119:37)/ Pastor Charles Spurgeon(찰스 스펄전 목사)/ 새벽기도회설교/ 1850-01-20
Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way(내 눈을 돌이켜 허탄한 것을 보지 말게 하시고 주의 길에서 나를 살아나게 하소서)
DAILY READINGS by Charles Spurgeon
There are divers kinds of vanity. The cap and bells of the fool, the mirth of the world, the dance, the lyre, and the cup of the dissolute, all these men know to be vanities; they wear upon their forefront their proper name and title. Far more treacherous are those equally vain things, the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. A man may follow vanity as truly in the counting-house as in the theatre. If he be spending his life in amassing wealth, he passes his days in a vain show. Unless we follow Christ, and make our God the great object of life, we only differ in appearance from the most frivolous. It is clear that there is much need of the first prayer of our text. “Quicken thou me in thy way.” The Psalmist confesses that he is dull, heavy, lumpy, all but dead. Perhaps, dear reader, you feel the same. We are so sluggish that the best motives cannot quicken us, apart from the Lord himself. What! will not hell quicken me? Shall I think of sinners perishing, and yet not be awakened? Will not heaven quicken me? Can I think of the reward that awaiteth the righteous, and yet be cold? Will not death quicken me? Can I think of dying, and standing before my God, and yet be slothful in my Master’s service? Will not Christ’s love constrain me? Can I think of his dear wounds, can I sit at the foot of his cross, and not be stirred with fervency and zeal? It seems so! No mere consideration can quicken us to zeal, but God himself must do it, hence the cry, “Quicken thou me.” The Psalmist breathes out his whole soul in vehement pleadings: his body and his soul unite in prayer. “Turn away mine eyes,” says the body: “Quicken thou me,” cries the soul. This is a fit prayer for every day. O Lord, hear it in my case this night.
아브라함 언약의 신약적 해석/ How Should Christians Relate to the State of Israel?(그리스도인들은 이스라엘 나라와 어떻게 연관되어 있어야 하는가?)/ 신4:25-27/ Rich Nathan 목사/ 2007-11-17
아브라함 언약의 신약적 해석/ How Should Christians Relate to the State of Israel?(그리스도인들은 이스라엘 나라와 어떻게 연관되어 있어야 하는가?)
(퇴임을 앞둔 아들 부시 대통령의 중동 방문에 맞추어, Rich Nathan 목사는 이 설교를 전했다고 합니다.)
1. 아브라함에게 약속된 언약의 땅은 다윗 때 이미 성취되었습니다.
창15:18-19절에, 팔레스틴 땅이 아브라함의 후손에게 주시기로 언약되었습니다.
“그 날에 여호와께서 아브람으로 더불어 언약을 세워 가라사대 내가 이 땅을 애굽 강에서부터 그 큰 강 유브라데까지 네 자손에게 주노니...”
이 언약은 구약 성경에서 몇 군데 더 연수가 지나서도 재차 확인되어지는데, “내가 너의 지경을 홍해에서부터 블레셋 바다까지, 광야에서부터 하수까지 정하고 그 땅의 거민을 네 손에 붙이리니 네가 그들을 네 앞에서 쫓아낼 지라.”(출23:31)
이 구절을 액면 그대로 만약 믿는다면, 지금 이스라엘 영토는 더 넓어져야 합니다.
요르단과 시리아는 물론, 이라크 일부까지 포함되어집니다.
그러므로 팔레스타인 등 주변국가와 협상 따위는 할 필요조차 없다고 생각하는 사람도 있습니다.
그러나 그렇게 극단적으로 생각하면 안 됩니다.
그 ‘아브라함 언약’은, 그로부터 1천년 이후인 다윗과 솔로몬 왕 때 이미 성취되었기 때문입니다.
“솔로몬이 유브라데 강에서부터 블레셋 땅과 애굽 지경까지의 열왕을 관할하였으며”(대하9:26)
2. TV 및 종말론 서적을 통해서, 극단적 입장이 여과 없이 전파되었습니다.
그런데 미국의 많은 미국 보수 기독교인들(유대인 아닌 미국인)이 아직도 ‘아브라함 언약’이 오늘날에도 여전히 유효하다고 믿고 있습니다.
그 이유는 TV설교자들 때문입니다.
이 주장은 존 해가이, 팻 로벗슨, 제리 폴웰 등이 유포하였으며, 달라스 신학교 또한 이 입장을 위하고 있습니다.
서적으로는, 팀 라헤이, 할 린드세이(Hal Lindsey), 마이크 에반스 등이 쓴 종말론 서적이 이 주장을 전파하고 있습니다.
오늘날 중동 문제가 위와 같은 구약 성경 몇 구절을 신봉함으로써 그 당위성이 주장되어질 수 있을까요? 물론 아닙니다.
아니라면, 그 이유는 무엇인가요? 아래 4가지입니다.
3. 중동 땅에 관한 ‘아브라함 언약’이 오늘날 적용될 수 없는 4가지 이유
(1) 유대인에게 땅을 주신 개념은 ‘소작권’이지, ‘소유권’이 아닙니다.
성경이 말하는 땅의 소유권 개념은 오직 하나님께만 있습니다.
하나님은 한 번도 유대인 등 사람에게 땅을 소유하라고 주신 적이 없습니다.
“토지를 영영히 팔지 말 것은 토지는 다 내 것임이라. 너희는 나그네요 우거하는 자로서 나와 함께 있느니라.”(레25:23)
선물과 등기권리증은 다릅니다.
다시 말하면, 아브라함에게 주신 약속은 ‘선물’이지, ‘등기권리’가 아닙니다.
근본적으로 하나님은, 사람들에게 땅을 등기권리로 주시지 않습니다.
그들이 팔레스틴 땅을 받은 것은 하나님의 ‘선물’이었습니다.
그리고 선물은, 잘못하면 빼앗길 수도 있다는 사실을 또한 명심해야 합니다.
오늘 우리도 자녀, 건강, 재물 등을 하나님께 선물 받았습니다. 영원한 등기는 아닙니다.
그러나 우리가 잘못 관리하면, 하나님이 빼앗아 가십니다.
주전 6세기 경, 이스라엘이 그 선물로 받은 땅을 바벨론에 의해 빼앗겼습니다.
자기가 잘못해서 한 번 빼앗긴 선물에 대해, ‘영구 등기 권리’를 주장할 수는 없습니다.
우리가 자녀, 건강, 재물을 한 번 빼앗겼을 때, ‘영구 등기 권리’를 주장 할 수 없는 것과 같은 이치입니다.
오늘날 미국 크리스천들이, 하나님이 아브라함 자손들에게 주신 ‘선물’을 마치 ‘등기 권리증’처럼 이해하는 데서 문제가 발단되는 것입니다.
(2) 불순종하면, 그 땅을 잃어버릴 것이라고 이미 약속하셨습니다.
“너희는 이 모든 일로 스스로 더럽히지 말라. 내가 너희의 앞에서 쫓아내는 족속들이 이 모든 일로 인하여 더러워졌고...”
“너희의 전에 있던 그 땅 거민이 이 모든 가증한 일을 행하였고, 그 땅도 더러워졌느니라.”(그래서 그 거민들을 쫓아내고, 이 땅을 너희에게 주었다.)
“너희도 더럽히면 그 땅이 너희 있기 전 거민을 토함 같이 너희를 토할까 하노라”(너희도 더럽히면, 똑같이 쫓겨날 것이다)(레18:24-28)
신4:25-27도 똑같은 말씀입니다.
“네가 그 땅에서 아들을 낳고 손자를 얻으며 오래 살 때에 만일 스스로 부패하여 무슨 형상의 우상이든지 조각하여 네 하나님 여호와 앞에 악을 행함으로 그의 노를 격발하면 내가 오늘날 천지를 불러 증거를 삼노니 너희가 요단을 건너가서 얻는 땅에서 속히 망할 것이라. 너희가 거기서 너희 날이 길지 못하고 전멸될 것이니라. 여호와께서 너희를 열국 중에 흩으실 것이요.”(신4:25-27)
불행하게도 이런 예언들이 그대로 성취되었습니다.
그래서 북왕국은 이스라엘은 주전 8세기에 망해서 앗수르에 포로로, 남왕국 유다는 주전 6세기에 망해서 바벨론에 포로로 잡혀갔습니다.
포로 70년 만에 팔레스틴으로 돌아온 후에도 잠깐 순종했으나, 예수님 시대에 이르러 회개하지 않고 계속 범죄 함으로써 주후 70년 경 로마에 망한 후에, 20세기까지 나라 없는 민족으로 유랑하였습니다.
여호와께서 말씀하시되 “이는 그들이 내가 그들의 앞에 세운 나의 법을 버리고 내 목소리를 청종치 아니하며 그대로 행치 아니하고 그 마음의 강퍅함을 따라 그 열조가 자기에게 가르친 바알들을 좇았음이라. 그러므로 만군의 여호와 이스라엘의 하나님 내가 말하노라. 보라 내가 그들 곧 이 백성에게 쑥을 먹이며 독한 물을 마시우고 그들과 그들의 조상이 알지 못하던 열국 중에 그들을 헤치고 진멸되기까지 그 뒤로 칼을 보내리라 하셨느니라.”(렘9:13-16)
나는 두렵습니다. 지금 현재 이스라엘 땅에 살고 있는 유대인들도 거의 대부분 예수님을 믿지 않으며, 세계에 흩어져 있는 유대인들 중에 무신론자도 매우 많습니다.
그러니 이런 저주가 또 다시 한 번 응할까, 그래서 또 다시 토해 내쳐지는 벌을 받을까봐 두려운 것입니다.
설교자는 유대계 미국 목사입니다.
오늘날 우리도 마찬가지입니다. 유대인 역사를 보면서 경고를 들어야 합니다.
이스라엘이 가나안 땅을 빼앗긴 것은 그들의 죄악 때문이었습니다.
오늘 우리도 예외 없이 마찬가지입니다. 계속 불순종하면 쫓겨나고 포로로 잡혀갑니다.
그러므로 바울은, “구약의 모든 일이 오늘 우리에게 거울과 경계로 기록되었으니 우리도 조심해야 한다.”(고전10:6-12)고 권고합니다.
고로 이스라엘 역사를, 바로 오늘 나에게 적용되는 교훈으로 들어야 합니다.
이스라엘이 회개하면, 그 땅은 회복될 것입니다.
그러나 불순종한 이스라엘이 포로를 그친 후에, 다시 돌아올 것이 예언되어 있습니다.
“나 여호와가 이같이 말하노라. 바벨론에서 칠십 년이 차면 내가 너희를 권고하고 나의 선한 말을 너희에게 실행하여 너희를 이곳으로 돌아오게 하리라.”
“나 여호와가 말하노라 너희를 향한 나의 생각은 내가 아나니 재앙이 아니라 곧 평안이요 너희 장래에 소망을 주려하는 생각이라. 너희는 내게 부르짖으며 와서 내게 기도하면 내가 너희를 들을 것이요 너희가 전심으로 나를 찾고 찾으면 나를 만나리라. 나 여호와가 말하노라. 내가 너희에게 만나지겠고 너희를 포로 된 중에서 다시 돌아오게 하되 내가 쫓아 보내었던 열방과 모든 곳에서 모아 사로잡혀 떠나게 하던 본 곳으로 돌아오게 하리라. 여호와의 말이니라 하셨느니라.”(렘29:10-14)
70년 동안 회개한 이스라엘은 고레스 왕 때 가나안에 다시 돌아오게 됩니다.
“바사 왕 고레스 원년에 여호와께서 예레미야의 입으로 하신 말씀을 응하게 하시려고 바사 왕 고레스의 마음을 감동시키시매 저가 온 나라에 공포도 하고 조서도 내려 가로되, 바사 왕 고레스는 말하노니 하늘의 신 여호와께서 세상 만국으로 내게 주셨고 나를 명하여 유다 예루살렘에 전을 건축하라 하셨나니 너희 중에 무릇 그 백성 된 자는 다 올라갈지어다. 너희 하나님 여호와께서 함께하시기를 원하노라 하였더라.”(대하36:22-23)
이 말씀을 우리 삶에 적용시키면, “우리가 회개하면, 다시 회복된다.”는 것입니다.
(3) 예수님과 사도 바울도 ‘땅’을 ‘하나님 나라’로 해석합니다.
구약은 그림자이고, 신약은 실체입니다.
예수님이 오심으로써, 그림자의 상당 부분이 드러났습니다.
예수님이 회복시키시기 원하는 땅은, 팔레스틴이 아니라, 하나님의 나라였습니다.
예수님과 바울은 구약의 제사를 회복시키려 하지 않으셨습니다.
당연히 제사 장소인 예루살렘 성전도 필요 없었습니다.
예수님과 바울은 ‘너희가 하나님의 성전’이라고 가르치셨습니다.
또한 ‘아브라함의 자손’은 누구입니까?
세례요한의 설교를 들어보십시오.
“너희가 아브라함의 자손이라는 말을 하지 말라. 하나님이 이 돌들로 아브라함의 자손을 만들 것이다. 도끼가 나무뿌리에 놓였으니... (불순종하는 그 자손들은) 찍혀서...”(눅3:7-9)
사도 바울은 갈라디아서의 수신자 이방인들에게 이렇게 말했습니다.
“너희가 다 믿음으로 말미암아 그리스도 예수 안에서 하나님의 아들이 되었으니 누구든지 그리스도와 합하여 세례를 받은 자는 그리스도로 옷 입었느니라. 너희는 유대인이나 헬라인이나 종이나 자주자나 남자나 여자 없이 다 그리스도 예수 안에서 하나이니라. 너희가 그리스도께 속한 자면 곧 아브라함의 자손이요 약속대로 유업을 이을 자니라.”(갈3:26-29)
오늘날 믿음을 가진 우리가, 바로 아브라함의 자손인 것입니다.
그것이 성경적인 가르침입니다. 혈통적 유대인이 아닙니다.
(4) 아브라함에게 주신 유산inheritance(땅)은 하나님의 나라입니다.
아브라함이나 그 후손에게 세상의 후사가 되리라고 하신 언약은 “율법으로 말미암은 것이 아니요, 오직 믿음의 의로 말미암은 것이니라”(롬4:13).
“Whose Promised Land: The Continuing Crisis Over Israel and Palestine” by Colin Chapman.
이 책을 읽어보십시오.
구약의 아브라함에게 약속된 유업의 개념은 오늘날 우리가 믿음으로 얻는 의요, 하나님의 나라를 뜻합니다.
창세기에 아브라함과 그 자손은 땅을 유산으로 받기로 약속받았습니다.
그 땅은 ‘하나님의 나라’요, 오늘날 우리가 ‘땅 끝까지 복음전해야 하는 세상’입니다.
앞서 오늘 믿음을 가진 우리가 아브라함의 자손이라고 그랬습니다.
그러면, 아브라함 언약, 즉 아브라함의 후손에게 약속된 ‘자손과 땅’이 있습니다.
그것을 신약적으로 풀면, ‘자손’은 “우리가 전도해야 할 사람들”이고, ‘땅’은 “하나님의 통치가 임하는 하나님의 나라”인 것입니다.
그러니까 크리스천은, 더 이상 구약적 개념에 매달려, 팔레스틴 땅을 ‘아브라함 언약’에 연관시켜 생각할 필요가 없습니다.
예수님은 믿음 있는 백부장을 칭찬하시면서 이렇게 말씀하셨습니다.
“또 너희에게 이르노니 동서로부터 많은 사람이 이르러 아브라함과 이삭과 야곱과 함께 천국에 앉으려니와 나라의 본 자손들은 바깥 어두운 데 쫓겨나 거기서 울며 이를 갊이 있으리라”(마8:10-11).
그러므로 신약시대에 우리들은, 하나님 나라 중심으로 생각해야지, 1948년 이스라엘 독립에 대해 너무 많은 의미를 부여하면 안 됩니다.
그것을 ‘하나님 나라의 회복’이라고 보는 것은 무리입니다.
요지는, 신약 어디를 보더라도, 예수님, 바울, 베드로 사도가, 아브라함 언약을, 오늘 일부 사람들이 이해하는 방식으로 재확인, 재천명 해 주지 않고 있습니다.
이제 예수님을 믿는 사람은 누구나, 유대인이나 이방인이나 차별 없이 아브라함의 후손이 되었습니다.
우리는 구약을, 반드시 신약의 빛 아래서 읽어야 합니다. (We have to read the Old Testament in light of the New Testament.)
앞서 거론한 일부 TV설교자들이나, 종말론 저자들은 신약의 빛 아래서, 구약을 읽은 것이 아닙니다.
예수님과 바울이 가르친 것과 다른 방식으로, 그들은 가르쳤습니다.
그리고 대중들이 그것을 그대로 믿고 있습니다.
4. 오늘날 올바른 중동 땅의 개념
그렇다면, 유대인은 오늘날 팔레스틴 땅을 주장할 권리가 전혀 없습니까?
나는 그렇지 않다고 봅니다.
아브라함의 언약에 따라서가 아니라, 지금 차지한 정도의 땅은, 유대인들이 차지할 권리가 있다고 봅니다.
물론 모든 팔레스타인, 시리아, 요르단을 쫓아내자는 것은 아닙니다.
그들 속에, 유대인도 함께 동거할 수 있는 권리는 있다는 것입니다.
극렬 회교도들의 유대인들을 아예 몰아내어야 한다는 주장에 반대 입장입니다.
유엔의 가결에 의해, 유대인들이 팔레스틴에 정착한 것도 엄연한 권리로 인정되어져야 합니다.
2천 년 역사 동안 유대인들은 핍박 받아왔습니다. 비단 20세기 히틀러뿐만 아니었습니다.
그리고 그런 가해 책임이 독일, 프랑스, 러시아 등 모든 나라에 있습니다.
그러므로 지금이라도, 세계는 과거 박해를 속죄하고, 되풀이하지 않겠다는 마음에서라도 유대인들을 팔레스틴 땅에서 보호하는 것이 정당한 것입니다.
물론 팔레스타인 사람들도, 유대인과 똑같이 보호받아야 합니다.
유대인과 팔레스타인인들 모두가 국제사회로부터 보호되어져야 합니다.
설교자는 유대계 목회자이지만, 극렬 유대인들의 팔레스타인 핍박에 반대합니다.
최근 부시 대통령과 라이스 국무장관은 양국을 동시에 인정하려고 합니다. A two-state solution입니다.
다른 나라 수반들도 이 정책에 동의합니다. 복잡한 문제들이 얽혀있긴 하지만.
유대인이든지 팔레스타인이든지, 압박받는 모든 사람들은 보호받아야 하는 것이 성경의 가르침입니다.
양측은 상대의 아픔을 보다 더 깊이 이해하면서 서로 화해해 나가기를 바랍니다.
Rich Nathan 목사