All Powerful God
I have been a pastor for over 27 years. As I reflect back, I am amazed at the changes that have taken place during that span of time. Writing a sermon meant a Bible, a legal pad, a concordance, a Bible commentary and lots of work. The computer and the internet have placed a ton of resources at our fingertips making things a bit more convenient. Technology has changed the way we worship, work and play. Phone books, paper take-out menus, maps, newspapers, penny savers, encyclopedias, almanacs and hymnbook are nearly obsolete as this information is now all available with the use of a smart device.
Because of the recent pandemic, life for many has dramatically changed. Social distancing, flattening the curve, contact tracing, masks, quarantine, reopen, essential employees, etc are all a part of our daily vocabulary where these words and phrases were seldom used a few months ago. Life can change dramatically whether over time or over night. However, God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Last week we looked at Psalm 62: 1-8 and discovered that God alone is our provider, protector and defender. We are to trust in him alone for he alone is trustworthy.
In verses 9-12 we read;
9 Common people are as worthless as a puff of wind, and the powerful are not what they appear to be. If you weigh them on the scales, together they are lighter than a breath of air.
10 Don’t make your living by extortion or put your hope in stealing. And if your wealth increases, don’t make it the center of your life.
11 God has spoken plainly, and I have heard it many times: Power, O God, belongs to you; 12 unfailing love, O Lord, is yours. Surely you repay all people according to what they have done.
(New Living Translation)
Let’s take a closer look at what David, the author of this psalm is saying.
1. People are nothing compared to God.
At first we might be tempted to take offense by that statement. But as we discovered last week, people cannot be trusted. We cannot even trust ourselves. If we were trustworthy, we would always do the right things, never make mistakes, never be mislead, be disciplined with money and never cheat on our diets. However, truth be told, most of us cannot be trusted with a package of Oreo’s.
During this pandemic we have seen people categorized as non-essential, essential, experts and politicians. We are briefed daily by politicians and so called experts who can not agree with each other but have also demonstrated just how powerless they really are to preserve life and to understand this pandemic and other forces of nature. We see where there are inconsistencies, contradictions, missteps and reversals in the governance of people through this crisis. And yet , I would not want to trade places with any of them. I don’t know all of the answers and neither do you.
But God does. He knows everything there is to know. He knows each of us completely.
Psalm 139 tells us;
O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. 5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. 9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. 11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
When weighed on the scales of God, we are all equal; rich or poor, non-essential and expert. And equally we amount to nothing in comparison to God. Yet God places value in each of us. He carefully and wonderfully formed us and knows all that there is to know about us. He knows your name! He knows everyone’s name. Who else, whether common or important can lay claim to that?
So quit chasing after people and their approval. Pursue God instead.
2. Money is nothing compared to God.
We are instructed in this passage to place a proper value on wealth. Don’t make your life all about getting rich. Do not place obtaining wealth your highest priority. You can’t take it with you! To place this in proper perspective, ask yourself to recall the name of your great, great grandfather and how much money he possessed when he died. Most of us would not be able to quickly find the place where he is buried much less know anything about him.
Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.
Somebody said that if you can’t be rich, then the next best thing is to become the friend of someone who is rich. I agree. Aim high and become a friend of God, the richest of them all!
3. God alone is powerful and merciful.
When it comes down to it, it is God alone. God alone is our provider, protector, defender and Judge. He alone is all powerful and it is only He who can extend mercy. Someday every one of us will stand before Him and He alone will know everything there is to know about us and everything that we have ever done.
On that day we will not be rich or poor, common or important, non-essential or essential. We will either be a friend or foe. Which will you be?
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”