Sermon #1302 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: The Blessed Comfort Of God’s Character
Text: 2 Samuel 7:22
Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-29
Subject: The Blessed Comfort Of God’s Character
Date: Sunday Morning - November 16, 1997
Tape # U-24
Yesterday, one of my uncles died. He was, without question, the nicest, most respectable, warm, kind man in our entire family. When I was growing up, he was as good as gold to me. When I could go to no one else, find comfort in no one else, and get good counsel from no one else, I could always turn to Uncle Niles. I thought so much of that man and his wife (my father’s half sister) that when I planned to propose to Shelby I chose to do so in their living room. But yesterday, at the age of sixty-one, that man who was so good in the opinion of all who knew him went out of this world to meet the holy Lord God before whose eyes there is none good, no not one, not even that man whom I idolized as a boy.
On Tuesday morning our friend and fellow laborer in the gospel, Bro. Ron Wood, had a heart attack on his way to work. He will, the Lord willing, have open heart surgery this week over in Lexington. A young man, strong, slim, and muscular in our eyes, is really less healthy than many of the old people he preaches to at the rest home every Sunday. His heart is a ticking bomb in his chest.
· We ought to pray for God to teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom!
I repeat what I have told you so many, many times. Nothing in this world is of any value or significance when compared to the light of eternity. We live in a world in which everything is temporal, changing, and rapidly passing away. And we are going to a world in which all things are unchanging and eternal.
Unless God is pleased to intervene, our dear brother and friend, Bro. James Rankin, will soon leave us. Cancer has just about eaten away his physical life. Soon he will enter into his everlasting rest in the presence of his all glorious Savior and ours, where sickness, sorrow, sin, and death shall be no more.
In the light of these things, I wonder if maybe you will hear and heed the words of God’s prophet - “Prepare to meet thy God!” How can I reach to you today. How can I speak to you who yet know not our God and persuade you to trust the Lord Jesus Christ, our dear Redeemer, who alone can save you. From what source can I fetch comfort for the hearts of our sick friend and his family, or for our dying brother and his family? How can I comfort minister to my own family, grieving over the loss of one so fond to them?
These are the things which have been on my mind, as I have studied, prayed, and sought a message from God for you. In order to comfort my own heart and in order to make some sense of the things I have seen this week, I have fallen back once more upon the character of our God. Here, and here alone, I find stability and comfort for my own heart; and here I have found a message for you. May God the Holy Spirit graciously enable me to deliver it to your hearts, for Christ’s sake.
I want t preach to you today about THE BLESSED COMFORT OF GOD’S CHARACTER. You will find my text in 2 Samuel 7:22. David is sitting before the Lord. As he contemplates the greatness and goodness of God, the solitary supremacy of the Lord our God, his heart is simply overwhelmed. He is lost in wonder, adoration, and praise. Listen to his words of praise to God.
There is nothing more proper and fitting than for us to extol and praise the Lord our God because of his greatness. It is utterly impossible for us to heap too much praise, honor, and glory upon him. indeed, our highest adulations in heavens eternal glory will be indescribably short of the praise due unto him. “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised!” Let us ever entertain great views of God and extol, praise, and honor him…
· In Our Thoughts About Him.
· In Our Conversations.
· In Our Prayers.
· In Our Songs Of Worship.
· In Our Preaching.
Nothing is more humbling and properly humbling to us than the consideration of God’s greatness. Look at 2 Samuel 7:18.
Looking over his own life’s experiences and the manifest goodness of God to him, David was not only overwhelmed with the thought of God’s greatness, but also overwhelmed with a sense of utter humility. Certainly, every true believer can identify with David in this...
· When we consider who and what we are - sinners by birth, choice, and practice!
· When we consider who God is - holy, just, and almighty.
· It is utterly amazing that he would have mercy on any of us. The most amazing thing of all is the fact that this great, glorious, holy, just, almighty Lord God has been pleased to have mercy on me, the chief of sinners!
From the depths of my inmost soul, with every emotion of my heart and strength of mind, I say with David, “Thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears."
Yet, there is nothing more comforting to believing hearts than the realization of the greatness of God’s character. We are weak, defenseless, helpless creatures of dust; but our God is almighty. We are sin He is holiness. We are ignorant. He is wisdom. We know nothing aright. He is omniscience. We control nothing. He controls everything. We hold nothing. He holds everything. With us, nothing is possible. With him, all things are possible.
Proposition: Because he is who and what he is, he which is our God is called “The God of all comfort”.
There are countless gods (who wear the name of a god) in the world, gods hatched in the minds of men, made by the hands of men, and manipulated by the wills of men: Totem Pole Gods, Crucifix Gods, Good Luck Gods, Free Will Gods, etc. But he who is our God, he is God alone, as he himself declares. Let no one get upset with me for asserting that the God of Holy Scripture and he alone is God. These are not my words about God, but his own words about himself (Isa. 46:9-11).
Who is this great and glorious One who alone is God? What is he like? Rather than me trying to outline his character for you, I want us to simply read about him from his own Word. Let’s look at five texts of Scripture. These five texts will be the points of my sermon. The message they contain is the message I have found most comforting to my own heart and strengthening to my own soul. May God be pleased to make them such to yours as well.
I. EXODUS 15:11 "Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?"
In Moses’ day as in ours, everyone was religious. Everybody had some sort of god which they used as a good luck charm with which they tried to protect themselves from evil. But Pharaoh and his armies were floating dead upon the Red Sea. Their gods were useless to them. Therefore Moses led Israel in the worship of God, teaching them to sing his praise. Notice here that the man of God specifically extols three aspects of God’s character which set him apart from all the imaginary gods of men.
A. He who is our God, the only true and living God is “GLORIOUS IN HOLINESS”!
His glorious holiness is seen in all that he does; but IT IS most particularly and manifestly set forth in his great work of Redemption, which is the theme of Moses’ song in this chapter.
B. This great and glorious, holy God is also “FEARFUL IN PRAISES”!
The fact that our God is “fearful in praises” refers both t the matter for which he is praised and the manner in which we praise him.
1. The Matter of Praise
There are some things done by God in acts of terrible justice and judgment, which are nonetheless matters for which he is praised and is to be praised by his people. This was particularly the case here. The plagues upon the Egyptians, and the destruction of Pharaoh and his host are called the wondrous works done in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea (Ps 106:22). Yet these were matters of praise to God in Israel. These are the things about which Moses and the children of Israel sang in Exodus 15.
God’s spiritual Israel shall also sing his raise for his terrible acts of judgment and justice which he has done and will do to his and our enemies (Rev. 191-7).
“When the year of his redeemed was come, it was a day of vengeance in his heart, and he exercised it. He made an end of sin, abolished death, destroyed him which had the power of it, and spoiled principalities and powers.” John Gill
And in that great and terrible day of judgment to which we are hastening has come, it will be a day of dreadful slaughter. Babylon and all who are drunk with the intoxicating wine of her free will, works religion, shall be slaughtered by the breath of our great God. In that day we shall sing the song of Moses and the Lamb because of God’s fearful acts of judgment.
The same thing applies today, with regard to those terrible dispensations of Providence which bring men and nations to ruin. They are judgments of God, terrible acts of judgment for which he is t be praised with awe. Just as God’s judgments on Pharaoh and the Egyptians struck awe in the heart of Moses, so God’s providential judgments upon men strike awe in his people. Yet, they are matters of praise to our God.
2. The Manner Of Praise
God is to be praised in a reverent manner. He flippant, hand clapping, charismatic worship of his generation is light years away from the awe with which God was worshipped in days of old by those who knew him.
We realize that we cannot sufficiently praise the Lord. We are and ought to be fear that we might not worship him after the due order laid down in Scripture. Being sensible of our weakness and sin, like the seraphim, we cover our faces while they applaud his perfections, particularly that of his holiness, and declare the earth is full of his glory.
Again I quote from John Gill. He tells us that believers “Desire to perform (their acts of worship), as all their other services, with a holy fear and trembling, with reverence and godly fear since holy and reverend is his name.” Yet, there is more in the text.
C. Our great and glorious God is solitarily supreme as God because he is God “DOING WONDER”!
We will not be able, even in eternity, to calculate the wonders of his hand; but it is good for our souls and honoring to our God for us to try. Ever behold, O my soul, the wonders of your great God!
· Covenant Wonders!
· Creation Wonders!
· Providence Wonders!
· Redemption Wonders!
· Grace Wonders!
· Resurrection Wonders!
· Judgment Wonders!
II. MICAH 7:18-20 "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. (19) He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (20) Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old."
I cannot imagine a single text of Scripture more graciously calculated to comforts downcast hearts and heavy laden souls than this. Here, in the midst of considering terrible things, Micah turns to God’s character to comfort his heart, declaring him to be the only God there is, and asserting that he distinguishes himself from all others in these acts.
A. He pardoneth iniquity, perpetually!
B. He passes by the transgressions of his elect for Christ’s sake
C. He retains not his anger forever!
D. He delights in mercy!
E. He will turn again to his elect.
F. He will have compassion on us.
G. He will subdue our iniquities!
H. He has cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
I. He will perform the truth and mercy of his grace, which was promised in his covenant to all his elect.
III. PSALM 35:9-10 "And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation. (10) All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?"
In this great business of salvation, truly, there is none to compare with our great God. I will say no more than the text says. It speaks not of God’s election, Christ’s redemption, and the Spirit’s call. In this text, we do not read a word about the many adjectives we use to describe God’s grace and salvation. Words like free, sovereign, eternal, unconditional, and immutable are not used here. Why? Because God the Holy Spirit does not need as many words to say some as I do. But the essence of all those things are obviously in the text. In salvation God delivers the poor from him that is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him that spoileth him. In other words, “Salvation is of the Lord!”
IV. PSALM 89:8-9 "O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? (9) Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them."
O troubled, tempest tossed, burdened soul, listen to your pastor. Here is your only source of comfort. God our Savior is your only recourse. Look to him. Lean on him. Take refuge in him.
· You can find strength in him whose nature is omnipotence! He alone is strong!
· You can depend upon your God who is encircled, enshrined as it were, with his own faithfulness.
· It is the Lord our God who rules the raging sea, even when the waves thereof arise!
· And it is our God who alone stills the raging wave of our troubled seas.
V. 1 KINGS 8:22-23 "And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: (23) And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart."
Solomon learned from his father what I hope, somehow, by the grace and power of God’s Spirit, I can communicate to you. Our comfort, at all times is to be found in the covenant keeping character of our God! If ever you and I can get hold of this, it will serve as an anchor for our souls.