Faithlife Sermons

We Repeat Lest We Repeat

Love Gives Thanks  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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His HESED endures forever.



o Donuts
· All of us have probably heard the saying, “History repeats itself,” but did you know that it’s in the Bible?

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NASB 2020)

History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.”

· We’ve seen history repeat itself in current events, in personal relationships, in family dynamics.

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience.”

· Paul explains

1 Corinthians 10:11-12 ESV

11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall..”

o Psalm 136/Refrain/26 times

Psalm 136 (ESV)

1Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

2Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.

3Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;

4to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever;

5to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever;

6to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever;

7to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever;

8the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever;

9the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever;

10to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, for his steadfast love endures forever;

11and brought Israel out from among them, for his steadfast love endures forever;

12with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever;

13to him who divided the Red Sea in two, for his steadfast love endures forever;

14and made Israel pass through the midst of it, for his steadfast love endures forever;

15but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for his steadfast love endures forever;

16to him who led his people through the wilderness, for his steadfast love endures forever;

17to him who struck down great kings, for his steadfast love endures forever;

18and killed mighty kings, for his steadfast love endures forever;

19Sihon, king of the Amorites, for his steadfast love endures forever;

20and Og, king of Bashan, for his steadfast love endures forever;

21and gave their land as a heritage, for his steadfast love endures forever;

22a heritage to Israel his servant, for his steadfast love endures forever.

23It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever;

24and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever;

25he who gives food to all flesh, for his steadfast love endures forever.

26Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Let’s Pray.

We Repeat, Lest We Repeat

o Divorce/Like a death/no one expects to go through it/euphoria not enough; covenant/
Serve Sarah
repeat ungodly patterns of people from our past in our present.
o Israel/Facepalm/King cycle/man-made gods with eyes which can’t see...
o Us
· But now, it gets personal./
Family Tree/Post-exilic/Lesson hits home, after building anew, reciting history: through it all. Even to us./
Updated and Expanded edition—>
Let’s look once more at verse 23-24.

23It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever;

24and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever;

He Remembered Us and Rescued Us

· God had repeatedly told the Israelites to remember/Does that not break your heart?/exile, lifeless worship of idols
—>Look with me at Deuteronomy 28:36-37.

Deuteronomy 28:36(NLT)

36“The Lord will exile you and your king to a nation unknown to you and your ancestors. There in exile you will worship gods of wood and stone!

· Remember: whole covenant promise of inheriting a land of promise, to worship the God who had delivered them.
One prominent time was in the time of the Judges.
Judges 6:6 (NASB 2020)

6 So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord.

· Thus, God raises up Gideon, a man who was hiding when God called him/didn’t finish well

Judges 8:34 (NASB 2020)

34 “So the sons of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had saved them from the hands of all their enemies on every side.”

o From Remember to Forget: on-again-off-again regularity/
remember Him, He kept from sins/Forgot to repeat worship of God, would repeat sins of fathers/cry out to God

The Crazy Cycle

God sent a prophet named Hosea/Living sermon
Hosea 6:3-4
· 3 So let us know—let us press on to know the LORD. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the earth.
· 4 What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning mist, like the early dew that vanishes.
Emerson Eggerichs: Husbands to love wives, wives respect husbands: Crazy cycle until someone steps up to stop the cycle.
“He remembered us in our low estate and rescued us from our foes. He who calls us to remember remembers.
-someone has to step in.

o Hesed: His Love Endures Forever

a lot shorter/Hesed: 250 times in OT: love, generosity, commitment (Covenant)
Michael“when the person from whom I have a right to expect nothing gives me everything.”

Ruth 1:16-18:

16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

18 And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.


When I Deserved Nothing, God Gave Me Everything.

Let’s Stand.
- Why we sing these songs again, why we praise, why we tell these stories.
- Deliverance
- Inheritance
- We get to worship

We Repeat Lest We Repeat

- For those who are in the down cycle

We Repent Lest We Repeat

· For those…
· Rom. 7:21-25
Romans 7:21–25 (ESV)
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
· In general, one may identify three basic meanings of hesed, and these 3 meanings always interact -- strength, steadfastness, and love. Any understanding of hesed that fails to suggest all three inevitably loses some of its richness. Love by itself easily becomes sentimentalized or universalized apart from the covenant. Yet strength or steadfastness suggests only the fulfillment of a legal (or similar) obligation. Hesed refers primarily to mutual and reciprocal rights and obligations between the parties of a relationship (especially Jehovah and Israel). But hesed is not only a matter of obligation but is also of generosity. It is not only a matter of loyalty, but also of mercy. Hesed implies personal involvement and commitment in a relationship beyond the rule of law.4
· It is tempting to say hesedis the most important word in the Hebrew Scriptures. One Bible encyclopedia calls it one of the most important theological words in the Old Testament; another lexicon describes it as the most sacramental word in the Bible. A good case can be made for the claim that it has the largest range of meaning of any word in the Hebrew language, and perhaps in any language.
· Hesed occurs nearly 250 times in the Hebrew Bible throughout all of the three major divisions—the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. The majority of occurrences (127) are in the Psalms.5
· Though Hesed is translated in a variety of ways throughout the Old Testament, the best definition I’ve found comes from a book by Michael Card, where he translated Hesed as “when the person from whom I have a right to expect nothing gives me everything.”
· In Genesis hesed indicates an exceptional favor from God, something that has not been earned but graciously given.6
· For example, the first time the word appears in the Hebrew Bible (Gen 19:19), Lot is asking God whether he can flee to Zoar instead of to the mountains. He has no right to expect that God will grant this indulgence but in his desperation he asks, and God in his kindness allows it. In Exodus, where the word occurs only four times, it leaps ahead in meaning and is used by God himself to describe his character. This demonstrates the fact that word meaning is not a simple matter of growth over time.7
· Reciprocity is an indication that you have internalized the truth of hesed. If it is not returned freely in gratitude, you have not understood the nature of the hesed that was shown to you in the first place. (Note that Jesus’ brother James speaks of this as well:
· “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has not shown mercy”; Jas 2:13.)8a
Even when we fail to remember God, God remembers us.
Deut 30:1-5
Even when we fail to reverence God, God rescues us.
· Blessings/Curses:
· Fail to obey, they would be taken by other nations
· But if they called Him, He would bring them home
When I’m ever failing, His love is never-failing (unfailing).
· Even in my failures, His love endures.
o “It’s Not Your Fault”
· There is a story that comes to us from World War I. After the war there were so many orphans that the Americans actually gave money to set up an orphanage in an area. And into that orphanage came a man who obviously was out of work. He was thin. He was poor. He was weak. And he had beside him a little girl; her extended abdomen showed that she was really very hungry and probably at the point of starvation. So he said to the person behind the desk, “Would you take my daughter and care for her?”
· The person at the desk said, “Are you her father?” And he said yes; he said, “We cannot take her. Because we have so many applicants and the needs are so great, we are limiting ourselves to children whose parents are dead. And so, as long as you are alive, we cannot take your child.” He said, “You mean to tell me that if I were to die, you would take my daughter and care for her?” And they said yes. He said “Well, if that’s the case, I can arrange that.” He gave his precious little girl a hug and a kiss, and then he took her little hand and put it into the hand of the man behind the desk and said, “I can arrange that.”
· And, according to the story that I heard, he went out and committed suicide. “If that’s what it takes for you to take my daughter, I can arrange that.”
· Well Jesus, of course, did not commit suicide. But He did get Himself crucified. It’s very clear that He goes to Jerusalem and He knows that there He is to be crucified. He tells the disciples that He is to be crucified, and He is crucified within the providence and the predetermined plan of God. And I can imagine—and we’re only now speaking in human language, because all of the plans of God were known from eternity—but let’s use our imagination: The Son goes to the Father and says, “Father, if it takes Calvary for Me to reconcile people to Us as the Trinity, I can arrange that.” And that’s what He did at the cross so that He could cause us to be born again. Notice that the text says “because of his great mercy.”
One might reckon it a simple truth, couched in simple words. But with the words first learned by rote, and the truth of them then experienced again and again both in blessings and in troubles, God’s servant finds them in time of real need a blazing affirmation that cannot be too often repeated.10
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