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Attributes Of God 3

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Attributes Of God: Faithfulness

Text: Psalm 89:1-8

Thesis: To see God’s trait of faithfulness in the Bible, and to understand how it affects our faith.

Introduction:

  1. Since Hurricane Katrina, much criticism has been leveled at the government, at FEMA, and /

        or President Bush.  “They forgot about us,” was the charge of many.  Regardless of where

        the blame actually lies, many will never again trust the government to help when needed.

  2. We sometimes realize our need for God.  But can we count on Him?  Will He always be

        there for us?  There have been times when God didn’t seem to answer our prayers; what

        about those times?

  3. In our previous lessons we have seen God’s transcendence and His holiness.  The attribute

        of faithfulness is another vital trait to understand.  If God is not faithful, why bother with

        Him?  But if He is faithful, how should we be to Him?

Discussion:

I.       God’s Faithfulness In The Old Testament

A.    The concept of faithfulness illustrated:

1.      Ruth 4:16 - Toward the end of the book, Naomi is said to become a “nurse” to the child born to Ruth and Boaz.  The word for “nurse” is normally translated “faithful”, and is a word often used of God.  Just as a child’s nurse can be relied upon, so God is dependable when it comes to the need of His children.

2.      Neh. 9:7,8 - God found the heart of Abraham to be faithful.  Even in the matter of sacrificing his own son, Abraham could be counted on.  This again is the word used to describe the faithfulness of God.

B.     Statements of God’s faithfulness:

1.      Deut. 7:9,10 - Moses declared the faithfulness of God to Israel.  He would keep His promises to a thousand generations, i.e. perpetually.  Israel could rely on Him!

2.      Josh. 23:14,15 - A generation later Joshua reflected on God’s faithfulness.  Not one word of God’s promises had failed, he stated.  But that faithfulness would also work negatively; if they did not obey God, He would be faithful to punish them.

3.      God’s faithfulness in the psalms:

a.       Psa. 36:5 - In saying that God’s faithfulness reaches to the clouds, the psalmist was stating that it was greater than man’s ability to fathom.

b.      Psa. 89:1-8 - Four times in these eight verses Ethan declares God to be a God of faithfulness.  It is an attribute for which people should praise Him.  In verses 3,4 he points to that faithfulness in God’s promise to David, to establish David’s throne forever.  All of us today should rejoice that God was faithful to that promise, or else we would have had no Savior.

c.       Psa. 119:75 - Even in affliction, the psalmist knew that God was faithful.  What trust it takes to hold that position!  But what a strength to know that God has not forgotten us even though we suffer.

4.      Lam. 3:22-24 - One of the greatest statements of God’s faithfulness was written in the midst of desolation.  Jeremiah, looking upon the ruins of Jerusalem, yet acknowledged that God’s faithfulness is great.

C.     “Great is Thy Faithfulness” - one of the truly great hymns of our faith.  It speaks of a truth for which we should all be thankful.  As a nursing mother tends to the smallest needs of a helpless child, so our God can be counted on to help us with our needs.  Without this faithfulness, God is awesome (because of His transcendence and holiness), but is He someone we want to know?

II.    Is God Still Faithful?

A.    1 Cor. 1:9 - A simple statement helps us quickly see that God, who continues to call us through Christ, is still faithful.  Though some aspects of God’s dealings are different, this trait remains unchanged.  God is faithful even today!

B.     What God’s faithfulness means to the Christian:

1.      1 Thes. 5:23,24 - Is it really possible that Christians can be sanctified and preserved blameless?  God is faithful and He will do it.

2.      1 Pet. 4:19 - When we suffer, we can commit ourselves to God, knowing that He is faithful to His children.  His help is sure to come.

3.      1 Jn. 1:9 - If we confess our sins, will God actually forgive us?  He will, John affirmed; He is faithful and just to do so.

4.      1 Cor. 10:13 - At times we feel we can’t possibly endure what we’re going through.  But Paul assures us that we can; God is faithful, and will not allow us to be given more than we can endure.

5.      Heb. 13:5,6 - God’s promise is to never leave us or forsake us.  As a result, we can say with confidence that God is our helper, and we will not fear what man might do.

6.      In each of these situations, we walk by faith:

a.       Can I be presented on Judgment Day blameless?

b.      Is God still with me when I suffer?

c.       Will God really forgive me when I sin?

d.      Can I hold up under these trying circumstances?

e.       Will God ever leave me?

f.       1The only way we can ever answer these questions is not by sight, but by faith.  And God’s faithfulness assures us that God is with us, helping us.

C.     The burro rides down into the Grand Canyon have long been popular.  The trail they take is narrow and dangerously steep.  Riders are warned not to try to pull the reins of these animals, but to let them find their own path.  It’s a ride of faith!  In the same way we must trust God to safely guide us through the dangerous paths of life.  We don’t know the way, but He does, and He is faithful in His task of helping us get through.

Conclusion:

  1. Jas. 1:17 - James tried to illustrate God’s faithfulness by pointing to the moon.  Some nights

        it is full and bright; other nights it is only a sliver.  But God does not change.  He is always

        what we need.

  2. What a mighty and powerful God we serve!  Among His impressive attributes are these:

        a. Transcendent - He is beyond human experience in every aspect

        b. Holiness - He is untainted by sin, being purely righteous

        c. Faithfulness - He can be counted on in all the important situations of life.

  3. With a God like this, is it asking to much to make Him our life-long pursuit?

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