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Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

Palms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  23:49
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If I asked you to make a list of the five people in the world that you have trusted the most, I could say with confidence that most of you would place your mother’s name on that list. It is not without reason we celebrate Mother’s Day.
This is the reason why David chose the mother-child relationship as an illustration of how we should trust God. We just sang Psalm 131, now let me read it to refresh your memories.
Psalm 131:1–3 ESV
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.
The verbal picture David paints is of himself leaning on God’s arms like a small child leans upon his mother’s arms. This first thing David urges us to do is...

Humbly Rest on God’s Wisdom (vs. 1)

Psalm 131:1 ESV
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
According to my mother, almost as soon as I could talk, I started plying her with questions: “What’s that? “; “How come?”; and “Why?” This pre-school inquisition would go on all day, until my mother thought she might lose her sanity. When my father would come home my mother would hand me over to my father says, “Here, you take him. I can’t answer another question!”
Although she found my questions exhausting, she loved it, because she knew this was part of the maturing process.
As our heavenly Father, God wants us to mature in our faith. The essential doctrines of the Christian faith are simple enough that anyone can understand them, but God wants us to mature past the stage of spiritual infancy.
Hebrews 5:12–14 ESV
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
This is why some things in the Bible are hard to understand. God wants to challenge our faith so that we will grow into spiritual maturity, into according to Paul, “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph 4:13)
However, when we go beyond the things God has revealed to us we can get into trouble. We read this in Deuteronomy:
Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
There are things that according to David are “too great and too marvelous” for us. These are the “secret things” Moses speaks of in Deuteronomy 29. What are some examples of “the secret things’?
“Why did my child become sick and die?”
“What is the relationship between human responsibility and Divine sovereignty?”
“Why did God create Satan, if He knew he would rebel?”
It is not that these questions are not important. They are very important, but God in His wisdom has chosen not to reveal the answers to us.
Some of our questions, such as the one concerning the relationship between human responsibility and Divine sovereignty are probably beyond our ability as finite created beings to ever understand. God has the ability to relate to us in ways we cannot relate to other creatures. The distance between us and God is far greater than the distance between ourselves and ants!
Other questions we have the ability to understand the answers, but God in His wisdom is asking us to wait for the answer.
It is difficult to accept that some things we may never be able to understand and it is even more difficult to accept that it is necessary for us to wait for the answer. We all like Eve want to eat from the forbidden tree and become “like God.”
This is why Jesus taught we must trust God like a little child.
Mark 10:15 ESV
Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Jesus is not teaching us that we are to be “childish,” but rather child-like in our humility and trust.
I remember one occasion when I didn’t ask my mother any questions. She woke me up from my sleep. I could hear the sirens wailing and the rain and wind beating against the house. Telling me to get up and climb into her arms I obeyed without question. I remember being carried on her hip as we hurried to our neighbor’s storm shelter. A tornado had been sighted outside our little town!
As I was preparing this sermon, I was pleased to see that our bulletin covers today have this verse on the cover:
Proverbs 31:26 ESV
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
This is the picture of a godly woman, because it is a picture of God!
If we as children could humbly trust our mothers wisdom, how much more can we trust our Heavenly Father’s wisdom. Especially when we consider His love.
Psalm 131:2 ESV
But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.
From this verse we learn that we must:

Quietly Rest on God’s Love (vs. 2)

As infants we would fuss and cry until our mother’s gave us milk, but in time a child learns to trust in something much more satisfying than milk, his mother’s love! That is the point of verse two, we must trust in God like a weaned child with its mother.
In verse one we learned that we can trust God because of His wisdom, but wisdom is not comfort without love.
Every time my phone rings I check the number, if I do not recognize the number I have learned to brace myself when I answer because nine times out of ten the caller is a scammer. These scammers have “wisdom,” but they use their “wisdom” to defraud others out of their money and personal information. What they lack is love!
We trusted our mother’s wisdom, because she loved us. This is the same reason we can trust in God.
A chapter that has become the favorite of many is Romans 8. This chapter is so dear to so many because it highlights both God’s wisdom and His love.
First His wisdom:
Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Then His love:
Romans 8:31–32 ESV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
There comes a point in a child’s live when they outgrow their mother’s arms. This has been God’s plan from the beginning.
Genesis 2:24 ESV
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Not so with God!...

You Will Never Outgrow God’s Arms (vs. 3)

This great truth is found in verse three.
Psalm 131:3 ESV
O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.
That closing phrase points to the eternal. We will never outgrow God’s wise and loving arms!
As wonderful as our earthly mothers and fathers are, they are not meant to be eternal, they are mere types pointing to the greater reality found in God.
As you love and honor your mother today, may your love and honor for God grow as well.
Let us pray.
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