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When Life Changes, God is Good!

Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  24:08
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Our Scripture lesson this morning is Psalm 106:1. This verse was the memory and theme verse for Day 3 of this year’s VBS. You have already heard it read during our Call to Worship, however let me read it once again.
Psalm 106:1 ESV
Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
This verse was chosen for Day 3 because the main teaching point of that day was: When Life Changes, God is Good!
Our lives are lived in a sea of change. This poses a great challenge to children today, as marriage has fallen by the wayside, children are the greatest victims. Study after study has confirmed that when children are in a two-parent home in which the parents are married (not simply living together), their chances of growing into healthy adults greatly increases. The lives many children live is chaotic as they are passed from one parent to the next, moving from one city to the next, from one school to the next.
I say this not to be hurtful or judgmental, but to be honest. We are all sinners here and each of us have left in our wake many hurting people.
In fact, as we continue reading Psalm 106, we discover that sin does not cause mere wakes, but it causes tidal waves of change. Starting in verse 6, the Psalmist recounts the history of Israel for 41 verses. I cannot read this entire section, but let me read the beginning and the end to give you a taste:
Psalm 106:6–8 ESV
Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness. Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power.
The history of Israel begun with God delivered them out of captivity in Egypt and it end in their captivity in Babylon.
Psalm 106:36–46 ESV
They served their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the whore in their deeds. Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage; he gave them into the hand of the nations, so that those who hated them ruled over them. Their enemies oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their power. Many times he delivered them, but they were rebellious in their purposes and were brought low through their iniquity. Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry. For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love. He caused them to be pitied by all those who held them captive.
Two things jump out from this brief retelling of Israel’s history.
Some Things Change
Some Things Never Change
Let us look at the first:

Some Things Change

The period between the Exodus and the Exile was almost 1000 years, during that time the fortunes of Israel went up and down, mainly down! The history of Israel is a sad story of sin and rebellion. It is given to us to show us our own sin. If there was ever a nation that could have built a perfect society, it was Israel. They were an elect nation, chosen out of all the nations of the world to save the world by being priests unto them. They had God’s favor and every advantage, but for 1000 years they rebelled against God.
The consequence of their sin was change—one disaster after another until their nation was utterly destroyed! Their story is our story. In the book of Romans Paul retraces the history of humanity and he concludes by saying:
Romans 3:23 ESV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
This brings us to the second point:

Some Things Never Change

One of the things that doesn’t change is human sinfulness. One generation may be more sinful than another, but all generations have been sinful, but this is not the only thing that does not change:
God’s steadfast love never changes!
Throughout these 41 verses is the recurring pattern of Israel’s sin and God’s forgiveness.
This is why the Psalmist closes this psalm with these words:
Psalm 106:47–48 ESV
Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!
This brings us to the final point:

In All Things, Jesus is Our Rock

Although Jesus name is not mentioned in this Psalm, His presence is felt all through it. It is felt in the tension between God’s Holy Justice and His Holy Love. God is so pure, Habakkuk the prophet says, “Your eyes are too pure to behold evil and you cannot look on wrongdoing.” (Hab 1:13) How can a holy God remain holy and come so close to sinners in forgiving love?
The Old Testament does not answer this question, it only hints at an answer—there was a coming suffering Servant.
Isaiah 53:5–6 ESV
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Jesus, Paul says is this servant who resolved this tension between an unchanging holiness and an unchanging love. Beginning at Romans 3:23, which we have already looked at, Paul goes on to say:
Romans 3:23–26 ESV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Jesus is the flesh and blood manifestation of God’s steadfast love. He was the rock that Moses struck in the desert. He was the cloud by day and the fire by night that guided Israel though the desert. He was the mighty warrior that met with Joshua before the gates of Jericho and He was the one that rode in the mighty chariot that met with Ezekiel by the Chebar river.
Jesus is the rock that you can count on in a changing world.
First of all, Jesus is a Rock you can stand on. In a world of change people don’t know what to believe or who to trust. The author of Hebrews writes:
Hebrews 13:8 ESV
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Jesus, as the Word of God, speaks to us through Scripture. We have seen tremendous change in our society in the last several decades. The world our children and grandchildren are growing up in is much worse than the world we grew up in and this is all because of one reason—we have forgotten the Word of God. We need to stand on Christ, by standing on His Word.
Jesus is also a Rock to build on. Jesus told a parable about two houses: One house was built on sand and washed away. The other house was built on a rock and withstood the storms of life. Jesus is that Rock. Change is coming at all of us like a flood, the only way we can survive is by building our lives on Jesus Christ.
Finally, Jesus is a Rock to hold on to. Life threatens to wash us away. When we hold on to Jesus, He has the power to turn even the bad things into good.
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.
The storms of change can be so intense that you may not be able to see the “good” right now, but God promises you this: If you hold on to Jesus, you will wash up someday to a blissful shore where “all tears will be wiped away.”
In a moment we are going to sing the hymn, A Shelter in the Time of Storm, but before we do so I want to pray for each and every one of you that you may make Jesus your Rock.
Let us pray.
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