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God Cares

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GOD CARES

EXODUS 3:7-8a

7 THE LORD SAID, “I HAVE INDEED SEEN THE MISERY OF MY PEOPLE IN EGYPT. I HAVE HEARD THEM CRYING OUT BECAUSE OF THEIR SLAVE DRIVERS, AND I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR SUFFERING. 8 SO I HAVE COME DOWN TO RESCUE THEM FROM THE HAND OF THE EGYPTIANS AND TO BRING THEM UP OUT OF THAT LAND INTO A GOOD AND SPACIOUS LAND, A LAND FLOWING WITH MILK AND HONEY...

                   TELL THE MOSES STORY BACKGROUND

 

          MOSES:    WAS      X-ROYALTY

          MOSES:    WAS A MISSION FAILURE

          MOSES:    WAS A LOWLY SHEPHERD

          MOSES:    WAS AT THE BURNING BUSH

7 THE LORD SAID, “I HAVE INDEED SEEN THE MISERY OF MY PEOPLE IN EGYPT.

I.  GOD SEES

SYNDICATED NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST THOMAS FRIEDMAN, A KEEN OBSERVER OF WORLD TRENDS, DEVOTED A RECENT COLUMN TO THE IDEA THAT TECHNOLOGY HAS MADE EVERYONE A POTENTIAL PAPARAZZI.

FRIEDMAN EXPLAINS THAT ANYONE WE ENCOUNTER COULD HAVE A CELL PHONE WITH A CAMERA THAT COULD RECORD OUR ACTIONS.

IF WE'RE BEING RUDE OR MISBEHAVING, WE COULD END UP ON SOMEBODY'S BLOG OR THEIR MYSPACE WEBSITE FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE.

"EVERYONE OF US ARE POTENTIAL PUBLIC FIGURES WOW,"

IN THIS WORLD OF NEW AND POTENTIALLY REVEALING TECHNOLOGY,

HOW WE LIVE OUR LIVES AND CONDUCT OUR BUSINESS HAS BECOME FAR MORE SIGNIFICANT.

"WE DON'T LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES (HOUSES HAVE WALLS);

WE LIVE ON GLASS MICROSCOPE SLIDES…VISIBLE AND EXPOSED FOR EVERYONE TO SEE.

THINK ABOUT IT —TAKE GREAT CARE HOW YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE, BECAUSE SOMEONE IS WATCHING.

THIS MAY BE NEWS TO A COLUMNIST LIKE  THOMAS FRIEDMAN,  BUT IT'S HARDLY A REVELATION TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN A SOVEREIGN, ALL-SEEING GOD LIKE WE DO.

GOD WAS WATCHING THE KINGS OF ISRAEL

AND JUDAH.

THOSE KINGS WHO PUT GOD FIRST PROSPERED.

THOSE KINGS WHO ABANDONED GOD

FOR THE BAALS AND OTHER FALSE GODS,     SUFFERED.

2 CHRONICLES 26:3 (NIV)
3 UZZIAH WAS SIXTEEN YEARS OLD WHEN HE BECAME KING, AND HE REIGNED IN JERUSALEM FIFTY-TWO YEARS. HIS MOTHER’S NAME WAS JECOLIAH; SHE WAS FROM JERUSALEM.

4 HE DID WHAT WAS RIGHT IN THE EYES OF THE LORD, JUST AS HIS FATHER AMAZIAH HAD DONE.

AS LONG AS HE SOUGHT THE LORD, GOD GAVE HIM SUCCESS.

2 CHRONICLES 27:6 (NIV)

6 JOTHAM GREW POWERFUL BECAUSE HE WALKED STEADFASTLY BEFORE THE LORD HIS GOD.

2 CHRONICLES 28:1-5 (NIV)

AHAZ KING OF JUDAH

28     AHAZ WAS TWENTY YEARS OLD WHEN HE BECAME KING, AND HE REIGNED IN JERUSALEM SIXTEEN YEARS. UNLIKE DAVID HIS FATHER, HE DID NOT DO WHAT WAS RIGHT IN THE EYES OF THE LORD. 2 HE WALKED IN THE WAYS OF THE KINGS OF ISRAEL AND ALSO MADE CAST IDOLS FOR WORSHIPING THE BAALS. 3 HE BURNED SACRIFICES IN THE VALLEY OF BEN HINNOM AND SACRIFICED HIS SONS IN THE FIRE, FOLLOWING THE DETESTABLE WAYS OF THE NATIONS THE LORD HAD DRIVEN OUT BEFORE THE ISRAELITES. 4 HE OFFERED SACRIFICES AND BURNED INCENSE AT THE HIGH PLACES, ON THE HILLTOPS AND UNDER EVERY SPREADING TREE.

5 THEREFORE THE LORD HIS GOD HANDED HIM OVER TO THE KING OF ARAM. THE ARAMEANS DEFEATED HIM AND TOOK MANY OF HIS PEOPLE AS PRISONERS AND BROUGHT THEM TO DAMASCUS.

HE WAS ALSO GIVEN INTO THE HANDS OF THE KING OF ISRAEL, WHO INFLICTED HEAVY CASUALTIES ON HIM.

GOD'S WATCHING WHEN WE'RE SINFUL AND DO EVIL HARMFUL THINGS.

GOD'S WATCHING WHEN WE'RE GREEDY

AND FAIL TO STEP UP

AND DO SOMETHING TO HELP OUR BROTHERS.

BUT GOD'S ALSO WATCHING WHEN WE

HUMBLE OURSELVES BEFORE HIM.

HE'S WATCHING WHEN WE CRY OUT TO HIM FOR DELIVERANCE.

HE'S WATCHING WHEN WE'RE TREATED UNFAIRLY.

GOD SEES WHAT'S HAPPENING ON THE STREET,

HE KNOWS WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR HOMES,

AND HE EVEN SEES WHAT'S HAPPENING

INSIDE OUR VERY HEADS.

GOD SEES WHAT'S GOIN ON.

GENESIS 16:13-14 (NIV)
13 SHE (HAGAR) GAVE THIS NAME TO THE LORD WHO SPOKE TO HER: “YOU ARE THE GOD WHO SEES ME,” FOR SHE SAID, “I HAVE NOW SEEN THE ONE WHO SEES ME.” 14 THAT IS WHY THE WELL WAS CALLED BEER LAHAI ROI; (WELL OF THE LIVING ONE WHO SEES ME)

IT IS STILL THERE, BETWEEN KADESH AND BERED.

I HAVE HEARD THEM CRYING OUT BECAUSE OF THEIR SLAVE DRIVERS,

II.  GOD HEARS

HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE CELL PHONE RINGTONE THAT JUNIOR HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOL KIDS ARE USING TO KEEP TEACHERS FROM DISCOVERING THAT THEY ARE USING THEIR CELL PHONES IN SCHOOL?

THE PITCH OF THIS RINGTONE, CALLED THE "MOSQUITO TONE,"        IS TOO HIGH FOR PEOPLE OVER 25 TO HEAR.

SO THE KIDS CAN STILL SEND AND RECEIVE TEXT MESSAGES DURING CLASS WITHOUT THE TEACHER KNOWING.

THE MOSQUITO TONE WAS FIRST DEVELOPED IN GREAT BRITAIN TO IRRITATE TEENAGERS WHO WERE LOITERING AROUND CONVENIENCE STORES AND KEEPING CUSTOMERS AWAY BY THEIR LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS BEHAVIOR…

SOME KID SIMPLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO USE THAT SOUND AS HIS CELL PHONE'S RINGTONE

AND—VOILÀ—KIDS ARE DOWNLOADING IT BY THE MILLIONS.

HOW DOES THE MOSQUITO TONE GO UNDETECTED BY ADULTS OLDER THAN 25?

INSIDE OUR EARS WE HAVE TINY MICROSCOPIC HAIRS THAT MOVE WITH THE IMPULSES OF INCOMING SOUND WAVES,

AND THOSE HAIR MOVEMENTS SEND ELECTRICAL SIGNALS TO OUR BRAIN.

AS WE AGE, THOSE HAIRS GET WORN DOWN, ACTUALLY DAMAGED, SO OUR HEARING BECOMES LESS SENSITIVE.

WE FIRST LOSE THE ABILITY TO DETECT THE SOUNDS OF HIGH FREQUENCIES.

 PEOPLE OVER 25 CAN'T HEAR SOUNDS ABOVE 16 KILOHERTZ.       (THE HIGHEST NOTE ON A PIANO IS 4 KHZ; THE MOSQUITO TONE IS  17 KHZ.)

THIS SITUATION SERVES AS AN ANALOGY TO HELP US UNDERSTAND THE COMMON DIFFICULTY OF DETECTING COMMUNICATION FROM GOD.

ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE, THE REALITY OF GOD CAN BE PERCEIVED IN THE WONDERS OF CREATION,

AND ALL PEOPLE—INCLUDING NONBELIEVERS—CAN DETECT THIS INFORMATION.

BUT IF THEY FAIL TO RESPOND, THEY GRADUALLY LOSE THE ABILITY TO SENSE GOD ALTOGETHER…

THEY LOSE "SPIRITUAL EAR HAIR" SO TO SPEAK.

THE SAME PRINCIPLE HOLDS TRUE EVEN FOR CHRISTIANS.

JUST AS UNBELIEVERS CAN LOSE THEIR ABILITY TO PERCEIVE GOD IN THE MACRO-MESSAGES OF NATURE IF THEY DON'T RESPOND APPROPRIATELY TO WHAT THEY SEE,

WE BELIEVERS CAN LOSE OUR SENSITIVITY TO GOD

IF WE DON'T RESPOND APPROPRIATELY TO HIS PROMPTINGS.

GOD HEARS WHEN OUR HEARTS ARE BROKEN

AND WE CRY THROUGH THE NIGHT,

GOD HEARS, WHEN THE LONG NIGHT HOURS STRETCH OUT AHEAD OF US AND WE THINK THE DARKNESS

IS NEVER GOING TO END.

GOD HEARS WHEN IT LOOKS LIKE OUR CIRCUMSTANCES ARE HOPELESS.

GOD HEARS WHEN WE CRY OUT IN AGONY OVER OUR CHILDREN WHO ARE NOT SERVING THE LORD.

OUR GOD IS A GOD WHO HEARS!

AND HIS HEART ACHES ALONG WITH OURS.

GOD SAID;

I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR SUFFERING.

III.  GOD IS CONCERNED

GOD NOT ONLY SEES,   

GOD NOT ONLY HEARS,

BUT, GOD HAS A COMPASSIONATE HEART FOR HIS CHILDREN

HIS HEART BREAKS WHEN WE'RE HEARTBROKEN.

OUR TEARS AFFECT GOD.  HE'S CONCERNED FOR US.

A CONCERNED HUSBAND WENT TO SEE THE FAMILY DOCTOR:

"I THINK MY WIFE IS DEAF.

SHE NEVER HEARS ME THE FIRST TIME I SAY SOMETHING.

IN FACT, I OFTEN HAVE TO REPEAT THINGS OVER AND OVER AGAIN."

"WELL," THE DOCTOR REPLIED, "GO HOME TONIGHT,

STAND ABOUT 15 FEET FROM HER, AND SAY SOMETHING.

IF SHE DOESN'T REPLY,

MOVE ABOUT FIVE FEET CLOSER AND SAY IT AGAIN.

KEEP DOING THIS SO WE CAN GET AN IDEA OF THE SEVERITY OF HER DEAFNESS."

SURE ENOUGH, THE HUSBAND GOES HOME,

AND HE DOES EXACTLY AS INSTRUCTED.

HE STANDS ABOUT 15 FEET FROM HIS WIFE,

WHO IS STANDING IN THE KITCHEN, CHOPPING SOME VEGETABLES.

"HONEY, WHAT'S FOR DINNER?"

HE GETS NO RESPONSE,

SO HE MOVES ABOUT FIVE FEET CLOSER AND ASKS AGAIN.

"HONEY, WHAT'S FOR DINNER?"

NO REPLY.

HE MOVES FIVE FEET CLOSER, AND STILL NO REPLY.

HE GETS FED UP AND MOVES RIGHT BEHIND HER—

ABOUT AN INCH AWAY—AND ASKS ONE FINAL TIME,

"HONEY, WHAT'S FOR DINNER?"

SHE REPLIES, "FOR THE FOURTH TIME, VEGETABLE STEW!"

__________________________________________________________________

8 SO I HAVE COME DOWN TO RESCUE THEM FROM THE HAND OF THE EGYPTIANS AND TO BRING THEM UP OUT OF THAT LAND INTO A GOOD AND SPACIOUS LAND, A LAND FLOWING WITH MILK AND HONEY...

IV.  GOD HAS COME DOWN AND IS GOING TO RESCUE THEM

 

FIREPROOF IS THE STORY OF CALEB AND KATHRYN HOLT,

A COUPLE THAT IS CONSIDERING DIVORCE

AFTER SEVEN YEARS OF MARRIAGE.

IN ONE LAST ATTEMPT TO SALVAGE THEIR MARRIAGE,

CALEB'S FATHER ASKS CALEB TO TRY A 40-DAY EXPERIMENT.

HE CALLS IT THE LOVE DARE.              CALEB AGREES.

IN ONE SCENE CALEB (KIRK CAMERON), A FIREFIGHTER,

HAS REACHED THE HALF-WAY MARK OF THE EXPERIMENT.

HE CALLS HIS FATHER (HARRIS MALCOM) TO TALK ABOUT HOW THINGS ARE GOING.

CALEB EXPLAINS THAT THE NIGHT BEFORE,

HE HAD PREPARED A CANDLE-LIGHT DINNER FOR HIS WIFE.

HER ONLY RESPONSE WAS, "I DON'T LOVE YOU."

PERCEIVING THAT HIS SON IS ABOUT TO GIVE UP ON THE LOVE DARE, CALEB'S FATHER COMES TO VISIT,

AND THE TWO DECIDE TO GO FOR A WALK.

ALONG THE WAY, THEY COME TO A CLEARING IN AN AREA WHERE  A CHURCH CAMP IS HELD.

THERE'S A WOODEN CROSS

AND SOME TREE STUMPS FOR SEATING THERE.

WITH CALEB SEATED ON A STUMP, HIS FATHER QUESTIONS HIM:

"CALEB, IF I WERE TO ASK YOU WHY YOU WERE SO FRUSTRATED WITH KATHRYN, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?"

SEATED WITH HIS HEAD IN HIS HANDS,

CALEB LOOKS UP AND REPLIES, "SHE'S STUBBORN.

SHE MAKES EVERYTHING SO DIFFICULT FOR ME.

SHE'S UNGRATEFUL.

SHE'S CONSTANTLY GRIPING ABOUT SOMETHING."

"HAS SHE THANKED YOU FOR ANYTHING YOU'VE DONE THE LAST TWENTY DAYS?" HIS FATHERS ASKED.

"NO!" CALEB SAYS.

"AND YOU WOULD THINK THAT AFTER I WASH THE CAR—

AFTER I'VE CHANGED THE OIL,

DONE THE DISHES, CLEANED THE HOUSE—

THAT SHE WOULD TRY TO SHOW ME A LITTLE BIT OF GRATITUDE.

BUT SHE DOESN'T!"

AS CALEB CONTINUES TO VENT, HIS FATHER BEGINS TO WALK SLOWLY TOWARD THE CROSS.

"IN FACT, WHEN I COME HOME,

SHE MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I'M AN ENEMY.

I'M NOT EVEN WELCOME IN MY OWN HOME, DAD.

THAT'S WHAT REALLY TICKS ME OFF!

FOR THE LAST THREE WEEKS I'VE BENT OVER BACKWARDS FOR HER.

I'VE TRIED TO DEMONSTRATE THAT I STILL CARE ABOUT THIS RELATIONSHIP.

I BOUGHT HER FLOWERS, SHE THREW THEM AWAY.

I'VE TAKEN HER INSULTS AND HER SARCASM EVERY DAY.

BUT LAST NIGHT WAS IT.

I MADE DINNER FOR HER.

I DID EVERYTHING I COULD TO DEMONSTRATE THAT I CARE ABOUT HER—

TO SHOW VALUE FOR HER—

AND SHE SPIT IN MY FACE.

SHE DOES NOT DESERVE THIS, DAD! I'M NOT DOING IT ANYMORE!

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SHOW LOVE TO SOMEBODY—

OVER AND OVER AND OVER—WHO CONSTANTLY REJECTS ME?"

BY NOW, CALEB'S FATHER HAS POSITIONED HIMSELF AT THE CROSS.

LEANING AGAINST IT, HE REPLIES, "THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION."

AS CALEB LOOKS AT HIS FATHER THERE AT THE CROSS,

HE BEGINS TO MAKE THE CONNECTION HIS FATHER WANTS HIM TO MAKE—

THE CONNECTION IS THAT

WHAT CALEB IS DOING IS CHRIST-LIKE.

CALEB SAYS "DAD, THAT'S NOT WHAT I'M DOING."

TO WHICH HIS FATHER REPLIES, "ISN'T IT?"

 

JUST LIKE HOW GOD CAME DOWN

AND GAVE DELIVERANCE TO THE ISRAELITES,

JESUS CAME DOWN AND BOUGHT DELIVERANCE FOR YOU AND ME.

JUST LIKE CALEB WAS GOING WAY BEYOND 50% TO SHOW HIS WIFE THAT HE LOVED HER,

JESUS GAVE 100% TO SHOW YOU AND ME THAT HE LOVES US.

IN VERSE 8 IT SAYS THAT GOD HAS COME DOWN TO RESCUE THEM FROM THE HAND OF THE EGYPTIANS.

JESUS CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN TO RESCUE US FROM THE HEAVY HAND OF SIN THAT IS DESTROYING US.

THE CHURCH IS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST,

AND JUST LIKE CALEB PAID A PRICE TO SAVE HIS MARRIAGE

SO JESUS PAID THE PRICE FOR HIS BRIDE.

THE PRICE WAS HIS VERY LIFE.

 

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