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Spoiled Children

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Sermon at Centreville

Date: September 6, 2008

Topic: Spoiled Children

Text: Is. 59:1 – 3

Opening Hymn: # 456 – “I have a friend so Precious”

Closing Hymn: #330 – “Take my life and it be”

          They were spoiled brats! Anything they wanted from God as it appeared, He gave it to them. From the time He led the Children out of Egypt, He was with them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When they were stuck by the Red Sea they murmured to Moses and Moses Prayed the Almighty; and by the power of His might, He parted the sea. They went through on dry land to safety. When they needed water, they cried unto the Lord and He provided it for them. When they desired meat instead of manner, they complained and cried to Moses who prayed to the Lord and He changed the heavenly menu, against His desire and gave them quails to please them. When fiery snakes were biting them to their deaths, they pleaded with Moses to ask for deliverance. Moses prayed to the Father, and His heart was moved with compassion. The merciful Father told Moses to erect a post with a brass serpent on it and have the survivors look at the serpent. If they look at the brass serpent, they may live. Doesn’t this sound like spoiled children? They took advantage of God grace and mercy just because they knew that He would respond to their cries. They did not have a relationship with their God they only knew Him when they needed Him: when they wanted something or when they were in trouble. But, there is a limit this madness. God desires a relationship with His children. He wants us to talk with Him as He speaks to us. God wants to be our Lord and our Saviour. He wants to take control of our lives. We cannot say and do whatever we want and then come to him in prayer!

Let us pray

Today, you would have to admit that some of are children are just like that. They are not interested in building relationships with their parents. In fact, many do not have a good relationship with their parents. They take advantage of their parent’s love…and money. As soon as they see the new dress or toy car, they run to mommy and or daddy and plead with them to get it. When they want candies, they beg mommy and daddy for them who might even refuse to give it to them. However, all the children have to do is cry…loud and mommy or daddy gives them the candies to hush them up, much to their displeasure. The child grows up and goes to school, starts trouble only to say, “You can call my parents they won’t do anything”. When they get in trouble with the law, they want mommy and daddy to come to the rescue.

Many parents stop giving children whatever they want because their greatest desire is to have a closer relationship with their children. They want to know when we are sad and happy, they want to know your experiences through your youthful eyes, they want to be involved in your lives, they will be there when you cry, but they ultimately desire a relationship with their children.

In this passage, God responds to His crying children. The first verse explains that God has always been reaching for us. An anonymous poet wrote: I you cannot feel the hands of the Lord you, if you cannot sense Him watching you, GUESS WHO MOVED!

He has had enough. The prophet here rectifies the mistake of those who had been quarrelling with God because they did receive the deliverances, which they had been often fasting and praying for, ch. 58:3. Isaiah speaks about God’s hand: that it is not shortened, that he cannot save. They had no reason to lay the fault upon God that they were not saved out of the hands of their enemies. He was still as able to help as ever: His hand is not shortened, his power is not at all lessened, straitened, or abridged. Whether we consider the extent of his power or the efficacy of it, God can reach as far as ever and with as strong a hand as ever. Note, The church’s salvation comes from the hand of God, and that has not waxed weak nor is it at all shortened. Has the Lord’s hand waxed short?


 Num. 11:23 –

And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD’S hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.[1]

Ps. 139: 7-9 - Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8     If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9     If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10     Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.[2]

No, it has not; he will not have it thought so. Neither length of time nor strength of enemies, , nor weakness of instruments, can shorten or straiten the power of God, with which it is all one to save by many or by few[3] It was the hand of the Lord that led me night after night to my home in the dark unmolested for four and a half years. It was the hand of the Lord that opened and gave me my tuition fees that I could complete my studies. It was the hand of the Lord that kept holding my wife and I together through the difficulties of growing in a relationship. It is the hand of the Lord that will help you and me to get to heaven.

So, if God’s hands are not shortened then it must be our hands. Let’s take a look at Is. 1: 15 –

And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. [4]  FULL OF BLOOD?

The Children of Israel had done wickedly in the sight of the Lord. They were the custodians of the gospel; they knew what was right from what was wrong. But they thought they could do whatever they wanted and if they got into trouble the Lord would deliver them. They took God’s deliverance for granted. Remember what the children of Israel did with the Ark of the Covenant? They took the symbol of the presence of God with them to war with the Philistines assuming that the substitute would take the place of God. They did not want to listen to God because he did not sanctioned that war. They used it for their own intentions (1 Sam.4: 3 - .   

“And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.” [5]

They knew it was wrong, but they did not care. They persecuted the prophets, worshipped idols with the worship of the only true God, they disregarded they covenant with God. They engaged in intermarriages with the heathens because the people looked harmless…….

Then they had the audacity to cry out to God in their captivity. Where is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Where is the God that promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us…..

See what mischief sin does. (1.) It hinders God’s mercies from coming down upon us; it is a partition wall that separates between God and us. Notwithstanding the infinite distance that is between God and man by nature, there was a correspondence settled between them, until sin set them at variance, justly provoked God against man and unjustly alienated man from God. Sin hides his face from us (which denotes great displeasure, Deu. 31:17); it provokes him in anger to withdraw his gracious presence, to suspend the tokens of his favour and the instances of his help; he hides his face, as refusing to be seen or spoken with. See here sin in its colours, sin exceedingly sinful, withdrawing the creature from his allegiance to his Creator; and see sin in its consequences, sin exceedingly hurtful, separating us from God, and so separating us not only from all good, but to all evil (Deu. 29:21), which is the very quintessence of the curse. (2.) It hinders our prayers from coming up unto God; it provokes him to hide his face, that he will not hear, as he has said, ch. 1:15. If we regard iniquity in our heart, if we indulge it and allow ourselves in it, God will not hear our prayers, Ps. 66:18. We cannot expect that he should countenance us while we go on to affront him.[6]

          Oh be careful little hands what you do, little lips what you say, little feet where you go.

Jesus does not only want to be saving us every time we need His help. He wants to lead, guide and direct our paths: He was to be our Lord. He wants a relationship with us. He wants us to walk together, talk together, work together, and ultimately dwell together.  I had to examine myself; what is it that is hiding God’s face from me?


[1]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (Nu 11:23). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (Ps 139:7-10). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3]Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (Is 59:1). Peabody: Hendrickson.

[4]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (Is 1:15). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

fetch: Heb. take unto us

[5]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (1 Sa 4:3). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[6]Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (Is 59:1). Peabody: Hendrickson.

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