“IS GOD WITH REALLY US?”
A classic question in every imaginable theological circle asks, “How can a loving, yet omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (everywhere always), and omniscient (all-knowing) God permit evil and suffering in the world?” The basic premise of the argument is a God that allows suffering to continue is either: a) not all-powerful (not omnipotent) and is thus unable to prevent the suffering; b) not loving because this God has the power to prevent suffering but is unwilling to do so; and/or c) not all-knowing (not omniscient) because God only is aware of the suffering after it has already occurred and it’s too late to prevent it. This problem of evil and God’s perceived inability or unwillingness to do anything about it is known in theology as “theodicy.”
The truth is, you didn’t need to attend seminary to ask questions of theodicy! People (atheists, agnostics, and even the most anointed and avid Christians) have all asked them. When you watch the news and see some of the stories of abject poverty, senseless shootings of African-American men, racism, sexism, ageism, and other “isms,” the COVID-19 pandemic, our current administration, to name a few, if you’re honest with yourself, you must wonder, “Where God is in all of this?!?” So, just know that you’re in good company! Today’s sermon focuses on a post-Exodus moment in the lives of the Israelites (and the Israelite mindset within you), who, even after all the miracles, signs, and wonders they experienced, still asked, “Is God Really With Us?”
II. CONTENTIOUS CONGREGATION!
- Do you have a complaining spirit?
- God hates complaining! Proverbs 6:16-19
- Confusion is not Christian! 1 Corinthians 14:33
III. CHALLENGED CLERGY!
- Leading is not for the faint-hearted! v. 4
- Leaders must be willing to die! 2 Corinthians 11:24-28
- Know your calling! Ephesians 4:11-12; James 3:1
IV. CAPTIVITY’S CULTURE!
- Chaos is an invitation to claim your past! v. 3; Exodus 14:11-12; 16:3
- Don’t be doggish! Proverbs 26:11
- You’ve been set free! John 8:36
V. CREATOR CONSULTATION!
- Moses consulted the Lord! v. 4
- Don’t lean on your understanding! Proverbs 3:5-6
- Seek Godly counsel! Proverbs 15:22
VI. CALAMITY CANCELLED!
- Keep God out front! v. 6; Isaiah 45:2-7
- God always provides! Philippians 4:19
- We’re protected from dangers seen and unseen! Psalm 103:2-4
The vulnerability, transparency, integrity, and honesty (or lack thereof) will impact any relationship! Our relationship with God is no exception. Many of us have felt that God is far off or has fallen asleep at the wheel. It’s “OK” to tell God how you feel! God is big enough to handle it! However, we must be careful not to allow our feelings to deceive us because they will. The truth is, God is with us no matter what it looks like or how bad things may seem! We must, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
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