Why God?

Asking “Why God?” doesn’t make me a bad Christian. It made me a kid, and He’s my Dad.

Our God, the Creator of all, Sovereign, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Almighty God – the I AM is our Father; Abba.

Readings: Romans 8:18-28 ~ John 11:17-37
My notes from today’s sermon:

Prayers – the empty chair story Pastor recounted is about talking to Jesus who is present with us because He promised He would.

O Lord, God of my salvation,
    I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you;
    incline your ear to my cry!

For my soul is full of troubles,
    and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
    I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead,
    like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
    for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit,
    in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
    and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah

You have caused my companions to shun me;
    you have made me a horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
    my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O Lord;
    I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you work wonders for the dead?
    Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah
11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
    or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness,
    or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But I, O Lord, cry to you;
    in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 O Lord, why do you cast my soul away?
    Why do you hide your face from me?
15 Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
    I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
    your dreadful assaults destroy me.
17 They surround me like a flood all day long;
    they close in on me together.
18 You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
    my companions have become darkness.

Psalm 88

This song doesn’t turn to praise like the other Psalms. We’re just left with darkness. Sometimes that’s the Christian life.

There are times when suffering and evil isn’t so much a problem that can be solved, but a mystery that needs to be endured.

Pastor Ben Spaulding

Jesus knows and understands this darkness.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:46 (ESV)

Jesus did not receive an answer.

We were buried into death with Christ and resurrected to life with him too!

On the day of the resurrection, pain and suffering become untrue – it still happened, but it no longer has power over us.

Matthew 2 Notes

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,

Matthew 2:1 (ESV)
  • There were at least two wise men, perhaps more. It’s not known how many or what their names were.
  • Wise men = magi = scholars / astronomers
  • Herod was an Eodmite. Jewish by geography, but not really a Jew. He was put into power by Rome.

And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Matthew 2:11 (ESV)
  • This visit did not happen in the stable at the manger when Jesus was born. It happened in “the house” which was likely a cave.
  • Joseph not mentioned. It is likely that he was out working, or he’s simply not mentioned.

And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Matthew 2:12 (ESV)
  • This is the second dream in Matthew’s Gospel. In Luke’s Gospel, there’s a few more recorded. God is doing a lot of communicating during this season after 400 years of silence.
  • God is present and making His plan happen.

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

Hosea 11:1 (ESV)

Israel is Jacob and is the nation of God’s people called out of Egypt. Israel is more than just a location.

The purpose of the Exodus was to create a new nation of God’s people to be a model of God’s perfect kingdom on earth, but they failed. They rebelled. Then, Jesus came. Again, God calls his son out of Egypt. Jesus is the perfect model of God’s kingdom on earth. Jesus did all the things that Israel went through to do it right – even going into the wilderness. Where Israel failed in the wilderness, Jesus did it perfectly right.

Jesus is the light to the world. If we are not shining the light of Jesus into the world, we have failed. The world is going to be the world, but the church (God’s people) are called to be different. Our focus should not be on changing the world, but on our relationship with Christ so that we are changed. As we are changed, then the world is changed.