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Thanksgiving and Prosperity November 27, 2010

Posted by roberttalley in Prosperity Gospel, Psalms, Thanksgiving.

Psalm 30

From Max Lucado’s When God Whispers Your Name: “We push back from the Thanksgiving table and pat our round bellies. ‘I’m satisfied,’ we declare. But look at us a few hours later, back in the kitchen picking the meat from the bone…

As a child we say, ‘If only I were a teenager.’ As a teen we say, ‘If only I were an adult.’ As an adult, ‘If only I were married.’ As a spouse, ‘If only I had kids.’ As a parent, ‘If only my kids were grown.’ In an empty house, ‘If only the kids would visit.’ As a retiree in the rocking chair with stiff joints and fading sight, ‘If only I were a child again.’”

God blesses us and yet we are not content. This psalm, however, describes a man who was not only content but thought he was self-sufficient. This man is David. We will see though that God brought him low and then lifted him up and that through being brought low and lifted up he learned thanksgiving.

A. God has lifted us up out of certain doom (verses 1-5). “Lifted up” here is the word used for drawing water out of a well. David found himself at the bottom of the well surrounded by enemies. He could not rescue himself and there was no one there to help him.

The plight of each individual is much the same. It does not matter whether you are king or beggar, preacher or prostitute. Each of us is doomed. We are surrounded by our enemies: sin, death, hell, Satan, the ungodly world in which we live, fear, doubt, suffering of many kinds, and darkness, which is ignorance of all that is godly as well as separation from God. That is the list of those with whom we are sharing the bottom of our well.

Then Jesus came…

a. He came to deliver us from death. Hebrews 2:14-17 says, “…He Himself … [became human], that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage…that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest…to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

b. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).

c. He will deliver us from this evil world. “Our Lord Jesus Christ…gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever.” (Galatians 1:3-5).

B. God prospered us and then left us to our own devices (verses 6-7). Patrick Morley tells how that he “grew proud, not in [open] arrogance, but in subtly looking down on others, commending [himself] for superior accomplishment. One day God decided to get [his] attention…He put the business on its back. It was the best education and the most spiritually rewarding time of [his] life.”

The same thing happened to David. He had killed Goliath and had become a great military leader. He had fought overwhelming odds and won repeatedly. He had become a skilled manager of men. God prospered him and then allowed him to fall prey to his own success. We do not know the exact occasion but God began to multiply David’s enemies. David needed to be driven back to the understanding that he needed God.

As Anne Ortlund in My Sacrifice, His Fire wrote, “…I discovered that God’s leash wasn’t too tight-my heart was too proud! I thought I ‘deserved’ more; my self-image had greater expectations, and that attitude was the very grease on which I slid into self-pity, discontent, ungratefulness, misery.”

C. We committed ourselves to His worship (verses 8-10). Does God need us to worship Him? No, He is the Almighty whether we recognize it or not. You see, the purpose of worship is evangelistic. If what we do in here does not make a difference out there, then what we have done in here is not worship. For too many Christians, the church service is a spiritual comfort food.

Tim Keller, a pastor in Manhattan, in an interview years ago said, “I worship…when I realize I’ve been trusting in my own abilities, not the sovereignty and goodness of God. When I put my affections off the other things I’ve been trusting in – which is why I’m anxious – and put them on God…the truth will affect my emotions – and my will.”

D. God gives us joy so that we might glorify Him (verses 11-12a). God has not blessed us because we deserve it. God has not blessed us because we value religious freedom. God has not blessed us because we are democratic. God has not blessed us because we send missionaries. God has not blessed us because we tithe. God has not blessed us because we support Israel. God has not blessed us because we oppose abortion. God has blessed us for this reason alone, “So that we might glorify Him before others.”

“A man was standing behind a woman at the check-out counter of a local grocery store. He was well-dressed and his facial expression was quite stern. The woman glanced back at him a time or two as she finished unloading her basket. Finally, unable to restrain herself any long, she asked the serious-looking gentleman, ‘Excuse me, but do you happen to be a minister?’ ‘No, I’m not,’ he replied. ‘I’ve just been sick for a couple of weeks.’” (from Chuck Swindoll in Living Above the Level of Mediocrity).

E. Let us glorify Him in thanksgiving this week (verses 12b). God has saved you from a horrible pit. He has washed you from your sin. He has convicted you of your pride and brought you to salvation. You are committed to following Him. He has given you joy unspeakable and full of God. This thanksgiving, let people know from what God has saved, that you are committed to Him and nothing or no one else, and that you rejoice in Him.

Next week: “Preparing for the Dawn” Luke 1:67-80



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