Why we Worship

PSALM 47

Clap your hands, all peoples!
  Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
  a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
  and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
  the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout,
  the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
  Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
  sing praises with a psalm!

Why Sing?

God reigns over the nations;
  God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
  as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
  he is highly exalted!


Why Scripture?



 
Justice
For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10:17-18)


Recent Posts

God? Who Needs Him?
May 31, 2013
Self-sufficient humanism. Paul saw it coming – “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

Imago Dei
September 12, 2012
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Why Can't I Pray?
August 18, 2012
The bible gives us several reasons, but according to Jeremy Taylor, a deceitful heart is at the root of prayerlessness.

It's Not Rocket Science
July 23, 2012
To keep in step with the Spirit should be our daily quest. And if we are successful at that, all of life falls into place.

Theological Steak
April 10, 2012
These words by P. T. Forsythe on the magnificence of Christ's work are to theology what Ruth's Chris is to a good steak.

Describing the Indescribable
February 11, 2012
What we have in Christ will take all eternity to describe. But for one segment of one sermon, a great preacher made a mighty attempt.

Making Sense Of It All
January 30, 2012
Where are things headed? Is there rhyme and reason to the endless cycle of summer, fall, winter and spring? Is there a plan in place, or is randomness the explanation?

Micaiah and P. T. Forsythe

March 23, 2009

Sometimes as Christians we have to say things that no one wants to hear. And it is at times like that when our mettle is proved. Rarely are we warned ahead of time. Are we ready to stand? The proof is in the pudding.


Peter flunked his test miserably, though warned by Jesus himself. Innocently warming his hands on a cold winter night, a young girl got him to deny Christ. But he repented, was forgiven, and soared when tested from that time on. 

Remember Micaiah, that mysterious prophet who appears only once in the Old Testament? When the kingdom was divided between north and south, the king of Israel decided to retake some lost land, and see if he could get Jehoshapht, the southern king, to join forces.

Jehoshapht was leaning towards co-operating, but listened to his gut (the Holy Spirit??) suggesting that they should inquire of the Lord. Suddenly 400 of Israel's "finest" prophets stood in front of him, saying the politically correct thing that their boss, the king of Israel, wanted them to say.

"Go," they answered, "for the Lord will give it into the king's hand." 1 Kings 22:6

In a very telling response that called into question the godly character of the 400 prophets in front of him, Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there not a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?

Ouch. The king of the north responded, obviously irritated, "yeah, there is one fellow, but I don't like him. He never prophesies anything good about me, only bad. His name is Micaiah.

Jehoshaphat insisted, and the despised prophet was sent for. The messenger who was sent for him told him on the way, in effect, "Look, for once, just fit in. Everybody has already agreed that we should go and get the land back, and that victory is assured. Please, I'm begging you, for your own sake, go with the flow."

The scene that followed is both hilarious and stunning, climaxing with the high priest Kenaanah slapping Micaiah around. It turns into sort of a "Oh, yeah? We'll see!" senario. Micaiah refused to let the situation intimate him, and predicted disaster, refusing to wilt under pressure. He did God proud. And ignoring sound advice, the king of Israel died in battle.

At the turn of the 20th Century, P. T. Forsythe was a theologian and pastor in demand on both sides of the Atlantic. Over several decades of ministry he had "jettisoned much he had valued in scholarship and biblical criticism in order to safeguard passionately the very core of the Gospel - the holiness of God, the sin of man, and the supreme value of the cross."

(Extracted from Memoir by his daughter in THE WORK OF CHRIST. She saw her father as a modern day Amos, with a vision of the Cross.)

What Forsythe was attempting to passionately safeguard was the atoning work of the Cross. Recent scholarship had chipped away at the view that a holy God was reconciling a lost mankind to himself by pouring out his wrath on his Son, who had agreed to pay the penalty in our place. "Conventional wisdom"  determined that it was time to move on from such archaic beliefs.

In  1899, he gave an address at the second decennial International Congregations Council, on the theme of "The Evangelical Principle of Authority, and began with a shocker of a first sentence.

"The Cross is the final seat of authority, not only for the Church, but for all human society." This was his Micaiah moment. His daughter says that it created such a fervor the the vast audience was at first silent, but then almost spontaneously turned its long applause into the singing of the hymn (which Forsythe suggested) "In The Cross Of Christ I Glory."

Wouldn't you have loved to have been there? Surely all of heaven sang along. And if you listened closely, heaven's applause was mixed in with earthly applause, as the atoning work of our Gracious God was lifted up and exalted.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me,
Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me,
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming
Light and love upon my way,
From the cross the radiance streaming
Adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
By the cross are sanctified;
Peace is there that knows no measure,
Joys that through all time abide.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.






Outrage and The Holiness of God

March 5, 2009

A jaded Christian is an oxymoron. Anything that is hurtful to God must hurt us as well. We must not become so self-protective that we are not emotionally impacted by rebellion against God. And any such identification pleases God.


"Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it." Ezekiel 9:4

During the middle part of the 20th century, Wilbur Smith "stood in the gap" for God in the academic theological climate, as winter closed in and loss of trust in the written word accelerated. First at Moody Bible Institute, and then at Fuller Seminary and finally at Trinity Seminary, Smith stood firm for the accuracy of scripture, and its trustworthiness.

In his book THEREFORE STAND, Smith holds up Paul and his challenge on Mars Hill as his inspiration, and a model for future generations to follow.

Luke tells us that when Paul beheld a city of such learning polluted by thhis mass of dead superstition, he was provoked, really, provoked to anger. The Greek word here is parozuno, which means to stimulate, to urge on, and then, to irritate.

In the Septuagint we find that in almost every case in which this word is used the reference is to the anger of God....As God is provoked to anger with the sins of His people, for rebellion and idolatry, so Paul, possessed by the Spirit of Christ, was provoked to anger with these awful monuments proclaiming the victory of Satan, the power of darkness, and dooming men to an ignorance of God, to a degrading superstition, to a perpetual darkness, and to an unending despair.

Only in one other place is this particular word found in the New Testament, and that is in Paul's beautiful hymn of love, where he says that love is not easily provoked - but though not easily provoked, it can be provoked, and when it is aroused, it becomes wrath.

Would to God every Christian could have and experience like this, even if only once in a lifetime, as he beholds if not the visible idols of men, then at least the false cults that draw the souls of men away from Christ - books written for the express purpose of destroying the faith of young men in God, universities into which precious lives have come with all the hope and glow of youth only to be bowed out, with a sheepskin in their hands and their hearts filled even with a hatred for everything religious, and a loathing for Jesus Christ.

It is time we were moved by some of these things. Calvin was right when he said, "Those who are not touched when they see and hear God blasphemed and do not only wink thereat but also carelessly brush over it are not worthy to be counted the children of God, who at the very least do not give Him so much honor as they do an earthly Father."
 





A Prophet For Our Times
November 9, 2008
Certain men and women hear from God at key times, and see with eyes that are unimpeded by the smog of culture. David Wells is one such person worth listening to.

"I'm Warning You!"
November 4, 2008
The "slow to anger" part of God's name is to our great benefit. God is patient, and restrains his wrath, giving us time to repent. But we must not test the limits of God's patience. "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts...Hebrews 3:15

A Voice Crying In The Wilderness
November 2, 2008
God has a standard that he requires of his creatures. And when we fall short of the mark, he anoints prophets to be his mouthpiece. So just where are today's prophets? And will we pay attention in time?

When God Relents
October 30, 2008
Ninevah was scheduled for demolition by God. It's end had been determined. That same God sent Jonah to warn it, so that they could repent and not be destroyed. What gives? Does God vacillate?

Never Lose The Wonder
October 16, 2008
Part of the effects of the Fall is that we get bored. And when the truly valuable loses its luster, we start exploring options. If the subject is grace and we get bored - then the loss is truly great. The appropriate response to grace is wonder.

The Most Amazing Love
October 14, 2008
God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God, 2 Corinthians 5:21

Peas In a Praying Pod
October 11, 2008
God invented prayer, and recruits men and women to prevail with Him in it. Some take that challenge seriously, and mountains get moved as a result.

Father, Son, Spirit - In That Order
July 29, 2008
Why is knowledge of God the Father important? Because when we understand that there is a holy God, then the cross takes on its true meaning. Out of that will flow true gratitude to a God who found a way to reconcile Adam's lost race.

Boasting In The Cross
July 5, 2008
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Isaac Watts






© 2023 Seedsower Music