Luke 18 Summit is This God or the Devil - Bob Sorge 1.02.09
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1 “Is This God Or The Devil?” Luke 18 Project A.
The intensity of God’s gaze. 1. “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them” (Rev. 20:11). 2. How David spoke of God’s gaze. a. Psa. 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart.” b. Psa. 39:13, “Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength, before I go away and am no more.” 3. I know Your gaze is intense, but don’t leave me alone! a. Mal. 1:2-3, “‘Jacob I have loved; but Esau I have hated.’” b. What Esau had: comfort, security, friends, prosperity, stability, settledness, abundance. c. What Jacob had: trouble, rejection, loneliness, violation, misunderstanding, wandering, displacement, affliction, bereavement, famine. d. Psa. 146:5, “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help.”
I want to look at a face of Christ not commonly talked about. 1. Rev. 3:14, “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.’” a. To be a faithful and true witness, you cannot keep silent. b. Psa. 58:1, “Do you indeed speak righteousness, you silent ones?” 2. Rev. 3:19, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” 3. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. (Heb. 12:5-10).
The Bible was launched by a man who was chastened of the Lord. 1. The Book of Job. 2. God picks the fight. 3. Satan eagerly accepts the opportunity to afflict Job because many saints who come under this kind of scrutiny become casualties.
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Job 21:14-15, “Yet [the wicked] say to God…’What profit do we have if we pray to Him?’” James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Isaiah 10 is one of the clearest chapters in the Bible that shows how God sometimes uses negative things as tools for chastening. 1. In this case, God used the evil nation of Assyria to chasten Israel. 2. In Isa. 10:5, God calls Assyria His chastening “rod.” a. “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation.’” b. God was going to use Assyria as a rod, and then judge Assyria for his complicity. c. God does the same with Satan. 3. Verse 15 graphically describes the manner in which God uses negative things to chasten: Is. 10:15, “Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!” 4. The cross illustrates this principle. All the evil men and evil powers at work in Christ’s crucifixion were ultimately tools in God’s hands. 5. God reserves the right to use any and every tool at His dipsosal: •the sinful actions of wicked men •the wrath of the devil •the fallenness of broken people •the unpredictability of a fallen world •the turbulence of nature •weather, economics, world governments, germs & diseases, demons, time, accidents, war, 6. God is the Master of producing good from evil circumstances, which we see amazingly in Joseph’s story. Gen. 45:5 But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life… 7 And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 So now it was not you who sent me here, but God.
The example of Esther. 1. Background storyline: a. Ahasuerus is king of Persia b. Queen Vashti is dethroned because she challenged the king’s command (1:12). c. She is replaced by Esther – a beautiful Jewish girl who was raised by her cousin, Mordecai (2:7). d. Later, an enemy of the Jews arises, Haman by name. e. Haman incites the king to pass a law decreeing the destruction of the Jews, and he pays the king a vast sum of money so the expenses involved are all covered (3:8-11).
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The king passively approves the law. “In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king’s signet ring.” (3:12) Mordecai corresponds with Esther. a. Mordecai sends a letter of distress to Esther, urging her to go the king and intercede on behalf of the Jews. b. Esther’s reply: “‘All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days’” (4:11). c. Mordecai: “‘Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’” (4:13-14). d. Esther: “‘Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!’” (4:16). Esther presents herself to the king. a. “Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king’s house, while the king sat on his royal throne…So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter” (5:1-2). 1) Esther went into the inner court, against the law, and offered an illegal prayer. 2) She was heard. 3) Contrast: Haman is going to offer a legal, safe prayer. Won’t even get a hearing. b. The king asked what she wanted (5:3). c. Esther requested that he come with Haman to a banquet she had prepared for him (5:4). d. Haman is quickly summoned, and he and the king go the banquet (5:5). e. Again, the king asks what her petition is (5:6). f. Esther asks the king and Haman to return tomorrow to a second banquet, at which she will present her petition (5:7-8). What happens overnight, between the two banquets. a. Haman builds a gallows to hang Mordecai (5:12-14). b. The next morning, he went to present his petition to the king, that Mordecai be hanged on his gallows.
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In the meantime, the king had insomnia, and so was having someone read to him his chronicles from the kingdom archives. They happened to read the record of when Mordecai had uncovered and reported a plot to assassinate the king (6:1-2). The king asked, “‘“What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” (6:3). Servants: “Nothing.” The king decided spontaneously, in that moment, that he wanted to honor Mordecai. The king’s next question: “‘Who is in the court?’” (6:4). Esth. 6:4 Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. 5 The king’s servants said to him, “Haman is there, standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.” 6 So Haman came in, and the king asked him, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?” Now Haman thought in his heart, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?” 7 And Haman answered the king, “For the man whom the king delights to honor, 8 let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head. 9 Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’|” 10 Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken” (6:4-10).
Esther presents her petition at the second banquet. Esth. 7:2 And on the second day, at the banquet of wine, the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!” 3 Then Queen Esther answered and said, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. 4 For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated...” 5 So King Ahasuerus answered and said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?” 6 And Esther said, “The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman!” (7:2-6).
Why did Esther do 2 banquets? a. She was challenging a ruling that had come from the King himself (3:10-15). b. If Esther gets into an accusatory, adversarial role with the king, she’ll never get her request! Question: How do you appeal to a King who is partly responsible for causing your crisis? a. You throw food at Him.
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You assure Him of your affection. “You are good, and your mercies endure forever.” Praise Him, adore Him. Nurture the relationship. In the end, she lays absolutely no accusation against the king. She assigns the totality of the blame to Haman: 7:5-6.