Anchors of Truth

Cry Me By A River

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: C. A. Murray


Series Code: AOT

Program Code: AOT000161A

00:14 Welcome to Anchors Of Truth,
00:17 live from the 3ABN Worship Center.
00:23 Well we welcome you tonight as you were just welcomed
00:27 by our announcer, but we welcome you again.
00:30 And we're happy that you could be with us,
00:32 those of you that are here in the auditorium
00:35 and those of you who are joining us by television tonight.
00:39 I'm really looking forward to this Anchors series.
00:44 We always bring in people from the outside, but occasionally
00:48 one of our own will do one.
00:50 John Lomacang's series is probably our most
00:54 requested series that's been done so far.
00:58 I did a series.
01:00 Actually, my series was filling in for someone who had to
01:03 cancel at the last minute.
01:05 And so that's kind of the way that I ended up
01:10 doing a series here.
01:11 But this is a series that we have been looking forward to
01:15 and planning on for some time.
01:17 Pastor C.A. Murray, who is a man we all love
01:23 here at 3ABN.
01:25 He's God's man. He's a preacher.
01:28 He has an infectious spirit about him.
01:32 And I have grown to, not only appreciate his ministry,
01:37 but to very much appreciate him as a friend.
01:41 I look forward very much to this series.
01:47 The title of this series is, A River Runs Through.
01:50 And tonight's subject is, Cry Me By A River.
01:55 And I'm looking forward to that subject.
01:58 C.A. Murray, I believe, is a brand that was
02:04 plucked from the burning.
02:07 As a young boy, about 7 years old, a neighbor across the
02:12 street was going to Sabbath school.
02:16 And one way or the other, maybe C.A. will share some time
02:20 with us how that happened, he secured an invitation
02:25 to go with them.
02:26 And he's been in Sabbath school ever since.
02:29 He was the first member of his family to become a part
02:35 of the remnant church.
02:37 And later was able to be used by God to lead other members
02:42 of the family into the remnant church.
02:46 So his story is very interesting.
02:49 And I thrill when I think about it, how God used some neighbors
02:56 to witness to him and how he was open to the message
03:01 and ready to listen.
03:04 Before he comes tonight, we are going to enjoy some music.
03:11 And one of those that is participating tonight
03:16 is a grandson of C.A. Murray.
03:20 Marcus Gonzalez.
03:22 And he is being joined by Farrah Barry,
03:26 And I am looking forward to their doing this song
03:32 by Ralph Carmichael, which is a favorite of many.
03:37 And it's entitled, A Quite Place.
03:42 After the music, Pastor Murray will come.
03:46 He will precede his message with a prayer.
03:51 And then he will be presenting the message,
03:55 Cry Me By A River.
08:17 They were at the house Sabbath afternoon practicing.
08:23 And last evening Irma was trying to encourage Marcus
08:30 to practice more.
08:32 And she said, "If you practice, you will get better.
08:36 And don't practice just enough to do the performance,
08:40 but practice to get better."
08:42 And she said, "If you keep on practicing,
08:44 you can be a Yo Ma-Ma."
08:46 And she meant, Yo-Yo Ma, but she said, "Yo Ma-Ma."
08:49 But Marcus is a good student, and we are encouraging him to
08:54 keep on practicing because he does play the cello well.
08:59 And he and Farrah, temperament wise, are a good match.
09:06 And when she's with him, Farrah is a little more driven,
09:09 and she's driven to play the piano,
09:10 and they practice, and practice, and practice,
09:12 and practice, and practice.
09:13 And we said, "You know, you ought to put that practice
09:15 to good use."
09:17 So we asked them to come.
09:18 And they did a fine job.
09:20 And we thank them.
09:23 This week's Anchors deals with water.
09:29 And the idea hit me actually when we were in Israel
09:34 a couple of years ago.
09:36 I didn't know that there was a theology of water
09:44 in the Hebrew economy.
09:46 I know about the ecclesiology, the churchiness of water.
09:49 I knew that synagogues were always built near water,
09:53 and on water, or near access to water.
09:56 I thought it was for basically hygienic reasons.
09:58 And it was.
10:01 But there's so much more in the Hebrew, the Semitic mindset,
10:05 as respects water.
10:07 And I didn't really get a handle on it until we started
10:09 going to Israel and going to ruins of synagogues
10:12 and seeing how they were always built on or near water.
10:16 And there was always the mikvas, the rituals baths,
10:19 that were always there.
10:20 And the cleansing and the washing was an
10:22 integral part of their faith.
10:23 And so the idea of water and the things that happened
10:27 at water or near water kind of intrigued me.
10:30 I wanted to do a series on the micro aspect of water,
10:36 but I found out that I wasn't theologian enough
10:38 to plumb that depth.
10:40 So I went to the macro aspect of water;
10:42 rivers, lakes, streams, ponds.
10:44 Those kinds of things.
10:45 And there was time to do that.
10:48 But just about any topic you pick in the Bible,
10:52 if you study it long enough you will come up with gold,
10:55 because there's so much.
10:56 The more I study of the Bible, the more I realize
10:59 the less I know about the Bible.
11:01 Because there is so much to know about the Word of God.
11:05 And I didn't think there was so much on water
11:10 as respects the gospel until I began this study
11:15 in earnest just a few years ago.
11:18 So I began writing just a few days ago,
11:20 and I was amazed at some of the things that God was showing me.
11:24 So tonight's message is, Cry Me By A River.
11:32 And tomorrow is, Abana and Pharpar.
11:37 Followed by, You Gotta Get Wet.
11:40 And then, A River Within.
11:43 And finally, Then He Showed Me A River.
11:48 And we are hoping and praying that the Spirit of God will
11:50 be here for all of these messages, and that we can
11:53 give you some encouragement as together we take
11:58 one more step along the road that leads to glory.
12:01 I've got to thank Irma, because for the past several nights
12:04 she would go into the room and say, "Are you coming?"
12:06 And I'd say, "No, I've got to stay up a couple of hours."
12:10 And then she'd wake up and come by and say,
12:12 "Are you coming now?"
12:14 "No, I've got to have a couple more hours."
12:17 So she has been very patient with me.
12:20 We don't like to sleep without each other in the bed.
12:23 So if someone is in the house, they ought to be in the bedroom.
12:27 So it kind of disturbs her when I'm in the dining room
12:29 at the table with a stack of books maybe a meter high
12:33 and she's trying to sleep.
12:36 So I need to thank her very much.
12:40 Turn with me, if you will, to Psalm chapter 137.
12:45 The 137th division of the psalms.
12:50 Then we'll pray and watch forth.
12:54 Psalm 137.
12:57 I want to thank Jim for his kind words.
13:04 We have become great friends.
13:05 And I almost apologize for what I'm going to do to him
13:09 on tomorrow evening, I think it is.
13:11 I have a couple of stories to tell you about Jim Gilley.
13:15 And I'll return his kindness with ill will.
13:21 But I love him greatly and appreciate his ministry.
13:27 Shall we pray.
13:28 Father God, we call upon You now to be the honored Guest,
13:33 but also to be the Teacher, because we need to hear
13:37 a word from the Lord.
13:41 The hour is late in the history of this world,
13:43 and Christ is soon to come.
13:46 We would be prepared for that day,
13:51 and we ask You even now to fill us with Your Spirit
13:56 and to teach us those things that You would have us to know.
14:00 And we thank You in Jesus' name, amen.
14:05 I'm reading from Psalm 137.
14:09 And we will read the entire chapter.
14:16 Beginning in verse 1, "By the rivers of Babylon,
14:19 there we sat down; yea, we wept when we remembered Zion.
14:26 We hung our harps upon the willows in the midst of it.
14:32 For there, those who carried us away captive asked of us a song,
14:39 and those who plundered us requested mirth, saying,
14:45 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion.'
14:50 How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?"
14:55 I reading from the New King James.
14:58 "If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand
15:01 forget its skill.
15:03 If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the
15:06 roof of my mouth; if I do not exalt Jerusalem
15:11 above my chief joy.
15:14 Remember, O Lord, against the sons of Edom
15:18 the day of Jerusalem, who said, 'Raze it, raze it...'"
15:22 That means, tear it down.
15:24 "' its very foundation.'
15:25 O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed,
15:29 happy the one who repays you as you have served us.
15:36 Happy the one who takes and dashes your little ones
15:41 against the rock."
15:46 Many times in the Word of God you will see the designation
15:50 in your Bible before a given or particular psalm
15:55 the words, "A song of David."
16:00 You will note that this particular designation
16:04 does not appear before this psalm.
16:10 "Why?" you might ask.
16:11 Well the answer is simple.
16:13 David did not write it.
16:16 The incident that is recorded in this song,
16:21 the incident that the writer is describing,
16:25 took place some 200 plus years after the death of David.
16:31 So David could not have written this song.
16:33 The psalms are a collection of verses and tunes
16:39 and worship chants that are gathered together
16:42 most, but not all, written by David.
16:47 The psalms are divided into five books,
16:51 each ending with a short doxology;
16:56 a short hymn of praise to God.
16:58 Each doxology starts with the words, "Praise the Lord."
17:03 That's when you can tell that you're moving from one book
17:05 in the psalms to another.
17:08 "Praise the Lord;" that doxology will be there
17:10 to divide the books.
17:11 So though the psalms is a whole, it is actually a collection
17:15 of five different books, each containing
17:18 a doxology at its end to make that division.
17:22 Now most Jewish scholars say and agree that dividing the psalms
17:27 into five books is no coincidence,
17:30 because it parallels the five books of Moses;
17:34 The five books of the law, the Pentateuch, the Torah.
17:39 But it is this, shall I say, anachronistic psalm,
17:44 this psalm out of place, that may be the one that
17:48 draws the most sympathy by the reader.
17:52 So Psalm 137 is not a Davidic psalm.
17:57 Psalm 74 is not a Davidic psalm.
18:00 They were written by someone else.
18:02 And we don't know precisely who wrote them.
18:05 There is some scholarly debate as to who wrote the psalms,
18:09 but we know that David could not have written them
18:11 because this incident takes place long after David
18:15 was dead and buried.
18:20 And yet there is much to learn from this particular psalm,
18:23 even in its, and I'll use the term, imprecatory,
18:27 or negative aspects.
18:29 This psalm, as you read it, has a little different flavor
18:33 than the other psalms.
18:35 There's some negativity in this psalm.
18:37 There's some backbiting in this psalm.
18:39 There's a little revenge asking in this psalm.
18:43 So it has what scholars call, an imprecatory nature.
18:46 You heard about imprecatory prayers?
18:49 That's the latest thing in some places.
18:50 An imprecatory prayer is a prayer where you're praying
18:53 against somebody.
18:54 "Lord, I hope she breaks her neck."
18:56 That's an imprecatory prayer.
18:59 Well this psalm has some imprecatory aspects to it.
19:02 There's some negative things here.
19:04 "Lord, I hope Babylon suffers for what they've done to us.
19:07 I hope their babies get dashed against the stones
19:10 for what they've done to us."
19:11 So there's some negativity in this psalm that is not really
19:14 reminiscent of the overall theme and flavor
19:18 of the rest of the psalms.
19:19 So whoever this writer was, he was an ultra orthodox
19:26 kind of mean spirited guy who believed in
19:29 payback, Pastor John.
19:32 And he puts that into his psalm.
19:35 So the Jews are God's people.
19:39 They are captured, they are enslaved,
19:45 their nation was destroyed, their walls torn down,
19:50 their temple incinerated and left in ruins.
19:55 All of this at the hands of the hated Babylonians,
19:59 these Chaldeans that were viewed almost as the devil.
20:06 And now to make matters worse, these demons in human form
20:12 are asking that we sing a song.
20:17 They want us to be happy after what they've done
20:21 to our kingdom.
20:23 I read some years ago by Elden Chalmers,
20:27 great Adventist psychologist, he said that song singing
20:32 is something a person does when they're happy and content.
20:36 Dr. Chalmers told us in the seminary that
20:38 if you pass by the kitchen and your wife is singing a song,
20:43 you're going to eat good that night.
20:46 Because song singing is something you do
20:49 when you're happy or content, unless you're singing the blues.
20:54 But these Babylonians are saying to their Jewish captives,
20:58 their Jewish slaves, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
21:02 Sing us something that you use to sing to your Lord.
21:05 We want to hear some little ditty that use to keep you
21:08 on cold winter nights."
21:14 They certainly didn't feel like singing.
21:19 And so their response was, "How can we sing
21:24 the Lord's song in a strange land?
21:29 How can we sing to our God among you people?
21:36 Why should we waste our breath and our time
21:41 praising God in front of you?"
21:46 It's interesting, the question is almost rhetorical.
21:50 Because the answer is, "How can you not sing?"
21:54 Let's examine the "why" of this situation.
21:59 Why they're in a strange land.
22:01 Why they are in this state of affairs.
22:03 Why are they thus?
22:08 I refer you to, Desire of Ages, page 28.
22:12 Ellen White gives us some insight into the Jewish
22:15 economy and history.
22:16 She says, "The Israelites fixed their hopes
22:20 upon worldly greatness.
22:24 From the time of their entrance into Canaan,
22:28 they departed from the commandments of God
22:30 and followed the ways of the heathen.
22:35 It was in vain..."
22:37 I looked up the word, "vain," just to make sure that
22:38 I knew what she was talking about.
22:40 "Vain," means, ineffectual, unsuccessful, and futile.
22:44 Waste of time.
22:46 "It was in vain that God sent them warnings by His prophets.
22:51 In vain they suffered the chastisement
22:54 of heathen oppression."
22:56 God tried everything that He knew.
22:59 He tried blessings, He tried cursings,
23:04 He tried pats on the back, He tried punishment,
23:08 but nothing ever seemed to work for very long.
23:12 Ellen White says every time they took one step forward,
23:15 they took two steps back.
23:18 And for nearly a thousand years, God suffered with His people.
23:24 Isaiah 1:2, "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth.
23:30 For the Lord has spoken, 'I have nourished and brought up
23:35 children, and they have rebelled against Me.'"
23:39 You know, there's no book in the Bible...
23:41 If you want to really get a flavor of how God labored
23:46 with His people, read Isaiah and Jeremiah.
23:51 If you really want to know the lengths that God will go through
23:55 to save somebody, just walk through Isaiah and Jeremiah.
23:58 You see, I was telling Jim the other day, we were talking,
24:01 I said, you see a God who is almost schizophrenic
24:05 in His desire to save His people.
24:07 In one breath He says, "Listen Isaiah, tell them,
24:12 'Find another God.'
24:14 Tell them, 'Don't look to Me, don't pray to Me,
24:16 don't talk to Me, don't come to Me.
24:18 When you suffer and fall down and scrape your knee,
24:21 I'm going to laugh at you.
24:22 I'm going to turn My back on you,
24:24 I'm going to walk away from you.'
24:25 Oh by the way, tell them I love them."
24:29 You see an almost schizophrenic God.
24:31 You almost feel kind of sad for God, because He's
24:33 pouring out His soul, His all, for a people that just will not
24:39 listen and will not obey.
24:42 And you see that in Isaiah, and you see that in Jeremiah.
24:46 "The ox knows its owner, the donkey knows its master's crib,
24:52 but Israel does not know; My people do not consider."
24:57 This is God talking.
25:00 If you want to understand the depths that God
25:04 will go to save Israel, technically Judah,
25:08 if you want to see how far they had sunken down,
25:10 just read some of the passages in Isaiah.
25:13 It will literally bring tears to your eyes to see what God
25:18 is doing to save His people,
25:20 and the length to which He will go to try to get them
25:23 to turn from their pernicious wickedness.
25:28 Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is, God tried.
25:34 And God is trying.
25:36 For a thousand years He tried.
25:38 Just like He's trying today for the last two thousand years
25:41 since the death of Christ.
25:43 Seven thousand years of trying.
25:48 He says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock."
25:51 You know, I wish sometimes God could just kick the door down.
25:55 I really do.
25:57 Because I see people who are bound for hell
26:00 and they just won't change their way,
26:02 and God is standing at the door rubbing His knuckles raw
26:06 knocking and knocking and knocking and knocking.
26:08 I'm glad I'm not God, I'd kick the door down.
26:15 Seven thousand years knocking.
26:21 Page 28, again in the book, Ellen White says,
26:26 "They were brought into subjection to Babylon,
26:28 and scattered through the lands of the heathen.
26:31 In affliction many renewed their faithfulness to His covenant...
26:36 The heathen systems of sacrifice were a perversion
26:40 of the system that God had appointed;
26:43 and many a sincere observer of heathen rites
26:46 learned from the Hebrews the meaning of the service
26:50 divinely ordained, and in faith grasped the
26:54 promise of a Redeemer."
26:56 You see, when God forced Israel into other lands,
27:00 it wasn't just punishment.
27:02 He was forcing them to do what He had called them to do.
27:06 He said, "If you don't want to go on your own,
27:08 I'm going to make you go."
27:10 And you can see a long line of heathen kings and princes,
27:14 and just plain ole common folk, who, because they rubbed
27:18 shoulders with Hebrew slaves, found out about God,
27:23 gave their hearts to God.
27:24 But God had to do in war what He wanted to do in peace.
27:29 You see, when you read the Bible, the blood
27:32 and guts and gore, this didn't have to be.
27:36 These 39 books of trial and test didn't have to be.
27:40 This was not God's will for His people.
27:44 Could have been written differently
27:46 had they just learned to obey.
27:53 Rahab, Ruth, the Syro-Phoenician;
27:57 these are individuals, they are samples of individuals,
28:01 who through contact with godly people gave their lives to God.
28:07 But why did it have to be in war when God wanted it
28:13 to be in peace?
28:15 God had to force them to do what He had called them to do,
28:18 what they were indeed created to do.
28:23 Ladies and gentlemen, may I submit to you that
28:26 we at the end of time run the same risk.
28:30 As nice as it is in this house, and in churches,
28:37 17,000 to 18,000 in number, all across the world,
28:41 that's not where the work of God is done.
28:44 The work of God is done outside the church.
28:48 We come together just long enough to get encouragement,
28:51 and then we go out and we spread the love of Jesus.
28:56 How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?
29:00 Prophets and Kings, "Many of the exile suffered persecution.
29:04 Not a few lost their lives because of their refusal
29:07 to disregard the Sabbath and observe the heathen festivals.
29:11 As idolaters were roused to crush out the truth,
29:15 the Lord brought His servants face to face with kings
29:18 and rulers, that they and their people might receive the light.
29:24 Time after time, the greatest monarchs were led to proclaim
29:28 the supremacy of the God whom their Hebrew
29:31 captives worshiped."
29:34 Nebuchadnezzar, Xerxes, Ben-Hadad, Naaman,
29:42 who we will talk about on tomorrow, I believe.
29:47 They learned from their slaves.
29:50 And the gospel went to these kingdoms
29:53 because of the Hebrew slaves that were faithful to God.
29:57 But it didn't have to be that way.
29:58 It was never suppose to be that way.
30:01 Had they lived for God and obeyed God and followed God,
30:05 God would have made them the head and not the tail.
30:12 We are told, brothers and sisters, this is going to happen
30:16 again before the end of time.
30:19 Some of you sitting here, or some of you watching,
30:21 or some of you listening, may be called before a judge,
30:24 or a prelate, or a king, or a president, or a prime minister,
30:30 who will say to you, "Why do you believe what you believe?"
30:38 And you better be ready to give a reason for the hope
30:42 that is within you.
30:44 Because that's your chance to stand up for Jesus.
30:48 It happened before, it'll happen again.
30:52 So we need to study to show ourselves approved.
30:55 Now get this, "Had Israel been true to God,
30:59 He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor
31:03 and exaltation.
31:05 If they had walked in the ways of obedience,
31:09 He would have made them 'high above all nations
31:14 which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor.'"
31:20 That's why God called them.
31:24 He could have glorified them.
31:26 He could have exalted them.
31:28 He could have had all people of the earth coming to them
31:30 for a knowledge of God.
31:32 But they failed in their mission.
31:35 Said Moses, "All people of the earth shall see
31:41 that thou art called by the name of the Lord;
31:44 and they shall be afraid of thee."
31:47 "But because of their unfaithfulness,
31:50 God's purpose could only be wrought through continued
31:54 adversity and humiliation."
31:56 Did you get that?
31:58 Because of their attitude, God's purpose could only be
32:04 wrought through adversity and humiliation.
32:10 So God, as it were, had to stand over them with a whip
32:13 to get them to do what He called them to do.
32:15 You see, God's purpose is going to get accomplished.
32:19 Amen?
32:20 Going to get done.
32:22 Somebody is going to be warned, the truth is going to get out,
32:25 God's people will be warned.
32:27 Either you're in it or you're not.
32:30 Either you're part of the building committee
32:32 or the wrecking crew.
32:34 Either you're on God's side or the devil.
32:36 But God's ship is going to go through.
32:39 The question is, will you?
32:43 And for nearly a thousand years, God labored with His people.
32:47 And the truth is, they never really got it right.
32:55 God wants to use you, us, to lift up His name.
33:03 The question is, will you, us, do it?
33:09 Sadly, the only thing that will move you, us, is humiliation.
33:18 God has got to, Jim, cattle prod us sometimes.
33:26 As I said before, God had literally to stand over
33:28 God's people with a whip to get them to move.
33:34 God called Israel, ladies and gentlemen,
33:36 brothers and sisters, for one reason only.
33:39 That's to spread the news and warn the world
33:43 of the coming of the Lord.
33:45 Now what is the difference in how and what and why
33:49 He called them, and how and what and why He calls us?
33:52 What's the difference?
33:55 Amen.
33:56 Forgive my pejorative English.
33:58 Ain't none.
34:00 There's no difference.
34:02 We are called like they were called.
34:04 For the same mission that they were called.
34:06 God called them to spread, to live, to share.
34:09 God calls us to spread, to live, to share.
34:12 No difference.
34:14 Now the question we need to ask ourselves is,
34:15 how we doin?
34:23 Either we is or we ain't.
34:28 Amen.
34:30 Or, ouch.
34:36 Let me beg my point.
34:38 Let me give you a little flavor and tenor of the relationship
34:41 between God and Israel, His chosen people, at this time.
34:45 I'm in Jeremiah 15:1.
34:47 The book of Jeremiah 15:1.
34:52 "Then the Lord said to me, 'Even if Moses and Samuel
34:57 stand before Me, My mind will not be favorable
35:01 toward this people.'"
35:04 That's pretty strong language, isn't it?
35:06 "If Moses and Samuel came and begged for Israel,
35:10 I'm not going to change My mind."
35:12 "Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth.
35:16 And it shall be, if they say to you, 'Where shall we go...'"
35:21 Jeremiah 15:2, "...tell them, 'Thus says the Lord,
35:24 "Such as for death, to death;
35:27 such as for the sword, to the sword;
35:32 such as for famine, to famine;
35:35 such as for captivity, to captivity."'"
35:38 So God explained to them what's going to happen.
35:42 "Some of you are going to be killed,
35:43 some of you are going to starve to death,
35:45 some of you are going to become slaves,
35:46 some of you are going to die of pestilence and disease."
35:52 You see, they had forgotten God.
35:54 The leaders had turned their backs on God.
35:58 And now God was giving them the recompense of their...
36:02 And I need to say this.
36:03 You know, I was listening the other day to
36:06 someone on 3ABN.
36:07 And they were saying, "We have a Christian school here.
36:11 And some of the students, by the way they act,
36:16 say to us they don't want to be in this school.
36:18 We've never kicked anybody out of school.
36:21 We don't send anybody home.
36:24 Your conduct tells us if you want to be here."
36:29 That make sense? "We don't throw people out."
36:32 He said, "We have a set of rules.
36:34 If you obey those rules, you stay.
36:39 But if you flaunt those rules and work against those rules,
36:43 you are saying to us, you don't want to be here.
36:46 So what we do is give you what you want."
36:51 Amen.
36:54 That's what God is saying.
36:57 "I've got a set of rules.
36:59 I've got a way that is the best way.
37:04 And your response to Me determines
37:10 how I can respond to you."
37:12 It's like, you have two children and you love all your children.
37:16 But you know that if one child obeys and does everything
37:22 mommy says and pretty much follows you,
37:25 you can do more for that child than you can for the one
37:30 that simply doesn't want any part of
37:33 anything you have to say.
37:34 It doesn't many you love one more than the other.
37:36 It means you can help one more than the other,
37:38 because the one who cooperates gets the goodies.
37:41 There's no way to get around it.
37:43 If you say, "Go to bed at nine so you can get up at five,
37:46 so you can do your work," and the child goes to bed at nine,
37:48 gets up at five, and one says, "I'm not going to bed
37:49 until midnight," and then you try to get them up at five,
37:53 and they don't want to hear it, and they don't want to
37:55 be bothered, because they didn't get enough sleep.
37:59 So you can help that one child more than the other
38:03 simply because they listen and obey.
38:06 Well it's the same way in heaven.
38:09 If God says, "This is the way, walk ye in it,"
38:13 and you walk in that way, there are a series of blessings
38:17 that come from walking in that way.
38:19 Amen.
38:21 But if you say, "I'm going to make my own way.
38:23 I'm going this way," well there's a series of steps
38:26 that come from walking that way.
38:28 If this way is paved and smooth and well worn
38:33 because God has smoothed it out for you,
38:34 and this is stony and rocky and you've got briers and bristles
38:38 and everything over here, and you want to hack your way
38:40 through the jungle, well...
38:44 You're making your own way.
38:46 And there are things that come from going that way.
38:50 And God may or may not help you there.
38:57 But if He leaves you on your own, God cannot be blamed.
39:01 Now I'm going to come back to that in just a little bit
39:04 and you'll see what I'm talking about.
39:06 So it boils down to this.
39:08 Let's go to Jeremiah 16 and I'll pick it up in verse 10.
39:15 I got a brand new Bible when I was at ASI a couple weeks ago.
39:19 Super huge print. I love it.
39:22 But you know what happens with new Bibles?
39:24 The pages stick together.
39:29 "And it shall be, when you show this people all these words,
39:34 and they say to you, 'Why has the Lord pronounced
39:36 all this great disaster upon us?
39:39 Or what is our iniquity?
39:41 Or what is our sin that we have committed against
39:44 the Lord our God?'
39:46 then you shall say to them, 'Because your fathers
39:49 have forsaken Me,' says the Lord, 'they have walked
39:53 after other gods and have served them and worshiped them,
39:57 and have forsaken Me and not kept My law.
40:00 And you have done worse than your fathers,
40:03 for behold, each one follows the dictates of his own evil heart,
40:09 so that no one listens to Me.'"
40:11 You know, you almost feel bad for God.
40:14 You know, if you're dating somebody...
40:18 Jim, you're dating Camille.
40:20 And I know you broke up for a little while
40:21 and got back together.
40:22 John and Angie, I know your history.
40:24 Because I was there for that.
40:26 But if you date a girl and you're constantly loving
40:30 and showing love, and buying presents,
40:32 and giving all you can, and she thumbs her nose at you,
40:38 you've got two choices.
40:40 You can stay there and become a door mat,
40:42 or you can go someplace else.
40:46 You know, you can try it for a while.
40:48 And after a while, it gets kind of old.
40:51 "I love you, I love you.
40:53 Here's some candy, here's some flowers.
40:54 Here's the keys to my car."
40:58 So you go someplace else where you're loved.
41:01 Amen.
41:04 That's just common sense...
41:06 everybody but God.
41:10 Ever thought of that?
41:12 He has no place else to go.
41:15 He can't do anything but love.
41:17 He cannot change.
41:20 Always makes you feel a little sad for God, doesn't it?
41:24 Whether you accept Him or reject Him,
41:26 He's still there knocking at that door.
41:30 And He knocked on the door of Israel's heart
41:33 for almost a thousand years.
41:39 They never got it right.
41:42 And He says here, "You've done worse than your fathers.
41:46 And I've tried."
41:51 When you boil it down, two particular sins:
41:56 Sabbath breaking and idolatry.
42:00 Same sins of today.
42:02 Not giving God His time, and putting everybody
42:06 and everything before God.
42:09 Those things were written aforetime;
42:12 written for our admonition.
42:15 Same sins of today.
42:18 Not giving God His time, and then putting everything
42:22 we can before God.
42:24 The sins of the former are now the sins of the latter.
42:28 You know, I wish I knew who wrote Psalm 137.
42:32 Because as I said before, it seems almost a little
42:34 out of bounds.
42:37 They're crying over Jerusalem.
42:40 But ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters,
42:41 Jerusalem wasn't their salvation.
42:45 Neither was the temple.
42:47 Jehovah God was.
42:50 They're crying when we fought about Jerusalem.
42:52 Well what about God?
42:57 We're crying when we think about the temple.
42:59 What about the God of the temple?
43:01 The reason you're in Babylon is because when you were
43:05 in Jerusalem, you forgot about God.
43:09 Your salvation is not in Jerusalem.
43:11 Your salvation is in Jehovah God.
43:15 And those of us who call ourselves Seventh-day Adventists
43:17 need to remember the same thing.
43:19 You don't get saved because you're a Seventh-day Adventist.
43:27 You get saved because you're in Jesus.
43:30 I said it before, I'll say it again.
43:32 Every Christian ain't a Seventh-day Adventist.
43:36 Um-hmm.
43:38 And every Seventh-day Adventist...
43:42 Uh-hmm.
43:46 They're crying over Jerusalem.
43:49 Well what about God?
43:52 So number one, you sing because even in good times
43:58 and in bad times, God is worthy to be praised.
44:04 That's why you sing.
44:05 Amen?
44:08 While probation still lingers, every calamity,
44:11 every catastrophe, is still mingled with the mercy of God.
44:14 In short, even though it's bad, it could have been worse.
44:20 That's a reason to sing.
44:24 I've been to car accidents where the car has been mangled
44:28 and flattened, and people walked away.
44:32 That's a reason to sing.
44:34 My roommate in college, I'm going to talk about him
44:36 again tomorrow night, my roommate in college
44:39 had a lime green Volkswagen.
44:43 Took Susan Truste up on Monte Sano,
44:46 and lost his mind and his brakes, and flattened that car.
44:50 And when I came back to the room, he's laying bed
44:53 sore but still in one piece.
44:56 Crying over that Volkswagen.
44:58 And the dean came in, Dean Butler came in,
45:01 and said, "Man, you okay?"
45:03 He said, "Yeah, but my car."
45:05 He said, "What are you crying about?
45:08 You're in one piece.
45:10 You can buy another cheap Volkswagen."
45:14 Every catastrophe, every calamity,
45:17 mingled with the mercy of God.
45:18 So as bad as it is, it could have been worse.
45:23 That's a reason to sing.
45:26 That's a reason to sing.
45:28 Two, you sing because God can find you
45:32 as easily in Babylon as He can in Jerusalem.
45:37 Amen.
45:39 You may lose sight of Him, He will not lose sight of you.
45:43 So though you're in Babylon, there's something for you to do
45:46 in Babylon.
45:48 Amen.
45:49 God can find you in Babylon just like He can in Jerusalem.
45:54 So you ought to sing even in Babylon.
45:58 Time is running, let me go to Jeremiah 24 real fast.
46:01 Jeremiah 24.
46:03 I knew this was going to happen.
46:05 Jeremiah 24.
46:08 Maybe I'll just summarize it for you.
46:10 No, I've got to read it.
46:11 "The Lord showed me, and there were two baskets of figs
46:16 set before the temple of the Lord, after Nebuchadnezzar
46:20 king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah
46:24 and his son Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah
46:30 with the craftsmen, and smiths, from Jerusalem..."
46:32 Now I want to jump down to verse 5,
46:36 and I want to read it in three different versions real quick.
46:39 The NIV, the Clear Word, and the New King James.
46:44 "This is what the Lord God says,
46:48 'Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah,
46:54 whom I sent away from this place to the land
46:57 of the Babylonians.
46:59 My eyes shall watch over them for their good,
47:02 and I will bring them back to this land.'"
47:04 That's NIV.
47:06 Clear Word, "Some of the people who were taken captive
47:09 to Babylon are like these good figs.
47:12 I will watch over them and treat them gently.
47:16 I will bring them back to their land."
47:19 Now here's the New King James.
47:21 "Thus says the Lord God of Israel..."
47:23 Now when you see, "Lord God," like that, that's the formal
47:26 entrance into the King.
47:27 That's Yahweh, Elohim.
47:29 That's as good as it gets.
47:31 That's, take it to the bank, guaranteed.
47:34 "I call..."
47:35 Ummm, let me jump over that.
47:37 Ummm, let's see.
47:39 "Like these good figs, so I will acknowledge those
47:43 who are carried away captive from Judah, whom I have
47:46 sent out of this place for their own good,
47:49 into the land of the Chaldeans.
47:52 For I will set My eyes on them for good."
47:56 You see, when you serve the Lord,
48:00 can I say it, even bad stuff turns out good.
48:05 Amen?
48:07 Everybody had to go to Babylon.
48:11 But God said, "I know those that are Mine.
48:15 And I'm going to take care of mine even in Babylon.
48:19 I know the good from the bad.
48:22 And the good, I've set My eyes upon them.
48:25 I will watch out for them even in Babylon."
48:28 So my point is again, God can find you in Babylon
48:32 just like He can in Jerusalem.
48:33 And just because you're in a hard place
48:36 doesn't mean that God has lost you or forgotten about you.
48:39 God can take care of you in Jerusalem,
48:41 and God can take care of you in Babylon.
48:43 Amen?
48:45 So you ought to sing because the same God who is there
48:47 in Jerusalem is right by your side in Babylon.
48:50 That's something to sing about.
48:55 So even bad stuff turns out good when God is by your side.
49:00 They ought to sing, because even if everybody is singing
49:05 rock, or rap, or reggae, or rhythm and blues,
49:08 and you're the only one singing for Jesus,
49:10 God hears it.
49:13 And sometimes God puts you in a strange place
49:16 just so you can sing.
49:19 You ought to sing because you never know who's listening
49:23 for your song.
49:24 I'll tell you a true story.
49:26 I went to a funeral when I was pastoring the Ephesus church.
49:29 One of our wealthy, well to do, snowbirds...
49:33 That's a person who goes north in the summer
49:36 and south in the winter.
49:37 It was in Miami, a repast.
49:38 And he flew me down, along with a bunch of individuals,
49:42 on a plane to do his funeral.
49:44 I preached the funeral.
49:45 He flew this choir down.
49:47 And we had a wonderful big, huge, five hour
49:51 funeral down there in Miami.
49:53 Well, they had rented this very swank restaurant
49:56 for the repast after.
49:59 So we all, with our Bibles and our black suits,
50:01 piled into this really swank restaurant.
50:03 And we were kind of over by ourselves,
50:05 and I noticed there was this guy kind of hanging around us.
50:09 And he was kind of irritating us a little bit.
50:11 Because first of all, everybody was suit and ties,
50:12 a suit and tie restaurant; maître d', he had the thing.
50:15 You know, you've got to check for your name,
50:16 and then they call your name and you walk to your seat.
50:19 And there's this guy in a shirt and he had a jacket on,
50:22 but kind of rumpled.
50:24 He just kept hanging around us.
50:25 And someone said, "Why is that guy hanging
50:28 around us like that?"
50:30 And I said, "I don't know, he's not bothering anybody."
50:31 Just kept hanging around.
50:33 And we were talking about the Lord and all kinds of things,
50:34 and he just kept listening in and hanging around us.
50:37 But he was disheveled.
50:39 He wasn't dirty, but he wasn't...
50:41 This was a pressed restaurant. You know, folk...
50:43 The maître d' has a little white cloth over his arm, you know,
50:46 and walks like this, and stripe on the pants, and what not.
50:48 This is a very high-class, swanky restaurant.
50:50 Here's this disheveled guy kind of hanging around us,
50:53 like, "Why is he hanging around us?"
50:55 So it was time, the food came, and someone said,
51:02 "Well, pastor, why don't you pray for the food."
51:04 And so I said, "Okay, let's bow our heads."
51:06 And we all grabbed pinky fingers.
51:07 If you know Erma and I, we do the pinky finger thing.
51:09 I picked that pinky finger thing up years ago.
51:13 So we all grabbed our pinky fingers.
51:14 And as I was about to pray, this guy in his disheveled suit said,
51:18 "Alright, let's be quiet.
51:20 The pastor is going to pray."
51:25 This is a high-class restaurant, pastor.
51:28 This is, you know, 21. This is a big deal.
51:30 And this disheveled guy is screaming.
51:32 So I figured I got the floor, because the place got quiet.
51:34 You know, everybody got quiet.
51:36 So I prayed, "Lord, bless the food.
51:39 Bless all of these people here.
51:41 May they receive..." And I milked it.
51:43 "May they receive strength from their food, may they eat."
51:45 And announced that one day Jesus is going to ask
51:47 for an account of their lives.
51:49 And Christ is coming soon.
51:50 I figured, I've got the floor.
51:52 This is my time to preach a sermon.
51:53 And you know, I preached a long time.
51:55 "In the name of Jesus, amen."
51:59 And the guy walked away.
52:03 And I found out later that he was a co-owner
52:08 of the restaurant.
52:10 Dressed like a bum, but he's co-owner of the restaurant.
52:13 And he knew that a party of Adventists was coming in there,
52:18 and he was just hanging around, just trying to get something.
52:22 And I found out from another Adventist in town
52:27 that about two weeks before, his daughter died
52:31 in a boating accident.
52:32 And his son was driving the boat,
52:35 and she hit something in the water.
52:37 And so now his son is in the hospital.
52:39 He's going through some mental stuff because he feels
52:42 responsible for his sister's death.
52:46 And this fellow was asking the Lord on that day,
52:54 "Lord, I just ain't got it.
52:56 Can you do something for me?"
52:58 And then in comes this party of Adventists.
53:01 And he makes the whole restaurant shut up
53:03 so they can hear me pray.
53:05 See, you sing the Lord's song because you never know
53:09 who's out there who needs to hear that song.
53:12 You never know who's there, who, on that very day,
53:15 needs to hear something from you.
53:17 Because maybe they're in a strange land.
53:19 Maybe they're in a strange place.
53:21 I've got a good friend I baptized.
53:22 An ambassador, I better not say the country,
53:24 from the United Nations.
53:29 And when I was Bible studying with him, he told me,
53:32 "You know, the Lord is so good.
53:37 When I was an ambassador for the UN, I didn't care about
53:41 the Lord, I didn't care about anything.
53:43 But the Lord took my job, and I was in a strange land.
53:48 I was in the unemployment line for six months.
53:52 No job. Can't pay my bills.
53:54 Wife looking at me funny. Two kids, you know.
53:58 And it was during that time that I found Jesus."
54:02 He said, "I cherish the time that I was out of a job,
54:07 because that's when we found Jesus."
54:11 He got a job with Metropolitan Life,
54:13 became the northeast regional director of Metropolitan Life.
54:17 Move to Atlanta and became the southeast regional director
54:22 of Metropolitan Life.
54:24 He was in a strange land, but he sang the song and he found God.
54:27 And now God is allowing him to rise on high places.
54:31 So you sing, because sometimes God puts you there
54:35 because there's somebody there who needs to hear your song,
54:39 who needs to hear what you have to say,
54:40 who needs to hear of the goodness of the Lord
54:43 even in bad times.
54:47 David said, "I've been young; now I am old.
54:52 Never, never, seen the righteous forsaken,
55:00 or His seed begging bread."
55:03 That's something to sing about.
55:06 So when you go to the cupboard and the cupboard is low,
55:12 sing for Jesus.
55:16 Because He's got something for you,
55:18 and someone needs to hear your song.
55:22 Let me close quickly with a story.
55:25 Sister Ina Lee Kitchen.
55:26 I'm pastor of the Springfield Gardens
55:27 Seventh-day Adventist Church.
55:31 When I pastored her, she was 102 years old.
55:33 She told me about the years when she joined the church.
55:37 She said, and I've got to hurry up with this,
55:38 she said, "One day my husband lost his job
55:43 because of the Sabbath.
55:44 We had no food in the house what so ever.
55:47 And he was pacing up and down.
55:49 I went to the window, opened up the window,
55:51 pulled my rocking chair to the window, and just sat
55:53 in the chair and rocked and sang."
55:55 She said, "I knew God was going to do something.
55:57 I just rocked and sang."
56:01 She said, "In about 40 minutes..."
56:04 This is sister Ina Lee Kitchen, 101 years old.
56:07 Don't need to lie when you're 101 years old.
56:10 She said, "There floated through my window,
56:12 just as pretty as you please, a one dollar bill.
56:18 It landed right there in front of my rocking chair."
56:20 She said this was back in the 1930's.
56:23 She was 101 years old.
56:26 She said, "A dollar could go a long way.
56:27 You could get bread and milk and eggs,
56:30 and have a couple of pennies left over."
56:32 She said, "My husband went up on the roof to see
56:34 who lost a dollar.
56:36 While he's on the roof, I was making a beeline
56:38 for the grocery store."
56:42 She said, "I remember that to this day;
56:45 that God will never forsake His own."
56:49 See, that's why you can sing.
56:51 Because even when you are not at your best,
56:55 God is.
56:58 He's faithful. He cannot deny Himself.
57:01 So you can sing in the sunshine,
57:04 and you can sing in the rain.
57:06 And you can sing in the good times,
57:08 and you can sing in the bad.
57:10 You can sing when you've got friends,
57:13 and you can sing when your friends are few.
57:15 Because even if you have no friend,
57:19 you've got one Friend.
57:22 And that Friend sticks closer than a brother.
57:25 And wherever you go, and whatever you do,
57:28 that Friend is with you.
57:31 That's something, ladies and gentlemen, to sing about.
57:36 Father God, we praise You and thank You for Jesus;
57:40 the Author and Finisher of our faith.
57:44 Help us, Lord, to put a song on our lips
57:48 and the love of Christ in our hearts,
57:51 and to sing the Lord's song wherever we are.


Revised 2016-01-28