Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sermon: Rizpah (Grief and Loss) by Rich Griffith

Sermon Rizpah.

Grief and loss.

Movie called “a man called ove”. It opens up with an old guy who is unhappy and goes around telling people what to do. He is strict. His wife had died a few months before and he was fired from his job at the railroad station.

He keeps trying to kill himself but he keeps getting interrupted because everyone needs help. Then he goes to the railroad station he’s going to jump in front of a train because t then a guy has a seizure and falls on the tracks. The others around take pictures of him on the tracks. Then Ove rescues him and then waits for the train again.

There are ways to help. Sometimes we say the wrong thing. What should we do? We should listen

“So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.””
‭‭John‬ ‭11:17-24‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

This state makes no sense if we immediately go to heaven after we die. She knows about the resurrection.

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.””
‭‭John‬ ‭11:25-27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

That is the cornerstone

“And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.” As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.” Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.”
‭‭John‬ ‭11:28-35‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Even though he was Messiah and knew he could be resurrected he still wept. Why? The emotion of the moment.

““O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ ””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭23:37-39‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Have you watched animals protect the young? That instinct to love and protect is something animals have.

Life has its twists and turns. We don’t know what will happen in life. It’s important to remember you are not alone, Jesus is with us.

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭4:14-16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Jesus experienced this grief and loss as well as being alone and betrayed. We need to focus our self’s on God.

“Better to go to the house of mourning Than to go to the house of feasting, For that is the end of all men; And the living will take it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better.”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7:2-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

There is wiser to be found while we mourn. It serves a valuable function in the life of men. Grief is temporary.

“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭30:5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Sometimes it seems like the trial will never end. But trials are temporary.

It can be time and chance or it could be from God. God sends afflictions. God is faithful but he won’t if you turn your back on him.

When people are in trials people will abandoned them because they don’t know how to deal with it. But God is there when we need him the most.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:1-6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

When we are in the shadow of death, we shouldn’t fear. We should turn to God because he will be with us.


Different translations of psalms 56:8

“You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭56:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“You know how troubled I am; you have kept a record of my tears. Aren't they listed in your book?”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭56:8‬ ‭GNB‬‬

“My wandering Thou hast counted, Thou--place Thou my tear in Thy bottle, Are they not in Thy book?”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭56:8‬ ‭YLT1898‬‬

“Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll — are they not in your record?”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭56:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬


“Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:8-11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Without God, what hope is there?

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

In other words, all the hindsight and looking back we see things different. God looks at it different. All the failure can be used by God.

5e lessons of this life will be carried with us for eternity. Some people sin get away with sin, because others never knew. But you remember.

God can take all the loss and tragedy and use it for their good when we are in grief we should pour our hearts out to God

When Rizpah was out protecting those bodies for 6 months there was a spiritual battle going on as well one woman was battling it. She was grieving before God

So when we speak and cry out to God we should pour out our heart to God it is appropriate. In private and in public.

Sometimes tragedy causes people to isolate themselves. We were not designed by God to be alone. We are social creatures. We are meant to have relationships.

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:10-13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:15-16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God is there for us even when we feel like we are alone. We need to help others. Even in the valley of the shadow of death God is with us.

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