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God Takes Care of the Righteous

God Takes Care of the Righteous

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God Takes Care of the Righteous

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  1. God Takes Care of the Righteous • In the midst of God’s rebuke for the wicked we can fail to see what God is doing for the righteous!

  2. God Takes Care of the Righteous • In the midst of God’s rebuke for the wicked we can fail to see what God is doing for the righteous! • I remember once I was in a class that had a high percentage of trouble makers.

  3. God Takes Care of the Righteous • In the midst of God’s rebuke for the wicked we can fail to see what God is doing for the righteous! • I remember once I was in a class that had a high percentage of trouble makers. • I did not approve of what they did nor could I change them. Still I suffered punishments because of them.

  4. God Takes Care of the Righteous • In addition to the punishments of the teachers on the class, I also had to suffer because I did not go along with the rebellious.

  5. God Takes Care of the Righteous • In addition to the punishments of the teachers on the class, I also had to suffer because I did not go along with the rebellious. • While the focus of the prophets is on the condition of the nation as a whole, those serving God are recognized and taken care of.

  6. God Takes Care of the Righteous • We generally do not hear their voices but we know they are there.

  7. God Takes Care of the Righteous • We generally do not hear their voices but we know they are there. • The future promises of God’s kingdom and the Messiah have little comfort to the worldly. They are only interested in the “here and now!”

  8. God Takes Care of the Righteous • We generally do not hear their voices but we know they are there. • The future promises of God’s kingdom and the Messiah have little comfort to the worldly. They are only interested in the “here and now!” • The pain of the righteous can be heard in the Psalm of Asaph. (Psa 73:11-17)

  9. God Takes Care of the Righteous • Psalm 73:11-17 11 And they say, "How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?" 12 Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; They increase in riches. 13 Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all day long I have been plagued, And chastened every morning.

  10. God Takes Care of the Righteous • 15 If I had said, "I will speak thus," Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children. 16 When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me -- 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.

  11. The Testing of the Righteous • Have you ever looked around you and said: “These are the people of God???” (Hab 1:1-4)

  12. The Testing of the Righteous • Habakkuk 1:1-4 The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw. 2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save. 3 Why do You show me iniquity, And cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; There is strife, and contention arises.

  13. The Testing of the Righteous • 4 Therefore the law is powerless, And justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.

  14. The Testing of the Righteous • Hypocrites can cause many to turn away from God. Prophets, priests and kings were talking about God but living wickedly. This is hard to swallow!

  15. The Testing of the Righteous • Hypocrites can cause many to turn away from God. Prophets, priests and kings were talking about God but living wickedly. This is hard to swallow! • Like Asaph, Habakkuk wondered what God was doing.

  16. The Testing of the Righteous • This is a common test we must pass. Do not let a hypocrite come between you and God. (Rom 2:23-24; 3:4)

  17. The Testing of the Righteous • Romans 2:23-24 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24 For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," as it is written.

  18. The Testing of the Righteous • Romans 3:4 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.“

  19. The Testing of the Righteous • If your “faithfulness” depends on numbers then you will fail the test when it comes.

  20. The Testing of the Righteous • If your “faithfulness” depends on numbers then you will fail the test when it comes. • An even greater pain comes when those who should be the people of God persecute you. (Amos 2:6-7)

  21. The Testing of the Righteous • Amos 2:6-7 - Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they sell the righteous for silver, And the poor for a pair of sandals. 7 They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor, And pervert the way of the humble. A man and his father go in to the same girl, To defile My holy name.

  22. The Testing of the Righteous • Can you imagine righteousness being powerless among “the people of God?”

  23. The Testing of the Righteous • Can you imagine righteousness being powerless among “the people of God?” • Here is where the righteous “keep silent” and wait on the Lord. (Amos 5:12-13)

  24. The Testing of the Righteous • Amos 5:12-13 - For I know your manifold transgressions And your mighty sins: Afflicting the just and taking bribes; Diverting the poor from justice at the gate. 13 Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, For it is an evil time.

  25. The Testing of the Righteous • How hard is it to keep silent when you are slandered and taken advantage of?

  26. The Testing of the Righteous • Imagine working with a dishonest businessman. He has money and is praised! God knows the truth. (Amos 8:4-6)

  27. The Testing of the Righteous • Amos 8:4-6 4 Hear this, you who swallow up the needy, And make the poor of the land fail, 5 Saying: "When will the New Moon be past, That we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, That we may trade wheat? Making the ephah small and the shekel large, Falsifying the scales by deceit, 6 That we may buy the poor for silver, And the needy for a pair of sandals -- Even sell the bad wheat?“

  28. The Testing of the Righteous • Just like in Job’s day, people say God is with the “successful” and against those who suffer. They say: “Something wrong with you!”

  29. The Testing of the Righteous • Just like in Job’s day, people say God is with the “successful” and against those who suffer. They say: “Something wrong with you!” • If you do speak up for the will of God then you endure scorn and worse. (Mt 7:6)

  30. The Testing of the Righteous • Matthew 7:6 6 "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

  31. The Testing of the Righteous • It is painful to know God will punish the people and there is nothing you can do.

  32. The Testing of the Righteous • It is painful to know God will punish the people and there is nothing you can do. • Habakkuk prayed to God and received a troubling answer. (Hab 1:5-6, 12-13)

  33. The Testing of the Righteous • Habakkuk 1:5-6 - " Look among the nations and watch -- Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you. 6 For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, A bitter and hasty nation Which marches through the breadth of the earth, To possess dwelling places that are not theirs.

  34. The Testing of the Righteous • Habakkuk 1:12-13- Are You not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, You have appointed them for judgment; O Rock, You have marked them for correction. 13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he?

  35. The Testing of the Righteous • He prayed again, hoping for a different answer but got the same one. (Hab 2:1-3)

  36. The Testing of the Righteous • Habakkuk 2:1-3 - I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected. 2 Then the LORD answered me and said: "Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie

  37. The Testing of the Righteous • Have you ever warned a loved one only to wait for the coming “train wreck?”

  38. The Suffering of the Righteous • In addition to the previous persecution from within, they will suffer when “the trumpets” of judgment sound for the nation.

  39. The Suffering of the Righteous • In addition to the previous persecution from within, they will suffer when “the trumpets” of judgment sound for the nation. • In the book of Revelation “trumpets” represented judgments. (Rev 8:6-9)

  40. The Suffering of the Righteous • Revelation 8:6-9 6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 7 The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

  41. The Suffering of the Righteous • 8 Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

  42. The Suffering of the Righteous • Will the righteous be hungry when the nation is? (Hab 3:16-17)

  43. The Suffering of the Righteous • Habakkuk 3:16-17 - When I heard, my body trembled; My lips quivered at the voice; Rottenness entered my bones; And I trembled in myself, That I might rest in the day of trouble. When he comes up to the people, He will invade them with his troops.

  44. The Suffering of the Righteous • 17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls –

  45. The Suffering of the Righteous • How did you feel on September 11, 2001? How would you feel if our country suffered economic collapse? Will Christians be exempt from consequences?

  46. The Suffering of the Righteous • Look at the suffering of the righteous, but also at the humility and self inspection this brought. (Micah 7:1-10)

  47. The Suffering of the Righteous • Micah 7:1-10 Woe is me! For I am like those who gather summer fruits, Like those who glean vintage grapes; There is no cluster to eat Of the first-ripe fruit which my soul desires. 2 The faithful man has perished from the earth, And there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood; Every man hunts his brother with a net.

  48. The Suffering of the Righteous • 3 That they may successfully do evil with both hands -- The prince asks for gifts, The judge seeks a bribe, And the great man utters his evil desire; So they scheme together. 4 The best of them is like a brier; The most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge; The day of your watchman and your punishment comes; Now shall be their perplexity.

  49. The Suffering of the Righteous • 5 Do not trust in a friend; Do not put your confidence in a companion; Guard the doors of your mouth From her who lies in your bosom. 6 For son dishonors father, Daughter rises against her mother, Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; A man's enemies are the men of his own household.

  50. The Suffering of the Righteous • 7 Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me. 8 Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The LORD will be a light to me.