Here’s a brief recap of Pastor Rick’s sermon notes from Sunday, September 10.
“When God’s People Are Oppressed”
“Injustice may bend you, but it need never break you.”
“God brings us to the valleys of oppression to bring us through the valleys of oppression.”
If you are the oppressor, be warned.
If you are the oppressed, just wait.
If you can do good, get busy.
1. If you are the oppressor, be warned. Judgment is coming.
Characteristics of oppressors:
- Us-them thinking.
- A desire for security.
- Using others for personal gain.
- Fear of losing control.
- A lack of empathy.
- Unconcerned about the poor, the homeless, the uneducated, the persecuted.
- A lack of sympathy toward those facing hunger or toward people who’ve experienced disasters like fires, hurricanes, floods.
- Failure to care for and lift up people from different cultural backgrounds.
- Misuse of positions of authority in the marketplace – protecting our own affluence and perks while failing to provide fair wages and benefits for others.
- The creation of cliques in our churches and communities that discourage outsiders and newcomers and refugees and that hinder authentic fellowship.
- Division on the basis of income, ethnicity, or nationality.
2. If you are the oppressed, just wait. A redeemer is coming.
“Whatever has been done by the enemies in rage or in recklessness, God has always met it calmly and quietly. He has shown himself ready for every emergency.
“And he has not only baffled and utterly defeated all the inventions of wicked men, but he has turned their strange devices to good account, for the development of his own sovereign purposes. He has made his enemies work for him…
“He does not only meet evil with good, but he takes the evil, and subjects it to his own eternal purpose.” C.H. Spurgeon
3. If you can do good, seek justice, save lives; get busy. A reward is coming.
“Exodus reports the events without giving any moral evaluation, its chief purpose being to help its readers rejoice that God had wonderfully preserved his people from Pharaoh.” ESV Study Bible
“Rather than trying to argue for a justifiable lie on the part of midwives, seeking to protect God’s people, it is better to take it as a statement of what was actually true: God was directly involved in this affair of birth and national growth.” John MacArthur
“Scripture is full of instances which show that the most excellent actions are sometimes stained with partial sin… Because they had acted in reality with heartiness and courage, God endured in them the sin which He would have deservedly condemned… Whosoever honestly examines himself will find some defect, even in his best endeavors… Whatever ill-will our good deeds may beget in this world, still God sits in heaven to reward them.” John Calvin
“Fear of God is that holy disposition or gracious habit, formed in the soul by the Holy Spirit, whereby we are inclined to obey all God’s commands; and evidences itself by a dread of his displeasure, desire of his favor, regard for his excellences, submission to his will, gratitude for his benefits, and conscientious obedience to his commands.” Charles Buck
If you can do good, seek justice, save lives; get busy. A reward is coming.
One look at the cross of Christ – where the greatest injustice that ever occurred in human history – reminds us that though the world may wound us, the Lord will restore us.
Injustice may bend you, but it need never break you.
God brings us to the valleys of oppression to bring us through the valleys of oppression.