Sermon – September 14, 2014

GodQuestionsWhere Is God When I Need Him?“, by Rev. Mike Holly

Sermon Series: God Questions

Today in worship, we will explore the question: “Where is God when I need Him?” This question assumes that when we go through very tough times in our lives, that God is somehow absent, ignorant of our circumstances, or flat out ignores us as we suffer. But that is not the God that shows up in the pages of the Scriptures. While the passage from Ecclesiastes shows that others in biblical times shared these feelings of abandonment (as do several Psalms), the story of Exodus verifies that God hears to cries of suffering. And the presence of Jesus as he walked, taught, healed, loved, lived, died and rose again — this presence shows that God ultimately knows our suffering as mortal human beings and responds not just with the gift of words, but with the gift of The Word – himself in flesh and blood.

Scholars talk about a way of thinking in much of the Old Testament that goes like this: Good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. They call this Deuteronomic Theology. If you have been to the Pastors’ Bible Study Wednesdays at 4:30 pm, you are quite familiar with this phrase. But the rest of Scripture wrestles with the injustice of bad things happening to good people. And when bad things happen to good people, that is when we cry out: “Where is God when we need Him?” Today, we hope to explore the presence of God in our lives in both the good and the bad times.

~Mike Holly

The Word

Ecclesiastes 4:1-3

Again I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sun. Look, the tears of the oppressed—with no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power—with no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead, who have already died, more fortunate than the living, who are still alive; but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

Exodus 3:7-10

Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

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