Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Valley of The Sea

Temple Baptist Church - 5-3-2020
Psalm 77

A.  As a rule, when seas are mentioned in the Bible, they are places of hardship or difficulty.  They are places that test our faith!  In this particular Psalm, we find “hindsight’s 20/20” in operation.  The Psalmist looks at the trial from start to finish.  He started with faith; faith faltered; faith remembered; and God delivered!

1.  We Find Confidence – vs. 1  “God Will!”

2.  We Find Confusion – vs. 2  “God Hasn’t!”

3.  We Find Complaining – vs. 3  “God Won’t!”

4.  We Find Contemplation – vs. 4-9  “God has turned His back on me”

5.  We Find Consideration – vs. 10-18  “God has been here and done it before”

6.  We Find Confidence – vs. 19-20   “God will do it once more”

B.  Seas in general are immense!  The Red Sea, to Israel who had no boats or planes, was just such a sea.  It was:

1.  A Place Of Improbability – The path north was the easiest and quickest

2.  A Place Of Impassability – The path south was one of entanglement by sea,
mountains, or desert.

3.  A Place of Impossibility – They could not go forward, they could not go backward, they could not stay put!

C.  Life is hard at best.  When I think of a sea, I think of:

1.  Great Depths - The Mariana Trench is 36,201 feet deep (Mt. Everest—the highest mountain in the world stands only 29,029 ft. tall).

2.  Immense Size - The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean. It covers 69,375,000 square miles.

3.  Incredible Power – Currents that cannot be contained.

4.  Sudden tempests – Storms of great magnitude.

5.  Long Crossings – Thousands of miles on major oceans.

6.  Physical Impossibilities – I cannot neither wade through nor them can I swim across them.  I often go to the Atlantic and the possibility of my swimming across it never even crosses my mind.  As a matter of fact, there are fish there that would love to eat this fat preacher!

D.  Verses 13-15 declares that God is known in the Sanctuary, God’s house.  God’s house is essential!  ” Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?

1.  There We Remember The Past – Verse 11.  “Thy wonders of old.”

2.  There We Meditate on The Present – Verse 12.  “All thy doings.”  (Performance or opportunity)

3.  There We Declare the Future – Verse 14.  “Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.”

4.  “What Did The Sea See When The Sea Saw?”  “The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.”  (Verse 16) 

E.  The Psalmist said, “Thy way is in the sea and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.”  God often allows His children to come to hard places in their lives.  Not paths chosen by us but paths allowed by Him.  This verse tells me three things:’ 

1.  God’s Path Is Not Always Easy!

2.  God’s Path Is Always Ahead of Us!

3.  God’s Path Is Not Always Visible!

1.  God’s Sea is a Prepared Place – His Property!   God created the seas and knows every part of it like the “back of His hand!”  He made every mountain and every valley in the seas.  I believe that God knows every trial that we will face in our lives.  It is not that God creates sinfulness nor does He condone it, but I believe that God still controls it!  It Is Not The Way Of Our Comprehending!

2.  God’s Sea is a Providential Place – His Permission!  God knew before He ever created the world that Israel would one day stand at that precise place because it was the “hand of God” that led them there.  It was a place of God’s choosing.  Every good General picks his place and time of battle.  God chose the place of Israel’s crossing.  So does God allow us to be brought to hard places in life in His providence!    It Is Not The Way Of Our Comfort!  It Is Often The Harder Way!  It Is Often The Long Way!  It Is Not The Way Of Our Choosing!  It Is Often The Only Way!  When you have no choice, you can make no wrong decision!

3.  God’s Sea is a Powerful Place – His Parting!  When I see the ocean, it never ceases to amaze me with its magnitude and its power!  It goes beyond the horizon; it goes for thousands of miles; no power on earth can either tame it or stop it.  It is controlled only by God!  When we come to our seaSeas Of Disappointment, Seas Of Discouragement, Seas Of Dire Circumstances, Seas Of Duration, Seas Of Doubt—they are seas where only God can show His might power!

4.  God’s Sea Is A Protected Place – His Pillar!  When Israel came to the impossible, impassable Red Sea and the enemy drew near to destroy, God placed Himself between the enemies of God’s people and the people of God.  No matter how they hated Israel and Israel’s God, they could do nothing to draw any nearer than God would allow.  He has put Satan and the enemies of God’s children on a leash!  The most protected place is not always the easiest one.  The most protected place is in the midst of the fire in the will of God.

5.  God’s Sea Is A Purposed Place – His Plan!  His purpose is to deliver the children of God!  God does not purpose that we be destroyed and He will show up on time to deliver.  When we get to the end of life and look back, we will see the hand of God in our lives.  His purpose is to destroy the enemies of God!  As God destroyed Israel; as God destroyed Haman; God will destroy those who oppose Him and refuse to get right.  Egypt could have been spared if, at any time, they had turned around but God hardened their hearts and they continued until they perished.  His purpose is to purify the saint and bring praise and glory to God!  In the sea, God is still God!  Just let God be God, trust Him with all that you have, and He will be glorified.

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