Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Cities of Refuge: Bezer

Temple Baptist Church - 7-24-2011

Joshua 20:1-9


A. So far:

1. We Have Studied Kedesh or “Holiness” - In Christ We Have Positional, Perfect, and Permanent Holiness

2. We Have Studied Shechem or “Shoulder” - In Christ We Have Strength and Burden Bearing

3. We Have Studied Hebron or “Fellowship” - In Christ We Have Fellowship or Communion

4. Today We Will Study Bezer or “Fortress”

1 Samuel 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. (I have seen some great “rocks” in my time: The Rock of Gibraltar, Stone Mountain, stood on Bald Rock, etc. but none of these rocks are like unto our “Rock.”)

B. Our Fortress is the Lord Jesus Christ! One of the most important things that we can do as a Christian is to learn to trust Him. Paul, toward the end of his life, said, “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” The Christian life is a learning adventure. We gave to Christ the safe keeping of our souls but it is sometimes hard to give to Him the safe keeping of our lives.

Psalms 40:1-4a I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. (2) He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (4) Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust!
1. There Is Safety In God’s Person - Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (It would do us well to remember that we are “hid with Christ in God!” He is our Refuge; He is our Hiding Place; He is our Portion in the land of the living; He is our “safety net” as well as our Anchor in the storm; He is sometimes all that we have and He is always all that we need!)

Psalms 9:9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Psalms 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

2. There Is Safety In God’s Word - Psalms 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. (In this verse, we find that our “hiding place” is found in God’s Word. It is the Bible that guides us through troublesome times. It is the Bible that protects us in our trials and tribulations.)

1. In Our Fortress We Have Sanctuary – A Fortress Is Built For Habitation

a. The People Of The Sanctuary

1) The Saved - Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

2) Not The Self Righteous - Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

b. The Place Of The Sanctuary

1) We Are In Christ Jesus

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

2) We Are In God The Father

John 10:29-30 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

3) We Are In Heavenly Places

Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

4) We Are In A Secret Place

Psalms 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

5) We Are Hedged About

Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

2. In Our Fortress We Have Security – A Fortress Is Built For Protection Against An Enemy

a. In The World We Have Peril

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

b. In Christ We Have Protection

1) The Lord Is Safe

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

2) The Lord Is Sufficient

Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

3. In Our Fortress We Have Serenity

a. A Place Of Confidence

Psalms 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

b. A Place Of Comfort

Psalms 3:3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

4. In Our Fortress We Have Safety

a. Safety From Slander - Psalms 31:20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. (Sometimes, people will slander you. You stay right and the Lord will protect you from wicked tongues. I have been talked about about as much as anyone around here and have only tried to serve the Lord over these years. My family has been slandered by wicked tongues and we are still here and are loved and respected in this county. God will protect you. You just let the Lord defend you and He will do a good job.)

b. Safety From Enemies - Psalms 143:9 Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. (For whatever reason, people will turn on you and do you wrong. Yes, they will attack you; malign you; hate you for no reason at all. The Lord our Refuge is also the Lord our Hiding Place! I hate it when I lose so-called friends but sometimes “mine own familiar friend” will raise his or her hand against me. They will turn on you. I am so glad that the Lord never turns away from us! He hides us from those who seek to destroy us. My family has been “hidden” for over 4 years as wicked people tried to destroy us but we are still doing fine because the Lord has “hidden” us.)

c. Safety From Situations - Psalms 57:1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. (Calamities befall all of us. A calamity is a great misfortune or disaster such as a flood or serious injury; a grievous affliction, adversity, or something that causes great misery. God’s people are not exempt. We get sick, have wrecks, lose jobs, and have other sorts of disasters come our way. It indeed rains on the just and the unjust. God will be our shade from the heat and our safety until these things are “overpast.” “Overpast” means to bring through or to carry over. The Lord does not leave us in the hard times.)

Conclusion: “Safety is of the Lord!” Yes, we have trials and tribulations; troubles on every side because that is life, but the Lord will never let troubles destroy us. He is there with us and for us.

Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

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