Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Valley of Unbelief

Temple Baptist Church - 6-28-2020

Mark 9:14-29




A.  Here, we find our Lord and 3 of His disciples coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration and finding confusion.  The scribes, enemies of Christ, were questioning the other 9 disciples.  Within the context, they were probably asking the 9 disciples, “If you are followers of Christ, why can you not help the child?”


B.  The eyes of the world and especially those who are God haters are always on God’s people to see how they both act and react.


C.  While they were on the mount, a man with a dumb child had come to the other 9 of His disciples for his healing and they were not able to help the child.


D.  The child’s father has come to the Lord and He was able to heal the child.  When the 9 disciples ask the Lord why they were not able to cast the “dumb spirit” out, He said that this healing required prayer and fasting.


E.  What I want to look at this morning is the mixture of faith and unbelief found in the father in verse 24 and the reaction of our Lord Jesus in verse 25. 


F.  We live in a day of the Oxymoron


1.  Oxy-moron (oxús, “sharp, keen, pointed”)[2] (English oxy-, as in oxygen) + μωρός (mōrós, “dull, stupid, foolish”)[3] (English moron (“stupid person”)). Literally "sharp-dull", "keen-stupid", or "pointed-foolish"[4] – itself an oxymoron, hence autological; compare sophomore ((sophós, “wise”) + μωρός (mōrós, “fool”) literally “wise fool”)


2.  Social Distancing.  Social – collective, gathering and Distancing – Space between two points, Gap.   


3.  New Normal – New, not existing before and Normal, usual, average, or typical state of condition.


4.  Believe and unbelief makeup another oxymoron as believe destroys unbelief and unbelief destroys belief.  Believe-to accept as true or to be sure of something and Unbelief-skepticism or absence of faith.


G.  Unbelief is a New Testament word is only found 16x.  It is found 2x in Matthew, 3x in Mark, and 6x in Romans. 1x in 1 Timothy, and 4x in Hebrews.


1.  Unbelief is sin - Romans 14:23  And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.


2.   Unbelief is displeasing to God - Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


3.  Unbelief limits God – Matthew 13:58  And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.


4.  Unbelief makes the possible impossible – Matthew 17:20  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.


5.  Unbelief can bring failure – Romans 4:20  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;


6.  Unbelief can cause one to quit on God – Hebrews 3:12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.


H.  A man of unbelief who got what he asked of the Lord Jesus?


1.  The Man’s Devastation. Verses 18, 20, 22


a.  I think that we all understand the love of this father for his afflicted son.  


1)  Many families have children (I call them special children born to special parents-gifts from God) born that have either mental issues or physical ones.  Asperger’s Syndrome is one that we see often in our day.  Down’s Syndrome is another of the challenges that some families face.  Then there are children born with special physical needs such as Muscular Dystrophy. 


2)  I will not even try to name everything that special needs children can have but I believe that the key word is “special!”  I have no doubt that this father loved his son and had done everything that he could to give him as good quality of life as possible.


b.  The son had a dumb spirit or indwelling devil that “taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away.”  This had evidently been going on for years.


2.  The Man’s Faith in the Lord.  Verses 17, 20, 22


a.  His disappointment in the Disciples. Verse 18-19.  He brought his son to them and, in his disappointment, they were helpless.  Though they could have healed the son, they were not is a spiritual condition to do so.


b.  His faith in Jesus.  Verses 17, 22, 23-24a  This man, like us, knew and believed that with God all things were possible.  I do not know how far he had traveled to get to Jesus but his faith brought him to the Lord.


3.  The Man’s Honesty in Unbelief.  Verses 22-24.


a.  “but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us ... And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (If you can, if you have compassion, if you want to help is what the man was saying.)


b.  Unbelief to some extent is found in all of us at times.  How many times have all of us said in our hearts and often in our words, “I know God can, but I do not know if God will?”


c.  In Psalms, we find a pattern of faith, hope, discouragement, and help.  I did not search the entire Bible but in the Book of Psalms (Israel’s Book of Worship) and tried to take these words in Psalms in context:


“How long” is found 15x in Psalms

“Why” is found 24x in Psalms

“Help” is found 22x in Psalms

“Forsake” is found 8x in Psalms


d.  There are times when we “come to the end of our rope.”  When this man brought his son to the disciples, I believe that he came hoping, praying, asking, but in unbelief.


e.   When he saw the Lord, he came the same way: hoping, praying, asking, but in unbelief!  “and said with tears, Lord!”  An oxymoron: “with tears … Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!”


Now I want to get to the moral of the story.  This is not a story of the UNBELIEF of a man.  We all come to this place.  It is a story of the FAITHFULNESS of his Lord!


4.  The Lord’s Compassion.  Verses 25-27


a.  First, let me say that I found no rebuke from the Lord.


Psalms 78:38-39  But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.  (39)  For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.


Psalms 103:13-14  Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.  (14)  For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 


b.  The Lord gave them man the desire of his heart.  He cast out the dumb spirit and healed the man’s son.


c.  The Lord remains faithful in our unbelief!  2 Timothy 2:13  If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.


1)  The Lord will be faithful when we are tempted - 1 Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.


2)  The Lord will be faithful when we serve - 1 Thessalonians 5:24  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.


3)  The Lord will be faithful when we are in trouble - 2 Thessalonians 3:3  But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.


4)  The Lord will be faithful when we witness - 1 Timothy 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.


5)  The Lord will be faithful when we are doctrinally attacked - Titus 1:9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.


6)  The Lord will be faithful when we stray - Hebrews 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 


7)  The Lord will be faithful when we fail - Hebrews 3:1-2  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;  (2)  Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.


8)  The Lord will be faithful when we sin - 1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


9)  The Lord will be faithful when we die - 1 Corinthians 1:8-9  Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (9)  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.


Conclusion:  1 Peter 4:19  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.  (God is a faithful Creator!)

No comments: