Standing on the Promises
1 Kings 8:54-61
October 21-22, 2021
All right, we have come to what I would consider perhaps the high point of the history of Israel. If you remember, David when he was king of Israel, brought peace with all of the nations because he defeated the nations around them. They're all paying homage and tribute to Israel. The dominion of Israel went from the River Euphrates, all the way over to the Mediterranean, down to the borders of Egypt, all the way to the desert. This was absolutely amazing, peace all around. Then he established his son, Solomon, to be king in his place.
First thing that Solomon wanted to do was to build a house for the Lord. The temple of the living God that he built was so glorious, so magnificent that it became one of the wonders of the world. Words are insufficient to describe this temple. It gives us a little idea earlier in the chapter where it describes its construction built entirely-- made of stone. Interestingly, the dimensions of the main room would be almost identical to the room that we're in now, this sanctuary, little narrower. Although the height of the walls was 45 feet, these are 30, so 45 feet.
The entire inside was paneled with cedar from Lebanon, the floors were covered, the rocks were covered with cypress. All of the boards were ornately designed, but then they overlaid everything with gold. All the cedar boards overlaid with gold, all the cypress on the floor overlaid with gold. When you entered into the sanctuary, everything was gold. It was absolutely spectacular. Then there were porches and porticos, and then there were rooms on the other side. Then there was the Holy of Holies on this side.
The Holy of Holies, that place that represented the very throne room of God entirely made of gold, with a massive curtain, six inches thick separating it from the holy place with chains of gold. Then they brought the Ark of the Covenant, the priests brought this Ark of the Covenant also made of gold. Inside the ark were the tablets of Moses. If you remember, of course, when God gave them the law on these tablets, that was inside, and the poles carried by the priests, carrying it, all of gold.
Then when they set it in place, then they establish the angels, the seraphim expanding their wings all of gold. Then when they set it forth, the priests set it down in the Holy of Holies, an amazing thing then happened, a cloud. The presence of the living God was seen in this cloud. So thick was this cloud that appeared in the house that the priests could not even stand and minister within it. So thick and it represented the Shekainah glory of the presence of God.
This is truly the high point of Israel's history, peace all around, promises fulfilled, glorious temple built in Jerusalem, cloud of God's glory so thick the priest could not stand in His presence. Then Solomon assembled all the elders, all the households, leaders of the fathers, and all of the men of Israel, great crowd of people. Solomon stood before them, knelt down on his knees, lifted his arms to heaven, and gave Solomon's prayer. The prayer of Solomon is famous. There are many famous prayers. This is surely one of them.
We will look at the words of that prayer on Wednesday at our verse by verse service, but afterwards he stood before the people, turned to them, and gave this speech that we're going to look at and read today in these verses. In this speech, he causes them to look back and to see all that God has done, and then calling them to revival, calling them to be wholly devoted to God of Israel for all the great things that He has done. What a high point.
Look, not one word has failed of all the good words that God has spoken, peace all around, peace within, glorious temple, Shekainah glory of God. "Give thanks to God and be wholly devoted for all the great things that God has done."
When I think about that, I think about a praise song that we used to sing many, many years ago that just really captured that idea, the joy of it, the joy of thinking and considering all that God has done. It's a real simple joy-filled song. Maybe some of you remember it. [singing] The Lord has done great things for us. You could just worship with it. He has filled our mouths with laughter, filled our tongues with singing. The Lord has done great things for us, and we're glad. Then the women repeat, and we-- I could do that in the women's voice if I had a better voice.
We're so glad. See, it's a call to whole devotion. This word, this call of Solomon is filled with life lessons for all of us. Let's read it. We are in 1 Kings 8, we begin in verse 54, "It came about that when Solomon had finished praying this entire prayer and supplication to the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread toward heaven.
Then he stood and he blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice," and this is what he said, "Blessed be the Lord," using the name of the God of Israel here, Yahweh, Jehovah. "Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised, and not one word has failed of all His good promises, which He promised through Moses His servant." Not one word has failed.
"May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers, may He not leave us nor forsake us, that He may incline our hearts toward Himself, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His ordinances, which He commanded our fathers. And now, may these words of mine, which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord God Jehovah, God of Israel is the Lord, is God and that there is none else."
There is none else. Grand summation, grand conclusion, "Let your heart, therefore, be wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as it is this day."
I. All God’s Promises Will Stand
What a tremendous and inspiring speech filled with great insights for us to take hold of? Starting with this, "He declares all God's promises will stand, not one word has failed." If all God's promises will stand, then you can stand on those promises. They are a foundation on which you can build your life. When it comes to the promises of God, there is both a looking back and a looking forward. Solomon calls them, "Look back and see all of God's promises stand, not one has failed of all of His good promises. Look back you'll see."
Now, this is the right thing to do, and it's good for you and I to do the same thing. When you look back on your life, could you say the same? Could you say, in looking at what God has done in your life, how many would say, "All my life you have been faithful, all my life you've been so, so good?" You think back, I do. I look back on my life, all the troubles and difficulties, and I see that God has been with me through all of them. Not one word has failed. "Oh, you have been so faithful all my life, you've been so good to me." How many people would say that to the Lord?
It's an amazing thing. Look back, see it. Then Solomon also called them to look forward. If God's promises stand, if not one word has failed of all His good promises, then how should you therefore live? See, everyone must choose the course, how are you going to live this life? He's calling them to whole devotion, to stand, build your life on this foundation, for revival is the beginning of a faithful walking and a standing on the promises.
A. God promises you rest
He reminds them of what it means, starting with this, God promises you rest.
Notice verse 56, "Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to His people, Israel, according to all that He promised." Now, the word rest is a fascinating word. In fact, I suggest if you did a study of it, you would see that there are layers of meaning, practical, prophetic, spiritual in implication. The theme of it runs through the entire Bible, from Genesis all the way to Revelation. You could do a deep study on it. It's quite amazing.
Here's Adam walking with God in the cool of the evening. Peace, rest, no striving, beautiful, and then the sin of Adam and Eve brought forth the striving, the curse on the ground, the trouble, the difficulty, the hardness, the trouble, the diseases, the difficulties of life all came. Then Noah, the name Noah means rest. Then you look forward, the Sabbath day that he gave to Israelites, the mark of his covenant with them, a day, one week of rest. Then he gave them a Sabbath year. Every seven years, they would have a sabbatical year of rest. How about that? That's glorious. A whole sabbatical year?
It's interesting, modern companies do the same thing today. In fact, this local company of Intel gives a sabbatical every seven years. How biblical is that? They even call it a sabbatical. That's a biblical word. Every seven years, they get seven weeks of a sabbatical. That's a glorious thing, but here's the thing. It wasn't just for the purpose of rest. It was for the renewing and the refreshing of a relationship to God because there's more needed than just rest.
There's the strengthening of faith for when they learn to trust God fully, they will learn to rest on his promises and stop striving in the flesh. When you trust God fully, faith is established and He'll give rest. To them, He refers rest from without, peace with those around. No wars, no battles, peace within, peace with God, beautiful rest, but it's also prophetic. In fact, it is fulfilled the whole principle, idea, the concept, the promise is found in Jesus Christ. He is the fulfillment of it. Ultimately, there's beautiful rest when we think of eternity with God himself.
Oh, the curse has been destroyed and we're walking in life and peace and rest. It's the beautiful picture, but it's prophetic because it speaks of the promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel. In fact, Jesus says that He is Lord of the Sabbath. He is the fulfillment of the promise. Notice in Hebrews 4:8-10, where the writer says, "Now, if Joshua had given them rest," He's speaking here of Joshua leading the people into the land. "Then he would not have spoken of another day after that for there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God," which He says there's a prophetic fulfilling.
"Therefore the one who has entered into his rest has himself rested from his works as God did from His." You're resting on the work that God did in your behalf. It's not you, it's not your reliance upon self. See, resting from your own works means you've given up on self-reliance. You've given up on self-sufficiency, instead, you rely on the sufficiency of Christ. That's what it means to rest. To stand on those promises. To rely on him. In fact, Paul speaks of it as what we would call Paul's spiritual secret.
Did Paul have a spiritual secret? Yes. He reveals it to us in Philippians 4:11-13 where-- it's very famous. He writes it this way, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along in humble means." In other words, in poverty. In difficulty. With little. I know I can be content in that, in poverty, with little. "I know how to get along. I know how to live in prosperity," which many do not. In any, and every circumstance, I have learned the secret. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled or going hungry, of having an abundance or suffering need.
It's this, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." No self-reliance. No self-sufficiency. God is the strength of my heart. God is the strength of my life. It's the spiritual secret of Paul. I think most people would see Paul's spiritual effectiveness, but then there's others that we could see also, Hudson Taylor, famous missionary to China. Many perhaps have read about him in church history, accomplished so very much.
In fact, there's a book called Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret, but it's very much like Paul's and this is what he wrote, "We are made powerful and effective, not by our striving, but by our resting." This is just right understanding. We are made powerful. We are made effective, not by striving, but by resting, not resting in our own self-sufficiency, but resting in Him. Relying on His promise to abide with you. For when the very presence of God is abiding in you, the resources of heaven and the strength of God is in your life.
B. God’s Word does not fail
That's the understanding that he speaks to, but then notice what he goes to next in this great speech. He reminds him, "God's word does not fail. Not one word of all the good words have failed." These words that Solomon gives to them are almost the same as what Joshua told the people at the end of his life. Remember at the end of his life, he drew the people of Israel together, gave that famous challenge, "Choose you this day, who you'll serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." You remember this great challenge.
As part of that same speech, he said this, Joshua 23:14, "Behold, you know, in all your heart and all your souls, that not one word of all the good words, which the Lord, your God spoke concerning you has failed." See how it's so close. All have been fulfilled for you. Not one of them has failed. See, in other words, the blessings of God do not fail because the word of God does not fail. It's also true that calamity and trouble come upon those who turn away from God. This is also God's word, and God's word does not fail.
Wise is the one who knows this when he is young. We have to decide the course. We have to decide how you're going to live. Some people have the thought that they will live worldly. They'll do the world thing and they will do that as long as possible, but then just before they die, then they'll get things right with God. I submit that the person who decides such will have no delight in that decision, they will have no delight for they have misunderstood the very meaning of life. They've misunderstood what it means for the soul to be alive.
There's an interesting aspect of rest that comes into this. You know that the flesh, this troublesome human condition in which we were all born is such a trouble to many, many people. This is not news. You are very familiar with this idea. This flesh of ours gives such fit, such trouble because this flesh of ours wants to be the master. It wants what it wants. Without any concern for the consequence, it simply wants. Me Want. Me want me. Me want woman. You give me want. That's the idea. It wants to be the master. It wants to tell you how to live, but the soul wants something different. The soul wants life. The soul wants joy. The soul wants peace. The soul wants to be right with God, and so there's a conflict.
What's interesting is this, you might call it a continuum, a spectrum. There are those where truly the flesh is the master. It is the master. The flesh says what it wants. Me want, and you give. Clearly, the flesh is the master. When you move down, there are others where there's a battle within. There's a fight within, and it's truly a battle, but then you go farther down and there are others where the spirit has brought the flesh under its control. That flesh is not the master, but the spirit within controls the flesh.
Is that possible? Is it possible for the spirit within to master over the flesh? I'm not suggesting that anyone's perfect. There's no one perfect among us, but is it possible for the spirit within to master the flesh? I suggest to you that it's very much possible for when you stand on the promises of God, when you rely in the provision of God within you, that is in fact what God wants to do you in your life. I suggest to you that when you are resting on His promises and standing in his reliance and his sufficiency, that there is rest because the battle has come to an end. Because the spirit has brought the flesh under its control. It is a beautiful, beautiful picture.
Ecclesiastes 12:1, "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth." In other words, wise is the one who knows this while he is young. Before the evil days come and the years draw near when you say, "I have no delight in them." You walk in the course of this world, you will have no delight, but God wants peace. God wants joy. Know in your heart and in your soul, that not one word of all the good words will fail because God is faithful to his word.
When I come to the end of my life, I'm sure there'll be things I regret, but one thing I know for certain, I will never regret trusting Christ. It is the most beautiful aspect of my life. Anybody agree with that? Let's give the Lord praise and glory. Amen.
In other words, choose the life of blessing. Stay in the course, fight the fight, run the race well, look back and you'll see all the great promises we've got, not one word of all the good promises have failed. You can stand on those promises and you can build your life on those promises because those promises are not just for the past, they are for the future. Therefore standing and living your life upon. God promises you life to the full. He promises peace that passes understanding.
I'm just going to give you a list of promises here. He promises to give you the desires of your heart. He promises that if you wait on the Lord, you'll gain new strength and rise up as wings on wings like Eagles. He promises that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, that he will do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that you asked or even think. He promises to surround you with songs of deliverance, that He will make your feet like hinds feet. You will walk in high places.
That He will make you more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus, that you can ask and you'll receive, that you seek and you'll find, that if you knock, the door will be open to you. He promises that if you seek the kingdom of God, all these things will be added unto you. He promises that the prayers of a righteous man will be very effective. You can have a powerfully effective life. These are the promises of God. Amen. Let's just give him praise for the promises of God fulfilled in your life.
II. May God Incline Your Heart to Himself
Would you notice where Solomon goes next in this speech because it's a very powerful understanding. May God incline your heart to himself. Notice verses 57 and 58, "May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers, that He may incline our hearts to Himself." In other words, God is moving upon your heart. God is drawing you. His Holy Spirit is moving upon your spirit, to incline your heart to Him. Even right now, God, by his Holy Spirit is drawing you.
The conviction of the spirit, the confirming of the spirit within you, the drawing of the spirit, you can right now understand that He is drawing right now. Here's the beautiful thing. When they brought the Ark of the covenant into the Holy of Holies, the cloud of God's presence filled the house so thick, so thick was this cloud of God's presence that the priest could not stand and minister within it because it was so thick within. Here's the thing, here's my point I'll bring up.
That's the Shekainah glory of God. The powerful presence of God was so thick in that place, the priest could not even stand and minister within it. Here's my point. That is the presence of the living God. When Moses was on the mountain, he dwelt with God in the thick cloud, it says. When God led Moses through Israel, a pillar of cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night, it is the presence of God. It is the Shekainah glory of God. Here's my point. When you receive Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord and savior, that very same Shekainah glory is within you because you are now the temple of the living God.
Now here's the great understanding. Is there a temple today in Jerusalem? Is there a temple of God in Jerusalem today? No, there's the Temple of Mount, but there's no temple there. Is there a temple of the living God anywhere on this earth? I suggest to you that there is, and you don't have to go very far to find it. For it is in this very room. This is the temple of the living God and I don't mean the walls, the concrete, or the wood, I mean the people. For the presence of the living God is contained in the presence of the souls of men and women today. It's the same glory.
Notice this, 1Corinthians 3:16-17. "Do you not know?" Which is to say, you must know this. You ought to know this. "Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the spirit of God dwells in you?" Notice where it goes with this next, "For the temple of God is holy and that is what you are." This is a deep understanding. "Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the spirit dwells in you, for the temple of God is holy and that is what you are."
Now you might say, "Pastor, you don't understand. I have sinned in my life." I do understand, I understand that we have this flesh. I understand that there are troubles and difficulties. We were born in this but I also understand this, that when you open your heart to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the very presence of the living God takes resident up in your heart and your soul and you are the temple of the living God and the temple of God is holy. That is what you are.
Therefore, the spirit within you is inclining your heart, is drawing you, is moving upon your spirit, is calling you, moving, drawing you, inclining you to God. John 16:13. "When He, the spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all of the truth." Calling you, moving you, inclining you. Isaiah 30 is an amazing word, 21-22, "Your ears will hear a word behind you." This is a picture of the spirit speaking to the heart. "Your ears will hear a word behind you. 'This is the way of God, walk in it.' Whenever you turn to the right or to the left--"
Would you notice the greater context of this verse? We love this verse but notice the greater context. "Your ears will hear a word behind you, 'This is the way of God, walk in it.' When you turn to the right or to the left, and then you will say to this impure thing, you'll say to them, 'Be gone.'" I want nothing to do with you because the spirit of the living God is in my soul. That's where life is found. "Then you speak to that impure thing and you say, 'Be gone,'" I want life.
Ephesians 4:30, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." In other words, He will incline your heart to walk in His ways. Notice verse 58, "That he may incline your hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His ordinances." Why? Because it's the way of greatest blessing. The way of God is the way of greatest blessing. Now, why would God want for you to walk in the way of greatest blessing? Because He loves you. That's why He wants you to walk in the way of greatest blessing. He loves you.
A. He will incline your heart to walk in His ways
Why would He want you to avoid, keep from the path of trouble? Why would God want to keep you from the path of trouble? Because He loves you. As a father would say to his son, I want the best for you. I want to keep you from the distresses of life, because if you wonder, if you turn your heart away, surely distresses will come. Surely difficulties will come but if you do wonder, the Holy Spirit will not quit, it will continue pursuing you. It will continue drawing you. God will never give up on you. He will keep drawing you to come back.
Notice, in this famous prayer, this prayer of Solomon, earlier in this chapter. We'll look at it more on Wednesday, but just some of the verses. Notice verses 33, 35, and 37. Famous prayer. He's on his knees, hands lifted to heaven. "When your people, Israel, are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against you. When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you.
If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there's blight or mildew, locusts or grasshopper, if their enemy be seizures them in the land of their cities, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, if they turn to you again and confess your name and pray to you in this house, hear from heaven, forgive their sin and bring them back. Indeed, teach them the good way in which they should walk, send rain, send rain on your land which you have given your people for an inheritance."
Rain is a picture of the blessing of God upon the land. We in Oregon are very blessed. Rain upon the land is a blessing. You go to Israel and you can see how rock and brown and dirt and dust, you can see that rain would be a tremendous blessing. Here's the interesting thing. Today, the abundance, they have taken the desert and made it boom. Rows and rows of trees and groves of fruit.
It was very interesting. When I was in Israel, I think it was two or three times back, we had an opportunity to go all the way to the north and see the border between Israel and Lebanon, particularly where Hezbollah, the terrorist organization. We can actually see Hezbollah. There, our buses were on this Ridge and he said do you see that black car and that car? That's Hezbollah, they're watching us. He said, "Take no concern, they will not attack us. That's too much of an incident, all is well." He said, "I want you to see this. Look this way, notice Israel, the land, what do you see?" Rows and rows of fruits, vegetables, pineapples, bananas.
Just abundance, row upon row, and then you look this way, there's a line and then you see across. What do you see? Barrenness, rock, a people committed to hatred and destruction. What a difference? "God send rain." The abundance of your blessing upon your land for when you wander away, troubles and distresses will come. If you do wander away, know this, he will not quit. He will keep pursuing you and he will draw you. He will continue speaking life to draw you back to himself and when he brings you back, he will welcome you. God always welcomes his children home.
One of the best pictures of this, I think, has to be the story of the prodigal son. It's a parable that Jesus thought in Luke 15. It's the story of a young man who receives a vast inheritance early, goes into the city with his great fortune and he spends it all. He spends it all on wild living, parties, women, all of it, you understand. He spent it all and when he came to the end of his money, now he needs a job, but he can't find a job for a famine has hit the land. Finally, he finds the worst possible job for a Jew, feeding pigs on a farm, swine.
You say, oh, he's coming to the lowest point. Not quite. There is still one point lower and that's when he becomes jealous of the pigs for they have food and he does not. Then it says, "When he came to his senses--" I love that point in that story. For when a person comes to their senses, it is a glorious, holy moment. When he came to his senses, he said to himself, "My father's servants are treated better than this. I will go to my father and I will say to him, father, I have sinned. I am no longer worthy to be a son. Take me as one of your hired men. I just need a job."
Luke 15: 20-24, the story continues. He got up, came to his father, and while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him. I love this story and I love this point of this story. Many people when they hear the story, they think, oh, this is a story about the son. No, this is a story about the father. The son, we all can connect to. We all relate to the story of the son, born in the human condition. We're seeing the tragedy of it but the point is the father.
He comes to his senses and the boy decides, "I'll go to my father." The father sees him, looks down the road a long way off. He sees a man walking. "Is that my son?" Bedraggled hair, dirty clothes, smells like swine, but something stirs, a compassion, his heart stirs with him. I understand this one. A father's heart to his son. It reminds me of when our oldest son was deployed to Afghanistan. He was in special forces and Marines and his first deployment, he had come back. I went to California to meet him and we had arranged to meet at a certain place.
I'm waiting and waiting and waiting. Finally, he comes around the corner and as soon as I see him, something happens in me. I just start crying. He sees me crying there and he just comes in and he just holds me. I understand this part of the story. The father, something stirs in his heart and he sees his son. When he sees this son and he's stirred in his heart, he begins to run. The father runs, embraces his son, kisses him, and then the son, he's got a speech ready. "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called a son."
Before he can ask for the job, the father interrupts and he says to his servants, "Quickly, bring out the best robe and put it on my son. Put that best robe on my son. My son put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again. This son of mine was lost but has been found." If a person wanders and the troubles and the distresses that follow destroy the life, God does not quit. God has not given up. He continues to draw, he continues to call, and he'll welcome any sinner who comes home.
B. Let your heart be wholly devoted
Then lastly, the great conclusion of his speech, "Let your heart be wholly devoted." In considering all this, notice verses 59-61, where he says, "May these words of mine be near to the Lord our God day and night that he may maintain the cause of his people Israel as each day requires so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord Jehovah, He is God, there is none else." Grand conclusion, "Therefore, let your heart be wholly devoted to the Lord our God."
Wholly devoted. In contrast to partly devoted, it's the greatest and foremost of all this God has ever said for. To be wholly devoted to the Lord your God is to love him with all your heart and with all your soul. To be wholly devoted to the Lord means that you have found what you were searching for and that you are satisfied that God is the answer to the desire of the heart. You are satisfied that your searching is over and that your soul is satisfied in him and him alone. God wants sinners to come to seek him with all their hearts because they've been searching for all the wrong things.
I can quote that song, "They've been looking for love in all the wrong places" because they have been looking for love. There is a great-searching in the human soul. There's a great longing. Many people understand what I'm saying. There's a deep, deep searching in the soul. What is the soul searching for? What does the soul want? Love. The soul is seeking love, family, to belong, searching for joy, searching for meaning of life, searching for purpose, searching, longing, searching, searching.
God put that searching into you because he wants you to search for him. Search for him with all your heart and when you find him, you will find that he was pursuing you all along. 1st Corinthians 28:9, "As for you, my son, Solomon, know the God of your father, serve him with a whole heart and a willing mind." You can do a message just on that right there. "Serve him with a whole heart and a willing mind," which is to say, I want this. That's what a willing mind says. I want this. This is my desire. This is what I want.
For the Lord searches our hearts and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek him, he will let you find him. You will find that he was calling you. In John 4, there's this beautiful story about a woman, a woman from Sychar. She is a Samaritan. The Jews looked down on Samaritans for they considered them half-breeds because they had intermarried with Gentiles. Jews rejected them, would have nothing to do with them but John 4, the chapter begins by saying that Jesus had to go through Samaria. He needed to go. Not just because it was the shortest distance, but because he was seeking a lost sheep, he had to go.
Jesus comes and he sits by a well. This woman from Sychar, the Samaritan woman comes to the well. Jesus asked, "Woman, please get me a drink." The Samaritan woman responds, "How is it that you being a Jew ask for me a drink since I am a Samaritan?" How is that? He said, "If you knew who is speaking to you, you would ask him and he would give you a drink, a drink of living water." She says, "Sir, give me this living water." He says, "Go call your husband." He's going to give her living water, but he's going to speak to her soul.
"Go call your husband." She said, "Sir, I have no husband." He answers, "You have answered right when you say that you have no husband for, in fact, you've had five husbands and the man you are now with is not your husband." She said, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will declare all things."
Was she searching? Was she searching for God? Was this the day when hope would come? "I know when Messiah comes, he will tell us all things." He will have the answers, but where is Messiah? Is this the one? There are many like this woman, her life is a mess. She's had five failed marriages. She's given up even trying that now. You can imagine this woman in her despair, in her brokenness, going out into the night alone, amongst the stars crying, what's wrong with me?
I failed. Every relationship I've ever had has failed. I'm despised, hated by everyone. I'm lonely. I'm lost. Everything I touch fails but I know that Messiah, when He comes, He will have the answers. But where is this Messiah? It says that Jesus had to go through Samaria. Why? Because he was seeking this woman, to draw her, to call her. He so radically changes her that she goes into the village and brings back everyone to meet this one who can seek and save that which was lost. Was he not calling the whole village to himself?
There's a worship song. I love the words because it so captures this beautiful heart of God. It's, O, Come to the Altar. Let me just read some of the words.
Are you hurting and broken within?
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling
Jesus is calling the hurting, the broken, the overwhelmed
Have you come to the end of yourself?
Jesus is calling
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling
O, come, come to the altar
For the father's arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ
Oh, what a savior
Isn't He wonderful?
Sing Hallelujah, Christ is risen.
It's a beautiful picture of the calling. He is moving upon hearts. He is drawing you to come to the altar, come and build your life on a foundation. Come and stand on the promises. He will walk with you through the course of this life. He wants to do something beautiful. Oh, come, but when you come, come wholly devoted. That's the way to live. That's the way to have the beautiful life that He desires. Come with a whole heart, wholly devoted, stand on all of his promises and you will live well.
Oh, come, let's pray. Lord, we do thank you so much for these promises. Oh, what a great word. We can build our lives on these promises. How you never give up. You draw us to yourself, how you have shown it to us. Not one word of all the good words that you have ever spoken have failed. We can stand. We can build our lives on these promises. Thank you for calling me.
Church how many would say that to the Lord today? You can sense the Lord is calling, drawing you to himself. How many would say to the Lord, "I choose to follow you? I want to follow you with a whole heart of whole devotion to you. I want to build my life on these principles. I want to build my life on these promises. I want you to walk with me in the courts of this life. I want that which is beautiful. That which you do in my life. God, I want to live wholly devoted." Church how many would say that to the Lord?
Would you say it to him by simply raising your hand to him and make that declaration? Raise your hand to the Lord. "I just want it to be known. God, I want to live in whole devotion to you, to honor you, to stand on the promises and to walk with you in the course of this life."
Father, thank you for everyone who is stirred, drawn by the Holy Spirit. We stand on your promise today in Jesus's name and everyone said?