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  • Jun 27 / 2021
  • Comments Off on Thank God for His Mercy (Exodus 34:4-7a)
Pastor Kang, Sermons

Thank God for His Mercy (Exodus 34:4-7a)

Tithes and Offerings

Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

Thank God for His Mercy!

4 So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

Exodus 34:4-7a

A Little Mercy Goes a Long Way

The following story is taken from “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936.

Henry Henke, a service manager for a large truck dealership in Lowell, Indiana, had a mechanic named Bill whose work had become less than satisfactory. Instead of yelling or threatening him, Mr. Henke called him into his office and had a heart-to-heart talk with him.

“Bill,” he said, “you are a fine mechanic. You have been in this line of work for a good number of years. You have repaired many vehicles to the customers’ satisfaction. In fact, we’ve had a number of compliments about the good work you have done. Yet, of late, the time you take to complete each job has been increasing and your work has not been up to your own old standards. Because you have been such an outstanding mechanic in the past, I felt sure you would want to know that I am not happy with this situation, and perhaps jointly we could find some way to correct the problem.”

Bill responded that he hadn’t realized he had been falling down in his duties and assured his boss that the work he was getting was not out of his range of expertise and he would try to improve in the future.

Did he do it? You can be sure he did. He once again became a fast and thorough mechanic.

With that reputation Mr. Henke had given him to live up to, how could he do anything else but turn out work comparable to that which he had done in the past. In short, if you want to improve a person in a certain aspect, act as though that particular trait were already one of his or her outstanding characteristics. And it might be good to assume and state openly that other people have the virtue you want them to develop. Give them a fine reputation to live up to, and they will make concentrated efforts rather than see you disillusioned.

With Henke’s mercy, Bill’s attitude changed.

This kind of benevolent heart can change the attitude of others. But God’s mercy has greater power than that because God’s mercy doesn’t just save someone their reputation, or their job. God’s mercy saves human life.

The Law of God begins our relationship with Him

All the way back in Exodus chapter 20, God had written the Ten Commandments directly on two stone tablets and given them to Moses. He then spent the next twelve chapters in Exodus teaching Moses and laying out his law and requirements for the people of Israel. But in Exodus chapter 32, when Moses was descending down from Mount Sinai to rejoin the Israelite camp, he saw the people singing and dancing around an idol of a golden calf, and his anger burned.

Exodus 32:19-20

19 When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. 20 And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.

The breaking of the stone tablets in this manner was meant as a symbolic act that demonstrated how Israel had broken their covenant with Jehovah. But in Exodus 34 verse 1, “The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.” This word from God suggested that the broken relationship would be restored.

Sin breaks our relationship with God

The word for “broke” at the end of verse one is ‘Shiber’ in Hebrew, which means ‘to fall apart.’ We can understand from this word that the tablets were not just broken into a few pieces, but completely shattered. Likewise, the relationship between the Israelites and God was completely shattered in that moment.

At this most important moment when God was teaching the Ten Commandments to Moses to give to the people, they were sinning. The Israelites abandoned God and served idols out of impatience and impulsiveness, and when their leader Moses saw it, he threw the very words of God down the mountain in anger.

Now, in this story, be careful about too quickly assuming that you would have been like Moses, in condemning the sinful behavior of the people in holy anger. In fact, if we are honest with ourselves, we all would most likely have been in the crowd of idol worshipers, sinning against God, and breaking our covenant with him. Because as sinful human beings, we are no better than they were. How many times have we repeated that same sin in different ways? At the most important moment when God is trying to guide us, or teach us something, how often do we get bored, or impatient, or impulsive, and turn our back on him and sin right in front of him? If we are honest with ourselves, it is far more often than we would like to admit.

So, then what was God’s mood when he saw this behavior of Moses and the Israelites? What is God’s mood when he sees the same kind of behavior in us? We may expect God to judge them (and us) for their sins.

Surprisingly, however, God soon ordered Moses to prepare new stone tablets. If the first stone tablets were symbolic of the covenant between the Israelites and God, then the second set of stone tablets were symbolic of the restoration of that covenant, and the mercy that God had on the people of Israel.

God’s mercy restores our relationship with Him

Exodus 34:2-5

2 Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. 3 No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain.” 4 So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD.

Verse 3 reminds of the same command God gave Moses in Exodus 19 the first time he ascended the mountain to talk with God.

Exodus 19:12-13

12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, `Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 He shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on him. Whether man or animal, he shall not be permitted to live.` Only when the ram`s horn sounds a long blast may they go up to the mountain.”

This warning is a reminder, though the same rules apply. That’s why it’s in a more concise format than before. But we should be careful not to assume that this means the second time Moses ascends the mountain will just be a repetition of the first. In fact, this second time was a special event in that God has shown his great mercy in response to the sins of the Israelites.

But why did God have mercy on those who sinned? The Bible tells us why.

Exodus 34:6-7

6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,  7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

God’s mercy is declared here in verse 6 and is the word ‘Rahum’ in Hebrew. The King James translation of the Bible makes it easier to see this word:

Exodus 34:6b

The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

In the NIV translation, the Hebrew word “rahum” is translated to “compassionate”, but in the KJV translation, it is “merciful.” In any case, this is the same mercy and compassion that God showed the Israelites in Exodus chapter 32 when he did not immediately destroy them for making a golden calf and turning away from him in worship.

God remembered the sins of the Israelites. But, as Exodus 34:6-7 reminds us, he is the LORD, the compassionate, merciful, and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

Actually, this same term, “rahum” meaning “merciful” or “compassionate” can also be expressed in motherhood, when a pregnant woman endures extreme pain to give birth and then nurture their child as they grow. God chose Israel as his child, and would not give up on them despite their continual sins.

But, let’s read a little further to understand the true meaning of God’s mercy.

Exodus 34:6-7

6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,  7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”

God restored the relationship of the covenant broken by the Israelites through his mercy. But at the same time, God made it very clear that there is still a punishment for sin. In other words, in order for the relationship between God and man to work, human beings must take responsibility for their actions.

Nevertheless, the biblical emphasis on mercy is so huge and surprising that the punishment for sins may seem trivial. The merciful and compassionate God ALWAYS forgives wickedness, rebellion, and sin IF a repentant person returns to Him.

Jesus Christ is Evidence of God’s mercy

Exodus 34:8-9

8 Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. 9 “O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes,” he said, “then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.”

Moses, who saw the glory of the Lord, bowed down and worshipped God.

Moses humbled himself before God, and held his mercy in high esteem. He acknowledged the stubbornness of the Israelites, whose stubbornness reflects our own, and petitioned God in humility to forgive their sins and continue to accompany them, as we also must do in our own lives.

Moses realized that sinners, which we all are, can do nothing on their own. He also realized that Israel could not move forward without God’s continued mercy.

The Bible contains stories like these about Moses and the Israelites to cause us to reflect on their experiences in comparison with our own lives, and to teach us lessons about the truth of God and his mercy. 

Sometimes we seem to think, wrongly, that we can live without God’s mercy. But without God’s continual mercy and daily patience toward us, our lives will not last.

Jesus, as God’s son, is the visual, physical, manifestation of God’s qualities, including mercy. Let us observe how Jesus treated a person who sinned in the book of John.

John 8:3-7; 10-11

3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.  But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said.  “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Just like the people of Israel in Exodus chapter 32, this woman was caught in sin and brought before God, in the person of Jesus Christ, to answer for her sin. Yet Jesus did not condemn her, but showed her great mercy. The mercy he showed her made the unmerciful teachers of the Law so ashamed that they also left without condemning her.

Jesus saved this woman’s life from criticism, condemnation, and the attack of the people. But, and this is the important point. Even though he showed her great mercy, he did not condone her sin, and he would not allow her to go on living her sinful life. Instead, he encouraged her to “go and sin no more.”

In fact, God hates sin. He cannot tolerate sin because he is wholly good and righteous. But God’s mercy came to us, sinners, through Jesus Christ.

Jesus has become a bright light in the lives of sinners who have no hope. By believing in Jesus as our savior, we can gain freedom from sin. And just as Jesus shows us mercy, he also orders us to be merciful to our neighbors, much in the same way that the truck dealership manager Henry Hanke did for his mechanic, Bill, at the beginning of this sermon. Rather than condemning our neighbors for their mistakes, Jesus has taught us through his word and through his example to be merciful and compassionate to our neighbors and encourage them also to leave their lives of sin. 

As a disciple of Jesus, if we practice his mercy, we will be able to experience a small heaven in our hearts and lives. This is because it is Jesus’ mercy and love that are flowing through us.

Let us thank God for his great mercy for us today!

And let us convey the mercy of God and the love of Jesus to our neighbors!


하나님의 자비

4 모세가 돌판 둘을 처음 것과 같이 깎아 만들고 아침에 일찍이 일어나 그 두 돌판을 손에 들고 여호와의 명령대로 시내 산에 올라가니 5 여호와께서 구름 가운데에 강림하사 그와 함께 거기 서서 여호와의 이름을 선포하실새 6 여호와께서 그의 앞으로 지나시며 선포하시되 여호와라 여호와라 자비롭고 은혜롭고 노하기를 더디하고 인자와 진실이 많은 하나님이라

출애굽기 34:4-6

예화: 헨리헨키 이야기

인디애나 주 로웰에 있는 대규모의 화물 자동차 대리점 고객 서비스 부장인 헨리 헨키는 함께 일하는 기술자가 하는 일이 만족스럽지 못하자 그에게 고함을 지르거나 윽박지르는 대신 사무실로 불러 마음을 터놓고 대화를 나누었습니다.

“여보게 빌, 자넨 훌륭한 기술자야. 자네는 이 일을 오랫동안 훌륭하게 해왔지 않은가? 자네가 수많은 자동차를 수리해서 고객들에게 만족을 주었지. 사실 자네가 한 일에 대해 고객들이 얼마나 칭찬을 많이 하는지 아나? 그런데 최근 들어서는 자네가 일하는 데 시간도 걸리고, 하는 일도 예전 같지가 않은 것 같네. 자네가 예전에 그토록 뛰어난 기술자였기 때문에 내가 지금의 상태에는 만족하고 있지 않다는 것을 알아주길 바라네. 우리 서로 협력해서 문제를 풀어보세.”

빌은 자신이 하는 일의 질이 그렇게 떨어지고 있는지를 모르고 있었다고 말하면서 지금 하는 일이 자신의 전공 분야이므로 앞으로 더 잘해 보겠다고 약속했습니다.

빌이 과연 더 잘했을까요? 물론입니다.

그는 다시 빠르고 뛰어난 기술자가 되었습니다.

헨키가 빌을 책망하지 않고 자비로운 마음으로 대했기 때문에, 빌은 어려움을 극복할 수 있었습니다.

사람의 자비로운 마음으로 한 사람의 태도가 달라질 수 있습니다.

그러나 하나님의 자비는 그보다 더 큰 힘이 있습니다.

하나님의 자비는 사람의 생명을 살리기 때문입니다.

오늘은 하나님의 자비라는 제목으로 출애굽기 34장 말씀을 나누겠습니다.

오늘 본문의 요약입니다.

여호와께서는 모세에게 새롭게 두 개의 돌판을 준비하라고 명령하셨습니다.

그 이유는 이스라엘 자손에게 십계명의 말씀을 다시 유효하게 하시기 위해서였습니다.

전에 여호와께서 친히 준비하시고 십계명을 기록해 주셨던 돌판은 모세가 시내산에서 내려오던 길에 이스라엘 회중의 부패한 참상을 보고서는 땅에 던져 깨뜨려 버렸습니다.

모세가 돌판을 던져 깨뜨린 것은 이스라엘 백성이 여호와와 맺은 언약을 파기했음을 의미하는 상징적 행위였습니다.

그에 반해 다시 돌판을 만들라는 여호와의 말씀은 그 깨진 관계가 회복될 것임을 암시하였습니다.

사람의 죄

출애굽기 34:1

1 여호와께서 모세에게 이르시되 너는 돌판 둘을 처음 것과 같이 다듬어 만들라 네가 깨뜨린 처음 판에 있던 말을 내가 그 판에 쓰리니

본문 1절에서 깨뜨린을 뜻하는 히브리어 ‘쉬베르’는 ‘산산조각 나다’라는 뜻입니다.

이를 통해 우리는 모세가 깨뜨린 증거판이 단지 몇 조각으로 깨진 것이 아니라 완전히 산산조각 난 것으로 해석할 수 있습니다.

출애굽기 32:19

19 진에 가까이 이르러 그 송아지와 그 춤 추는 것들을 보고 크게 노하여 손에서 그 판들을 산 아래로 던져 깨뜨리니라

모세가 증거판을 깨뜨렸을 때 그가 상당히 화가 난 상태였습니다.

이스라엘 백성들이 모세가 하나님께 십계명을 받으러 간 사이 금송아지를 만들어 방탕한 짓을 하고 있었기 때문입니다.

하나님이 십계명을 전달하는 중요한 순간에도 사람들은 죄를 지었습니다.

이스라엘 백성들은 하나님을 버리고 우상을 섬겼고, 지도자 모세는 자신의 분노 때문에 하나님께 받은 말씀 판들을 산 아래로 던져 깨뜨렸습니다.

하나님은 모세와 이스라엘 백성들의 이런 행동을 보고 어떤 마음을 가지셨을까요?

우리는 하나님이 그들의 죄 때문에 그들을 심판하였을 것이라 예상할 수도 있습니다.

그러나 놀랍게도 하나님은 모세에게 새로운 돌판을 준비하라고 명령하셨습니다.

그 이유는 하나님께서 이스라엘 백성들에게 자비를 베푸셨기 때문입니다.

하나님의 자비

출애굽기 34:2-5

2 아침까지 준비하고 아침에 시내 산에 올라와 산 꼭대기에서 내게 보이되 3 아무도 너와 함께 오르지 말며 온 산에 아무도 나타나지 못하게 하고 양과 소도 산 앞에서 먹지 못하게 하라 4 모세가 돌판 둘을 처음 것과 같이 깎아 만들고 아침에 일찍이 일어나 그 두 돌판을 손에 들고 여호와의 명령대로 시내 산에 올라가니 5 여호와께서 구름 가운데에 강림하사 그와 함께 거기 서서 여호와의 이름을 선포하실새

3절에서 하나님이 온 산을 경계로 지정해서 사람과 짐승의 접근을 막았습니다.

이것은 과거에 하나님이 처음 모세에게 십계명을 주셨을 때의 상황과 비슷합니다.

출애굽기 19:12-13

12 너는 백성을 위하여 주위에 경계를 정하고 이르기를 너희는 삼가 산에 오르거나 그 경계를 침범하지 말지니 산을 침범하는 자는 반드시 죽임을 당할 것이라 13 그런 자에게는 손을 대지 말고 돌로 쳐죽이거나 화살로 쏘아 죽여야 하리니 짐승이나 사람을 막론하고 살아남지 못하리라 하고 나팔을 길게 불거든 산 앞에 이를 것이니라 하라

하나님은 이스라엘 백성들에게 다시 율법을 주셨을 때, 산에 접근하는 것에 대한 경고를 반복하셨습니다. 그리고 그 경고는 이전 보다 좀 더 간결한 형식으로 바뀌었습니다.

중요한 것은 이 사건이 단순한 반복이 아니라는 것입니다.

그것은 모세와 이스라엘 백성들의 죄에 대해 하나님이 자비를 베푸셨다는 점에서 특별한 사건이었습니다.

하나님은 왜 죄를 지은 그들에게 자비를 베푸셨을까요?

성경은 우리에게 그 이유에 대해 알려줍니다.

출애굽기 34:6

6 여호와께서 그의 앞으로 지나시며 선포하시되 여호와라 여호와라 자비롭고 은혜롭고 노하기를 더디하고 인자와 진실이 많은 하나님이라

하나님은 그의 자비에 대해 선포하셨습니다.

여기서 자비는 히브리어로 ‘라훔’ 입니다.

이것은 전에 이스라엘 백성이 금송아지를 만들어 하나님께 죄를 지었을 때, 하나님이 이스라엘 백성을 향한 분노를 돌이키셨을 때를 사용된 자비와 의미가 같습니다.

하나님은 이스라엘 백성이 저지른 온갖 죄들을 기억하시고 그 모든 것을 용서하시는 자비롭고 은혜롭고 노하기를 더디하고 인자와 진실이 많은 하나님입니다.

또한 이 자비는 잉태한 여성이 극심한 고통을 감내하며 출산하고 양육하는 모성적 사랑으로 표현됩니다.

이스라엘을 그의 자녀로 선택 하신 하나님은 이스라엘의 죄에도 불구하고 그들을 끝까지 포기하지 않으리라 결단하셨습니다.

하나님의 자비의 진정한 의미는 무엇일까요?

출애굽기 34:7

7 인자를 천대까지 베풀며 악과 과실과 죄를 용서하리라 그러나 벌을 면제하지는 아니하고 아버지의 악행을 자손 삼사 대까지 보응하리라

하나님의 자비는 이스라엘 백성이 파국으로 몰고 간 언약 관계를 하나님께서 그의 주권으로 다시 회복시킬 것이라는 희망적인 단서가 되었습니다.

하나님은 7절의 선언을 통해 죄에 대한 형벌이 있음을 분명히 밝히셨습니다.

즉, 하나님과 사람의 관계가 진실 하기 위해서는 사람이 자신의 행동에 대한 책임을 감당해야 한다는 의미입니다.

그럼에도 불구하고 하나님은 그 죄책을 덮고도 남을 만큼, ‘악’과 ‘과실’과 ‘죄’를 용서하시는 하나님의 인자하심을 강조하셨습니다.

사람이 악과 과실과 죄를 지어도 자비하신 하나님께 돌아오면 우리의 주님은 언제나 용서해주시는 것입니다.

하나님의 자비의 증거, 예수 그리스도

출애굽기 34:8-9

8 모세가 급히 땅에 엎드려 경배하며 9 이르되 주여 내가 주께 은총을 입었거든 원하건대 주는 우리와 동행하옵소서 이는 목이 뻣뻣한 백성이니이다 우리의 악과 죄를 사하시고 우리를 주의 기업으로 삼으소서

여호와의 영광을 보고 그 분의 성품이 선포되는 장면을 온몸으로 접한 모세는 급히 땅에 엎드려 여호와께 경배하였습니다.

모세는 하나님께서 조건 없이 자비를 베푸시고, 그의 백성을 끝까지 책임지시는 하나님의 성품에 경탄하였습니다.

모세는 하나님의 자비를 근거로 하여 비록 이스라엘 백성이 고집이 세지만, 자신들의 죄를 용서해 주실 것과 앞으로도 계속 동행 해주실 것을 간구하였습니다.

모세는 사람이 스스로 아무것도 할 수 없는 죄인이라는 것과, 하나님의 자비 없이는 이스라엘이 앞으로 나아갈 수 없다는 것을 깨달았습니다.

성경은 모세와 이스라엘 백성들을 통해서 우리의 모습을 돌아보게 합니다.

우리는 때때로 하나님의 자비 없이도 살아갈 수 있다고 생각하는 것 같습니다.

하지만 하나님의 자비와 인내가 없다면 우리의 삶은 지속 될 수 없을 것입니다.

우리는 요한복음에서 예수님이 죄를 지은 사람을 대하는 모습을 볼 수 있습니다.

요한복음 8:4-7; 10-11

4 예수께 말하되 선생이여 이 여자가 간음하다가 현장에서 잡혔나이다 5 모세는 율법에 이러한 여자를 돌로 치라 명하였거니와 선생은 어떻게 말하겠나이까 6 그들이 이렇게 말함은 고발할 조건을 얻고자 하여 예수를 시험함이러라 예수께서 몸을 굽히사 손가락으로 땅에 쓰시니 7 그들이 묻기를 마지 아니하는지라 이에 일어나 이르시되 너희 중에 죄 없는 자가 먼저 돌로 치라 하시고

10 예수께서 일어나사 여자 외에 아무도 없는 것을 보시고 이르시되 여자여 너를 고발하던 그들이 어디 있느냐 너를 정죄한 자가 없느냐 11 대답하되 주여 없나이다 예수께서 이르시되 나도 너를 정죄하지 아니하노니 가서 다시는 죄를 범하지 말라 하시니라

하나님의 자비는 예수님을 통해서 나타났습니다.

예수님은 죄를 짓다 끌려온 여자를 다른 사람들과 같이 정죄하지 않았습니다.

오히려 그는 자비를 베풀지 못하는 사람들에게 스스로를 돌아보게 하시며 부끄럽게 만드셨습니다.

예수님은 사람들로부터 여자의 생명을 구해 주시며 다시는 죄를 범하지 않도록, 바른 길로 살아가도록 권면 하셨습니다.

선하신 하나님은 죄와 함께 할 수 없으시며, 죄를 미워하십니다.

그러나 하나님은 예수그리스도의 자비를 통해 직접 죄인인 우리에게 찾아오셨습니다.

예수님은 아무런 희망이 없는 죄인들의 삶의 밝은 빛이 되셨습니다.

우리가 예수님을 구원자로 믿음으로 우리는 죄에서 자유를 얻게 되었습니다.

예수님은 오늘 우리에게 이웃에게 자비를 베풀 것을 명령하십니다.

이웃의 잘못해 대해 정죄하기 보단, 자비를 베풀고 그가 더 선한 길로 갈 수 있게 도우라고 말씀하십니다.

우리가 예수님의 제자로서, 예수님이 자비를 이웃에게 나눈다면 우리는 그 때 우리 마음속에 작은 천국을 맛볼 수 있을 것입니다.

그 이유는 우리 안에 예수님의 자비와 사랑이 흐르고 있기 때문입니다.

오늘 우리를 향하신 하나님의 크신 자비에 감사하며, 그 자비를 이웃에게 나누는 하루 되길 소망합니다.

  • Jan 17 / 2021
  • Comments Off on The Sincere Repentance God Seeks (Genesis 20:14-16)
Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

The Sincere Repentance God Seeks (Genesis 20:14-16)

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Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

The sincere repentance God seeks

14 Then Abimelech brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.”

16 To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”

Genesis 20:14-16

0. Introduction

In life, there are times we have to apologize for our mistakes.

Sometimes apologies lead to forgiveness, but sometimes the other person won’t forgive you even if you apologize.

So, what is the best way to ask for forgiveness from another person?

Although there may be a variety of answers, most people would probably agree that a sincere apology is much more effective.

In that case, what is the sincere repentance that God wants from us sinners in order to be forgiven? Today’s message is titled “The sincere repentance God seeks” and it is taken out of Genesis chapter 20.

1. The repeated sins of Abraham

Genesis 20:1-2

1 Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.

God has changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means ‘a father of many nations’.

Yet, even though God has given him a new name, he is unable to escape his repeated sins.

Abraham, who is often referred to as the father of our faith, is still unable to overcome his greatest weakness, the problem of sin.

At this point in Abraham’s life, he deceived King Abimelech of Gerar by calling his wife his sister.

This was actually the same deception he had performed on the Egyptian king before. Has he not learned his lesson?

Why did Abraham, who had God’s help to fight and defeat the Allied forces of King Kedorlaomer, lie like this?

Genesis 20:11-12

11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, `There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.` 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife.

The fear of man displaced Abraham’s faith and prompted him to deceive the king with a half truth. When the fear of God was not in the people around him, he thought that God’s sovereignty could not be exercised among them.

So he took it upon himself to prepare a way to survive.

Rather than fearing God and trusting him to protect and provide for him, his fear of man led him to introduce Sarah as his sister.

But God considered Abraham’s half truth to be unjust.

We should remember that a person can not solve his sins by himself.

If a person does not fear and accompany God, he will repeatedly commit the same sin.

2. The Intervention of God

But God intervened in this matter in order to fulfill his promise to Abram.

The contract God had made with Abraham was for him to have Isaac, the son of promise, born through Sarah.

God urgently came to Abimelech in a dream and revealed the seriousness of this problem.

Genesis 20:3-6

3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.” 4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, `She is my sister,` and didn`t she also say, `He is my brother`? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.

Abimelech was innocent by his own reckoning because he had taken Abraham at his word, believing him fully. However, taking a married woman from her husband to become his own wife  was a sin worth dying for from God’s point of view.

So God made the women in Abimelech’s kingdom unable to get pregnant and have babies.

In the long run, this spelled disaster for the king as it meant the destruction of his whole kingdom, and would not just result in the death of an individual, himself.

But God knew Abimelech’s heart, so he prevented him from sinning with Sarah.

Abimelech was punished for Abraham’s lies. So, how did he act after hearing the words of God?

3. Abimelech’s repentance

Genesis 20:8; 14-16

8 Early the next morning Abimelech summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid.

14 Then Abimelech brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.” 16 To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”

Abimelech, surprisingly, obeyed the Word of God.

He performed many acts of repentance for his own and his country’s recovery.

First, he shared the Word of God with all his officials. 

This is important because by doing so it signified that he was giving up his own ideas and choosing God’s justice.

Then, he did his best to fix all the wrongs.

He not only gave Sarah back to Abraham, but also topped it off with livestock, servants and additional land to live in. He did not force Abraham out of his land, like the King Egypt had.

He also gave Abraham a thousand silver shekels to restore his wife Sarah’s honor.

This all was a large compensation for Abraham.

Finally, he asked Abraham to pray for full recovery, as God ordered.

It would not have been easy for Abimelech to ask Abraham for prayer after the pain and troubles his lie had brought upon his kingdom, but Abimelech obeyed and honored God in his actions.

Rather, he made Abraham, the man of God, ashamed.

We can learn about ‘sincere repentance’ through Abimelech’s actions.

  • What is the repentance that pleases God?
  • And how should we repent before God?

4. Sincere repentance (through Jesus Christ)

Acts 2:38

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The first step for repentance is to recognize yourself as incapable of solving your own sins.

In fact, we live with repeated or habitual sins like Abraham, we have no ability to keep any of the laws that God has given us.

Therefore, God gave his son Jesus to us to solve this problem.

The second step for repentance is to believe in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

Jesus is the only one who can save us from a sinful world.

He paid for our sins through his own death, becoming a substitute for the punishment our sins deserved on the cross. In order to get to know Jesus more and more, we must read the Bible and pray daily, cultivating a deeper relationship with him.

The third and final step for repentance is courage.
We must believe that God’s salvation plan will change our lives.

Not only will he forgive you of all your sins and cleanse you of wrongdoing, just as he did for Abimelech, Jesus’s power can also overcome all of your sins, just as he did for Abraham.

Be brave today and choose to live a life of repentance and service for Christ. This is the definition of a successful life for all Christians.

Here’s a hard question to ponder.

Does God listen to our prayers even if and when we sin?

There is hopeful news.

Genesis 20:17

17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again,

Although Abraham was guilty, the fact that he was chosen by God did not change.

God still heard Abraham’s prayers, even as his deception brought disaster upon Abimelech’s household. God’s grace does not change because of human dignity nor error.

Yet, the fear of man may still overtake and overpower us, as it did to Abraham.

We think that God will not work in a world outside the church when the world does not fear him.

But God’s sovereignty is beyond our imagination and affects us everywhere, whether we are in the world, or in God’s presence; whether we are full of the fear of man, or the fear of God; whether we sin repeatedly and habitually though deceptions and half truths, or whether we walk fully in the light as he is in the light. God’s sovereignty and intervention in our lives is extremely realistic and accurate, and on full display in the lives of those who love God and have been called according to his purpose.

Abimelech was not the man God chose to make a covenant with, but he was an outsider and a stranger. Yet, through his sincere repentance and practice, God restored everything to him that he had taken away.

Repentance is not merely a time of regret and despair.

Repentance is a time to grow before God, and grow in relationship with God.

Repentance is the time to restore the true image of Christians, as the disciples of Christ, and bearers of his love, and message, and light to a lost world.

And repentance is not a one time act, but should be practiced on a daily basis by all Christians.

(As Martin Luther wrote in his Ninety-Nine Theses: “Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”)

I hope we will spend this week experiencing an amazing restoration of our lives and faith in Christ through sincere repentance.


하나님 원하시는 진정한 회개

14 아비멜렉이 양과 소와 종들을 이끌어 아브라함에게 주고 그의 아내 사라도 그에게 돌려보내고 15 아브라함에게 이르되 내 땅이 네 앞에 있으니 네가 보기에 좋은 대로 거주하라 하고

16 사라에게 이르되 내가 은 천 개를 네 오라비에게 주어서 그것으로 너와 함께 한 여러 사람 앞에서 네 수치를 가리게 하였노니 네 일이 다 해결되었느니라

창세기 20:14-16

0. 예화

우리가 살다 보면 나의 실수나 잘못으로 인해 다른 사람에게 사과해야 할 때가 있습니다.

사과를 통해 용서를 받을 때가 있지만, 때로는 사과를 했음에도 용서를 받지 못할 때도 있습니다.

상대방의 용서를 받기 위해서 우리는 어떻게 사과해야 할까요?

다양한 답이 있겠지만 대부분의 사람들은 진심 어린 사과를 해야 한다고 말할 것입니다.

그렇다면 죄인인 우리가 하나님께 용서를 받기 위한 진정한 회개는 어떤 것일까요?

오늘은 <하나님이 원하시는 진정한 회개> 라는 제목으로 창세기 20장의 말씀을 나누도록 하겠습니다.

1. 아브라함의 반복되는 죄

창세기 20:1-2

1 아브라함이 거기서 네게브 땅으로 옮겨가 가데스와 술 사이 그랄에 거류하며 2 그의 아내 사라를 자기 누이라 하였으므로 그랄 왕 아비멜렉이 사람을 보내어 사라를 데려갔더니

하나님은 아브람의 이름을 아브라함으로 바꾸어 주셨습니다.

아브라함의 뜻은 ‘여러 민족의 아버지’ 입니다.

아브라함은 하나님께 새로운 이름을 받았지만, 그는 그의 반복되는 죄를 해결할 수 없었습니다.

믿음의 조상이라 불리던 아브라함도 스스로 약점인 죄의 문제를 해결 할 수 없었습니다.

결국 아브라함은 그랄 왕 아비멜렉에게 자기 아내를 자신의 여동생이라고 속였습니다.

이것은 예전에 그가 애굽 왕을 속였던 것과 똑같은 형태였습니다.

그돌라오멜왕 연합군과도 싸워서 이겼던 아브라함이 왜 이런 거짓말을 하게 되었을까요?

11 아브라함이 이르되 이 곳에서는 하나님을 두려워함이 없으니 내 아내로 말미암아 사람들이 나를 죽일까 생각하였음이요 12 또 그는 정말로 나의 이복 누이로서 내 아내가 되었음이니라

아브라함의 하나님에 대한 믿음은 사람을 두려워하는 마음 때문에 사라지게 되었습니다.

그는 하나님을 두려워하지 않는 곳에서는 하나님의 주권이 실현되지 않을 것이라 생각했습니다.

그래서 그는 자신의 살 길을 스스로 준비하였습니다.

그에게 떠오른 좋은 아이디어는 사라를 자신의 이복 누이로 소개하는 것이었습니다.

그러나 아브라함의 아이디어는 하나님이 보시기에 정의롭지 않았습니다.

파트 1에서 우리가 기억해야 할 것은, 사람은 스스로 죄를 해결할 수 없는 존재라는 것입니다.

사람이 하나님과 동행하지 않으면 반복적으로 같은 죄를 짓게 되는 것입니다.

2. 하나님의 개입

하나님은 아브람과의 계약을 지키기 위해 이 문제에 개입하셨습니다.

그 계약은 사라를 통해 약속의 아들 이삭이 태어나는 것이었습니다.

하나님은 긴급히 아비멜렉에게 찾아와 이 문제의 심각성을 알려주셨습니다.

창세기 20:3-6

3 밤에 하나님이 아비멜렉에게 현몽하시고 그에게 이르시되 네가 데려간 이 여인으로 말미암아 네가 죽으리니 그는 남편이 있는 여자임이라 4 아비멜렉이 그 여인을 가까이 하지 아니하였으므로 그가 대답하되 주여 주께서 의로운 백성도 멸하시나이까 5 그가 나에게 이는 내 누이라고 하지 아니하였나이까 그 여인도 그는 내 오라비라 하였사오니 나는 온전한 마음과 깨끗한 손으로 이렇게 하였나이다 6 하나님이 꿈에 또 그에게 이르시되 네가 온전한 마음으로 이렇게 한 줄을 나도 알았으므로 너를 막아 내게 범죄하지 아니하게 하였나니 여인에게 가까이 하지 못하게 함이 이 때문이니라

아비멜렉은 아브라함의 말을 그대로 믿고 행동했기 때문에 그의 입장에서는 죄가 없습니다.

그러나 하나님의 관점에서 남편이 있는 여자를 데려다가 자신의 아내로 삼는 일은 죽어 마땅한 죄였습니다. 

그래서 하나님께서는 아비멜렉의 집의 모든 태를 닫으셨습니다.

이것은 아비멜렉 한 개인의 죽음 뿐 만이 아닌, 그의 왕국의 멸망을 의미하는 것이었습니다.

그러나 하나님은 아비멜렉의 진실한 마음을 알았기 때문에, 그가 죄를 짓지 않도록 막으셨습니다.

아브라함의 거짓말 때문에 억울한 벌을 받은 아비멜렉.

그는 하나님께 말씀을 듣고 어떻게 행동 했을까요?

3. 아비멜렉의 회개

창세기 20:8; 14-16

8 아비멜렉이 그 날 아침에 일찍이 일어나 모든 종들을 불러 그 모든 일을 말하여 들려 주니 그들이 심히 두려워하였더라

14 아비멜렉이 양과 소와 종들을 이끌어 아브라함에게 주고 그의 아내 사라도 그에게 돌려보내고 15 아브라함에게 이르되 내 땅이 네 앞에 있으니 네가 보기에 좋은 대로 거주하라 하고 16 사라에게 이르되 내가 은 천 개를 네 오라비에게 주어서 그것으로 너와 함께 한 여러 사람 앞에서 네 수치를 가리게 하였노니 네 일이 다 해결되었느니라

아비멜렉은 놀랍게도 하나님의 말씀에 순종하였습니다.

그는 그와 그의 나라의 회복을 위해 회개를 위한 많은 행동들을 하였습니다.

그가 했던 첫 번째 행동은 그의 모든 종들과 하나님의 말씀을 공유한 것입니다.

그가 한 좋은 선택은 자신의 생각을 포기하고 하나님의 정의를 선택했다는 것입니다.

아비멜렉은 모든 잘못된 것들을 바로 잡으려고 하였습니다.

그는 문제를 해결하기 위해 최선을 다했습니다.

그는 아브라함에게 아내를 돌려준 것 뿐만이 아니라 그에게 가축과 하인들, 거주할 수 있는 땅을 제공하였습니다.

그는 애굽 왕과는 달리 아브라함을 자기 땅에서 내보내지 않았습니다.

그는 또한 아브라함에게 은 천 개를 주어 그의 아내, 사라의 명예를 회복하였습니다.

아비멜렉은 아브라함에게 인색하지 않게 보상하였습니다.

마지막으로 그는 하나님의 명령대로 아브라함에게 치유 기도를 요청하였습니다.

자신을 곤경에 빠뜨린 사람에게 치유 기도를 부탁한다는 것은 쉽지 않은 일 이었을 것입니다.

하지만 아비멜렉은 하나님께 순종하여 하나님을 높이고 아브라함을 부끄럽게 만들었습니다.

우리는 아비멜렉의 행동을 통해 ‘회개하는 사람의 올바른 마음가짐’에 대해 배울 수 있습니다.

하나님이 기뻐하시는 회개는 무엇일까요?

우리는 하나님 앞에서 어떻게 회개해야 할까요?

4. 진정한 회개(예수 그리스도)

사도행전 2:38

38 베드로가 이르되 너희가 회개하여 각각 예수 그리스도의 이름으로 세례를 받고 죄 사함을 받으라 그리하면 성령의 선물을 받으리니

회개를 위한 첫 번째 단계는 자신을 죄를 해결할 능력이 없는 존재로 인정하는 것입니다.

사실 우리도 아브라함처럼 반복된 죄를 지으면서 살아갑니다.

우리는 하나님이 주신 율법을 다 지킬 수 있는 능력이 없습니다.

그래서 하나님은 이 문제를 해결하기 위해 우리에게 예수님을 보내주셨습니다.

회개를 위한 두 번째 단계는 예수님을 나의 구원자로 믿는 것입니다.

나를 죄가 가득한 세상에서 구원해 줄 유일한 존재는 예수님입니다.

예수님이 나의 죄의 값을 죽음을 통해 모두 지불하셨기 때문입니다.

우리는 매일 성경을 읽고 기도하며 예수님께 의지해야 합니다.

회개를 위한 마지막 단계는 용기입니다.

내 삶을 변화시키실 하나님의 계획을 믿어야 합니다.

예수님의 능력으로 죄를 극복할 수 있다는 믿음을 가져야 합니다.

용기를 갖고 오늘 하루를 그리스도인의 승리한 삶으로 만들어야 합니다.

그런데 우리가 죄를 지어도 하나님이 우리 기도를 들으실까요?

여기에 희망적인 소식이 있습니다.

창세기 20:17

17 아브라함이 하나님께 기도하매 하나님이 아비멜렉과 그의 아내와 여종을 치료하사 출산하게 하셨으니

비록 아브라함이 죄를 지었지만, 그가 하나님께 선택 받은 사람이라는 사실은 달라지지 않았습니다.

하나님은 여전히 아브라함의 기도를 들으셨습니다.

하나님의 은혜는 사람의 품위로 인해 변하지 않기 때문입니다.

그러나 우리는 아브라함이 그랬든 여전히 세상을 두려워합니다.

우리는 하나님을 믿지 않는 교회 밖의 세상에서 하나님이 일하지 않으실 것이라고 생각합니다.

하지만 하나님의 주권은 우리의 상상을 넘어서서 어디서나 영향을 미칩니다.

오히려 하나님의 개입은 지극히 현실적이며 정확합니다.

아비멜렉은 하나님이 선택한 자가 아닌 이방이었습니다.

그러나 그의 진정한 회개와 실천을 통해 하나님은 그의 모든 것을 회복시켜 주셨습니다.

회개는 후회가 절망이 아닙니다.

회개는 하나님 앞에서 성장하는 시간입니다.

회개는 그리스도인의 모습을 회복하는 시간입니다.

우리가 회개를 통해 놀라운 회복을 경험하는 한 주 보내길 소망합니다.

  • Dec 03 / 2017
  • Comments Off on To God be the Glory Forever, Amen (Romans 11:25-36)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

To God be the Glory Forever, Amen (Romans 11:25-36)

Download Notes in a .MD file

To God be the Glory Forever, Amen

Romans 11:25-36 (Pastor Heo)

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.


We saw four witnesses as proof that God has a plan for Israel:

  1. Paul himself
  2. Elijah
  3. The Gentiles
  4. The Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc)
  • The dough – the first part – is the symbol of the patriarchs.
  • The root of the tree (from last week) – is the symbol of Israel.

Last word of v. 28 = “patriarchs”

“28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,”

Today, we have the final witness / proof. This is the last and best witness: God himself – the very character and work of God.

God is dealing with his people Israel. Who is God? How is God? What are his characteristics? Here I’ll share 6 things with you about God.

6 Characteristics of God

#1: God’s Timing

In this world, everything that happens, happens according to God’s time: Ecc 3:1 “There is a time for everything; a season for everything under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to love, a time to hate, a time to eat, a time to speak, etc..”

v. 25

“25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part _until_ the full number of the Gentiles has come in.”

All that has happened to Israel is a part of the plan for Israel. God knows what he is doing and what is happening.

The “hardness” in the middle here is spiritual blindness of Israel – but this is not total, nor final. It is partial and temporary. Until “the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” v. 12 – there is a fullness for Israel and also for the Gentiles.

Today, individual Jewish people are being saved, but this present era is primarily a time when God is visiting the Gentiles and building his church. When this present age has run its course and the full number of the Gentiles has come in – then at that time, God will take action and deal with Israel again.

This verse is one of several “until” verses in the Bible (this means God’s timing).

  • Ps 110:10 “The Lord says to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies…”
  • Matt “You cannot see me until you say ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord'”
  • Luke “Israel will be trampled on until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.”
  • Matt 24:14 “The gospel will be preached in ALL nations and THEN the end will come.” (This is God’s timing)

#2: God’s Promise

This is very important.

v. 26

“26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. (Isaiah 59:20-21 – last two verses)

Jacob is the old name of “Israel” – this means a descendant from the nation of Israel. Jesus Christ comes as deliverer, redeemer, Savior.

This is the first and only mention of Jesus’ coming in the book of Romans.

  • “so, all Israel will be saved.” (so = “in this way / by this method”)
  • “all Israel” doesn’t mean ALL Jews who’ve ever lived, but it means, the majority of Israel who are alive when Jesus comes again.
  1. 2,000 years ago, when Jesus came, the majority of Israel did NOT recognize nor receive Jesus. Only a few did.
  2. Next, when Jesus comes again, the OPPOSITE will happen. The majority of Israel will finally recognize and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.

John 1:10 “He was in the world even though the world was made through him, but the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, but his own did not receive him. But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God.”

#3: God’s Covenant

v. 27

“27 And this is my _covenant_ with them when I take away their sins. 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as _election_ is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,”

This is a continuation of Isaiah 59, but we need to read Isaiah 60 to get the full picture of the glory of Zion. Isaiah 60:1 “Arise and shine!”

Keywords:

  • Covenant
    • The emphasis in this sentence is God’s covenant (absolute, unbreakable promise).
  • Election
    • This does not mean elite – ism, nor perfection, but it means sovereign grace. God did not choose them for their goodness.
  1. If Israel was not chosen by God based on their merit,
  2. likewise, they cannot be rejected by God based on their sinfulness.

v. 28 means the Jewish people are now “enemies” toward believing Gentiles due to their attitude toward the gospel. But, in the eyes of God, they are loved due to God’s covenant with the patriarchs.

#4 God’s Nature

What is God like? What are his qualities and attributes?

v. 29

“29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”

(this is the shortest verse in this section but the most important)

  • Irrevocable = conclusive, final, cannot be broken / revoked
  • God’s gifts = salvation (the gift of gifts)

Eph 2:8-9 “It is by grace you have been saved, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Good News Bible = “God does not change his mind about whom he chooses and blesses.”

  • Malachi 3 “I am the Lord, I never change.”
  • Numbers “God is not a man that he should lie.” (God is not a son of man that he should repent. Does he speak and not act? No. Does he promise and not keep his promise? No.)
  • Romans 3:3 “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith cancel God’s faithfulness? Certainly not! Let God be true!”

If you know and understand who God is, he is unchangeable and we can be certain of our salvation.

#5: God’s Mercy

v. 30

“30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience,”

We need God’s mercy. That’s why chp 12 begins with “I urge you brothers, in the view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices. Do not follow the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

“I need God’s mercy.” x4

v. 30-32

“30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received _mercy_ (x1) as a result of their disobedience,31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive _mercy_ (x2) as a result of God’s _mercy_ (x3) to you.32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have _mercy_ (x4) on them all.”

Final purpose: That God may have mercy on them all.

Yes, we are also one of this “all.”

  • Through the disobedience of Israel, salvation came to the Gentiles.
  • Likewise, through the salvation of the Gentiles, Israel will come to know and love Jesus.
    • This is an obligation of the Gentiles – to provoke Israel to jealousy.

God has included all human beings (Jews and Gentiles) in being able to experience the mercy of God. There is no difference in salvation.

  • When Adam sinned, all humanity (including us) sinned in Adam.

Romans “There is no one righteous, not even one. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

  1. If you say, “I’m not a sinner” then you don’t need mercy from God.
  2. That’s why we must confess “I’m a sinner” – so that we may repent and receive mercy.

In God’s original plan, the Jews would be the source of blessing to the Gentiles. God chose the Jews that the Gentiles might be saved. What is the first covenant given to Abraham? Genesis 12:3 “All people on earth will be blessed through you.”

The tragedy was that Israel became exclusive and failed to share this truth with the Gentiles (their mission). But God did not fail in his plan.

In a large crowd, it is humbling to look around and think, “Everyone needs a Savior.” But until we truly experience God’s mercy in our lives, it is unlikely we’ll feel that others need to experience it as well.

  1. God’s timing
  2. God’s promise
  3. God’s covenant
  4. God’s nature
  5. God’s mercy
  6. God’s wisdom

#6 God’s wisdom & knowledge

v. 33-36

“33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Having contemplated God’s great plan of salvation for Jews and Gentiles, the only thing Paul could do is sing a song of rejoicing.

  • Theology becomes Doxology
  • Theology becomes Worship

God is too wise to make plans that will not be fulfilled. This has two meanings – applied literally to all Israel, and applied spiritually to all people.

When Israel comes into their fullness, they will recognize him, receive him, be reconciled, be received, it will look like a resurrection.

In our story, God’s purpose for the salvation of the world is beyond our understanding. This is beyond our tracing out.

Who can say, “I’m God’s counselor”? Who gave to God before he gave to us? All we have came from him originally. (Doxology)

Col 1:15-17 “By Jesus Christ all things were created – things on heaven and earth – visible, invisible, thrones, rulers, powers, authorities – all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together.”

God has a purpose for your/my life. What is this purpose? Remember, a life without a purpose given by God is like a ship without a rudder – it’s a directionless activity.

The purpose of God’s salvation through his mercy and grace:

That we may share this blessing of salvation with others, making Jesus Lord, to the glory of God.

Let’s pray

  • Sep 24 / 2017
  • Comments Off on God has Absolute Sovereignty (Romans 9:1-18)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

God has Absolute Sovereignty (Romans 9:1-18)

Download Notes in a .MD file

God has Absolute Sovereignty

Romans 9:1-18 (Pastor Heo)

Paul’s Anguish Over Israel

1 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

God’s Sovereign Choice

6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” 10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.


Romans consists of 3 parts. Last week, we finished the first part. Today, we start the second part. The theme of this book: the Righteousness of God.

  1. Part 1: chp 1-8 (Revelation / Manifestation of God’s Righteousness)
  2. Part 2: chp 9-11 (Vindication of God’s Righteousness)
  3. Part 3: chp 12-16 (Application / Practice of God’s Righteousness)

In the 3 chapters, 9, 10, 11, Paul is revealing the vindication of God’s righteousness using the story of Israel. In these three chapters, the main material used to reveal the attributes of God = Israel. This is the story of Israel (literal, historic, Israel – located in the Middle East).

So, why is this necessary for us to study the story of Israel at this moment? A careful study of these chapters is necessary to reveal and vindicate God’s righteousness.

Yes, from chp 1-8, we have been strongly persuaded that Once Justification, Once Salvation = Always (it never fails).

Last time, chp 8 closes with great joy and shouting about “no condemnation in Christ and no separation from the love of Christ.”

8:37-39

“37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Someone might challenge this. “Hmm, IF this is true, then, what about the Jews? Israel?” The OT is the story of Israel – the Chosen people in God’s redemptive history. They are set apart from the love of God and God is building his church with a new people – the Gentiles. It seems that the Jews were abandoned and rejected by the love of God. So, did God’s plan fail with regard to Israel?

(This is a very serious question – because the character of God is at stake. If God were unfaithful to the Jews, how can we be sure he will be faithful to us?)

So, through these next 3 chapters, God’s righteousness is vindicated.

  • Chp 9: Israel’s past election
  • Chp 10: Israel’s present rejection (human responsibility)
  • Chp 11: Israel’s future redemption (God’s faithfulness despite human unfaithfulness)

Israel is very small geologically. But spiritually speaking, Israel is the ONLY country that has a history with God – past, present, future.

“All Israel will be saved” – just before the Second Coming of Christ. (not individually, but generally, and nationally returning to Christ)

First, we see Paul’s concern for the spiritual well being of his brothers (Israel):

Paul’s concern for Israel

v. 1-3

Paul’s Anguish Over Israel

1 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race,” (Jews)

At that time, Paul was considered a traitor to the Jewish nation – because he was a minister for the Gentiles, not Jews – and he preached of Freedom from the Law of Moses. He preached in many synagogues and “caused trouble” for the Jewish religion.

So at this point, Paul wants to show his love for his brothers and sisters, and his desire for their spiritual well being.

Remember chp 8?

“I’m convinced NOTHING can separate me from the love of Christ.”

Now, chp 9

“I wish that I COULD be cut off from Christ – for the sake of my brothers.”

There is a similar prayer in Exodus 32 –

While Moses was on the top of the mountain receiving the 10 Commandments. At the bottom of the same mountain – the people made idols and ran wild. When Moses came down and saw that sin, God was very ANGRY.

  • God said, “I will destroy / kill all Israel – and I will start again to build a great nation with you – Moses.”
  • But Moses did not say, “Amen.” He said, “No, God, please, forgive them. Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – forgive them. If you do not, remove me from the Book of Life.” (Send me to hell if you don’t forgive them.)

Of course, God forgave all of them, and did not remove Moses’ name from the Book of Life.

Yes, parents here, maybe you have this experience. When your child is sick, sometimes you say, “I wish it was ME who was sick, not this child. I would take your place.”

This is a true heart of love.

If you are really a born-again Christian, we have two opposing attitudes.

  1. 1. When we see Christ, we abound in love and joy at his salvation
  2. 2. When we see the lost, we abound in unceasing anguish for their spiritual loss

May God bless us to be true Christians in the eyes of God.

Next, we see the election of Israel. We have no right to ask God, “Why did you choose Israel?” This is God’s will.

The Election of Israel

v. 4-5

“4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”

God gave the people of Israel a divine promise and also the Tabernacle. God gave the Law to Moses. He gave the Promise to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua, David, etc (these are the Patriarchs). What is the purpose of all these blessings?

Key Point:

  • v. 5b “from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”

Jesus, the Messiah, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, was to come through Israel. This is why all the blessings are given to Israel. They were to receive Christ, and then introduce him to all other nations – so that all nations might be saved together.

But unfortunately, when the Messiah they had waited for eagerly, finally appeared on Earth, they did not recognize him, and crucified him.

chp 3 “What is the advantage to being a Jew? Much! They have been entrusted the very Word of God.”

But even the failure of humans is inconsequential to God – who is always faithful.

Question today:

  • What is the advantage to being a Christian today – in this unbelieving world?

Ans:

  • Much in every way. We are entrusted with the very word of God – the gospel message.

This is a very simple message, but has life-giving power. “Believe in Christ and you will be saved – live forever in the presence of Christ.” But who can preach this message except the children of God? (You and me.)

God’s absolute sovereignty / redemptive will in choosing man

v. 6-10

“6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” 10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac.”

What does this mean?

In chp 2, remember that a man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly. No, he must be one inwardly.

There is a difference between:

  • natural, physical seed of Abraham, and
  • the spiritual children of God.

As we know, in the OT, Abraham had 2 sons. Ishmael and Isaac. According to principle, Ishmael was the first-born, so he should have been chosen. But it was Isaac who God chose.

Also, Isaac had 2 sons: Esau and Jacob. Esau should have been chosen, because he was first. But God chose Jacob. These two shared the same father AND mother (unlike Ishmael and Isaac).

This shows that God did not choose based on physical condition (blood first-born), but by God’s absolute sovereignty.

If we are saved, it is not because of our physical condition, but because of God’s will and purpose.

Also, we can see that God’s election was not based on the character of the person. Is your character good? Good enough to be saved?

God’s purpose in Election

v. 11-13

“11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” “

Please do not misunderstand the meaning of this sentence, esp v. 13 “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated”. Actually, God chose Jacob before he was born. They had done NOTHING before that. God’s choice is sovereign – and based on nothing from the people themselves.

Malachi wrote this “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What does this mean?

This does not mean Individual Choice, but National Election for World Mission.

  • “Jacob I loved” = I chose Israel as the mission country for world mission and evangelism
  • “Esau I hated” = Not personally, but he did not choose to use Edom for world mission

This means, even though our character and actions are sometimes evil, God remains faithful. He chooses not based on human merit, but on his own will and for his own purposes.

“God has absolute sovereignty” He is God.

v. 14-18

“14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

Why? Because he is God.

Nobody has the right to say to God, “Why me?”

God is God.

Is God unjust or unrighteous? No, not at all.

The fact that God chose one and not the other seems to indicate that God is UNrighteous. Do not misunderstand.

If we think, “God chose this person, but not that person” we might this “God is not holy.” But, actually, if God acted only on the basis of his own righteousness, NOBODY would be saved at all. All people should go to hell immediately – if God treated each person “fairly, equally, and according to what he has done.”

God’s election is not about personal righteousness, but about God’s mercy.

Paul quoted Exodus 33.

Actually, all the people of Israel committed a terrible sin – idol worship. If God had judged them according to his righteousness, ALL of them should be killed. Rather he just killed 3000 of them – not because some were “better” than others, but simply because he was merciful to the others.

In this passage, Paul is using two examples:

  • Pharaoh and Moses.
    • Actually, before God, they were equal – both murderers.
  1. God raised Pharaoh up to show his power through him.
  2. God used Moses to show his mercy and redemption through him.

Pharaoh was a king, Moses was a slave – but Moses is the one who received God’s mercy. Why? Because God chose this way. God acted according to his absolute sovereignty.

The hardening of Pharaoh:

v. 18 “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

This “hardening” is reference 14? times in Exodus. Sometimes “Pharaoh hardened his heart” and sometimes “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart”. Actually God gave Pharaoh a chance (many) to repent, but he did not.

That’s why the Bible says, “When you hear the Word of God, do not harden your hearts.”

Please, whenever you hear the Word of God, do not harden your hearts. Make your heart soft when you receive the Word of God.

God’s faithfulness is still unchangeable.

Let’s pray.

 

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen