Speaker(s): Pastor Bob Colban
Sermon # 11712
7:00 PM on 7/10/2019
P. Bob Colban
Good evening. This is the message. Notice I’m not clapping! Okay. Wow. It’s like all day long you think about this moment with great dread, kind of, knowing it’s going to come. Okay in three hours I’ll be standing up here. In two hours I’ll be standing up here. In three minutes I’ll be standing up here. Really, it’s a great privilege to be in front of all of you. I have a message.
Very simple but yet I think very profound in one sense. Maybe the background to how this thought came to me, – this past Saturday we were out on evangelism on Monument Street. This young man, maybe 30, walked by and I stopped him and offered him a tract. He stopped and we talked briefly. I said, are you a believer? He said, no, but I’m trying to figure it out. What do you mean? Let’s talk. He said I’m trying to reconcile who God is and on one hand I have this idea and on the other hand, I see all this. The neighborhood. He said all of this how do I reconcile all of this with all God says he is. It was kind of interesting. I said you can’t judge who God is based on what you see. This is the product of man not God. We had this very interesting conversation. He was talking about broken lives, broken marriages, drug abuse and addiction, homelessness, death, poverty, lying, cheating, wars and unbelief. We could go on and on. It describes the state of our world. I said we could be standing here and see all of this or go to Park Avenue in New York or Chicago or Michigan Avenue and find the same thing. This is the state of the world as we know it.
What’s so interesting about all these things I mentioned is that God has a plan for all of these things. What do I mean by that? I said broken marriages. We see that around us or maybe you’ve been a part of that or in your family, immediate or extended. We see it and it’s rampant in the world. We look in the Scripture and see God gives us everything we need to have a successful marriage. The blueprint is there. God says this is the design for marriage. Husbands do this and wives do this. If that is the case, why are we in a marriage are being destroyed left and right. God has a plan. God has a way, yet man has said I have another way. They have abandoned the plan of God in their marriages and in their families. Family life is all talked about in the Bible. Homelessness, death, all these things there is a plan in the Bible. God has given us this amazing book that teaches about life and every aspect. We learn about child rearing from the Bible. We learn about marriage from the Bible. How do we learn about forgiveness? From the Bible. Because man has rejected the Bible and the counsel of God, it’s gone from a Garden of Eden to a living hell on parts of the earth. All because man has rejected God’s plan.
I did a little search on Amazon. I put in a search for books on marriage. Over 70,000 books. Child rearing, over 50,000 books just on Amazon. Behavior, how to alter or change your behavior, 70,000 books. Books on evolution, 100,000 books. Books on death, over 200,000 books on Amazon. Books on money, over 200,000 books. I think the way you make money is write a book! This is all related. Books about the Bible but not the Bible, over 40,000. Food books, over 100,000. Health books, over 100,000. What do these books tell us or what are people trying to tell us? How to have a successful marriage or raise our children or what to eat or overcome sickness. What the origin of man is in the evolution books. How to change our behavior. Trying to tell us about death, about money, above life. I didn’t add these up but probably 6 or 700,000 books on Amazon when all we need is one book. All these books are written to replace what God says in his book. Man has rejected this book and things have fallen apart in marriage and life and finances, and now man is trying to make this all work.
God gives it all to us and we say God there has got to be a better way. I’ll tweak this a little. This thing about marriage and husbands loving their wives, I’m going to change it a little bit. God said follow my plan as it is written. How did we get into all these problems? People look at God and say why is this happening if you’re a loving God? You have a problem. I don’t have a problem. I told you everything. Ge 3 in particular God placed Adam and Eve. You think, okay, this is the world the way it is but wasn’t the way it always was. It was perfect when God created everything. He said it was good and then very good. He didn’t say it was okay.
Ever see that commercial where the guy is in a hospital bed and the nurse is taking his vitals. The wife says to the nurse, Doctor so and so, have you ever worked with him? The nurse says he’s okay. The doctor is in the hallway. Just who got his license reinstated!
God didn’t create the earth and Adam and Eve and say it was okay. He said it was good and very good. Everything man needed was given in the garden. Food untarnished, health perfect, relationships perfect. Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. It was perfect. All these trees and herbs you need to be fulfilled physically, mentally, and emotionally and fellowship with God and your spouse. It was perfect and all God. Man had purpose there. Man had a reason. He had significance and worth, but he also had a free will. One restriction. Ever think about this? I’m sure you have. All that was in the Garden and we don’t know the number of trees. Let’s say 1,000 or 10,000 or 100,000. Maybe every species in existence today was in then. God said you can have it all. Eat to your heart’s content. Don’t eat of one tree out of 10,000 or whatever it was. Don’t touch that tree. That was the only restriction. And man failed in one restriction. Eve saw the tree. It appealed to the eye and looked good. Looks good. Someone help me out here.
I never did that before. You can understand absolutely nothing. Now I know why Pastor Schaller is like – it’s to make one wise.
The deception was if you eat this fruit, you’ll be like God knowing good and evil. Wait a second. Didn’t God say you can eat of anything except this one. 9,999 fruit and the only one you can’t eat is one. But that one will make me wise. Here is God’s plan. You can do all of this except this and man says no big deal. God isn’t going to know. I’ll take a few bites and give to Adam. What harm can come from it? I’m only tweaking it a bit. Sin entered the world from generation to generation to where we are now. No big deal. I can tweak God’s plan a little. There were serious consequences instead of saying this is God’s plan and sticking to it, the plan is very good, and I’m sticking to the plan and I’m not going to deviate from it. Instead, mankind has consistently twisted by deception. We know Eve was deceived by a subtle devil but still she had a free will. Adam sinned willfully and took it and ate.
I was looking today at 1 Sam 15. Saul is the king. Samuel was the prophet in Israel at this point in time. Vs. 2-4, vs. 9. What was the plan? Was God very specific in the plan? Utterly destroy everything, the good and the bad. They spared the king and the best of the flocks. Then Samuel comes. Vs. 13. Did he perform the commandment of the Lord? Absolutely not. God said to do all of this through Samuel and now that I’m in the battle and we won the victory, these sheep look pretty good. These oxen look good. Vs. 14-16. This is what happens. Like Adam and Eve, just one bite, one piece of fruit. God knew it and there were consequences. Why don’t we take the best. Now that he is challenged. We took the best to sacrifice to the Lord thinking this would be applauded by Samuel. I came up with this better idea. God said you have a better idea than what I told you to do. You have a better idea of how to have a marriage. I’ve been teaching people about marriage from eternity past. You have a better idea about raising children and this is time tested. I read these books and they are modern and new and I’m going to try them. Don’t take this the wrong way. If you want to read books, you can. I’m talking about a bigger principle here. God has given us everything we need that pertains to life and godliness. It’s all here and it’s all clear. It’s not hidden where we have to know Greek and Hebrew to know what it is to be a husband. To be a servant, it’s clear and simple. God said it and I’m going to walk in it.
I like Jn. 9, the story where Jesus heals the blind man. He was born blind from birth. The Pharisees started challenging him. Is this really our son who was born blind? You ask him what happened. The guy got asked four or five times. Were you really blind? Who did it? What did he look like? I don’t know. I was blind. I can’t tell you anything about him. I was blind and now I see. He stuck some mud in my face and I washed and now I can see. He didn’t care about any of that stuff. God has a plan. God has a design and I don’t care what anyone says. Saul rationalized and came up with a better plan. Imagine God talking to Saul. I rethought your plan. You rethought my plan? What did he say to Job? Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? When I said to the waves you can come this far and not farther? God is much more gracious than the way I’m saying it, but you get the point. It’s all in the book. Follow the plan. The end result was the kingdom removed from Saul and given to David. To obey is better than sacrifice. The plan was specific. If you followed the plan, you would still be king.
On the good side and other example is with Joshua. How did Joshua and the children of Israel take a walled city of Jericho. They didn’t have a standing army. They didn’t have battering rams or catapults. The city of Jericho was tight, shut up tight I think it says in Joshua. God says let’s go. Cross the Jordan and take the city of Jericho. We have nothing. God gave a specific plan. I think we all know the story. Walk around it six times. Don’t say a word. Just walk around it. On the seventh day, you walk around seven times and you shout and the walls cave in. Can you imagine? Where do you find that in the West Point handbook on how to fight a battle? It’s not in there. It doesn’t make sense but it’s God’s plan and it’s perfect. They did it and the walls fell in and they won a great victory. God had a plan. What if after the fifth day, they said we’ve done this enough. Five times is enough. Let’s get it over with. It wouldn’t have happened. Not after the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth. It had to be the seventh day. Do it the way God said to do it and they won a great victory. Everyone heard about it. This is so simple.
God’s plan we do to the best of our ability and we come out with a great victory. God’s plan we mix our own, I’ll tweak it and the kingdom is removed from Saul. With Adam and Eve, sin enters the world. King Solomon in De. 17 the kings of Israel were not to multiply wives, horses or gold. The king is supposed to write it down and keep it with him and review it periodically every year. What does he do? Multiples horses, multiplies money and multiplies wives. God told us about a king. Did you write this down and follow a plan? Solomon could say I’m the wisest man ever and I took that first extra wife because it was a treaty made with the Egyptians. It was a good treaty, but it wasn’t God’s plan. Could God give him a good treaty some other way? Absolutely. That’s his first foreign wife and then 700 wives it says a few chapters later. 700 treaties maybe? I don’t know. How did he go from no wives to 700? The first one you might say no big deal. This is a great treaty, and it benefits Israel. What about two? With the Syrians. What about this one? Four hundred and ninety-nine. He probably would have made a treaty with the United States if they existed. It says not to. Where did all the wisdom go? Why not follow God’s plan? This treaty is good, but I cannot do this because as king of Israel, I am subject to a higher power. You might say what was the end result? Seven hundred wives. Solomon the wisest man ever who wrote the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon, it says the foreign wives moved his heart away from God and he ended up serving other gods. Is that incredible? A man God visited face to face twice is now moved by his foreign wives and built temples to the gods of his wives. He said the kingdom will be taken away except for two tribes. That’s when the kingdom split into the northern and southern. Consequences.
Good consequences with Joshua and Gideon who followed the plan of God. God brought a victory against the Midianites. He didn’t deviate. I love what P. Schaller said on Sunday morning. Psalm 1, he said I read this 45 years ago where it said three things not to do and one thing to do and he said I got this. To be a successful or victorious believer, don’t do this and this and this and do this. So simple. I can wrap my arms around that. Don’t do this or this or this but do this. God says this. Why should I think this way? This type of thinking where we mix our own common sense with the word is why the world is the way it is now with broken armies and death and destruction and wars. Man took what God had which was perfect, very good and mixed in man’s own thoughts and now we have what we have. I say keep it simple. God says something, let’s do it. It takes faith. It took faith for Joshua to walk around the city of Jericho and not do something. I can imagine some of those guys were chomping at the bit to pull out a sword. Let’s get fighting. No, calm down. This is the plan of God. We’re going to follow it as God said and he’ll give us the victory. We want to run out and do this or that and God says relax. Follow the plan.
If you know what my marriage was like. My marriage is great. My wife is there. Bigger principle, not personal. You don’t know what my finances are like. If P. Taggert knew my financial situation, he wouldn’t say that. You can’t mean me, God? Do you think God doesn’t know your financial situation? He knows the hairs on your head, Ps. 139. He knew everything about us when he formed us in the womb. God, do you know about this bill? Do you know what is coming up financially? I do. That’s why you do it by faith. Love by faith. Forgive people. Do you know what that person did to me? I told Peter to forgive 70 x 70 in one day. Ridiculous, God. Do it by faith. It’s perfect. It’s my plan. It’s very good. Do it and see what I can do in your life. See what I can do with your kids. See what I can do. Follow the plan.
I’ll close with this in Luke 5. I love this verse. The situation in Luke 5 went into Simon’s boat. Launch out into the deep. We have toiled all night and taken nothing. Who was the fisherman? Peter. He knew the lake. He knew the hot spot. I know everything about this lake. This is my “go to” spot. We have been out all night and haven’t caught one fish. Jesus, you are a good preacher, but you know nothing about fish. Nevertheless at thy word, I will let down the net. This has to be our attitude. “Nevertheless” means in spite of what I just said, I’ll do what you told me to do. I know there are no fish. I know we are not going to catch anything. In spite of what I know, they almost sunk the boat with fish. What a great attitude to have. In spite of me wanting to take everything in my hands and think I can do better than God’s plan, I’ll listen to your word. I’ll receive something from you, God. At your word, I will put down the net. That’s what I want to say.
Nevertheless, God has a perfect plan and he’s given us everything in this book. I could have stacked 700 books over here up to the ceiling taking up the platform or the whole room, but 700 books wouldn’t contain anything like what is in the one book.
Everything is in one book. Everything pertaining to life and godliness. Just follow the plan as I wrote it.
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