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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - God Is Not Impressed With Us If We Don't Care For These People

Derek Prince - God Is Not Impressed With Us If We Don't Care For These People

Derek Prince - God Is Not Impressed With Us If We Don't Care For These People

The slogan that our ministry has had for a good many years is Reaching the Unreached, and Teaching the Untaught, and we have done that to the best of our ability. I think my radio program is in about thirteen languages. My books are in probably in more than eighty nations and in more than fifty languages, but recently we got involved in Kosovo. We didn't plan it. God did it. And we've added a new phrase to our slogan... It's Reaching the Unreached, Teaching the Untaught, and Touching the Untouched. And really that's what I'm going to be talking about tonight. I have a message which God has laid on my heart in which I will seek to communicate as faithfully as I can.

I would like to begin from Philippians chapter 3 verse 9, where Paul says his prayer is: That I may be found in Him [that's Jesus] not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith: I want to speak about that: the righteousness which is from God by faith, and I want to suggest to you that there is only one kind of righteousness. It runs all through the Scriptures from the beginning to the end: the righteousness which is from God by faith, and it's a very practical righteousness. It's not a religious kind of righteousness, it's not sentimental, it is down to earth, it is practical and it is demonstrated in every age of God's dealings with His people.

I want to take you briefly through the various main ages of God's dealing. I want to start with what we would call the Patriarchs, and I want to go to the book of Job. I have been so grabbed by this book of Job just recently. I could never believe that there was so much in it as I found lately. Basically, theologians, if you want to use that rather unpleasant word... I mean, I'm suspicious of theologians, to say the truth. The word theologian means the Word of God, and if that's what theologians were telling us, I'd be delighted. But most of the time it's not. That's a simple fact. Anyhow, the main ages of God's dealings, I would say, are the Patriarchs... Including Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the New Testament. And I want to look at the kind of righteousness God looks for in each of those ages, and I want to show you it never varies. It's always the same, it's very practical, it's very down to earth.

Let's turn to the book of Job, chapter 29 verses 11 through 17. This is Job's testimony of the way he lived and God Himself bore testimony to Job that he was a righteous man. And this is what Job says, and these words have gripped me so much I can hardly get beyond them. When the ear heard, then it blessed me. And when the eye saw, then it approved me; Because I delivered the poor who cried out, And the fatherless and him who had no helper. The blessing of a perishing man came upon me, And I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind, And I was feet to the lame. I was a father to the poor, And I searched out the case that I did no know. Isn't it remarkable that Job's righteousness was not his own? There is no kind of self-righteousness anywhere in the Bible.

Job said, "I put on righteousness and it clothed me". He was clothed with a righteousness which he had received by faith from God. And this is the outworking of his righteousness. I delivered the poor, The fatherless and him who had no helper. The blessing of a perishing man came upon me, And I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. The poor, the widow, the fatherless are the objects of God's compassion, the way we express our righteousness. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice [or my righteousness] was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind, And I was feet to the lame, I was a father to the poor, You'll find the people whom God has in mind when He speaks about righteousness are the widow, the fatherless, the poor, the blind and the lame. And we can measure how much we have of God's righteousness by the way we relate to those people, the fatherless, the widow, the poor, the blind and the lame.

So tonight you're going to have an opportunity to search your own heart and life and see just how much of that righteousness there is in you. And I go on to Job 31 and this is the most remarkable passage... Verses 16 and following, and I want you to understand Job is here justifying himself and he's listing sins that he did not commit. So all the things that he speaks about here are sins, but he says, "I didn't commit these sins". But we need to recognize they are sins.

"If I have kept the poor from their desire, Or caused the eyes of the widow to fail, Or eaten my morsel by myself, So that the fatherless may not eat of it. (But from my youth I reared him as a father, (And from my mother's womb I guided the widow); If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, Or any poor man without covering; If his heart has not blessed me, And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; If I have raised my hand against the fatherless, When I saw I had help in the gate; Then let my arm fall from my shoulder, Let my arm be torn from the socket."

Job lists the things which he was doing. He provided for the poor, he blessed the widow, he cared for the fatherless, and he provided clothing for those who were without clothing. And this is the most remarkable statement. It gripped me when I saw it. He said: If I have not done these things then let my arm fall from my shoulder, Let my arm be torn from the socket. If I understand it, Job is saying, "If my arm and my hand have not been continually engaged of these acts of love and mercy and provision for those who need it, then it has no right to a place in my body". That's a dramatic statement isn't it? It's a dramatic statement. I want to say it again. Job said, "If my right hand, and my arm have not been engaged continuously in these acts of mercy and love for the poor, the needy, the widows, the blind and the lame, then this right arm of mine has no place in my body. I don't own it. It's a disgrace".

That's strong language, but it's the truth. Then we go on to the Law of Moses and in Leviticus 19 we have a provision for the poor. Leviticus 19 verses 9 and 10, These are ordinances that Moses gave to Israel: When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger; I am the Lord your God. I think probably Israel is the only nation on earth that has a legal system which compels you to provide for the poor. You're breaking the law if you don't provide for the poor and the stranger. That's remarkable isn't it? That's dramatic and yet it was the Law of Moses.

And then God said in that context, "I am the Lord your God". What did He mean by that? I think He meant this, "That's the kind of God I am and that's why I want you to represent Me. I care for the poor, the fatherless, the needy. I don't approve of selfishness. I don't approve of eating your bread alone. Find somebody who needs your help and help them. Then you'll be representing Me as the God that I really am". And then again in Deuteronomy 14 verses 28 and 29: "At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates. And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you... [The Levite was the one who served the Lord [and he did not have any geographical inheritance.] and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do".

So if you want the blessing of the Lord, God said to Israel, "You've got to care for the widow, the poor and the fatherless. And when you celebrate the abundance that I give you, don't leave them out". It's a very powerful language. It's very clear, very consistent; it's always the same message. So let's go to the prophets. We'll go to the great prophet Isaiah, chapter 1 and I want you to notice that Isaiah was addressing a very religious people, but they were a people who were not righteous in the sight of God. And God says, "Your religion wearies Me, I'm tired of it, I don't want any more of that kind of religion". And I wonder if God doesn't say that to some Christians. "I'm not interested in your religion. It doesn't impress Me. Please stop it".

Isaiah says in verse 12: When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample My courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies... I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; That's powerful language from God isn't it? "All your religious activities don't impress Me the least bit". They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. God says, "Don't come to Me with all your prayers if your life isn't in line with My Word". And then He comes with the instructions with what He requires them to do.

In verse 16: "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; [What is learning to do good?] Seek justice, Reprove the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow". What is God looking for? Not empty religious language and ceremonies but a practical care for those who need our care. Then He says: Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. Come now and let us reason together, Says the Lord, Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; [and He continues] But notice that religion does not impress God. They were full of religious activity, but they weren't caring, for the people who needed their help. God said, "If you want My favor this is what you have to do. Learn to do good, seek justice..."

I wonder how much we realize how intensely God cares about justice. It's become a revelation to me. God is passionately concerned about justice. He hates injustice. "Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the oppressor; Defend the fatherless and the widow". Everywhere you look in the Bible when it lists the things that God's righteousness requires you'll always find the fatherless and the widow. If we have no concern for them, our righteousness does not impress God at all. I'm going to speak from personal experience a little later.
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