Michael Youssef - Stay Calm, For He Has Got It Under Control
The joy of seeing your loved ones after a period of separation, that's a great joy. In many ways, Psalm 24, which we'll be looking at in a minute, is an exuberant, enthusiastic way of expressing a reunion. Psalm 24 expresses really a childlike enthusiasm at that reunion. I'm gonna tell you in a minute, but before I do that, it's amazing to me how our Lord Jesus, so many times in the Scripture, uses a child as an example. He talked about a childlike faith, a childlike innocence, a childlike enthusiasm, and a childlike trust. Now, let me tell you about this psalmist's childlike enthusiasm, childlike exuberance, and childlike joy at this reunion.
Story time. The nation of Israel lost the ark of the covenant to their enemies, the Philistines. When God delivered his people Israel out of the slavery of Egypt and he made a covenant with them, and he said that, "I will never leave you," he said, "When you forsake me, I will take my hands off in protection, but I will never leave you. My presence will be with you always". And as a symbol of that presence, it's gonna be that box, the ark of the covenant. It's a little box. Really, it's not all that big, and inside it, there were three things basically. There was the tablets of the Ten Commandments, there was a jar of the manna to remind 'em of God's faithfulness in providing for them in the wilderness, and there was the staff of Moses that God used in a miraculous way, including parting of the Red Sea.
Now, the magic was not in the ark of the covenant, just like the magic is not in the symbols of wine and bread. Just a symbol of our Lord's death and resurrection. That ark represented more than just that symbol of God's presence. It represents their national loyalty to Yahweh. It represented who they are as God's unique people. It represents the very security and life of Israel. But for seven long months, the people of God were separated from the ark of the covenant, the symbol of the presence of God. For seven long months, the enemies, the Philistines, thought that if they can hijack the ark of the covenant, they can also hijack the power of God to work for them.
They confused the symbol for the real thing, and so they usurped the ark of the covenant. But instead of bringing 'em a blessing, it brought them a curse. The ark brought death and destruction to the Philistines. The very source of blessing for God's people Israel became a snare to the enemies of God's people. And so, the Philistines said, "Who wants that? Take it back. Take it back to the Israelites," and so they returned it. And here, as this reunion takes place between God's people and the symbol of his presence, as this reunion takes place, David, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he sits down and he records this is Psalm 24. He is celebrating the reunion with the symbol of God's presence. He is celebrating with joyful thanksgiving, with enthusiasm, and with exuberance.
And so, if you haven't already, turn to Psalm 24. I want to tell you something else about the context of this psalm. I pray that it will bless your socks as it blessed mine. After the temple was built, the priest of Israel designated certain psalms to be sung at certain days of the week. For example, on Wednesdays, they sung Psalm 94. On Fridays, they sung Psalm 93. On Sundays, the very first day of the week, the day after the Sabbath, they sung Psalm 24. Listen carefully. Think with me. The day our Lord Jesus Christ entered into Jerusalem, in which we call Palm Sunday, when he triumphantly entered into Jerusalem, the priests were singing Psalm 24, which you have just read. On Sunday morning, Easter Sunday morning, when our Lord Jesus Christ rose, defeating death and the grave, the priests in the temple, unbeknownst to them, they were singing Psalm 24, hallelujah. Isn't that amazing?
I had one man revival just thinking about that. Three things that I wanna share with you from the psalm, Psalm 24. First, you look at verses 1 and 2 and you find the declaration of the Lord's ownership of the whole universe. Secondly, in verses 3 to 6, you see the Lord's offer, which is the ultimate offer. And thirdly, verses 7 to 10, you find the Lord's conquering and overcoming to be unavoidable, inevitable. So, let's look at the first two verses, the Lord's ownership of the universe. "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof". I love that old translation. "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof".
Some of you are probably already thinking or saying in your mind, "Now, wait a minute, Michael, but I thought the earth belongs to Satan. I thought Satan is the prince of the air. I thought the earth is controlled by Satan". No, the people who belong to Satan on the earth controlled by Satan. So, I want you to hang in there with me. I'm going to explain it. The Lord's territorial claim is the ownership of the entire universe. The countless stars, the vast space empires, the unfathomable orbits, they are all his. Can you say that with me? They are all... And yet, one out of the millions, upon millions, upon million of planets and galaxies, the Maker and the Owner of the whole universe focuses just on that one planet, of all of them.
Why the Earth? Why planet Earth? Why not Mars? Why not Mercury? Why not Venus? Why not Saturn or Neptune? Why, why planet Earth? Which is really a speck when you think about it in relationship to all the sizes of the big planets. Because, beloved, nowhere in the universe does God need to assert himself and his ownership as in the planet Earth. Long before Adam and Eve, and long before the Garden of Eden, long before the serpent in the garden, long before creation, Lucifer, who was the angel of light, Lucifer, who reflected the light of God, Lucifer, who served at the throne of God, Lucifer rebelled against God and he wanted to take the earth as his domain, but he couldn't. Did you know that?
Until Adam handed it to him. Adam gave it to him, and that is why God had to reinstate his authority over planet Earth. And that is why God had to rescue planet Earth from the foreign invaders of his property. And he exactly did this 2,000 years ago on a hill called Calvary. "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof". The Lord's ownership of the universe. Secondly, the Lord's offer is the ultimate. Look with me please at verses 3 to 6. Verse 3, "Who may ascend to the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in the holy place"? The answer's very simple, no one. No one is good enough to stand before God. No one is righteous enough to stand before God. No one is pure enough to stand before God. No one is clean enough to stand before God.
In David's day, only the high priest who goes through all sorts of rituals, he goes into the Holy of holies once a year and for a briefest of time, and he goes in there in dread and fear lest his life would be snuffed because of his sin and the sin of the people. So, he offers a sacrifice of his own sin first, then he offers a sacrifice on behalf of the people. And these sins were only covered for one year. They have to come back the following year, why? Because animal sacrifice cannot permanently remove sin and the stain of sin.
They had to come back year, after year, after year because the blood of bulls and lambs only provide temporary covering, never permanent solution to sin, never permanent forgiveness of sin, never forgiving and forgetting. But something else you need to know about Old Testament redemption, the concept of the Old Testament redemption. Only a kinsman redeemer can really redeem you. Remember the story of Boaz and Ruth? You know what the two qualifications of the kinsman redeemer has to have? First of all, he's got to be a relative. He's got to be related to you. And secondly, he has to be very wealthy. He's gotta be so wealthy that he can pay the price of redemption, that he can become a kinsman redeemer.
And beloved, let me ask you this, who is richer than the one who owns the universe? No one. And why do you think Jesus taught us, his children, to say, "Our Father"? This is not a prayer that people rattle. I've been in churches where people say, "Our Father," and they just muddle through it. No, he taught his children to look up to heaven and call his Father, our Father. Jesus is not just trying to be nice. Jesus is not just trying to make you feel good. No, no, no, no, no, it is because we become his beloved children through the blood of Jesus. We become his relatives, and we have to be relatives in order he may redeem us. We have to become relatives for him to become our kinsman redeemer.
And if you're not relative of Jesus, if you're not relative of the Father, today you can be. Repent of your sins. Turn to the only one who can forgive you and redeem you. Not just in this life, he redeems for eternity. Churches focus so much on this life that we have lost sight of eternity. It's one of the saddest things in modern 21st century Evangelical church. The Lord's ownership of the universe, the Lord's offer is the ultimate, and the Lord's overcoming is unavoidable and inevitable.
Look with me please, the last three verses. Do you know that five times, five times in these three verses, the Holy Spirit inspires David to speak of Christ, to prophesy of Christ, as the King of glory? You get it? Five times, and the challenge, or the question, comes in twice. "Who is the King of glory"? First answer, "the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle". Then comes the second question, second challenge, as if to say, "I didn't hear that, who? Who"? And he gives you the emphasis. He wants everybody to hear it. He wants hell to tremble. He wants Satan to tremble. He wants the enemies of God to tremble. He is the King of glory. He is the almighty, conquering King of glory.
Listen to me, beloved. The church of Jesus Christ is made up of sour, moping, sulking, complaining servants of God. No, the church of Jesus Christ is made up of soldiers of the mighty army of the conquering Jesus. Let's live like it. I've confessed to you that I think that what we made of the church of Jesus Christ in the West probably make the angels hide their faces. We're not serving a weakling, defeated, dead hero. We are the soldiers of the conquering Lord. Therefore, everyone who knows him must start living as a conquering soldier. Instead of living in fear, we should be sending terror into the heart of the devil. We should be sending terror into the very pit of hell.
Instead of living in defeat, we need to live in victory as we surrender to the Lord of lords and the King of kings. Who is the King of glory? The Lord Almighty in battle. It doesn't say, "The Lord wimpy in the struggle". It doesn't say, "The Lord struggling with the strugglers, and he's broken with the broken". Come on now. I want to tell you something very, very important, last those two verses here in this psalm. Don't miss it. Please don't miss it. Between verse 9 and verse 10, there is a space of long centuries of this, what we call the age of grace. What do I mean by this? Listen to me. The Lord Jesus, right now, is gathering his own from every tribe, from every tongue, from every nation.
The conquering Lord Jesus is now calling his elect from every corner of the globe. We are seeing for the first time in history great evangelical leaders turning their back on the gospel, meanwhile terrorists, convicted terrorists who are becoming converted to Christ and they now are evangelists. And you and I, my beloved friends, are God's instrument of calling many of his children to come home, so that we with them can experience the joy of reunion in heaven with Jesus. I'm gonna say more about this in the next message, but beloved, I am absolutely convinced right now Jesus is gathering his own to get ready for that reunion in heaven. He's gathering all those who are heaven-bound, and it may be sooner than we may think.
When the trumpet shall sound and the world will come to a stand-still, then as the people who are left behind look up and see the church of Jesus Christ, the faithful soldiers of the cross, ascending into heaven, going into the sky, moving upward, just like Jesus did when he was ascended into heaven, they will be rising from the highways and the byways, from airplanes, from workplace, from farms and from factories, from prison where they've been imprisoned for the sake of Christ, from every corner of the seven continents. There are people who's gonna be lifted up just like Jesus was ascended on that day, and those who are left behind, they're gonna look up and they'll see it with their own eyes.
I say what I'm gonna say with sorrow in my heart. As they see us on our way home, it's gonna be too late for them. It's gonna be too late. Those who have rejected Jesus as the only way to heaven and salvation, those who tried to modify Jesus, those who wanted to stretch Jesus to fit their own concept, those who worshiped a weak and weakling Jesus, they will call upon the Lord, but it will be too late. And I can imagine, I can only imagine, some of them are gonna go to one of these dead churches. I'm not gonna name names, you know what I mean. They're gonna go to these dead churches looking for answers, but they're not gonna have answers.
These people in those churches, they are in worse shape than they are, for they knew and they rejected the truth. They're gonna knock, but there was no one to open the door. They will seek, but they will not find. And they will ask, but no one to answer. As our conquering Lord Jesus leads our parade into heaven and the angels will ask, he will point to his redeemed. And they say, "Who is the Lord of glory"?
He will point to all his redeemed and say, "These are my soldiers. These are the faithful men and women, boys and girls, who believed in me, trusted me for their salvation. They are victorious in battle with me. Open, ye gates of heaven," and heaven will open and we shall descend with the Lord. And the Lord says, and the Word of God said we shall be with the Lord for how long? How long? I pray to God that not a single person, either watching or here in this building, who does not know the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ would walk out of here in the same way you came in.