Rabbi Schneider - Is Judgement Coming?
I want to pick up immediately now where I left off in verse 9 of chapter 2 of the book of 1 Samuel. Hannah is praising God after God opened her womb and she gave birth to the prophet Samuel. She came to the temple dedicated him there in the presence of Eli the priests. And after dedicating Samuel to the Lord, she burst out into this song or into this prayer. So I'm going to pick up where I left off with now in verse 9. Once again, 1 Samuel 2. She's praising the Lord and she says, "He keeps the feet of His godly ones".
Now, I want to remind us again today that we can't just interpret this as a poetic pleasantry. Isn't that the truth? Some of us we read the Word of God, and we secretly think to ourself, maybe without even realizing it, "Oh, that's nice". We think that's nice. But deep in our kishkes, deep in our gut, deep in our soul, isn't it true beloved that oftentimes we don't really believe it? We think that's nice. It rolls off our back like water off a duck's back. It doesn't really impact us. We don't really take a hold of it as a saving lightning bolt the Word of God that will save us. But we just kind of receive it the same way we would reading a greeting card by some greeting card company.
No. Beloved, either the Word of God is filled with truth and life and has the power to save or it's just a poetic pleasantry. I'm here to say to you today that the word of God is living and active, and it has the power to redeem us from the darkness. So with that in mind, think about what Hannah said here. "He," speaking of HaShem, speaking of God, "He keeps the feet of His godly ones". Now, what can we take away from this? He keeps the feet of His godly ones. I remember when I first became a believer, and again, I'm going to tell a story about what I experienced when I first started going to church, but it's different than the experience that you've heard me share on the previous broadcast.
I remember as a young Jewish believer going to church for the first time at the age of 20 years old. And what I began to see was that many people had no security in their salvation. One week, supposedly they got saved. Two or three weeks later, they thought they lost their salvation. And it wasn't a matter of God hanging on to them. It was a matter of them hanging on to God. And in some of these churches, the pastor would preach a message and at the end of every message He or she would give an altar call for people to come forward to get saved, and the same people would be coming forward to get saved like every other week. And I thought, "God, if it's up to me to keep myself saved, then I can never have any confidence in my relationship with you. Because I know if it's up to me, Lord, I'm not going to make it". Because I knew myself. But the Bible says, "Though we are faithless, He remains faithful". Even though we are faithless at times, He remains faithful.
David said, "Though I stumble, I will not fall, for His right hand upholds me". David said, "His gentleness has made me great". Beloved, I'm not giving people an excuse to sin. But I'm speaking to those of you that truly have been redeemed of the Lord. I'm speaking to those of you that God has really brought into a covenant relationship with Himself. I'm speaking to you, if you really have a big yes in your heart to God, you want to love Him, you want to obey Him, you're really trying to put Him first in your life, you're trying to discipline yourself, you're living the best you know how, you're struggling, you're trying but you're still falling. I want you to know God will keep you. You don't have to get saved again every single week.
Listen to what Hannah said. "He keeps the feet of His godly ones". I want you to know you can trust your God to keep you. Paul said, "I am confident that He is able to keep what I've entrusted to Him against that day". He's able to keep us, the scripture, says from falling. And so I want to encourage you today, if you've come from a theology that teaches that today you're saved, but you know, a week from now you lose confidence, you get discouraged, and you don't know if you're saved anymore, I want you to know, if deep in your heart there's a tenderness for the Lord, deep in your heart, you love Him, you want to know Him, you want to obey Him, if you're truly striving to overcome sin, to master the lust that are in the world, if you're truly striving to put Him first in your life by waking up in the morning and giving Him the first part of your day...
Not that I'm trying to make that legalism. But that if we really want to put him first we got to begin the day with putting Him first and talking to Him all day long, and examining the thoughts that you're having all day long, and being self-aware of the words that you're speaking all day long so that they're all being brought into alignment with Him, not that you're perfect, but that you're truly trying to live under His lordship, I want you to know, beloved, you can trust Him. You could trust His tenderness to keep you. And this is what Chana or Hannah is saying here. He's able to keep His godly ones from falling. Verse 9, "He keeps the feet of His godly ones".
Beloved, you can trust Him to keep you. And then she continues, "but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness. So not by might shall a man prevail". Wicked ones are here today, they're gone tomorrow. The older we get, the more we see this. Everybody dies. Many die in the prime of life. They can't take anything with them. They might impress the world for a few years, but at the end, they're empty. They're chaff in the wind. They have nothing. They can't take anything with them when they leave this world. Jesus said to the rich man that thought he had got on top because he had made a lot of money, "You fool, don't you know that today your souls require of you? What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul"?
So we can't be deceived by what we see in the world around us because what's here today in the world is gone tomorrow. Riches don't last. Beauty doesn't last. Fame doesn't last. None of it lasts. It's all like chaff in the wind. "The wicked one", she said, "are silenced in the darkness; for not by might shall a man prevail". She continues, "Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered; against them He will thunder in the heavens, the LORD will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to his king". I want to comment on these words "The Lord will judge the ends of the earth". You see, this is what the church has lost a passion for. This is what the church has shrunk back from. The spiritual and biblical and actual reality that God is going to judge everybody that's ever lived. He said, "It's appointed for man once to die, and then comes the judgment".
Listen to what Hannah said here. He will judge the world. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. Everybody that has ever lived is going to give an account to HaShem for their life. And the Bible says, once again, it's appointed for man once to die and then comes the judgment. Straight and narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it. Everyone's name that was not found written in the Lamb's book of life was cast into the lake of fire. So this is what the church has backed off from. This what the church no longer believes. The church doesn't believe in judgment anymore. If we really believed in judgment, we wouldn't shrink away from declaring Jesus, who said, "I am the way, I am the truth that I am the life and no man comes to the Father but through Me". But because we're of the earth, unfortunately, and we're judging everything by our culture, and by what's politically correct, and because we're taking our moral doctrine from what the society says is morally right or wrong rather than by what the Word says.
We're not apostolic church, we're not preaching the reality that judgment is going to fall upon the world. And it's going to happen sooner than we think. And beloved if we're faithful we'll be His witnesses. Jesus gave the Apostolic mandate to the church. You shall be My witnesses, preach the gospel to all creation, and then the end will come. I want to encourage you and I today, not only do we need to be serious in living our life for Jesus, but we need to become serious and courageous in proclaiming Him to our friend, neighbors, work associates, families, that He is the only way, and that God will judge the living and the dead, and that every man will have to give on account for their deeds because God has created man in His own image with freewill. Today is the day of salvation chose ye this day whom you will serve.
Hannah continues on here. "He will give strength to His king", this is in reference to the Messiah, "and will exalt the Horn of His anointed". This is again the Messiah. The Messiah will reign just as Jesus declared that He would, that everyone will come under the obedience of Messiah. The Bible says that because Yeshua humbled Himself unto death, that the Lord has given Him a name above all names, that the name of Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Yeshua HaMashiach is Lord to the glory of God the Father. He is the anointed one. He is King of kings and Lord of lords and He's coming back again to rescue His own, and to deal out retribution to those that did not know Him or obey the gospel of the kingdom of heaven.
So Beloved, Hannah delivers her child, the prophet Samuel, she gives God glory. And in her song, she covers many themes, as we wrap up today. She began in verse 1. "My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD, my mouth will speak boldly against my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation". And I want to say to you and I today, we need to store ourselves up, encourage ourselves in Hashem to praise Him like Hannah did, to thank Him, to declare Him to our own heart every day. Hannah said, "I'm going to speak boldly of your name. I'm going to rejoice in you. My horn is going to exult in you". When you get down, when you and I feel discouraged, we have to say:
Father, God, I love you. I want to remain faithful to you in this difficult season that I'm in right now. And so Father, I want to tell you right now that I love you. Even in the season of discouragement that I'm walking through, even in this wilderness, I want to say to you, Father, that I love you, that I want to be faithful to you, that I want to praise you today. Because Father, at the end of the day, Christ in me is the hope of glory, Messiah in me is my life.
That my life isn't determined by what's going on in my circumstances. Circumstances are always changing. Circumstances come and go. But my life is hidden with Christ and God.
And so Father, because I am in you, because you've always been faithful to me, I'm going to choose to praise you today and rejoice in you today. I'm going to choose to use your word today to be my weapon today against the spiritual forces of darkness and against my enemies. And I'm going to rejoice in your salvation, and I'm going to choose to love and I'm going to choose to overcome even as I walk through the valley of death.
And then she says in verse 2, "There is no one like the LORD. There's no one holy like the LORD". What is holy? What does the word Kadosh mean? It means completely unique, completely separate. Everything else is created and passing away, but our relationship, our identity, our life source is not in those things that we see with our eyes. It's not in what is here today and gone tomorrow. Those things are just a vapor. It's in the Lord. He's holy. He's uncreated. And because we know the Lord is holy, we can remain secure, and stable. "Indeed," she continues, "there's no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God". And then she says, "Because of this", because of this reality of this knowledge, because He is so far beyond us, because His ways are past finding out, because He's beyond knowing fully because He's God, she said, "Therefore boasts no more so very proudly".
You know, we're so quick to make judgments about people and about situations. "I would have done that or I would have handled it this way". So much of it is just... I won't even say the word. It's just pride. It's vanity. We don't know. Do we know what someone's motives are? We think that our perspective is the ultimate perspective, so we sit around judging everybody, judging everything. But when you realize that God alone is God that, His ways are so far above our ways, that He's doing things on earth right now that are beyond our comprehension, that we can only evaluate things in the temporal, based on what's going on now, that God has a much bigger purpose in everything that we might not be privy to.
So our best response is oftentimes to keep our mouth shut. When someone asks us what we think rather than giving our opinion so quickly, we should keep our mouth shut or simply say, God knows. Only God knows. And so she comes from that place of keeping her mouth closed. She said, "Therefore, boasts no more so very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge". Not you and not me. He's the God of knowledge. Let's walk, beloved, under His lordship with humility and contriteness. "And with Him actions are weighed," she says. What does that mean? We can't weigh the actions of what is going on around us fully because it's with Him that the actions are weighed. We're going to see at the end that God had a purpose in things that was way bigger than anything that we can perceive right now.
So let's be quick to hear and slow to speak. She said in verse 4, "The bows of the mighty are shattered, but the feeble gird on strength". And then she says that the world's going to be turned upside down when the kingdom of God has fully come. "Those who are full hire themselves out for bread". They once were full, now they're hiring themselves out for bread. "But those who are hungry ceased hunger". In other words, those that were rich and full, now they're having to beg, but those that were poor now they're full. This is what Jesus taught, that the first will be last and the last to be first. "Those that were barren will give birth, and the one that had many children languishes".
Everything's going to be turned upside down. We need to be living for another reality rather than the present reality. Jesus said, "Build up for yourself treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroy, or where thieves don't come in and steal. Not on earth, where it all vanishes away so quickly". She's talking here about another reality that's coming quickly. I'm 62 years old, as of this airing. You know what? So much of my life is going to be changing. My body is going to be getting older. Everything's going to change. But God lasts forever. I'm getting close to enter into an eternal reality, to put on an immortal body, to live in a city that will never decay.
So, beloved, let's live for that everlasting city, not for this world, that's what she's speaking of here. There's another reality that we need to be living for, the eternal. And then she speaks once again about how we have to interpret everything that's going on through the lens of God's lordship, not in some type of shallow dualistic theology that some of us have picked up in the contemporary church today, where it almost sounds like God and the devil are equal in power, but somehow in the end, God's going to win. No. Chana, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had a completely different lens, a completely different view.
So she said, "The LORD kills and makes alive, He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He exalts". We need to understand that God is in charge of everything and that nothing in life can be so random that God doesn't have a purpose in it. God said He causes all things, to work together for good to those that love Him and are called according to His purpose to conform us to the image of the Son.
So as we close today, beloved, I want to encourage you, let's live with this mindset, not a worldly mindset. Let's live with this heavenly mindset. God is the Lord. He's reigning over your life. We should be living for a heavenly reality because eternity is breaking in. And the Lord is wanting us to bring the eternal into the now, because He's coming back quickly, and you and I are going to stand before Him. Every soul that's ever lived will be judged.