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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - How Involved Is God

Rabbi Schneider - How Involved Is God

Rabbi Schneider - How Involved Is God
Rabbi Schneider - How Involved Is God
TOPICS: To Know Him by Name Season 2

God is revealed in the Hebrew Scripture by certain titles and names that will help give us, God's people, a deeper revelation and understanding of who He is. So we've been going through the Hebrew names and titles of God in the Hebrew Bible. We're continuing now in this process focusing on the Hebrew title, El Elyon. I want to encourage you to go back and watch the previous episode in this series, because I began to talk about El Elyon in my last message in this series.

Now, "El", as I've been speaking of in earlier times, means God, and "El Elyon" means God Most High. And when the Lord is referred to in the Hebrew Bible as El Elyon, God Most High, it's in connection with the God of heaven showing His superiority above all other gods and showing His sovereignty in heaven above and on the earth beneath. I first began to illustrate this by talking about that this name "El Elyon" is first introduced to us in the Bible after Abraham defeats his enemies. Again, you can go back and listen or watch that earlier episode. God revealed Himself as the one that's sovereign over every earthly power when He gave Abram, whose name was changed to Abraham, victory over powers that were superior to Him.

God showed Abraham it didn't matter how big the external forces were, that Abraham's God, that Abram's God is the true God and He reigns not only in heaven above, but on the earth beneath, and He shows His power on the earth, and He shows up to manifest His power when He wants to. Then I continued by talking about the revelation that comes to us in the prophetic writings when Nebuchadnezzar has an experience and an encounter with El Elyon that brings Nebuchadnezzar spiritually to his knees after El Elyon made him go mad because of his pride and then restored Nebuchadnezzar's sanity after seven years. And when Nebuchadnezzar's sanity was restored, Nebuchadnezzar praised God Most High, El Elyon, who rules, Nebuchadnezzar said, both in heaven above and on the earth beneath.

I'm going to read you exactly what Nebuchadnezzar said, picking up again from last time in just a second. Before I read Nebuchadnezzar's words, I want you to prepare your heart to receive this, because the intent of me sharing this with you is to help you, my beloved friend, understand that your God is sovereign in your life. And no matter what you're dealing with or what you're facing, whether it's an external circumstance and problem that you're dealing with, whether it's financial, whether it's in your occupation and your work, whether it's in a relationship that you're having, whether it's in a need you have, I want you to know that your God loves you, that He cares, and that He has the power and the ability to intervene in your life and circumstances and to bring you into harmony with Himself in every way.

I've seen Him do this so many times in my life. He has shown up, given me specific direction, answered specific prayers, done things that were impossible to do outside of El Elyon, of God Most High, the one that reigns in heaven and earth, showing up in my life, making Himself known, manifesting His power, bringing clarity, directing my paths, opening doors, shutting other doors. El Elyon, God Most High, is sovereign in your life. But what we need to understand is that at the present time, El Elyon is not exerting His sovereignty over His creation fully. Right now, since the fall of mankind, the Lord has allowed Satan, the prince of darkness, a limited amount of freedom in the earth.

That's why we have such problems in the world with hatred and killing and violence and starvation and illness and all the tragic things that we see happening on the planet and in humanity. Why? Because El Elyon is not always exerting His sovereignty in the earth. This is why Yeshua, why Jesus taught the church to pray, our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So notice what I'm saying. People in the Hebrew Scriptures came to the revelation that God is sovereign in heaven above and on the earth beneath because God Most High, El Elyon, showed up and showed them His sovereignty over all His creation.

However, in the present time, El Elyon is not always manifesting directly His full authority. We're waiting for the fullness of the kingdom to come. We're praying for the fullness of the kingdom to come. But you need to be assured when you're in a covenant relationship with God through Messiah Jesus, God is watching over your life, and He's able to do whatever He wants and needs to in your life, regardless of the circumstances. Nebuchadnezzar learned this lesson. And when he learned this lesson and came to the realization of God's sovereignty over the earth, this is what Nebuchadnezzar said after the Lord returned his sanity to him.

"I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes towards heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High..." And the Hebrew there in the text is El Elyon. So, Nebuchadnezzar blessed El Elyon. "...and praised and honored Him who lives forever, for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, 'What have you done?'"

He continues. "At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride". God manifested His lordship. He showed Nebuchadnezzar that He was not aloof, that He was not off in the distance somewhere, that He was not going to get involved. No, Nebuchadnezzar was humbled from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet and he saw that El Elyon's sovereignty was manifested even in the smallest sliver of life when El Elyon wants to manifest it.

Another outstanding example of God's sovereignty being manifested in creation in the here and now takes place in a story revolving around Abraham. Now, let me put this in context. Many of us find it easy to believe that God reigns in heaven. It's more difficult for us to believe that God's reigning on earth because we see so much chaos. And because the amount of chaos that we see and the amount of what people will refer to as randomness, people really wonder, is God really down here exerting His authority and control? But remember what I said to you just a few moments ago. He exerts His authority when he wants to.

The time is coming when the kingdom of God will fully engulf the kingdom of this world, that the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of God and of His Christ, and there'll be nothing else going on except God's direct sovereignty reigning directly in every relationship, every detail. God's fullness and glory will be fully experienced in our lives. But right now we're in this in-between phase where God is sovereign, but He's not always exerting His sovereignty. So because of this we sometimes are left feeling insecure. We're wondering, can I trust God? Some even wonder whether He really is all-powerful in the earth right now. But let me read you an example that might help bring some clarity to this picture and some color to your understanding.

This is the example of when Abraham is looking for a bride for his son Isaac. So Abraham sends his servant, Eliezer, to go look for a bride for Isaac. And Eliezer's wondering, well, "Lord, how am I going to know who's the right one for my master's son's wife? How am I going to know which one's the right one"? So Abraham's servant, Eliezer, begins to pray, "O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham. Behold, I'm standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now may it be that the girl to whom I say, 'Please let down your jar so that I may drink,' and who answers, 'Drink, and I will water your camels also,' may she be the one whom You have appointed for your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown loving kindness to my master".

Now before Eliezer completed the prayer, what happens? Rebecca comes and she says to him, "Let me give you a drink," and then follows that up by saying, "and after that, I will water your camels also". The exact language that synchronized with Eliezers prayer. God completely answered the prayer because she spoke perfectly the words that he had asked God that she would say in order for him to know that she was the bride that God was selecting for Abraham's son Isaac. How does that happen? I mean, have you ever run into somebody, just it seemed like it was out of the blue, and yet you realize that most people would call it circumstantial... what's the word? Not serendipity. Coincidence or something.

I don't know what the term the world uses is. But it's actually sometimes divine timing. When you run into somebody, maybe that you haven't seen in years, maybe somebody that you've been thinking about, maybe somebody that had a connection for you, and you ask yourself, how did that person happen to be at exactly the place that I was at that exact time when we had no planning to meet each other there? And you knew that you running into that person was supernatural, that it wasn't just chance. But there was something about it that you knew a lot of people would say was, you know, oh, some divine thing, but they wouldn't really label it the way we would because we have a relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

He is sovereign. Our God is sovereign, beloved ones, in the earth. And that's what this Hebrew title, El Elyon, is all about. God wants us to understand how close to us and how involved in our life He is. Psalm 91 is another place where we find the Hebrew title of God, El Elyon, being used. Interestingly, Psalm 91 is designed to give you and I confidence in order to help us feel safe in a dangerous world. The point is, once again, my beloved friend, is that sometimes we don't feel safe because we don't feel that God is reigning down here because of all the chaos and tragedy that's going on around us.

But God is still reigning. Even though He's not all the time executing His sovereignty in every single detail, He's still reigning. He doesn't want us to be afraid. So in Psalm 91 we read this: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High..." What's the Hebrew word there in Psalm 91 for "Most High"? The original Hebrew is, once again, El Elyon. And what's the psalm about? It's about you and I feeling safe amidst dangers. "A thousand will fall at your side, 10,000 at your right hand, but you're going to be protected from evil because you have made El Elyon your covering".

So I want to encourage you to know that God is sovereign, not only in heaven, but He is sovereign whenever He wants to be in the earth. Right now He's letting the devil have a certain amount of freedom, for lack of a better word. He's letting the devil operate down here. Yeshua said to one of the churches in the book of Revelation, "I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is". We're in a dangerous world down here, but don't be afraid. El Elyon is your God, and He's watching over your life, and He will intervene sovereignly in your life and circumstances, beloved, when He needs to and when He wants to.

I know in my life there's been times that I've had to make very, very important decisions. I had no idea which direction to go. And I'm not suggesting that God answers me all the time this way. He doesn't. And I'm not suggesting that he's going to do this for you. I'm just telling you what He does for me. I'll say, "Lord, I have no idea what to do. I'm just going to open the Bible and I'm going to put my finger down randomly on whatever word I would say".

I've used the word "major" before. I've used the word "up" before. I've used phrases before. And I'll just open up the Bible like this and put my thumb down and saying, "Lord, if it says that, what I just said to the Lord," just like Abraham's servant did, "then that will tell me what to do. I'll know that I'm supposed to do this," or "I'll know that I'm not supposed to do this". I'll say, "Lord, if I open the Bible and my finger lands on this, then I'll know I'm supposed to do it". Or I'll say, "Lord, if I open the Bible and my finger lands on such and such, I'll know I'm not supposed to do it".

It'll land right on such and such. This is what happened with Abraham's servant Eliezer. He said, "If she says this, I'll know what to do". God is sovereign. The time is coming, beloved, when your God that loves you so much, that exercises His sovereignty in your life when He needs to and when He wants to, the time is coming soon when He's gonna take full control of this world, and you're gonna be bathed in El Elyon's absolute sovereignty. You're gonna be bathed in His love, His goodness, and shalom, and you'll never experience shame or sorrow or pain again. Until then, trust and cleave to the one that loves you and will never fail you.
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