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Rabbi Schneider - God Revealed

Rabbi Schneider - God Revealed
Rabbi Schneider - God Revealed
TOPICS: Psalm 103, God's Presence

Psalm 103 is one of the most powerful Psalms in the entire Word of God. David begins the Psalm by saying, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name". David was walking in high praise. And you can only imagine the level of victory and power and joy that comes when we're living in that type of atmosphere. God is calling you and I to lead a life of praise and adoration for Him. In order to enter into this atmosphere, beloved ones, we need to choose. David shows us, in Psalm 103, how to do that. He shows us by focusing on all the goodnesses, all the benefits that HaShem, that Father God has brought into his life. He begins to name them one by one.

Some of you remember the old song, "count thy blessings one by one for all the great things that God has done". And when people focus on the good things that God has done for them and stop feeling sorry for themselves, their whole attitude is going to shift. And it's important then you and I take time today to examine ourselves so that we can root out of our souls any bitterness, any complaining, any spirit of being spoiled that shouldn't be there. Because the truth is, you and I did nothing even to cause ourselves to become alive. God gave us this life, and we did a thank Him for it. We should wake up out of bed every morning with an attitude of thankfulness for waking up. In Judaism, one of the things that is practiced is waking up out of bed in the morning and thanking HaShem, thanking God for having life and their body, in our bodies still.

And so we need to have this attitude. When we wake up in the morning, every day is a gift to us. I want to continue now helping you and I to understand all the gifts that have come to us by briefly reviewing some of the things that we've been focusing on in the earlier episodes, and then making progress. So let's go back to the very beginning. Today I'm going to move very quickly because many have been with me through this entire series. David begins, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits". Then David begins to list them. "He pardons my iniquities, He heals my diseases; He redeemed me from the pit, He crowns me with lovingkindness and compassion; He satisfies me with good things, He renews my youth like an eagle that's rising". And then David continues on. "He's a compassionate God".

David praises Him for being a compassionate God. That God understands that we're but dust. That He has compassion on us, in verse 13, even as a father has compassion on his children. That He knows our frame, once again, that we're but dust, in verse 14. We're continuing on today in verse number 17. That even though we're but dust, that everything's always changing, that when someone dies they're soon forgotten about, yet through all the years, through all the generations, from time immemorial, God has always been. He's always a God of lovingkindness. Verse 17, "But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him..." I want to just focus on this concept here of how the lovingkindness of the Lord rests on those who fear Him. Some translations read "revere Him".

You know, one of the things that is sadly lacking in teaching today is the concept of the fear of God. We've whitewashed it. Many preachers today are teaching God doesn't really want us to fear Him, He just wants us to reverence Him. And my thought is, yes, we do need to reverence Him. But beloved, there's something clean about the fear of the Lord. The Word of the Lord says that the fear of the Lord is clean and it converts the soul. You see, the fear of the Lord saves us from sin. That's why fathers, especially going back generations where fathers were allowed to lovingly punish their children through a spanking, children thought twice before doing something that would have been bad for them. Because they knew that if they did, they would get a spanking. They feared the spanking, and fearing the spanking, kept them out of trouble and kept them walking down the straight and narrow path that leads to life.

Of course, many of you know the book of Proverbs begins by saying that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So let's not discount fearing the Lord. When you recognize that you're one day going to face to face meet the eternal self-existent God who has no beginning, He has no end-It's not just that He created reality, He is reality. You're going to stand before Him. There's no boundaries. He has no limits. You're going to stand before the endless one-believe me, you're going to understand what it means to have the fear of the Lord. But God balances this by helping us to receive not just the goodness of the fear of the Lord, but also He also imparts to us the revelation that He's compassionate, and then He is by nature a God of lovingkindness. And when we fear Him and put ourselves in proper alignment with Him, He comes to us and releases His lovingkindness and compassion upon us.

You see, I know in my own life that I will only allow myself to be known by people that I trust will not abuse the relationship. If there's people that I discover, will not respect me and will not respect the boundaries properly, I am not going to be able to be as close to them as I am with people that I know will respect me. It's a healthy fear. Not the fear of man, but a healthy fear of crossing the boundary. I can trust them. I can be real with them. I can share myself with them knowing that they're not going to lose respect for me. They're not going to lose a godly fear of healthy boundaries. They're going to continue to love me without abusing the relationship. You see, the Lord is the same way. If we just look at Him as common, then what happens is we abuse the boundaries.

People refer to Jesus...I say, "What do you think of Jesus"? They say, "He's a good dude". I mean, He's more than a good dude. He's the Alpha and the Omega. He's the beginning and the end. There's a blaze of fire coming from His eyes, a two-edged sword coming from His mouth. We have to have the fear of the Lord, beloved ones, because it's the prerequisite to receiving the fullness of God's love being imparted into our lives. There is a balance to this. There's different elements that are all part of the same relationship, but all these different elements need to be in place. Children need to have a healthy fear of their parents. And when the child has a healthy fear of their parents in the positive sense of the word, fear of what's going to happen to them if they do wrong, when they have that healthy fear of their parents, then the parents are able to fully love their child in terms of the manifestation of blessing them, giving them, affirming them.

On the other hand, a child that has no fear of their parents, no respect to their parents, a child that talks back to their parents, some children even curse at their parents, what kind of relationship can there be there? So, I'm just wanting to make a case. In this generation, don't forsake the fear of the Lord. It's the beginning of wisdom, and it's the beginning of our relationship with God. Yes, we are brought into the love of God, but before we're brought into the love of God, we need to be convicted of our sin. We need to understand that without God's love we would go to hell. There's a healthy, beautiful balance, dear beloved. It's like a diamond. There's many different facets.

David says, "The lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to the children's children". I love this next concept here. That as we're walking with God, we can trust Him to bless our children. The Lord, when He revealed Himself to Moses, said that "He is loving, He's compassionate and gracious, and that He shows His lovingkindness to thousands," the Lord said to Moses, "down to the third and fourth generation". In other words, when we walk before the Lord in integrity, fully open to Him, living for Him, He is faithful to work in our children's life in a special way down to the third and fourth generation. I want to encourage you to trust the Lord, to work in your children's life.

Father, I bless the children in Your name of those that are truly loving You and living for You and pleasing You with their lifestyles and their choices.

He goes on in verse 18 how He shows His loving kindness. He says in verse 18, "To those who keep His covenant..." Now, what is His covenant? Of course, in the time of David, we were talking about the Torah, the Mosaic covenant. And within the Mosaic covenant, there were many laws about what to eat, about the Sabbath day, etc. And a lot of times we look at the law as all bad. But the Bible does not teach that the law is bad. What the Bible teaches is that we had an inability in the flesh to live up to the requirements of the law. Because the Lord said concerning the requirements of the law, if we kept the whole law, the Mosaic law, we'd be blessed. But if we didn't, we'd be cursed. So the problem wasn't with the law. Paul said the law is holy, spiritual, righteous and good. "The problem isn't the law," Paul says, "The problem is us. We're in the flesh, and we can't live up to the law's requirements".

Paul also said that the law is good when used lawfully. What does it mean to use the law lawfully? It means that we don't approach the law as those that try to earn HaShem's favor or righteousness by it. Rather we approach the law realizing, hear me, that the law of God, in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, is HaShem's. It's Father God's self-revelation. It's God's self-revelation. Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Just because we're not trying to earn righteousness through the law, it doesn't mean we throw out the law. Because the law of God contained God's self-revelation. You look at the law. The laws that the Lord had to protect people. The laws of compassion that the Lord gave Israel regarding how to treat strangers, the laws that protected women in the event that a husband discarded them. The law of God contains HaShem's self-revelation.

And so we approach the law not as those that are trying to earn righteousness by it, but we approach the law realizing that it's HaShem's self-revelation. And when we align ourselves with the principles of it, we create a channel for HaShem, for God the Father to impart Himself to us through His Son. For example, Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another". Yeshua said, "He that loves me, will keep my commandments". Now get this. In John 14, Yeshua said, "He that loves Me will keep my commandments, and then I'll reveal Myself, I'll disclose Myself to that person, and My Father and I will make our home in that person". So Jesus said, "When you keep my commandment and love one another, I am going to disclose Myself to you, and my Father and I will make our home in you".

So what happened when we kept His commandment, what happened when we kept His law, we opened up a channel through which He could reveal Himself to us and through which He could come and rest within us in a deeper, heavier away. So I want to encourage you in this generation of what is sometimes referred to as hyper-grace that we're living in, where there's a gospel that's being preached that demands nothing, that's not the gospel of Jesus. Because the gospel that Jesus preached was this: "He that wants to be my disciple, let them pick up His cross, deny Himself and follow me. For he that seeks to save his life will lose it, but he that loses his life for my sake will find it". Jesus said, "Unless a man hates his own father and mother, brothers, sisters," he said, "you cannot be my disciple". A man has to reject everything and follow Jesus.

So the true gospel is not a gospel that doesn't demand anything. The true gospel is that Yeshua has died on the cross, that the love of God and the grace of God has been extended to the whole world. And all we have to do is recognize that it's the pearl of great price, go and sell everything that we have to obtain it and follow Him. And so the point is, is that we're finding here in the Psalm 103 that the Lord's compassion and lovingkindness is revealed to those who - what? Who keep His covenant. Let's listen to it again. David is speaking there. He says in verse 17, "But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting to those who fear Him". And then in verse 18, "To those who keep His covenant, and remember His precepts to do them". And so don't fall for a gospel that demands nothing.

If you want to realize the blessings of HaShem in your life, you've got to take His precepts and put them into practice. We've got to do what Yeshua said. And we've got to study the Hebrew Bible too, and derive from it the principles that HaShem wants to apply to our lives from it. Because Jesus said in Matthew chapter 13, "Every scribe..." and a scribe was someone that made copies of the Torah, that knew the Hebrew Bible. Yeshua said, "Every scribe, everybody that knows the Hebrew Bible, and becomes a disciple of mine will be like the one that owns a mansion and is able to bring out of that mansion treasures old and new". In other words, there's treasures in the Hebrew Bible that when we apply them to our lives, it brings us into a deeper walk with HaShem. And what happens when we apply the commandments of Jesus and the principles from the Torah, from the Old Testament to our life today, the lovingkindness of the Lord is imparted into our life.

Let's look again. "But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him..." Verse 18 "To those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts to do them". Verse 19, "The Lord has established His throne in the heavens and His sovereignty rules overall". I want you to think for a second, as we get ready to close here today, about this concept that the Lord not only rules in the heavens, but David said, "He rules over all". The Lord is ruling over the earth. That's why history is actually His story. God is here. It sometimes appears that He's not here because He's not fully manifesting Himself. But believe me, He is closer to you than you could ever imagine, and He's ruling through and over everything.

Continuing on, David says, verse 20, "Bless the Lord, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word. Bless the Lord, all you His host, you who serve Him, doing His will. Bless the Lord, all you works of His, in all places of His dominion, Bless the Lord, O my soul"! Father loves you. He is so involved in your life that when you one day see the full picture you're going to be absolutely blown away. Some of us remember that old poem "Footprints in the Sand," how there was a man that he was walking with Jesus in his life, and he one day passed away. And as he passed away, he was with Jesus, and he looked down at his life and he saw that generally in his life, there was two sets of footprints. One was his set of his footprints and the other one was Jesus' set of footprints. But at some portions of his life, he realized, as he looked down, there was only one set of footprints. And he said to Jesus, he said to God, "Well, why during certain parts of my life were you not with me? Why in certain parts of my life is there only one set of footprints"?

Yeshua said, "The one set of footprints, those are mine. Those were the difficult times in your life where you weren't even walking. I was completely carrying you". And so when we realize how close God is, how much He loves us, how involved He is, all the good things that He's done for us, the ways He's forgiven us, the way He brings healing to us, the destiny that we have with Him in heaven, beloved, when we realize His lovingkindness, there's only going to be one proper response that makes any sense at all. And that is to enter in to the heart that David showed which said, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name". I want to challenge you and I with this word. Let's walk with the spirit of thankfulness and gratitude our entire whole life.
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