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Watch 2022 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - Does God Have Any Competition?

Rabbi Schneider - Does God Have Any Competition?


Rabbi Schneider - Does God Have Any Competition?
Rabbi Schneider - Does God Have Any Competition?
TOPICS: Hannah's Song Season 1, Sovereignty of God

Modern-day Christians, that don't have a grounding in the theology of the Old Testament, think that everything that's bad that happens happens from Satan and God has nothing to do with that. And everything that good that happens happens from God. And they're in no way able to understand oftentimes that some of the bad things that happen that they think are bad are actually part of God's plan. And that even though they seem bad in the temporal, ultimately, there's an eternal purpose of God that's going on in which God is using the bad things, the things that we perceive as bad for something good. And we could not enter into the higher good without the temporal, bad things that happen, so that even what we perceive to be bad is oftentimes, beloved ones, a blessing.

So I laid a huge theological foundation for that last week. And in conjunction with that, I talked about the fact that we need to understand as Christians that God's judgment is oftentimes a gift. Because for example, if someone has a child that's rebellious, it is oftentimes because the child has never been disciplined or judged for bad behavior. So sometimes God, because He's a moral God, will bring a judgment into the lives of His godly ones in order to correct them. So God's judgments are necessary and needed. And not only that. If God was not to bring His judgment upon sin like we see so many times illustrated in the Hebrew Bible, then God would not be a moral God. Because in order for God to be the God who He is, a holy, moral God, sin has to be punished. And that's why God poured forth His judgment upon His Son, Yeshua the Messiah, for our sins.

I talked about all those things last week, because Hannah understood both of these dimensions of God. She understood that when seemingly good things happened to her, it was a blessing from the Lord. But she also submitted when things were hard as part of God's sovereign purposes for her life. So, once again, before we move on today, 1 Samuel opens up in chapter 1, verse 6 with the writer of Scripture saying that it was the Lord that closed Chana's womb. They were willing to say, "You know what? God is involved in this. It's hard that Hannah's womb is closed. She's suffering a lot of pain".

In fact, the book of 1 Samuel opens up with Hannah in the temple weeping in her heart, talking to God, praying to God, begging God, asking God for a child, committing that you would dedicate the child to the Lord if He would open her womb. But she once again attributed everything that was going on in her life as part of God's sovereign reign over the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. The scripture continues that the Lord heard her prayer. And it wasn't long after that until she did conceive and she bought forth Samuel and dedicated him to the Lord. And he became one of the mightiest prophets that Israel ever saw. But the time that Hannah's wound was closed, although it was painful, it was a time of preparation. Because Hannah was brought to a place in her life that she said, "Lord, if you give me a child, I'm going to totally dedicate him to you".

So let's not separate our conception of life in the sense that all the bad things that happen are from the devil, and God has nothing to do with them. But let's when bad things happen, say to the Lord, "Lord, how am I to interpret this? What does this mean? How does this seemingly bad situation that I'm in right now or that I'm experiencing, how does this filter into your purposes for my life"? Isaiah 45, verse 5 and 7 says this. "I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no God... The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity". The King James says evil. "I am the LORD who does all these things".

You see, beloved ones, His ways are above our ways, even as the heavens are higher than the earth. He has an eternal perspective. We can only see in the here and the now. The writers of scripture understood that all of life had a purpose. For example, when the Israelites lost a battle, it wasn't just because the enemy overpowered them. There was something wrong. There was a lesson they needed to learn. Oftentimes, it was because they had made allegiances with foreign nations. Depending on the might of the flesh to win the battle rather than them on just depending on the arm of the Lord. And so I'm just trying to bring you back to Hebraic mindset. God is sovereign. He is God and there is no other. No matter what we're walking through in life, like Hannah, let's look to the Lord and get His mindset on it.

Let's not just blame it on the devil. But let's recognize that even beyond that, even if the devil is involved, he can only be involved if God allows him. Just like Jesus said to Pilate, when Jesus said to Pilate, "You would have no power over me unless it were given to you from above". So in our life, nothing can happen unless God allows it. The scripture says, "Not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the Father". So we always need to be looking to God alone rather than having this dualistic mindset about the devil being over here, God being over here. The two processes of what the actions are never can meet. Sometimes God will allow Satan to do something because God has a higher purpose in mind, just like in the life of the Apostle Paul, where Paul said there was a messenger of Satan, Paul said, that was given to him, that was given to Paul to torment him in his flesh, in his body.

And Paul prayed to the Lord, "Lord, take it away. Take it away. Lord, take away this pain, this torment, this messenger of Satan, this thorn in the flesh from the enemy". And Paul said that it was revealed to him that God was the one that sent this thorn in the flesh, this messenger of Satan, to keep Paul from exalting himself because of the abundance of the revelation that Paul had received. You see, the natural tendency of the flesh is that when we receive such revelation, our natural disposition is to get puffed up. But to keep Paul from getting puffed up, to protect him, God sent this messenger of Satan. Notice how the two are working. God is sovereign but God is using Satan for His own purpose. Satan just is taking glee in the fact that he's causing torment to Paul, but God's got a higher purpose in it, and God's purpose is for good.

So this messenger of Satan comes to keep Paul from exalting himself. Paul show praise to the Lord. "Lord, take this away". Finally, God says, "No, Paul, My power will be perfected in your weakness and My strength will be sufficient for you". Then Paul goes on. He says, "Therefore, I'd rather boast in my weakness because in my weakness His strength is being perfected". So do you see, beloved one, what I'm wanting to impart to your soul right now? Don't have this dualistic mindset of the devil did this. No. Let's whatever happens to us in life... I'm not saying the devil never does anything. But whatever happens, let's say, "Lord, what are you saying in this? What's your mind in all this? Because I know that You cause all things to work together for good".

Back to our text. The song of Chana or the song of Hannah, we started out in chapter 1, verse 6. That her womb was closed. And the author of the text says that the Lord had closed her womb. And then after going to the temple and praying and saying, "Lord, if you open my womb," Chana said to the Lord, "I'll dedicate my child to you". And sure enough, the Lord opens her womb, she conceives the Prophet Samuel. After she had weaned him, she brought him to the temple. And that's where we pick up now in chapter 2, which is the point of our sermon series here, the Song of Chana or Hannah. Last week I looked at verse 1. "Then Hannah prayed and said, 'My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in YHWH the LORD... My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation".

You see, what the devil meant for evil, God used for good. In other words, the devil might have an assignment against us. She said, "Because I rejoice now against my enemy". She might have understood that it was the enemy at work that was keeping her womb close. But now she understood that what he meant for evil, God meant for good. He was ultimately involved in all of it. And now she had victory over her enemy. So she said, "My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation". Did you know, beloved one, that Yeshua promised you that as you continue to cling to Him, as you continue to make Him your God and Savior, He is going to bring you to a place where you will exalt over your enemies, over all those that accused you, over every spirit that's condemned you, over everybody that's laughed at you. You will have the last laugh in Messiah Yeshua. Notice what Hannah says. "My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies". Jesus said, "I will cause those that accused you to bow down and to know that I have loved you," in the book of Revelation.

So I want you to know you're going to do what Chana did. As you continue to put Yeshua first in your life, you're going to come to a place in your life where every accusing voice that has been brought against you, you will condemn. This is the Word of the Lord and His story written over your life. You will have the ultimate victory. You will have the last laugh. Hold on, be strong because God is going to bring you to a victorious conclusion in your life. You may lose some battles, beloved child of God, but you will win the war. It looked like Jesus had lost when He was on the cross and they were laughing at Him and mocking Him and spitting on Him, when they thrust the spear on His side, when they thrust the thorn of crowns on His head. It might have looked like they had the last laugh. But Yeshua rose from the dead. And now He sits at the right hand of God. Every knee will bow, every tongue confess that Yeshua HaMashiach is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

And beloved, the same thing is going to happen in your life. Every mouth that has accused you in judgment, you will condemn and you continue to live for Jesus unto the very end. Baruch Hashem. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Victory is over your life. Chana continues in verse 2. "There is no one holy like YHWH. There is no one holy like LORD". Once again, YHWH is God's holy, personal covenant name used 7,000 times in the Hebrew Bible. "There is no one holy like YHWH, indeed," she continues, "there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God". Notice, again, her filter. "There is no one besides you," She said.

This is what I've been trying to hammer last week and this week. Please, again, listen to last week's message. We have to interpret life only through the filter of the fact that there is one sovereign God. And even when bad things happen, we have to ask God, "What are you saying to me in this? What can I learn from this? How can I respond to this? How can I put my foot down over this? How can I handle this so that it will be used for good in my life"? Because at the end of the day, there's only one God. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Yeshua HaMashiach is Lord. So Hannah interpreted both the hard times in her life and the good times in her life through the fact that there was only one sovereign. "...there is no one like you, there's no one besides you, nor is there any rock like our God".

Let's continue in verse 3. "Boast no more so very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; for the LORD is God". Yahweh is God. He is Elohim. "...the LORD is a God of knowledge, and with Him actions are weighed". Notice the first point she's making here. Boast no more so very proudly... for the Lord Yahweh alone is God. You know, today, when I look at secular television, and I see all the moves that people are making, you know, like this all about me. Everything is me, me, me, me. me. "Look at me. Look at me. Look at this. Look at this. Look at this cute, little gesture. Look at this dance move. Look at this style".

Notice it's all focused on the exultation and the pushing forth of me. But Chana had a revelation of the Holy One. And her response in this revelation was "there is no one holy like the LORD, indeed, there's no one beside You... Boast no more so very proudly". I wonder how many, when the whole world is standing before Yahweh naked and transparent in His power, in the revelation of His glory, I wonder how many will be acting before Him like they do now. I wonder how many will have the same personality that they have right now. No, it'll be completely, absolutely radically change. Because you know what the best response is to have before God, first of all? Silence. Just to be silent before Him. That's what Job did.

When God finally brought Job into the fullness of revelation, Job was trying to interpret what had happened in his life. The bad things that had happened, he started speaking about this and that and accusing God, and all the counselors of his started giving him advice. Finally, when God showed up, you know what their response was? They put their hand over their mouth. Silence. So I want you to ask yourself for a second, is the way that you act, is your personality, is it exalting self? Is it proud? Is it like, "Look at me, look at me, look at me"? You know, with the cutesy moves that everybody has today, and the fancy gestures and the eye movements and the face movements, the expressions.

How are you going to feel when you stand before the Lord? Will that type of personification, of your essence, of who you are, be holy and acceptable and clear and cleansed? I mean, is what you're doing now, is it going to be able to stand before the Lord in the fullness of His glory and power? And if the way that you behave now, or if that what you're receiving into your life, the shows that you're watching on television, the types of personalities and the types of energy that you're receiving, which is centered in the me, in the individual sense of exalting self and in pride, if what you're doing now and what you're receiving now will not be able to hold up when you stand before God in the day of His power, what that says is we have to change what we're doing now, so that what we're doing now will stand in His power as if it was the day of God's power.

In an essence, what I'm saying to you, beloved, is we need to repent. Hannah realized that all proudness needs to be abyssed, because there's only one that's holy. He's God in heaven above and the earth beneath. Whether her womb was opened or closed, she had to give honor to the Lord and filter all her life through Him and walk before Him with a sense of His Holiness, a sense of His beauty, and a sense of His glory. So I want to challenge you and I today, beloved one, let's lead a life that reflects something similar to the Spirit and disposition of Hannah. God is holy, and he's calling you and I to be holy. Now is the day of salvation. If today you're hearing His voice, repent and change your life.
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