2020 08 09 PM – God, our Father – Psalm 2:7, Ps.33:6, Ps.34:10

Congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Life is tough.  Anyone here agree with that?  There are many trials and challenges that come our way that are hard and painful to deal with.  And as good as things may be at any given moment, we know that trouble may be just around the corner.  So what encouragement does the Bible offer us for life’s hardships?  What truth does the Bible give us that we might live not in fear but in faith? 

Well, very simply, the answer to these questions is: God, our Father.  And this Lord’s Day explains this biblical reality in a very beautiful and pastoral way.  And I don’t know if you have heard this before, but God our Father is the only topic in the Catechism that is the subject of two, whole, separate Lord’s Days.  You see, near the end of the Catechism the Lord’s Prayer is explored, and the subject of Lord’s Day 46 is “Our Father, who is in heaven…”  So Lord’s Days 9 and 46 are both about God our Father.  And the central emphasis in both is that God is our Father through Jesus Christ.  And we are going to explore how important and comforting this is this afternoon.

But the extra ‘angle’ of this Lord’s Day is that God the Creator is Our Father because of Jesus Christ, His Son.  And we will explore that theme as we look at three verses from three Psalms to see that God is the eternal Father of Jesus Christ, the Almighty Father of creation, and the faithful Father of believers.

  1. So first of all, let’s see that God is the Eternal Father of Jesus Christ.  And the verse we want to consider in relation to this point is Psalm 2:7.  Let’s turn there together.  There we read, “I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.”
  1. Now, the titles above each Psalm are not part of the Bible.  They are the work of the people who put this Bible version together.  So the title above Psalm 2, “The Reign of the Lord’s Anointed One,” is what the English Standard Version translation committee thinks this Psalm is about.  And in this case, they are spot on.  This Psalm is about God establishing His reign through His anointed king.  It begins, in verse1-3, by stating that the kings of the earth are opposed to God.  And in the context of Old Testament Israel, this was a daily reality.  Old Testament history is full of the opposition and the threat of invasion from the Philistines and the Moabites and the Assyrians, etc.  But this reality is not just true of Old Testament Israel; this is how it has been ever since then and how it is today – kings and governors are usually opposed to God.  Take NZ as an example – our government is not pro-God and pro-Bible and pro-church.  Our government is against God, the Bible, and the church.  Our government is advancing an agenda that is contrary to what the Bible teaches.  We see this in areas like abortion, euthanasia, marriage, gender, hate-speech, and the legalization of drugs.  So vv1-3 explain that kings and rulers are usually opposed to God.
  • But we see wonderful encouragement in verses 4-6, which declares that they will not succeed.  God is pictured as sitting in heaven and laughing at their pathetic opposition to Him and His King.  And this would have been a great encouragement to the people of Israel.  But congregation, this is a picture you do well to imprint on your mind, today, also.  So often it seems that our efforts to stand against evil legislation is like trying to stop a wave rolling up the beach, right?  It seems so futile.  But God is in heaven and He laughs at wicked rulers and their agendas!  This is a powerful encouragement. 
  • But let’s look a little closer at verse 7 in the light of this Psalm.  Verse 2 speaks about “the Lord and His anointed.”  So that is two persons.  Verse 6 says that the Lord has set His king on Zion, His holy hill.  So again, two persons.  And the original readers would rightly have interpreted this Psalm as God in heaven and king David or whoever their king was at the time.  But in v8 we see the promise of God to “make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession”; that His King would conquer every nation and that all of the rulers of the earth should “Kiss the Son,” meaning bow before Him and recognize His rule.  And none of that was true of David or any Israelite king.  So we have to ask, who is the Son of God king that this Psalm ultimately speaks about?Well, back in 2 Samuel 7, God told King David that He would raise up a descendant of David and “establish the throne of His kingdom forever.”  And God said, “I will be to Him a father, and He shall be to me a son.”  So with this Psalm, David is speaking about this descendant – this son of God King.And just listen to the first words of the NT: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David.”  Matthew wanted his readers to know that Jesus is the promised Son of God King.And in the first sermons of the church age, such as Acts 13, the Apostles quoted Psalm 2:7 to prove that Jesus is the promised Son of God king.   So Psalm 2:7 is ultimately about God the Father and His Son, Jesus. 
  • Now, every human father was once not a father, right?  They became fathers when they had a child.  And we all know that Jesus was born to Mary.  So we have to ask: Did God become Father when Mary was pregnant with Jesus? 
    • Well, the answer to that question is no.  And it is no because Jesus did not begin to exist when He was in Mary’s womb, because Jesus is eternal God. 
      • Philippians 2:5 explains that Jesus left heaven to take to Himself a human nature inside Mary.  So Jesus existed before He was in Mary’s womb.
      • John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.”  So Jesus was with God at the beginning of creation
      • And in John 17 Jesus speaks about the glory that He enjoyed with the Father before the creation of the world. 
      • So there was never a time when Jesus did not exist; He is eternal. 
    • And the next thing that the Bible teaches us about God is that He is unchangeableMalachi 3:6, “For I the LORD do not change.”  So if there was a time that God was not Father or Jesus was not Son, then they would have changed by becoming Father and Son.  So while human Fathers become fathers, God is the eternal Father of Jesus.  He always has been, He is now, and He always will be the Father of the Son.
  • And the blessing of this mind-bending mystery is something we touched on last Sunday: All those that have been chosen unto salvation are the overflow of the Father’s eternal love for His Son.  Before the creation of the world, the Father said to the Son, something like, “Son, this love of ours is just too good to keep to ourselves.  So let us, with our eternal Spirit, make man in our own image, so that others might see and experience our love and unity and fellowship!”  We exist and we are saved because of the eternal Father’s eternal love for His eternal Son!  And we will spend eternity exploring and enjoying and experiencing the eternal Father’s eternal love for His eternal Son and for us!
  1. Well, we will return to this truth in our third point, but before that, in the second place, that God is also the Almighty Father of Creation.  And here we turn to Psalm 33:9.  And there we read, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.” 
  1. During the week I was listening to a podcast about Covid and Climate change.  And the speaker who was interviewed for the podcast was a very intelligent and knowledgeable professor.  He clearly knew his stuff and he made some really good observations about science and economics and politics.  But before he got into all that, the interviewer asked him if he had a faith background, and the professor said, Yes, he was brought up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.  But he went on to explain that once he got to high school and took a few biology classes, he started to question the Bible because of the creation account.  And he mockingly noted that you have Adam and Eve and then they have Cain and Abel and then we read about Cain’s wife.  So he said, where did Cain get his wife? like that was some huge gotcha problem that proves that the Bible is just a man-made book with myths and mistakes in it.  But this is not a huge gotcha problem; it is easily answered.  Remembering that this was a unique time in history, Cain’s wife would have been one of his sisters, even though there is no specific mention of Eve having daughters.  But all of this led this professor to see that you don’t need an imaginary friend in the sky to be a nice person.  And then he referred to what is known as Pascal’s wager.  Have you ever heard of that?  Pascal’s wager is the thought of a French philosopher who suggested that it might be a good idea to believe in God when you get old just in case He exists.  Isn’t that sad!  Contrast that with Ecclesiastes 12:1ff, which says, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days [of old age] come.”  To put faith in God off until you are old is extremely foolish, A, because no none knows if they will live to be old, and B, the best life is the life lived with God from your youth, and C, if you think believing in God will come naturally and easily, with age, you are very much mistaken!  But I want you to hold that thought for a moment as we focus now on God the Almighty Father of creation.   The Bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  And then we read about God speaking all things into existence over a period of six days.  And that is what this Psalm verse is describing – It was dark, but then God spoke and light came into existence.  And God spoke, and the stars and planets came into existence.  We call this creation ex-nihilo – creation out of nothing.  When you and I make something, we have to start with existing matter/items.  And our first efforts are usually not so good so we make improvements in the design and make the next version better.  But think of the complexity of a universe and light and stars; God didn’t begin with concept plans and models and data analysis; He spoke them into existence, and they were perfect, first time.  And congregation, this is one of the massive problems of any theory of evolution, even if it includes God.  You see evolution reduces God’s power to working with existing material that slowly evolves and improves.  But that is not the God of Genesis and this Psalm – there is no slow evolution from single cell to complex organism or from speck to planet; God spoke all things into existence – there was no universe, then there was!  There were no planets, then there were.  There was no light, then there was.  There were no trees or animals or humans, then there were!And why this is so important is because the same God who created all things in six days also raised Jesus from death in a moment.  And the Bible links resurrection power with creation power.  Ephesians 1:19-20 talks about “the immeasurable greatness of [God’s] power toward us who believe … that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.”  So God’s power raised Jesus.And Ephesians 2:4-5 uses the same language in relation to believers: “But God … made us alive together with Christ.”  We are spiritually resurrected by God’s power.  And how does 2 Cor. 5:17 describe believers?  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”  So resurrection power is linked with creation power.  And at the end of time, God will create or recreate the new heavens and the new earth.  How long do you think that will take?  15 billion years?  What does 1 Corinthians 15:52 say?, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye … we shall be changed.”  And Revelation 21 says the new heavens and the new earth will ‘come down out of heaven from God.’    So it begins with creation – God spoke all things into instantaneous existence.  And God resurrected Jesus, instantaneously.  And God make sinners a new creation, instantaneously.  And God will create the new heavens and the new earth “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”  So from the dawn of history to its conclusion, there is simply no room for naturalistic evolution and millions and billions of years.  The God of the Bible is the Almighty Father of creation.  And that, congregation, makes Him a God worth worshipping and trusting!
  1. And that brings us, thirdly and lastly and briefly, to God as the Faithful Father of Believers.  And our verse here is Psalm 34:10: The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.”
  1. Now, there is a sense in which it is right to speak about God as the Father of every created being – angel and human.  In Ephesians 3:14-15 Paul says, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.”  As the Creator of humanity, God is the Father of humanity.  But verse 10 talks about “those who seek the Lord.”  So a contrast is being made between those who seek the Lord and those who do not seek the Lord.  And what follows in the rest of the verse will be true only of “those who seek the Lord.”  So, two questions for you: And the first one is this: If someone were to ask you, How do I seek the Lord? what would you say?  I trust that your answer will emphasize two words – repent and believe.  Repent of your sins; be sorry for your sins and want to do what is good, and believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins.  That’s the gospel.  Right?  So to seek the Lord is to repent and believe.  So now the second question.  But before I ask it, listen to how John 1:12 expresses the gospel: “to all who did receive [Jesus], who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”  So now the question: If someone were to ask you, What is the essence of being a Christian? What would you say?  Would you say, “I am saved”?  That’s true.  Would you say, “My sins are forgiven”?  That’s true also.  Would you say, “I have eternal life in heaven”?  That’s true too.  And this is not a trick question or a right or wrong scenario, but I want to suggest to you that the essence of being a Christian is having God as your Father in heaven.  In the same way that an adopted child receives all of the benefits of belonging to his or her new family once he or she is adopted, it is because you are an adopted child of God that you are saved/forgiven/indwelt by the Holy Spirit/will live in heaven for all eternity.So, those who seek the Lord are those who have repented of their sins, believed in Jesus, and been made children of God.  Is this you?  Because of Christ, is God your Father?  Yes?  Hallelujah!  No?  Then please repent and believe today!  Receive Jesus as your Saviour and Lord today!  Become a child of God today!  Don’t put God off till tomorrow for tomorrow may not come.
    1. And that brings, as we draw to a close, to the last part of v10:“Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
      1. The title of Psalm 34 describes a time in David’s life when He feared for his life, because of King Saul, so he left Israel and went to Philistia.  But he was recognized as an Israelite hero and brought before the local King.  So what David did is he pretended to be mad and dribbled in his beard and clawed at the gates.  So the local king decided that David was insane and not a threat, so he let him go.  And as David looked back on this episode he realized that rather than trust in the Lord he had made a whole series of fear-based decisions. 
      1. So with this Psalm, David was preaching to himself, and by the Spirit of the Lord, to all who read this Psalm.  Look what he says: v4, the Lord delivers His people, v6, He saves His people from out of their troubles, v7, His angel surrounds His people and delivers them, v9, His people lack nothing, which is refined in v10 to, “Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
        1. And this is the point of our Lord’s Day: God our Father, because of Christ His Son, “will provide whatever [we] need for body and soul, and He will turn to [our] good whatever adversity He sends [us] in this sad world.”
        1. So at any given moment, you have every good physical and spiritual thing that you need.  Do you understand what that means?  There may be many good things that you are begging the Lord to give you – healing, a job, a repaired relationship, a spouse, a child, etc, but I can tell you, on the basis of this verse, that if the Lord has not yet given you what you are asking for it is because right now it would not be good for you to have it.  If He gives it in the future, it will be because it is good for you to have it then, but right now you lack no good thing – you have everything you need. 
        1. And, whatever hardship or trouble you are facing now, or that may come tomorrow, God will turn it or use it for your good.  Why?  Because through Christ, He is your Father in heaven.  And as we read earlier in Matthew 6&7, as His adopted child, you are of more value to Him than the birds of the air, and He knows that you need food and drink, and He will give good things to you, when it is good for you to have them.

If you believe in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord, then the eternal Father of Jesus Christ and the Almighty Father of creation is your Faithful Father.  You have no reason to fear anything and every reason to trust Him.  Amen.