What does God know about the mind with which the Spirit intercedes for the saints? Romans 8:28–30 looks forward to the midweek sermon. In these three verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to God's plan to glorify them in and with His Son.
Throughout all the time of Abraham's life from the calling of God for him to leave his family and home and follow, he knew the blessing of God upon his life. There was nothing that God withheld from Abraham; and Abraham trusted God with everything he possessed, even unto his sacrificial obedience regarding Isaac… He had his difficulties and he had his foolishness. There were times of obstinacy, of impatience of outright rebellion, but still God remained faithful and continued to bless Abraham because of the promise and his own desire… this is the heart of our own salvation… for we are blessed, we are saved upon the same grounds. God has promised and God desires to save the people He has chosen for his own inheritance. So let us consider what it means to be blessed by God, and learn to delight in our inheritance as the people of God!
Psalm 44 (like 42-43, written by the sons of Korah) begins almost as if the author had been reading the previous two Psalms. Psalm 44 begins with the community doing exactly what the repeated chorus of Psalms 42-43 prescribes: Trusting their downcast soul to God by rehearsing God's sovereign and saving grace in the events of Israel's history. In the Psalm's first eight verses, we are reminded of God's particular love for the nation in the past (vv. 1-3), which is appropriated by His people in the present (vv. 4-8). The mighty acts of God are communicated from one generation to the next so as not to be forgotten.
With verse 9 comes a radical shift in both tone and content. In verses 9-16 the Psalmist expresses his bewilderment over the present state of the nation. Notice the repetition of the word "You" in verses 9-14. His pointed language leaves us with no doubt as to the source of the nation's suffering – it is God. Consider how these emphatic statements demonstrate a high and strong view of God. The problem is not a lack of power, but that God is the active force behind the tribulation that has befallen His people. And all of this is despite Israel's faithfulness (vv. 17-22). Like Job, the Psalmist denies any national disloyalty to God (both inward and outward).
Finally, in the Psalm's last four verses (23-26) we find a corporate plea for God to wake up from His apparent slumber and to deliver and restore the nation. The Psalm expresses the tension between God's promises and unfailing love and the present experience of suffering. It is meant to encourage faith amid trials, particularly trials that appear random and intense.
A look at the the heart of the prophet and the dangers he faced declaring God's impending judgment on the nation of Judah for their lies about one another (breaking the 9th commandment), their idolatry (in a mocking and satirical poem) and in the breaking of God's covenant with them, just as Moses predicted.
Theme: Jesus Teaches that There are Many Obstacles to Truly Hearing the Gospel and Bearing Fruit; the Grace to Hear and Believe is a Gift of God, Multiplied.
I. God Reveals His Word Through Parables – vv. 1-18
A. Jesus Speaks to the Multitudes in Parables – vv. 1-3a
B. The Parable of the Sower – vv. 3b-8
II. Parables Hide the Gospel from Those Not Chosen by God to Hear – vv. 9-18
A. The Disciples Wonder at Jesus' Use of Parables – vv. 9-10
B. To Whomever Understanding Has Been Given, More Will Be Given – vv. 11-13
C. God is Sovereign, but Man is Willfully Dull – vv. 14-15
D. You are Blessed in that God Has Opened Your Ears – vv. 16-18
III. There are Many Obstacles to Truly Hearing the Gospel, We Must be Actively Listening – vv. 19-23
A. Hearing Without Understanding – v. 19
B. Stumbling because of Trials – vv. 20-21
C. Choked by Cares and Deceitful Riches – v. 22
D. Hearing, Understanding, and Bearing Fruit – v. 23