The angel Gabriel, having told Mary how she would conceive the "holy thing" of God in her, she goes with haste to visit her cousin Elisabeth. Here a miraculous confirmation of all that the angel declared to her is given. The Holy Spirit comes upon Mary mightily just as the angel said God would do, and Mary declares "he that is mighty hath done to me great things" (Luke 1:49). She knew that God had accomplished his word to her. These are among the things that Mary pondered in her heart concerning the birth of Christ. Oh, that we brethren, might be careful to look with such diligence and haste, for the promises of God declared to us in the preaching of the gospel, for God to confirm them so mightily in our hearts.
The Ark may have returned to Israel in the opening of I Samuel 7, but faith had not. For twenty years a spiritual question mark stood over Israel. But then, the Spirit of God moved and awakened Israel through the preaching of his Word by Samuel. That awakening of faith led to repentance, victory, and peace in Israel. Here we see a physical picture of the spiritual realities taking place then, and in the hearts of believers today. Such is the timelessness of God's Word.
"John wants us to know that even when our heart condemns us, we can have hope, and friends, I need to hear this probably more than anyone else today because I stumble and fall often. And in those moments of deep frustration with myself by all I can say is, 'Well, here I am again Lord, just a poor gospel-abusing sinner. I'm not worthy to even say your name but I have nowhere else to go for hope,' and I pray with the Puritans of old, 'Blessed Jesus, let me find a place to hide in thy appeasing wounds. Though my sins rise to heaven thy merits soar above them. Grant me to hear thy voice assuring me that by thy stripes I am healed, that thou hast been made sin for me that I might be righteous in thee, and that my grievous and manifold sins are all forgiven, buried in the ocean of thy concealing blood.' And in that moment the sweet relief of assurance floods over my soul when I tell my condemning heart that all my sins are forever under that blood. Friends do you know that assurance today?"
God gives a renewal of his promise in the hearing of Sarah. She is made to hear what the Lord will do in giving her the Son of Promise, who is a picture of Christ, the seed of woman. After understanding this we close with seeing an allegory from this same text picturing what God works in the heart of his children through the preaching of Christ, the promised seed in the Covenant of Grace. To avoid confusion let me add that the implied meaning of the last verse quoted was intended to be heard in the context of the allegory.
This Sunday being the first day of advent Pastor Wayne Sanders shares with the congregation of Chardon Christian Fellowship about the essence of the hope that is within us. What God has spoken He will bring to pass. Can you see hope? If you can see it, is it still hope? Listen and have assurance as we eagerly wait with perseverance. God bless you this week!
"And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.
And those officers provided victual for king Solomon, and for all that came unto king Solomon's table, every man in his month: they lacked nothing.
Barley also and straw for the horses and dromedaries brought they unto the place where the officers were, every man according to his charge.
And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore."
1 Kings 4:26-29