I'd like to ask all the men who are presently on our active Board of Deacons, our active
Diaconate, we have seventy-five I think, to stand to your feet. Would you do that? Mr.
Chairman Daniels. Gentlemen, I thank you for being here. Look around. Find your counterparts who are not present and tell them they better have a note from somebody! Thank you gentlemen, God bless you.
I'm against preaching, we ought to just stay with music. Nobody say "Amen" to that, please. It's been a good day. Open your Bibles to the Book of Isaiah. Isaiah, Chapter 43, beginning with verse one, I will read through verse three. Isaiah 43:1-3.
A little girl was forced to pass through a tunnel many times going and coming with her parents. They went up and down the Pennsylvania Turnpike almost weekly. Every time they would come to a tunnel she'd just take her face and bury it in her mother's dress and close her eyes and she'd say, "Tell me when we get out of the tunnel." They would and she would open her eyes and she'd get over her fear and her terror. This built and built and before long she really had some sort of phobia about tunnels. But a period of time went by, they continued to travel that turnpike until finally when she would see a tunnel coming as she was growing up, she would get excited about it. And she'd said, "Oh look, we're coming to a tunnel, we're coming to a tunnel!" And she would just go right through the tunnel and laugh and smile and ask her father to blow the horn so the reverberation could sound through all the chambers and she got where she was delighted in tunnels. And finally when her mother was confident she'd won the victory, she looked over at the little girl and said, "You've changed, what happened?" She said, "Aw Mom, I've discovered that tunnels have light at both ends."
I think that's what our scripture is saying tonight. Read there in Isaiah Chapter 43, remembering that the children of Israel, God's peculiar people, God's unique people, God's chosen people, had been blessed by going there in Canaan land. But then the Babylonian king had come and taken them away into exile and now in beautiful scripture, the Israelites say, "How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" And they took harps and hung them on the proverbial willow tree. They had lost their song. They had lost their song.
I know people who have lost their song. Their life use to sing and sparkle and glow, but suddenly now their life has discord and static and abrasiveness and abruptness and unrest. The Israelites were in a far country in Babylon, away from their land, their nation, their place, their station. But then God speaks to them and the Lord says, "That even as you pass through the waters I will be with you. Even as you go through the river - the rivers - I will not let these mighty currents overwhelm you." In other words, I think God was saying to the children of Israel, "I want you to discover ...
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