Introduction: I recently read of the experiences of some early pioneers on the Appalachian Frontier. From that history I learned some lessons from the past. The Psalmist viewed the history of Israel with a spiritually keen mind. He saw Israel's history as a parable for instructing his contemporaries. This is clearly revealed in Psalm 78:1-3,7-8. By using the example of the past, the Psalmist warned the sin of ingratitude for spiritual blessings eventually rendered a people as unacceptable for manifold manifestations of God's blessings. This is also true for our time. When an individual Christian or a corporate congregation becomes ungrateful for God's blessings, they forfeit the privilege of being used to experience and express the manifested presence of God. This text warns of the danger of becoming . . .
I. Unacceptable for manifesting God's mighty presence, vv. 60, 67-68
Explanation: Ephraim - mighty tribe, son of Joseph, a tribe of central position in the days of the judges. Shiloh - the first place of the Ark and the Tabernacle -- the place and people where God mightily manifested His presence. But Ephraim became spiritual cowards, v. 9, and they became unacceptable for special privilege and blessing.
Illustration: Personal fear of losing the manifested presence of God . . .
(1) Each Christian has the Holy Spirit within
(2) Congregation with 2 or 3 there on Christ's authority and in His teaching, Christ will be there.
(1) Christ can be present without mighty manifestations, the work of God is limited, cf. Matthew 13:53-58.
(2) Personal experience? Are you personally aware of God's hand being upon your life?
Personal expression? Are others aware that God's hand is upon your life?
Need: assurance that you are acceptable for God's manifesting mighty miracles in your midst!
Fear: too many are not!
Transition Statement: You forfeit your privilege and become unacceptable by perpetuating the sin of being . . .
Explanation: Ingratitude evidenced by being forgetful. Israel forgot, v. 11, v. 42.
Illustration: Forgetting makes you think others are ungrateful.
Explanation: Review what they forgot --Mighty Miracles of Mercy
(1) Plagues - promptings
(2) Deliverance - sea
(3) Provisions - food/water
(4) Guidance -cloud/fire
(5) Interventions - occupy
Review who they forgot -- Generations of wanderers; Generations of occupiers.
Application: It is the way of our generation to forget!
Illustration: "Many that fare deliciously every day and whose bodies are healthful and fat, have at the same time, leanness to their souls; no love to God, no thankfulness, no appetite to the bread of life, and then the soul must needs be lean. Those wretchedly forget themselves that feast their bodies and starve their souls." Matthew Henry.
Application: A word to our generation - Remember!
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