Victims Of Republican Terror Once Again Failed By 4 Main Church Leaders In Northern Ireland 

Victims Of Republican Terror Once Again Failed By 4 Main Church Leaders In Northern Ireland


On the day that the people of the United Kingdom remembered the 10 Protestant workmen slaughtered by Provisional Sinn Fein IRA at Kingsmill, the Provisional Sinn Fein IRA Member for West Tyrone Barry McElduff deliberately posed with a Kingsmill loaf on his head wickedly and shamefully mocking the atrocity the victims and their families. The sectarian hatred, wickedness, and depravity of the Republican movement had just found a whole new level.


Most rightly came out with clear and strong condemnation of this cruel mockery but a noticeable silence came from the 4 Main Church Leaders here in Northern Ireland who usually have a lot to say and preach to us about in the recent past they were quick to speak out and preach to us about much less like the issue of flags etc. Yet not for the first time when it comes to the victims of Republican terror they are deathly silent. 


Have our 4 Main Church Leaders here in Northern Ireland forgotten this verse is in their bibles when it comes to the victims of Sinn Fein IRA terror? Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good;

Seek justice,

Rebuke the oppressor;

Defend the fatherless,

Plead for the widow.” 


For here in this verse lies our Christian responsibility to the victims of Republican terror….

Isaiah 1:17 

“Learn to do good;

Seek justice,

Rebuke the oppressor;

Defend the fatherless,

Plead for the widow.”


Notice what the verse doesn’t say it doesn’t say ignore victims, brush it all under the carpet and allow history to be rewritten. Which by their words when they do speak and by their silence when they don’t speak the 4 Main Church Leaders here in Northern Ireland  seem intent on doing. 




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Is There Not A Cause? David And Goliath Part 2 1 Samuel 17 v 30-53.

Is There Not A Cause? David And Goliath Part 2 1 Samuel 17 v 30-53.

David’s Fearless, Faith-filled Determination v 30-32.

V 30-32 “Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing; and these people answered him as the first ones did. Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him. Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” The first thing David says here to Saul is “don’t fear” and that’s a message we need to hear today for many Christians hearts are failing them today in the battle against Satan, Satan like Goliath has done a pretty amazing job of intimidating Christian’s in to silence and inaction (fear of speaking out on moral issues for fear of being considered or called a bigot, fear of sharing our faith in school or work) truly Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man brings a snare,” Yet God promises “But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.” So let no Christian man or women’s heart fail them today. Praise God there are still fearless faith filled men and women like David today still speaking up and going out today to face the foe counting not the cost no matter the consequences women Like Esther, Esther 4:16 “And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” Men like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego Daniel 3:16-18 “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” Friend would you not rather live and die a David, Esther, Shadrach, Meshach or Abednego than a fear filled, faithless, spiritual coward like Saul, David’s brothers and the army of Israel? Where are the young men and women today who will say “I will not hide out I will not be silent in the culture war being waged against the church today and the God of the Bible, I will go out and face the Goliath of modern culture I will speak out on the moral issues of the day from an unashamedly biblical perspective” (abortion, poverty, Homosexuality, marriage, alcoholism, freedom of speech, religious liberty,) “And I will proclaim the Gospel without fear or favour with David’s courage, faith and confidence in God” Because as Roger Ellsworth says in his book “The Shepherd King Learning From The Life Of David – “What is the problem with the church today? Many say its Goliath. They point to the difficulty of the times in which we live. They wring their hands over the militant secular spirit of the time. They speak mournfully over the steady deterioration of the Judeo-Christian heritage. But is our problem really Goliath? Is it really the times in which we live? Or is it our own lack of confidence in our God and in the redeeming message of the Gospel? Has God toppled from His throne? Is He limited to working only when the circumstances are favourable? Has the Gospel been shorn of its power? Has Paul’s fervent declaration been deleted from our Bibles Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” The nub of the matter is this, our problem is not Goliath but ourselves and our own lack of faith” Ellsworth rightly urges us to “ fall on our faces before God to confess our lack of faith and to plead for the spirit that moved in David to move mightily in us again.”

David’s Credentials v 33-36.

“And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” David’s courage and faith was met with unbelief, doubt and scepticism. Saul saw only with the eyes of men, David to his eyes was to young, to inexperienced. Saul now like Samuel before him looked only upon David’s outward appearance. But of course David had experience, practical hand to claw combat experience 1 Samuel 17:34-36 “But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” And more importantly David had spiritual depth and experience 1Samuel 17:37 “Moreover David said, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!” David’s firm faith here reveals to us that David’s long hours spent tending his father’s sheep were not solely spent in shepherding and protecting sheep but also in close contact and communion with God. David’s firm faith, confidence in God and His deliverance had been born in the secret place and nursed in the solitude of wilderness communion with God. David had a real and vital relationship with God. God was as real to him as his brothers or Father were. There is no short cut to such a life of faith, which is essential to a Holy and victorious life. It is born in the daily place of solitude with God and nursed in the quiet place of communion and fellowship with God in His Word and prayer. Even if like David you are “but a youth,” God can really use you. But don’t expect God to use you just because your young. Instead, receive what God said to Timothy: 1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Paul was telling Timothy, “Live in such a way that no one will have occasion to despise your youth.” Be an exemplary Godly youth and God will use you. God can use us when we are young, but we have to be wholehearted in our commitment to Him and serious about our Christian life, walk and service. When your young you have strength, enthusiasm, zeal, passion and much more besides. God can and will use all these qualities and develop more if you will yield your life and your wholehearted commitment and service to Him 1 Timothy 4:15 “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.” David’s preparation came in the wilderness around Bethlehem looking after his Father’s flock this is generally God’s pattern for preparation. He calls us to be faithful right where we are at, and then uses our faithfulness to accomplish greater things for Him. If David had run scared at the lion or the bear, he would never have been ready to fight Goliath. But he had been faithful then, so he would be faithful now. For God knows Luke 16:10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” We dare not underestimate the importance of faithfulness to God. The world values success but God values faithfulness. We will never be used anywhere else until we are faithful where we’re at and we will never be used in anything else until we are found faithful at what we are presently at. So serve God wholeheartedly and faithfully, so that when the time comes for you to stand alone for Christ, He will again find you faithful.

David’s Armour v 38-40

“So Saul clothed David with his armour, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. David fastened his sword to his armour and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.” Saul’s armour was more of a hindrance than a help. Instead David takes what he knew and was skilled in v 40 “Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.” David did not face Goliath unarmed. He had much better armour than Saul’s. Saul had a bronze helmet, but David had the helmet of salvation Ephesians 6:17. Saul had a coat of mail, but David had a breastplate of righteousness Ephesians 6:14. Saul had a sword, but David had the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God Ephesians 6:17 to many today like David’s sling and smooth stones the word of God seems a primitive outdated feeble weapon but the bible tells us differently David’s sling alone would hit the spot and the word of God is Hebrews 4:12 “… living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And Jeremiah 23:29 “like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” 2 Corinthians 10:4 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…” David didn’t have Saul’s armour but he did have the whole armour of God! Ephesians 6:1.

David’s Appearance v 42-44

“And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking.” Just as Samuel, Saul and just about everyone else had done Goliath again looked only on the outward appearance he looked down on David and saw only a puny boy because of his youth and inexperience. But here’s what Goliath didn’t know 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.” And God hath chosen David, Goliath was already dead he just didn’t know it yet. V 44 “ And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” Goliaths boasting pride comes before a fall literally in Goliaths case. I’m sure young Solomon David’s son and heir heard the tale of his fathers victory over the mighty Goliath from his fathers knee I often wonder is this were Solomon got Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” For there can be no clearer illustration of this truth than here. Goliath was full of himself, David was filled with the Spirit of God, Goliath was already dead he just didn’t know it yet.

David’s All-Powerful Ally v 45.

“Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” If it hasn’t been established before, it is certainly settled now. This is not a fair fight. It isn’t Goliath and his armour bearer against David. It is Goliath and his armour bearer against David and the LORD God of Israel. At the risk of repeating myself, the battle is over before its begun, Goliath is already dead he just doesn’t know it yet. One with God is in the majority. 2 Chronicles 32:8 “With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” We don’t battle Satan and the sinful culture alone we have an all-powerful ally!

David’s Humility v 46-47.

“This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” Davids victory would be to let all the world know not that some great Israelite champion had arisen but that all the earth would know there is a God in Israel. In this again we see David’s humility, this whole incident made David famous but that was not why he did it. He did it not for his own fame but rather the fame and the glory of God. V 47 “Then all this assembly shall know:” At this point, it wasn’t enough for all the earth to know that there is a God in Israel. Israel needed to know that there was a God in Israel! They needed to know it also! Saul and the rest of the soldiers of Israel thought that the LORD only could save with sword and spear. They didn’t really believe that the battle is the LORD’s but David was about to give them some living proof! And if the people of God needed to remember it then we need reminding of it now “The Battle is the Lord’s,” there is a God in Ulster. The Battle is the Lord’s He will give you in to (not my) our hands, again we see David’s humility, David didn’t want this victory selfishly for Himself he wanted this to be the people of God’s victory that they might be joined in it with him and be renewed and strengthened in their faith by it. Do we want what David wanted?

David’s Victory v 49-50.

“Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.” David hit Goliath right between the eyes. Everyone else thought, “Goliath is so big, we can’t beat him.” David thought, “Goliath is so big, I can’t miss him.” But this was not the power of positive thinking, it was the power of a man with complete faith in God, Matthew 17:20 “…for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” This faith alone can move mountains and fell giants! O that the word of God wielded with faith in God would hit the enemy right between the eyes in our day and defeat him. What a reality God was to David! He advanced knowing of assurance God was with him as if he could literally see God beside him. Is God that real to you? Can we say in the words of Psalm 16:8 “I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.” Conscious that God was with him, David fearlessly met the enemy. A man of less faith might have been too nervous to take the proper aim but unhindered by any fear of missing, David hurls the stone from his sling, hits the giant on the unprotected part of his forehead, and in a moment fells him to the ground. Advancing David seizes Goliaths sword, cuts off his head, demonstrating to all the unmistakable evidence that Goliath was dead. David had triumphed, God had triumphed, and the God who delivered David from the claws of the Lion and the bear, and from the power of Goliath, will make us more than conquerors and will enable us to spoil “principalities and powers and triumph openly over them.”

David’s Rousing Example v 51 – 53.

v 51 “…And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.” Once the Philistines champion was felled and beheaded they didn’t hang around, they quickly began to flee. That’s the position we want the enemy in “flight mode” and James 4:7 tells us how “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” v 52-53 “ Now the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted, and pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell along the road to Shaaraim, even as far as Gath and Ekron. Then the children of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their tents.” Goliath defeated and the Philistine army in flight mode Israel regains its courage due to David’s God given faith and victory. May our courage and faith in spiritual battle lead to the restoration of the courage and faith of others and get them back in the fight. David never read 1Timothy 4:12, but he lived it: “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” David led by example, and led Israel to a great victory. O that young men here would aspire to brave lives for God and His Glory like David. That you would here the call of God upon your life Esther 4:14 “you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” and go with courage and faith like David and enter battle for the Lord.

Sermon : Is There Not A Cause? David And Goliath Part 1 1 Samuel 17 v 1 – 29.

Is There Not A Cause? David And Goliath Part 1 1 Samuel 17 v 1 – 29.

A Giant Problem v 1 – 10.

V 1-2 “Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines.” The valley of Elah was a vast valley probably about a mile wide and toward the mouth of the valley it opened up even wider at the bottom of the valley. Encamped on one slope was the army of Israel and on the other the army of the Philistines. 1Samuel 17:4 “And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.” Of course we don’t measure things by cubits and spans we measure in feet and inches so to put it in terms you and I understand Goliath was between 8 and a half to 9 feet tall, truly a giant of a man in terms of physical stature but Goliath was also imposing in terms of physical presence 1Samuel 17:5-7 “He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armour on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him.” Finally Goliath was also menacing in terms of his verbal assault 1Samuel 17:8-10 “Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” Goliath has no fear of King Saul or the people of God and truth be told in their disobedience Goliath had little reason to fear them. For God had warned His people Deuteronomy 28:15&25 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: “The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth.” Because of their disobedience King Saul and the people of God had no power to face Goliath and faced certain defeat. And if we live and walk in sin and disobedience to God we to will have no power to face our foe Satan when he attacks and like King Saul and Israel we can expect only certain defeat. If we want to know strength, power and victory we must walk in obedience.

A Fearful People v 11

“When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. This, of course, is a significant strategy of the devil against us he wants us dismayed and greatly afraid. We don’t battle against flesh and blood enemies like Goliath, but we have our “spiritual Giants” to battle against, Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” And so Satan has a heavy interest in threatening and intimidating us to make you and I dismayed and greatly afraid before the battle ever begins. If we are walking with God in obedience to Him we need to remember 2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” At one time, Saul was known as a fierce and successful military leader. But that was before the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul because of His sin and disobedience 1 Samuel 16:14 “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him.” As the Spirit of God left Saul, so did his courage and prowess in battle for as God declares in 1 Samuel 2:30 “… those who honour Me I will honour, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.”

An Obedient Son v 15-18

“But David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem… Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp. And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.” So it was obedience to his father Jesse that took David to the battle field and sometimes being a Christian doesn’t exempt us from danger obedience can take us in to danger but we should never fear when walking in the way of obedience doing our heavenly fathers business for as David himself later reminds us in Psalm 27:1&3 “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.”

An Army Of Pretender’s v 19-20.

I must confess these verses always makes me laugh 1 Samuel 17:19-20 “Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle.” Because fighting with the Philistines was exactly what they weren’t doing, yes, they portrayed the impression they were formed up for battle and ready for battle, O yes they went through the motions of making like they were going out to fight and gave a fine battle cry but King Saul and Israel were all mouth and no trousers, instead rather than actually fighting with the Philistines they were overcome with fear, their going through the motions was only the appearance of going in to battle it was an exercise in let’s pretend, they didn’t have the heart for the job. Thankfully the man, God’s man, who had God’s heart for the job was just arriving.

A Runaway People v 23 – 24.

“Then as he talked with them, there was the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, coming up from the armies of the Philistines; and he spoke according to the same words. So David heard them. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid.” The people of God were running scared, they were the army of Israel they were meant to stand and fight but they were running scared and folks when I think of the church of Jesus Christ and believers today I can’t help but think we’re doing the very same thing amidst the culture war that is being waged against us in the world. We as a church and Christians are fleeing from the culture war in silence when we ought to be entering the battle and giving answer to the enemy. As scripture commands us 1Peter 3:15-17 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”

A Man Of Godly Perspective v 26-27.

“Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” Goliath wasn’t just defying King Saul or Israel, defying the armies of the living God Goliath was defying God Himself. Israel’s reputation and most importantly God’s honour was at stake but It seems that David alone focused on the reputation of Israel and the honour of the living God we see that concern for Gods honour and glory also in David’s Psalms, Psalm 74:22-23 “Arise, O God, plead Your own cause; Remember how the foolish man reproaches You daily. Do not forget the voice of Your enemies; The tumult of those who rise up against You increases continually.” This truly shows David to be a man after God’s own heart. He cares about the things God cares about. He saw the problem in spiritual terms, not in material or fleshly terms. When the men of Israel said, “This man,” David said, “This uncircumcised Philistine.” When the men of Israel said, “Surely he has come up to defy Israel,” David said, “That he should defy the armies of the living God.” When the men of Israel said, “The man who kills him,” David said, “The man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel.” David saw things from God’s perspective do we? When Satan taunts and attacks the church and the people of God, and as a result succeeds in gaining some foothold in a Christian’s life or in the life of a church that parallelises them in the battle against him do we understand that, that brings disgrace upon the reputation of the people of God and the church? And as a further consequence do we understand that also brings disgrace to God’s name As the Lord’s people and as members of God’s Church we need to understand in the Battle against our Giant Satan that above our own honour and reputation or that of our churches, God’s reputation and honour is at stake? Therefore any victory we allow him to have brings dishonour to God and His Name and causes God’s enemies to blaspheme and mock God and His name, David’s Sin with Bathsheba – 2 Samuel 12:14 “…by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme…”

An Angry Brother v 28

“ Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” Eliab David’s eldest brother didn’t like David turning up and saying what he did. Eliab falsely accused David of pride and dereliction of his duty to their father. Eliab questions David’s motives but it was Eliab and his brothers who were guilty of pride and dereliction of duty. It was Eliab’s pride that was hurt and it was he and his brothers soldiers in Saul’s Army who were guilty of dereliction of duty as he and his brothers with the rest of King Saul and His army are caught on hiding out when they ought to have been going out against the enemy. Indeed had the Apostle Paul been around he would have said to Eliab Romans 2:21 “You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?” Are you and I guilty of pointing an accusatory finger at others to deflect attention away from our own sin and guilt in the very same areas? Are we guilty of pride and deflection when we are caught on? Are we ever guilty of dereliction of duty in the Christian battle hiding out when we ought to be going out in service for God against the enemy?

A Young Man Passionate For God’s Cause v 29.

“And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” There is no doubt that what his oldest brother Eliab said hurt David, but he would not let it hinder him. David was more concerned with “God’s cause” than with his own feelings, “And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” David is concerned with God’s cause before everything. Before his own personal safety, before his own personal glory, before his only personal honour, that was his focus, David was passionate for God’s cause. The Philistines and their champion Goliath were attacking, mocking and defying the people of God, and David understood that by doing so they were actually attacking, mocking and defying God. “Is this not a cause?” that demands our urgent, wholehearted, passionate enlistment against? Today in our day the Name of God and His lovely Son our Saviour the LORD Jesus Christ are daily blasphemed. The people of God are increasingly being marginalized and vilified as intolerant and bigoted for holding to a Biblical standard. Yet many Christians are silent, hiding out instead of going out and speaking out for God. Like David and the Israelites a great giant faces us defying God and His people, His name is Satan and his army this sinful world. Therefore Christian today as we go forth, like David I ask “Is there not a cause?” There is a battle to be fought against the Giant Satan and his army the world. Our cause is Christ and the Gospel. Will you continue to cower in fear or go in the strength of the LORD this day to fight with the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. “Is there not a cause?”

Sermon : Samuel Anoints David 1 Samuel 16:1-23.

Sermon : Samuel Anoints David 1 Samuel 16:1-23

1. A Rejected King v 1.

1 Samuel 16:1 “Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” Saul the first King of Israel was the people’s choice, Israel the Old Testament people of God no longer wanted God to be their sovereign they wanted an earthly King like all the other nations around about them. 1 Samuel 8:6-7 “But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.” So they rejected God’s rule, and God gave them what they wanted a human King. Samuel anointed and the people appointed their choice King Saul it all started so well he was all that the people thought a King should be 1 Samuel 10:23-24 “…and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?” So all the people shouted and said, “Long live the king!” But ultimately a disobedient people got a disobedient king 1 Samuel 15:10-11 “Now the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments…” And so God rejected Saul as King Of Israel 1Samuel 15:26&28 “But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.” So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.” The reign of Saul in Israel would be a lesson in “be careful what you wish for” the people wanted an earthly king and in the end God gave the people what they wanted, till they were sick of what they wanted for God had warned them what having such a king would mean 1 Samuel 8:11-17 and that the day would come that they would be sick of their choice 1 Samuel 8:18 “And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.” This ought to be a warning to us all about the disaster and anguish that awaits us when we reject God’s rule and go our own way Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” And so as Chapter 16 commences Samuel the Prophet and Judge Of Israel is commanded by God to cease his mourning for the rejected king and go appoint the next King, God’s King.

2. A Fearful Prophet v 2.

1 Samuel 16:2 “And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” Samuel was terrified it wasn’t God’s command to appoint a new King that terrified him though it was Saul that terrified him or rather how Saul might react if he found out terrified him. Where were Samuel’s eyes? Well, they certainly weren’t on the Lord they were on Saul. Of course humanly speaking Samuel had every right to be scared King Saul was and would become ever more paranoid, jealous, murderous and wicked. But Samuel was forgetting God was in control and was completely aware of the situation, God knew all about Saul, men and women are threatened and intimidated by men like Saul but God is not. Daniel 2:21 “And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings…” Saul would not harm one hair on Samuel’s head and would thwart nothing of God’s plan. But with Samuel here we see with all his qualities as a prophet and God’s Judge in Israel, Samuel was but a man, subject to the weaknesses and failings of men, as someone has so eloquently and succinctly put it “The best of men are men at best” Here we see what an honest book the Bible is! its greatest heroes come down so often to our level and show the same weaknesses as ourselves that we might learn and be helped by them. Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man brings a snare,” it paralyses but praise God there is an antidote to the fear of man Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.” Instead of fearing men have faith in God and obey Him… But God, who bares with human weakness Psalm 103:14 “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” condescends to the weakness of Samuel, and provides him with a reason for his journey, which would not arouse the suspicion or jealous temper of king Saul. “But the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.” Samuel is to announce that his coming to Bethlehem is for the purpose of a sacrifice, and the anointing of a successor to Saul is to be gone about so quietly and vaguely that the great reason for his visit will hardly be so much as guessed at by anyone.

A Simple Plan v 3.

1 Samuel 16:3 “Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.” You don’t have to be smart to be obedient, all you have to do is obey. God basically says to Samuel I know your situation now I’m telling you exactly what to do, now go do it. Take a heifer, go to Jesse, offer the sacrifice, and look around. I’ll tell you the man I’ve chosen for the job.” Isn’t that simple? Don’t make the carrying out of God’s will complicated, It isn’t. Listen to God’s voice and obey it, SIMPLES!!! Meanwhile behind the scenes young David has no clue what’s about to unfold, what’s he doing taking care of the sheep that’s His job. For David the day began like any other but by the end of the day life would never be the same again. God has some extremely exciting things in mind for His children, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” For some it could be today or tomorrow, it could be next month or 10 years down the line we don’t know when. But the wonderful thing about this adventure called faith is that as Swindoll says “He knows exactly where He’s taking us, our job is to obey, to live in close fellowship with God as we walk our earthly path. In the process of that simple arrangement, God engages us in His eternal plan.”

A Very Human Focus v 6 – 10.

So Jesse and his sons are invited to the sacrifice 1 Samuel 16:6-10 “So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before Him!” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” First came the handsome and stately Eliab. And astoundingly even with the fate of the handsome and stately King Saul still no doubt full in Samuel’s memory, Samuel lept to the conclusion that this was the Lord’s anointed. Could he wonder at God’s emphatic No, surely Samuel himself had seen enough of outward appearance coupled with inward unfitness. But sadly it‘s not merely in the choice of kings that men and women are content with outward appearance and show. How often do we see it in the worship of God? Let everything be outwardly correct, the church beautiful, the music lively and excellent, the sermon eloquent and able, the congregation numerous, enthused, engaged and responsive – How highly such churches are often regarded! No matter how little pleasing that church might be to God. In fact the Bible tells us about one such Church Revelation 3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” The eye of God that searches and knows us, penetrates to the heart of our worship, to see if it is truly alive or dead. And if it can be true in the church it is most definitely true in the world outside, the world is obsessed with the outward appearance, see how obsessed we are with appearance. The beauty industry is a multi billion dollar industry. The Economist tells us the beauty industry is a $160 billion-dollar-a-year global industry, encompassing make-up, skin and hair care, fragrances, cosmetic surgery, health clubs and diet pills. Listen to this, Americans spend more each year on beauty than they do on education. As women and a growing number of men attempt “to keep up appearances.” It was Tony Blair who once said the countries priority ought to be Education, education, education. But the real priority it seems is appearance, appearance, appearance! The world is full of idolatry, but I question if any idolatry has been more extensively practiced than the idolatry of the outward appearance. The world is impressed and obsessed with façade and idolises the appearance but God looks on the heart. The world asks does He or she have the face for the job, God asks does he or she have the heart for the job! Eliab and 6 of his brothers failed to impress God for as Hebrews 4:13 reminds us “…there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” God saw right through them, They didn’t have the heart for the job. But In David son of Jesse God had found the man with the heart for the job Acts 13:22 “And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I HAVE FOUND DAVID THE SON OF JESSE, A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART, WHO WILL DO ALL MY WILL.” What does God see when He looks at our hearts?

 

3. A Forgotten Son v 11 – 13.

1 Samuel 16:11-13 “And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.” As Swindoll says “O for the ability to see beyond the obvious. To see beyond the bad track record. To see beyond someone’s age or the size or their level of intelligence. To see worth, value and God given potential down deep inside.” Then maybe we will find the men and women after God’s own heart who will do all His will in our day! May the Lord reveal to us the young people, the men and women after God’s own heart who will do all his will in this mission hall in the BB, the GB, Soar, Youth Club the Sunday evening meeting. That’s part of our job as leaders like Samuel to discover and anoint or in our case appoint the present and next generation of faithful young people, men and women, with a heart for God and a heart for the Job of serving God. 2 Timothy 2:2 “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (that’s one of the things I love about my job, seeing God given potential and ability for Kingdom Service in others encouraging it and helping it develop. Group of older young people in the mission hall at the moment in Ballybeen. One young man won’t take a job that involves interfering with any of his church commitments as a BB Officer, and Youth Club Leader) On the basis of “outward appearance.” though good to look at David was too young, too boyish to be anointed therefore Jesse and David’s brothers must have been flabbergasted to see Samuel pouring the anointing oil on David’s head. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” It has often been God’s way to find His men or women in unexpected places. Here God’s king is found in the sheepfold. Could it be that, that boy that girl that you had overlooked or written off at BB, GB or Youth Club is a man or women after God’s own heart? You haven’t seen their potential or what they will become but God has!

4. A Humble Servant v 17-19.

On receiving the anointing to be the next King of Israel what does David do? Demand that Jesse and his Brothers kneel before him? No! Well what did he do? Look down at verses 17 – 19 “So Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.” Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the LORD is with him.” Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” Saul is depressed so he says, get me a musician who can make me feel better so David is sought to come to the Palace to be Saul’s minstrel. But don’t miss those last words of verse 19 “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” Even after being anointed king David went right back to the sheep. Then even in the next chapter when David is Musician to the king and there’s a battle going on as well against the Philistines and Goliath again we see 1 Samuel 17:15 “But David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.” David is the Kings Minstrel now but he’s still returning to tend his father’s flock. You see when you have a faithful humble heart like David’s that’s what you do. That was David’s job and he was faithful to it. It made no difference to David that he was the next anointed king of Israel, being King Saul’s chief musician didn’t go to his head, no he just went back to the sheep. As Swindoll writes “ David was sensitive enough to hear the whisper of God’s voice. “You will be the next king.” But as soon as the big moment was over and they turned out the lights, he was humbly back with his sheep. People had to actually pull him from the sheep to get him to do anything that was related to the limelight.” That’s why David was a man after God’s own heart. David was humble, authentic, and faithful even in the little things as God sees your heart, as God sees my heart, is that what He sees? A Humble, authentic, faithful man or woman after His own Heart. For the way up in the Kingdom of God is always the way down, the way of Humility. Still today God is looking for men and women, looking for people after His own heart to whom He can say “ You are mine, I want to use you here because I have found you humble, authentic and faithful. Our calling is to be humble, authentic and faithful. That’s the kind of men and women God wants to use.

But I want to finish by going back to that thought of “A Forgotten Son” David was forgotten by His Father Jesse and His Brothers but Jeremiah 2:32 says this about God’s Old Testament people “My people have forgotten Me days without number.” Many today have forgotten God’s Son Jesus Christ, maybe until this moment you have forgotten Him As One Hymn writer put it “Our Lord is now rejected, And by the world disowned, By the many still neglected, And by the few enthroned, But soon He’ll come in glory, The hour is drawing nigh, For the crowning day is coming by and by.” One day King Jesus is coming back to rule and reign forever as King of heaven and earth. If you will not remember Him now and confess Him as your Saviour and Lord turning from your sin then one day He will say these terrible words to you Matthew 7:23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me…” Don’t Forget God’s Son Jesus Christ!

 

A Word To Parents Of Children With Learning Disabilities On Exam Results Day

I have been thinking a lot today of parents of children with educational challenges and learning disabilities amid the swathe of academic success, proud parents and glowing results today you may be tempted to believe the lie that you have somehow failed as a parent because your child continues to battle and struggle for what appears to be meagre results. 
Dear parent there is more to life than academics and more than one path to a worthwhile and satisfying career. Celebrate today all the unique traits that make your child special, the strides they have made and the progress they have achevied no matter how small. Stop comparing them to others our children are unique and beyond compare and in fact what some call a disability is just a different ability anyway that makes our children who and what they are and we wouldn’t want them any other way they are unique special and precious and whatever their results today they will find their niche for God made us all the way we are for a purpose. 
Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Quote Of The Day – David Platt – Counterculture – 

David Platt writes in his book Counterculture “Many Christians who hold to a belief in the bible may choose to hide in the comfortable confines of privatized faith. We might stand up and speak with Christian conviction in the privacy of our homes and churches yet sit back and stay silent about Christian conviction in more public settings. When the conversation at the café switches to the topic of homosexuality for example, we might sheepishly, almost apologetically, stumble through a vague notion of what the bible teaches, or probably more likely, we might say nothing at all. Or when our boss at work asks us what we believe and we realise that our job may be in jeopardy based on how we answer, we might find ourselves masking, or at least minimizing, the parts of our faith that could be most offensive to him or her… 
Moreover in a country where even our own religious liberty is increasingly limited, our suffering brothers and sisters beckon us not to let the cost of following Christ in our culture silence our faith. May we not sit back and accommodate our culture in relative comfort while they stand up and counter their culture at great cost. May we realise with them that privatised Christianity is no Christianity at all, for it is practically impossible to know Christ and not speak for and proclaim Christ, to believe Gods word when we read it in our houses and churches but not obey it in our communities cities and workplaces… 
God has put you in an anti-Christian age for a reason. He has called you to Himself, He has saved you by His Son, He has filled you with His Spirit, He has captured you with His love, and He is compelling you by His Word to counter culture by proclaiming His Kingdom, knowing that the reward of following Christ is worth any risk to your life, your family, your future, your relationships, your reputation, your career, and your comfort in this world.” So let’s not stay silent with this Gospel, let’s not allow fear in our culture to muzzle our faith in Christ.”

Quote Of The Day – David Platt – Counterculture – 

David Platt writes in his book Counterculture “Many Christians who hold to a belief in the bible may choose to hide in the comfortable confines of privatized faith. We might stand up and speak with Christian conviction in the privacy of our homes and churches yet sit back and stay silent about Christian conviction in more public settings. When the conversation at the café switches to the topic of homosexuality for example, we might sheepishly, almost apologetically, stumble through a vague notion of what the bible teaches, or probably more likely, we might say nothing at all. Or when our boss at work asks us what we believe and we realise that our job may be in jeopardy based on how we answer, we might find ourselves masking, or at least minimizing, the parts of our faith that could be most offensive to him or her… 
Moreover in a country where even our own religious liberty is increasingly limited, our suffering brothers and sisters beckon us not to let the cost of following Christ in our culture silence our faith. May we not sit back and accommodate our culture in relative comfort while they stand up and counter their culture at great cost. May we realise with them that privatised Christianity is no Christianity at all, for it is practically impossible to know Christ and not speak for and proclaim Christ, to believe Gods word when we read it in our houses and churches but not obey it in our communities cities and workplaces… 
God has put you in an anti-Christian age for a reason. He has called you to Himself, He has saved you by His Son, He has filled you with His Spirit, He has captured you with His love, and He is compelling you by His Word to counter culture by proclaiming His Kingdom, knowing that the reward of following Christ is worth any risk to your life, your family, your future, your relationships, your reputation, your career, and your comfort in this world.” So let’s not stay silent with this Gospel, let’s not allow fear in our culture to muzzle our faith in Christ.”

Quote Of The Day David Platt – Counterculture – Tolerance.

David Platt Counter-culture – “The cardinal sin of our culture is to be found intolerant, yet what we mean by intolerant is ironically, well, intolerant. Let me explain. 
As soon as someone today says Homosexual activity is wrong or sinful, he or she is immediately called “intolerant” “offensive” “bigoted” or “hateful” as we’ve seen, but we’ll stick with “intolerant” for now. This supposed intolerance is often based upon the persons belief in the Bible. Simply because that belief is different from other’s beliefs, it receives the “intolerance” label.

But the label is strangely self-defeating. Isn’t the person who assigns the “intolerance” label actually displaying a similar intolerance of that other person’s beliefs? In the process of calling another person “intolerant” it sure seems that the name caller is fairly intolerant him or herself. This is common across our culture. Its as if Americans are tired of intolerant people, and we’re not going to tolerate them anymore. We find ourselves in the awkward position of being intolerant of intolerant people. Which means we can’t tolerate ourselves.
Apparently, our view of tolerance is a bit skewed. After all, the very notion of tolerance necessitates disagreement. Think about it. I don’t tolerate you if you believe exactly what I believe. If you believe that baseball is the greatest sport ever invented. I don’t tolerate you. I wholeheartedly agree with you, and I will gladly sit behind home plate with you, eating a hot dog and enjoying a game with you any day! Its only if you believe that baseball is boring and soccer is much more exciting that I will find myself having to tolerate you. In that case, I will ardently disagree with you, and I will invariably enlighten you as to all the reasons why you’re wrong. But in the end, I will gladly sit in the stands with you as we watch guys run around kicking a ball on a field together.

Tolerance implies disagreement. I have to disagree with you in order to tolerate you. Sports superiority is obviously a light example, but on the deepest religious questions about life, we are bound to experience similar disagreements, aren’t we? And when we come to those disagreements, it would not only be wise but helpful for us to not immediately resort to calling one another intolerant (or bigoted or hateful, for that matter) instead it would be wise and helpful for us to patiently consider where each of us is coming from and why we have arrived at our respective conclusions. Based upon these considerations, we can then be free to contemplate how to treat one another with the greatest dignity in view of our differences.”

​A Short Response To The BMA – British Medical Association  Decision In Favour Of Abortion On Demand Up To 28 Weeks.

A Short Response To The BMA – British Medical Association  Decision In Favour Of Abortion On Demand Up To 28 Weeks.
​Pro 6:16 — Pro 6:17

These six things doth the Lord hate:yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue,and hands that shed innocent blood…

So the British Medical Association have voted in favour of the horrific murder of the unborn right up to 28 weeks.

We have spent billions of pounds in space exploration looking for life on other planet’s. And we know what the headlines in the paper would say if the equivalent of the unborn child  at conception were found on some other planet, “Life Found On…” and billions more would no doubt be spent to do all that could be done to find and nurture this “newly” discovered life form on another planet. Yet back on Planet earth its only life when it suits and can be tortured and murdered.

Sadly today at the BMA the spirit of Dr Josef Mengele is alive and well.

Today we also have the hypocrisy of the media who have been among the cheerleaders for abortion on demand who today rightly lament the death of Charlotte Churches unborn child yet “is it not just a foetus, why the lament?” You see they and everyone else really do know what it is and exactly what they are doing.

Truly we are a nation ripe for Gods judgement and I believe already under it. Today’s news makes me want to weep and pray may God in wrath remember mercy and bring our nation to mourn its sin and repent before much worse judgement comes upon us.

​Jesus Interest In Two Disciples On The Road To Emmaus Luke 24 v 15 – 35.

Jesus Interest In Two Disciples On The Road To Emmaus Luke 24 v 15 – 35.
Emmaus was a small village eight miles north west of Jerusalem. The two men walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus were discouraged disciples who had no reason to be discouraged. They had heard the women’s reports that the tomb was empty and that Jesus was alive, but they simply did not believe them. Like many still to this day they chose to reject the personal testimony and clear and compelling evidence. They had hoped that Jesus would redeem Israel, but to their minds their hope had been shattered. We get the distinct impression that these men were discouraged and disappointed because God did not do what they wanted Him to do. But “Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.”
1. Jesus took A Personal Interest In The Two Disciples v 15.
The bible tells us here that “…it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. ” Jesus himself drew alongside of these two men. He was interested in them. He was concerned for their condition. Their unbelief and as a result of that unbelief their discouragement disappointment and despondency. And as a result he took a personal interest and got personally involved. Thank God that still today Christ does not leave us in our unbelief, our discouragement, disappointment and despondency. As God speaks to your heart this evening, the Saviour draws near to us through His word and the presence of His Holy Spirit calling us from unbelief to faith and belief calling us from discouragement disappointment and despondency to salvation, trust, blessing and joy. For He has promised John 14:18 “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
2. Jesus Took A Personal Interest In Their Journey v 15 – 16.

Further to Jesus personal interest in them he took a personal interest in their Journey for verse 15 also tells us that He “ walked along with them.“ as they journeyed from Jerusalem to Emmaus away from Christ, the house of God and the fellowship of the other disciples in Jerusalem. “Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.” He took an interest in their journey so much so that he went along with them. Therefore it ought to encourage you and I his modern day disciples that He takes a personal interest in our earthly journey and draws near to journey along with us Therefore Joshua 1:9 “…be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” He does not leave us to wander around in discouragement, disappointment, despondency and confusion. No, as the old hymn puts it “He walks with me and He talks with me” He walks a long side of us to bring encouragement, faith, blessing, joy, and enlightenment. And those times when we begin to back slide, walking away from Him, His church and His children as figuratively these men were doing as they journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus He takes that personal interest in our journey and draws along side that we might be drawn back to himself back into the way.
3. Jesus Took A Personal Interest In Their Conversation v 17.

Jesus graciously walked with them and listened to their animated heated conversation “And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?” No doubt they were quoting various old testament prophecies and trying to remember what Jesus had taught. But they were unable to put it all together, and come up with an explanation that made sense. Was He a failure or a success? Why did He have to die? What would happen now?  
4. Jesus Took A Personal Interest In Their Confusion v 18 – 24.
Luke 24:18-19 “And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things?” There is a touch of humour in Luke 24 v 19 when Jesus asked “ What things” For of course He had been at the very heart of all that had happened in Jerusalem, and now He was asking them to tell Him what had happened. How patient our Lord is with us as He listens to us tell Him what He already knows. The Longer Cleopas talked the more he indicted himself and His friend for their unbelief. Luke 24:19-24 “And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.” What more evidence could they want? Witnesses including the Apostles had seen the tomb empty. Angels had announced that Jesus was alive. Witnesses had seen Him alive and heard Him speak. The proof was there! Sadly, to this day men and women continue in their unbelief despite all the evidence for the truth of God’s word and the resurrection in particular. 
1. Jesus predicted His resurrection (Matt 16:21; Mark 9:9-10; John 2:18-22).
2. The Old Testament prophesied it (Psalm 16:10; compare Acts 2:25-31; 13:33-37).
3. The tomb was empty and the grave clothes vacant. if those who opposed Christ wished to silence His disciples, all they had to do was produce a body, but they could not (John 20:3-9).
4. Many people saw the resurrected Christ. They looked on His face, touched Him, heard His voice, and saw Him eat (Matt. 28:16-20; Luke 24:13-39; John 20:11-29; John 21:1-9; Acts 1:6-11; 1 Cor. 15:3-8).
5. The lives of the disciples were revolutionized. Though they fled and even denied Christ at the time of His arrest, they later feared no one in their proclamation of the risen Christ (Matt 26:56, 69-75).
6. The resurrection was the central message of the early church. The church grew with an unwavering conviction that Christ had risen and was the Lord of the church (Acts 4:33; 5:30-32; Rom. 5:24).
7. Men and women today testify that the power of the risen Christ has transformed their lives. We know that Jesus is alive not only because of the historical and biblical evidence but also because He has miraculously touched our lives.” How true is the saying that says “there are none so blind as those who will not see.” who despite all the evidence continue in their unbelief? Rich Man’s Brothers – Luke 16:31  And “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

 

Christ here however takes a personal interest in their confusion and unbelief that they might be led from confusion to enlightenment and from enlightenment to belief and faith in the Saviour and His resurrection for He promised Isaiah 42:16 “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” For we see now that…
5. Jesus Took A Personal Interest In Their Enlightenment v 25 – 32.

For their real problem was not in their heads but in their hearts they could have debated the subject for days and never arrived at a satisfactory answer. No, what they needed was an understanding of the word of God For “… faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10 v 17, and Jesus opened the scriptures to them and gave that understanding to them. “Teaching them in all the scripture the things concerning himself.” Yes enlightenment and faith came to these two men through the word of God as it does to you and I also today. If we want spiritual enlightenment then it is to be found in the word of God as Psalm 119:130 declares “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” Yes Jesus opened the scriptures to them and then he opened their eyes so that they recognised him. Had we waited for these two men to see He was the Christ, the Messiah with their own eyes we would have waited forever. Mark 4:12 “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand;” For it was Christ alone who could open their eyes to His resurrected presence with them. In the same way we can never come to know the presence of Christ in our own lives except He by His power, grace and mercy comes and lifts the scales from our eyes which sin and unbelief have formed and causes us to see Him in all His saving resurrected power and glory. Therefore it is “…God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6.
Conclusion v 33 – 35.

After their very intimate and personal meeting conversation and enlightenment with Jesus these two men just having arrived back from Jerusalem at once got up and went back there to tell the disciples and others, the truth that Christ was risen indeed. This is the best evidence that we have understood Gods word and met with the living Lord Jesus Christ. The fact that we have something exciting to share with others. What about you today have the scriptures opened your heart today, have your eyes been open to see the resurrected Lord and Saviour. Have you Met with Him personally. (Father In Law Eric tears in eyes) If God is speaking to your heart tonight you can if you will only turn from your sin and unbelief to trust in the Saviour. Then the Personal saviour will be your saviour too. And like Cleopas and His friend you’ll want to rush out to tell the good news of the gospel to others also Acts 4:20 “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Of course when the two men arrived back in Jerusalem to tell the disciples they had met with the risen Christ, the apostles and the others told them that Jesus was alive and had appeared to Peter! And as Weirsbe says “what a difference it would make in our church services if everybody who gathered came to tell about meeting the living Lord Jesus Christ! if our services are dead it is probably because we are not really walking with and listening to the living Saviour” O that we might afresh this Easter begin walking closely with and listening closely to the living Saviour once again in the Word and in Prayer. And that with the Hymn writer we might powerfully and boldly testify “ He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!

He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.

He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!

You ask me how I know He lives?

He lives within my heart.”