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God's Not Mad at You
Let it Go…or meditate on His Word day and night.

Let it Go…or meditate on His Word day and night.

DECEMBER 30, 2020

/ Programs / Key Life / Let it Go…or meditate on His Word day and night.

Zach Van Dyke:
Let it go… or meditate on His Word day and night. Let’s talk on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
You’re listening to Key Life. We’re here to communicate the freeing truth that God’s not mad at his children. Steve Brown invited Zach Van Dyke to do the teaching this week. Zach’s the Teaching Pastor at Summit Church here in Orlando, Florida. If you’re a struggling believer, you’ve come to the right place.

Zach Van Dyke:
Thanks Matthew, like Matthew said, I’m here, this week, sitting in for Steve in this second part of a series I started back right after Thanksgiving called Long Expected Hope, where we’re looking at Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. We’re looking at how Luke begins the gospel, how he begins the story of Jesus. And he begins the story, with this very religious man, a man whom he describes as godly as being righteous before God, but a man who his circumstances had led him to being pretty hopeless, to not thinking that God really could do the impossible. You remember Jesus said, with man it is impossible, but not with God, with God all things are possible. So we spent the first week back in November, kind of looking at, what do we do when our circumstances tell us to be hopeless, but we know who God is, we know what his word says and we know we should have hope. So we spent some time kind of looking at that. And this week we’re looking at, okay, after Zechariah was kind of confronted with that, he was called out for his lack of belief, his veering away from a childlike faith, that can believe the impossible, that can trust God, even if stark circumstances say something different. As a consequence of that lack of faith, the angel tells Zechariah, you’re going to be silent. You’re not going to be able to speak. And in fact, you’re not gonna be able to hear anything for the next nine months until your son is born. And then after that nine months of silence, Zechariah breaks forth with this beautiful song about God’s goodness and his sovereignty and about God’s promises being met. But really what I find so striking, is it’s mostly about God’s grace. It’s mostly about what God is going to do through this Messiah. Essentially, he proclaims, the very first thing he says after being silenced for nine months is,

Salvation comes through the forgiveness of sins, because of the tender mercy of God.

That’s what he sings. And yesterday I was saying how a lot of times, at least for me, I don’t sit in silence very often. And my guess is during this past Christmas season, you didn’t have a lot of time to sit in silence either, but we really miss out when we don’t do that. And I shared an example of, of being caught in a sin and how I was, because of my circumstances, because I was on a plane with no WiFi or no movie. I was forced to kind of sit and think about that sin, in silence. And I had to really wrestle with it and how there was a thing that kind of happened in my own heart as I sat there with it, because at first I tried to minimize it, I tried to think of excuses, I tried to think of all the reasons why I would have made the choices that I made, but the longer I sat in it, the more I began to see it for what it really was. And about an hour of wrestling with it, just started crying. I was heartbroken. I began to really feel the weight of my sin. See, there’s something that you and I, we miss out on, a lot of times, because we’re so busy, because we don’t have silence. So what maybe seemed like a huge consequence to Zechariah, maybe was such a gift, because in that silence, I believe Zechariah saw his need. I think Zachariah was able to play over and over again, his sin. He was able to see it more clearly. And so what resulted was this overwhelming joy at what the Messiah was going to do. That in fact, he was going to be forgiven of his sins, because through the Messiah, we would see the tender mercy of God. And so Zechariah speaks over his boy and he speaks over his boy these words.

You, my child will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of sins, because of the tender mercy of God.

As I sat with that and this first part of Zechariah’s song, I couldn’t help, but think how much deeper Zechariah’s understanding of salvation was because of nine months of silence. And then he makes an aside early in the song. He says,

(As he said through his holy prophets long ago)

Zechariah was a priest, he knew scripture, he knew God’s word, at which time, it was only the Old Testament. And, I bet he would have had most of it memorized. So in his silence, I’m sure, nine months of silence, God’s word kept coming to mind. You know, what comes to my mind when I’m silent? Let it go. I know it’s old. It’s been, I mean, that movie was so long ago. My daughters still listen to it. And so whenever I’m silent, that’s what comes to my mind. But Zechariah, knowing all that Scripture, having all that Scripture in his mind, it would have kept coming to mind. That’s why we really should memorize Scripture, so that when we are silent, let it go, isn’t what comes to mind. But it’s this, it’s this onslaught of God’s word. And so, as I was thinking about that, and as I was thinking about, alright, Zechariah was silent for nine months, he would have had all these Scriptures come to mind. In fact, he talked about these holy prophets of long ago and how this was the beginning of the fulfillment what they talked about. And so I started thinking, like, I wonder what, what things came to mind, what Scriptures came to mind, what prophets came to mind. In verse 68, Zechariah calls, salvation redemption. He says,

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.

In the original language, this word redeemed appears throughout the New Testament and it paints this picture of being released from bondage through the payment of a price. It’s a very specific word that Zechariah chooses.

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.

Released them from bondage through the payment of a price. Now, for a priest who knows Scripture, when he sings that, when he sings of this redemption, when he sings of being released from bondage to the payment of a price, I started thinking, how could he not think of the prophet Hosea? Remember the story of Hosea? Hosea was a prophet that God came to and he said, okay, Hosea, I want you to go, and I want you to marry a promiscuous woman. I want you to take a promiscuous woman as your wife. Essentially God says to Hosea, I want you to see your wife the way I see her. I want you to marry a woman, knowing what she is fully capable of. And so Hosea does, he marries a woman by the name of Gomer. They have a baby. And I bet Hosea thought because I, because I loved Gomer in spite of her promiscuous heart, she’s not going to sin against me. My initiating unconditional love is strong enough that it’s going to change her, I bet he, I bet he kind of thought like I did it and look, it’s going to be fine. Baby two comes out, doesn’t quite look like Hosea. Baby three comes out and doesn’t look like Hosea so much so, that Hosea names the baby, Not Mine. So all of a sudden it’s like, okay, this is bad. Hosea calls his wife out. He exposes her sin and you know how she responds? She says, well, you don’t really satisfy me anyways. You don’t provide for me the way that I want to be provided for, in fact, my other lovers, they do a much better job. Peace, I’m out. He leaves, when confronted with her sin. Gomer doesn’t return. Even when the consequences get so bad, we’re told, after she leaves him, things get worse for her. She still doesn’t return. In fact, consequences get so bad, that we’re told she’s a slave. She becomes a slave. She doesn’t try to come home. So, what does God do, well in Hosea chapter three in verse one, God tells Hosea, he says,

Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulterous, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though, they turn to other gods.

Essentially, God says, I want you to go and I want you to buy your wife back. And we’re told that’s what he does. At some point, Gomer had become a slave, at some point she was being sold. And Hosea goes and we’re told he spends 15 shekels to buy her back. Now, if I were Hosea, I would be thinking, really God, are you kidding me? I loved this woman, even though I knew what she was capable of. I called her out in her sin and she mocked me. In fact, when the consequences got bad, she didn’t come home. She essentially chose slavery over me. And God says, yeah, I want you to go and buy her back. And he does, when Zechariah’s saying,

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.

I bet he was thinking of Hosea. I bet he was thinking of that price paid. I bet he was praising God, because he knew God initiated a love with us, knowing what we would do, knowing all the ways that we would turn away from him. And because none of us really seek God, he would come and seek us. At Christmas, God comes to us. At Christmas, God tells us that Jesus is the truer Hosea. At Christmas, we know that we have a savior who has come after us, and he didn’t just buy us back with a bag of shekels. He bought us back with his life. As Zechariah sang this song, he saw that Christmas was all about grace.

Matthew Porter:
Zach, of course, that was pastor Zach Van Dyke continuing to teach us from Luke about God’s tender mercy toward us. And yeah, when you stop and think about it, that love really does make you want to break out in song. Hey, by the way, if you missed any of this week’s episodes from Zach, you can access those episodes the brand new This new version of the website now has been live for a couple months now, have you checked it out? It has a cleaner layout with quicker loading and simpler navigation. It’s never been easier to find what you’re looking for and to discover new content, you’re going to love. Check out the station finder tool to find out which nearby stations will be playing Key Life and Steve Brown Etc. Also brand new transcripts for Key Life. Now, everything you hear, Steve and Zach teach you also have it in print. How cool is that? In addition to all that, all your favorite stuff is still there, our just released digital magazine, sermons, video versions of Steve Brown Etc, Key Life Connection and even more audio content. All of it, is still free. Thanks to the generous support of listeners, just like you. If you’d like to donate, just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. Or you can mail your donation to

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