“Me thinks I saw the great God himself.”
MAY 31, 2023
“Me thinks I saw the great God himself.” Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
If you’re sick of guilt and manipulation, and if you’re looking for an honest and thoughtful presentation of Biblical truth, you’ve come to the right place. This is Key Life with the founder of Key Life Network, Steve Brown. Keep listening for teaching that will make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you were listening yesterday, I told you about Handel and the Messiah. I’m recording this not too far from Easter Sunday. Did they sing the Hallelujah chorus in your church? Did you stand? Did you feel the chills running up and down your back? Did you want to speak in tongues and dance? I did. I mean, Handel’s Messiah is an amazing work. And as I told you yesterday, it took him only 26 days to write it. And during that time, he was starving, he was hungry, he was depressed, he was going through a tough time, and when he came out of the room, he shined and he said.
Me thinks I saw the great God himself.
Sometimes. Believe it or not, that’s the experience that comes when you go through retching or wrenching lament. God shows up and his glory is reflected in the one who suffers, that was perhaps Paul’s experience that he described, and I told you about it in II Corinthians 11 and 12. In chapter 11, Paul details his suffering, he says.
That he experienced imprisonments with countless beatings and often near death.
That’s II Corinthians 12: 1 through 3. Then almost immediately in the next chapter, Paul describes his visions and revelations saying that on one occasion he was caught up into paradise itself. More often than not, God’s presence is experienced in the dark places, and his shining is reflected in those who were there with him. I know, but it’s true. My late friend Larry Crabb said. When you go to the dark, don’t run from it, run to it. And probe it until it hurts so bad that only God can make the difference. And he does. And when he does, we shine. I can’t tell you, we shine. Yesterday on the phone I talked with a dear man who had called our ministry. He is 94 years old and he wanted me to pray for his daughter. He’s a former Navy pilot and he was a delight, sharp, you can’t believe it. I said to him, I’m an old guy. I don’t know anybody as old as you still alive. And he laughed and we both laughed. And in his pain of his daughter’s leukemia, as we prayed, there was a special sense of God’s presence. And I wanted to call the staff at Key Life to come into my study so they could see me shine. That was reflected shining that Jesus gives to his people when they go through difficult times. I’m a cynical little preacher and you know that. And I’m rarely impressed by Christian celebrities. They hardly ever measure up to their PR. That’s true of most people who are celebrities and is mostly true with a few facts thrown in. Corrie Ten Boom was not only, not only measured up to her PR when I met her, she was far more than everything written about her. I had a lunch with her, and it was, and I, in my mind’s eye, I can see that lunch. She was in her hotel room, she was on the bed resting because she was old and she was going to speak that evening and she needed to rest up for it. And we talked. And do you know what I remember the most about it? She had gone through Holocaust (Shoah), she had suffered. I asked her was it as bad as they showed in the film The Hiding Place? And she said, oh, Stephen, it was a lot worse than that. We couldn’t make it as bad as it was. And as I talked to that old lady who was running toward the last race in her life, you know what I remember more than anything else about that time, she shined. She shined. And that light is called glory, and it’s a glory that often comes from those who have suffered. There was a connection between Ravensbruck and glory. There is also a connection between lament and glory and between suffering and light. I know it doesn’t seem right, but a lot of things in the Christian faith are counterintuitive. It’s the glory that Jesus prayed for, when he prayed for us. Lament is appropriate and glorifying us is the result. Now we’re trying to answer the question why when Jesus promised nothing but blood and sweat and tears, would so many millions of people follow him? And there’s another reason, for our glory. I’m just going to mention it, but it shows, Jesus said.
That we are to let the light shine that others might see.
Matthew 5:16. The light of his glories and the light of our glory is the light of the world, and we owe it to them. You think about that. Amen.
Well, it’s Wednesday, and sometimes on Wednesdays when I have some time, I take some time to answer one or two questions. Now, Pete’s going to be in on Friday as usual, and we’re going to spend the whole program answering questions, but sometimes I get to do it on Wednesday. And we love your questions, by the way, you can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7, record your questions, sometimes we put your voice on the air. Or you can send your question to
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or you can send your question to [email protected] and all of those places are places and you knew I was going to say this, where you could help us financially, if you can. I promise that we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. If you can’t, say a prayer for the ministry. If you can, you become kind of helper of other Christians who can’t afford to send anything. So, if you can do, if you can’t pray, and I’ll rise up and call you blessed in both cases. Alright, let’s turn to one or two of these questions. This is an e-mail. What is your position on eschatology? Well, eschaton is the end, eschatology is stuff about the future in the end. And the older I get, the less sure I am and the more I look forward to looking out the window in my house and welcoming Jesus who returns on the clouds. In other words, I’m a pan millennialist. I believe it’s all going to pan out in the end. And I don’t have the time in this short time to go into detailed eschatology, but I’m pretty much within what your pastor’s been teaching about it. But all of us are not sure. And we won’t be sure until Jesus returns. And then this is an e-mail question too. In reading the Bible, how can we determine what is to be taken literally, and what is a matter of historical context? Well, there are couple of ways you do it, and one is just common sense, as you read through certain passages of Scripture, it is quite clear that that Scripture was designed for a particular time and a particular place. I personally believe that hair covering that Paul talks about when he writes to the Corinthians is a culturally oriented kind of admonishment. And why is that? That’s because hair was a symbol of one’s spiritual place, one’s spiritual maturity, especially for women, that is no longer true, and therefore that is culturally oriented as a particular admonishment of Scripture. For instance, I don’t let any woman speak in the church she should ask her husband, Paul said. Now, the way we deal with a statement like that is to look at other Scripture and see if it is violated there. And there are many instances in the book of Acts, for instance, where women do speak and do teach and don’t ask their husbands. And so, something was going on in that particular sense because the Bible teaches it. So, use your common sense. And secondly, be sure and check out what the Bible has to say. Now, if you are not serious about Scripture and you don’t want Scripture to be the measurement of your life, it’s easy to say that what you don’t like was culturally oriented and you can’t do that. You’ve got to let God make that decision for you, with an informed common sense by God’s Spirit and by allowing the Bible to speak for itself. Well, that’s all I know on that subject. And it’s time to end anyway. But before I leave, one of the thing to say, and it is this. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.