Sunday, 1st November
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Introduction: In Bible, numbers usually have meanings. Today is the first of November,111, which has special meaning to us. In New Zealand and Australia, 111 is the phone number you dial when you have emergency. Today we’ll learn about Psalm 111.
What does “Praise the Lord” mean? In the beginning of a new year, we need to praise the Lord. On many occasions, we know we need to worship the Lord, but what does that mean? We sing worship songs, raise up hands to worship the Lord, but what does that mean? I encourage all of us to worship the Lord with our whole life.
Praising the Lord is not what you choose to do, but a command from God. Perhaps you are under difficult circumstances, but God’s word told us to “praise the Lord”. In Hebrew, praising the Lord is “Hallelujah”, which means that you must praise the Lord. There is no other choice.
In Psalm 111, verse 2, “The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them.”
In Psalm 111, verse 6, “He has declared to His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.”
The same word “works” is about what God does. When we say “praise to the Lord”, Hallelujah, we need to know what God has done. The last sentence of Psalm 111:2 says, ” studied by all who have pleasure in them.” The first thing to praise God is to search. The English translation says “study”, whereas the Hebrew word means “search” – to find out what God does.
1. To Search
On the top of the main entrance of the Cavendish Laboratory, the home of the Department of Physics in the University of Cambridge, reads verse 2 of Psalm 111.The most famous university in the UK recognizes God’s creation and deeds. They want to search what God has done in the world. The scripture is placed at the door of the laboratory so that everyone who enters can humble themselves and see how great God is.
First, God gives us food. In Psalm 111, verse 5, “He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant.” God knows our needs and gives us food. Isaiah 33:16 tells that God knows our basic needs. Why are we called the Bread of Life Church? Because we need food, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God. When we search and seek, God will give us food. This is not just about the provision to Israelites in the wilderness, but can also apply to our current situation. Many people worry that we will be unemployed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. How can we survive? But God tells us that He knows all our needs and will supply us with food, so do not worry.
Second, in Psalm 111, verses 2 and 6, “He has declared to His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.” God gave us the inheritance that originally belonged to others. We are all immigrants here, even Māori are immigrants. This land does not belong to us. We thank God for bringing us to New Zealand. If you carefully study the Scriptures, you will know it is God’s grace and mercy that brought us here. I never thought that I would live in New Zealand. It was the grace of God. Here we have the opportunity to receive his revelation and testify how real he is. When I set foot on the land of Auckland for the first time, I didn’t know anyone, but God told me that “This is your land.” If you believe that this is your land, the blessings for this land will belong to you. Because this is God’s blessing to this land, God wants us to receive it.
Third, when we study Psalm 111, verse 9, “He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name.” God redeems anyone who believes in Him. He releases us from the curse.
In Genesis Chapter 3, verse 16, “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”
This is a curse on women, not a blessing. Many women live in such a situation, which is a curse. You need to believe that blessings from God break the curses, and redemption is to cancel all these curses. God created woman and told Adam that she was his helper. The husband was not created to rule over his wife, but because of the curse, the woman lost her freedom from God. Sisters, you must claim this back from God. When we could not change our husband’s mind, we often give up easily, but you should have a close relationship with God, and continue to pray to Him. God created you to be a helper, which is your “being”. The Bible says not to take revenge ourselves, it does not tell us to give up but to let God rule and reign, and pray day and night like Hannah, whose prayer was answered by God. God did not create a woman to make her ashamed, but to let her help man. A wife should not give up by thinking that “This is my husband’s style, so I just walk my own way”, but remember your identity is a helper. Why didn’t God curse the man first? God spoke to Adam first, not the woman. But when God cursed them, He talked to the woman first. God created women for men, so before cursing the man He cursed the woman first. Brothers, we are not good enough. The curses from God made the woman lose her function to help man live out his “being” better. Sisters are important at home. Do not give up your responsibility by saying that “The husband is the head of the house”. The devil knows that women are sensitive to God and spiritual things. You must pay great attention to maintaining a close relationship with God, not to be in the world with one foot and the other foot in the kingdom of God. Jesus never enjoyed this world. He came to this world to serve, in order to fulfil the mission given to Him by God the Father. Many Christians want to be princes and princesses, but what Jesus did was to wash the feet of His disciples. We must follow God, not people, and focus on God’s Word. We are here for the unfinished business from our Lord Jesus. All the saints did not enjoy in the world, even when Paul wanted to go somewhere but the Holy Spirit stopped him. In this world we are not to accomplish our own ambition, but to accomplish His mission.
Even when Adam had sinned, God still spoke to him. God’s curse for men is toiling in this world. We always have some many things to do and we do not have time to listen to God and read the Bible. We must understand what the curse is for men and women, otherwise you see this as natural, because you worry that you do not have enough money to pay the mortgage and groceries without working. When you go to search, you will see that God provides you with food and land, and all the curses are gone. When we search, we will see how great God is. His blessings are above all we can ask or think, and his works are greater than what we imagine.
2. To Do
Psalm 111, Verse 10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.”
Matthew 22:37, 39 – Jesus said to him: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all you mind. … And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Do not worry. The burden from God is light, as long as you love God and love others. God is great, and God is love. He has prepared everything for all those who follow Him and obey His commands. God loves us and has prepared a great feast for us. He wants us to enjoy together and He did not ask you to do anything for Him. Jesus died for us. He did not order you build a temple for Him. He asked you to love God and love your neighbour. When you love, you will know God. Jesus knows that we are very selfish, thinking of ourselves first, but God’s attributes are different. He loves us and even sacrificed His son for us.
Conclusion: Praise the Lord. In the Book of Numbers, we talked about how we need to kneel and surrender ourselves to God. No matter what we do, we cannot repay what He has done for us. He knows that we cannot let go of many things and struggle with many things. But remember, He has prepared everything for us, do you believe this and do everything He wants us to do? This is not an exchange, this is a height, and you can enter this gate when you reach this height. Jesus has overcome all this, so we just need to follow him.
When I studied the Bible deeper, I recalled that Joshua was born in Egypt, not in the wilderness. The 83-year-old Joshua led all the young people into the promised land. Only he and Caleb were grandfathers. As long as you believe in your heart, you can enter the promised land. I will be 55 years old this year. As long as my heart is right, I will be the leader to receive the feast that God gives to this generation. God is also talking to everyone. You came to New Zealand not for your children, but for yourself. God wants to bless you. No one knows what will happen in ten years. What is God’s blessing for you? God’s plan is not to hurt you, not to curse you.
We pray and ask God to help us break through and remove everything that stops us from entering God’s blessings, and enter the promised land that He has prepared for us.
诗篇111第二节，“耶 和 华 的 作 为 本 为 大 ； 凡 喜 爱 的 都 必 考 察 。”第六节，“他 向 百 姓 显 出 大 能 的 作 为 ， 把 外 邦 的 地 赐 给 他 们 为 业 。“
同一个词“作为”，讲的是神做的是什么？当我们说赞美耶和华，哈利路亚的时候，我们要知道神所作的、行的是什么。第二节最后一句，“凡 喜 爱 的 都 必 考 察”。赞美神的第一件事情，就要考察。英文翻译说“学习”，希伯来文是“考察”，寻查神做什么事。
牛津大学物理系实验室大门，上面写着诗篇111篇第二节，“耶 和 华 的 作 为 本 为 大 ； 凡 喜 爱 的 都 必 考 察”。英国最有名的大学，认可神的创造和作为，他们很想考察神在世界上做了什么事。经文放在实验室门口，让每个进入的人都谦卑自己，看到神是何等伟大。
第一，神赐给我们粮食。诗篇111第五节，“他 赐 粮 食 给 敬 畏 他 的 人 ； 他 必 永 远 记 念 他 的 约 。”神知道我们的需要，把食物赐给我们。以赛亚书33：16, 神知道我们基本的需要。为什么我们叫灵粮堂，我们需要粮食、圣灵和神的话语，缺一不可。当我们考察寻求的时候，神会赐给我们粮食。这不只是讲以色列人在旷野四十年，而是我们的现状。很多人担心由于新冠疫情，我们会失业，我们怎么活下去？但是神告诉我们，他知道我们一切的需要，会供应我们粮食，不用担心。当我们从神领受应许的时候，我们是有何等的信心。
第二、诗篇111第六节，“他 向 百 姓 显 出 大 能 的 作 为 ， 把 外 邦 的 地 赐 给 他 们 为 业 。” 神把本来属于别人的地业赐给了我们。我们都是移民，即便是毛利人也是移民，这个地不是属于我们。感谢神把我们带来新西兰，仔细考察经文，就知道神的恩典和怜悯将我们带来这里。我从来没想到我会住在新西兰，都是神的恩典。我们在这里，就有机会去领受他的启示，见证他何等真实。他会给你这块地，你是否有信心去得地为业，就如约书亚和迦勒一样。当我第一次踏上奥克兰的土地时，我谁都不认识，但是神跟我说，这是你的地。如果你相信这是属于你的土地，给这块土地的祝福就会属于你。因为这是神给这块土地的祝福，神要我们去领受。
第三，当我们考察，诗篇111第九节，“他 向 百 姓 施 行 救 赎 ， 命 定 他 的 约 ， 直 到 永 远 ； 他 的 名 圣 而 可 畏 。” 神向任何一个相信他的人，都施行救赎。从咒诅中释放。创世纪第三章16节，“我会多多加增你怀胎的苦楚，你生产儿女必多受苦楚。”这是对女人的咒诅，不是祝福。很多女人都活在这样的光景，这是咒诅。当你相信从神来的祝福打破咒诅，救赎就是消除了这些咒诅，如果不是，救赎是什么？
即便亚当犯罪了，神依然对亚当说话。神对男人的咒诅 就是劳苦工作。我们常忙于做事而没有时间去听神说话，读圣经。我们一定要明白对男人和女人的咒诅是什么？不然你只觉得这就是理所当然，因为担心不工作就没钱还房贷、吃饭。但是我们去考察就看到神供应我们粮食、土地，让 所有的咒诅离去了。考察的时候就会看到神何等伟大，他的祝福超过我们所求所想，他的作为比我们想的更大。
诗篇111第十节， 敬 畏 耶 和 华 是 智 慧 的 开 端 ； 凡 遵 行 他 命 令 的 是 聪 明 人 。 耶 和 华 是 永 远 当 赞 美 的 ！
遵行他命令。 耶 稣 对 他 说 ： 你 要 尽 心 、 尽 性 、 尽 意 爱 主 ─ 你 的 神 。其 次 也 相 仿 ， 就 是 要 爱 人 如 己 。（马太福音22：37，39）