Missionary Joanna Pae's sermon from Shiloh's Lord’s Day Service on October 20, 2019
When God speaks, distance is removed
The Word of God created the entire universe (Gen 1). The founding pastor of our church, Reverend Abraham Park, said we need to make sure that we receive Genesis chapter one as our own story. He said we must take the accounts of all creation as something that happens in our lives. When we do this, it will open another horizon to meet God who speaks. When God spoke to create, there were those who received the Word. God who speaks is a personal God, intimate, and someone who is close. When we speak, there is also someone there to receive it and when we listen, there is no distance. Thus when God speaks and you listen, there is no distance. This is intimacy because God is right there with you. And when we listen when God speaks, the distance that we had prior is completely removed because we are right there when He speaks. When the distance is removed, everything will flow freely to us; for example, God’s love, grace, wisdom, understanding, and whatever we ask of God. Jesus said, “Blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear” (Matt 13:16).
God wants to be intimate with us when He speaks
First, in Genesis chapter one, God repeatedly states His name 23 times; “Elohim” because He really wants us to know Him. This is God’s heart. Thus, the almighty God with all power and authority comes to us and speaks and says, “I am Elohim.” So why does God want to be so intimate? Our Father wants to share His secret with us. This is like close buddies or best friends who talk about things that can’t be said with other people. If Genesis one is about our life, how did we begin? In the beginning, the earth was void (Gen 1:2). There was nothing there. It was formless, meaning we were wishy-washy, all over the place and everywhere. It also states that darkness was deep. But what happens? “Elohim” came to us and He spoke to become intimate with us to share His secrets (Psa 25:14). God will not do anything unless He reveals His secret counsel to His confidants, and His trustworthy servants (Amos 3:7).
Secondly, God wants to be intimate with us for direct communication. This kind of communication is not second or third hand but communication that is directly between those who are right there. The Bible states that the “devious are an abomination to the Lord; but He is intimate with the upright” (Prov 3:32). When we say something “deviates,” it is off track or missing the mark, which is sin. However, “righteousness” in the original Hebrew language is צַדִּיק (tsaddiq) meaning just, blameless and in the right relationship with God.
Thirdly, God wants to be intimate with us for the purpose of friendship (Job 29:4). In Genesis chapter one when God speaks, He does so to be intimate, for friendship, for direct communication, to reveal all of His secrets, good will, and His covenant to us.
God who speaks and keeps His Word
The second attribute from God who speaks is that He is different from us when He speaks. When men speak something, they are unable to keep it. However, every word God speaks, He takes full responsibility. Thus, when God speaks to us, He is saying, “Take confidence in my Word for I will accomplish everything I am saying to you.” God gave what is His to us, and that is His Word. Therefore, wherever we go, His eyes, ears, heart and interest is with us because He placed His Word in us. This is why we are so special in His sight. This is God who speaks.
God who spoke to the Israelites
God delivered Israel out of Egypt, and after arriving at Mt. Sinai, God spends a whole year with them there (Num 1:1). God descended upon Mt. Sinai and for the first time in history, spoke with His mouth to the millions of people, the Ten Commandments. This teaches us that of all things, God chose to speak these Ten Commandments which were so precious to God. However, because the hearts of Israel were deviant towards God, they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. But at the last campsite in the Plains of Moab, God speaks His ten words again. This is why the Ten Commandments appear twice in our Bible; first at Sinai in Exodus 20 and secondly in Deuteronomy 5 in which God speaks through Moses to the second generation born in the wilderness. This tells us that before we go up into the promised land of Canaan to conquer it, the absolute necessity is the Ten Commandments.
Psalm 119, the acrostic poem
The Psalmist who wrote Psalm 119 reflects the heart of God. For the first time in history, Reverend Abraham Park systematically presented this relationship between the ten words and the Ten Commandments found in Psalm 119, which is the middle of the Bible. God purposely left out the name of the author of Psalm 119. Also, Psalm 119 is the longest of all the Psalms in the Bible and it is the most complete acrostic Psalms with 22 Hebrew alphabet letter stanzas with 8 lines in each. This whole passage of Psalm 119 is weaved through ten different Hebrew words that reflect the Word of God. Thus, the characteristics of the Word of God are portrayed in ten different ways. Psalm 119 is really a beautiful poem; when we read Psalm 119, you will come to realize that a poem of these expressions for love of the Word can be written only by God Himself. In other words, no man on this earth can love the Word this way in Psalm 119. This is a poem that Jesus would have written in His lifetime on this earth.
Conclusion: Our founding pastor, Reverend Abraham Park, said, “Only when we meditate upon Psalm 119, we will discover this treasure that will captivate our hearts and make us encounter the living Word and be filled with the real joy and happiness.” Thus, without us earnestly asking God, and meditating upon His Word, the mystery cannot be unlocked.