Sunday Sermons

Sunday Sermons

Times Like These

Times Like These

Recently the Obama Administration stated that public schools must permit transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity. The guidance from leaders at the departments of Education and Justice says public schools are obligated to treat transgender students in a way that matches their gender identity, even if their education records or identity documents indicate a different gender. 

This is just one in a long list of social experiments that many people thought would never happen. For centuries men who wanted to dress as women were not viewed as something to be celebrated. The very idea that such behavior would be encouraged by the government, and even encouraged in our schools among young people is unbelievable. The fact that a boy would ever be allowed into the girls locker room (no matter what his line), just could not be imagined even 20 years ago. In light of such developments we can identify with the psalmist who said, "If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3).

Not the First Generation

When you read the Bible, and especially the Psalms you will find that we are not the first generation to see the moral and spiritual foundations crumble before our eyes. In fact in the early chapters of the book of Psalms you will find many things that sound incredibly familiar, as if the writer was living in our own times:

  • The claim that our faith in God is vain: 3:1-2
  • Government rulers determined to thwart God: 2:2
  • People who are unreliable in everything that they say: 5:9
  • People who aim at deception and love pursuing what is worthless: 4:2
  • People who confidently claim there is no God, that they are not accountable to Him, that He will never judge them: 10:4-6
  • When unbelievers feel confident to curse God openly: 10:3
  • Unbelievers who claim that they are winning the culture battle, that they are winning which narrative will be believed: 12:4
  • People who confidently claim that they can say anything they want, and that their bodies belong to them: 12:4
  • When the wicked are confident and when vileness is exalted among the sons of men: 12:8

Yet, even in our own lives, we know that such arrogance does catch up to a person. In our past, we too thought at times that we were untouchable and thankfully learned better (Psalm 30:6).


In such a climate we should not be shocked that the righteous are pictured as crying out for help.  Because:

  • They are surrounded by enemies who are too powerful for them. The wicked seem to have all the power and resources at the moment: 18:17
  • Some of these godly people even found themselves abandoned by family members when the pressure became too intense: 27:10

Keeping Things in Perspective

In the Book of Revelation we find the following statement, "And every created thing which in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, 'To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever'" (Revelation 5:13). In Psalm 148 we find a Psalm of praise to God in which the sun, moon, stars, beasts, all cattle, and so on are called upon to praise the Lord. Now, the Holy Spirit knows that the world is also filled with unbelievers, many on the board way who do not praise the Lord. Yet have you ever considered that unbelievers are actually in the minority? The entire creation is praising the Lord. That is, the insects, animals, plants, trees and so on praise the Lord in the sense that they honor Him by performing the role they were created to perform. There is no rebellion against God among such created things. The sun continues to serve, the moon, the stars and so on all continue in their appointed roles and tasks. So, out of everything that God made, the group that is in rebellion to His will is a collection of some men and some angels. Put this way, the rebels are actually in the minority compared to the sum total of created things. If I am a Christian, then I am in harmony with the sun, moon, stars, trees, animals, birds, rivers, mountains, etc If I am an unbeliever, then I am out of harmony with the rest of creation.

The Answer

I am impressed that there is an answer. Let us also remember that men like David who were at times surrounded by the ungodly are presently being comforted by God while those who opposed God at that time have been under punishment since the moment they died (2 Peter 2:9).

We Have a Rock: Psalm 18:1

Everything in the culture is in a constant state of flux and change. Unbelievers may have recently won certain court battles, and some sinful things have been legalized by our culture, yet there is no guarantee that any of those "gains" will remain. Another generation might come along and reverse everything. Yet, truth does not change with God.

God Will Act: Psalm 27:13

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of living".

Note the expression "land of the living". We all know that at the Final Judgment we will see vindication, but this verse seems to remind believers that even in this life we will see the goodness of the Lord. Not all the rewards are reserved until heaven and not all the punishments are reserved until hell. 

Wait for the Lord: Psalm 27:14

Before we move on, let's clarify "wait". This never meant sit back and do nothing. Those who are said to be "waiting" in the Psalms are continuing to be faithful. Or, from a New Testament perspective those who are waiting are continuing to pick up their cross, be salt and light, and are spreading the good news.  So waiting never meant, "Sit back and be inactive". Or, "hide your faith". I believe that waiting includes:

  • Do not panic. Do not give up or give up your faith in God. Do not roll over and just let evil move ahead unopposed.
  • Do not fight evil with evil. Do not argue that such desperate times demand that we fight fire with fire. Rather, remain godly.

You Are Stronger than You Think: Psalm 27:1-3

  • With God we can navigate dangerous times: 18:33
  • With God we have hands trained for spiritual warfare: 18:34
  • With God we can use weapons that would have been beyond our previous ability: 18:34
  • While the world boasts in earthly power, resources and supposed gains. We boast in our God: 20:7
  • With God, He is constantly rescuing me from hidden plots that I cannot fight or detect with my own limited wisdom: 25:15

The Importance of Remaining Faithful

No use complaining about how evil the world is, if we are being evil ourselves. The hope that these writers had is based on the premise that they were striving to remain faithful in an unfaithful world:

  • I want to be that generation, with clean hands and a pure heart that is seeking Him: 24:4-5
  • I have sins in the past too, and desire them to be forgiven, for I have tried to move far past them: 25:7
  • We seek His salvation for we know that our sins are great as well: 25:11
  • I want to remove from my life everything that is not pleasing to Him. I want to be examined by His word. I do not want to waver. I am determined not to be a pretender or fair weather friend: 26:4-5

Mark Dunagan |
Beaverton Church of Christ | 503-644-9017