SermonDeliverance Sometimes Takes Time
An all-creatures Bible Message

Deliverance Sometimes Takes Time
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
14 May 2017
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 31:1-8
Acts 7:1-60

Deliverance sometimes takes time, and other times it seems to happen quite quickly, and the Bible teaches us this applies to all living beings whether human or non-human.
In the beginning God created a perfect earth that had no need to be delivered, and He charged humans with protecting it from evil and caring for it.
However, humans failed miserably and began to exploit creation for their own greedy purposes, but Godís original charge still remains in effect to this very dayÖWe are to free creation from its present corruption, in the heavenly power of the Holy Spirit.
Deliverance is from God, but deliverance sometimes takes time, and can be plainly seen because the whole of creation remains corrupted, with its violence, pain, suffering, and death that is inflicted upon millions of humans and billions of other animals every year.
Even though deliverance sometimes takes time, it is no excuse for us not to work diligently to help free creation from its present corruption, which includes humans and animals and the environment in which we all live, for who knows if we are living at or near the end of the time of Godís delay; His deliverance could be beginning with us.
In Psalm 31:1-8, we can hear Davidís prayer or cry for deliverance from his enemies.

1. In Thee, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Thy righteousness deliver me.

Letís pause and think about what David is saying.
What would cause David to be ashamed?
We believe that he would be ashamed if he failed to rely upon the Lord for his protection and deliverance.
And also note that David realizes that he is not always righteous, just like we are not always righteous, but God is always righteous, and this is what David and we should always depend upon.

2. Incline Thine ear to me, rescue me quickly;
Be Thou to me a rock of strength,
A stronghold to save me.

David wants to be delivered quickly, but we need to remember that deliverance sometimes takes time, but the strength of the Lord is always present for us to depend upon even if we are facing tribulations.

3. For Thou art my rock and my fortress;
For Thy name's sake Thou wilt lead me and guide me.
4. Thou wilt pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me;
For Thou art my strength.
5. Into Thy hand I commit my spirit;
Thou hast ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.

Remember that if we are true believers, and place our trust in the Lord, He will strengthen us even to carry us through death, in which case our deliverance is in heaven.

6. I hate those who regard vain idols;
But I trust in the LORD.

I donít hate anyone because they donít trust in God; I just have a sorrow for them, for I was once there, too, and God delivered me from my disbelief, just as He will deliver any of us when we are willing.

7. I will rejoice and be glad in Thy lovingkindness,
Because Thou hast seen my affliction;
Thou hast known the troubles of my soul,
8. And Thou hast not given me over into the hand of the enemy;
Thou hast set my feet in a large place.

And I could say this about myself, but we are all still living in a corrupt and violent world.
Total deliverance sometimes takes time.
In Acts 7:1-60, we are told about Steven and his faith and trust in God while he is being scapegoated by the religious hierarchy.

1. And the high priest said, "Are these things so?"
2. And he [Steven] said, "Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,

Steven obviously knows that deliverance sometimes takes time, but no matter what the outcome, he trusts in the Lord, so he holds nothing back in his response to expose their hypocrisy.
And, hypocrisy and scapegoating are never from God; they are always from the devil and those who follow his evil ways.

3. and said to him,'Depart from your country and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.'
4. "Then he departed from the land of the Chaldeans, and settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, God removed him into this country in which you are now living.

Steven is using the faith of Abraham as an example of the way that all believers should be living.
Abraham rose above the peer pressures of his day to follow God, and by this example he is really telling the religious hierarchy that they are not, but letís go onÖ

5. "And He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground; and yet, even when he had no child, He promised that He would give it to him as a possession, and to his offspring after him.
6. "But God spoke to this effect, that his offspring would be aliens in a foreign land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years.
7. " 'And whatever nation to which they shall be in bondage I Myself will judge,' said God, 'and after that they will come out and serve Me in this place.'

In spite of the future hardships that Abraham and his family and followers would face, he still trusted in God and went, knowing that their deliverance sometimes takes time, which was to be 400 years in this case.

8. "And He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.
9. "And the patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. And yet God was with him,

Jealousy is a form of fear, and thus can never be a part of love; Joseph obviously trusted in God, but his older brothers did not.
Joseph trusted in God for his deliverance knowing that deliverance sometimes takes time.

10. and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household.

Note what happens when we trust in God.

11. "Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it; and our fathers could find no food.
12. "But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time.
13. "And on the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph's family was disclosed to Pharaoh.
14. "And Joseph sent word and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five persons in all.
15. "And Jacob went down to Egypt and there passed away, he and our fathers.
God used Joseph to deliver his whole family from famine, including the brothers who persecuted him, for love conquers fear.
16. "And from there they were removed to Shechem, and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

Deliverance sometimes takes time, but God is always faithful.

17. "But as the time of the promise was approaching which God had assured to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt,
18. until there arose another king over Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph.
19. "It was he who took shrewd advantage of our race, and mistreated our fathers so that they would expose their infants and they would not survive.

The king feared the Hebrews like the brothers of Joseph, so he scapegoated them.

20. "And it was at this time that Moses was born; and he was lovely in the sight of God; and he was nurtured three months in his father's home.
21. "And after he had been exposed, Pharaoh's daughter took him away, and nurtured him as her own son.

Pharaoh persecuted the Hebrews, but his daughter didnít have his hardness of heart, and saved Moses from death.
God used Pharaohís daughter to begin the deliverance process of the Hebrews, even though it would take another 80 years.
Deliverance sometimes takes time.
Are we willing to wait upon the Lord for our deliverance from this corrupt world?
Think about the animals and how long they have been persecuted and scapegoated by human beings, yet one day God will fulfill their deliverance, too, if we fail to free creation from its present corruption beforehand, as the Lord called upon us to do.

22. "And Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.
23. "But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel.
24. "And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian.

God never calls upon us to kill anyone; the only one who glories in the shedding of blood is the devil.

25. "And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him; but they did not understand.

Even though Moses was to be their deliverer, he was to do it peacefully; any condemnation would come from God, who is the only righteous Judge.
Note the result of taking vengeance into our own hands and failing to trust in the Lord for our deliverance, even if that deliverance sometimes takes time, and perhaps it may not come until after our death.

26. "And on the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, 'Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?'
27. "But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying,
'Who made you a ruler and judge over us?
28. 'You do not mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?'
29. "And at this remark Moses fled, and became an alien in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.

Moses realized that his act of vengeance was coming back upon his own head, and he fled from the Egyptian authorities for fear of being captured and punished by them.
Mosesí act of vengeance also appears to have caused the Lord to delay His deliverance for another 40 years.
We also strongly believe that our worldly human actions are also causing the Lord to delay His final deliverance, particularly of those people who commit acts against Godís creation.
We are to be the peacemaking children of God who help free creation from its present corruption, and stop contributing to its corruption.

30. "And after forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush.
31. "And when Moses saw it, he began to marvel at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord:
32. 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.' And Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look.

Moses felt this fear because he knew that he wasnít truly living in the heavenly will of God.

33. "But the Lord said to him, 'Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.
34. 'I have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt, and have heard their groans, and I have come down to deliver them; come now, and I will send you to Egypt.'

As we can clearly see from this passage, the Lordís deliverance sometimes takes time, and even a lot of time; all we have to do is realize that deliverance for the animals still hasnít come.

35. "This Moses whom they disowned, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge?' is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush.

But even after this occurred, the Lord still tarried for another 40 years, which is perhaps a combination of the attitude of the Hebrews and the actions of Moses, but it probably has more to do with the fact that Moses needed to be mature enough to fulfill the task that the Lord was setting out before him.
We believe this because the Lordís deliverance came much more quickly with Joseph, because he seemed to be much more mature for the task set out before him, which proved to be the case.
So Steven goes on with his narrativeÖ

36. "This man [Moses] led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years.
37. "This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, 'God shall raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren.'

Steven is talking about the Spirit of Jesus being in the wilderness with the Hebrews.

38. "This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness together with the angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living oracles to pass on to you.
39. "And our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt,
40. saying to Aaron,' Make for us gods who will go before us; for this Moses who led us out of the land of Egypt ó we do not know what happened to him.'

This is showing us that most humans lack even enough faith to hold on to for 40 days.
This is why there is so much violence and suffering in the world that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.

41. "And at that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands.
42. "But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, 'It was not to Me that you offered victims and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel?

God is not pleased with animal sacrifices; He wants our obedience, faith, and trust.

43. 'You also took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the god Rompha, the images which you made to worship them. I also will remove you beyond Babylon.'

God was angry with those who turned against Him, and we believe that this is one of the main reasons that deliverance sometimes takes time.

44. "Our fathers had the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it according to the pattern which he had seen.
45. "And having received it in their turn, our fathers brought it in with Joshua upon dispossessing the nations whom God drove out before our fathers, until the time of David.

But this was only a partial deliverance, because the peopleís hearts and souls were not fully turned to God.

46. "And David found favor in God's sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.
47. "But it was Solomon who built a house for Him.
48. "However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says:
49. 'Heaven is My throne, And earth is the footstool of My feet; What kind of house will you build for Me?' says the Lord; 'Or what place is there for My repose?
50. 'Was it not My hand which made all these things?'

Most people fail to recognize that God created everything for good, but humans corrupted His creation for our greedy purposes.

51.  "You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.
52. "Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become;
53. you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it."

Steven then exposes the evilness of the religious leaders and those who follow them.

54. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him.

We see this same kind of anger from many people when we try to explain to them that the horrible way they treat and exploit animals could never be in the heavenly will of God, and that they are adding to the corruption of the world instead of freeing it from its present corruption as the Lord calls us to do.

55. But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;
56. and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
57. But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears, and they rushed upon him with one impulse.

People who donít want to hear the truth act this way.

58. And when they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him, and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59. And they went on stoning Stephen as he called upon the Lord and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!"
60. And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" And having said this, he fell asleep.

Deliverance sometimes takes time, as in this case, where it came to Steven after he passed through death into everlasting life.
Do we have this kind of faith?
We hope and pray that we do.

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