SermonWake Up…Perceive Suffering
An all-creatures Bible Message

Wake Up…Perceive Suffering
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
10 February 2019
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 138:1-8
Isaiah 6:9-13
Luke 5: 1-11

Wake up…perceive suffering, and do something to end it; this is something that God wants each and every one of us to do.
Many humans are suffering, and most animals are suffering, and the environment is suffering, mostly because of the hardness of heart and indifference of human beings; thus, we are called to wake up…perceive suffering, and do something to end it.
Unfortunately, only a small percentage of people hear this calling through their hardness of heart and indifference to the suffering and corruption they are contributing to.
Tragically, some people actually plan to contribute to the suffering and corruption of God’s creation, such as terrorists, and those who raise and slaughter animals for money.
And then there are the indifferent people who make money from the war machines and those who buy and consume the products of suffering such as animal flesh and dairy products, and every one of these people needs to wake up…perceive suffering, and do something to end it in their own lives and in the world around them.
Let’s keep these things in mind as we look at Psalm 138:1-8…

1. I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart;
before the "gods" I will sing your praise.

The “gods” with a small “g” are most likely demons and world leaders, and we believe that we should include captains of industry who profit from the suffering of others, and unfortunately our peaceful and compassionate words will mostly fall upon deaf ears.

2. I will bow down toward your holy temple
and will praise your name
for your love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.

We can praise God any time, but that by itself won’t make much difference, because if we truly believe, we will fulfill God’s will here on earth as it is in heaven, and do everything in our power to help free creation from its present corruption, including the millions of humans and billions of animals who suffer and die every year.

3. When I called, you answered me;
you made me bold and stouthearted.

And He will do the same for us, if we allow Him, by truly listening with our whole being, and when we hear, it will empower us to live as His children.

4. May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth.

We believe that all world leaders have heard, either directly or indirectly from the children of God, but very few of them will do this.

5. May they sing of the ways of the LORD,
for the glory of the LORD is great.

Unfortunately, we have not heard this happening from world leaders, so it is all the more incumbent upon us to be seen and heard as the peacemaking children of God.

6. Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly,
but the proud he knows from afar.

We also believe that the “lowly” includes all the exploited animals in this world.
God knows exactly who we are, but do we really recognize who God really is, and understand that only He can see the intent of our heart and soul?

7. Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes,
with your right hand you save me.

We get the constant feeling that all Christian vegan animal rights people are walking in the midst of trouble from those who exploit animals, and in my own case He has protected me, for those foes sure get angry.

8. The LORD will fulfill [his purpose] for me;
your love, O LORD, endures forever —
do not abandon the works of your hands.

The Lord will indeed fulfill His purpose, and we should be a part of His purpose as peacemaking children of God who do everything in our power to free creation from its present corruption.
Wake up…perceive suffering, and peacefully do something to end it.
In Isaiah 6:9-13, the prophet talks about people who are asleep at the switch and don’t want to wake up to the horrors around them.

9. He said, "Go and tell this people:
"'Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'

This is exactly what I am trying to do with this sermon, and hopefully some of the people will wake up…perceive suffering, and do everything in their power to end it.

10. Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed."

I really believe that is happening with most of the people who produce and eat animal flesh and by-products.
These people just don’t seem to want to recognize the pain and suffering that they are causing, and these same people support other forms of animal exploitation.

11. Then I said, "For how long, O Lord?"
And he answered:
"Until the cities lie ruined
and without inhabitant,
until the houses are left deserted
and the fields ruined and ravaged,

This could very likely happen with our human contribution to global warming and other forms of environmental disaster; human beings are bringing this catastrophe upon themselves, and they still don’t want to recognize their own responsibility in creating the problem, and they continue to ignore it.

12. until the LORD has sent everyone far away
and the land is utterly forsaken.

Perhaps in this case the far away place is hell.

13. And though a tenth remains in the land,
it will again be laid waste.
But as the terebinth and oak
leave stumps when they are cut down,
so the holy seed will be the stump in the land."

And even though we who are outspoken Christian vegan animal rights people, we will still see and experience this disaster.
We need to wake up…perceive suffering, and peacefully do everything we can to end it.
In Luke 5:1-11, we see a different perspective about answering the call of the Lord.

1. One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God,
2. he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.

We should be just like Jesus and perceive what is around us; these were fish killers, and He had another purpose for them and their lives in service to the Lord our God.

3. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."

Based upon the heavenly will of God and the teachings of Jesus, we seriously doubt that Jesus would let a school of fish suffer and die just to show the people the power of God; He would more than likely just create the fish that were no longer alive.

5. Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."
6. When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.
7. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

This is really a miracle that is intended to seriously attract these fish killers, for what He did was totally against anything that they had previously experienced.
Note what happened…

8. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!"

In a way this is Peter’s confession, for he feels unworthy to be in the presence of Jesus.

9. For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken,
10. and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." 

In other words, Jesus was calling them away from being fish killers to become evangelists.

11. So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

This is another reason why I don’t believe that the fish suffered and died to provide them with this miracle that would not only change their lives, but the whole world.
We all need to think about these things, and wake up…perceive suffering, and do everything in our power to peacefully free creation from its present corruption.
We can if we want to.

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