April 23, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO GATHER TOGETHER THE OUTCASTS

Psalm 147:1 Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
2 The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.

The “outcasts” mentioned in this passage refers to the scattering of the tribes of Israel. You may have heard of the twelve tribes of Israel or the ten tribes of Israel. We can get into that another day. Although these individuals had been uprooted from their land, God had promised to one day build up and gather together these people. There are many similarities between us believers “today”, and Israel from “yesterday”. Israel was God’s “chosen” people, we are God’s “called” people. They were promised that Christ would “come”, we have been promised that Christ will “come again”. They journeyed to a “promised land”, and we are journeying to a “promised home”. There is also a similarity between us and the “outcasts of Israel”. What does it mean to be “outcasts”?

1. IT MEANS YOU COULD NOT DEFEAT THE ENEMY
No one wants to live in captivity. No one wants to be “cast” out of your home and country. The problem with Israel is that they had rebelled against God too many times. God was the one winning the battles, meeting the needs, and providing protection. When God took that protection away, Israel had no chance to protect itself. That is the way it us with us also. Without God’s protection against Satan, we would have no chance.

2. IT MEANS YOU ARE IN A STRANGE LAND
Being an outcast means that you are in a different environment than what you are comfortable in. It means that most everyone around you might speak a different language, have different priorities, and may not appreciate the things that are important to you. If you are not careful, you can begin to become like your surroundings. You can begin to change. Does this world ever feel like that to you?

3. IT MEANS YOU ARE IN A TEMPORARY HOME
Being an outcast means that while you learn to be content with where you are, where you are, is not where you really want to be. It is not really “home”. No matter how you fix up the place, it is not the same. It can get frustrating being in a temporary home. May I remind you that, “this world is not my home, I’m just passing through”. This world should not feel like home. We should feel out of place. This is temporary.

4. IT MEANS WE WILL ALWAYS HAVE HOPE TO GO BACK HOME
We do not have a hope, we have a “promise”. Just as God gathered the outcast of Israel, He will gather us one day. As God built up Jerusalem, God is building us a heavenly home. As we are scattered in a strange land right now, Jesus is coming again to gather all of us “outcasts”. We will finally be “home”. That is why verse one says, “1 Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.”