Title: God the Master Weaver

Focus: Even when God’s people are obstinate and disobedient and give up on God, God does not give up on them. By his grace, he preserves a remnant for the benefit of all people.

Function: To encourage those who have made a mess of their lives not to give up because God has not given up on them.

Text: Rom 11:1-11


1.  Little Timmy’s first day of kindergarten.  Mother walked him to school
	a.  After few days, Timmy want to walk alone
	b.  Mother concerned, so asked Neighbor to follow Timmy at distance
	c.  Timmy walked every day with friend
	d.  Asked - Who is that following us every day?
	e.  That’s Shirley Goodnest and daughter Marcy.
	f.  How do you know?  Mother prays 23rd Psalm - Shirley Goodnest and
	    Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life
2.  23rd Psalm a statement of faith following Psalm 22 lament
3.  Even though seem God has abandoned, Lord is still shepherd
4.  God does not give up on his people - That the message of today’s text
	a.  How do we know?
	b.  Rom 11:1-11 - Evidences that God not give up

I.  Evidence #1 - Paul’s inclusion as an apostle (Rom 10:21 - 11:1)
	A.  If anyone worthy of rejection, it was Paul
	B.  Paul was one of the “stubborn and obstinate people”
		1.  (Acts 7:57-59) - Stubborn Jews stone Stephen
			a.  (Acts 8:1-3) - Saul ravaged the church
			b.  (Acts 9:1-2) - Saul tries to expand persecution
			c.  Gal 1:13 - Paul said he tried to destroy church
		2.  (Acts 9:3-9) - Poetic justice
			a.  Now Paul’s physical condition matched spiritual
			b.  Why did God blind him?  To punish him
		3.  I guess Paul got what he deserved.
		4.  God sure took care of the Paul problem
	C.  Remind’s me of Michelle I knew in Vermont
		1.  Quit church, had little good to say about Christianity
		2.  Less than year later, in hospital for heart surgery
		3.  I asked if she considered if God trying to get her attention
		4.  She returned after that.  God did not give up on her
	D.  God did not give up on Paul
		1.  (Acts 9:15) - God blinded him to get his attention - Hello!!!
		2.  Paul turned back on Messiah, but he not turn back on Paul
		3.  God knew what it would take for Paul to “see”
		4.  So now, Paul writes - God has not rejected his people!!

II.  Evidence #2 - Ancient Israel (v.2-4)
	A.  Paul quotes from 1 Kingds to demonstrate God’s faithfulness
	B.  Before we read, imagine what it like if
		1.  Christianity illegal - all preachers, elders, executed
		2.  Church blg left to rot.  References to God removed
		3.  ILL:  Saw a movie like this a few years ago
			a.  Woman on trial for believing in God
			b.  If she not denounce, would be executed
			c.  Is that unthinkable?
		4.  This is the world Elijah lived in
	C.  Context of 1 Kings 19
		1.  Israel had NO good kings.  One of worst - Ahab
			a.  Jezebel bat EthBaal killed prophets of Yahweh
			b.  Sponsored Baal worship
			c.  Because of wickedness, Elijah prophesied drought
		2.  Elijah called Prophets of Baal for showdown on Mount Carmel
			a.  450 prophets of Baal, 400 Prophets of Asherah came
			b.  k Kng 18:22 - Elijah was “The Lone Prophet”
			c.  Baal not answer with fire, but Yahweh did!
			d.  Elijah killed all the prophets of Baal
		3.  Jezebel vowed to kill Elijah.  Elijah fled
		4.  (1 King 19:1-4) - Elijah tired of living, he all alone
			a.  (1 King 19:9) - Hid in a cave
			b.  (v.10) - All alone - Might as well give up!
			c.  (v.18) - But God not ready to give up!!
	C.  ILL:  God could have given up, most of us may have
		1.  Look at altars, Elijah had to repair it.
		2.  Yahweh was not worshipped in a long time
		3.  Other gods being worshipped
		4.  But God did not give up!!

III.  Evidence #3 - Later Israel (v.5-10)
	A.  Idea of a “remnant” is prominent in the prophets
	B.  It looks like that God has give up on them
		1.  (v.8-10) - He hardened them as he hardened Pharaoh?
			a.  After all, they deserved it
			b.  They lived wickedly, and turned backs on God
		2.  (v.11) - But they stumbled, but did not fall
		3.  Why?  God was not through with them yet
			a.  (Mic 7:7-10; 18-20)
				- Even though Jerusalem would be destroyed
				- God would not give up on the remnant
			b.  (Ezek 48:35)
				- Horrible vision in Ezekiel - God leaves temple
				- But last verse in Ezekiel
				- Rebuilt temple, rebuilt city - called “Yahweh is there”
	C.  Ever notice lots of the old black and white movies and shows
		1.  How do they end?  Lived happily ever after
		2.  The shows all like that - Leave it to Beaver
		3.  People criticize movies, and make more realistic
		4.  But, it big scheme of things, GOOD DOES WIN
	D.  This is the picture the Bible paints for us in the end
		1.  Yes, there is a lot of gloom, doom, wrath
		2.  There are enemies dying by sword, famine, pestilence
		3.  But Prophets end with message of hope and restoration
		4.  Last words in Bible are prophecy - Happy ending

1.  Isn’t it wonderful God doesn’t give up on us?
2.  Oh we may give up on him
	a.  He may punish us, but he does not give up
	b.  He holds his hands out ALL DAY LONG (10:31)
	c.  That mean he trying to get us to repent!
3.  ILL:  A man witness a Persian style tapestry being made in Middle East
	a.  Saw giant loom 
	b.  Weaver shouting to tapestry, and threads magically appear
	c.  Asked about this - 
		- An assistant explained that this was the master weaver
		- The apprentice behind the tapestry
		- Master knows what tapestry should look like
		- Apprentice must follow instructions EXACTLY
	d.  But what if apprentice mess up?
		- Master weaver not make him pull thread out
		- Since he is a master, he works it into the design
4.  Maybe you feel like you standing behind loom
	a.  All you can see are mass of threads and knots - mess
	b.  But, God’s perspective is different
	c.  God is not through, and works through your mistakes in tapestry of life
5.  Maybe you feel like you made mess of your life
	a.  Made wrong decisions.  This is not what you intended
	b.  Don’t give up - God has not given up
	c.  Drugs, jail, bad marriage, child out of wedlock, criminal record
6.  Don’t give up!
	a.  I forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead Phil 3:6
	b.  Whatever it is, God has already worked it into the tapestry
	c.  It is not the end of the world.  Future is still wide open.  God not done.
7.  God is the Master Weaver, he will work all things for good.  Listen to him.