This is a sermon I preached last week at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. I am very grateful for the influence of the seminary, as they are effectively equipping godly leaders to serve the Church well. President Danny Akin is the real deal. He loves the Word, his family, his students, and missions.
I’ve included some highlights of my sermon notes below.
Futility of the Gods
All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. …And yet after such a great number of years, no one without faith has reached the point to which all continually look… because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable Object, that is to say, only by God Himself.
God created us with a longing for joy. We will pursue joy in Him or we will purse joy in other things, in other gods, in lesser gods. God and the gods of this world both offer us joy. But only one delivers. In Psalm 16, David celebrates the joy he discovers in God and he contrasts his joy with the sorrow of those who pursue lesser gods. We are confronted with the futility of the gods.
Why can God deliver on joy and the gods cannot?
- The gods are temporary. He is timeless. Unless we find our joy in Him, we will simply transfer our affection from one little g god to another. Both the career and the view are temporary. God is timeless.
- The gods are never satisfied. He satisfies. Little g gods are never satisfied and they never satisfy. They are never quenched and they never quench. They always take more and they never give you joy. God gives. He satisfies. He gives Himself. He does not demand a blood sacrifice. Instead He gave a blood sacrifice. On the cross, He met the righteous requirements of the law for us on our behalf. The God of the universe, whose name Yahweh was viewed as too holy to mention, took a common name, Jesus, and placed Himself on the cross to give us everlasting joy in Him. And he yelled out “It is finished.” God is satisfied because of the sacrifice of Jesus and He satisfies.