Monday, February 8, 2010

Reflection on Rev Sia's sermon for lunar new year at Petra Church 7-2-10

note:  This is a post by Pam on last Sunday's Sermon:
Hi all
I attended Rev Samuel Sia's service this morning. He quoted some OT scriptures relating to 1st day of the 1st month [just like our Chinese New Year 正月初一].  As I am not very familiar with OT, I found them very interesting and would like to share with you all.
(1) Genesis 7:11-12, Genesis 8:13-16  
 Gen 7: 11In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
Gen 8: 13In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry. 14In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out. 15Then God said to Noah, 16"Go out from the ark,you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.

Points noted down:
  • Noah & family were saved [from the flood] but they had to live in the ark for about 200days.  The environment within the ark could be quite unbearable, stuffy stinky with all the animals poop etc....(definitely no Star Cruise).  We can relate to the fact that for many of us, our circumstances remain the same when we get saved (stuck in the same rut).
  • On the first day of the first month, Noah opened the cover the ark and saw that the ground that God has prepared for him.
(2) Exodus 40:1-2, Exodus 40:17
The Tabernacle Erected
 1The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2"On the first day of the first month you shall erect the tabernacle of the tent of meeting.
17In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month,the tabernacle was erected.

Points noted:
  • The Israelites were slaves in Egypt for 400 years. They know only know hardship, nothing about worship.  But they cried out to the Lord & he brought them out.
  • The Lord needed to change them and teach them worship. The Lord gave them many instructions on setting up the tarbenacle and finally on the first day of the first month, the Lord told Mosses to set up the tarbenacle.  It took a year.
  • It takes time to set up the tent of worship.  For us, it should be taking time to read His word, equipping ourselves, serving. In one year, the tent is set up.
(3) 2 Chronicles 29:2-3, 29:17
2And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.
Hezekiah Cleanses the Temple
 3In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them.
17They began to consecrate on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the LORD. Then for eight days they consecrated the house of the LORD, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished.

Points noted:
  • King Hezekiah cleanses the temple, removing everything unclean from the temple of the Lord.
  • Similar to our spring cleaning.  It takes determination, effort and labour to clear away unwanted stuff.
  • Remember to spring clean our hearts, clearing away whatever is not of the Lord - worries, regrets, unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, disappointments etc etc. Then we can sing praises and worship.
Ezra 7:9-10, 10:17
9For on the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylonia, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, for the good hand of his God was on him. 10For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

17and by the first day of the first month they had come to the end of all the men who had married foreign women.

Points noted:
  • It was an ardous journey from Babylon to Jerusalem.  Most experts had estimated it would take 6 months but Ezra completed it in four months, because the hand of God was with him.
  • He found that many have disobeyed God and married foreign wives.
  • He set about solving the problem and by the second year, the problem was solved.
  • Set our heart to do something great for the Lord. His hand is with us.
In summary, first day of the first month:
  1. Open our hearts to receive his love, and see what the Lord has prepared
  2. Set up the tent of worship
  3. Purify our hearts of all the uncleaness
  4. Set our hearts to do something great
Deut 11:12 "It is a land that the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end."

May the good Lord bless all of you with an abundant lunar New Year.


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