************ Sermon on Luke 1:69a ************


By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman


This sermon was preached on December 14, 1997


Luke 1:57-79
vs 69a
"He Will Come: As A Horn of Salvation"

Introduction
Topic: Faithfulness
Subtopic: Of God
Index: 1228
Date:
Title:

Here is a Bible trivia question for you to answer yourself, then try on a friend. What do the following words have in common? Tishri, Kislev, Nisan, Sivan, and Ab? (Hint: you could also add Adar.)
Answer: They are all months in the Jewish calendar. For the devout Jew, the calendar was more than a way of marking time. It provided a ready-made way to recall annually God's dealings in the life of the nation. Nisan marked Passover, the time of Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Sivan brought the Feast of Pentecost, the celebration of yet another bountiful harvest from God. Tishri took the people back to their wilderness wanderings through the Feast of the Tabernacles. Each holiday became a holy day -- a time to recall God's faithfulness, a time to repent, a time to renew old commitments to follow the God of Israel.

Today is not only Lord's Supper Sunday but also the time of the year we know as Advent. For us too this is a time to recall God's faithfulness, a time to repent, a time to renew old commitments to follow the God of Israel.

Our Scripture reading this morning comes from the song of Zechariah. It reminds us that our faithful God sent Christ to redeem us from our sins.

I Horn of Salvation
A Filled with the Holy Spirit Zechariah tells us that God has come:
Lk 1:68-69 ... he has come and has redeemed his people. {69} He has raised up a horn of salvation ...
With prophetic insight, Zechariah is looking forward to the birth and ministry of Jesus.

Zechariah sees Jesus as "a horn of salvation." This is an image from the Old Testament. We are to think of an angry bull slashing at its tormentors with its horns. Or, we are to think of a pair of rams banging heads, fighting for supremacy in the flock. Or, we are to think of elk charging each other at mating season, their great racks smashing into each other. Or, we are to think of a deer defending itself against attack. I read this past week of a hunter who cornered a deer. The deer attacked him with its horns and bruised and broke his ribs.

B Christ is a horn of salvation. Consider what this means. All the power and strength of a bull or a ram, an elk or a deer, is concentrated in its horns. In the same way, all the power and strength of God's salvation is concentrated in the horn called Christ. This means Christ is God's only salvation. Apart from Him there is no salvation. Apart from Him there is no forgiveness. Apart from Him there is no redemption. He is a horn, the horn the only horn of salvation. Try what you like, look where you will, do what you can, but you will not find another salvation.
Topic: Salvation
Subtopic: Only Through Christ
Index: 3117
Date: 9/1989.10
Title:

Some people develop a "loophole mentality" in their relationship to God. I've heard that when W. C. Fields was on his deathbed, a visitor found him reading the Bible. Asked what he was doing, he replied, "Looking for loopholes, my friend. Looking for loopholes."
Well, there is no loophole. It is Christ or nothing. He, and He alone, is God's horn of salvation.

C Christ is the horn of salvation. Consider what this means. This also means He is a mighty salvation.
A farmer invited me to the barn to see his prize bull. It was kept in a pen with cement walls and a steel gate. A ring was kept through its nose at all times. When it saw us it snorted angrily and waved its long, slightly curved, horns. It towered over my head and weighed over 2000 pounds. Needless to say, I was awed and scared at the same time.
A horn of salvation a mighty salvation.
This past week I visited with Gerrit & Susie Anker. He told me about the two times he was with his sheep in the pasture and made the mistake of turning his back to a ram. It came running from the other end of the pasture and hit him as hard as it could. Then it backed up 20 feet and came running as hard as it could again. Each time another knee cap was busted up and he spent 29 days in the hospital.
Joost Verduyn also has sheep. His sheep use a telephone pole to bang their head against. When he pointed out the pole to me it looked like a tribe of beavers had been nibbling away at it. To keep the sheep from banging against the pole, Joost took the tops off of dozens of nails and left them sticking an inch or more out of the pole. The sheep are so strong and their heads so hard that they pounded all the nails all the way into the pole with their head.
A horn of salvation a mighty salvation.

Perhaps you think your sin is so great that it can't be forgiven. Perhaps you think you are so lost in sin that you can't be found. Christ is able to save all men; no one is beyond His reach. Christ is able to save from all sin; no sin is so great that the repentant sinner can't be forgiven. He is a horn of salvation a mighty horn of salvation able to save all men from all sin.

D Christ is the horn of salvation. Consider what this means. This also means Christ is a protecting salvation. Without its horns, an animal is defenseless. But with its horns it can defend itself against enemies. In Christ we find security. He is the horn of salvation Who defends us and keeps us safe. Yes, we may have our momentary lapses. Yes, we may for a time appear to fall from the grace and favor of God. Yes, we may commit the most horrible of sins. Yet, if we truly belong to Him, He will restore to us the hope and joy of salvation. To paraphrase what Paul says to the church at Rome:
Nothing can separate us from him. Neither trouble nor hardship nor persecution nor famine nor nakedness nor danger nor the sword. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from Him because He is the horn of salvation. (cf Rom 8:38-39)
Think of David. He was a peeping tom, an adulterer, a murderer. We can say he fell from grace. Yet, God restored to him the hope and joy of salvation. Or, think of Peter. He denied the Lord. Three times he denied the Lord. We can say he fell from grace. Yet, God restored to him the hope and joy of salvation. Why? Because the horn of salvation is a protection salvation.

On this Lord's Supper Sunday and third Sunday of Advent we remember and celebrate that Jesus is the horn of salvation: the only horn, a mighty horn, the protecting horn.

II God's Faithfulness
A Filled with the Holy Spirit, Zechariah reminds us that in sending the horn of salvation God is faithful. God is faithful to His promises. God is faithful to the promises He made to David. And, God is faithful to the promises He made to Abraham.

David spent years hiding from King Saul, fighting the Philistines, and defeating the Canaanites. Finally he became king, built a palace for himself in Jerusalem, and lived in luxury and security. It bothered David when he realized he lived in a palace of cedar while the ark of God remained in a tent (2 Sam 7:2). Right then and there David decided to build a temple for the Lord. "No," said the LORD, "you will not build a house for me."

At the same time, God gave David a promise, a beautiful promise. God promised to make David's name great. God promised a place and rest and security for His people Israel. God promised David and his seed a throne and a kingdom that will endure forever. God promised a future king from David's line will "be my son ... and I will be His father" (2 Sam 7:5-16).

This is not the only time in Scripture we see this promise.
(Is 9:6-7) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

(Is 11:1) A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

(Mic 5:2) "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. "

(cf also Gen 49:10; Ps 132:16-17; Ezek 29:21; 34:23; Am 9:11)

On this Lord's Supper Sunday, this third Sunday of Advent, Zechariah tells us that God is faithful to this promise made to David:
(Lk 1:69-70) He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (70) (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago)
God kept His promise. God delivered the goods.

B God is also faithful to the promises He made to Abraham. God promised to make Abraham into a great nation. God promised to make Abraham's name great. God promised to bless all peoples on earth through Abraham. God promised Abraham would be the father of many nations. God promised Abraham that kings would come from him. God promised Abraham an everlasting covenant. God promised Abraham the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession (Gen 12:2-3; 17:3-8; cf 15:5; 22:16- 18; 26:3f; Deut 7:8).

On this Lord's Supper Sunday, this third Sunday of Advent, Zechariah tells us that God is faithful to this promise made to Abraham:
(Lk 1:72-73) to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, (73) the oath he swore to our father Abraham ...
Again, God kept His promise. Again, God delivered the goods.

C God is faithful. God is true. God keeps His Word. God never breaks His promises. God never lets us down. We are celebrating God's covenant faithfulness this evening in the Lord's Supper. We remember this faithfulness in this season of Advent. And, we know God is always faithful, regardless of the circumstances of our life.
Topic: Faithfulness
Subtopic: Of God
Index: 1228
Date: 12/1997.101
Title: God is Faithful

One day a pastor visited a farmer who was a member of his congregation. As the pastor climbed out of his car he noticed a windmill on the barn which carried an inscription. Squinting his eyes, the pastor could just make out the words: GOD IS FAITHFUL. "Do you mean," asked the pastor, "that God's faithfulness depends on the direction the wind is blowing?" "No!" said the farmer. "The words mean that, regardless of which way the wind blows, God is faithful."

Conclusion
As we continue to prepare for Christmas and as we eat and drink at the Lord's Table, let us keep one thing in mind. Let us remember and believe that God is faithful. He is faithful to His promises. As He promised, He has sent a horn of salvation the only horn, a mighty horn, the protecting horn.
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