December 4, 2022

Obadiah: Mount Zion Will Be Holy

Speaker: David Jordan Series: Journey Through the Bible Scripture: Obadiah 1:1–21

Download the Obadiah Bible Journal Outline

Open your Bibles, if you would, to the book of Obadiah. Hopefully, you got a Bible outline journal today. You can follow along there and take notes. Obadiah is one of our smaller books that we'll be going over. You'll notice there's only one chapter. So, I won't be making references to the chapters you will need to turn to, to follow along; it's all in chapter one. The title of the message today is “Mount Zion Shall Be Holy.” Mount Zion Shall Be Holy.

In 1812, a man by the name of Johann Ludwig Burckhardt had heard rumors of an ancient city. The city was largely forgotten for 1000 years, though, and he knew it would be tough to find, although he had a pretty good idea of where it was. It would be even tougher, though, to gain entrance into that country to explore and find this city. The city was in a region controlled by Arabs, and so he had to come up with a way to get in. So, he informed the Arabs that he had made a vow to sacrifice a cow to Aaron, the ancient high priest of Israel, upon the traditional site of Aaron's tomb. This is the site that rises above where he thought this ancient city was located. Since the Arab guides could not object to such a holy offering, they allowed Mr. Burckhardt to enter the country and to explore the area. He could never have imagined what he found. The marvel that his eyes would see, for there the vast maze of these rock canyons, he came upon Petra, the fortress capital of the Edomites, who are the descendants of Esau. Yes, that Petra.

The date of the Edomites is up for grabs. We're not sure exactly if they are the ones who built it, or if the Nabateans later built it in the 400s BC. But what we are sure of, is that whole area that we now know today as Petra, is exactly the location of the Edomites. The Edomites are spoken of in the book of Obadiah, in fact, is spoken of all over Scripture, as you'll learn this morning. And they are indeed the descendants of Esau. Where did these people come from?

Well, turn in your Bibles. I know I said Obadiah but turn to Genesis 25. Let's see where these people came from, and why this is so important. Genesis 25, verses 21 and following. Here we find the son of Abraham; his name was Isaac. Genesis 25, Verse 21 says this: “And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, ‘If it is thus, why is this happening to me?’ So she went to inquire of the LORD. [Verse 23] And the LORD said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.’ When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when she bore them.”

They were married for 20 years before they had any children. You can see that in the context here in the verses before what I read, 20 years and then twins. Needless to say, their lives were changed forever, but out of that comes these two great nations--one from Jacob and one from Esau. Esau and those after him would soon not serve the Lord, and they would be a thorn in the side of the Israelites. The Israelites would come from the line of Jacob. Look with me in the shortest book of the Old Testament, now, back at Obadiah. We haven't done this yet. But we're going to read the whole book together this morning. You're welcome, for not doing that in Isaiah with 50-some chapters, but today in Obadiah, I want to just read this so that you can kind of try and take in the whole story.

Obadiah verse one, “The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the LORD GOD concerning Edom: We have heard a report from the LORD, and a messenger has been sent among the nations: ‘Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!’ Behold, I will make you small among the nations; you shall be utterly despised. [Verse three] “The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in your lofty dwelling, who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’ Though you soar aloft like the eagle, though your nest is set among the stars, from there I will bring you down, declares the LORD. If thieves came to you, if plunderers came by night -- how you have been destroyed! -- would they not steal only enough for themselves? If grape gatherers came to you, would they not leave gleanings? How Esau has been pillaged, his treasures sought out! All your allies have driven you to your border; those at peace with you have deceived you; they have prevailed against you; those who eat your bread have set a trap beneath you -- you have no understanding.

[Verse eight] “Will I not on that day, declares the LORD, destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of Mount Esau? And your mighty men shall be dismayed, O Teman, so that every man from Mount Esau will be cut off by slaughter. Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever. On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them. But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress. Do not enter the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; do not gloat over his disaster in the day of his calamity; do not loot his wealth in the day of his calamity.

“Do not stand at the crossroads to cut off his fugitives; do not hand over his survivors in the day of distress. For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. For as you have drunk on my holy mountain, so all the nations shall drink continually; they shall drink and swallow, and shall be as though they had never been. But in Mount Zion there shall be those who escape, and it shall be holy, and the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions.

“The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau stubble; they shall burn them and consume them, and there shall be no survivor for the house of Esau, for the LORD has spoken. Those of the Negeb shall possess Mount Esau, and those of the Shephelah shall possess the land of the Philistines; they shall possess the land of Ephraim and the land of Samaria, and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. The exiles of this host of the people of Israel shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath, and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the cities of the Negeb. Saviors shall go up to Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau, and the kingdom shall be the LORD's.” This is the word of the Lord.

The background of Edom is not only found here. It is, in fact, all throughout Scripture. Many books of the Old Testament talk about the Edomites. They talk about Esau, they talk about his descendants, and they talk about their relationships with the people of Israel, those who followed God versus those who didn't follow God. Edom was not an obscure place in Scripture. In fact, we learn of this connection here, that the Edomites are indeed from Esau, all the way back in Genesis 32, verse three. Do you remember when Jacob was scared, kind of running for his life, and he came to meet Esau out in the fields. He says this, verse three, “And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.”

So, we learned that Esau’s descendants were from Seir, and they were in the country of Edom. And that's how we make these connections definite in Scripture. Jeremiah also prophesies about Edom. Jeremiah 49:7 says this, “Concerning Edom. Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Is wisdom no more in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished?” Now you're thinking, “Well, that's really interesting.” But it's more interesting than you know. The men of the east, sound familiar, the wisemen? Likely they came from this area. This is to the south and east of Jerusalem. And they were known for their wisdom. That's why Jeremiah even says, “Is wisdom no more in Teman?” We already read about Teman once in Obadiah. So, they were known for their wisdom. But there's more.

In Malachi chapter one, verses two through five, it shows that the prophecy of Obadiah was partially fulfilled, and that the Edomites were destroyed. Malachi was written about 500 BC. So, we have somewhere around a 300-year period where Obadiah could have been written, because the Edomites, they rejected Israel, but Israel was constantly under attack. So, we don't know which attack they're talking about here where the Edomites turn their eyes away from their brothers.

Isaiah 34 speaks of Edom. Ezekiel 35 speaks of Edom. First Chronicles -- you may remember King David took over Edom, that is the area that we now know as Petra and that whole tourist trap. King David took that over and even put a garrison there, it says in First Chronicles. Well, where did this all start to tear apart? Well, the biggest thing happened back in Numbers 14, where Moses was trying to come out, and he was trying to go to the promised land. And in that story, he is looking for a way to travel. Now remember, there were millions of people with Moses as he's traveling, so it's a little scary to invite 2 million people to walk through your area.

The area around Petra is maybe a three- or four-square mile area, so slightly bigger than Purcellville. Imagine if 2 million foreigners, who could potentially attack, somehow wanted to come through our area; we would be a little skittish. So, that's the same thing that happened with Moses; they refused to help them. They not only refused to help them; they refused to give them water. They refused to give them bread, and they made them go around. So, from that point on, Edom and the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, were known as enemies of the Israelites.

There's one other person that you need to kind of put in your memory that came from this area. It was, indeed, King Herod. King Herod was an Idumean. Idumeans came from this area as well. So, when King Herod is oppressing all of the babies in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, he is coming from that area. Virtually no one has inhabited the area since the prophecies of Obadiah were fulfilled. If you think about the area now, in Petra, what is there? You can actually do a walkthrough of the area on Google Maps if you want. You can go all over and see exactly what the rocks look like. You can look through all of the area, see the things that they've built. The whole area is simply a tourist trap now. There's no nation that lives there. It's controlled by Jordan. But no one, no people group, has survived there continually since the prophecies of Obadiah has come true.

So why would God punish a people so severely that they would be put off forever? Well, the answer may surprise you. As we look at the sins of Edom, there were three major areas, and they all center around pride. Look in Obadiah, verse three. They were proud of their fortress-like city. Verse three says this, “The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, and in your lofty dwelling. Who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’”

You can just picture this in your mind, the cliffs around Petra, about 100 feet tall, and they would build little pathways carved into the rock that you can still see today, up into a hole in a cave, and they would live in there. And you can see great carvings that are 60 feet tall, that look like buildings built into the rocks that you can still see. This is where they lived. And they knew that they were protected. They had the advantage. They had all of their food; their water even came through a system of ravines through the rocks that would funnel into places and come down into their homes, so that they didn't have to even go out of their rocks to fight off people. What did this make them? It made them proud. It made them proud.

To enter the capital of what is now modern-day Petra, they would go into this place called the Siq. To get to their main area, you have to go through about a mile long cavern to reach their main temple, their main place where they lived. The cavern or the canyon would be about 15 feet wide in most places; sometimes it would only be three or four people wide. And they would say 20 or 30 men could easily defend an attack in that area from an invading army. So, this made them proud. You're gonna see a lot of parallels in this passage to things that, you know, we're kind of dealing with today.

Our nation -- we can be very proud in a good way of our nation for the men who fight for us, and the women who fight for us; and we can be thankful for them and thankful for the police. And yet in a sense, we can also be very proud. It's amazing that something that we now consider quite simple as the sin of pride, was so devastating to the people. At the end of the canyon, which was probably carved about 2400 years ago, was their fortress. So, the first area of pride is that they were proud of their city. They were proud of what they had built. They rejected understanding the prideful nations God had taken down before. So, we want to be wary of that kind of pride.

The second thing that they were proud of was their allies. Look in verse seven. “All your allies have driven you to your border; those at peace with you have deceived you; they have prevailed against you; those who eat your bread have set a trap beneath you -- you have no understanding.” In other words, they were trusting in all of the people that were their allies who would fight and come against the Israelites. Don't we talk about our allies over and over and over again in the news. This nation is an ally of the US. That nation is an ally of the US. It's good to have allies; don't get me wrong. It's good to trust in other nations to a point, but we don't put our ultimate trust in any nation, including ours. It says they had deceived the Edomites. So, they were proud of their allies, who Obadiah said would soon betray them.

The third way that they were proud comes in verse eight. They were proud of their wisdom and their might. Verse eight says, “Will I not on that day, declares the LORD, destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of Mount Esau?” Now, not only do we think that some of the wise men probably came from this area, the magi of the east, they could have come from much further away, from beyond Babylon. But there were also others who came. Two of Job's friends likely came from this area. We somehow think that they were from a very far-away place, which they could have been. But it is also possible that the wisest place was Edom, and that they produced two of the friends who came and spoke to Job. But God was going to destroy them for their pride in a way that they could not imagine.

Verse five tells us that God would not leave anything behind when he overthrew them. He says, “even a thief will not be able to carry away absolutely everything. But I will.” That's in verse five. So, they had pride in their power. They had pride in their allies. They had pride in their wisdom. But this next act of pride really overshadows the rest and is the main reason why God destroyed them. Look in verse 11. “On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them.”

In other words, when your brothers and sisters, who were chosen people of God, were being oppressed, you turned a blind eye. Now, listen, this hits us. I’m not saying that every time the name of Jesus Christ is defamed or wrongly spoken about somewhere out there in the world, that you have to stand up for them. But don't miss the fact that that's exactly what the Edomites did. And not only did they turn their eye, and they were gloating over it, they were happy about it. They were happy about it. Verse 12 says, “Do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; and do not boast in the day of distress.”

And this just makes me think, like, how are we standing up for our brothers and sisters in Christ? I think in the church, we tend to do this for other countries. So, we send missionaries out. I just recently looked up one of the budgets of a really large church near DC. Almost a third of their whole budget goes to foreign missions. And the church is doing wonderful, that particular church is doing wonderful, amazing things. But I just wonder, does that make us weary of getting in the fight ourselves? Or are we more willing to send someone else into the danger and gladly pay them to do the work in an area that's hard?

There are so many things that the church is being attacked for today. The theology of the church has been attacked for decades to say that doctrine divides. And I would agree, it divides the sheep from the goats. Right? Doctrine lived out is the Christian life. Theology lived out is the Christian life. You can't live one single moment of your life without faith. Scripture says, “Without faith, it's impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) Where do we learn about right faith? In the truths of the Word of God. Do we protect the truths of the Word of God? Now, you and I, if you're 50 and under, we get to enjoy the benefits of what the generations before us came and fought for. They fought for the inerrancy of Scripture. They fought that the Scriptures would be known as not having error, as not leading us into error. And we thought that battle was fought and won. But now there's new attacks. There's new attacks.

There's new attacks on forgiveness. The new attack today on forgiveness comes in the form of trying to repay people and forgive people for sins that you and I didn't commit. And it's not something that you would actually, if you did pay them for what past generations have taken, that you would be forgiven. No, you would not be forgiven; you would just be forever known as guilty. That's a redefinition of forgiveness. You see, the Bible talks about forgiveness in a way that all of your sin is paid for. And yet, we still today, have one of the largest religious groups in the world that thinks what Christ did wasn't enough, that somehow your forgiveness is not complete, that somehow you might have to work off a little bit extra that the cross didn't pay for in purgatory. You might have to, you know, suffer a little bit because what Jesus suffered wasn't enough.

Friends, that is an attack on the definition of pure forgiveness that comes from Scripture. And I think sometimes, unless the fight comes to us directly, we say “No…” We might not gloat over it, because we don't like to see other Christians and denominations attacked. We might not gloat in that way. We might not rejoice as Esau’s people did over Jacob’s. But we might say, “That's not my fight.” On the other hand, you have the so-called discernment bloggers, who think everything is their fight, where if you've mentioned it out in public, they will rebuke you over and over and over again in public, constantly. And so, they swing the other way.

And you've got many churches who take on this global fight as though that's the main thing that they were there for. And what we've done is we've slowly redefined what we're here for. We have redefined that we're, maybe, here for worship, but it's really something else. It's here to correct all of the unbelievers. No, what we're supposed to do with all the unbelievers is what? Share the Gospel;share the greatest news we've ever heard with them, so that they might be saved, so that they might turn from their sin, just like we have. That's the greatest gift. The greatest message we could give to anyone who's an unbeliever is that there is complete true forgiveness in Jesus Christ. And it's all by grace. It's a gift that is given to you.

And yet, there's the other side where we turn the eye; we turn away from the fight. The Lord reminded us that we’re one in Christ. There's one faith, one spirit, one baptism. When did he do that? When did he remind the whole world of that? Yeah, just a couple years ago, during COVID. When the entire church was under attack, when the whole world had to think through, who are we in Christ? Whose battle is this? Well, it's the Lord's. Well, we are called by his name. And so, I think as we consider Obadiah, here, we learn a lesson that God wants us to stand up for his people who are called by his name. These were their neighbors. These weren't somebody from another country. They were just a few miles south, you can look up exactly where this is. You can even see where Aaron's tomb is supposed to be. You can see exactly how far away this is. They're very close. They were neighboring nations. And it's not like they were just an unchristian group and a Christian group, or followers of God and not followers of God; they were both the chosen of God.

So, I think as we think through these things, we must consider that there may be a day, there may be a time when you, specifically, are called to stand up for the name of Jesus Christ. When you are called to shine the light on the error that is out there in the culture, or on the attack that is in the church, or on the attack that is on the family. And we need to share the love of Jesus Christ with people, and bring the truth to bear on their lives. But I want to ask you, do you have the courage to do that? You don't need to go stirring up the hornet's nest all the time. Pastor Dave said we should be sharing the light of the gospel all the time, you know, and shine it real brightly right in the eyes of people every single day. You don't want to do that. But you want to live a consistent life where you are willing to share the gospel and that is a main feature of your life.

Well, the Edomites gloated. They trapped the people when they were at the crossroads. Verse 14, “Do not stand at the crossroads to cut off his fugitives; do not hand over his survivors in the day of distress.” Can you imagine running for your life? Let's go through the fortress rock city of Petra. And your relatives cut you off from fleeing. Your relatives are the ones who actually stop you and hand you over and gloat over your demise. That's what they were doing. But how does God tell us to treat our enemies? Paul wrote about this extensively. We learned Amos writes about this, about taking care of the poor and the oppressed. Romans 12:20 says, “To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, [what?] feed him; if he's thirsty, [do what?] give him something to drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” In other words, if they reject your drink, if they reject you feeding them, if they still lash out at you, it's just going to be worse for them, not better. But you and I give them something to eat, give them something to drink. It takes sacrifice to do that. It takes sacrifice to take care of others. And that's what they were being called to do, but they rejected that.

So, we look at verses 15 through 18, and we notice that it's not just the descendants of Esau that are going to be judged, there is someone else there that is mentioned in verse 15. It says, “For the day of the LORD is near upon [who? all the nations] all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.” You and I don't have to worry about correcting all the evils of this world. The phrase ‘they got away with it’ shouldn't exist in Christianity. “All the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you.” God will bring full recompense on every nation, on every person, on every deed. And we can leave that up to him because we would mess it up. We would mess it up really bad. He judges perfectly. He judges purely. And while we can pray for their repentance, that that would happen before the Day of the Lord, we can be sure that when the Day of the Lord comes, true justice will be delivered.

So, when I ask you a question, as we read through yet another prophecy of the Old Testament: has this happened yet? Has what is spoken of in Obadiah come true? Well, let's look at verse 17, and see if we can find the answer. “But in Mount Zion there shall be those who escape, and it shall be holy, and the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions.” Verse 17, says Mount Zion shall be what? Holy. Is Mount Zion holy right now? You're like, “What's Mount Zion?” That's another word for Jerusalem, the City of David. Jerusalem goes by many names in Scripture. Mount Zion is the word for Jerusalem.

Is Jerusalem today holy? No, that wasn't a trick question. There might be some people in Jerusalem who are called by the name of Jesus Christ. That is true. But as a nation, they have rejected God. They have rejected his Son. They have turned from the forgiveness that is in Christ. It is by no means holy. And yet, when it says that Edom will be cast off forever, that does seem to have happened to the Edomites, right? Petra’s a tourist trap. There's no nation living there right now. That was foretold and fulfilled in Obadiah. Yes, some of the people have returned. But they have not brought in and ushered in a recouping of all the land God promised, including that land, which is now in another country's possession. They have not recouped all that yet. And they have not received the full blessing that was promised. Because of that, there's still part of this that is yet future.

We must ask ourselves, how would it ever occur for an entire city, an entire nation to be holy? Let me just put it this way. Is the United States holy? No, you are quick with that one. Yeah, no, we know it's not, right? Of course. There are people in the United States who are not believers. They are not bought by the blood of Christ. They are not pursuing holiness. Hebrews says without holiness, no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14) I think there's another clue as to when this will happen. Look in verse 21. It says this, “Saviors shall go up to Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau, and the kingdom shall be the LORD's.”

You see, one day, Jesus Christ is going to return to set all in order. He is going to specifically take care of the descendants of Esau, wherever scattered they are. And he is going to restore a righteous rule and establish holiness in Mount Zion, establish his rule over that kingdom, because it says the kingdom shall be the Lord's. Isaiah 63 gives us a little preview of what this will look like. It speaks of a warrior that comes from Edom. I'll read a couple of verses to you. “Who is this, [This is Isaiah 63, verse one.] Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he who is splendid in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? ‘It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.’ [Someone asks] Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who treads the winepress?”

Listen, this in Isaiah 63, is a picture of someone who has just brought full and complete judgment on the Edomites which Obadiah says is going to happen in the day of the Lord. That is a future time of judgment. They asked him in verse two, “Why is your apparel red?” It's not like he had a Christmas coat on. Verse four in Isaiah 63, it says he has carried out the day of vengeance, saying, “my year of redemption had come.” There's going to be a time of redemption for all people, and Jesus Christ himself will bring it about.

There will be a day, friend, when Jesus Christ sets all right in the world. Everything, imagine, every news story is good. Imagine, it's just kittens being saved from trees all day long. In the news, there's no more war; there's no more in-fighting. There's no more lying, which is rampant; you don't even know who to trust. Everything will be perfect, objective truth stories. That day is not here, but it is on the way. And for those who know Jesus Christ, Isaiah 63:7 says, they will enjoy the steadfast love of God. For those who receive his love, it says in Isaiah 63:7, that they will be singing his praises, singing praises to the Lord.

He says this in verse eight of Isaiah 63, “’Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely.’ And he became their Savior.” So, the Old Testament looks forward to a time when Jesus Christ is the Savior of all of his people. That those who know him and are called by his name are in fellowship with Him, that we will rejoice together with him, that we will spend time with him, that we will sing praises directly to him. And that day is coming; it is on the way. Well, the New Testament also speaks of what we should do in regards to Esau and his descendants. Hebrews 12:15, tells us this, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God.” Being unholy, like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. Friends, our objective today is to obtain the grace of God. Not just to as a young child say, “Yes, I want to be saved. Yes, I want to be baptized,” and then live however you want for the rest of your life. No! To live in the grace of God.

I want to ask you, if you know Jesus Christ, would others be able to watch your life and see just this love for Jesus flowing through? Or would they just say, “Wow, that's a nice family.” Is there something different about us that makes us light in this world? Is there something completely unique, completely different from all the other, ‘nice families’ in the world? Is there something about us that points others to Jesus. And, friends, it should be that they see the grace of God in our lives.

How do we obtain that grace? Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Notice nothing about earning your salvation in that verse. It's all a confession of the heart. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that explicitly, that “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one can boast.” Friends, do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Have you been saved by grace? Are you living for Jesus Christ? Then rejoice, for great is your reward, for our God reigns, and he will in the future set all things right. But today, let our hearts be drawn to him in praise and worship for all that he has done. Praise be to God. Let's pray.

Dear Lord God, we thank you for all of these accounts that you've given to us in the Old Testament. For Obadiah and his prophecy that Mount Zion shall be holy one day. It gives us hope that you will set all things in order. Lord, the first thing we need put in order is our heart and lives before you. Lord God, I pray that if there's someone here that doesn't know you, that today would be their day of salvation, that they would confess their sins to you, that they would confess that Jesus is Lord and receive the salvation that you offer by grace. Lord, I pray for those who already know you, that you would help us this time of year to rejoice in the things that you have done, and to look forward, Lord, to you putting all things in order, with great expectation. Friends, let's just take a moment right now and pray and ask God to help us to look forward to what he will do. Lord God, we thank you for each and every person that you have brought here today. We pray that no one would leave here, Lord, without knowing you. In these things we rejoice, for great is our salvation. In your precious Name, Amen.