Summary: When we settle for sinful or the status quo, we lose the glory of God.
1. We desire God's presence and glory. Only HE can fill the emptiness in our hearts -- Ecclesiastes 3.11
2. The church is a place to reveal the glory of God
3. It is a "House of Commons" not differences
a. Common Salvation -- Jude 3
b. Common Problems -- Romans 3.23
c. Common Fate -- Romans 6.23
d. Common Solution -- John 3.16
e. It is a place where the walls of distinctions are broken down.
a. The following is reported to have been seen in the window of an English company: "We have been established for over one hundred years and have been pleasing and displeasing customers ever since. We have made money and lost money, suffered the effects of coal nationalization, coal rationing, government control, and bad payers. We have been cussed and discussed, messed about, lied to, held up, robbed, and swindled. The only reason we stay in business is to see what happens next."
b. I wonder if there were times in the life of Paul and others who felt like giving up on God. Paul lists his challenges in 2 Corinthians 11.23-28. What would have happened if he had given up? It seems he kept looking to see what God would do next. What do you think the end of Paul's life was like -- Glorious or common?
c. What if We Don't Persevere? What if God Departs?
5. 1 Samuel 4.12-22 Ichabod -- "Inglorious" or "No Glory" ("The Glory Has Departed")
a. All of us have forgivable failures -- 1 John 1.8-9 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
b. This is so BIG -- that God would depart them!
I. Glory Departed Because of Sinful Service
A. Deceptive Priests -- 1 Samuel 2.12
1. Worthless; uncorrected; "Blind Guides" Who did not know God (as Matthew 15.14)
2. This is during the Judges when there was little direction from God; therefore, Judges 21.25 is repeated through the book. In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
3. Generations neglected to tell the wonder of God in the wilderness and people turned away. Question, do you share the wonder of God with others?
B. Desecration of God's Word (Regularly) -- 1 Samuel 2.13
The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,
1. Traditions are unimportant compared to the word of God -- Matthew 15.9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "
The word tradition in Greek comes from two words: para ("beside") and didomi ("to give"). Therefore, a tradition was something given alongside something else. In first- century Jewish culture, traditions were teachings of the Jewish elders that they gave alongside the Law of Moses. Those traditions were often given equal, if not more, weight than the Law itself.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls into question one of those traditions: "You have heard that it was said, '. . . hate your enemy'" (Matthew 5:43). Nowhere in the Old Testament were the Jews taught to hate their enemies. Did some Israelites express hatred for the enemies of God? Yes (Psalm 139:21-22)--but not because they were commanded to. Instead, the Law taught the Jews to treat their enemies with kindness (Exodus 23:4-5 "If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. 5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.).