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Summary: This Psalm brings together belief and be behaviour in an unbreakable partnership. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

(A). The Question Asked (vs 1)

• Who may dwell in your sanctuary? (1a)

• Who may live on your holy hill? (1b)

(B). The Question Answered (vs 2-5)

• Right Conduct (vs 2a)

• Right speaking (vs 2b-3)

• Right relationships with others (vs 4)

• Right use of wealth (vs 5)

SERMON BODY:

Ill:

• Life is full of unanswered questions:

• i.e. Do one legged ducks swim in circles?

• i.e. If the cops arrest a mime artist:

• Do they have to tell him he has the right to remain silent?

• i.e. How come Superman could stop bullets with his chest,

• But always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?

• i.e. Why do pubs and clubs advertise ‘live’ bands?

• i.e. Why is there only ONE Monopolies Commission?

• i.e. Why is ‘Abbreviated’ such a long word?

• i.e. If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet,

• What happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?

• i.e. Why is it that when a person tells you there's over a million stars in the universe;

• You believe them, but if someone tells you there's wet paint somewhere,

• You have to touch it to make sure?

• i.e. Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?

• i.e. If a man speaks and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?

• TRANSITION: Some questions are humorous;

• Some questions are insightful and more demanding.

Ill:

• A friend once asked Isidor I. Rabi,

• A Nobel prize winner in science, how he became a scientist.

• The Rabi replied that every day after school;

• His mother would talk to him about his school day.

• She wasn’t so much interested in what he had learned that day,

• But she always inquired, “Did you ask a good question today?”

• Isidor I. Rabi said:

• “Asking good questions made me become a scientist.”

This Psalm starts off by asking an insightful challenging question:

(A). The Question Asked (vs 1)

“LORD , who may dwell in your sanctuary?

Who may live on your holy hill?”

• Many commentators believe:

• This Psalm was written when David had been meditating on the events;

• Depicted in 2 Samuel chapter 6 verses 12-19 and 1 Chronicles chapter 13 verses 1-13.

Ill:

• That was the occasion when David brought the Ark of the Covenant:

• From the house of Obed-Edom to the 'City of David';

• The Ark of the Covenant was a rectangle box.

• Made out of a special type of wood and overlaid with gold and carried on two poles.

• It contained the two stone tablets (10 Commandments);

• And Aarons rod which had budded.

• It was kept in the most holy place in the tabernacle or temple.

• Symbolically – it represented the presence of God.

• Unfortunately during the journey from the house of Obed-Edom to the 'City of David';

• It was placed on a cart and the oxen which were pulling the cart stumbled;

• This caused the Ark to topple.

• And to save it from falling to the ground,

• A man called Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the Ark;

• And he was immediately struck down dead!

• I guess our natural reaction is to say;

• “Poor old Uzzah – tried to do something helpful and was rewarded with death”

Yet, the writer of 2 Samuel explains why this took place:

• It was 'because of his irreverent act' (2 Samuel 6:7).

• God had given very clear and specific guidelines regarding the moving of the ark.

• David knew that the Ark was to be carried by priests and Levites;

• And only priests and Levites – not any Tom, Dick or Uzzah!

• And it should not have been transported on the back of a cart;

• Our good intentions do not over ride God‘s clear instructions!

• To some extent David’s own negligence had brought about this tragedy;

• It was a lesson he would not quickly forget (e.g. 1 Chronicles 15 verse 2).

• And from that moment on only the Levites carried the Ark.

• As you might imagine this incident made a lasting impression on David.

• It was something that he would never forget!

This experience may well be the background to the writing of both Psalm 15 and 24.

• In the light of the awesome holiness of God;

• “Who can approach him, let alone live close to him?”

Ill:

• A leading newspaper that carries a daily column designed to answer readers’ queries,

• Listed the top ten unanswerable questions. Here’s one:

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