Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the series "Closet Christianity".
Series: Closet Christianity [#1]
LOOKING IN MY CLOSET
Deuteronomy 2:9-11, 20-25
[Props: “Gorilla” house shoes, old clock, UNM hat, tennis trophy, empty diploma folder, and my children’s Bible.]
I was doing some cleaning Monday and I want to show you some things I found in my closet. (Show each item.)
Before you actually clean your closet you need to take an inventory of what is in it. This morning we are going to go to our closet in our life and open the door and look in; and yes, we all have closets- You know, that place that you store past hurts, successes, mistakes, etc… Now remember, today is inventory day. We are not going to discuss cleaning your closet or getting out of your closet this week. You will have to come back for those sermons in the weeks ahead.
O.k., open that closet door. What do you see?
Are there any…
Deuteronomy 2:9-10 (MSG)
“GOD told me, ’And don’t try to pick a fight with the Moabites. I am not giving you any of their land. I’ve given ownership of Ar to the People of Lot.’ The Emites (Monsters) used to live there — mobs of hulking giants, like Anakites.
The Israelites had been wandering around in the desert for 40 years because of their lack of faith. 40 years before, God had led the Children of Israel to the Promised Land. Moses sent out 12 men to go inspect the land and see what was out there. The report that came back was that there was great fruit, beautiful land, and a huge problem. The problem was that there was giants living in the land. 10 of the spies decided that this was not worth risking their lives and that they needed to go back to Egypt. They also convinced the people that Moses and Aaron were evil and just out to make their lives miserable and so the people were standing behind the 10. Because of their disobedience, God told them that no one under the age of 20 (except Caleb and Joshua) would ever see the Promised Land.
Now as the Israelites were moving North instead of walking in circles, they had to pass through what should have been their land. The land had new residents because those monsters that were so unstoppable had been taken care of by other people. Now all of a sudden those monsters weren’t so scary.
This old tennis trophy I found is one of my monsters. One of the reasons I never was able to play at the collegiate level was because I didn’t have enough tournament experience. I was always afraid to go to the big tournaments because they cost too much and I would always get beat early in the tournament. So, when the recruiters were at tournaments watching tennis players, I wasn’t there to be seen. Although that monster is completely gone now, I still have regrets concerning tennis.
I have other monsters in my closet. This empty diploma folder represents the Master’s Degree I have not completed. Although I am very close to completing my Master’s in Theology, I have never finished. Every time I go to get started I’m too busy, too tired, etc… Just thinking about writing a thesis gives me a headache.
So what monsters in your life have kept you from doing what you should be doing? Are the monsters even there anymore? Some of those monsters have already been killed and removed. Stop being like little kids that wake their parents up every night because there is a monster under the bed or in the closet. I know to a child that monster is real; but guess what…? It’s not!
O.k., let’s look back into our closet.
Are there any…
Deuteronomy 2:11 (MSG)
Along with the Anakites they were lumped in with the Rephaites (Ghosts) but in Moab they were called Emites.
“It is also considered to have once been the land of the Rephaites. Rephaites lived there long ago — the Ammonites called them Zamzummites (Barbarians)— huge mobs of them, giants like the Anakites. GOD destroyed them and the Ammonites moved in and took over.”
These Rephaites, which mean “ghosts”, were known as Zamzummites, which means “barbarians”, by the Ammonites. To the Israelites, the memory of the Rephaites and Ammonites haunted them like ghosts. These Rephaites were barbaric and mean people and they were removed by the Ammonites. So why would this be a ghost to the Israelites? Look at what happened after God told the Israelites that they could not go into the Promised Land.
Deuteronomy 1:41-45 (MSG)
“You spoke up, ‘We’ve sinned against GOD. We’ll go up and fight, following all the orders that GOD, our God, has commanded.’ You took your weapons and dressed for battle — you thought it would be so easy going into those hills! But GOD told me, ’Tell them, ’Don’t do it; don’t go up to fight — I’m not with you in this. Your enemies will waste you.’ I told you but you wouldn’t listen. You rebelled at the plain word of GOD. You threw out your chests and strutted into the hills. And those Amorites, who had lived in those hills all their lives, swarmed all over you like a hive of bees, chasing you from Seir all the way to Hormah, a stinging defeat. You came back and wept in the presence of GOD, but he didn’t pay a bit of attention to you; GOD didn’t give you the time of day.”