The Hallelujah Factor Series
Based upon Jack Taylor’s book The Hallelujah Factor
The Piracy of Praise
July 1, 2007 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A A few years ago, FBC was robbed, burglarized, vandalized, invaded-robbed of possessions, damaged property, left us with fear, loss of peace of mind.
1 In the not-so-distant past, I believe the Church was also victimized by the loss of the crown jewel of the church- our praise.
a In the wake of that loss there developed an atmosphere so foreign to biblical worship that we have developed a fear/ resistance to biblical praise.
b We have had praise pirated from the church (the devil has stolen the crown jewel: praise).
2 Praise: any vocal, audible, and/or visible adoration of God.
B Out of the past comes a parable of this theft.
I The past
A The mere mention of Solomon’s name brings incredible pictures to our mind.
1 Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 "Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. 9 "So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?" 10 It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 God said to him, "Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. 13 "I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. 14 "If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.1 Kings 3:7-14 (NASB) (Pink)
a Wise, rich, honored, building of temple, palace
b Now the weight of gold which came in to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 15 besides that from the traders and the wares of the merchants and all the kings of the Arabs and the governors of the country. 1 Kings 10:14-15 (NASB)
aa 666 talents=23 metric tons of gold
bb Didn’t include revenue from Arabian merchants, traders, kings, & governors.
c God kept His promise to make him wealthy, wise, splendor
2 King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold, using 600 shekels of gold on each large shield. 17 He made 300 shields of beaten gold, using three minas of gold on each shield, and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. 1 Kings 10:16-17 (NASB)
a 200 large= 7.5 lbs. of gold, 300 small= 3.5 lbs. of gold
b The shields represented splendor, blessing.
aa Ornamental, special formal gatherings, temple
bb The Temple would cost over $200 billion to rebuild today if using the same stones, materials Solomon used.
cc Queen of Sheba’s description: Then she said to the king, "It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. 7 "Nevertheless I did not believe the reports, until I came and my eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the report which I heard. 8 "How blessed are your men, how blessed are these your servants who stand before you continually and hear your wisdom. 9 "Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness." 1 Kings 10:6-9 (NASB) She sent $15 million in gold because she was so impressed.
3 People from all over the earth wanted an audience with Solomon (blessed by God with great wisdom, wealth).
a Wisdom from God, tribute brought by people (silver, gold, spices, horses, mules, robes, etc.)
b Solomon, in his later years, allowed his heart to grow spiritually dull.
aa Married foreign women, built them temples for their gods.
bb God specifically forbid Solomon from following other gods.
c The beginning of the end!
aa God told Solomon, "I will remove the kingdom from your hand." (Because of your dad, I’ll wait until you die & take it from your boy, who will reign after you)
bb Israel began to backslide (chumming the water, surrounding nations started getting bold!)
4 Jeroboam, one of his own officials, tried to kill Solomon. Jeroboam escaped before capture & fled to Egypt, where he remained until Solomon’s death.
B Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, became king (headstrong, stubborn)
1 Tried to make the government bigger, more control of the people.
a Israel rebelled, & the kingdom was divided
aa 10 tribes followed Jeroboam (Israel)
bb 2 tribes (Judah/Benjamin) followed Rehoboam (Judah)
b Rehoboam was the product of a relationship his dad (Solomon) had with an Ammonite (Naamah)-product of rebellion, & Rehoboam carried on the family tradition by building sacred places for foreign gods, engaged in detestable practices, & had male prostitutes in the land. Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked Him to jealousy more than all that their fathers had done, with the sins which they committed. 23 For they also built for themselves high places and sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and beneath every luxuriant tree. 24 There were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD dispossessed before the sons of Israel. 1 Kings 14:22-24 (NASB)
c The weakened nation fell prey to nations around it.
2 Now it happened in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, that Shishak the king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. 26 He took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house, and he took everything, even taking all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 1 Kings 14:25-26 (NASB) (Orange)
a King Shishak carried off all the treasures, without much argument or resistance, of the temple of the Lord, palace, including the 500 shields.
b Rehoboam made shield of brass (copper/bronze) to replace the gold ones, & gave them to his commanders of the guard on duty & the entrance of the royal palace.
c Shields of brass for shields of gold
3 The last recorded event in the pitiful reign of Rehoboam
C In many ways, the stolen shields parallels the loss of praise from our church.
1 How could we be robbed of our praise?
2 Let’s examine the metaphor piece by piece
II Examine the scene
A The likeness of gold to praise
1 Sets a standard of value
a In nearly every society, a nation’s accumulation of gold sets the standard for their wealth-recognized universally.
b Hallelujah is recognized universally-pronounced the same in every major language.
c Symbol of excellence, purity, & blessing
2 Difficult to destroy
a Heat gold, it just gets purer, finer
b Praise becomes more refined when impure motives are driven out by the heat of tribulation.
3 Both are in heaven!
a Streets are paved with the purest gold, but heaven is filled with praise.
b Can we substitute anything for gold? Praise?
B The symbolism of the shield
1 Shields are protection in the battle (we’ve seen how praise is the chief weapon/tool in our arsenal against the enemy).
a Solomon’s shields were testimonies of God’s blessing.
b Imagine seeing these shields for hundreds of yards-shining testimony of God’s blessing upon Solomon & his kingdom.
2 The shields were stolen
a The theft was symbolic of the nation, people’s national heart.
b Blessing, glory, splendor had departed (robbed!)
c Our spiritual defenses have been compromised because we’ve focused on man-made traditions (our glory) & the enemy has stolen biblical praise from us (made us vulnerable).
3 The substitute shields
a As pathetic as the loss of the shields were was Rehoboam’s response.
aa No: clandestine recovery operation, envoy commanders of the palace guard-had brass ones made.
bb What was stolen?
* Solomon’s big shields-$58,000, small ones-$27,000 =$20 million
* Rehoboam’s big shields=$23.78, small ones-$11.10 =$8,083.50
b The brass shields would shine if you put enough elbow grease in (work of the flesh) & would shine like gold from a distance, yet eventually, they tarnished.
c Haven’t we made similar substitutes?
aa Studying biblical praise I’ve discovered I’ve often substituted the brass of form & order for the gold of spontaneous worship & adoration.
bb Seeking our own agenda (or idea of worship, traditions) we’ve made worship into something tarnished, impure that even at a distance no longer looks like the real thing.
A The golden shields used to line the path into the house of the Lord, welcoming in the kingdom in all His splendor.
1 True praise will do the same, welcoming God in His splendor & revealing His glory.
2 Recapturing praise is worth the risk of ridicule & opposition, personal repentance.
a The enemy can’t stand it if we’re seriously talking about getting our gold shields back.
b If he can keep us content, weak with substitutions, he’s done something.
B Let’s get back our shields of praise
1 Let’s repent of our tendency toward tameness, & pressure to stay with the pack, conform to the crowd, identify with the status quo.
2 This battle to recapture praise starts with a decision you’ll make in this moment.
a The battle can be won today with a decision
b The decisions made today will be lived out in subsequent years.
C Like David said when he was offered the threshing floor as a gift, let us say, "I will not sacrifice to the Lord with that which cost me nothing."
1 Let Rehoboam’s tragic story/shields of mere brass:
a Convict, motivate us to recover the gold of true worship in our lives.
b Individually & corporately
2 What have you (we) compromised, lost in losing sight of praise?
a What now?
b No more clinging to tradition just because of tradition, doing something because everyone else is doing it, doing something no one else is doing-scriptural.
aa Out of the pack, status quo, crowd
bb Decide & do!
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