Summary: Is our worship all about God or all about us?
Intro. On Wednesday night, we have been studying the book of Revelation. Last Thursday, we looked at the church of Sardis. It was a church that had its orthodoxy, it had a name, but was dead!!! How could that happen to a church? How could this happen to a people. Before our text, let’s consider what Israel had:
In Exodus 25 the instructions were given of how to build and care for the Ark of God. It was the first piece to be designed. It was the only piece of furniture from the tabernacle that would be used in the Temple. Why? Because there is only one mercy. That earthly mercy seat was the symbol of the heavenly! It represented and exhibited, the very essence of the presence of God. They were:
1. Secure in the Presence - Ex. 25:22 "And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat," Secure in the satisfaction of the blood
2. Safe in the Pursuit - Josh 3:3 "When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it." They followed mercy.
3. Successful in its Provisions - Jericho, Josh 6:11 "So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp." (imagine as Jericho wondered- a treasure, a casket- no- the Presence of God) You know the story, GOD WAS VICTORIOUS! The Ark represented the way of God, and God had a plan to reveal himself to mankind. It was the only plan! Rahab trusted the ARK! Now, in our text, we are 300 years after Jericho.
I. The Forgotten Mediation - The Ark of the Covenant was the judgment and mercy of God embodied in a sacred box. God had provided a means for His wrath against sin to be appeased and for man to approach Him. It is Picture of Christ. And the Ark had been in the house of Abinadab for almost 50 years.
A. The Neglected Provision - Due to neglect of Saul, the Ark had been ignored and the people had become careless and ignorant about the God’s provision for sin and Worship. They apparently had contented themselves with offering sacrifices at Gibeon, without any thought of the ark. They had a worship about their God that did not include the presence of God.
1. A Distorted Salvation - They did not see the need of the Ark. much like today, many embrace an “any way will work” salvation. Danger to the lost.
2. The Disregarded Savior - many that claimed to belong to Him.
- They became Ignorant of the Words of God’s Teachings,
- They Ways of Fellowship with God. They had disregarded the Truth. In the modern church, the disregard of the Genuine Christ is producing
religious exercises without the power of Christ.
B. The Neglected Presence - Ark was God’s provision, but also God’s presence.
1. The Absence of Secure Direction - His presence had guided, but not now.
2. The Arrogance of Self Dependence - During the reign of Saul, the Ark was forgotten. The only mention was when Saul was concerned for Jonathan.
C. The Neglected Pardon - There was no provision except God’s way.
Some scoff at Christ, but to do so is to merely neglect, or refuse Pardon. Today there is still only one way to God, and Mankind has no right to change God’s plan - The only way is Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Jesus is the Mercy seat - 1 John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation (mercy seat) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
Now David had a desire for the Ark to be in Jerusalem, where it belonged. David had a desire for REVIVAL in the Land. And he wanted these that followed him to know the provision and presence of the true God. So he organized:
II. The Finest Mission -vs. 1-2 They sought to see the presence of God returned.
A. The Unified Deployment - 30,000 of the best of the best were coming to Abinadab’s house! Some delegation! All came with one purpose. UNITY is GOOD!
B. The Undisputable Desire - Bring up the Ark - their intentions were GOOD. Oh that we need to seek the presence of God!
C. The Unrivaled Deity - Lord of Hosts - My God, Jehovah, the infinite, incomprehensible, eternal, and immutable, unchanging God of heaven, the Lord of armies above and below; whose habitation was between the cherubim that overshadowed the mercy seat. HE ALONE CAN GIVE US MERCY AND HE IS GOOD! Their recognition of God was GOOD! So it was a fine mission. But we must never forget, intentions without truth are dangerous