Summary: Avoid them by any means necessary! They drive up the cost. The dreaded “middle man”! However, there is one “middle man” that you can’t afford to bypass.
Text: Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
I despise the middle man! Don’t look at me like that you do too! We despise him because he causes the price to go up. So we look for deals straight from the factory. We will go to factory direct stores to bi-pass the middle-man. We want to save a few bucks so we order through the internet in an attempt to get around the middle-man.
Probably one of my least favorite activities of all time is to visit a car dealership. Have you ever tried to go find a car on your lunch hour? I did that one time. Told the middle man that I only had 1 hour and not to waste it. I looked at the cars and made my selection and after 1 ½ hours of looking and talking he dropped the bomb on me. “I will have to go and talk to my manager.” And of course the manager comes back with a figure that is so far from where I wanted to be that I had to get up and leave. I wanted to yell – why have I wasted an 1 ½ hours with you if you can’t get anything done. You should have just introduced me to the guy who makes the decisions in the first place and I could have been out of here in 10 minutes. Everyone tries to avoid the middle-man.
But maybe that’s the problem this morning! Maybe we have brought our disdain and our dislike of the middle-man into the house with us this morning and every Sunday morning. Maybe our avoidance of the middle-man becomes a blockade and an obstacle to freedom in our daily lives! What do I mean? Let me drop some Scripture on you today that will set up a challenge of your view of the middle-man!
II. Middle-Man Resume
“And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.”
God shows up in the middle of the cherubim.
B. Numbers 2:17
“Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards.”
Tent of meeting or tabernacle, the symbolic dwelling place of God, is to be erected in the middle of the camp.
C. Daniel 3:24-28 - “Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.”