Summary: We need to get ready to worship for eternity.
March 4, 2007
Text: 2 Samuel 24:18-24
Title: Worship That Costs
In recent weeks we have been talking about worship and I have stressed to you that worship is more than just singing songs. It actually is about how you live your life. But I want to talk to you today about worship in a congregational sense. What happens when we come together as a church to worship God? The answer to that may be different for each of you, because the way you worship will be determined by who God is in your life.
Three lifelong friends all passed away within a short period of time and as they met together in heaven they were walking and marveling at the beauty.
“Can you believe that these streets are actually paved with gold?” one asked.
“And can you believe all the angels singing and the saints gathered around the throne?” another added.
The third replied, “Can you believe that if it wasn’t for all the oatmeal we ate we could have been here ten years sooner?”
What would happen if we could get a glimpse of heaven right now? How would you respond to the very presence of God?
I think our worship is hindered by 1) our lack of consideration or reflection of who God really is, 2) our understanding of what He has done, 3) our own willingness to enter in and worship in a way pleasing to Him regardless of the cost.
I’m going to focus today on 2 Samuel 24:18-24 and I want to look at worship that costs. My prayer for you today is that as you receive the word your attitude about congregational worship will change so dramatically that the face of worship in this church will never be the same.
Stand with me for the reading of the word.
18On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19So David went up, as the LORD had commanded through Gad. 20When Araunah looked and saw the king and his men coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.
21Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”
“To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the LORD, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”
22Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever pleases him and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23O king, Araunah gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the LORD your God accept you.”
24But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
Let’s look at worship that costs.
I. TRUE WORSHIP WILL COST SOME EFFORT. I don’t think that you can truly worship the way God deserves without working at it. We look at the story of the Exodus with the glory cloud in the midst of the camp by day and the pillar of fire by night and we wonder how Israel could complain with the visible presence of God there. Exodus 40:34-38, “34Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
36In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; 37but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. 38So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels.
We look at the religious leaders at the time of Jesus and ask, “How could they not see who Jesus was?” It’s easy for us to look back and point fingers. If only they had looked a little harder they would have known. Be honest with me now; aren’t you saying in your mind that if you had been there you would have known. You would have appreciated the manifest presence of God and would have worshiped accordingly. So what kind of worship would that be? I think for us to see the type of response to God that we should have we need to look at the scenes from heaven. Revelation 4, “8Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: