Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 59:26
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13 For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order.”
Under the Old Covenant, God had a prescribed order of worship that the Israelites were to follow. And this prescribed order of worship all centered around the Tabernacle and the Temple. And within the innermost sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, behind the veil, was the Ark of the Covenant. And on top of the Ark of the Covenant was the Mercy Seat where God’s presence would come down and dwell with the people of Israel. So the Ark of the Covenant that resided in the Holy of Holies represented the presence of God. His favor. His protection. His power.
The Israelites were to bring all types sacrifices and offerings to God. First, there were sin offerings and trespass offerings. These were mandatory offerings to account for their sins. But there were also three voluntary offerings. The first was the whole burnt offering. It was an offering of complete and total consecration to God. The second was the grain offering. It was an offering of thanksgiving to God for his blessings. And third was the peace offering. It spoke also of thanksgiving and also of fellowship. It was also sometimes referred to as the “heave offering” or the “wave offering.”
So we see a beautiful picture of worship in the Old Testament centered around the tabernacle and Temple and the Ark of the Covenant. But you say, “well, we don’t have the tabernacle or the Temple anymore.” And we don’t have the Ark of the Covenant anymore. And we don’t have the Old Testament sacrifices anymore. And you’re right. God’s presence does not just dwell in the Tabernacle or Temple. The Bible says that we are now the Temple of the Holy Ghost. God’s Spirit, His presence, dwells within us who are born-again believers. And the author of Hebrews reminds us that God still has a prescribed order of worship under the New Covenant.
15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
[LET US OFFER THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE TO GOD!]
But in 2 Samuel 6, we find King David and Israel in the middle of a crisis. The Ark of the Covenant, the centerpiece of Israel’s worship and the representation of God’s presence on earth, is missing. The Ark of the Covenant had been taken by the Philistines in battle. But God sent a plague among the Philistines so they decided to return it to Israel. They put it on a cart and hitched it to two milk cows that had never been yoked before and sent it back toward Israel. The Ark ended up at the house of a man by the name of Abinadab and it stayed there for 20 years.
[OUR WORSHIP HAS BEEN SITTING DORMANT FOR TOO LONG!]
David finally decided that the presence of God in the Ark of the Covenant had been missing for too long. It was time to bring it back. It was time to restore proper worship.
David Had a Desire to Restore Proper Worship
1 Again David gathered all the choice men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name, the Lord of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim.
[WE NEED A DESIRE FOR MORE OF GOD’S PRESENCE!]
God Has a Prescribed Order for Proper Worship
3 So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart.
[GOD DESIRES US TO WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH]
To worship God in truth is to worship him as he commands.
R. C. Sproul
God Blesses Proper Worship
12 Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness.
[GOD’S PRESENCE IS OUR SOURCE OF BLESSINGS]
The single most important thing to understand about worship is that the only worship that is acceptable to God is worship that proceeds from a heart that is trusting in God, and in God alone.
R. C. Sproul
David Offered Extravagant Worship to the Lord
13 And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. 14 Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.
[IT IS PROPER TO OFFER EXTRAVAGANT WORSHIP TO THE LORD]
Worship that costs us nothing is worth precisely what it costs.
David’s Wife Michal Got Jealous
16 Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.
20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!”
[THE DEVIL IS GOING TO TRY EVERYTHING HE CAN TO HINDER YOUR WORSHIP]
Satan doesn’t care what we worship, as long as we don’t worship God.
Dwight L. Moody
David Promised to Become Even More Undignified in His Worship
21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the Lord. 22 And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.”
[IF OUR WORSHIP HONORS GOD IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS]
The Lord Rebuked Michal
23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.
[CRITICAL MICHAL SPIRITS LEAD TO SPIRITUAL BARRENNESS]
[WE NEED TO GET ALL THE MICHAL SPIRITS OUT OF THE CHURCH]
5 Things About Proper Worship
Worship is the missing jewel in modern evangelicalism. We’re organized; we work; we have our agendas. We have almost everything, but there’s one thing that the churches, even the gospel churches, do not have: that is the ability to worship. We are not cultivating the art of worship. It’s the one shining gem that is lost to the modern church, and I believe that we ought to search for this until we find it.26
A. W. Tozer