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Better Methods or Better Men

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Better Methods or Better Men?

Pastor E. Keith Hassell

Foundation Scripture:  2 Samuel 6:1-15 

I.                   Background

A.               The Ark of the Lord had been captured by the Philistines during the battle of Aphek (1 Samuel 4)

B.                As a result, Eli’s grandson was named “Ichabod” which means, “the glory has departed”

C.               The Philistines put the ark in the temple of Dagon (fish god) and the idol of Dagon fell over twice and its head and hands were broken off (1 Samuel 5)

D.               A plague of tumors and rats broke out on the Philistines. After seven months they sought for a way to return the ark of the Lord to Israel

E.                They made a new cart pulled by two milk cows that had never been yoked and put the ark on it along with a trespass offering of five golden tumors and five golden rats placed in a chest beside the ark

F.                They set it on its way and watched to see if it made its way to Beth Shemesh in Israel. If so they would know that the plague was from the Lord. It did.

G.               The people of Beth Shemesh looked into the ark and 50,070 people died.

H.               The ark was taken to Kirjath-jearim into the house of Abinadab. His son Eleazar was consecrated to oversee the ark. It remained in Abinadab’s house for almost 100 years.

II.                When David became king he desired to bring the ark of God to the City of David in Jerusalem

A.               David gathered 30,000 of his choice men

B.                They built a new ox cart and set the ark on it

C.               Abinadab’s sons, Uzzah and Ahio were in charge of the cart

D.               When they got to Nachon’s threshing floor, the oxen stumbled and Uzzah put out his hand to stabilize the ark of God

E.                The anger of the Lord broke out against Uzzah and he died

F.                David was angry because of this and called the place “Perez-Uzzah” meaning, “outbreak against Uzzah.”

G.               David was afraid of the Lord and said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?”

III.             First, we must recognize why the glory of God has departed

A.               Israel was in sin and yet trusted in the presence of the ark in battle in what was a failed attempt to guarantee victory

IV.            Second, we must understand the fear of the Lord

A.               The Philistines and the people of Beth Shemesh learned this

B.                David learned this also with the outbreak of God against Uzzah

V.               Third, God is waiting for us to want Him

A.               No one sought the ark of the Lord for 100 years

B.                David desired to bring back the ark

VI.            Fourth, we must not attempt to use the world’s methods

A.               David copied the Philistine’s method rather than the command of the Lord

B.                Uzzah died because of this mistake. There will always be casualties when we try to bring in God’s presence on the machinery of man

VII.         God will bring in His presence on the shoulders of men

A.               E.M. Bounds declared in his book Power through Prayer, “WE are constantly on a stretch, if not on a strain, to devise new methods, new plans, new organizations to advance the Church and secure enlargement and efficiency for the gospel. This trend of the day has a tendency to lose sight of the man or sink the man in the plan or organization. God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. “There was a man sent from God whose name was John.” The dispensation that heralded and prepared the way for Christ was bound up in that man John. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” The world’s salvation comes out of that cradled Son. When Paul appeals to the personal character of the men who rooted the gospel in the world, he solves the mystery of their success. The glory and efficiency of the gospel is staked on the men who proclaim it. When God declares that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him,” he declares the necessity of men and his dependence on them as a channel through which to exert his power upon the world. This vital, urgent truth is one that this age of machinery is apt to forget. The forgetting of it is as baneful on the work of God as would be the striking of the sun from his sphere. Darkness, confusion, and death would ensue. What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer. [Bounds, E. M. (1999). Power through prayer. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

VIII.      God is looking for men who will carry His presence and glory

A.               2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”

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