A message summary of September 6, 2020 from Pastor Gus Brown:
We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Every opportunity that we have should be under the Word of God.
Sometimes we have to work through our salvation. There is progress being made each day as you grow in the Lord.
How do you see your salvation? It’s much more than just going to heaven. While it’s important that your sins are forgiven, it’s much more.
You are to desire to learn more. It’s much more than being saved by fire (1 Corinthians 3:15).
God came from heaven to dwell within you. He is living in us, and He is there to help us within our walk of salvation. His grace is more than sufficient. He wants you to recognize Him. He wants you to have expectation of His grace and mercy.
He will not be used for the purpose of fulfilling your fleshly wants and desires. God will not be used, disrespected or violate His Word without some sort of correction or even punishment.
We’re going to look at the Ark (of the Covenant). The believer has specific information as to how to live. This is for living as a Christian would…in a Christ-like manner. Non-believers have their own way of seeing life. God will always be in the business of drawing people near to Him, but there are standards that He wants everyone to understand.
1 Samuel 4:1-3 ESV
1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.
Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines. They encamped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek. 2 The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle spread, Israel was defeated before the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the field of battle. 3 And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.”
As believers, we will often ask questions like this when we receive setbacks. My question for you is: Where is God in your life?
You can’t honor God if He is second fiddle in your life.
If you send Jesus somewhere else other than first place, you will not experience the fullness of His glory and grace.
Notice how the Israelites wanted to grab the Ark of the Covenant once they experienced defeat.
1 Samuel 4:3-4 ESV
3 And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.” 4 So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
If you want God to be involved in your life, it is to involve everything. Not just the “important” things. God is not to be placed at a distance in your heart and mind. You, yourself, needs to seek God before anyone else. Pray before going to a pastor, elder or anyone else.
Numbers 10:31-36 ESV
31 And he said, “Please do not leave us, for you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will serve as eyes for us. 32 And if you do go with us, whatever good the Lord will do to us, the same will we do to you.”
33 So they set out from the mount of the Lord three days’ journey. And the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them three days’ journey, to seek out a resting place for them. 34 And the cloud of the Lord was over them by day, whenever they set out from the camp.
35 And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Arise, O Lord, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.” 36 And when it rested, he said, “Return, O Lord, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel.”
Note that the Ark of the Covenant went BEFORE the people as they journeyed. The cloud of the Lord represented His presence.
1 Then Joshua rose early in the morning and they set out from Shittim. And they came to the Jordan, he and all the people of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. 2 At the end of three days the officers went through the camp 3 and commanded the people, “As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it. 4 Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2,000 cubits in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.” 5 Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” 6 And Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people.
7 The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.
Who is leading your life? Who are you following?
Put God up front and follow Him. God is always with you…either in the front or behind you. It is better to follow Him instead of Him chasing after you because you’re following something else.
Jesus does not want to be behind us. He wants to go before us. Every problem that you have, God will lead you through them. The problems won’t overwhelm you. Jesus is in His proper place in your life. He’s first.
God will not be captivated by you. He is not there to be your genie. You are here to be His servant. That will never change. Even though God serves you at His pleasure, our positions will never change. We are saved to serve Him and be His priests—His servants.
1 Samuel 5:1-5
1 When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. 3 And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. 4 But when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. 5 This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.
The god of this world is not stronger than our God. Amen.
1 Samuel 5:6-12
6 The hand of the Lord was heavy against the people of Ashdod, and he terrified and afflicted them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory. 7 And when the men of Ashdod saw how things were, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for his hand is hard against us and against Dagon our god.” 8 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” They answered, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be brought around to Gath.” So they brought the ark of the God of Israel there. 9 But after they had brought it around, the hand of the Lord was against the city, causing a very great panic, and he afflicted the men of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out on them. 10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. But as soon as the ark of God came to Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought around to us the ark of the God of Israel to kill us and our people.” 11 They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, that it may not kill us and our people.” For there was a deathly panic throughout the whole city. The hand of God was very heavy there. 12 The men who did not die were struck with tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
The enemy that rejects God will suffer because of His judgments. Those who seek God and keep Him at the forefront have nothing to fear.
God’s place is with His people. God’s place is with you if you’re truly saved. You need to understand this. God will do a mighty work in your life if you allow Him to be in first place.
2 Samuel 6:1-5
1 David again gathered all the chosen 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, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. 3 And they carried 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, were driving the new cart, 4 with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark.
5 And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.
The Ark was placed on a new cart? Where did that come from?
1 Samuel 6:3-8
3 They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but by all means return him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why his hand does not turn away from you.” 4 And they said, “What is the guilt offering that we shall return to him?” They answered, “Five golden tumors and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines, for the same plague was on all of you and on your lords. 5 So you must make images of your tumors and images of your mice that ravage the land, and give glory to the God of Israel. Perhaps he will lighten his hand from off you and your gods and your land. 6 Why should you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? After he had dealt severely with them, did they not send the people away, and they departed? 7 Now then, take and prepare a new cart and two milk cows on which there has never come a yoke, and yoke the cows to the cart, but take their calves home, away from them. 8 And take the ark of the Lord and place it on the cart and put in a box at its side the figures of gold, which you are returning to him as a guilt offering. Then send it off and let it go its way
In verse 7, the non-believer gave direction here, but the people who know God have a different understanding. The world will provide information that is not helpful in your effort to follow God.
God meant for the Ark to be carried by the Levites, who had instruction not to touch the Ark. They were to use straps and poles to carry it.
Seventy (70) Israelites were killed by God because they looked into it. They treated the Ark as an idol. The cart was built because David copied this from the Philistines when they were trying to move it.
2 Samuel 6:5-8
5 And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. 6 And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God. 8 And David was angry because the Lord had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day.
Uzzah thought that he was doing a good thing. He was actually disobedient. He was supposed to be a great distance from the Ark. The Levites were the only ones authorized to move it.
We are not to be fearful that God will hurt us. We need to understand that our fleshly responses are not to be a part of our worship of God. God wants us to remain reverent and respectful as to His ways, and not bring our ways into it.
Sometimes, as Christians, we miss what God is doing in our lives because He’s not doing it in the way we expect Him to do it.
He was working in David’s life here, because He is still teaching him as to what is means to be obedient. While he was king, he was not a priest. He learned from the experience with Uzzah.
If it’s not following the Word of God, then don’t do it.
1 Chronicles 15:1-2, 11-16
1 David built houses for himself in the city of David. And he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. 2 Then David said that no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, for the Lord had chosen them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister to him forever.
11 Then David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab, 12 and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites. Consecrate yourselves, you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. 13 Because you did not carry it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.” 14 So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.
16 David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.
Before consulting others, seek God Himself first.
If you want to experience victory in your life, commit yourself to following Him, inquire of Him and remain obedient to Him. He is the One who provides instruction and guidance for you.
God has a prescribed way for you to live if you get into His Word and follow it.
God wants us to be in every part of your life.
In accordance with God’s Word, we live. He sustains you and guides you. The prosperity of God is that He provides what you need as you remain obedient to Him.