Date: 15 November, 2018
Text: 1 Chronicles 15
Title: Guardians of God's Holiness
There are two significant Biblical arks in the Bible. The first God used to preserve life on earth. The second God used to preserve His law and to be a sign of the place where God would manifest His presence to Israel.
It originally was put into a tent in the wilderness called the Tabernacle.
The tent had a holy place and a most holy place. The Ark was in the most holy place.
When King David was alive - he was burdened to build a house for God which would be called the Temple. His Son Solomon built the first Temple.
The temple had the holy place and the Holy of Holies where the ark was kept.
In Jerusalem - Temple Institute - we were taken on a tour which showed us replica's made for the next temple which were made just like the ones in God's Word out of the same materials. Solid gold bread trays. Solid gold altar of incense.... The High Priests ephod with jewels.
They had a replica of the ark of the Covenant.
I read that they are beginning to train priests in Biblical law so that they are ready to minister in this temple.
In reading about this - I've also found out that since the 3 people died on the temple mount - the Jewish rabbis have for the first time in millennia chosen to begin training temple priests as well so that they can remove dead bodies from the temple mount.
Where the original ark of the Covenant is kept - is a mystery. Ethiopea claims to have had the ark for the last 3 millenia in a monastery in Aksum. There is a guardian of the ark who is the only person allowed to see it and who never leaves the monastery. Is it really there?
Our story this morning is about the ark of the covenant. This story takes place just before the building of the Temple in Solomon's day.
1.) Israel lost the ark to the Philistines in battle.
2.) The Philistines are cursed because of it and send it back after 7 months. Dagon - plagued
3.) Beth-Shemesh - 50,075 people die for looking inside the ark.
(20 years in Abimelech's house.)
(Messianic Jewish community now on this hill - Yad Hoshmonah)
4.) Then David comes to get it - but instead of preparing to deal with such a Holy reality - they put it on a cart - the oxen stumble - Uzzah's killed.
5.) Obed-edom houses the ark for 3 months and God blesses his home.
2 Samuel 6:11 And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.
12 And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.
note: If you were going to go with David to get the Ark - would you be cautious?
The Philistines were cursed when they had it.
50,000 in Beth Shemesh killed because of it.
Uzzah killed in transporting it.
Why - because God is holy and His people MUST BE GUARDIANS OF HIS HOLINESS!
My message this morning - WE NEED TO BE GUARDIANS OF GOD'S HOLINESS.
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
ill. The ark was gold and beautiful craftsmanship - but the glory of the ark was the glory of the MANIFEST PRESENCE OF GOD.
note: We don't have the ark of God with us this morning. However, we do have the Person there manifested with us who was manifested through the ark of the Covenant.
GUARD GOD'S HOLINESS! Are you prepared to guard God's holiness?
TEXT - 1 Chronicles 15
I. Guard His holiness by putting Him in a prepared (sanctified) place.
1 And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.
exp. The City of David is like a peninsula that comes off of the temple mound in Jerusalem. The Temple is not yet built and this is the original Jerusalem. David, "prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent."
note: David will be burdened to build a house for the ark. A tent (tabernacle) had been the home of the ark. The house will be called the temple.
ill. In NT Christianity - people who are born again/ saved - are made into a Temple.
1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
note: Years of planning went into building God's temple. They were very strict practices to protect the place where the put the Ark of the Covenant. (Just as it says here in our text - David prepared a place.)
ill. We're looking forward to sharing our home with some friends of ours in the very near future. We like to keep a clean home. However, when people come there is a special desire that the house be just right. My wife also prepares some snacks for our guests and we seek to give them a special place in our home.
question: How carefully have you prepared the place where God resides in your heart?
1.) Have you removed anything offensive to God from that place?
ill. Body odor can be offensive - deodorant is a good thing. Our teen room was being painted - 20 young people in a small room and two young people who's parents noses were not functioning that well in their older age. I could tell that our young people (They actually did pretty well and I was proud of them for not being rude) but the smell was very offensive.
exp. It wasn't that we didn't like them. It wasn't that we didn't care for them. We just didn't want to be around that smell because it was offensive.
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
app. Sin is a stench in the Holy nostrils of God. It's not that He doesn't love and care for us. He just can't abide that odor. He would have us take it out of the place of His presence (Out of love for Him and desire to show Him our love.)
2.) Have you put there what God likes?
a. A life that stands up for Jesus.
2Co 7:12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.
b. A life that works for Jesus.
1Th 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
c. A life that interceded for Jesus.
I Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
3.) Have you given Him a great place there?
a. A preeminent place.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
b. An uncontested place.
Ephesians 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.
hymn: "I have decided to follow Jesus - no turning back."
c. A governing place.
ill. The disciple Thomas struggled to believe in the resurrected Lord Jesus - but when He cam to faith - He acknowledged that Jesus was His Master and His God!
John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
conclusion: David thought much about the place where he was putting the presence of God. How much thought have you given to the place which you have prepared for God.
II. Guardians of God's holiness are a chosen people.
2 Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.
3 And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto his place, which he had prepared for it.
4 And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:
5 Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twenty:
6 Of the sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty:
7 Of the sons of Gershom; Joel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and thirty:
8 Of the sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred:
9 Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore:
10 Of the sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve.
11 And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,
exp. Here is a list of very specific individuals prepared to be in the congregation of those who would transport the the glory of God (the ark of the Covenant) to Jerusalem. They were chosen by God and only they could do this Holy ministry!
ill. Have you ever played a sport where people are chosen for teams? As you wait in anticipation for your name to be called - there is a certain apprehension and desire TO BE WANTED ON THAT TEAM.
question: DOES GOD WANT YOU ON HIS TEAM THIS MORNING? Has He called your name? Indeed the NT does speak of God chosing us.
A. God has chosen a holy people.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
app. Those who are chosen by God are called out of darkness by His grace into HIS LIGHT. If you have been chosen by God - a light has gone on in your heart illuminating the glory of the Gospel.
B. God has chosen a weak people.
I Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
exp. With few exceptions, those whom God has chosen were not aristocrats, academics, or warriors. They were commoners. Shepherds, fishermen, tax collectors, harlots, etc.
Act 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
question: Have you any earthly credentials - discard them so that God can use you? He won't chose someone who thinks THEY ARE GREAT AND THAT HE SHOULD USE THEM.
Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
app. You may yet have been chosen by God and called because you are so proud of your self righteousness that YOU THINK GOD NEEDS YOU.
C. God has chosen a poor people.
Jas 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
exp. Remember riches are a huge hinderance to being chosen.
Mat 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
quetion: Why? Because a rich person does not need God!
ill. rich young ruler - Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
app. If you have yet to been chosen by God - THERE OUGHT TO BE A FEAR IN YOUR HEART LEST HE PASS YOU BY.
ill. Francis Crosby's hymn - Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour.
Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Hear my humble cry,
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief;
Kneeling there in deep contrition,
Help my unbelief
III. Guard God's holiness by being clean.
12 And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.
exp. To sanctify is to set apart/ cleanse. THEY WERE TO CLEANSE THEMSELVES BEFORE THIS SACRED DUTY.
ill. Standing on the steps of the temple our guide asked us if we had ever considered where the 3 thousand were baptized who were saved in that place on the day of Pentecost. Archeologists have discovered ritual baths (Mikvahs) around the temple. Worshippers would pass through these in ceremonial cleansing rituals before entering the temple.
note: I would suggest that there are many christians in church today WHO DID NOT GIVE A THOUGHT TO CLEANSING THEMSELVES BEFORE GOING TO CHURCH THIS MORNING.
ill. Do you remember the message from Ezekiel 14:1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.
2 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?
question: Are we living in the OT days - Are we risking PHYSICAL DEATH by trying to worship God unclean? (I purposely asked the question in a way that is perhaps misleading - because although the answer is NO WE ARE NOT LIVING IN THE OT DAYS - we do risk physical death if we think we can worship God without cleansing.)
ill. Ananias and Saphira - died in the church age.
ill. Paul writing to the early church about not taking the Lord's supper with defilement warned them with these words - 1Co 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
app. Don't be deceived into thinking that you can fool God and worship Him with unclean hands or hearts? Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
IV. Guard God's holiness by keeping the law.
13 For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.
14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel.
15 And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD.
exp. They had grown casual in their worship. They thought their ideas of worship were good enough. God had to show them THEIR IDEAS WERE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. He had given him His law for a reason.
ill. 2 Samuel 6:6 And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.
app. Our generation has become very casual in our worship of God.
1.) The Sabbath is unimportant to most believers.
2.) In a cry against legalism and standards - many believers have become worldly.
3.) God is robbed of His tithe and offerings.
4.) To busy to serve God.
AND BECAUSE GOD IS MERCIFUL, LONGSUFFERING, AND GRACIOUS - we think He accepts our worship! God's holiness needs law keepers.
V. Guard God's holiness with purity of worship.
exp. This public worship service wasn't just going to happen. It was going to be planned and prepared.
1Co 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
exp. 1 Corinthians 14 are instructions to the church on public worship.
app. We ought to plan our corporate worship.
A. Pure worship.
16 And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.
17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah;
18 And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, the porters.
19 So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass;
20 And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth;
21 And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel.
22 And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.
24 And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obededom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.
exp. Their are vocalists and instrumentalists. They had talents God had given them for use in public worship. THEY USED THEIR VOICE AND INSTRUMENTS WITH JOY.
app. We guard GOD'S HOLINESS by the purity of our song service as we LIFT OUR VOICE IN PRAISE TO GOD!
B. Humble worship.
23 And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.... v.24 and Obededom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.
exp. It was humble service (keeping a door) BUT OH WHAT A DOOR THEY KEPT. The door was the entrance into the presence of God.
Psa 84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
app. If you are a true guardian of God's holiness, there is no ministry for His holiness which is below you. SERVANTS ARE NEEDED IN THE MINISTRY OF GOD - THERE IS NO HIGHER CALLING THAN TO DO WHATEVER GOD NEEDS TO BE DONE!
C. Joyous worship.
25 So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the house of Obededom with joy.
exp. This is a day of great joy!
ill. The song leader in our churches often has the saddest of jobs - looking out at the congregation and wondering why their faces to reflect the joyous words which they are singing. (You may feel the same way as you look at the song leader at times.)
hymn "Brethren we have met to worship and adore the God we love."
"I have a song I love to sing, Since I have been redeemed."
"Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me - I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see!"
app. How many reasons we have to ask God to help us go to His house with a heart of joy!
Neh 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.
12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.
app. If you can't get excited about going to the house of God - how do you expect to attract others to this place?
VI. Guard God's holiness by being dependant upon Him.
26 And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams.
exp. God had opposed them when they had worshipped contrary to His desire. WHEN HE CAME ALONGSIDE THEM AND HELPED THEM - the stopped what they were doing and got on their faces before the Almighty!
exp. Perhaps the burden of modern day Christianity is that IT HAS NOT THE BLESSING OF GOD! But, when God's people worship right - GOD AIDS THEM IN THEIR WORK!
question. Have we forgotten that WE NEED THE LORD to do the Lord's work?
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
app. When God helps us - WE NEED TO STOP WHAT WE ARE DOING AND WORSHIP HIM! (Moving the ark was very important to their "church.") But, not so important they couldn't stop what they were doing and say THANK YOU JEHOVAH FOR YOUR HELP!
Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
VII. Guard God's holiness by being a truly righteous person - (clothed in white linen.)
27 And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen.
28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.
exp. The fine linen is a picture of the righteous robes required for those who would approach God.
ill. Last week we looked at the parable of the virgins waiting for the coming of the groom (Jesus) There is another parable about a wedding - Matthew 22
9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
app. Your robe shows whether or not you have been chosen by God to join with Him. God is willing to cloth you in His righteousness. 2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Some people may misunderstand a group of believers that really get's burdened about guarding the Holiness of God by doing things as God intends. THEY MAY THINK WE ARE FANATICS.
29 And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.
Exp. She despised her husband - but God did not. David was doing what He did as unto the Lord and giving His all for the glory of God.
If you moved the ark - you would probably do the same as David. Afterall GOD HAD SHOWN HOW SERIOUS HE WAS ABOUT GUARDING HIS HOLINESS.
HOW SERIOUSLY DO YOU GUARD THE HOLINESS OF GOD?
1.) How carefully have you prepared His place?
2.) Has God chosen you to carry His holiness? (a Holy vessel, an unworthy vessel , poor in Spirit)
3.) Are your hands clean? Isa 52:11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.
4.) Do you keep God's law? (Honor Him with His day, His tithe, high standards....)
5.) Do you participate in corporate worship? (music, humility, joy)
6.) Do you depend upon God for His help? (And rejoice when He does so.)
7.) Are you clothed in the white raiment of God?