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June 17, 2019 11:26 am
Who among us sounds without sin or even six without sin, who among us have not strayed at some point or the other in our lives in our walk with Christ. Who among us is not totally disappointed, our Savior, who among us have not smacked in the face of God, as it were. Who among us have not wandered away from him and abstain quite longer than we wanted to stay. Who among us have not found each time we stray God's grace and forgiveness to bring us back. Not one of us stand without sin, isn't it true, yet we see here in our context from first Sam well.
Chapter 7 which I will invite your attention just so we understand the context of first Sam well Joshua's leadership and ministry and did on a good note a positive note, as it were, as Israel rededicated herself to God.
Yes we do know Joshua chapter 24 and verse 14 or 15.
Most of us are very much familiar with that but Joshua began this called back towards the Lord, even from chapter 22 in chapter 22 verse five he called Israel and their leaders, their commanders, he reminded them of the importance of coming to God and to serve him.
An interesting word.
Later on in chapter 23 and verse eight he says, but you still cling to the Lord your God, just as you have done this day is somewhat of a negative context in verse 12 he says if you turn back and cooling to the remnants of those nations remaining around you or about you than there may be God's judgment upon you.
That naturally flows into chapter 24 is a later on he will call the people we read in verse 16 as just will call the people.
The people respond and then the people answered. Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods, for it is the Lord our God who brought us out in our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery and who did those great signs in our sight and preserve us in all the way that we went and among all the peoples, through whom we passed. So Joshua said, I'm glad you believe that and so let me show you my example for certain.
He said of course early SME in my house we will serve the Lord. And so the people responded, and then in verse 23 he said to them, then put away the foreign gods from among you, and incline your heart to the Lord. You notice the importance of the position of our hearts for those of us who are walking with the Lord. Incline your heart to the Lord, the God of Israel and the people said to Joshua, the Lord our God.
We will serve and that his voice we will obey. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day and put in place statutes and rules that would govern them, and Joshua later passed and we have a very disturbing verse in Judges chapter 2 and verse 10 for judges to verse 10, there arose another generation that did not know their God, nor the works that he had done the fateful generation and leaders that walk with with thought Joshua had passed and another generation came about that did not know their God sought she was a time of the. Of the judges for judges in that. Which is about a 300 span of time from approximately 1400 to 1100 BC Israel repeatedly fell into sin. Israel repeatedly abandoned their God and they turned to idolatry and yes Joshua lived faithfully before the Lord. But then there came this other period of time when Israel abandoned their God. Israel therefore desperately needed a different kind of leader and leader would walk before them in a righteous manner lived uprightly.
Show them Christ. Because yes, there was no king in Israel and certainly everyone did as was right in their own eyes here came Sammy well, a different kind of leader leader whose life is permeated by prayer and walking with God. You remember when God called the Samuel of course initially he thought was Eli the priest, calling what we was having well when you receive this call, we are told that Samuel L would lay down in the temple right up against the ark of the covenant of God, not just to help us understand Samuel when at this point is not an adult is you and I would classify adult he's a young man perhaps a teenager. Some say somewhere between 11 and 15 years old. So think with me. What was it about this young man that he desired such closeness to God. He wanted to be so near to God that he would find himself laying down against the ark of the covenant or do we find ourselves resting what will be the deepest desires of your heart and mind how close do we desire to be with God, to walk with God to commune with God and how does that reflect in our time. Use the four possession. How is it reflected so certainly apostasy was the order of the day. There was no telling how far a person or nation will go when they have turned their backs against God. Someone as defined apostasy as the deliberate repudiation and abandonment of the faith that one has professed God called Sam well very very young man to be a different kind of leader line whom would be impregnated as the world with our thoughts to the holiness of God and the righteousness of God and a desire to serve God that he would lead God's people back towards God and appearance are you what kind of father are you what kind of church leader are you are you known as someone in your home and in your community and your church where your primary modus operandi.
People know that you live a righteous life before God, and that your consistently continuously calling God's people back towards him. When you do see if all of course that you first walk before the Lord and then you call God's people towards him. I pray that's where we will find ourselves. But there is grace and there is hope for no matter how far we go we turn to God, we find one was ready to forgive and to restore this look at Sam room for several chapter 7. You notice the very first point is is roads there this fall into idolatry. Israel's fault into idolatry and the man of.
They came in the took the ark of the Lord and they brought it to the house of been a dad on the hill and they consecrated his son Eliezer to have charge over the ark of the Lord. How does this demonstrate Israel's fall into idolatry. Well, think with me. Here we see you.
Where Israel had the experience a wonderful time a great time of rest, as it were coming from. Sent Joshua into the period of the judges and is it always seems to be an urban Jensen, who served with Brian's college Bryan college.
Some of you here are Brian-ites, I guess he presents to us these five are is that encapsulates that the cycle of Israel's journey particular during the time of the judges that the rate of rest was often followed by a period of rebellion which would then be followed by God's warning, but certainly repeat retribution judgment will come upon God's people. That feeling of judgment was then followed by a time of repentance and wants repentance on came and it needed to be genuine. Certainly, there came then the period of restoration. Israel here finds herself slipping out of that beautiful rest into that. Of rebellion and asked Israel rebelled. Israel now turned to false gods and they began to treat God, and certainly the ark of the Coblentz. They treated God as some sort of a classmate, Jeannie. They thought they had Zeke God as a genie in a little box are a little bottle as it were you part God over the corner when you don't need him and when you find yourself in a desperate moment. Then you can call for the Bob so you could call for the bottle and you can rub the side of it and I suppose God would just pop out and do whatever you want them to do for you and when you're totally finished with him, you put them away over in the corner, look at first I was at the fork in verse three you will see how Israel treated their God. They had no place for God, they did not need God. During this period of time.
But when the troops came to the camp and the elders of Israel said why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philippi misdeeds. Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord hear from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies. They did not want God otherwise they had no interest in having God among them and the ark of the covenant that represented the presence of the Lord. They were okay with that being away from them. But in Jamaica we put it like this you know I can help it. So here we go.
When trouble ticket picnic short for you to Jamaican say. In other words, when you desperate place you find yourself doing some extraordinary things and certainly in this case, turning towards God, but Israel really turn to God. Initially, how they treated God. We don't want you among us. We don't want this.
This sacred thing that represented the presence of the Lord, the ark of the comet where house that the 10 Commandments on Aaron's rod that bought it and manna that was very much representative of what God was doing among them and through them over there. We don't want it among us when there was some trouble. Well, let's see if we can get the ark see if we can get God just to be here for us just for this moment and then when we're done.
That's part came back over in the corner. I really do pray that you don't treat your God like that is your shows her imperfection as he turned away from God and turn away from God that God will deliver them out of slavery and turn to some inanimate object that which cannot save that which could not speak to them that which could do nothing for them. You started the book of Hosea and God calls this profit and sings to him I want you to go and marry this harlot, this prostitute, this is going to be assigned as to what Israel is doing with me, as Israel now is prostituting herself with foreign gods. That's the way Israel treated her God turning away from the living God to a God that is not another sounds familiar to the message that Paul brought to the Galatians doesn't it Galatians chapter 1 verse six, Paul says, I am amazed. I'm astonished that you are so quickly turning away departs in away from this gospel which is authentic the gospel that saves the new turning away to something else which is not in the bathroom is enough of another crime is an arrest.this gospel cannot help you there is no salvation in this gospel, but there is salvation in Jesus Christ and we are so quickly turning away from him and one of the sad realities is that we think that we can do that and hide from God. Yes I know we hide from DGR there in the inner recesses of for being no one can look at us and tell what we're thinking and what's taken place in our hearts and so we hide their but lest we forget God sees and God knows God wants every aspect of war being. Yes, he wants every aspect of our hearts, we cannot hide from him. My daughters usually tell me when I'm about to priest, dad, please do not embarrass us. They forgot to mention at this time.
So I remember as we used to play hide and seek in our house.
They are much, much beyond that age now hide and seek is quite childish. I suppose I remember the days when hide and seek around the house and they haven't quite gotten a hold of really how to hide because one day I hid so well from them but they thought I had disappeared and I heard one of them going to their mother and crying and say we can't find that he has disappeared. But then there came another time when we're playing hide and seek and was their turn to hide in my turn to look for them in and I gave them some time to hide and to settle in and when I could hear no more sound eyes cried out.
Are you a and one of them said always that you know where we are where we are right in how to make the minimizer. I just kept asking are you ready and they would say yes and I just run around the house, pretending as if I don't know where they are just for a few seconds and then I pop them right where they are and scare them very often hide in from each other, but we certainly cannot hide from God what we told in Proverbs 28 was 13 that those who paid or seek to cover their sins will not prosper is not the fact that we understand the problem comes about when we try to hide that sin instead of dealing with that sin coming before God, confessing that sin in our hearts before him. And if you and I are to experience spiritual revival in our own souls in our own hearts and our lives and for revival to come in all homes and revival to come to your church revival to come to this nation, we have to take ownership for our sin. We have to confess our sins, we must be willing to repent and to turn away from our sin not to hide it.
We were we hiding from anywhere, anyway.
God sees and knows. He knows the very depths of our hearts can we go from the presence of the Lord mutely know where secondly we see Israel's punishment for sin. Verse two Israel's punishment for sin. This came in the form of this ungodly nation.
The Philistines is God use them to punish Israel as the ark of the covenant was away in there came about about 40 years when the Philistines troubled Israel. We read in verse two. From the day that the ark was allotted. There was Jim Darren.
I long time past, some 20 years in the house of Israel lamented before the Lord, you will read this initially you might think they are lamented before the Lord.
That means perhaps they are returning to the Lord that perhaps they are now laying themselves open before the law, but that's not exactly what is happening here. Yes, God punished Israel for the sin of idolatry and he told them that would happen several times if you from the very Commandments, we see we are to have no other gods but no gods beside him that we are to serve God and serve him alone when there's a punishment for sin.
Why because the wages of sin is that there is certainly a time when we would be punished for our lesson.
Israel was you and I will be as well. Here they are in this form of lamentation.
What does it mean, yes, there was a time when they were crying before the Lord, but there were crying just because of the punishment that came through that that that that that the Philistines were not crying.
This allotment is not a limeade of repentance. This allotment is not allotment of turning towards God. In fact what they wanted was to have their flaws. Gods. But then to grab the ark of the covenant and rub the box as it were so glad to just pump out and do something for them, deliver them from their enemies and then they could shut God in the corner. This is not genuine repentance. This is just speaking from from our lips in our mouth. But then the hearts are safe are away from God and you say well how do you know that will hang in there, was doing that in a few seconds.
So we see the is important to important principles about sin. It was the same then from Genesis chapter 3 all the way to today.
What are these two important principles that God takes sin seriously and sin must be punished. God takes sin seriously and sin must be punished.
Do you mean to say we can come to church as Israel band and we can go through this act of worship. Yet our hearts are far from God. Of course, that is the case.
Turn with me to Amos chapter 5 Amos chapter 5 in Amos chapter 5 reread about a time when Israel was faithfully going before God will worship but yet also his red heart was not turned toward God in Amos chapter 5 in verse 21 God reflects our response to a an act of worship that Israel had done. We read these following verses here. He says I hate. I despise your feasts.
I take no delight in your solemn assemblies even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
I will not accept them.
And the peace offerings of your fattening fattened animals.
I will not look upon them, take away from me. The noise of your song you mean your worship songs with her hands lifted up, take them away from me to the melody of your harps will not listen but let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream. I remember going to Birmingham, Alabama, and saw that verse quoted there on one of the memorials walls, as Martin Luther King Jr. had quoted that as well. Here is God's people coming before him with this external act of worship. But their hearts were far away from him, and as long as you and I do that there can be no spiritual revival as we try to cover up our sins and we come with this external act of worship. God wants more than that God wants our hearts to do. You have items use a password that was Israel as it really do we have items today. Do we not have idols today, will you not so sure I can help you. What captivates our hearts and our time.
What has replaced God on the throne of our hearts. When we get up in the mornings tomorrow.
What do we give the first few minutes are our our four day your phone is at your email.
Is it your whatever else you are doing.
If it's not to the Lord and is quite obvious. Something has or someone has dethroned God from your heart or mind estate.
The place of God, and certainly then weird duty of idolatry and you might have even come here this morning and have enjoyed a wonderful time of worship is our brother and the team has led us booklet also meets all of you and me that even though we have come and we have Lord said hearts are far away from God could also be true that we have fallen into sin, and if that's the case, yes, we need to cry out to him and say you must again fill our hearts with your love may also be rekindled with fire from above. Hallelujah kind of glory. Amen. Just that that would be the cry of your heart and mind today with Israel then cries out to God in repentance. Repentance did not come in verse two. Do not confuse the fact that they lamented before the Lord, that was not the point of repentance. Look at verse three. Here we see no Sam will gather the house of Israel. He says if you are returning to the Lord Northeast. If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then what must you do you must put away the foreign gods quite similar to what Joshua said, put away the foreign gods in the asteroid from among you, and serve him God alone. Yahweh only, and he will deliver you out of the hands of the Philistines.
You see the promise here. If you're turning to the Lord will return to the Lord, you must do so with all your heart, you must put away your foreign gods from among you. You must direct your hearts towards the Lord, and you must serve him and him alone.
So what is the status it tells us even though Israel had this little moment of lament before God that they held tightly to their flaws, God and wanted to have their flaws.
God, yet still with 1 foot in and 1 foot out.
They can pretend as if they're walking before the Lord North there are no absolutely not. You can't serve both God and mom and Matthew makes it abundantly clear. It must be God and God alone.
Are you longing for the spiritual revival and if there would be rewrapped every viable in your heart and mind in our homes and our church and our community and our country. We first must turn our hearts towards the Lord. The word turning here means to turn back from but also to turn away from the retreat to run this idea of repentance here. Repentance is that about turn that 180° turn from one direction into the opposite direction. He said if you truly are about to repent. This is what you have to do.
This is what has to take place in you must be this turning back. Turn away from abundant run from and run towards God. This involves all of our hearts, not just some. There is no placehere will be some nominal Christian book cultural Christianity were either walking with the Lord when not walking with the Lord and wondered why it sometimes it seems like God is far from you.
I have had those moments and is not that God is smart, really.
I am the one who is far my heart out for that in our heart and I had to turn towards him returning this is what needs to happen, but also noticed you must put away. This is a term that means to abandon totally and then is that you're driving on the street them.
Not so sure how many of you had this experience with me about a car so old that you've done everything possible to it.
And there comes a time when it breaks down on the road the very last time you doesn't get out. Take the license is often and walk away from it. Can it does. I am aware told so men don't even look back. I'm talking about running out of gas and I don't find the nearest gas station not to buy gas bottle know you get that you come back you drive the vehicle. Again, that's not what is in play here.
Abandonment stepping away from behind us anymore away from towards God. It has to do with the port.
No way involves this deep turning aside from departing from the parking away from either. Again, we struggle with sin return here, but that is still there. There needs to be this total abandonment staying away from avoiding it. Repentance also involves the directing of our hearts. Notice verse about turning off our heart of hearts towards him. But then there is also the directing of our hearts twice in one verse, the word heart appears so this is the seat of the problem. This is the problem or biggest problem is the problem of law that is and we will not experience spiritual revival in this review with you see the problem of our hearts.
No pill in the world is going to solve our problem. No politician in the world is going to solve our problem.
We must compare before God and allow him to change as there is a directed of all of our hearts towards him. It has to do with the direction it needs a firm, stable placement here in a manner of living from one point on the word you still haven't decided it in your mind and my mind that yes I'm going to let car and move away from it. I speak from experience more I such once had such a, it was totally corroded on the road and there's nothing else that we were going to pull there came a time when we decide to walk away from it walk away from it. This is a sauna for turning the sort of a directing of our hearts that we need that needs to be a sense of resolve.
There needs to be a sense of desperation.
If we may return towards him were established then in our manner of living and then we serve God and God alone. If we're going to be turning towards him in repentance.
We must put away or flaws. God's from us. We must direct our hearts towards him. We must serve him alone and what is the promise here that when we should have done this God then will work in our lives and our circumstances in our homes and our marriage and in order to search a little community in our country and in all word but it begins with you and me is okay to say amen but it's a good place running man genuine repentance, then, involves two types of change is a change of the heart the internal and then the change of our direction. Remember the verse as the writ hearts, direct our lives direct or living towards him still have that sense of resolve and commitment to do this and to live like this. The external but without an internal changers. No chains externally. Is there we might pretend all we want, with a heart must first be changed. Yes, we cannot serve to God's will, God and mom on it has to be one open we'll find ourselves serve in the living God.
Third point return to God and spiritual revival.
We see here in verses four through nine to the people of Israel. They put away.
In response, they put away the bells and asked Surratt they serve the Lord only noticed that serve the Lord. Only then someone said all Israel at Ms. spot mitzvah was that place in today's world, we might say. If you have at your workplace or some school, you have an emergency gathering point. If there is child and there is build in lockdown or evacuation. There's a point where we need to meet.
Don't jump in your car and go away. We need to have everyone accounted for and whenever trouble came upon Israel at this particular point in your journey. It was at Ms. spot that they would meet interest in the Ms. farm means a lookout point God has called you and me to be the guardians watch the men of our cities and are our marriage, our homes, our church and we need to have a Ms. spot in our lives where we will needs, and lookout, as it were with Sam will gather the people at mitzvah and they prayed to the Lord and they also ask him to pray to the Lord if you will notice later on. So they gathered at mitzvah and they drew Walter in the pour the water out before the Lord. Not only that but they fasted so they gathered in obedience. They brought Walter together at mitzvah and deported out before the Lord and they fasted before the Lord that day and they said we have sinned against the Lord and Sam will judge the people of Israel at mitzvah know when the Pharisees are the people of Israel had gathered at mitzvah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel, and when the people of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines and the people of Israel said to Sam will do not cease to pray to cry out to the Lord for us.
The Lord our God for us, that he may save us from the hands of the Philistines at mitzvah notice when you read this text mitzvah is mentioned seven times. It tells us that there is some importance here there something we need to focus on here. What are the prerequisites for spiritual revival. Sin is always a part of it. But then there must be the turning away from sin Tony Evans puts it this way when God's people are disobedient. We suffer his wrath because We Have Rejected His Way, God desires desires a restored relationship with his people, but the believers we have a responsibility in our own revival when believers come to God on his terms with the hearts we give God permission to take action when we open the door so revival through prayer. God works on our sin and address how they affect our lives. God is calling for spiritual and physical action as prerequisites to his intervention. We must rid ourselves of excuses and the crutches which are often disguised as additional addictions and issues on when we seek God's will and with humility, prayer and obedience will we find true revival that's when it will occur. We want to revival there must be a total abandonment of sin, a turning towards God would not just some but with all our hearts, and when we do. So what do we find we find victory, which is what comes next in verses 10 through 14, Israel experienced victory over the Philistines. SMO was offered of the burnt offering and the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the Lord thundered with a mighty sound that they against the Philistines and threw them into confusion and they were routed before Israel, they ran away in front of Israel as it were the men of Israel went out from mitzvah and pursuing the Philistines and struck them as far as below is best car, Israel defeated the Philistines. But it was God who gave them victory and without the victory that came through Jesus Christ for you and me on the cross.
None of us can stand before him, but God gave Israel the victory that day. He thundered from heaven he confuse the Philistines and they began to run from the very presence of God as it were, and when Israel realized what was happening. Israel then pursued them. Things were changing for Israel now because Israel had turned our heart back towards God, just as was promised God would deliver you.
God will give you victory God has His promise and he will keep his promise to you and me to deliver us when we turn away from sin is old him that I love to sing on normal young man but I like him on the victory side on the victory side we are on the victory side. When we walk with Jesus. Finally, look at Samuel that faithful leader that we see revival coming on their Samuel. Samuel Watts look at his steps from the very people before his conception we see a man whose life was permeated by pray.
His mother prayed for him. Thank God for this son, and God honored her by giving her this son Samet was a leader who can was committed to prayer. The psalmist says he is a man of prayer. Jeremiah recognizes him as a man of prayer. Sam was alive was I buy you the love of God and his commitment to God.
Walk faithfully before the Lord, and even to confront Israel when she has sin, back to the Lord. Samuel L a faithful leader, through whom the spiritual revival okay.
He led Israel.
We are told. Sam will judge Israel all the days of his life. Verse 8.15 and he went on this circuit year after year to Bethel and Gail God and then mitzvah any judge Israel in all these places, then he would return tomorrow, his hometown, as it were, and very also judge Israel honey built their altar before the Lord. So again I ask us, we long for spiritual revival. Who among us would be known as the leader of wartime leader for home. The leader of our church, through whom the spiritual revival can come first. We ask God to revive old hearts. Again, the beauty and encouragement in the great hope we have is that God promises to forgive the promises to restore the promises to bring his people back when we've turned away from him. You might be here this morning. You don't know Christ as your Lord and Savior. Some of this might not make much sense to you.
You need to begin at the foot of the cross to recognize the love of Jesus, the one who died for you as sin came into the world he went to the cross and he died for you he died for me and is offering us eternal life.
I'm not so sure there is someone who would want to pay for my sins, but I know Jesus did ignore the person would no other person can love me the way Jesus loves me. The point of dying for me and for you on the cross.
How much time do you when I have left. Do we know how about tomorrow, how about next week. How about next month or next year. We really don't know. Do we does it not make sense to live for Christ today, and if he allows us to see tomorrow to live for him tomorrow and allow him to work through our lives and addressing sin of ourselves first taken the logs out of our eyes so that we then can see to help someone else move the speck out of your eyes. May God revive us, but may we understand such a revival would begin with us