Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Is That Right?

1Chronicles‬ ‭13‬:‭2-4‬ - And David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you, and if it is of the LORD our God, let us send out to our brethren everywhere who are left in all the land of Israel, and with them to the priests and Levites who are in their cities and their common-lands, that they may gather together to us; and let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we have not inquired at it since the days of Saul.” Then all the assembly said that they would do sofor the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.

I listened to an old sermon by  evangelical writer and teacher, DeVern Fromke, a site of whose sermons someone from our church posted on Facebook. It was called Discerning God's Ways. Mind you, this was preached in 1981. It so spoke to today's Church and, of course, us.

I knew nothing about DeVern Fromke so I did a search and came across this which was not connected to the sermon I listened to, yet suggested the gist of the sermon: Fromke seeks to restore balance and bring the church back to viewing everything from God's perspective--not oursSpiritual growth and maturity in Christ is often hindered by wrong teaching and emphasis in today's ministry. This author desires to use his influence to help correct misunderstanding and wrong-centered teaching, in order that the child of God may grow and mature in the way God intended.

So in the scripture David sees a need...that the Ark be back in their land so they can worship in God as they once had. The Ark was where the presence of God resided. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel. (‭Exodus‬ ‭25‬:‭21-22‬)

The Ark had been taken by the Philistines and eventually returned to their country when they believed it was bringing curses instead of blessings (because improper use). (1Chronicles14-16)

David calls for the Ark to be brought back from Kirjath Jearim in the northern part of Israel to Jerusalem. David believed that was its rightful place and all agreed. But as Fromke points out, just because all are in agreement doesn't make it right.

Today we have majorities and minorities in society. Often the majorities rule...but that doesn't necessarily make it right. We can see that in government, jury duty, the workplace, cultures and religions. As he also pointed out, sometimes a unanimous vote is secured just to be done with a thing!

So when a church or denomination sees a need, develops a plan, a vision for something and a decision comes about, it may not always be God's will. It seems good. And often if a vote IS taken, it may not be unanimous but a majority...and the majority rules. Not even unanimous...

David was right in believing it was good to have the Ark in its rightful place but it still didn't mean it was God's will...yet. God has His own time schedule. At the same time without this account we have no good lesson to learn and maybe it was God's plan! 

At any rate, we need to seek God first. We look to Him for the answers, not all the people, not others. Him alone. He will bring confirmation of the thing we desire to do. How often 
will a church step out to do because they believe they have heard from God? Like building a church...the stance that if we build it, they will come. They will stand in faith believing it will be in God's will. I've seen this turn into failure. It was not a confirmation of word received from God. It was man's will with the hope He will step in.

Later in chapter 14 we see that the Ark was being carried on a cart by cattle. It hit a rough spot and it looked as though the Ark would fall. A man called Uzza reached out his hand to settle it and was killed instantly by God because no one was allowed to touch the Ark. God's anger was placed upon Uzza. God has certain ways of doing things and while David's heart for this Ark was in the right place, by cart with cattle was wrong method...and he should have known this. Exodus 25:10-15 goes into detail. As Fromke states, the equipment was wrong! And how often do we use the wrong equipment: say or do the wrong things to achieve what we believe is right? God just might intervene and kill the plan.

We cannot rush God. We cannot step in and do for Him. We must wait for Him. We must seek Him until He gives us an answer. Sometimes we can do nothing. We wait for an answer or confirmation. When it's done God's way it is successful. Don't we like success?

In the end, said Fromke, this Old Testament story points to Jesus...the right Way. Through the right Way who is Jesus we receive salvation, learn truth and gain proper wisdom. Seek Him, seek His ways and while the road won't always be smooth, all will be well in the end. 

Psalm 25:12-13 - Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the earth. The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and 
He will show them His covenant. 

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