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August 11, 2019

Work and Worship Part Two

Work and worship go together if we do both for our Lord. Listen or read to find out how.
Duration:35:48

Mike Gerhardt, David's Passion, August 11, 2019. We began a two-part series last week on Work and Worship, 1 Samuel 23:1-5, 2 Samuel 6:12-23. David was passionate about both.

The workplace can get complicated and sometimes funny. Boss reprimanding a secretary, said: You should have been here at 8:00 AM! Secretary: why, what happened, did I miss something? Trying sarcasm, the boss said to the secretary: This is the earliest you've ever been late!! Secretary: I'm not really late, I just took my coffee break before starting today!!

When it comes to work, too many people are ready to carry the stool when there's a piano to be moved.

Gung Ho entered our language from the South Pacific during WW2. Gung is Chinese for work and Ho is the word for harmony. Gung Ho means let us work in harmony. Work and worship should also be in harmony!!

David was a man of war. David's work was in harmony with God and God's plan to preserve His beloved people. Genesis 15:16 God said to Abraham: In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here (to Palestine from Egypt) for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure. Amorites were representing all the people groups of Canaan mention in the next verses. Deuteronomy 7:1-2 you are to destroy them totally. This was the Lord’s command and we analyzed that last week with 2 Peter 3:9 God is patient not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. We found no inconsistency because our God is loving and just. You can’t have on without the other. David wasn’t only passionate about his work but also, he was passionate about worship. His work had meaning and an eternal purpose for he was working for the Kingdom of God. David did his job for the glory of God. Do you feel your work has an eternal purpose? Whether you are a soldier, teacher, mechanic, wife and mother, do you feel your work has meaning? Dostoevsky said: if it were desired to reduce a man to nothing, it would be necessary only to give his work a character of uselessness. Think about your job, can you perform it for the glory of God? I hope you can.

Now let me fill in some history: David and Saul went their separate ways. Saul and his sons fought the Philistines for the last time where they were killed 1 Samuel 31. David is then crowned king over Judah his home state. Abner, commander of Saul’s army made Ish-Bosheth king of Israel 2 Samuel 2 & 3:1: The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. Joab, David’s commander, goes after Abner who tried to make a deal with David. Joab finds Abner and kills him. Ish-Bosheth, on hearing of the death of Abner, lost the courage to be king. Two of Ish-Bosheth’s commanders, who saw the end coming, killed Ish-Bosheth & brought his head to David to surrender the kingdom. David had reigned 7 ½ years when the kingdom was divided. David took Jerusalem from the Jebusites and went after the Philistines in 1 Samuel 5. David attempted to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 6 tells us the Uzzah suddenly dies trying to steady the cart. David was impulsive at times, and it resulted in a death. He was doing it his way and not God’s way.

The Ark of the Covenant was 9 miles to the west of Jerusalem in Kiriath Jearim under King Saul. It was a gold box which had two cherubim, one on either end with space in the middle where God was enthroned, sometimes called the mercy seat. In the box were the chiseled stones of the ten commandments, a jar of manna and Aaron’s budding rod. In David’s second attempt to bring the ark to Jerusalem, we read in 6:12-23 the whole city came out to celebrate.

David was a man of worship. His heart was focused on serving God, His commitment was to honor God and his expression was to worship God with no boundaries.

Here are some definitions of worship I have on my bookshelf. John Frame: worship is the work of acknowledging the greatness of our covenant Lord.

Ron Allen: Worship is an active response to God whereby we declare His worth. It is the celebration of God! When we worship, we celebrate Him, we extol Him, we sound His praise, we boast in Him. Anne Ortlund: worship is a grand celebration of God's goodness and majesty; it should refresh all who participate! Worship is to give our sacrifice of praise, to enter His holy presence in songs, prayers, giving, testifying, sharing, caring, and listening to the Lord.

Michal punctuates her disdain three times to underscore the act of disrobing. She finishes by saying literally: as any vulgar fellow, disrobing, would disrobe. Driver's notes state: repeated expression indicates continual action.  David does not argue the implication, but it is impossible to say to what extent he was undressed. Josephus, a Jewish historian of the first century concluded David took all his clothes off. Some might think, that can’t be worship. The church of Jesus has had warring factions against various types and styles of worship throughout the centuries. Clothes or no clothes hasn’t been one that I remember. But I have lived long enough to have heard people say that way is not the way to worship God OR my way is the only way to worship God. So often it is a matter of style, preference, culture, and age of the participants. We need always to focus on the WHO of worship and not the HOW of worship. Four steps to break the temptation to criticize other churches in the way they worship Jesus. First, recognize your biases; second embrace the diversity of God’s people; third strive to participate even when it is uncomfortable (foreign language or raising hands); fourth look at worship from God’s perspective not from whether you like it. I was in Burkina Faso, Africa putting a roof on a mud-brick church 3 hours on dirt roads in the bush. Five months without rain, it got cold at night. Four men of the church brought us a meal and made a fire. They did not know English and we did not know their language. I suggested the men sing, I knew the French for singing. The began singing in an African style What a Friend We have in Jesus. We four white guys joined in. They stop surprised that we knew their song. We began At the Cross and they joined in singing with an African beat and tone. It was the most blessed worship time.

What is hard for me, is to see David as a man of war and then see him as a man of worship. What a hypocrite, how can you be one person and then turn that off and then turn on worship. A good definition of a hypocrite is someone who isn't himself on Sundays. David was a sinner, but I now believe he wasn't a hypocrite. He wasn't trying to be someone else. He was himself a warrior and a worshipper. A man after God's own heart ever as a warrior.

Your worship and your work matter to God. Ephesians 6:5-8 Slaves, Serve wholeheartedly as if you were serving the Lord, not people because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. Both must be done with passion. Colossians 3:15-17 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through, psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. David wrote: Psalms 24:3-6 Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. Sometimes the priority of life is: We worship our work. Work at our play. Play at our worship. Let’s turn that around.