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August 04, 2019

Work and Worship Part One

Is our work mutually exclusive from our worship? How do they compete for our attention? David had a passion for God that included both. Listen or read to find out.
Duration:29:59

Mike Gerhardt, David's Passion, August 4, 2019. Work and Worship Part One, 1 Samuel 23:1-5, and 2 Samuel 6:12-23. In the fall I will be teaching eight weeks on Difficult Discussions to help believers give an answer to their faith. Today we will tackle just a fraction of those discussions. Many of us live in two different worlds: work and the rest of life. Work isn't always on the top of the list of favorite things, but it consumes most of our lives. An employment office was checking on an applicant's list of references: How long did this man work for you? About four hours. He told us he'd been there a long time. Oh Yes replied the former employer, he was here for two years, I thought you asked how long he worked. Work as a Christian believer should be different. Someone said a born-again worker should be like a good watch: open face, busy hands, pure gold, well regulated, and full of good works. Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before men, that. they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Work as though all depends upon you but pray as though all depends upon God. A worker who does only what he has to do is a servant. One who willingly does MORE than is required is truly a free man. David was a man of war. In some sense, he was a killing machine. In 1 Samuel 18, the price for Michal's hand in marriage cost 100 Philistine foreskins; David brought back 200. He killed 200 men for a wedding present. 1 Samuel 23 David inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the village. 1 Samuel 27 David still fleeing Saul went to Gath in the heart of Philistine territory, going out on raids against enemies of Israel, verse 9 he did not leave a man or woman alive. 1 Samuel 30 David and his men returned to Ziklag their temporary home, found it destroyed, their wives and children taken. David inquires of the Lord, and then hunted down the Amalekites and killed them all except for 400 young men who escaped. David was being about the Lord's business. David's business model given to him by the Lord was to take back the Kingdom. In his business, he had to take many lives. Yet David took his orders from the Lord. 2 Samuel 5 David inquires of the Lord and the Lord says verse 19: go I will surely hand the Philistines over to you. Again, David inquires of the Lord verse 23: Do not go straight up but circle around behind them and attack them from the balsam trees. The Lord gave a strategy. 1 Chronicles 18:1 summed it up: In the course of time David defeated the Philistines and subdued them. Mission accomplished. A good read is 1 Chronicles 11 and 2 Samuel 23 where it lists David's mighty men: Jashobeam who raised his spear and killed 300 men in one encounter. Abishai did the same. Benaiah struck down Moab's two best warriors, killed a lion, and struck down a 7 1/2 foot Egyptian. Eleazar, even when the men of Israel retreated, he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines until his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The purging of the tribes of the Canaanites was the first order of business. 2 Samuel 3:1-5 informs us of David's six sons from six different wives as of this part of David's story. The writer does not offer any criticism of polygamy though it conflicts with Deuteronomy 17:17. I do believe David's multiple marriages brought disaster on his family. One example is Ammon David's firstborn raped his half-sister Tamar and was killed by his half-brother Absalom. David's wife Michal is taken from her new husband. 2 Samuel 3:15-16 makes it sound funny if I picture the scene in my mind…

Now, what about the Lord’s command? God, the creator of life, set the standard concerning the sacredness of human life beginning at conception. From the blood of Abel crying out to the Lord after Cain murdered him, to the command thou shall not murder another human being, to the punishment of a life for a life for a premeditative killing witnessed by two people, the Lord made it clear taking another’s life is forbidden, even when that human life is in the womb. Yet when Moses addressed the Promised Land, he reiterated the Lord Deuteronomy 7:1-2 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations - the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you-and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy. The Lord commanded their destruction for their sin was so inordinate. They were so degenerate and committed to evil that God waited 400 years for them to repent OR to take them out. Had they repented; God may have spared them as He did the Ninevites. Archeological remains of the Canaanite religion, literature, and culture reveal they were the most morally depraved people at that time. They persisted in their hatred of Jehovah worshiping gods like Ba'al, Dagon, Asherah, Moloch, and at least 30 others. They had multiple venereal diseases, boils, infectious diseases, unknown to the Israelites; they perform child sacrifice, temple prostitution, bloodletting and burning in the name of their gods; they practiced morbid, immoral sexual acts. So, God called on Joshua to purge the land. God called David to finish the job. This Jehovah God is the same God who said multiple times I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Ezekiel 18:23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? The God of the old testament is the same God of the newer testament. He is a great God of Love and Justice. 2 Peter 3:8-9 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  John testifies that God isn’t just a God of love, He is love 1John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. Though God is love and not wanting anyone to perish, he will purge the land again, and one day purge the whole world of evil. It is called Judgment Day. Right after Peter describes God’s loving patience, he writes 2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Love without justice isn't love. To not punish evil, is to not love. And justice without love isn't God. I remind myself of these things when I pray for the wayward people in the world; some who are leading nations that are daily destroying lives. One day their sin will be judged, just like you and I will be judged unless Jesus saves us. He is the only one who can forgive & take away sin. How about you? David was a man of war and a man of worship.