Title:  Caricature of Reality #2

Summary:  Following the movement of the Ark in early Israelites history, we
learn that God is holy and that means that he is not a commodity, but Lord.  It
also means that even though Joy is appropriate and even commanded, God
must be approached with reverence before he can be approached with Joy.  It
is only when we have reverence that we can acceptably have joy in the Lord.

Purpose:  To help the hearers to understand that it is necessary to approach
God with an attitude of reverence even when they approach him in Joy

Text:  1 Sam 6:19-7:2;  2 Sam 6; Phil 4:4

Full Text Version

1.  Still talking about caricatures
2.  If worship caricature of God, can be disasterous as this lesson will show
3.  Godís holiness demands we approach him as a holy God
4.  Two stories will illustrate that for us this morning

The first story comes from 1 Samuel 6
	A.  Israel had been fighting Philistia and doing poorly
		1.  So they brought out Ark to battlefield, it was captured
		2.  It wreaked havoc on Dagon & them
			a.  They didnít understand Godís holiness
			b.  They saw Ark as War trophy
		3.  So they decide to return the Ark
		4.  Can you imagine the joy & celebration when Ark returns?
	B.  Letís look at what happens  (1 Sam 6:19-20) 
		1.  50,000 more than Leavenworth and Lansing
		2.  What went wrong?
		3.  They didnít understand Godís holiness
	C.  (1 Sam 6:21-7:2)
		1.  They react same way Philistines did - Get rid of it
		2.  Ark like a caged beast for 20 years
		3.  From a sanctuary to a house!!
	D.  What can we learn about God from all of this?

I.  Lesson 1 - God is not a commodity to be possessed and used
	A.  Both Philistines and Israel treat him the same way
		1.  To the Philistines, he was a war trophy
		2.  To Israel, he was a secret weapon to use
	B.  People have all kinds of talismans today
		1.  My lucky suit, my lucky rabbits foot, lucky shoes, etc.
		2.  Somehow things will ge better with these lucky things
	C.  Do people today ever treat God that way?
		1.  What about carrying around a cross?
			a.  Itís one thing to wear it as reminder for self
			b.  Itís another thing to think it has some sort of power
		2.  God is not your possession, it is the other way around
	D.  Should not say God is mine, should say I am his
		- If he is Holy, it has to be that way

Lets jump many years into the future (2 Sam 6:1-11)
	A.  Disaster strikes again!  
	B.  History repeating itself?
		1.  Death, fear, ark left in a house again
		2.  Is God to dangerous to approach?
	C.  What was the problem? 
	D.  Uzzah touched the ark

II.  Lesson 2 -  Approach God with Reverence
	A.  It wasnít just that Uzzah touched the Ark and God said not to
		1.  That was a symptom of a deeper problem
		2.  God unleashed his wrath due to ďtheĒ irreverance
		3.  Uzzah touching the Ark was the last straw
		4.  What was irreverent?
	B.  The Cart
		1.  We know that God said it was to be carried by levites
		2.  But indignity of the cart may be lost on us
			a.  Carry dignitaries on poles - elevated above others
				- Those carrying poles are servants
				- One on the poles is the master
				- Like riding a horse - Rider is the master
			b.  Different with a cart
				- Master is not in the cart
				- Eggs, furniture, hay, posessions
				- You carry what you will USE
				- You donít carry dignitaries on a cart
	C.  How many of you own a pickup truck?
		1.  What do you carry in the back?
			a. Lumber, auto parts, junk, furniture, commodities
			b.  If have honored guest, do you put them back there
			c.  You donít give them truck, but the limo
		2.  Not only was the cart disobedient, it was undignified
		3.  It treated God as a common commodity
	D.  When God treated that way, he unleashed his wrath
		1.  Many have problem with Godís anger and wrath
		2.  Why?  We think his anger and wrath is like ours
			a.  Source of our wrath?  (Like road rage)
			b.  Fear, powerlessness, impatience
			c.  God is none of these things
		3.  Godís anger comes when his holiness is trampled on
			a.  His anger and wrath is righteous and holy
			b.  So there is no problem with it
		4.  We need to approach him with reverence

Letís read how they approach God with reverence (2 Sam 6:12-23)
	A.  I donít know about you, but I would not be leaping and dancing
	B.  I would go silently with head bowed
	C.  Can you approach God with excessive joy?  Is it repulsive?

III.  Rejoicing without Reverence is repulsive to God
	A.  Iíve heard it referred to as spiritual pornography
		1.  It is where you take something good and pervert it
		2.  Turns something beautiful into something ugly
		3.  Treats someone else as an object
	B.  (Phil 4:4) - Commands us to rejoice
		1.  Unbridled joy such as Davidís is good
			a.  Does text indicate God approved?
			b.  Michael never had child, which shows God not pleased
			      with her denuciation of David
			c.  So donít put down joy
		2.  But Phil 4:4 doesnít just say to be happy
			a.  Key - IN THE LORD
			b.  Why was David overjoyed?
			c.  He in fellowship with God, God is coming!
		3.  Davidís passion in life was his relationship with God
	C.  There are two extremes when it comes to joy
		1.  Have to ALWAYS be happy
			a.  Try to whip up self in frenzy
			b.  Will say, ďIím sinning, Iím not joyful - Got to be joyful!Ē
			c.  Problem - It puts focus on self and not God
			d.  Joy a natural (not fake) response to Godís presence
		2.  There is idea that joy is inappropriate
			a.  Some think that joy shows no respect
			b.  But look at David, look at Michael
			c.  I suggest our joy is better when understand holiness
	D.  God is delighted when we rejoice IN HIM
		1.  Our joy is not to be self centered
		2.  Our Joy is to be God centered

1.  What does all this have to do with prayer?
2.  How do I pray to God reveals my view of God
	a.  Am I praying to God or a caricature of God?
	b.  If I donít treat God as holy, he will not be pleased
3.  How do I pray to God?
	a.  Am I overjoyed to be in his presence in prayer?
	b.  Do I only talk to him when I need something?
	c.  If so, then I have him in a cart
4.  We are to pick up cross and carry it daily
	a.  We are to take up his yoke
	b.  We are the servants he is the master
5.  Have you made the Holy God your master in life?

Small Group Discussion Questions