1 Samuel 2:27-33
Message #2 in the “Honor Series,” February 26, 2012
Rev. Jeremy Stopford, Retired Pastor,
TODAY’S “SPECIAL: “Car keys, a senior moment”
Several days ago as I left a meeting at our church, I desperately gave myself a personal TSA pat down. I was looking for my keys. They were not in my pockets. A quick search in the meeting room revealed nothing. Suddenly I realized, I must have left them in the car.
Frantically I headed for the parking lot. My wife, Diane, has scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition. My theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them. Her theory is that the car will be stolen. As I burst through the doors of the church, I came to a terrifying conclusion. Her theory was right. The parking lot was empty. I immediately called the police. I gave them my location, confessed that I had left my keys in the car, and that it had been stolen.
Then I made the most difficult call of all, “Honey,” I stammered. I always call her “honey” in times like these. “I left my keys in the car, and it has been stolen.”
There was a period of silence. I thought the call had been dropped, but then I heard Diane’s voice, “Ken,” she barked, “I dropped you off!”
Now it was my time to be silent. Embarrassed, I said, “Well, come and get me.”
Diane retorted, “I will, as soon as I convince this policeman I have not stolen your car!”
Today’s message is an appropriate follow-up to last Sunday’s message on “HONORING God”. Last week we learned that God wants to be honored at every age – especially as we grow older and seemingly more frail. We learned that God wants to be honored in our daily lives and our worship.
In reading through the Old Testament this past week – at a clip of 30 chapters a day in order to get done a college class before we go to Florida next month- I was amazed at a couple of verses which fit in with the second part of the verse. “Those who despise Me” – or “dishonor” God. Is it possible for we who love God to dishonor Him? God invites us to a spiritual self-examination. PRAYER
27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house? 28 Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? 29 Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’ 30 Therefore the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and THOSE WHO DESPITE ME SHALL BE LIGHTLY ESTEEMED 31 Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33 But any of your men whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age. (1 Samuel 2:27-33)
I. THE WORLD’S CULTURE – reaping what you sow
DID YOU KNOW THESE FACTS? Death is certain but the Bible speaks about untimely death! It is written. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked for whatsoever a man sow, that shall
he also reap..” (Galatians 6:7)
Here are some men and women who mocked God (from an email received February 2012):
(1) John Lennon—During his interview with an American magazine, he said: ‘Christianity will end, it will disappear. I do not have to argue about that… I am certain. Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, today we are more famous than Him’ (1966). Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times.
(2) The man who built the Titanic—After the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be. With an ironic tone he said:’Not even God can sink it’ The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic
(3) Marilyn Monroe (Actress)—She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show. He said the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her. After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said: ‘I don’t need your Jesus’. A week later, she was found dead in her apartment.
(4) Bon Scott (Singer)—The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang:
‘Don’t stop me; I’m going down all the way, down the highway to hell’. On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit.
(5) Campinas (in 2005)—In Campinas, Brazil, a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend… The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends she said to the daughter who was already seated in the car, “My Daughter, Go With God And May He Protect You.” She responded: “Only If He (God) Travels In The Trunk, Cause Inside Here…..It’s Already Full.” Hours later, news came that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died. The car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact. The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken.
(6) Christine Hewitt (Jamaican Journalist and entertainer) —She said the Bible (Word of God) was the worst book ever written. In June 2006 she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor vehicle.
2. THE CHRISTIAN’S CHALLENGE
The Bible gives us several glances at those who struggled with this question: “in this incidence, will I honor or dishonor God?”:
The challenge of PRIDE
“But when he [Uzziah the King of Judah] was strong HIS HEART WAS LIFTED UP, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17So Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him were eighty priests of the Lord—valiant men. 18And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the Lord God.” 19 Then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of the Lord, beside the incense altar. 20And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and there, on his forehead, he was leprous; so they thrust him out of that place. Indeed he also hurried to get out, because the Lord had struck him. 21 King Uzziah was a leper until the day of his death” (2 Chron. 26:16-21a).
What can happen when being in the forefront is more important than being honoring to God?
The challenge of OBEDIENCE
“Now the Lord said to Moses: “Go up into this Mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel. 13And when you have seen it, you also shall [a]be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered. 14For in the Wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to hallow Me at the waters before their eyes” (Num. 27:12-13).
Notice the progression:
Ex. 17:6: “STRIKE the rock”
Num. 20:8: “SPEAK to the rock”
1 Cor. 10:4-6: CHRIST is the ROCK !!!
Most theologians believe that “striking the rock” represents the crucifying of our Savior. The second time the Israelites needed water, they were told by God “SPEAK” to the rock because Jesus was already crucified, as it were, and He did not need to be crucified again! “SPEAK”ing is a symbol of rich fellowship, not of crucifixion. Moses and Aaron did not get it.
We want to finish well; Moses did not.
The challenge to TRUST & REMEMBER
“They refused to obey, and they were not mindful of Your wonders that You did among them. But they hardened their necks, And in their rebellion, they appointed a leader to return to their bondage” (Nehemiah 9:17a).
We need to ask ourselves constantly, “are we better off now than when we were before we came to the cross?” See 1 Cor. 6:9-11 – do you want to return to “Egypt”?
CONCLUSION: How NOT to DISHONOR God
Remember HIS Word:
“For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,”
Says the Lord.
But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word.”
Remember HIS Name:
“Let Your name be kept holy”
(Luke 11:2, God’s Word version)
Remember HIS purpose, His delight:
“that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”
“So Haman came in, and the king asked him, ‘What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?’ Now Haman thought in his heart, ‘Whom would the king delight to honor more than ME?’”
CLOSE IN PRAYER