Sunday Recap for 8/13 Big Picture Question: How does God protect His holiness and power?

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Sunday, August 13, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at this question in our sermon:

Big Picture Question:  How does God protect His Holiness and His Glory?

And we found these 3 answers to our question:

  • He disciplines sin
  • He uses sin sinlessly
  • He judges sin

He disciplines sin.

1 Samuel 4:1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.  Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines. They encamped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek. 2 The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the field of battle.

3 And when the troops came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.”

Israel goes into battle, and they lose badly.  4,000 men die, and they ask the right question, “Why did we lose?”  But instead of seeking God’s counsel and even repenting over sins, they choose to bring the Ark of the Covenant to the battlefield – the same Ark that is guarded behind the curtain in worship, the same Ark that the priests should protect.  But, Hophni and Phineas disregard those things.  They bring the Ark out anyway.

God is disciplining His people.  They are led sinfully by these two priests who have corrupted worship in the temple and even brought sexual sin into the temple…and God is disciplining them.  These 2 have hijacked the power and holiness of God, and they have hijacked the power of God, and God is discipling His people because of it.

He uses sin sinlessly

1 Samuel 4:4 So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

5 As soon as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded. 6 And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, “What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?”

And when they learned that the ark of the Lord had come to the camp, 7 the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “A god has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before. 8 Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness. 9 Take courage, and be men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; be men and fight.”

Israel attempts to use the Ark of the Covenant to win a battle. God will have none of it, and and the Philistines are more emboldened.  The use of the Ark was sinful, but God is going to use it to bring about His own purposes.

When we struggle with this concept, we must remember that the trial of Jesus was sin.  The mocking of Jesus was sin.  The death of Jesus was a sin, but God used it sinlessly to bring about our salvation.

He judges sin

1 Samuel 4:10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his home. And there was a very great slaughter, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 And the ark of God was captured, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

This time, 30,000 people die.  God judges the sin of Hophni and Phineas.  They misused the holiness and power of God, and God judged them for it.  God will judge sin.

Big Picture Question:  How does God protect His Holiness and His Glory?

Truth:  God protects His holiness and glory by discipling the sin of His children and judging the sin of those who don’t know Him.

Application:  Live knowing that God uses sin sinlessly to ultimately bring glory to Himself.

Action:  Don’t try to connect every circumstance in this world to a sin.  Seek repentance for yourself, and pray for repentance for others.

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