The Heart Of God In Worship: Pure Gold
So much has been written and said about worship in the Christian Church and in the world. As Christians we always want to bring our best before God. That is our desire but so many things compete for worship until when we do get in the word or pray or just really take the time to worship God, we are tired or distracted, and we simply do not give our best.
Recently, I was going through some old sermons of my father’s and came upon what I consider one of those rare jewels. He began his notes with, “Buried in the 14th chapter of 1 Kings is a tragic symbol of Christianity today.” I just love those hidden verses, those ’obscure’ passages that are so often overlooked, yet contain rich meat that we so need to pay heed to.
The story is found in 1 Kings 14: 25-31, and 2 Chron. 12: 9-11. The events unfold as Shishak, king of Egypt comes down and plunders the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the kings house. Solomon had built the magnificent temple and also built for himself a splendid palace. After his death the kingdom of Israel was divided into, with his son Rehoboam ruling the Southern kingdom made up of just the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Solomon had furnished the house of the Lord with the best. There was gold everywhere.
There were a couple of pieces in the temple made of bronze, but there is a reason and the Lord prescribed it, and we will save that for a later topic. So, all of this gold that Rehoboam’s father had brought in and fashioned for use in the temple of the Lord, plus the furnishings of the kings house were taken away by the king of Egypt.
Egypt is often used to represent the world in Biblical circles. It refers to our life before coming to Christ. Our text mentions that “Shishak took everything, even the shields of gold which Solomon had made.” The word ‘even’ highlights the fact that these shields were special and had a special purpose. The text tells us also that they stayed in the ‘guardroom’ until the king went to worship in the temple. Then they would put them back in the guardroom.
These were not shields for war. No, they had one important task, and that was to surround the king when he went to worship. God loves gold. It is the most precious metal on the earth. It is naturally occuring, meaning it is not man made, but man takes it and fashions it for use as it pleases him. But God had Moses, and later Solomon fashion articles for use in worship made of gold. Pure, shiny brilliant, full of splendor is the gold that God demanded.
But our story has a tragic ending as my father started his message. Rehoboam replaced the shields used in worship with shields made of bronze. Bronze looks good on the outside and sometimes it can actually mimic gold. But, you see bronze is a man made alloy of copper. It is mixed with other metals like aluminum, to come up with what looks good but is actually a man made, weaker, less precious metal.
I know that we are all guilty of allowing the enemy, or circumstances to deprive us opportunities to worship. God demands our gold not our bronze. We need to “put aside every weight that encumbers us” as Paul urged us to. Lay aside the things of the world the are built on wood, hay and stubble. I encourage you to take the time to give King Jesus the best. Don’t allow the Shishaks to come and steal the gold of worship and then just throw our bronze up to the Father of all as if to say, I wonder if He notices?
Times are perilous and the days are getting darker. If we want to see victory and as Paul prays in Ephesians 4 to walk worthy of the calling Christ has for us, we must not let the enemy steal our golden shields of worship nor should we just become complacent and lazy and replace them ourselves with a weaker, less precious metal like bronze.
Let’s come to the place that we want God to only see Himself when we worship, really He should just see His Son in everything we do. Paul often compared the Christian life to a race, and if we are in a race then one final metaphor comes to mind and that is we must go for gold, not silver, to bronze.
Go for The Gold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!