No Rest

Songs for the Journey - Part 6

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Tom Muir

July 1, 2018


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] So we're gonna spend a bit of time just now opening up this Sam and You'll have noticed right at the start of the Sam it speaks about the fact that David vowed not To rest until a certain thing had come to pass Okay, so the title if you like a sermon is no rest. We're gonna explore a little bit about that But let me first say this I think it's true that we go out of our way To seek comfort in the things that we love We go out of our way to seek comfort in the things that we love We're even prepared sometimes to deny ourselves rest or sleep to get the things that we love So once upon a time three years ago I was in New York City and I was there with a bunch of other Christian ministers and we were kind of training in the whole church planting thing and learning how to think through the process of church planting and many of my fellow colleagues and ministers there were very fond of coffee and so much so

[1:05] That some of them we all stayed in a particular part of New York and we got all got up every morning and made the trek through Across the train under the water crossing to Manhattan and all the way down into the office where we were studying They made us get up early to hit the best coffee shops en route Now you may be thinking that's completely ridiculous What a waste of time what a waste of sleep I had to get up early and lose some rest to sample some of the best finest coffee shops So sleep was lost and routines were disrupted and trains were missed and all kinds of confusion ensued So we could sample the finest of New York's coffee. Okay, that was a priority I remembered another occasion when I had to get up very early for a particular experience when I was I don't know about 16 I had a best friend who I played football with all the time and his dad coached our football team He was a great guy Very active and he loved hill walking and climbing now. I'd never I didn't I walked around the hills around Perth

[2:08] But nothing serious And he was I'm gonna go with my friend to climb a couple of moon rows. So I said, I'll come Having no clue what was in store for me. So the hills were away over the other side at a car somewhere like that So he said, okay, I'll pick you up at four in the morning, so I wasn't used to that that completely Disrupted my entire equilibrium and made me feel Very bad that day when I had to get up at four o'clock in the morning in the dark and And drive for a couple of hours and then start climbing what felt like a vertical peak To me and then we kind of came out above the clouds as it were and I realized why And I realized how worth it it was because it was incredibly beautiful And I was incredibly tired, but it was incredibly worth it You see so we invest in things that we think are very important. We're even prepared to put ourselves out For things that we think are very important. So I wonder what it is for you. What do you invest in?

[3:10] What are you prepared to kind of? Have your life disrupted around? In verse one a king not David, but another king Speaks about David saying to God. Oh God remember David Because he loved you so much and he was so so keen for you to be worshiped and for the right Appropriate sense of worship to be at the center of the community the covenant community of God's people That he went without rest He decided I'm gonna I'm gonna go to now. I don't know exactly How long this has lasted for but it says here I will not enter my house or get into my bed I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids until I find a place for the Lord a Dwelling place for the mighty one of Jacob. So what's worth?

[4:07] Expending yourself for what's worth disrupting your schedule for coffee a View above the peaks across the land that you love a Sense of the right worship of God is Is what is at the heart of this Sam? So that's kind of the theme that really arises as we as we as we look at this Sam, that's what I just want to lift up before you just as we start thinking about it Now the problem with a sound like this sometimes you can read it and find it a little bit impenetrable if you like there isn't a way in Okay, that okay. I can understand that it's talking about a guy who's not gonna go to bed until something's happened And then other parts of the Sam seem a little bit dense. There's quite a lot going on really in many ways So here's how I want to do this secondly first thing was just to kind of pick out this theme about David's And the the Sam's desire for an appropriate sense of worship for God second thing we're gonna do is just pick out the core

[5:08] Pillars of the Sam because there are some strands that are woven throughout these verses That are integral to the kind of whole biblical picture if you like And I want to do this by just showing you an example. I'm gonna show you a picture if this works There you go. There's a picture So this is a picture of a building in Portland called Portlandia I'd never seen it before until a couple of days ago when I started trying to find this kind of building The reason I was trying to find this kind of building is because the man who built it a man called mr. Graves is one of the most significant apparently postmodern architects Now I had to study a bit of architecture when I was at uni and I've forgotten everything about it except for one thing And that is one of the most significant Strings or sort of strands of architecture that run right through hundreds and hundreds of years back into classical tradition is the kind of the Greek classic tradition

[6:15] Now this isn't Greek. This is in Portland. It wasn't built that long ago In fact, it's already needing a complete renovation because maybe it wasn't built very well But here's the thing about this building and this kind of architecture It you might look at that and think It's sort of a bit pink. It's got orange bits on it and some blue There are some windows and some straight lines But actually a lot of postmodern architecture is a kind of modern mishmash of Early foundational principles. So what a lot of architects like mr. Graves We're trying to do was say let's do a modern expression of the foundational principles of our architectural practice. So I read this about it Graves himself says this it's a symbolic gesture an attempt to reestablish a language of architecture and values Okay, he's saying I want to give our fresh expression of what is really important

[7:16] You know architectural people get really excited about these kind of things And you're you're maybe thinking really Here's why let me give you a bit of kind of architectural speak Here's some examples of what they get excited about The building attempts to create a continuum between past and future past present and future It's a symmetrical block with stucco covered rectangular facades. I see you nodding along Recognizing all the architectural terms. I'm giving you here Featuring reinterpreted classical elements such as overscaled keystones pilasters and Belvedere's The building is set on a two-story base reminiscent of a Greek pedestal which divides it into the classical three-part partition base body and top I You know you know so you can go home happy because what we're seeing here is somebody saying I really value the foundational principles of my

[8:22] Particular discipline why I've spent all my life studying and thinking about I'm gonna reinterpret it for my generation Ironically apparently most Portland residents hate it. So that's kind of a shame, isn't it that he went to all that trouble And nobody really likes it too much Okay, I think we're done with the picture, but here's the point in this Sam we have elemental foundational principles From God that he wants us to understand thoroughly always So this is an ancient Text if you like given to us from God this old Sam and in it what I'm gonna do just now is pick out for key pillars if you like Amongst many that the Bible give us that if we get a good handle on if we get really familiar with then we get a real sense We hopefully get a real sense of the enjoyment of these great strains of biblical Principles and text okay, so the first one is when we look into the Sam kingship

[9:26] There's the first one that I want to just mention look at verse 10 Here's the speaker here's the person who's bringing us this Sam For the sake of your servant David do not turn away the face of your anointed one kind of speaking about himself there You're anointed one. This is about a king who's seeking the right appropriate worship of God Referring to speaking about another king who was the anointed one David the second king of Israel The if you like the king of the golden age of Israel the king that many look back to and said here was a great king a Really wonderful king who came after Saul?

[10:05] Brought about much good and much blessing for the people of God. So this theme of kingship is immediately key now the king what was the point of the king not just to wear a crown and be impressive and Mighty and ride a great horse off the battle every so often the point of a king was to seek to lead the people in the ways of God and and and to bring the people again and again under God's overarching kingship that was what the kings were to do That was what they so very often failed to do So actually when we kind of when we open up this Sam a bit more what we find is a sense of trying to get back to Leading the people having the worship of God at the center of things as it really should be So kingship is a really important Theme biblical theme We read about other kings who really failed as I mentioned Saul already touched on the first king of Israel

[11:08] If you read about him he ended up in a really terrible way really jealous and bitter His relationship with God was really broken Even Solomon David's son wonderful king wisest of kings went really badly astray But here there's a renewed sense of the the rightness of the king Leading the people under the overall lordship or kingship of God Specifically here we see this in verse six and seven now I'm gonna come back and talk about the ark as another principle in just a minute But just to give you a sense of what's happening here? The ark was if you like the the furniture of The worship place of God that God came down and descended upon But for a time in Israel's history, it wasn't in the place. It should be it wasn't it wasn't in this the sort of central worship Sanctuary if you like and so here in verse six we read Behold we heard of it in Ephrathah. We found it in the fields of jar. Let us go to his dwelling place

[12:11] Let us worship at his footstool and then later on it speaks about the ark Arise oh lord go to your resting place you and the ark of your might So that's that's what the king's trying to do. He's trying to physically take a part of the the furniture The aid did the worship of God and we'll come back to this and put it where it should be Kingships an important theme and as we'll see Kingship is something that the Bible comes back to time and time again until we meet the ultimate king Second theme briefly covenant Now you've probably heard this loads of times if you're regular at church covenants are really important theme in this Sam Okay verse 11 Look at what is spoken about here The king is trying to do something but he's not doing it just for the sake of it or because he thinks it's a good idea Or because it's all in his own strength Verse 11 the Lord swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back

[13:15] One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne if your sons keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them their sons also forever Shall sit on your throne so he says there I Have made a covenant with you David at the start of the Sam is is praised because of what he Endeavored to do but a really core thing for all of God's people right from if you like the genesis of God revealing himself to people has been that God has said I In my grace make a covenant a promise with you with Abraham with Moses with David and The Covenant specifically here again This would have made loads of sense to the people who are singing and reading this Sam using it in its original context Was the promise of lineage To the king I promise that if you follow me I will set your son on the throne and establish your Lineage if you like and that was good because if that happened then the Covenant worshiping community would carry on

[14:20] So that was that was at the heart again of the worshiping community to have a sense of continuity and progression So kingship covenant the promise of sonship which we're not exploring in great detail, but that's there Thirdly, I want to return to the steam of the Ark Okay, because you might this evening never really have thought about the Ark before you might not even know what I'm talking about So again, it's said In verse 8 arise. Oh Lord go to your resting place you and the Ark of your might What you might be saying The Ark when God Progressively revealed himself to his people to the point where he said, okay I want you even on your travels to have a kind of tent that you set up on your travels This is the place where I will reveal myself to your leader I want you to create a wooden structure called an Ark and on it

[15:22] I want you to place a seat and on that seat I will come down and And as it were in a in a in a amazing way and in a sort of temporary way And I will be there at the center of your community to communicate with you to be Present with you so that you can hear from me and learn from me. This was a really significant piece of if you like sacred furniture for these people so You can read about this if you go to Exodus chapter 25 We read in verse 21 you shall put the mercy seat This is like that if on top of the Ark on top of this structure the mercy seat on the top of the Ark and in the Ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you there I will meet with you and from above the mercy seat from between the two cherubim that are on the Ark of the testimony I will speak with you about all that I will give you in In commandment for the people of Israel so you see how significant that is again to us

[16:25] We may think oh that's I don't have much to do with that. That's very distant It's very different to the way that we worship but in these days. This is the way God communicated with his people so in other words It was really important that this piece of furniture Was where it should be What happened if it wasn't at the central worship space of the Israelites?

[16:48] Well that indicated that something was going wrong. There was some kind of distance There's a passage in first Samuel which speaks about a place called Kiryaf Jairim Now Jairim is the plural of the singular jar which we meet in verse 6 the fields of jar It's speaking about a time where the Ark Was being transported around for different reasons and it was kept in this place in Kiryaf Jairim for a while and it became the pursuit of David To get it to Jerusalem to the place of worship where it should be So again, you can come not gonna spend a lot of time on this You can go back and trace the history of this if you follow the references in your Bible But it was key for the purposes of this worshiping community to have a right order of these things And this is again at the heart of this of making sense of the principles of this psalm so for these people having this object in the right place indicated

[17:54] The worship was being done as it should be and so that begs the question God no longer requires St. Columba's to have the Ark Square and central but do you think about the worship of God?

[18:11] What is them? What is the appropriate way to worship him? Do you care about the way that you worship and that we worship? Is it done as a matter of routine?

[18:23] Is it done because you've always done it and does it just involve just coming here? Does it involve your heart and your mind and the word of God?

[18:35] It's God's word Revealing to us how we're to worship. So just let me throw open that question just now. How do we worship? Why do we worship?

[18:46] It was really important for these people to have the Ark and that's because one more thing on this, okay? One more thing What God said was that he will make he will make it his resting place when he came down to dwell amongst The Israelites now if you were to go through this psalm again go home tonight and When you've recovered from the heat and you've had a glass of lemonade or something read the psalm again and notice the amount of time It speaks about resting place Dwelling place for God think about that for a minute How important would that be for a restless traveling community of people?

[19:20] Hemden on all sides often by people who are out to crush them as a people For God to make his dwelling with them Think about how important that was think about how significant if they were a covenant community To know that the Lord was with them and was present with them. We're gonna put up another reading From Ezekiel because this theme of resting place the dwelling of God with his people again is all the way through the Bible It's so significant think about The Garden of Eden. What was that?

[19:55] It was a place where God came down and walked with Adam and Eve Think about as I've mentioned the tabernacle which became the temple Think about the incarnation of Jesus where he himself came down and for that amazing time spent time with humanity in that very physical way and also of course there's the great promises of revelation Where it speaks about the fact that God will make his dwelling amongst his people But let me just read you this passage from Ezekiel. Okay, so follow this through. It's a wonderful passage Say to them thus stays the Lord God behold I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone and will gather them from all around and bring them to their own land And I will make them one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel and one king Shall be king over them all and they shall be no longer two nations and no longer divided into two kingdoms They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their

[20:59] Detestable things or with any of their transgressions, but I will save them From all the backslidings in which they have sinned and will cleanse them And they shall be my people and I will be their God my servant David shall be king over them They shall all have one shepherd now. There are many echoes here biblical words and phrases and again strains They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob where your father's left they and their children and their children's children Shall dwell there forever and David my servant shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them It shall be an everlasting covenant with them and I will set them in their land and multiply them and will set my Sanctuary in their midst forever now again. Sorry my dwelling place shall be with them and I will be their God and they shall be my people There are again those words those resonances those phrases the king the

[22:05] Covenant that God has made the sense of taking his people Gathering them together and there at the end making his dwelling with them expressed just in that passage in Ezekiel Just to show you again the way that that theme runs throughout the whole biblical picture It's so important for God's people to have a sense of him Dwelling amongst them now, of course the great blessing that you and I have nowadays is that God Jesus said to his followers I will send my spirit Your body is now the temple in which the Spirit dwells again. That's all about the presence of God with us So a great biblical theme here the Ark the resting place of God the place where God dwells with his people finally Finally the last section of a Sam speaks about In verse 17 there I will make a horn to sprout for David now again. This is a You may be surprised to hear a biblical pillar a foundation may sound a bit abstract at the moment

[23:07] But what's this all about we get to the last section here? Verse 17 I will make a horn to sprout for David I have prepared a lamp for my anointed his enemies I will clothe with shame but on him his crown will shine The horn speaking of the say the horn of an animal signifies strength And what's being spoken of just in picture form here again Just giving us hints theme biblical themes and resonances is of the ultimate fulfillment That will show us the mightiness of God and the salvation of God Okay, because this is a passage that really prefigures the ultimate King the Fulfillment the Savior the God always knew he was going to send to be the true Savior the true rescuer for his people And that is of course Jesus Christ himself Now you may be thinking how on earth can you get from this to Jesus?

[24:06] But let me just read these words from Luke one and we've already read this in the reading earlier Luke chapter 1 Zechariah Say is these words speaking about the joy of hearing him of the coming of the Messiah Jesus Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for he has visited and redeemed his people So here's it. This is it. This is the news. He has redeemed his people and Has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David So there's language from the New Testament echoing this Sam speaking about the strength of God fulfilled Finally and completely in Jesus Christ himself. And so what that means is that God reveals himself through his word in promises in prophecies in pictures that are fulfilled when Jesus comes the great the great display of the strength of God to conquer What we couldn't sin to be the one who paid the price through his weakness as

[25:13] He determined to set his face toward the cross For his people because of his covenant promise And so he is again the great king the great one who is now at the right hand of the father ascended on high So again, we're just linking up here some of the pillars if you like the great the great Stand points that run throughout this Sam and throughout the Old Testament and throughout the whole biblical narrative the strength of God in Jesus is the goodness and the kindness of the Self-sacrificial giving God who loves his people Why is this good news Why is this whole theme of the worship of God of God himself of the appropriacy of worshiping him. Why is it so central to this king?

[26:06] Why is it so central to David and why should it be? At the center of your heart still tonight Well, I want to show you a parallel and then we're done. Okay, look at what it looks like When when God is honored and when worship is at the heart of the community look at this parallel We're gonna read verse 9 and then we're gonna read from verse 14 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness and let your saints shout for joy Okay, so that is the concern of the king who seeks the worship of God Let the play that let the priests be clothed with righteousness. Let the saints shout for joy now go to verse 14 What do we read there?

[26:54] Here we get if you like at the end of the psalm the promise of God Responding to all that has been said this is my resting place forever here. I will dwell for I have desired it God says that I Will abundantly bless her provisions. I will satisfy her poor with bread her priests I will clothe with salvation and Her saints will shout for joy What does it look like when God is honored when worship is at the heart of the community of God's people?

[27:26] Well, it looks like a place where salvation is proclaimed in This context through the priests those who ministered before the people and between God and the people Now we hear of the great one who gave of himself Our king the great priest forever Jesus the one who gave himself as the sacrifice So that salvation can be declared You can know freedom from sin forgiveness and new life in Jesus That is spoken of amongst us That's good news Secondly it's a place where the needy are cared for I Will abundantly bless her provisions. I will satisfy her poor with bread Is that the case?

[28:17] Do we look up to God and do we ourselves as we are often told so often in the pages of the New Testament seek to be those Who look out to the needy and give to them welcome in that if you like the alienated Those who are oppressed those who are isolated who feel lonely who feel friendless who are poor and Do we love them and do we share with them?

[28:40] Do we do we give as we have received from the great grace of our Lord God? And it's a place where the believers are filled with joy Now that's a challenge, isn't it?

[28:53] And it's a place where the believers are filled with joy because they've heard the news of the proclamation of the salvation that comes because of the great King Jesus so again, are we a community?

[29:04] which heralds amongst us the news of the great king which seeks to give to others because we have been blessed and That is filled with joy Filled the joy because of the work that God has accomplished But he always planned to accomplish that he worked out and we can read about through the pages of this book Do you have a passion for that Will you be prepared to expend yourself for that kind of community for that sense of worship?

[29:39] I read one commentator described that the way he summarized this passage was as a Passion for the church so the Sam is talking about the Old Testament Old Covenant community But the principles are of honoring God seeking to have the worship of God at the core of who we are a Passion for the church of people who know the King and who joyfully rejoicing him is that your hearts passion tonight I'm gonna pray and we're finished Lord we Praise and honor your name You're the one who's revealed yourself to so many people all over the world through many customs and cultures But you always reveal yourself as the covenant making and keeping God the great Lord the great provider The great Savior the Holy One who redeems his people

[30:43] And though we read of these verses we read of Something that often seems quite alien to us please help us to understand it and help us to respond joyfully because We can sing of your goodness to us Because you have done a great thing In the gospel amen