Sunday, August 13, 2006

1 Samuel 6 - God Wins


Passage: 1 Samuel 6
Originally Preached: 25/06/06 - 6:30pm Service - St Stephen's Anglican, Belrose
Series: Raiders of the Ark

Description: God shows his power to win and demands the respect of both the Philistines and the Israelites.

Comment: This is the last sermon in my three weeks series in June on 1 Samuel 4-6. I would have posted the other two sermons in the series, but the first on didn't get recorded and the second one I didn't want to post on the internet. So here you have the last one. But I reckon this last one is the best one.

I started off with a quick recap of the story of the Ark so far. It's a really interesting piece of story in the Bible because it's a story that doesn't really fit in with how we think that stories in the Old Testament should go. God seems to get beaten in the first bit. But really it's Israel getting beaten and God is just biding his time so he can show the Israelites and the Philistines who is boss. It's a great bit of the Bible.

This sermon, being the last, was the wrap up, and the climax of the series. My brain was completely immersed in the passage by that stage. The sermon came two days after Australia made it through to the final 16 in the World Cup, hence the World Cup illustration.

I liked the idea of being people who are always celebrating the victory of Jesus. It was a challenge though to get excited about our salvation, because when you hold what Jesus won at Calvary against what we normally celebrate, it pales in comparison.

The second point about the bigness and terrible nature of God was really good to be reminded of. It's exciting remembering who God is, remembering he isn't just some nice old guy in the sky but he's a God who could very easily kill us. That just to be in God's presence should kill us. We have forgotten to fear God because we've spent so much time talking about how nice God is.

The illustration about the guns was fun. People at church were rather shocked that I love guns as much as I do. Especially since I'm almost a pacifist. But they're real fun. I do however want to say I wish they'd never been invented.

I think if people listened to this sermon and it was the only thing they'd ever heard of me, they would probably get quite a distorted picture of me, seeing as my two illustrations are about sport and guns. Two things I rarely talk about even if they do excite me sometimes.

I love the quote from Annie Dillard. I think I should read her. I've never actually read her so I feel like a bit of a fraud quoting from her but not ever having read her. I'm like someone who wears a Ramones t-shirt but never having listened to them.

In the end I was pretty happy with this sermon. I love talking about Jesus and I love talking about God. I hope I get to keep doing it.


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