April 7, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship
We often look at the Old Testament as being a collection interesting stories of long ago. Why has the Lord included these stories in his word? What is the purpose of these stories? Are they more than just stores? How do they speak to us today? How do they reveal God’s plan?
We begin our exploration by taking a deeper look at the significance of the Old Testament stores concerning the events surrounding Abraham, the birth of his son, Isaac and the call for the sacrifice of Isaac.
Word On Worship – April 7, 2013 Download / Print
1 Samuel 18:1-4
After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
I do not know what David said to Saul that impressed Jonathan – his faith in God, his humble spirit or the care David had for the people of Israel; but it is clear from this point forward they were kindred spirits. We also know David and Saul will struggle for the remainder of Saul’s days. For better or for worse, Jonathan and Saul will represent the two possible responses people in Israel will have to David and his kingdom.
Jonathan provides the most excellent picture of the love that God requires of us toward His Son. This is symbolized so beautifully when Jonathan removes his robe and armor to provide them to David. Throughout the Bible, the robe is the outward representation of authority. In Genesis, it was the robe given to Joseph that symbolized his authority in Jacob’s home. Before Aaron died (Numbers 20:22-28) his priestly garments were removed so that they could be worn by his son Eliezar. Even in the gospels the woman with the issue of blood looked to just to touch the hem of Jesus robe, the symbol of his authority while he was here on earth. The offering made by Jonathan is not “above the call of duty” but rather the fulfillment of his duty.
Saul’s response to David is similar to the disciples; and sadly, of many in the church today – jealousy, competition and self-recognition. The disciples were continually looking to see who would be the greatest in the kingdom, and indignant with any other disciple that seemed to outdo them. Jesus had to continually remind them that the first will be last while the last is first and in Mark 9:35 “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Saul failed to grasp this truth as well.
Today, all who are born of the Spirit are given a spiritual gift or gifts to enable them to excel in the ministry they have been called as a blessing to others in the Body of Christ. We can both rejoice in the strengths God has given to others and seek to benefit from their ministry or we can resist them with a competitive spirit. How much criticism of those serving the Lord is rooted in jealousy and envy rather than faithfulness to God and His Word? Let each one here guard against jealousy. Many wonderful things in ministry are obscured by the ugly face of jealousy because we have made ministry about how it will make us appear to the world around us.