Sermon Transcript: "The Man Who Was Killed Trying To Help God" by Pastor CD Brooks.

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THE MAN WHO WAS KILLED TRYING TO HELP GOD
(from the Breath of Life Series by C. D. Brooks)
transcribed and edited by Derek Morris

Our subject tonight is an intriguing one, but it has one point it wishes to make, and that is to impress us that our God is a God of perfection, a God of order, and therefore a very particular God. When He speaks, they are not just empty words. He means what He says. He is not wish-washy and slip shod, and Christians have got to begin to realize that. Would you say Amen?

Now, the Devil is a deceiver. The Bible calls him that. Deception is at its best when it is a co-mingling of good and evil. Without a careful study of the Word of God and the personal guidance of the Holy Spirit, you wouldn’t be able to tell the genuine from the counterfeit. One of the things that the Devil has sought to encourage among Christians is that God is not particular, that He doesn’t care how you do as long as you half way get along. What kind of God is that?

The Devil has told us that God will not punish you for little things. It’s the same lie he told Eve. Eve didn’t shoot anybody, remember? Eve didn’t cut anybody’s throat. All she did was bite a piece of fruit and swallow it. A little thing. The Devil suggested to her that as you do that, nothing’s going to happen. You know that you’ve heard him speak that way. He’s told you that as long as you’re doing some things right, you don’t have to worry about a little disobedience. Isn’t that right?

But I want you to see tonight that God is particular, and that God calls for us to be scrupulously loyal and obedient to His Word. It’s all or nothing for God. The Bible says if you keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, you are guilty of all. God doesn’t ask us to be ninety percent committed to Him, but one hundred percent. Would you say Amen?

The Word of God says, “In vain do they worship Me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Don’t you think God meant it when He said it? These are religious folk. They claim to be worshipping God. You don’t have to disobey all that God says to be lost. Deliberate and willful refusal to do anything that God requires is sufficient to condemn us.
Evangelist CD Brooks

So God is particular. Back in the Old Testament God had asked the Children of Israel to offer a lamb as a sin offering. They were to lay their hands upon the head of the lamb, confess their sins before God, and then kill that innocent animal. That lamb was to typify the spotless Lamb of God who was to come, and who would die in their place. That’s why God told them to pick a spotless lamb, a perfect specimen without any blemish to symbolize the spotless Christ. But the Children of Israel became careless in their worship, and slip shod. When they would go out to choose a lamb for sacrifice they would select one that they couldn’t get any money for anyway. They would pick out the blind ones, and the cripples, and the runts, and the sickly lambs. Finally the Lord called them to task through the prophet Malachi. In Malachi 1:8 the Bible says, “And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil?” And then the prophet said, “Offer it to thy governor and see if he will be pleased with thee.” In other words, if you think it’s good enough for God, why don’t you offer it to the king? Offer it to your governor and you’ll see that he’ll even be insulted with that kind of sacrifice. 

Beloved, are we going to be more careful how we serve man than how we serve God? Why, if your boss asks you to do something, you’re quick to do it, am I right? Especially if you want to keep your job. And if the President said he wanted to meet with you at the White House, you’d be there, wouldn’t you? Yet all too often, when God asks us to do something, we say, “I’ll think about it.” When He tells us He wants to meet with us in worship and fellowship in His house on His holy Sabbath day we hem and haw, and can’t make up our minds. What’s wrong with us? We have lost sight of the perfection and holiness of God, and often times we are more careful how we serve man than how we serve God Almighty.

There was once a king in Israel. As a matter of fact, he was the first king. His name was Saul. The time came when God decided to pour out His judgment on the Amalekites, and God told King Saul to take his army down to the land of Amalek and utterly destroy the entire civilization. God spoke to King Saul through the prophet Samuel. This was the final judgment for the nation of Amalek. Just like the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, it was a type of the final judgment of God upon the wicked.
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But the Bible records that the king went down there and just killed what he wanted to kill. While he was fighting he saw some fat cattle and some lovely sheep, and as he looked he got greedy. He said to himself, These things are too nice to destroy. It seems to me that I should save these. Friends, I’ve told you before what the Bible says: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the ends thereof are the ways of death.” Would you say Amen? But the king said, “It seems to me that I should save these. Put them over there in the field. Let’s kill all these skinny ones and the sickly ones.” He even spared the king down there, because he knew there would be more glory for him if he could bring the king back in chains, pulling him in disgrace behind the king’s chariot.

So he starts home, victorious in battle, and the people came out to welcome him. There was rejoicing in the streets when all of a sudden, he was met by the prophet of God and stopped dead in his tracks. Samuel walked out and said to him, “Have you done all that the Lord has said?” And do you know what that rascal said? He said in 1 Samuel 15:13, “I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” You see, he had convinced himself that he had obeyed the Lord. He’s lying now. He has rationalized his deed. He has convinced himself that he’s done the right thing. It seemed right to him. But we can’t go by what seems right to us. We’ve got to follow what God says. Would you say Amen?

Verse 14, Samuel said, “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and lowing of the oxen which I hear?” If you did everything the Lord said, what’s that noise I hear? Sheep bleating, oxen lowing. God said destroy everything. You took it upon yourself to improve on God. You decided that God isn’t that particular.

Notice what Saul replies: “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God, and the rest we have utterly destroyed.” Did you get that? When he was taking credit he said, “I have performed. I led the army.” And when he’s in a jam because of his compromising the word of God he says, “They....they spared the best of the sheep and the best of the cattle. But don’t get angry Samuel. I’ve got a good idea I’m going to tell you about. You know why we brought them back? We brought them back to offer as blood sacrifices unto the Lord. We’re not going to keep them. We’re going to put them in church.” He thought that would justify his actions. You know, there are folks who go out and serve the Devil all week and they think if they put twenty dollars in the offering plate that takes care of everything. What kind of God do you think we serve? What makes you think that your inflated dollar buys you license to compromise the will of God and disobey His word?

Verse 16: “Then Samuel said unto Saul, ‘Stay and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said unto me this night.” And Samuel said, “‘When thou wast little in thine own eyes wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?’” When you were little in your own sight. When you were humble enough to recognize God as God. When you were humble enough to realize that if God said it, He meant it. But now you’ve become too proud for your own good. Too big to serve God. And even though Saul tried to justify his actions by saying that the people were going to offer the animals as sacrifices, I want you to notice what the prophet says to Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22: “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” Would you say Amen?

To obey God’s Word is better than sacrifice. Beloved, God doesn’t need our money anyway. He gives us the privilege of returning our tithe, which is holy, unto the Lord and giving offerings freely that we might be blessed in our giving, but He doesn’t need our money. If we think we can disobey God and then make Him happy by putting a big offering in the plate, we had better think again. Would you say Amen? Jesus didn’t say, “If you love Me, give a big offering.” He said, “If you love Me keep My commandments.” Would you say Amen? To obey is better than religious deeds, better than big offering, better than food baskets to the poor, better than sending clothes to the needy. They are all good, but in and of themselves they are worthless if we refuse to obey the Lord. For Jesus said, “Many will come to Me in that day and say, ‘Lord, haven’t we prophesied in Thy name and in Thy name cast out devils and in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ And I shall say to them I never knew you. Depart from Me ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23). People performing a lot of good deeds, but aren’t willing to fully surrender to Christ and aren’t willing to do His will. God is particular about how we respond to His word. He says, “To obey is better than sacrifice.” 

Now, why did God kill a man for trying to help Him? If you go to the book of Exodus 25:1-2 you begin to read about the Sanctuary that was to be built to the glory of God. As you read on, you find details about the furnishing of the earthly sanctuary, which was a show of the heavenly sanctuary. The High Priest on earth was a type of Christ, our High Priest. In fact, the whole sanctuary structure, its furnishings and its services are a great and beautiful picture of the plan of salvation and Christ’s work on man’s behalf. Now, the most sacred compartment of the sanctuary was the Most Holy Place, and in that Most Holy Place was the Ark of the Covenant. This was a chest, overlaid with gold. In it were the two tables of stone on which God has written His holy law, the Ten Commandments, with His own finger. Over the chest was a lid of pure gold, known as the mercy seat. On either side of the chest were two covering cherubims, and between the cherubims, over the mercy seat, was the very presence of God; a brilliant light, the Shekinah glory.

No priest went into the Most Holy Place, but only the High Priest, and then only once a year on the Day of Atonement. Yet there were times when the sanctuary had to be moved during their journey through the desert, so the sacred Ark of the Covenant had to be moved also. But God gave strict orders to His people that nobody was to touch the Ark lest he die. Even the priests were forbidden to touch it. They carried it with long staves that were slipped through loops on the side of the ark.

Years after their arrival in Canaan, because of the apostasy is Israel, the Ark fell into the hands of the Philistines (1 Samuel 4). They captured the ark, and when they did, the Philistines saw it as a great victory for their god, Dagon. They mocked Israel’s God. Ladies and Gentlemen, the only reason God didn’t deliver them was because Israel had turned its back on God. And so, because of their apostasy, they made the true God a laughing stock.

With great show of triumph, the Philistines carried the Ark of the Covenant back with them and placed it in the temple of their god, Dagon. They set it down at the feet of their god, Dagon, which was a giant statue, and they had a celebration. They laughed in the face of the God of heaven, and they had a big time.

The next morning when they came back to start all over again, they found that their god had fallen on its face before the Ark of the Lord. I want to tell you something. Our God is above all of the false gods of this earth. Would you say Amen? Dagon, a pagan deity, a stone image behind which Satan lurked, that god fell flat on his face before the Ark of the Lord. After that a plague broke out among the Philistines, and they decided among themselves, “Heh. We don’t want this thing. It’s causing us more trouble than it’s worth.” They were forced to acknowledge the power and the superiority of Israel’s God. And so they sent word up to Israel to have men come and get the Ark.

Over in 1 Chronicles 13 it tells that David organized Israel to go and bring back the Ark of the Lord after all that time. He got singers, he got musicians, and off they went. When they arrived at Kirjath Jearim they found the Ark in the house of Abinadad. The Bible says in verse 7 that they put it on a new cart, an ox cart, and started home. There were two men driving the cart: one was Ahio, and the other man’s name was Uzzah. These two men were driving the cart. Now, it shouldn’t have been on a cart to begin with, for God had said it shall be carried on the shoulders of the priests. But it seemed to them--they thought--that God wasn’t that particular. The main thing was that they were bringing it home. After all, God doesn’t really mind what you believe, as long as you believe something. Are you listening to me? It seemed to them that it would be okay to do it their way. And so they set it on an ox cart.

But the Bible says in verse 9, “And when they came unto the threshing floor of Chiden, Uzzah put forth his hand to hold the Ark; for the oxen stumbled.” The ox stumbled, the ox cart shook, and Uzzah decided that he would help God. After all, if God wasn’t that particular about the Ark traveling on an ox cart, it seemed to him that he could even reach out with his own hand and steady the Ark. But the Bible says, when he did so, “The anger of the Lord was kindled against him and the Lord smote him and he died.”

The Bible says that David was afraid of God that day. They didn’t even take the Ark home. They left it at somebody’s house and went back to Jerusalem with sadness in their hearts. They were afraid. I’ll tell you why they were afraid: They knew that they were out of harmony with God’s will, for the Bible says in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” A truly converted person is not filled with fear. A person who has decided to go all the way with Jesus is not afraid. Would you say Amen? There’s peace in following the Lord. There is joy in being one of God’s commandment-keeping people. When you’re filled with the love of Jesus and you’re walking according to His word, there’s no need for fear. Amen?

But David was afraid of the Lord that day. He knew that they had not followed the instructions of the Lord. He knew how the Ark of the Lord should have been transported, on the shoulders of the priests. Now, I don’t want you to miss this. Do you know why they put it on an ox cart? Because that’s the way the Philistines carried it, and God didn’t hold the Philistines accountable because they didn’t know the truth. But when you know the truth, you have to do what God says. When you’ve seen the light, you can’t go back to darkness anymore and avoid the judgment of God. Let’s say Amen out there! It was supposed to be carried by the priests.

In Chapter 15 when David went back to get the Ark, that is the way they carried it, and they made it home. But what I want you to realize tonight is this: You can’t serve God the way the Philistines do. You’ve got to do what God says when He reveals His will to you. This lesson teaches us that our God is a particular God. You don’t have to do all the things that you know are dead wrong in order to go to hell. All you have to do is follow what seems right to you rather than following what God requires of you, and you’ll make it. You’ll be lost as surely as you’re born.

Now, having read this story, and seeing that God means what He says, is the Devil still going to find a listening ear when he comes to you and says, “Don’t worry. God isn’t particular”? Is he still going to find a listening ear when he suggests to you that all you need to do is worship God in the way that seems right to you? Is he?

O beloved. The Bible doesn’t say, Do what seems right to you. Do what’s popular. Do what’s convenient. The Bible says, “Blessed are they that do His commandments.” Would you say Amen? Jesus said if you love Me--not just talk about loving Me, but if you really love Me--you will keep My commandments. Why did God destroy a man who just looked like he was trying to help? Because there is no excuse ever to disobey God. I want to hear you all say Amen. The wise man Solomon, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, put it this way in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man.”

Let’s stop trying to debate with God. What do you say? Let’s stop trying to compromise with God. Beloved, if you see clearly tonight that our God is a particular God, if you realize in your heart that He means what He says, and you want the grace from heaven that you might follow Jesus all the way, I’m asking you again tonight quickly to stand up and show God that you want to put Him first and you want to do His will. God says, My sheep will hear My voice. They’ll follow the truth when they hear it. Now, some folks will be offended when they hear the word, but not My sheep. My sheep might have been going wrong for a long time, but now they’re going to follow Me.

This weekend you’re going to have an opportunity to prove that you love Jesus and you put Him first by following Him into baptism, and becoming a part of His commandment-keeping people, those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.

Blessed Lord, thank You for the truth tonight, that You mean what You say, that You are particular, that it’s not enough to worship You the way that we think, it’s not enough to believe and do what seems right to us. We’ve got to be willing to follow You and obey Your word. O Lord, give us tender hearts tonight. Give us the courage to go all the way with Christ, and help us to make up our minds tonight. We don’t even know if we’ll be alive tomorrow, so help us to decide tonight to surrender fully to Jesus and to His will. We know that’s the only way. O Lord, speak to our hearts. Send Your Holy Spirit to us in special power to convict us and shake us from our sleep, that we might take our stand for you before it is eternally too late. This we humbly ask in Jesus’ worthy name.

And then Lord, bring us back safely next time, to hear another stirring message from Your word, a message so clear and so simple. We know You want us to be here, Lord, and though the Devil tries to keep us away, that he rages with all his hellish fury, I pray that You would place Your loving arms around these Your people and bring them safely here to hear Your Word. And most of all, Lord, lead us and guide us, and help us to decide to follow You all the way so that we will be ready when Jesus comes. That’s the deepest desire of our hearts, isn’t it folks? Take us and make us Yours that we might welcome You with joy and peace on that day is our prayer in Jesus’ name. Let everyone say “Amen!”



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