The Dedication of the Temple
A Sermon on 1 Samuel 4:19-22
19Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was pregnant and about to give birth; and when she heard the news that the ark of God had been taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she kneeled down and gave birth, because her pains came upon her. 20And …
19¶ And his daughter in law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon …
In this sermon on 1 Samuel 4:19-22, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones draws parallels between the state of the church today with the spiritual condition following the capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines that is recorded in the Old Testament. As with the tabernacle, the Doctor says, the vital factor in the life of the church is the presence of the glory of the Lord. The greatest danger to the church today could very well be that it is content with nice buildings that are missing God’s glory. But as in the Old Testament, both humanity’s contribution and God’s glory are vital in working together to bring a church to a state of flourishing. How can churches guard against this separation? Lloyd-Jones proposes that it all begins with a church being sensitive to the glory of the Lord, and then asks some haunting questions: is the church aware of the glory of the Lord? Where does it start? The answers to these questions, and the fervor with which the answers are applied, will play a large part in the shape the church takes over the next several decades. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on why the glory of the Lord is vital for a church to succeed.
- The sermon begins by focusing on 1 Samuel 4 which describes the departure of God's glory from Israel. This is contrasted with Exodus 40 which describes God's glory filling the tabernacle.
- The presence of God's glory is what makes a church truly a church. Without it, a church is just another institution or building.
- The history of Israel and the church shows that God's glory departing leads to failure and defeat while its presence leads to triumph and victory.
- The most important thing for any church is to be sensitive to the presence of God's glory. An example is the woman in 1 Samuel 4 who named her son Ichabod, meaning "the glory has departed," showing her sensitivity.
- Many churches today emphasize what man can do through organization and activity but forget the vital element of God's activity and glory.
- Two parts are essential to a church: what man can do and what only God can do. Both are needed. The danger is stopping with only what man can do.
- Examples show that God's glory brings fear, reverence, and awe. The church today often lacks this and instead emphasizes being cheerful, happy and jolly.
- Examples of those sensitive to God's glory include Jacob, Isaiah, Peter, and John. They responded with fear, a sense of unworthiness, and falling down as dead.
- Reasons we often forget about God's glory include never truly knowing it, living in disobedience, thinking we can use God as a "mascot" to bless us when we choose.
- The only solution is realizing we can do nothing without God, keeping His commandments, and pleading with Him to return and manifest His glory.
- When God's glory returns, the forces against the church will vanish and the church will again be victorious.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.