Bringing Back the Glory

New Life Baptist Church

Pastor Marlin D. Harris

You may take your seats in the presence of the Lord.  We have had such a wonderful day.  You are just getting the residuals of the Lord showering His blessings on us today.  God is so good, and Heís good all of the time.  I normally prepare three messages to share and one at our Seeker Service, and the message that we preached for the two services prior to this one was not intended to be preached all day; it was only intended to be preached for one or two services.  We had another message that I thought the Lord wanted me to preach, but I canít let this message go.  I just have not been able to let it go.  So I want you to open your Bibles to the book of 2nd Samuel 6.  Iím going to ask that you would pray for the strength thatís necessary to preach.  2nd Samuel 6:1 and when youíve found it say ďAmen!Ē


2 Samuel 6

 1Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.

 2And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.

 3And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.

 4And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark.

 5And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.

 6And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor[1], Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.

 7And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

 8And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day.

 9And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?

 10So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.

 11And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.

 12And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.

 13And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.


For emphasis would you look one more time with me at verse 9. 

 9And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?

How shall the ark come to me?  I want to talk with you this afternoon about bringing back the glory, bringing back the glory.  Look at your neighbor as you are taking your seat, and tell them ďbringing back the gloryĒ.  This passage is a passage that I believe speaks of one of the darkest moments in Israelís history.  We donít need a Bible lesson to know who Israel is.  We know that Israel represents the nation, the chosen people of God.  They are in the Old Testament what the church is in the New Testament.  Israel is in the Old Covenant what the church represents in the New Covenant, the people of God, His chosen nation.  And this chosen group of God had some very dark moments in their history because though they were chosen by God, they neglected God as a part of their everyday life and their everyday obedience.  They did not live their life in obedience to the God who had chosen them. 

Much of the same thing happens in this modern culture and world today; that is that many of the people who are saved, us, saved folk, donít always honor God, donít always incorporate God into our everyday life of obedience.  We have a great testimony.  We talk a really good talk but we donít live that talk out in our everyday lifestyle.  And thatís what happened to Israel; they did not honor God, they did not serve God.  They were the keepers of the ark.  The ark, and Iím not sure if you need a Bible lesson for it, but I will explain it.  The ark was the physical, natural representation of the glory of God upon the earth.  The ark represented the symbol of Godís glory and Godís presence.  Where the ark was, it was understood thatís where God was.  The glory of God resided as the Jews believed in the presence and in the corporeal[2] existence of the ark

The ark was symbolic in its nature and essence to represent God in a couple of different ways.  One was the ark symbolized the coming of the Messiah, it symbolized the nature of Jesus Christ.  The nature of Christ is seen in how the ark was constructed.  It was constructed with gold inlaid on the inside of this box; itís a linear box that is built out of gold on the inside, but the gold is not seen to everybody, the gold is covered up by shittim wood[3], that overlays the outside.  So the gold and the wood together make up the contents, or rather it makes up the essence of what the ark consists of. 

This gold and wood parody in the ark represents the coming of Christ and the nature of Christ because Christ is the God-man.  There is a duality to His nature.  He is God, a very God, and he is man, a very man.  The two-ness of His nature is seen in the two-ness of the ark.  He is the word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.  The Bible says ďwe beheld His glory, the glory of the baby child Jesus as of the only begotten of the FatherĒ.  Heís the only man, unique in history, that has within Him the full expression of the deity of God and the full expression of the humanity of man wrapped up in the same being, and the ark was to remind them that their Savior, their redeemer, would also be their kinsmen.  That their redeemer would be one who is of them and like them; that He would be the goel[4], He would be their kinsmen redeemer.  He would be of their brethren.  He would be man but yet He would be God.  Which is why with all the symbols, and all the pictures that God gave to Israel about the identity and the essence of the Messiah and who He would be when He comes, itís a wonder how so many Jews have missed the reality of the Savior.  Not just seen in the ark in the gold and the wood, but also seen in the Table of Shewbread thatís in the Holy Place.  The Table of Shewbread represents the fact that Christ would be the bread of life.  He is the bread of life that always is present with us, coming down from God but it would be bread consumed by man.  This bread of life consumed by man would feed man though it comes from God.

The whole continuity of the ministry and the function of Jesus Christ are seen in the table of the showbread.  He comes from God, feeds man just as the manna that fell in the wilderness comes from God and feeds man.  Did not come for any social or governmental oppressive reasons to deliver the Israelites from their governmental oppression.  He came that he might be food for manís soul. and man as he eats the bread, he demonstrates the reality of the Christ who comes.  Today we still eat the bread.  We eat the bread and drink the cup to show the Lordís death until He comes.  He is always prefiguring Himself with the symbols and antics of our Christian experience.

The ark represented those symbols and those antics in the gold and the wood, but not just representing the coming of the Christ and the nature of Jesus, but it also represented the interaction of God to man.  The whole saga, the entire epic expression of Godís relationship with man is easily seen in the expression of how the ark was constructed.  The gold and the wood again being together, touching each other.  The gold now represents the divinity of God and the wood now represents the humanity of man, and if there is to be any expression of Godís glory in the earth, it has to be when God touches man. 

So the gold and the wood were together demonstrating that God comes in contact with man.  What good is it to have a relationship with a god you canít ever come in contact with.  I donít need a god who lives way up in the high yonder.  I donít need a god who is the man upstairs.  I need a God who is touched with the feelings of my infirmities.  I need a God whose gold isnít too bad to touch my wood.  I know Iím wood and I know Heís gold, but I need the kind of relationship with God whereby the goldness of God is not shy or ashamed of the woodness of myself, and God is able not just to touch me, but He is able to inlay me so that on the outside you might see my wood -- my flesh, my frailties, my imperfections on the outside.  You might see the knots and kinks within my heart and within my life on the outside.  You might see the stuff thatís not quite together yet, but on the inside the stuff you canít see is how God is still working on me, still laying His gold in me, still producing His spirit within me.  I am spirit-filled, it donít look like it on the outside all the time, but it sure enough is on the inside. 

There is one thing this box could not demonstrate.  Not just the duality of Christís nature, not just the interaction of God with man, but also the filling of man with His spirit.  That God put this treasure in earthen vessels; that God made it so that the treasure of His Spirit lies in the earthen clay pots of our lives.  So folk who donít look like much, folk who we think ought not be much, ought not do much, folk who are illiterate and uneducated, folk who donít have it going on, arenít big ballers and shot callers, are the same folk that when God puts His gold on the inside of their wood, He begins to make it so that they get carried in places they thought theyíd never be in.  God is the kind of God who fills us so much so that we are far more valuable than we look.  A wooden box isnít worth much but a wooden box with gold on the inside is worth a whole lot.  While folk might say you arenít worth nothing, hey tell them Iíve got the gold of the Holy Spirit deep down on the inside of my heart and He is the one that makes me valuable and makes me what I am. 

This ark represented so much and it was the glory of God.  It demonstrated His person.  But not just the nature of the ark, but also the contents of the ark Ė what the ark held on the inside of it.  Inside the ark was Aaronís rod that had budded.  It budded because they were having a discussion about how God can speak to more folk than just Aaron and Moses, and if God speaks to Moses and then speaks through Aaron, they wanted God to speak to or through them as well.  And Moses was saying ďYou know what, we ainít trying to argue with you all about who God is going to speak to, but we do know this, that Godís voice is a singular voice, and whenever God speaks He speaks with singularity in His voice.  He doesnít just speak in a way where 6 and 7 different people got 6 and 7 different words; thatís divisiveness in the voice of God.  When God speaks He always speaks in one voice.  Everybody say one voice.

Whatís wrong with us is weíve got too many voices talking into our lives.  Weíve got too many folk telling us what they think God is trying to say, rather than us just telling them to ďhushĒ, let me ask what God is saying.  He knows exactly how to speak.  Be very careful who you let speak into your life.  I donít care who comes by your neighborhood or who stops by your church, or whose coming into town, or whose going to your school -- you be very careful who you let speak into your life, because anybody can say something but only God has the last say and the final word.  Whatever folks say you better check that thing out with God to make sure it lines up with the word of God, and if it donít line up with the word of God -- I donít care how ecclesiastical it might sound, I donít care how socially acceptable it might be, if it doesnít line up with the word, you better curse it and turn a deaf ear to it and seek the face of God to hear what He is trying to say. 

Moses said ďYou know what, you know what, everybody take your staff.  Put your staff and your rod down and we are going to see which one God speaks to.  Whichever one of these rods bud is the one God is trying to talk to.Ē  Moses turned around and says ďLets come back tomorrow and see what happens.Ē  When they came back Aaronís rod was the only rod that had buds on it, the only rod that had blooms and flowers on it.  It was Godís way of telling Aaron that I have approved your ministry, Iíve approved your voice and Iím speaking to this people through one set and through one group. 

The whole idea of leadership had to be established.  Itís placed inside of the ark.  The tables of the covenant are also inside the ark.  Youíve got the tables of the covenant.  The covenant is not a contract.  Itís not just the Ten Commandments.  Thatís what they were, the tables of commandments, but they are not just commandments in law.  They are the covenant relationship that God has with His people.  It is the covenant God cut with His people; thatís what those tables represented.  It was a covenant upon these principles Ė that if you do your part, Iíll do my part.  But hereís the blessedness about the covenant that makes it different than a contract.  A contract can be breached if either one of the two parties donít fulfill their end of their deal, but God did not cut a contract with man, God cut a covenant with man, and made it so that even if we donít do our part, He will compensate for what we did not do by doing His part anyhow.

Somebody knows thatís called ďGraceĒ.  Is there anybody in here that has ever experienced and received grace?  Iím talking to folk now who did not get what they have because they deserved it or earned it.  Iím talking to folk who didnít always do it the way the Bible says it ought to be done.  Iím talking to folk who got some darkness in their past and some skeletons in their closet and you did not fulfill your end of the deal, but time and time again God bailed you out with His Grace.  Did not give you what you deserved because He gave you mercy and gave you stuff you never couldnít gotten on your own; thatís called ďgraceĒ and if you are honest with yourself and honest with me, you would stand up in here and testify ďI am where I am because God has been a gracious God.  If you only knew the hell Iíve been through.  If you only knew the mess I had to endure.  If you only knew the mistakes Iíve made in my life, but God took my mistakes and turned it into a miracle.  Now I stand here today looking like wood but Iíve got gold on the inside.Ē 

This ark represents Godís glory.  Itís the glory of God.  Glory is the fullest expression of who God is.  It is the full knowledge of God.  Glory is both person and power, person of God, power of God.  The person of God is seen in the construction of the ark, the gold, the wood Ė tells me about His person.  Person always touches and identifies my intellect and my mind.  I have to learn about the person of God in order to know how to respond and interact with God.  So the doctrines of my faith, the anthems that I sing, the hymns I recite, the words that I know, teaches me about the person of God.  He is a sovereign God; thatís His person Ė Iíve got to learn that.  He is an immutable God; thatís His person Ė He never changes Ė Iíve got to learn that.  He is a faithful God; that means He will always keep His word ĖIíve got to learn that.  We are doing a whole lot of praying for the hand of God, but nobody wants to know the person of God, and if you donít know the person of God then youíve been way lost, you are way behind the eight ball if you donít know the person of God. 

Because whenever you get in difficult times and difficult situations, you donít need to lean and depend on what grandmamma or granddaddy said about God; and they said some good stuff about God.  But youíve got to have some knowledge about God yourself, on your own, so when you pray you can pray with some intelligence.  What bothers me are folks who come to church Sunday after Sunday, listen to message after message and havenít learned a thing about the person of God, and the moment trouble comes, they start flipping out and being frantic and catching ulcers and staying up all night, because they never learned anything about the person of God.  When you know about the person of God you start knowing things like God is in charge and He is in control.  The Bible says ďHe neither sleeps nor slumbersĒ and if God is not sleeping or slumbering, it doesnít make sense for both of us to be up all night.  I mean if He is going to stay up and neither sleep nor slumber, thatís my go-ahead to go ahead and fluff my pillow and get myself some sleep and let God be God and let Him be in charge. 

He is a benevolent God which means He seeks to do good things for them that love Him.  The Bible says ďEye hadnít seen, ear hadnít heard, hearts hadnít perceived what God has in store for them that love Him.Ē  Well Iím one of them that love Him.  The person of God says He never changes His word, once Heís said it, He will do it and He said that ďMy eye hadnít seen itĒ, so just because it isnít here yet, doesnít mean I should flip out and have a fit.  Iím trying to wait and see what God said my eyes havenít seen yet.  Is there anybody in here besides me that understands the person of God? 

But all person and no power produces a lopsided Christian.  Iím all head but no heart.  You see the person is in the gold and the wood, but the power is in the rod and the commandments.  The contents on the inside reminded Israel of how God demonstrated His power in their past, and the contents on the inside shared with them through memory that God is the one who brought you up out of Egypt.  God is the one who fed you in the wilderness.  God is the one who made it so that your shoes would never wear out while you journeyed for 40 years.  With no Laundromat, with no wash and fold, with no dime washer.  You didnít have no tumble dry.  You didnít have no tide, no detergent, but yet God kept your clothes fresh.  He did what all could never do.  He did what Tide could never do.  He became a Clorox agent to make it so that you would never have dirty clothes, and when you grew up, you never grew out of your clothes.  God made your clothes grow right along with you.  Oh that is shouting ground right there because Iím talking to some folk who understand that I Ďvet had not enough, Iíve had a little bit, Iíve just had a little bit to get me by, and God made the stuff I have grow right along with me.  Iíve seen one dinner feed a whole family for four days.  I mean you know thatís got to be God when one can of green beans can feed a whole family.  You go to bed like you had steak you so full because God knows how to provide when you are in your wilderness.  You better not ever forget what God has done. 

He put some things inside the ark to remind us what He is, and what He has done so we wouldnít forget the power of God and here we are driving our fancy cars, living in our fancy homes and doing our fancy stuff and we done forgot what God has done.  Honey you donít need a repeat of the lesson, do you?  You donít need God to show you again, do you? 

So wood and gold represents person.  Contents represent power.  You got to know Him in person, but youíve also got to know Him in power.  And if you only know Him in one and not the other, you are lopsided.  Now there are these cherubims that covered the ark.  I got so much other stuff to preach but I just canít get to it.  There are these cherubims that cover the ark, and the cherubims that cover the ark, they are angels and these angels are statues of angels whose wings span over the ark to demonstrate the covering of the glory of God; that the glory of God is always vindicated.  That Godís glory has a vindication to it so that whenever you enter into His presence, the glory of God is vindicated.  No sin can ever come near the presence of God.  What the angels did for the ark, the church is supposed to do for the glory of God today.  We are supposed to be the covering and the vindication of Godís glory so if the world ever wants to know what the glory of God looks like, the world should always be able to come to the church where they will meet some peculiar people.  They will meet a chosen generation.  They will meet a people who donít look like everybody else, but we got this thing backward.  We start doing in the church what the world is doing out in the street and we bring the street of the world into the church and weíve lost our uniqueness and weíve lost our identity. 

We arenít peculiar no more.  The same stuff going on in their house is going on in our house.  The same stuff that they are trying to hide, we are trying to hide.  There has got to become a righteous standard where some church will stand up and say ďGod is right and the world is wrongĒ.  God says ďHoliness without which no man shall see the Lord.Ē  Weíve got to get to a place where we restore our peculiarity in our faith so that we become the wings of the angels that cover the ark and the glory of God, and with all of this glory that youíve got in this ark, Israel was the keepers of the glory.  They kept the glory.  Israel had fell into a time where nobody had anymore respect for the word of God, and Eli was the priest of Israel at the time, and Eli had two sons, named Hophni and Phineas who were understudies under their father Eli.  Eli was a chief priest.  Hophni and Phineas were the understudies.  Eli was the leader and Hophni and Phineas were the followers, and the leader, Eli, failed to lead. 

Back in 1st Samuel 4 (we ainít got to go there, but write it down if you would), the Bible talks about how Eli allowed his two sons to commit sin, whoredoms and fornication right in Shiloh just before the outer court, inner court and Holy of Holies -- in the vestibule[5] of the church sin was going on Ė and I ought to stay there for just a bit because sin is still going on in the vestibule of the church. 

I just got finished preaching at Seekerís Service and telling folk at Seeker Service about thanking them for sharing their real testimony because you know we donít share the real testimony.  Ah, you can look pretty if you want, but we donít tell nobody what the real story is.  We stand up before the church and tell them ďIím saved, sanctified and Holy Ghost filled, fire baptized, on my way to see the soon coming King, pray my strength in the Lord, been running for Jesus for a long time, not tired yetĒ and we sit up and tell folk that testimony

  • but we fail to mention to them that part about how we went to the liquor store, way up in Alpharetta, because we were too ashamed to go in our own neighborhood, walked out with a brown bag. 

  • We forget to tell that part of our testimony, how we slapped our wife upside the head because breakfast wasnít the way we thought it ought to be. 

  • We forget to tell our testimony about how we were tipping and tipping in the midnight hour and let the man outside the back door because we didnít want anybody to see him when he left at 5:00 a.m. this morning. 

  • We forgot to tell our testimony about how we do stuff we ainít got no business doing and whenever we get hard times, we get away somewhere in our bathroom and light us up a little joint and try to smoke ourselves just a little bit to calm our nerves. 

We donít tell anybody the whole testimony, but baby Iím glad that God knows your whole testimony.  He knows all of it.  You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you canít fool God none of the time.  God sees you when youíre sleep.  God sees you when the door closes.  God sees you when the light is off.  God sees YOU

Hophni and Phineas, Eliís two sons, refused to obey God and Eli who was the leader refused to lead.  Weíve got a problem when the leaders donít lead.  If the leader doesnít lead, the people will fall into rebellion.  You had a leader who wouldnít lead.  You had two boys who would not follow.  You had a whole governmental structure that was sinful and corrupt and they were leading the chosen people of God.  Battle breaks out in 1st Samuel 5.  Philistines come in the land and the Philistines are whipping Israelís behind.  While Israel is losing the battle somebody has a bright idea and says ďLets go get the ark out of Shiloh and all the time whenever we bring the ark into the battlefield, the ark always brings us victory.Ē  Look like to me they ought to have the ark in there before they started the war, but you know how church folk are?  We always late when it comes to faith.  We always a dollar too short and a day late whenever it comes to faith and believing in God.  Now we always are going to show up for the miracle.  We going to show up ďChild, to get our dance on.  We going to show up to get our praise on.  We going to show up to have our time at the mike, our time in front of folkĒ, but when it comes down to faith, we ainít got none of that.  We left God back in Shiloh.  I know some folk in church who left God back in Shiloh while the enemy is whipping your behind in your house, on your job, in your career, in your livelihood and you left God in Shiloh.  Somebody said ďGo back and get the ark and bring it in the battleĒ. 

The Philistines knew whenever the ark comes into battle, that means God is getting ready to show up.  They never could finally beat Israel because that ark kept showing up.  It was Israelís God on the field because Israelís God had said earlier to one named Gideon ďStand stillĒ, Iíll fight your battleĒ.  But when the ark showed up the Philistine army didnít lose.  They still beat Israel and 30,000 Israelites died with the ark on the field.  How did that happen?  How you got God on the field and you still lose?  Well that might not be too much of a shock for us; weíve got Bibles under our arms.  We got crosses around our neck.  We got fish symbols on our car.  We got honk if you love Jesus bumper sticks on the backside of our bumper, and our marriage is a mess, our kids are a mess, weíve got trouble going on in our job.  We canít get to sleep unless we take a pill.  We canít wake up unless we take a pill.  We are on Paxil, Prozac and Zantac.  We got so many ďacísĒ and so many pills weíre taking Ė uppers, downers, and suppressants and Ė weíve got so much stuff going on in our life, but come to church every Sunday ďhallelujah, thank you Jesus, always jerking and flipping, always got your hand raised ďThank you Lord, I just thank the Lord Iím blessed and highly favored of GodĒ, and your house is a mess.  ďI thank God that Heís here all the timeĒ, and your kids are going crazy.  The devil is a liar!  You had best get real with God and get . . .

The problem is not that your Bible ainít working, or your cross ainít working, the problem is you ainít got no glory in your ark.  The ark has lost the glory, and you can come to church all day.  If you ainít got no glory, if there is no glory of God on your life, there ainít going to be no change, no change in your life.  Israel died, why?

Leaders werenít leading.  Leaders failed to lead.  It bothers me that we cannot find a righteous leader in our modern society and can I talk about us, Black folk, for just a minute.  Now if you are here and you are of another race, Iím not talking against any other race.  Iím just talking about what I know.  I mean you would be upset if I was talking about Chinese folk.  I ainít Chinese, I donít know, but I am Black and I do know about Black people.  If I donít know much about history, donít know much about psychology, donít know much about the French I took, but I know a whole lot about Black folk.  And what bothers me is that Black folk Ė we have these Black leaders who do not stand for Jesus Christ, who do not mention the Bible, who do not mention what Jesus says about the culture, but yet we call them our leaders, ainít no leader of mine.  Any Black leader, any leader in this modern society to be my leader heís got to have Jesus as the center of his leadership. 

I donít care what the media says.  I donítí care what the culture says.  Donít allow the culture to give you a leader.  Weíve been told the only way you can have righteousness is if you are white and Republican; that being white and Republican means that you are going to be conservative and Biblical.  The devil is a liar.  Youíve got some Black folk who know the Bible too, but because you get some clown on T.V. that says ďIím a leader of the Black race and I think abortion ought to be legal so that our young Black girls will have an alternative to turn to when they make a mistake and have a child, rather than having 4 and 5 children and getting on welfare, you ought to legalize abortion so that they can do that Ė that ainít how you stop children from having 4 and 5 babiesYou stop girls from having 4 and 5 babies by you momma and daddy getting on your knees in your secret closet and praying that hell out of that child.  Thatís how you stop that girl.  I wish somebody in here would hear what Iím trying to say. 

Whenever Black leaders preach social and economic empowerment and make us to believe that empowering ourselves means weíve got to rise in the economic structure of our world and of our nation, and corporate America is going to have to recognize the rising of Black folk, thatís how we are going to pull ourselves out of financial degradation.  That all sounds good, but I know some folk who donít even know nothing about corporate America.  Canít even spell corporate.  Donít know anything about financial economic empowerment.  They donít know what those three words mean but because theyíve got the grace and the glory of God that rests upon their life, they have been in situations they donít deserve to be in.  Ainít got no degree, sitting down in a degreed-environment where everybody else got a degree, came up through the ranks and here you are unqualified, ainít got the right resume, your dossier donít say the right stuff, but you inside the boardroom baby.  You there because God brought you there.  You are not there because you pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps.  What do you do when you ainít got no straps on your boots.  What do you do when you ainít even got a boot.  You better learn how to trust Jesus. 

Iím hard pressed to find African American leaders who can represent us and stand up and say ďWhatís right and speak righteousness.Ē  Say stuff like abortion is wrong.  Yes it is.  Welfare is not the system that we want our children and our childrenís children to be supplied by and the way you break a welfare mentality is you make folks get a job.  The thug mentality says ďI want to get something for nothing.  I want somebody to give me something for nothing.Ē  The whole thug system, the bling bling around the neck, the laying on 22ís driving an Escalade, all of that is nothing but the thug system that says I can get money in my pocket by getting it in my pocket easy.  Welfare is nothing but easy money and I want to tell you something.  I thank God for welfare but Iím grateful to God Iíve got two hands and Iíve got a good head.  I know how to go to work and get a job and make a living for my family.  But our leaders ainít leading. 

The day comes, and itís a sad day but itís here, when the homosexual plight has been equated with civil rights in the 50ís and 60ís.  And they actually want us to believe that homosexuals need rights because Black folks got their rights in the 50ís and the 60ís and they made homosexuality a civil problem and not a moral problem.  The devil is a liar!  Donít taint what my forefathers did back in the 50ís by attaching homosexuality to the end of that civil rights act.  No, no, no, no, no Ė see Black and homosexuality they ainít the same thing.  Being Black ainít wrong, but being a homosexual is wrong.  Being Black ainít iniquity, but homosexuality is iniquity and the two ainít the same thing. 

And when our leaders donít stand up and have a Jesus centered message they are not our leaders.  Harriet Tubman she came out because she prayed to Jesus.  Sojourner Truth, she came out because she prayed to Jesus.  Nat Turner got delivered because he prayed to Jesus.  George Washington Carver did all that stuff with a peanut because he prayed to Jesus.  Mohammed didnít do it.  Bean pies didnít do it.  Bow ties didnít do it.  Bold lies didnít do it.  The only way you can get delivered is if you have a Jesus centered message, because Jesus is how we as a people got to where we are.  Please understand your great, great grandmamma was on her knees back in a old dirt room floor.  She wasnít talking to no Buddha, she was talking to Jesus.  I donít care what Oprah says you canít meditate your way out of the hell you in.  You better pray your way out of the hell you in.  Youíve got to have a relationship. 

This is the 4th sermon today so I might as well preach like Iím crazy because I ainít got nothing to do tomorrow Ė tomorrow Iím off.  Jesus is the answer and we need the church to start saying that.  We need the Black church to tell Ted Kopel and Dan Rather, hey weíve got another story.  That ainít the only story, there is another story.  There is righteousness in Black America.  There is holiness in Black America.  There is equity and justice in Black America.  Can I get a witness here.  But Eli wouldnít lead.  He just let sin go on and he wouldnít lead.  And whenever he wouldnít lead, the Philistines came in and guess what ďThey took the ark.Ē  The enemy stole the symbol of Godís glory.  The church no longer had glory because the enemy had stolen it.  Godís name became a byword.  Godís name became a parable of old because the devil had the glory.  Isnít that happening today.  Crime in our streets; the devil gets the glory.  Drugs Ė drugs ainít no urban thug problem, you all donít think that do you?  Uh, huh.  Drugs are in your address and your neighborhood.  It ainít the thugs downtown thatís taking the drugs and selling the drugs, itís your grandchildren.  Oh you all donít want to help me preach on that do you?

And the church is talking about social empowerment and economic reform and civil rights for gays and we ainít talking about what God told us to talk about, and Satan has got the glory.  When they took that ark off the battlefield, whipped Israel Ė sent them to flight Ė they left the glory right there on the battlefield.  The Philistines came, took the ark, stole the ark, brought the ark back to their principal city and put the ark in their temples to their gods.  And they came and set the ark up in the temple right where their god Dagon was.  Dagon was one of their gods.  They left the building, turned off the light, came back the next day and the ark had caused Dagon to get nervous throughout the night and Dagon fell on his face.  Whenever the temple priests came back and they saw their god Dagon on the floor, they figured there has got to be something wrong here Ė Dagon is on the floor, so what they did was they picked up Dagon (the priests picked up their god) to put him back on his perch.  Now I said you know they got to be crazy because I donít want no God Iíve got to pick up; if I donít pick him up then he canít do what -- I need a God thatís going to pick me up when Iím in trouble, when Iím in distress I need him to pick me up. 

They put him back on his perch and left again, cut the light out, when they came back the next day they found out Dagon didnít just fall again, but Dagon this time fell and broke his neck.  The statue of their God fell and his head came off.  Right then I wouldíve switched gods but they put him up again, took some crazy glue, glued around Dagonís top, stuck his head back on there.  Because you know what happens to us?  Even when our gods fail us, because of the rebellion of our heart, we still will not seek the Lord our God.  When the gods of money, and the gods of power, and the gods of prestige, when they fail us, when the pink slip comes and the yellow slip comes, when your money canít help you because a terminal illness has you sick -- instead of us calling on God we become so rebellious we call on God for the moment, but the moment that God blesses us we get up and we try to glue back together our old system and old ways and still will not turn our hearts toward the Lord. 

They said ďThis ark is causing a problem here.Ē  They took the ark out of the temple and put the ark in a shaded place in one of their cities, and they broke out Ė all the people in Philistia broke out with this thing the Bible calls emerods.  Now I looked up emerods to find out what is an emerod.  I thought they were little rats or something.  Emerods, and this is true -- in the Archaic dictionary emerods are the same things as hemorrhoids.  They broke out in hemorrhoids.  Everybody in Philistia broke out with a hemorrhoid problem because they had the ark Ė this is true, this is true Ė because the ark was in the wrong spot.  The ark was in the wrong place.  Whenever you have God out of place, there is a perverted, twisted sickness that takes place on the inside of your heart when God is out of place, and because God was out of place the people got perverted and sick.  Isnít God out of place today?  Arenít we perverted and sick.  So they said ďWe are done with this.  Take this to Abinadabís house; we are finished with it.Ē  They took the ark back to Israel, put it in the house of Abinadab and said ďWe are through with itĒ.  David, when he becomes king, he says the first thing I want to do is bring the ark out of Abinadabís house and put it in the city of David.  He goes in to get the ark.  When he came in to get the ark he said ďI want Uzzah and Ahio to help me drive this ark out.  They put the ark on a new cart and drove him with an ox.

Now you know Moses said ďDo not put this ark on no cart and have no ox driving him.  If you are going to get the glory of God back in the city youíve got to carry that ark on your shoulder like a burden.  If God is ever going to have glory in your life you are going to have to carry it like a burden.  You canít pray these quick little easy mamsy pamsy prayers and think that you are going to move God without being burdened.  The Bible says the ďeffectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth muchĒ.  Whenever you get a burden to carry on your shoulder honey thatís how you get the glory.  The glory comes whenever you are burdened down and you want His glory more than anything else.  What if we came to church and didnít need your cheerleader to help you praise God.  If you came to church with the glory as a burden on your shoulder the moment you step in the house of God and that glory begins to fill your heart, your hands go up automatically because the glory has been weighing down on you all day like a burden. 

But leaders arenít leading, and people arenít praying and because people arenít praying there is no weight on our shoulders.  The ark tilts a bit and Uzzah thinks ďIíve got to help himĒ, so Uzzah holds up his hand to steady the ark and the moment he did that his flesh jumped in front of the spirit and he became fleshly driven and fleshly motivated, and because his flesh had usurped his spirit, God struck him dead because he tried to help God.  I wish somebody in here would hear that. 

How you going to help God?  What God has for you is for you, and you ainít got to help God bring it into your life.  God knows how to do what Heís going to do without your help.  As a matter of fact, everything that you are you are because God did it, and He did it all by Himself.  The education you have, He gave it to you.  The job youíve got, He gave it to you.  All the things you possess God gave it to you.  What you think you are, you are, because God made you who you are.  You didnít help Him.  Your flesh didnít have anything to do with it.  God supplied everything that we have.  Uzzah tried to help out God and by helping out God, he died. 

David said ďStop, take the ark to Obededomís house until we figure this thing outĒ.  While the ark was in Obededomís house Obededom didnít ask for it, he wasnít some high political figure who could get it, he was just the man who was available and his house was the closest house to where they were, so they brought the ark into his house and his whole house got blessed the Bible says.  His house was blessed.  His children were blessed.  His family was blessed.  You donít have to be qualified, you donít have to be positioned Ė you just have to be available.  Has anybody ever been available and God brought some awesome things in your life because you were available.  Oh my God, look at you.  Look at what Godís done for you.  Look at who you are.  Look at the awesome power God allows you to walk in just because you were available.  Please donít think you did that by yourself.  You were just available.  I mean God couldíve used anybody.  He just decided to use you. 

Thatís why when you come to church you ought not to fold your arms and sit there and look like you are mad at somebody.  You ought to just get happy because you understand I donít deserve to be here anyway but God just decided to use me; I was available.  I donít even know how I got blessed like I got blessed, but God did what He did because I made myself available.  When I throw my hands up in the air and I begin to give God the glory, you can laugh all you want to laugh honey, you donít know whatís in my house; His glory has filled the house because I was available. 

The Bible says ďDavid read the bookĒ, came back, found the methodĒ.  When he found the method they picked the ark up on their shoulders, carried the ark like a burden, and praised their way back into Israel.  I got so much to preach about that praising Ė 6th step (6 is the number of man), 7th step (was the praise step), walked manís distance.  When man couldnít do any more, God came in the last step and they praised God on that last step because God completes what we cannot do.  I got a whole lot to say about that.  My time wonít let me say it.  It has been a good day.  Give God praise.  Give Him glory.


[1] A threshing floor is a specially flattened surface made either of rock or beaten earth where the farmer would thresh the grain harvest. The threshing floor was either owned by the entire village or by a single family. It was usually located outside the village in a place exposed to the wind. 

 [2] (1) relating to or involving the physical body rather than the mind or spirit; (2) material or physical rather than spiritual.

[3] Acacia tree in the Bible.  The tree that yielded the shittim wood of the Bible, probably a species of acacia.

[4] Goel:  goí-el (goíel, "redeemer"): Goel is the participle of the Hebrew word galíal ("to deliver," "to redeem") which aside from its common usage is frequently employed in connection with Hebrew law, where it is the technical term applied to a person who as the nearest relative of another is placed under certain obligations to him.

[5] A small room or hall between an outer door and the main part of a building