Robert Morris — His Entryway
And we're in a series called "Living in His Presence". I have a burden that we live in His presence. We don't just enter His presence on Sunday, and then try to make it through the week. But we live in God's presence. And so the title of this week's message is "His Entryway". And you'll see in a moment the exact passage of scripture that I chose that title from, "His Entryway". Now we all know that God asked, I mean Solomon asked God for wisdom. We all know that. You can ask even many people that don't attend church regularly, what did Solomon ask for. They'd say wisdom. Okay. But do we know why? Because he actually gives a reason. When God said, ask whatever you want, he said, "There's something I don't know, so please give me an understanding heart". And God said, I'll give you a wise and understanding heart. Alright?
So, 1 Kings 3, this is that conversation, beginning verse 5. "In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, 'Ask what I shall give you.' And Solomon said, 'You have shown great mercy to your servant David my father,'" notice he brings his father into this, "because he walked before you in faithfulness, in truth, and in uprightness of heart with you. You have continued this great kindness for him and given him a son to sit on his throne this day as it is this day. Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child,'" now watch this statement, "and I do not know how to go out or come in.'" He goes on to say, "Your people are numerous, therefore give to your servant an understanding heart".
So here's the reason. My father David knew how to do something that I don't know how to do. I don't know how to go out or come in. The first time I saw that phrase, I had no clue what that phrase meant. And, I guess, if you think about it for a while, I guess, the only logical explanation is that Solomon had a problem with doorknobs. My father, David, could just zip around this castle, and get through doors. And I just can't operate the doorknobs. If you could give me what — okay, obviously, that's not what he's talking about.
So let me explain something to you. When you see of something in the Bible you don't understand what it means, the Bible always defines itself. This passage I'm about to show you is when Moses was praying to God about his successor. The next pastor to lead the congregation of Israel. And he says to God for my successor, I just want to make sure that he can do one thing. Just one thing. Watch what he says. Numbers 27:15-17, "Then Moses spoke to the Lord saying, 'Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, who may go out before them and go in before them. Who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep, which have no shepherd".
Okay, twice now, we've seen this; both times, it's talking about leadership. Solomon says, "My father, David knew how to come in and go out, and that's what — I don't know how to do that". Moses says, before Joshua is set in as the leader, God, just make sure that he can come in and go out. Make sure he can lead the people in and lead the people out. Then, when he makes his retirement speech to the congregation, this is what he says, Deuteronomy 31:1-2, "So Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. And he said to them, 'I am a hundred and twenty years old today;'" by the way, that is not standard retirement age for pastors, but if you make it to that age, you probably should retire.
So, alright, "'I am one hundred and twenty years old today;" Watch why he tells, say here's the one reason I'm retiring, "I can no longer go out and come in". I just can't operate the doorknobs anymore. No, there's something else here. The blessings and the curses in Deuteronomy 28; you probably read 'em, but doesn't have anything to do with doorknobs, but here's a phrase you've seen: Deuteronomy 28:6, "Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out". Does that mean leaving your house and coming into your house? No, it doesn't. Even Jesus in the New Testament refers to this phrase. John 10:9, "I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out and find the pasture".
What's it talking about? Well again, I told you the Bible always defines itself, right? So I took this phrase and went through the whole Bible to see what it meant. And I found it in Joshua 14. I'm going to get to 1 Samuel 18 in a minute. But, Joshua 14 Caleb is talking to Joshua, and this is what he says in verse 11, "As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me: just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war". That's what it means. "Both for going out and for coming in". Coming in and going out were military terms. And here's what Solomon said: my father was a warrior. He knew how to lead the people out, and he knew how to bring the people in. I don't know how to do that, I need wisdom to do that. I don't know how to go to war and come back from war, God. And then, Moses says, you know, I'm 120 years-old; I can't lead you out to war anymore and I can't bring you in from war. And he says, God, please make sure that the next leader knows how to lead your people out and how to bring 'em in from war.
Well, everything in the Old Testament represents something spiritual to us, right? Okay. Just ask you a simple question. Are we still in a war? Oh yeah. Do we have an enemy? Yeah. So we need to know how to go out to war against the enemy, and we need to know how to come in from war. So 1 Samuel 18 is a passage that talks about David. Now remember Solomon said David knew how to do this. My father knew how to do this. Watch, 1 Samuel 18:12-16, "Now Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul. Therefore, Saul removed him from his presence and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. And David behaved wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him. Therefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them".
Okay, so we talked about it refers to war. But I want to just deal specifically with the coming in part, not the going out part. Why did they come in from war? What did they do when they came in? And I want to show it to you in the scripture, alright. But let me just tell you, they came in to worship. I'll explain it to you this way: if they lost the war, they came back, and worshipped to find out why they lost the war, or to find out what they'd done wrong. If they won the war, they came back to celebrate. And if they were in the middle of the war, they came back to be refreshed. Men would come in, and come to the temple, and worship God, and get refreshed, and go back out.
Now, I want you to think about church on the weekends, plus your quiet time. When we come to church, if you just lost a war, or lost some battle in your life, in an area of your life, you come in and repent. If we won some war or some battle, we come in and rejoice. And if we're still in the middle of it, we come in to God's presence and we're refreshed. Are y'all following me?
Okay, so we're talking about worship, living in His presence. So let me show you three things about coming into God's presence or worship. Alright, here's number one. Worship brings God's presence in our lives. I'm going to take all these points straight out of 1 Samuel 18, alright. Worship brings God's presence in our lives. Look at these two verses that we just read, verse 12. "Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him". The Lord was with him. 1 Samuel 18:14, "And David behaved wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him".
See, when we talk about entering into the presence of God, this is what made David such a great king, is because God was with him. In other words, he lived in the presence of God. And David knew how to do this even before he became king. He was doing this when he was a shepherd. We have a whole book — not all of these were written by David, you may not know that, but most of 'em were, but Psalms... And the word "psalm", if you don't know, means "song". David wrote songs, and he sang songs to the Lord. He was a worshipper. What made him a great king was he was a worshipper. What made him great when he went out was he knew how to come in.
And you got to understand here, we're talking about when we go out, we don't go out from the presence of God, we go out with the presence of God. You have to understand that. And if you don't come in to the presence of God, you have nothing to go out with. It's like going to work or going to a meeting without the anointing of God on you, no matter what your work is. You want God's presence though, you want God's anointing. You know, people say many times the last words of Jesus were "go". They weren't, they were not, the great commission, those were not the last words of Jesus. Those were said in the 40 days he was on the earth before he ascended. But, those were not his last words. His last words were "Stay until you are endued with power, because if you go before you stay, you have nothing to go with".
You follow me? His last words was, "Yes I want you to go out. But wait, before you go out, come in". So this isn't just something we do on the weekends. This is something new do every day, every morning before, think about it this way, before you go out to war, come in to the presence of God and get filled up with His presence. And then, don't go out from the presence of God, go out with the presence of God. And worship brings His presence in our lives.
Here's number two, worship brings God's fear in our lives. Now, don't get afraid of this Word. And I don't have time, and this isn't a sermon or a series on the fear of the Lord. Fear of the Lord's the beginning of wisdom. So we could explain that, most of you probably have learned that before. I don't have time, but I'm going to address it from a direction that maybe you've never even thought of when I talk about the fear of the Lord, okay? Watch these verses in 1 Samuel 18:12, "Now Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul". And we know that an evil spirit had come on Saul at this time. Verse 15, "Therefore, when Saul saw that he behaved very wisely, he was afraid of him".
Okay, so I'm going to talk to you about the fear of the Lord in a way maybe you've never thought of before. Now, when I'm talking, I'm not talking about people, now. I'm wanting you to think about this. God had left Saul and an evil spirit had come on Saul. So you know why Saul was afraid of David. Let me put it another way. God was on David, and there was an evil spirit on Saul. It was the evil spirit that was afraid of David. I'll say it another way, it was the evil spirit that was afraid of God.
See, think about walking around. We're in a war, but think about walking around with Jesus right there with you. I'm telling you. Satan comes and he's about to beat up on you. And you had your quiet time that day, and Jesus comes around the corner and says, "What's going on here"? and Satan says, "Nothing. Nothing". And just backs off. Can you imagine, the fear of God, listen, God's presence being on you so much so that wherever you go, the enemy fears you? Because God's right there with you. That's what I want you to catch.
So, worship brings God's presence. Worship brings God's fear in our lives. And here's the third thing. Worship brings God's wisdom in our lives. Worship brings God's wisdom. You remember 1 Samuel 18:14, "And David behaved wisely in all his ways and the Lord was with him". Okay, Solomon, wisest man that ever lived, why was he wise? Listen. Because he asked God to teach him what his father knew. Yes, his father was a warrior, which means he knew how to go out. But his father was also a worshipper, which meant he knew how to come in. Solomon learned how to come into the presence of God. David behaved wisely in all his ways, because the Lord was with him.
I mean, if you want to know what to do about a situation, why not have Jesus right there with you? Why not have the presence of God with you? If you want to know how to respond when something comes up that's tough for you or difficult, or something comes out of left field one day, you don't know what was, what's happening at the office right now, wouldn't you rather respond with the wisdom of God? And the way you respond with the wisdom of God, is God's right there. He's right there with you. I want all of us to go to a whole new level in living in the presence of God. Where it's something we do every day, we live in His presence. Of course Solomon was, we know, the wealthiest and the wisest man of his generation. Someone came to visit him, called the Queen of Sheba, and some people don't know why she came.
I'll explain it to you in just a minute. Let me read that to you, 2 Chronicles 9:1-4, "Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem," now watch this, because many people miss this, "to test Solomon with hard questions". And I'll explain it to you in a moment about that. "Having a very great large retinue," that just means a lot of people with her, "camels that bore spices, gold in abundance..". — I'll tell you in a moment, 'cause the Bible actually tells us exactly how many pounds of gold she had with her. "...gold in abundance and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart.
So Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for Solomon that he could not explain it to her. And when the Queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon," remember, wisdom comes from the presence of God. The wisdom of Solomon. Now watch this. Now think about a church that really has the presence of God. Think about that. I could kind of go through each of these and explain some things, some analogies, but I won't. But just think about this. When she had seen "the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built," in other words the order of his house, and it goes through and lists some of this, "the food on his table," good food when you go to church where God's presence is, you get fed the word of God, "the seating of his servants," the order that you see there, the service of his waiters, "and their apparel," the excellence in which they do things, "His cupbearers and their apparel," now watch this, "and his entryway," this is where I got the title from. This is when it sparked in me.
"His entryway by which we went up to the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her," or no more argument. That actually the word "spirit" here means breath. It just took her breath away when she saw this. So she saw all the excellence, and all the wisdom. But when she saw the wisest and wealthiest man in the world, bow his face to the ground and worship God, all the arguments left. See, she actually came, let me tell you why she came. The Queen of Sheba, during this time, was reported to be the wisest and wealthiest person alive. She had the largest monarchy. She came to test him, she came from a part of the world that the magi came from. They worshipped wisdom and wealth. Those two things.
And she had put this report out that she was the wisest and the wealthiest person in the world. And then, she starts hearing about this man that everybody is saying — when she heard the famous Solomon — is the wisest and the wealthiest. So, she comes to prove, with these hard questions — the part of the world she came from, they loved riddles. And here's something else they loved — you'll like this: They loved Proverbs. Not the book. The book, they didn't know about the book. She actually heard the guy that wrote Proverbs proverbian to her, you know. So they loved riddles. It came with all these riddles, all these hard questions, and Solomon answered all of them. And she saw all the things, and she heard all the answers, but what got her was when she saw his entryway.
When she saw him do what he had asked God to help him do, which he said, my father knew how to do this, but I don't know how to do this. When she saw Solomon go into the presence of God, there was no more breath left in her. That's what we want. We want, for the world when they come with all their hard questions, and God gives us wisdom to answer them, but what we want them to see is the presence of God in their lives. That's what she saw in Solomon's life was the presence of God.
So let me show you this phrase one more time in the Bible, and just give you the closing analogy with this scripture, alright. Ezekiel 46:9 says, "'But when the people of the land come before the LORD on the appointed feast days, whoever enters," or comes in, it's actually the exact same word, it's comes in the other passages I read here, where it says, come in and go out, this is the same Hebrew word, okay, whoever comes in or enters "by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate; and whoever enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. He shall return by way of the gate through which he came, but shall go out through the opposite gate".
Alright, let's think about this. I'll bring it up to modern terms, alright? Let's say it's in the winter in Texas, and we've had an ice storm. And God says, "If you come in, if you park on the west side of the church, you come into worship, do not go out the west door. Even though the sidewalk is icy. Even though it's cold. You go out the east door. You come in the east door, or if you're going to come in the north, you go out the south. Come one, let's think for a minute. That's crazy. Isn't it? Why would God who knows everything, why would God say, "When you come to worship, whichever door you come in, you leave out of the opposite door". Why would God say that?
Remember, everything in the Old Testament, this is 1 Corinthians 10, it says this, everything in the Old Testament is an example to us. That's what 1 Corinthians 10 says. Okay, it's real simple. Here's what God's saying. Every time you come into my presence, you will leave differently from the way you came in. That's what He's saying. It is so simple. He's saying if you come in sad, you'll leave glad. If you come in hurting, you'll leave healed. If you come in tired, you'll leave replenished. However you come in, if you come to worship, whether it's on the weekends or in your private time, if you will come into my presence, however you come in, you will go out a different way.
Every time we enter God's presence, we can leave differently. We can leave more like Jesus. And here's the great thing, we come into his presence, but we don't leave his presence. We leave with his presence. And I want to encourage you today, tomorrow, the next day, every day in the morning, just for a few moments, however much time you have, enter the presence of God. Come into His presence, and then go out with His presence. Because God wants to go with you everywhere you go today and tomorrow. God wants to go with you. We can enter His presence. We can fellowship with him. And then, we go out with His presence. I'm going to continue this series next time. I'll see you then.