Unity in Worship

Revelation 4 & 14, 2 Samuel 6, 1 Chronicles15
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 11 Unity in Worship

(Revelation 4 & 14, 2 Samuel 6, 1 Chronicles 15)


Copr. 2018, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society,unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: http://www.GoBible.org. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.


Introduction: The title to our lesson makes me smile. If there is an area in which we have all sorts of disunity, it is in worship. Some churches have two services with two different styles of worship, just so everyone will be happy. Isn’t worship something deeper than just style? Is style sometimes a smokescreen for more important issues? Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn about worship!


  1. Heavenly Worship


    1. Read Revelation 4:8-9. What are we seeing? (Heaven.)


      1. What is the basis for worshiping God? (He “was, and is, and is to come.”)


      1. What does this teach us about praise songs that use simple and repetitive lyrics?


    1. Read Revelation 4:10-11. What is the basis for the elders praising God? (This is just one of many Bible texts which say that God is worthy of our praise because He is our Creator.)


      1. What does this teach us about the theory of evolution? (It is a frontal attack on the reason why God is worthy of our praise.)


        1. What about “Theistic Evolution,” the idea that God put evolution in motion and used it to create everything? (Evolution relies on natural selection, which says that the strong win and the weak die. If that is a fundamental principle of “creation,” why is it so at odds with the rest of the Bible?)


    1. Look again at Revelation 4:11. When you read the phrase “by Your will they ... have their being,” does that sound like passive involvement? (It paints a picture of God continuing to be involved in our life. God continues to power the universe.)


  1. End Time Worship


    1. Read Revelation 14:6-7. What three things are we told to do? (Fear God, give glory to God and worship God.)


      1. Why? (We are given two reasons. First, because the hour of judgment has come. Second, because He is our Creator God.)


    1. Read Genesis 2:1-3. What does the connection to creation suggest about the time of worship? (The worship that reflects the work of our Creator God is on the “seventh day.”)


    1. Read Genesis 6:1-3 and Genesis 6:5-7. What has God declared is His plan to deal with sin? (He will destroy sinful humans with water.)


    1. Read Revelation 14:9-11. What has God declared is His plan to deal with sin? (He will destroy sin with fire.)


    1. As you look again at Genesis 6:3 and Revelation 14:7 what parallel do you see between the then coming flood and coming fire? (God has a countdown time. In the flood, He told Noah the time for people to repent and turn to Him was 120 years. At the end of the word God announces a similar time of grace, He calls it “the hour of His judgment.” Unlike the flood, God does not give a specific time.)


      1. As you contemplate the parallels between the flood and the end of our world, what should be our focus? (The Revelation 14 texts are focused on the issue of worship. We either fear and worship the Creator God, or we worship “the beast and his image.”)


  1. Today’s Worship


    1. Do you think that we are now living in the “hour of His judgment,” the parallel to the 120 years before the flood?


      1. If your answer is “Yes,” what does that say about the nature of your worship today? (First, I would do it on the right day, the day specified at Creation. Second, we are told to “fear” God “and give Him glory.” Let’s explore these ideas by seeing what Biblical history teaches us.)


    1. Read 1 Samuel 6:1-2. The back story is that the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant in battle with Israel. This was a disaster for Israel, but also an unexpected disaster for the Philistines. You can read about all the problems the Philistines experienced in 1 Samuel 5. The result is that the Philistines decided to give it back. Who did the Philistines consult to determine how the Ark should be handled? (Their pagan priests and diviners.)


    1. Read 1 Samuel 6:7-9. How did the Philistine priests decide was the best way to transport the Ark? (Use a new cart pulled by cows. It arrived back in Israel by that means.)


    1. Read 2 Samuel 6:1-3. How did King David transport the Ark when he decided to bring it back? (He did it the same way the Philistines had done it.)


    1. Read Numbers 4:4-6 and Numbers 4:15. Had God provided specific instructions on how the Ark was to be transported? (Yes. It was to be covered and carried by the Kohathites, a specific division of the tribe of Levi.)


    1. Read 2 Samuel 6:4-8. Was David worshiping God? (Absolutely.)


      1. Why did Uzzah die? (Because David had not take the time to study God’s instructions about transporting the Ark. As a result of being on a cart, instead of being carried, it appeared that it might tip.)


      1. Did Uzzah have good intentions? (Yes. But, Numbers 4:15 specifically warned of death if you touched the Ark.)


      1. What lesson should we learn from this? (Read 1 Chronicles 15:13. Proper worship is an informed worship. We need to learn God’s will. We should not simply follow pagan practices. Uzzah died because King David failed to study God’s instructions on transporting the Ark.)


    1. Read 2 Samuel 6:13, 1 Chronicles 15:1-2, 1 Chronicles 15:15. What has David learned? (That the Ark must be carried by the Levites, not carted by cows.)


    1. Read 2 Samuel 6:14-16 and 1 Chronicles 15:16. How would you characterize David’s worship? (For more detail about the planning and execution, read 1 Chronicles 15:17-29. This worship is organized, loud and dancing! David is leaping. They are shouting, they are blowing trumpets. It is a celebration!)


      1. Have you ever been to a worship like that?


      1. Does this seem to be the opposite of proper worship?


        1. If you said, “yes,” do you have someone in our story who agrees with you? (King David’s wife, Michal.)


    1. Read 2 Samuel 6:20. What is Michal’s complaint about David’s worship style? (It is unrefined. It is vulgar. It does not preserve the dignity of David’s office.)


      1. What about the dignity of God? David is not dressed properly!


    1. Read 2 Samuel 6:21-22. Does David tell his wife he is sorry for his undignified worship? (No. He says that he plans to become even more undignified!)


    1. Read 2 Samuel 6:23. What is the result of Michal’s criticism of David’s worship style? (Michal is barren.)


      1. Is this a warning to those who demand a calm, dignified worship style?


      1. Have you been in a worship service where the atmosphere is perfect for sleeping? Everything is boring, and no one seems excited about anything?


      1. Have you been in a worship service where you needed to meet certain dress standards?


    1. Read 1 Chronicles 16:1-2 & 4. I have heard it argued that this story is not about worship. If it is not worship, what is it?


      1. Why do you think the punishment of Michal is part of this account?


      1. Have you been to “barren” worship services? Services that are dead and not alive?


    1. Friend, God calls on us in these last days to worship Him. He calls on us to worship Him as He has commanded, on the day that celebrates Him as Creator! He shows us that having Him in our presence is the basis for unrestrained joy, music and dancing. He wants us to be wildly in love with Him and grateful for His presence and everything He has done for us!


  1. Next week: Church Organization and Unity.