“Pay Attention” – Rev. Jerry Raab, Senior Pastor / August 8, 2021

“Pay Attention” – Rev. Jerry Raab, Senior Pastor / August 8, 2021

please stand for the prayer of illumination in the scripture god source of all light by your word you give the light to the soul pour out on us this spirit of wisdom and understanding that our hearts and minds may be opened amen our scripture this morning is from second samuel beginning at verse five the king commanded joab abbashai and itai be gentle with the young man absalom for my sake and all the troops heard the king-giving orders concerning absalom to each of the commanders david’s army marched out of the city to fight israel and the battle took place in the forest of ephraim there israel’s troops were routed by david’s men and the casualties that day were great twenty thousand men the battle spread out over the whole countryside and the forest swallowed up more men than that day than the sword now absalom happened to meet david’s men he was riding his mule and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak absalom’s hair got caught in the tree he was left hanging in midair while the mule he was riding kept on going and ten of jobs armor bearers surrounded absalom struck him and killed him then the cushite arrived and said my lord the king hear the good news the lord has vindicated you today by delivering you from the hand of all who rose up against you the king asked the cushite is the young man absalom safe the cushie replied may the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man the king was shaken he went up to the room over the gateway and wept as he went he said oh my son absalom my son my son absalom if only i had died instead of you o absalom my son my son the word of god for the people of god that’s what i wanted to say after that praise the lord our god almighty that’s pretty amazing in fact i’ve been known to run with a few cajuns before y’all know any questions out down around here when i was going to southern methodist we had a couple of louisiana brothers from down in the bayou one of them being a methodist he went by the name of reverend pique reverend pique was his name and he had a friend who was roman catholic priest and he was father boligaon reverend pq and father beauregard decided to get together and pray about their town now y’all know this is a joke because it’s a methodist and a catholic praying together right okay so yeah that can’t be happening right well they get together and they start praying what we gonna do about our community down hunter powers it’s not mardi gras how to control floods hurricanes if y’all can’t understand me it’s because i’m speaking cajun all right but they get the vision they get to pray and reverend pq being of sound mind and wesleyan theology says i think we should take action and develop some signs to put out go out and tell the people all about what they needs to do the father beauregard agreed next morning they get together for coffee and they get out poster board and they’re writing on it best that they know how to write with their best penmanship and they get out some sticks and they they staple them together and they go out alongside the highway here comes old pickup truck windows rolled down early in the morning they hold up the sign the end is near the end is near tom back tom back which the old farmer with his windows rolled down stuck out his head you crazy religious nuts get off my highway a few seconds later you hear brakes locking down you just hear the crash and the crumble of metal crunching in the background they shake the hand we gotta try harder try hard next time so here comes a fast sports car and they put up their signs and they’re both young this time the end is near the end of the nil come back now come back now before it’s too late this went on the third time and the gentleman stuck his hand out the window and told them that they were number one and the priest he didn’t even know what that meant but the methodist reverend pq knew what that was and he’s like oh how val they can be the people the people and they were just lamenting and then they started we should pray about this and they started praying about it you know what they decided maybe we should have a different side maybe we should put on the sign the bridge is out communication is tough right communication’s hard it’s sometimes hard to get that message it’s sometimes hard to receive that but it’s really about us communicating with god and god communicating with us and paying attention paying attention is what jesus was all about he said that in his earliest first sermon i wish that preachers nowadays could do this mark 1 verse 15 jesus first sermon hear the good news repent and believe you know why i have to keep preaching at you i’m not jesus all right so the sermons are a little longer but the message is still the same pay attention oh my son absalom absalom my son my son if it would only have been me instead of you my son absalom oh my son five times in one verse we hear david’s lament about his son because it’s truly a lament for his son but also him as a father because david failed to pay attention oh such a sad story you could go back to second samuel chapter 11 and pick up where did it all go wrong but before that things were going well y’all know david he took down a philistine what was that guy’s name goliath yeah man i mean things were going right so he took down the philistines then david went after the amorites and the and the moabites the only people he couldn’t get rid of were the termites i mean this guy was with god all right and he was winning everywhere with the sword nation of israel would never be bigger than under king david’s rule but while he was a warrior king he also became a womanizer y’all know that about david we should never pay to watch a movie again everything that they put on screen came right out of the bible folks second samuel 11. when the kings went off in the spring to make war david stayed behind you know what david did though instead of going to make war he went on the top of his palace and he looked down there and he saw a swedish bikini girl named bathsheba in her hot tub and he said i want that right and then it just led to one thing after another trouble after trouble he laments the loss of that child much less than he does the loss of absalom why because he was charged to watch absalom grow up to rear him to nurture him but that did not take place at the same level that it should have in other words absalom was the third son to the third wife at that point in the narrative now tradition and some of the scriptures will elude y’all know he has another son that builds a temple right what’s the smart guy’s name was he really all that wise he had a bunch of concubines and wives i questioned his wisdom but yes and so more than at least 10 sons countless daughters absalom third son of the third wife he had two other brothers and at least one sister the oldest brother’s name was abnon and abnorm’s mother was quite a looker according to the scripture and so his sister amnon sister this would be david’s half-brother and half-sister tamar she was a looker as well now they’re in jerusalem that’s a city on the hill judea is known for its hilly nature why do we not think that these people are hillbillies you ever wonder that they are the people of faith are from the hill country amnon has a crush it’s described as lust for his sister tamar is it making more sense now that they’re hillbillies yeah to the point that he goes and tells all the staff at the royal palace i call this palatial pandemonium that he’s sick at his stomach have tamar come in and take care of him when she does that kind of like on a movie she’s like now now amnon i know you like me you just stay over there don’t bother me stay away you otherwise you’ll make us to be like the other people to the east that’s what we say in oklahoma right okay well he’s like no i can’t help myself and he sexually assaults violates his own sister can you right there in david’s court at his house of residency where’s david at i don’t know story doesn’t tell us but he’s obviously not paying attention well absalom gets that message and absalom’s not someone to mess around with not only does he go out riding on a mule but according to scripture he’s got hair that he only gets cut once a year so he’s kind of like david hasselhoff fabio you know one of those broad shoulders that says there was no other man more handsome in all the land than absalom they have to weigh his hair it’s so heavy and magnificent i’ll show you what it looks like you know why that didn’t work for me this last week i go and sit down in the barber’s chair and he starts talking he says well i know kenny i know freddie over at your church and he’s a baptist i had this great hair look what he did to it took it all off i’m praying for brian across the street but uh the truth of the matter is is that absalon was an egomaniac in the scriptures but when he hears what his brother abnon had done to his sister tamar and how he got mad about it and cast her out and didn’t make it right absalom says let’s go on a little field trip and he has the elders of the tribes overtake and orders them to kill his own brother you can’t make this stuff up can you it’s amazing what’s in scripture i mean i just should just close and say to be continued next week right that’s how it feels in the climax of this whole thing but he goes on and uh that obviously upsets his dad enough to where he’s like what’s going on at my house oh well your kids are involved in incest your youngest son just murdered your oldest son things are bad david wake up right well david gets angry absalom does what any young man would do and he runs off and he’s gone for three years and over that three-year period of time because absalom was david’s favorite child at that point he starts saying well let’s send word to have absalom come back home so here he comes and you know what you do when a kid returns home that’s been acting like that buy him a new car all right that’s that’s what you do we had two boys we made sure they were one was a trumpeter one was a saxophone we had to try to help them we had them some mustang convertibles the oldest one would put down the top and listen to mozart is that is that how you pick up girls listening to moses i’d ask him that son are the girls just crazy about mozart the youngest one more coy than his little brother he’d put down the top on his convertible driving around he listened to frank sinatra he we’re getting better all right we’re getting better well absalon with all of his hair he gets him a chariot and you think hey that’s only the pastor’s kids just two days ago i’m sitting out in the backyard and i hear boom boom boom some mexican trumpets and this kid comes around some beat up old ford pickup around the reservoir and he’s got a 22s on it and it’s squeaking and dragging and and i go out there and i’m like oh hell cesar right you know i mean he was he was king of his castle absalom no different gets him a chariot those have like 35s on them goes out riding around got 50 men that go out and they play horns for him they tell everybody here he comes and he goes to the city gate that’s like coming into town and everybody who comes to town they say go before absalom and he judges so gently with them and oh what do you need i love you oh come on in and it says that he won the hearts of the people so much to the point that guess what they start saying all hell king absalon who’s the king is he now well that kind of got his hackles up but he couldn’t do much about it absalom moved over to hebron got more people to follow him you know it’s just kind of one of those things who’s bigger who’s bad or type deal and you know that eventually there’s going to be a conflict absalom comes back home to jerusalem david gets word that he’s on his way because of some priest and some other officers he heads out beyond the jordan with his people going up the mount of olives of all places right where david’s tomb is to this day barefoot with his head covered with the ark of the lord lamenting if he will ever be back in his palace in the mount zion y’all know who came down the mount of olives right before easter y’all ever show up at palm sunday i know you have to skip that one because next week you’re expected to be here because it’s easter what what do us kids say when we bring in the palm branches hosanna hosanna i’m trying to give you a head start i’m working with your choir to help them help yes okay they say blessed is what he who comes in the name of the lord they thought jesus was like king david didn’t they but david is going up the mount of olives past the jordan back into the wilderness which god would use for his gain more were lost in the wilderness that day than to the sword the place where the people had found them exiled now their king was there but he would return home victoriously but how it got there is out of control that kid that was hair on wheels you know the one i’m talking about absalom out there riding around currying favor it says that the king david before they went out to battle and he was not allowed to gave an order to all the king’s commanders no doubt that they would not know the order be gentle with the young man absalom they all heard it on their ear you know what they were thinking in their mind this kid has overthrown you david this kid is out to get your kingdom are you crazy and was david crazy a little bit he was crazy not to pay attention and so when they went out and they experienced this victory one soldier returned saying i saw absalom he was hanging not on the earth and not in the heavens but in between his hair was caught in an oak tree i call that put a stick in it he’s done right he’s almost gone it’s this crazy vision of a mule riding off an absolute going oh look at me look at my flowing hair i’m such big stuff and then all of a sudden uh oh what went wrong it’s a warning to all of us that we can’t live in between we can’t be king and we can’t be servant we can’t be leader and we can’t be follower one of the other and if we’re gonna follow god we’re gonna have to pay attention and submit to his orders in our life his decree absalom was not that man when he returns and we picked up with the joab’s armor bearers attacking him and finishing him off but honestly before that i’d tell you that joab thrust three spears into absalom’s heart they gave him a proper burial they put stones over his grave out there in the battlefield they honored him but they were glad he was gone but when the word got back to the king who happened to be the father the lamentations must have been heard all over jerusalem oh my son my son absalom oh it would have been better for me to have died than you my son absalom oh my son but whose fault was it that absalom turned out that way paying attention a rebellious spirit i like what walter brugermeier says he said more than just someone hanging by their hair in an oak tree this is representative of how we are suspended between life and death being that of a rebellious rouser and that of a beloved son suspended between the enemy and that of a charitable father yes it is the way for us to come back jesus himself had a spear plunged into his side and the blood and the water flowed out but jesus didn’t get his head stuck up there jesus chose that cross what paul said in romans 5 this proves god’s love to us for while we were still yet sinners christ died for us it was a choice so that we wouldn’t be caught in the suspension so we could choose to pay attention to repent to turn away and to get back on that path of righteousness because even in all of this david would be known as a man after god’s heart it’s available to all of us this very moment i like jesus words even though they are hard y’all ever notice that people complain about the preacher but just read jesus words that’s why i say what jesus say that’s worse than the preachers right matthew 7 verse 13 enter the narrow gate for the gate is wide and broad is the road that leads to destructions and many have followed it that’s like an eight lane highway out there right the world that we can get caught up in but he says rather enter the small gate for it is narrow but it leads to life and few have found their way to it we are people of a narrow way but the world has gone broad even here in altus america and i’ll give you a perfect example just happened this last week the first jackson county ministerial alliance meeting that had been summoned for the beginning of a school semester i show up they say be down there at 8 o’clock for prayer for all of our leaders five of us showed up one was reverend pq and father beauregard okay five of us showed up you want to know how many showed up for the business meeting one hour later 25. we’re pretty good at doing business we’re pretty good at looking out on each other and i’ve been surveying the land a little bit seeing what’s going on and talking to one of the pastors he said well y’all got something good going on over there i said yeah we serve a good god and i said they’re pretty excited we’ve been having a couple of hundred a sunday and he’s like 200 a sunday and i’m like yeah he’s like well how many they got over at first baptist i said well i don’t know so this morning jenny and i went over you all know our building is taller than theirs thanks be to god right so like absalon up there in a tree i just looked around a little while and i told the ushers the ushers they can keep count they’ve been looking out there and they’ve been counting baptist chart cars versus methodist cars and and we’re winning people i’ve been having everybody’s got a car parked their car up here so we can have more we gotta get in that way don’t we so we did a little thing and said reuben over at another church i said how many people you think are in church and out us on a sunday and the best that we can recollect with all of us together 675 churches or however many people there are here in town because you’ve got to have a church for everybody right we figure there’s about 3 000 people in town in church on a sunday morning yup y’all have any dispute for that y’all know y’all are like the second largest church in town right that ain’t good enough we’re going for largest all right but there’s 20 000 people in altus not counting elmer and what’s that other lusty and navajo and duke and hollis and i’d take one of those what’s that wellington we’d take a texan over here if we had to all right but 20 000 people right here in our city do the math on that that means like 85 percent of people need to be here and the end is near you know what i’m saying turn around repent we have some work to do we cannot be like david and just assume all is right because god was with us in this season and he will always be with us we affirm that we have to pay attention to what’s going on in our own households in our own businesses in our own community and i’m telling you people are going down the broad way don’t we have a town called broadway a street called broadway here yeah it runs east and west right people are not on the narrow path and it’s been happening all across our land in our country for over 50 years i’m going to tell you that in 1968 y’all went from being what’s what’s above the doors out here y’all know what it says that the baptist have to read methodist episcopal south that’s right we’re the people of the hill country right they have to read that every time they walk across you know what we did in 1968 put another sign out there and what does it say united methodist and you know what’s been happening to our worship attendance since 1968 as a denomination downhill skiing is what i call it i mean it’s nothing but plummeted so for 50 years more than 40 out in the wilderness for 50 years the methodist people have been declining do y’all like seeing kids in church i like those little rebel rousers i want some to have long hair and start riding mules around here okay keep our attention but what i like more than little ones or old ones is all of them that’s what a cajun would say right all of these people that are in our community are god’s children and we have to pay attention to how to get them plugged in i think you got the right stuff i think you know what it takes it’s not just a story for the past it speaks to us in the present when i read the old testament i’m like well that’s a reality tv show more people ought to be reading this right that’ll be getting into it but they don’t even know about it see the more things change the more they remain the same there’s a season of time for every activity under heaven that was written by one of david’s boys solomon’s given credit for that we’re here to teach we’re here to preach we’re here to proclaim but what we are here to do is to take the good news of jesus christ out there who has god been telling you to pay attention to let us pray lord i lament i lament for the loss of absalom but i remember relent for lament for the loss of amnon as well and for a young child who was born but not allowed to breathe because of a relationship that was not done well in your sight man oh king david why could he not pay attention to his own affairs but lord because of king david you had your hand upon him you showed people how and whom he served and we are still talking about him today but how difficult it is to go in that narrow gate it’s like we walk right past it and say i don’t know but you said if anyone wants to follow me you must deny yourself take up your own oak tree across and follow me lord we humble ourselves in your presence ask you to help us to examine our own hearts to be made aware of the things that we need to address at home so that we can be more effective out there in altus and we’re excited about where the spirit’s leading and where you’re taking us but help us not to have our noses up in the air so that we might avoid being stuck in an oak tree but to keep our feet firmly on the rock and our heart firmly upon your role we ask this in the mighty name of christ jesus our lord and the people said
rn

rn

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *