Newton's Third Law
The universe that we live in as affected by laws that never
and I have two goals for us this morning, that we would be able to identify cause (the reason for) and the affect that leads to devastating consequences
Consider Sr. Isaac Newton’s third law of motion. It states that for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. But let’s make it simple -- cause and effect. We all understand the principle. Every action and decision that we make leads to an outcome.
When speed, we run the risk of getting a speeding ticket.
And we definitely like some outcomes better more than others.
When make a budget, we save money.
And we definitely like some outcomes more than others.
And this morning we are going to read about one mans choice that results in two devastating consequences. But we aren't going to focus on the consequences . The three goals for us this morning, are that we would be able to identify cause (the reason for) and the affect (outcome) and how we can avoid making the same costly mistake.
This morning we are going to read about one man’s choice that resulted in two devastating consequences.
This morning I have four things that I want us to accomplish, and then I’m back in my seat.
First, we are going to see what Saul did.
Then, we will see what his actions lead to.
Then, will see what the consequences where
After that, we will come to truth of the text
Then we are going to see the two affects that that mistake has (Affect)
After that, come to truth of the text
And finally, we will discover some steps that we can take to avoid making the same mistake.
And finally, some steps that we can take to avoid making the same mistake.
Would you please join me in , that is the book of 1 Samuel, chapter 13, the first book of Samuel in the 13th chapter. It can be found on page () in the pew bibles in front of you.
Setting of the Stage in verses 1-7
Setting of the Stage in verses 1-7
taking the risk and buying stock in a new company.... three years latter you lose it all. We don't like that out come.
choosing to eating that left over food that barely passes the smell test but hasn't been in there that long.
An enemy occupation is not an easy thing for any leader to have to deal with. Saul is still in his juvenile years of kingship, yet that is what he is faced with.
This is not going to be a fair fight. 3,000 men versus more than 30,000 chariots, 6,000 charioteers, and an uncountable number of foot soldiers. If being outnumbered wasn't enough, the Israelite army wasn't even in the same weapons age. The Philistines were in the iron age. They had chariots and swords. They were keeping the people of Israel in bronze age through their occupation of the land. Our reading from this morning tells us what kind of weapons the Israelites were using: plowshare, mattock, goads, axe, and sickle. They had nothing but these primitive farming tools to fight in this battle. Saul and Jonathan where the only two people in the whole of Israel with swords.
This map that I have shows us the movements of the troops and where they started and finished.
We have Saul’s troops
Jonathan's troops and His attack
Then you have the Philistines pushing Saul's army back to Gilgal.
Philistines are in the iron age. They have chariots and swords and armor. While making the point to keeping Israel people in the bronze age. Our reading from this morning tells us what kind if weapons, plowshare, mattock, goads, axe and sickle. They had nothing but these primitive farming tools to fight in this battle (Have pic of each of these things). There Saul and Jonathan where the only to people in the hole of Isreal with swords.
How it kind if makes scents why Saul’s army was running.
But the gathering of this Philistine force has what I believe to be the desired outcome. It was, as one commentator puts it, a “tit-for-tat” reaction for Jonathan's attack. It was to show the people of the land who the real power in the land was. If we take a look, verse 2 give us a very important topographical description — the hill country of Bethel.
The main reason for my thinking this is because of the land. If we take a look verse 2 give us a very important topographical description is that it is the hill country of Bethel.
Verse 2 give us a very important topographical description is that it is the hill country of Bethel.
Now, what hill country means to us is not what this landscape looks like.
Last I checked, horses pulling carts don't do so well in places that aren't flat.
I was never in the military, but this looks like the perfect place for guerrilla warfare. Hide your men in the sides of the valleys and in the caves, and attack when the Philistines don't expect it, then get over the valley before they retaliate. It seems like this would have been the strategy of choice, but Saul seemed to be so fixated on the effect that the size of the army was having on his men that he couldn’t see any way to fix it.
But there is another reason that Saul did not attack the Philistines. Follow along as I read this to you.
“He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him. Samuel said, “What have you done?”
OOO Busted like a child with his hand in the cookie jar! How many of you have been there?
It’s like that one time in high school when you finally worked up the courage to cut that 6th period class and go home early. But on your way out the door, guess who is walking in the same door. The school principal.
My schoolteachers had two uncanny abilities.
1. They could tell when a student was lying to them in just a few seconds.
2. They showed up at exactly the right moment to bust you breaking the rules.
And if my high school teachers had that ability, I would hate know what kind of abilities Samuel had as the prophet of the Lord.
Read with me the rest of verses 11-12.
My friends we have come to the First thing that I want us the see. We have made it to the Cause. His action of making the sacrifice.
Samuel asks Saul a WHAT question. “What have you done?” Saul gives 5 WHY he did it before evening answers before he actually tells Samuel what he did. As if Samuel didn't already know… He would have seen the smoke from the burnt offering; he already knew. But he gives Saul a chance, I believe, to own up to it. But he does not.
Look at what Saul said
He saw his men leaving
Samuel was late
The Philistines had gathered
He believed that Philistines were going to attack
He had not obtained the Lord’s favor
You know what I see here? Saul pushing the blame to others and self justification. How many times have we done this?
It’s not my fault I was late today, boss. It was the traffic.
It was their attitude that just pushed me over the edge. They made me react the way I did...
When we have to convince our self to something you probably should not do it .
The goal for today is to be able to look back on this story and be able to identify and avoid the
Choosing to listen to the wisdom of your parents or that adult who have a bit more life experience than you.
moving to a new house
My friends, we have come to the first observation. This is what Saul did. This is what lead to the consequences. It is the cause. Saul made a choice to disobey what Samuel had told him. At some point before this day, Samuel had give him this one condition: that he was not to make the sacrifice without Samuel being present. It was to be made on seventh day and not before, no matter what Saul thought was going to happen.
Choosing to spend the quality time with your grandchildren or children.
We need to understand something about Saul if we are going to understand why he did this. Saul was not acting out of pride. Nothing previous in the book of 1 Samuel points that out about Saul’s personality. Rather, we see the opposite. We see a man who is cowardly and fearful. We don't have the time to go back and point out the different times that we see these traits, but don't just take my word for it, go back and read .
Rather we see the opposite. We see a man who’s cowardly and fearful. We don't have the time to go back and point out the different times that we see these traits but don't just take my word for it, go back and read .
Saul was not acting out of pride or trying to take away the role of Prophet. He was showing his true spiritual condition. The sacrifice was to be done as a demonstration of the dependence of Israel on the Lord. But Saul in his spiritual dullness treats this act of dependence as a transaction. He is caught up in the tyranny of the urgent, and nothing else seems to matter at that moment other than what MAY happen if the sacrifice wasn't made right then.
If Saul had just waited the whole seventh day, if he had not acted out of his fear and lack of understanding of the commandment of the Lord, then we would have seen the Jesus come from the line of Saul. If you don't believe me just look at the rest of verse 13.
Don’t get sidetracked here; despite the title that our Bibles give this text, the problem is not the sacrifice itself.
Any guesses at what the problem is? Well if we simply look at the text we see it. I want you to take your pen or pencil and underline each time you see the words command and commanded.
The problem was not with the fact that Saul made a sacrifice. The problem lies in the fact that He was commanded by the Lord through the mouth of Samuel as Prophet to wait for Samuel to come and oversee him or make the offering for him. He deliberately, unrepentantly disobeyed the Word of the Lord, and look what it cost him.
We come to the second major observation of this text. The affect. this is the outcome of Saul making this unlawful sacrifice. It results in two devastating consequences.
This is the second observation of this text. The effect. This is the outcome of Saul making this early sacrifice. His deliberate, unrepentant disobedience of the Lord’s command results in two devastating consequences.
Any guesses at what the problem is? Well I if we simply look at the text we see it, I want you to take you pen or pencil and underline each time you see the word command and commanded.
There where two offerings going to be made that day. The burnt offering was the first and could have been done at any point in the day and peace offering was to be done in the evening. Samuel could have literally come at any time of day and still fulfilled what the Lord command Saul to do. But just could wait no longer for the Prophet of the Lord.
The problem was not with the fact that Saul made a sacrifice. The problem lies in the fact that He was commanded by the the Lord through the mouth of Samuel as Prophet to wait for Samuel to come and over see him or make the offering for him. And He deliberately unrepentant disobeyed the Word of the Lord And look what i Cost him.
Follow along in 13-14
the immediate [ is that the Lord chose a king after his own heart to take the thrown.]
That, my friends, is a steep price to pay for not following the commands of the Lord. It cost Saul his family prosperity and his position as king.
His choice had both the long reaching cost of him and his family losing the prosperity of being the royalty forever.
and the short term or more immediate loss of his position on the throne. The Lord chose a king after his own heart to take the throne in Saul's place.
What a high price that could have been avoided.
What a steep price it is not to follow the word of the Lord.
Some of you may be thinking: “Well, if it was Samuel who told him not do it, then was it really the Lord who told him not to?” The Prophet was in fact the mouthpiece of the Lord. The Prophets were God’s way of instructing and leading the people of Israel in what God wanted them to do, and he also used the prophets to rebuke and correct the people. You could count on it every time. If a prophet said it, it was a command of the Lord, and if someone who heard it deliberately and unrepentant disobeyed... well… we have seen what it cost. Prosperity and position.
disobeyed... well… we have seen what it cost. Prosperity and position.
This, my friends, is the third goal for today. The truth of this text. Don’t miss it now.
Deliberate, unrepentant disobedience of the Lord’s commands results in loss of both prosperity and of position
Let me say that again.
Deliberate, unrepentant disobedience of the Lord’s command results in loss of both prosperity and of position
Now I know that some of you are thinking, “That can’t be true today; I don't have a prophet or mouthpiece of the Lord telling me what He expects of me?!” “Or I don't even know what the Lord’s commands are, so how can I be expected to obey them?” Well, situations and ignorance are no exceptions or excuses.
But that is, in fact, the hard truth of this text, and we do have a way of knowing the commands of the Lord. He has given them to us bound in a language that we can read and that we have here today in front of each of us. And if you don't know what I am talking about, it is the Bible.
Now I don't want the enemy to take what had been preached here today and contort it into something false.
Let’s be clear. It is deliberate and unrepentant disobedience of the commands of the Lord that leads to these two devastating outcomes.
The key is the the deliberate and unrepentant part.
If you’re going to go 55 in a 30 and get pulled over and say, “Man, I’m sorry for speeding” or “Yeah, I knew how fast I was going and should not have been,” there could be a chance that you get a break.
On the other hand, if the officer walks up to car and asks if you know why he’s pulling you over and you are unrepentant and argumentative, there is no way you are getting out of it.
That was just an illustration — God is not cop looking to bust you for everything you do wrong, either intentionally or accidently.
Saul knew that he should not have made the sacrifice without Samuel there, yet he did and was not the least bit interested in taking responsibility or asking for forgiveness.
Saul's case is a great example because it is such an extreme. Most of us aren't kings of a nation. So let’s take this to today.
Lets take this to today.
Say you work for a branch of Menard’s under a new district manager whose job it is to grow the business, and the stock drops over six days to what seems like a dangerous low. In a rash act to please the CEO and to cover up the losses, he fires more than half the staff.
Now any CEO knows the ups and downs of business and is in the stock market for the long game, not for the day to day ups and downs that will happen.
The CEO then fires the newly hired manager who did exactly the opposite of what he was hired to do, and will probably never work as a manager again. He lost his position as manager and his financial prosperity that the job had for him and his family.
How about one step closer to you and I as Christians.
That said back to you and I today.
If you deliberately and unrepentantly disobey the Lord’s command to not commit adultery, you are going to lose prosperity (long term consequence ) and position (immediate consequence ). The prosperity it will cost you is the health and happiness of your family. Your marriage could end in a painful divorce and separation of the family. The position or more immediate consequence could be that your spouse asks for time and space away from you to heal.
Painful, but there is a way that we are able to avoid making such foolish and costly choices.
But I want to make something clear before we get to that. We all have to deal with outcomes of the bad choices that we make. Just because we repent before the Lord and take responsibility does not mean that is our get out of jail free card. We still have to deal with the earthy consequences of the choice that we made. If you have believed in Jesus and take responsibility and repent we receive from the Lord a measure of grace to endure, and the unconditional forgiveness of sin.
Lets put the first three observations on the table before get to the last one.
First, we saw what Saul did that led to consequences. Saul’s spiritual dullness leads him to deliberate, unrepentant disobedience of the Lord’s command. This leads to our second observation
The consequences, he loses Prosperity and Position.
That is our second observation.
Then we put the two together for the third observation. The truth of the text. Deliberate, unrepentant disobedience of the Lord’s command always results in devastating consequences.
Now finally we come to how we can avoid making the same mistake that Saul did.
I hope that is still something that you want know. Because it really is easy. That is why I waited till the end to tell you how you can avoid it.
Here it is; it’s so simple.
Have a strong and sharp spiritual life.
“Yes!” you say. Good!
I mentioned it earlier but know its going to be clear and I do not want any of us in this room to have to face these painful consequences.
But the question must be asked, “How do I do that?”
Well I’m glad that you asked, and I am going to give you four ways to start you off in strengthening and sharping. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but if you do these things your spiritual life will grow.
Read the Word of God. Let it sink into your soul. Let it shape how you see the world. Let it change how you treat your spouse or children, or coworkers. Read the Word of God expecting it to confront, encourage, and stretch you. If you want to know the Lord more, read his revelation to us!
Give praise to God. Not just here on Sundays or only on the “good day”. I may be wrong about this, but I don't believe that I am, but there always seems to be one song or hymn or text in the Bible that brings you back. That leads you to that genuine place of worship of who God is and what He has done for you and I. Even on my worst days! The Lord meets me. Don’t think that I'm telling you to just be happy and forget the pains that this broken world brings. Sometimes we need a time of righteous anger and lament. You are able to praise the Lord even in the lowest parts of life. Read some of the Psalms and you will see. But that’s another sermon.
A third way to strengthen and sharpen is to be in community. That does not mean just Sundays. Get into a small group or dinner group or lunch group or even a group text! If you live life alongside people who are pursuing God it makes you want to do the same thing.
Finally, seek the Lord in prayer. Spend time in silence before the Lord. Share whatever is on you heart with Him! Give him the pains and the struggles of this life. Be in a constant conversation with the Lord.
These are not the only ways that you are able to strengthen and sharpen you relationship with the Lord, but they will get you started.
Now don't misunderstand what I am saying. I am not saying that you will never sin or make bad choices if you do these things. You and I are sinful and we will always sin. makes this clear for whoever has believed in Jesus.
Saul made this foolish and costly decision because of his spiritual dullness.
But I am saying that you if you have a strong and sharp relationship with the Lord you will never want to deliberately and unrepentantly disobey the Lord’s commands.
Think of someone you love. For me its my wife Katie. I have a strong and healthy relationship with her. I would never do something to purposely to hurt her. I would never hold back an apology or not take responsibility for my actions around her. Because I love her and I have a stronger relationship with her.
Think of someone you love. For me it’s my wife Katie. I would never do something to purposely to hurt her. I would never hold back an apology or take responsibility for doing something that hurt her. It’s just the result of being in a close relationship. I know what she likes, what she doesn't. I know what she expects of me (most of the time). But that only comes through having a strong and growing relationship, and that takes time and intentionality.
Dont miss it now
Now think of being on the high way in rush hour. You don't know the people in the cars, you have no relationship with them. So you don't have a problem blowing the horn or cutting them off.
Can I be honest with you for a moment?
It’s the same with our relationship with the Lord. Only through things like taking the time to read, praise, pray, and be in the community of believers is our relationship going to grow and sharpen with the Lord.
It’s time to be honest with ourselves. If you are here today and this is the first time you have cracked open the word this week or the first time you have praised the Lord, or even come before the Lord in prayer or even given thought to the things of God, or maybe you’re here today and you haven't ever believed in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If you find yourself in one or all of those positions, the truth is that your spiritual life is probability more like a spoon than sharp knife. Maybe you’re in a time like Saul, where you made a choice that you knew wasn't good and did it anyways and now you’re dealing with those consequences. Know that God is full of grace and forgiveness. All that you must do is what Saul didn't. First believe in Jesus of you haven't, then come clean of what you have done, take full responsibility for your actions, and finally the last in the hardest. Walk through consequences in humility and the determination not to make the same mistake again.
You can turn that spoon in to a steak knife. All it takes is for you to believe in your heart in Jesus Christ, and if you have already done that then start with the 4 things I talked about a few minutes ago.
Remember, friends, the cause and effect. Spiritual dullness will inevitably lead to deliberate and unrepentant disobedience of the commands of the Lord.
Newton’s 3rd law applies to actions and choices that we make.