Faithlife Sermons

The Test To Trust God’s Word pt 2

The First Kings of Israel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

The Test To Trust God’s Word pt 2

I. Introduction

1. Prayers
2. Catch- Can someone do a heinous enough sin that the church kicks them out? NO way
i. Sadly, I knew a pastor who preached so strongly against sexualy immorality… even dating he went against
ii. He got up one Sunday to preach about Gideon and the book of Judges, how the people of Isreal could be not be blessed because they were worshipping idols while trying to call out for God’s help
1. He powerfully condemned our double mindedness and called us to repent of idolatry and fully serve Jesus

iii. And then the next day it was discovered he had been seeing prostitutes for years… he even used missions trips to other countries to see prostitues

iv. Was the church going to kick this man out and condemn him? To Church discipline him?

1. No! why? Because he was repentant.
2. He willingly stepped down from his position he sought his wife with all his heart, changed his profession to avoid the sinful connections
3. The man was willing to change everything about his life

v. The discipline process only comes about when someone refuses to repent, no matter the sin But today we see how Saul refused to repent

3. Review of last week

i. Remember, the whole book of Samuel is about setting up the king that Israel needs. They thought they needed a king like all the other nations and they got Saul
1. He looks pretty good at first
2. Ch 11 has the spirit empowering him to save the Israelites
3. But very quickly we see the dispaointment… he is not the man

ii. Background: we can trust the bible (v1-2) we talked about the textual issue there, but how we can trust the bible

iii. Beginning problem: (V3-5) As a confrontation with the Philistines brews when Jonathan attacks

iv. The problem gets worse (V6-7) Because there is a huge army

II. Body of Lesson: A test of faith requires trust in God’s word… which Saul fails.

1. Saul’s climatic decision:

i. Saul offered a forbidden sacrifice (V8-9)

1. Saul waits 7 days, the appointed time
2. Saul then sinfully offers the sacrifices
a. What are they for?
i. Burnt offering was to pay the punishment the people deserved for their sins

Turn to - “If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord. He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.

ii. Notice it is accepted as atonement
1. To atone = to pay for something
2. So the burnt sacrifice was an act of giving the whoile animal to the Lord
3. This was to propriate or pay the debt to God
iii. It was a recognition of sin of the one offering
1. Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones wrote the tax-collector ‘would not lift up so much as his eyes’, but said, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’ Now what he really said was, ‘God be propitiated to me a sinner’ (). The object of the sacrifices was that God should look upon sinful people in a benign manner, in a manner that was ready to receive them.
iv. The peace offering showed the people were now good with God
1. Thus in we see the mosasic covenant is ratified or signed with this offering
2. This shows that there is righte relation with between God and men
3. And afterwards there is a feast where everyone can rejoice at God’s goodness to them
b. Why was Saul not supposed to offer them?
i. This was a job only for the priest
ii. But David and Solomon offered the same sacrifices
- And David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.
- And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
- And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
1. In these circumstances they are offering sacrifices for sin
a. What is saul doing?
b. V12- He is trying to get the lord’s favor
c. Thus he is using the sacrifice incorrectly
2. And secondly, these men always had priests around them
- and Ira the Jairite was also David’s priest.
a. Saul does this sacrifice himself as he offeres it when in ch 14 we see He has priests who could do it
3. So, I would argue This is pride
a. It is self-worship, saying I am the accomplisher, I will make this work
i. Signs of pride
1. Being consumed with what others think (- For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.)
2. Being unteachable (- Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.; )
3. Being defensive or blame-shifting (- The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”; ) (these are all things Saul shows)
b. Vs Humility, saying God is the source, he will accomplish
i. God had given Saul the job to defeat the Philistines, but Saul took the means of accomplishing this into his own hands
ii. Pastor Richard Phillips writes
iii. given the dire national circumstances that Saul was facing, is it possible that God would be more concerned with the proper ritual for the offering of his sacrifices than with Saul’s need to get moving with organizing the war? The answer is “Yes.” The sacrificial offerings of the priesthood were more important than the king’s pursuit of the war. [i] “What we do in worship reveals our beliefs about who God is and what he wants, so that our obedience in worship should receive priority in our lives. The sacrifices Saul desecrated were holy, and they dealt with holy things, such as God’s wrath against our sin and his atoning work in Christ for our forgiveness”
iv. There only way we’re going to accomplish this God given command is through God’s way
1. Kevin DeYoung once said, “If we’re are trying to do anything that can be accomplished outside of prayer and the preaching of God’s word, then we’re trying to do the wrong thing”
4. Saul’s mistake was pridefully choosing to do what was forbidden
a. So we must humble ourselves in challenging situations
i. We read the Bible to see God, not “What this means for me”
ii. WE study Jesus, his earthly example of loving others and always doing the father’s will
iii. And we seek to do the faithful little things God commands
1. Ie: One anothers in the bible
Trans: So, in God’s perfect timing, just when Saul finishes… Samuel walks up

ii. V10-12 Samuel accuses Saul and Saul makes excuses

1. Before Saul can offer the sacrifice that shows everything is good with God, Samuel walks up
2. Saul casually comes out to meet Samuel, but Samuel rebukes him
a. Like God in the garden saying
i. - Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done
b. Samuel has no time for pleasantries
3. And notice Saul’s 4 excuses
a. The people were leaving
b. You were not here yet
c. The Philistines are here and will attack,
d. I didn’t yet ask God’s help
i. Like Adam with his fig leaves, Saul sought to cover his disobedience in a cloak of religiosity:
4. They sound good reasons right?
a. But he solves the problem his own way, not God’s
i. Notice v13 and Samuel’s response
1. Calls him a fool
2. Pastor Tim Chester writes “fool” or “foolish” has a particular meaning in the Old Testament. It is not simply the ancient equivalent of calling someone an idiot. According to : “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’”. This is not an atheist, but someone who lives as though God does not exist or God does not matter. Saul’s problem was that he acted as though God would not act. He did “not [keep] the Lord’s command” because he did not really trust the Lord ().”
3. He is living as if God isn’t around to accomplish what He has commanded. Saul has to figure it out himself
ii. Saul personally takes charge. He functions as a king would function in other nations in the ancient world. Against the explicit directives of God, he trusts his own ability to lead and to win the favor of God
b. This was a lack of faith He feared his enemies and his people more than God
i. Like last week We get it
1. How tempting it is in pressured situations to seek security by almost any means other than by waiting on God
2. But the safest place to be is always in a position of trust in the Lord, whatever circumstantial storms may be raging all around us. “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe” ().
a. Sin often is seen in how we think we’re good on our won
b. He may have been tempted to trust in his army for defense of the country. But God’s promise included victory over the Philistines. Indeed, Saul has been anointed as the prince who will deliver Israel from the power of this long-standing enemy (9:16).
3. for “the beloved of the LORD dwells in safety” ()
4. Saul had a small view of God
ii. Is fear always a lack of faith? NO
1. If you mean negative feelings of something we value being threatened from eternal circumstances, then no
a. Jesus and Paul had a level of distress
- I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!
- And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.
2. Worry is a tactic of our fear
a. obsessing with our thoughts and emotions about the threat
b. It is mixing what we value most in life with God’s high value
3. What should Saul have done? What should we do? Trust God
- “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
- But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
a. Open your hand to God
i. We don’t need to feel guilty about our emotions, but use them to entrust ourselves to a heavenly father who is not threatened by what we are threatened by.
b. Then, we should we trust by Obey God As saul will later hear when he fears again
- And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
Trans: Samuel rebukes him and he has a chance to repent

5. But instead of recognizing his sin of pride and fear here is making excuses

a. He begins by trying to place partial blame on his troops and on Samuel himself (13:11):[ii]
b. He finishes by maintaining that he had no alternatives: “I felt compelled” (13:12). This is an oft-repeated refrain: “I had no other choice, because you and others were not supportive!”
c. David too acted foolishly, but he admitted it himself rather than having to be pointed out to
- But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”
i. May we be like David instead of Saul… calling out for forgiveness when we are confronted
Trans: The most tense part of the story is done, and the consequences are given
This is the falling action part of the story

2. Conclusion (V13-15)

i. Samuel explains God has given the kingdom to another
1. Saul did not keep the command of God
2. But, what if he had? The text is clear God would have established his dynasty
a. This shows us God knows all possibilities
b. We see this elsewhere too:
- “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
c. All possible things and events, under every possible kind of circumstance, are known to God. That is, God knows all that could happen.
3. But it was not to be…instead, Saul knows God has a man after his heart to be his replacement
a. The phrase in Hebrew is “a man like/according to his heart”
b. “heart” connotes “will” or “choice”
c. Two options of what this could mean
i. it can mean that God desired a king whose heart was wholeheartedly committed to him in faith. [iii] The new king will genuinely act in accordance with Yahweh’s wishes in a way that Saul does not. He will exhibit a certain “like-mindedness” with Yahweh
ii. The expression “after [God’s] own heart” can also mean that God desires a king of his own choosing. Saul was the king “like all the nations” (8:5), chosen by the unbelieving people. [iv]
d. And why
i. Because he disobeyed
ii. John Wesley noted on this
1. Disobedience to an express command, though in a small matter, is actually a great provocation. “And indeed, there is no little sin, because there is no little God to sin against. In general, what to [humans] seems a small offense, to him who knows the heart may appear a heinous crime[v] - Wesley, Wesley’s Notes on the Bible, 186.
ii. But the people still follow after Saul (15)
1. His kingdom is not gone yet
a. But Saul will have no more victories
b. Jonathan and later David defeat his enemies
2. The people go to Gibeah…waiting for the battle

III. Conclusion

1. Cohesion-

i. This story exists to show us why Saul was not the king Israel needed
1. He did not obey God’s word
2. And he did not repent when accused of sin, He made excuses

ii. Instead, Israel needs a king with a heart like God’s ultimately, needing a king whose heart is identical to god’s, because he is God.

2. Resolution-

i. A friend of mine said he always loved church history because they taught him how to deal with sin
ii. Robert Murray McCheyne, and 19th century Scottish pastor who did so much for the Lord … having a large church, though a young man… he had a such a zeal for the Lord
iii. But he also understood his sin
iv. And because of that he understood his savior
v. “I feel, when I have sinned, an immediate reluctance to go to Christ. I am ashamed to go. I feel as if it would do no good to go,—as if it were making Christ a minister of sin, to go straight from the swine-trough to the best robe,—and a thousand other excuses; but I am persuaded they are all lies, direct from hell. John argues the opposite way: ‘If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father [1 john 2:1]
There are many subsidiary methods of seeking deliverance from sins, which must not be neglected… but the main defense is casting myself into the arms of Christ like a helpless child, and beseeching Him to fill me with the Holy spirit…. I ought to study Christ as an Intercessor…I ought to study the comforter more” (153-4).
- Robert Murray McCheyne

vi. WE must remember sin is not a defeat of our Lord, but an opportunity for his to honor him.

IV. So what questions

1. How might we apply this passage correctly?

2. What makes the best excuses?
3. What kind of excuses have you used in the past?
4. How should we respond when confronted over our sin?
[i] Richard D. Phillips, 1 Samuel, ed. Philip Graham Ryken and Richard D. Phillips, Duguid Iain M., 1st ed., Reformed Expository Commentary (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2012), 201.
[ii] Bill T. Arnold, 1 & 2 Samuel, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003), 202.
[iii] Richard D. Phillips, 1 Samuel, ed. Philip Graham Ryken and Richard D. Phillips, Duguid Iain M., 1st ed., Reformed Expository Commentary (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2012), 200.
[iv] Richard D. Phillips, 1 Samuel, ed. Philip Graham Ryken and Richard D. Phillips, Duguid Iain M., 1st ed., Reformed Expository Commentary (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2012), 200–201.
[v] Bill T. Arnold, 1 & 2 Samuel, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003), 203.
Related Media
Related Sermons