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Wilderness Wandering
Rejection of God as King/ Saul
1 Samuel 13:13–14 CSB
13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have been foolish. You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. It was at this time that the Lord would have permanently established your reign over Israel, 14 but now your reign will not endure. The Lord has found a man after his own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over his people, because you have not done what the Lord commanded.”
David/ His heart
1 Samuel 16:7 CSB
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the Lord sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”
David pleaded with God to give him a heart and spirit that would obey Him
Psalm 51:10–12 CSB
10 God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit.
God sent Samuel to rebuke Saul of his sins but Saul justified himself instead of repenting from the heart.
God sent Nathan to rebuke David of his sins and David repented with tears and sackcloth and fasting from his heart.
God shows us what he desires. Genuine repentance of our sins against Him. God wants our heart
Mark 12:30 CSB
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
Now we come to Israel’s third and final king as a united nation, Solomon.
1 Kings 2:1–4 CSB
1 As the time approached for David to die, he ordered his son Solomon, 2 “As for me, I am going the way of all of the earth. Be strong and be a man, 3 and keep your obligation to the Lord your God to walk in his ways and to keep his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees. This is written in the law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do and wherever you turn, 4 and so that the Lord will fulfill his promise that he made to me: ‘If your sons guard their way to walk faithfully before me with all their heart and all their soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’
Now David is on his deathbed and is giving Solomon his last words. His last advice.
1 Kings 2:2 CSB
2 “As for me, I am going the way of all of the earth. Be strong and be a man,
“Be strong and be a man...” — coming from The Giant Slayer
What does our society think it means to be a man?
He then told him what it looks like to be a man —
1 Kings 2:3 CSB
3 and keep your obligation to the Lord your God to walk in his ways and to keep his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees. This is written in the law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do and wherever you turn,
David, who killed Goliath, the same man that the women sang about
1 Samuel 18:7 CSB
7 As they danced, the women sang: Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands.
This David said to his son Solomon, I want you to be strong and to be a man, and this is what that looks like — to obey God and to walk in His ways.
Being a man does not mean being sinful. Being a man means being like The Man — Jesus
It means that you should be strong, not cruel.
Courageous, not a coward.
Protective, not abusive.
Loving, not distant.
Compassionate, not heartless.
And to persevere in that walk until the day He calls you home.
That’s what it looks like to be a man. Something that honestly can’t be done without the Holy Spirit of God living within you, and Solomon knew this.
In chapter 8 He said
1 Kings 8:54–61 CSB
54 When Solomon finished praying this entire prayer and petition to the Lord, he got up from kneeling before the altar of the Lord, with his hands spread out toward heaven, 55 and he stood and blessed the whole congregation of Israel with a loud voice: 56 “Blessed be the Lord! He has given rest to his people Israel according to all he has said. Not one of all the good promises he made through his servant Moses has failed. 57 May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors. May he not abandon us or leave us 58 so that he causes us to be devoted to him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commands, statutes, and ordinances, which he commanded our ancestors. 59 May my words with which I have made my petition before the Lord be near the Lord our God day and night. May he uphold his servant’s cause and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires. 60 May all the peoples of the earth know that the Lord is God. There is no other! 61 Be wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord our God to walk in his statutes and to keep his commands, as it is today.”
Solomon said in verse 57-58
1 Kings 8:57–58 CSB
57 May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors. May he not abandon us or leave us 58 so that he causes us to be devoted to him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commands, statutes, and ordinances, which he commanded our ancestors.
It is God’s indwelling Spirit who changes us into a new creation
2 Corinthians 5:17 CSB
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
The Prophet Ezekiel prophesied about a day when all of God’s people will be changed by God and will be filled with God’s Spirit
Ezekiel 36:26–27 CSB
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances.
God’s Spirit lives in us with our spirit. It is by God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit that we are able to put to death the deeds of the body, another way to say that is we are able to repent of sin, or turn from sin through the power of the Holy Spirit. He didn’t say if you can muster up enough strength to turn from sin, He said if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. And His Spirit doesn’t replace our spirit and make our spirit non existent, His Spirit lives within us along with our spirit. Your spirit, Your soul is who you are.
Romans 8:12–17 CSB
12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, 13 because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
book — I recieved a book for my birthday full of quotes by A. W. Tozer, so you may end up hearing a lot of his quotes, but I want to give you one now. He said...
But the Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures will expect obedience to the Scriptures.
It is God’s indwelling Spirit who changes us into a new creation and causes us to be devoted to Him, and to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands. Without the Holy Spirit in us, we are hopeless and helpless, but through Him we are made new and alive.
But don’t let me give you the wrong impression. He lives in you and makes you new, causing you to want to follow Him, but He doesn’t turn you into a robot. He still grants you free will. You still have the ability to abandon Him and grieve the Holy Spirit as we see Solomon do. One of the saddest verses in the Bible is found in 1 Kg 11
1 Kings 11:4 CSB
4 When Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away to follow other gods. He was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his father David had been.
Solomon, the man who gave us so many proverbs, who was the richest and wisest man on the planet, abandoned following God alone at the end of his life, because he was seduced by the world. His love for women became greater than his love for God.
1 Kings 11:1–3 CSB
1 King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women 2 from the nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you, because they will turn your heart away to follow their gods.” To these women Solomon was deeply attached in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives who were princesses and three hundred who were concubines, and they turned his heart away.
Paul spent three years in Ephesus and he wrote these words to the believers there warning them not to grieve God’s Holy Spirit:
Ephesians 4:17–5:21 CSB
17 Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more. 20 But that is not how you came to know Christ, 21 assuming you heard about him and were taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth. 25 Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don’t give the devil an opportunity. 28 Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. 29 No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. 30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ. 1 Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, 2 and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. 3 But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. 4 Obscene and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. 5 For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. 7 Therefore, do not become their partners. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light—9 for the fruit of the light consists of all goodness, righteousness, and truth—10 testing what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. 13 Everything exposed by the light is made visible, 14 for what makes everything visible is light. Therefore it is said: Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you live—not as unwise people but as wise—16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit: 19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.
Paul warned Timothy about those who left the faith in pursuit of the world.
1 Timothy 6:6–21 CSB
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. 8 If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11 But you, man of God, flee from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called and about which you have made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the presence of God, who gives life to all, and of Christ Jesus, who gave a good confession before Pontius Pilate, I charge you 14 to keep this command without fault or failure until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 God will bring this about in his own time. He is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see, to him be honor and eternal power. Amen. 17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, 19 storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life. 20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding irreverent and empty speech and contradictions from what is falsely called knowledge. 21 By professing it, some people have departed from the faith. Grace be with you all.
So I close with this:
Younger Generation — Be strong, Love the Lord with all your heart, don’t fall for the lies of the world. It has nothing to offer you that is worth your eternity.
Older Generation — Persevere, don’t give up after you’ve come so far. A whole life of obedience doesn’t earn you a free pass to disobey God at the end of your life.
This life is short, we won’t have to suffer long, will you fight the good fight and finish the race?
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