09(1Sam 12,19-25) The Unending Love of God
1 Samuel 15:22 Then 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 heed than the fat of rams.
A. If there is one thing that defines how God feels toward humanity, it’s His unlimited love.
§ I’m so glad to know the love of God.
§ I’m so glad to know that His love for me is not based upon what I do or how I do it.
B. We cannot lose the Love of God.
§ After all, God loved us long before we even knew who He was.
§ It was God that came looking for us.
§ Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
§ It is God who chases after us, seeks us and tries to reach out to us.
§ Our attitude toward God has nothing to do whatsoever with whether God loves us or not.
C. True enough, I can lose God’s favor by running from Him.
§ He can lift His hand of blessing from my life.
§ I can lose that closeness in my relationship with Him.
§ I can suddenly realize, like the Prodigal Son, that I have strayed far from home and now I am trapped in the hog pen of sin and shame.
§ But no matter how far I have gone, I am so glad that I can turn back toward home and know that God still loves me and His greatest desire is to see His wayward sheep come home.
D. We find in 1 Samuel that Israel decides they would rather have a king than to follow God’s leading.
§ What a slap in the face of God!
§ It was though they went to God and said, “your leadership isn’t good enough, we would rather have a man to lead us; someone that we can see and talk to like anyone else.
§ You’re just too hard to speak to and too hard to follow.”
E. The people of Israel didn’t know how far they had fallen from God’s blessing and favor until the prophet Samuel reminded them.
§ Samuel revealed God’s displeasure against the people of Israel.
§ When they heard the words of Samuel, Israel was finally shaken into the reality of the great sin that they had committed against God!
§ They were shocked by how far from God they had gone and they came to Samuel seeking God’s forgiveness.
Read 1 Samuel 12:19-25.
What a great God! What a loving Father! What a merciful God is our God! No matter how many times we fail Him, He still wants to be our God! No matter how often we stumble and fall, He still desires to pick us up and let us start over again!
§ When I think of all the wickedness that is in me, and in all of us, I am so thankful for the Love of God that is so unlimited!
§ When I have placed my trust in the riches of this world that cannot deliver and turned away from God – He still loves me!
§ When I have omitted from my life those things that I know I should do, and I do those things that I know I shouldn’t – He still loves me!
§ When I have failed to love him – He still loves me!
How can I not Love Him in return? How can I not turn back to Him? How can mankind spurn the Love of God and continue to run the other way?
There’s no question that God love each of us today! There’s no question that His mercy and grace are reaching out to each of us right now. There’s no question that God has called us, chosen us and lifted us from the life of sin that we once lived. There’s no question that God wants to bless you right now!
The question is simply this: Even though God loves you, that doesn’t mean that you resting in His blessings, receiving His favor in your life or that you have a close relationship with Him, so how do you stand in these points with God?
Do you sense the presence of God in your life every day, or have you allowed that relationship to slip away quietly and slowly until you can no see the Pillar of Fire and the Pillar of Clouds?
Do you have the favor of God in your life? Can you sense Him looking down on you right now, knowing how you have acted this week, knowing what you have said this week, and knowing all that you have done this week, and still he smiles at you in approval?
God’s Love is unchanging! He loves you! But do you have his blessing and favor?
Samuel’s words to Israel are appropriate for us today. “For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.”
God won’t forsake you when you fail. God doesn’t move at all! It’s us that run from him! It’s God’s great pleasure to call you his son or daughter. It’s His Love that keeps His eyes on you no matter where you go. And for his own name’s sake He wants to bring you home.
Samuel closed this passage of scripture with an after shot of warning to both Israel and Saul. God loved them. God would forgive them. God would pour out His blessing upon them, even though they had been rebellious, but God also had a warning for them. “… But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king."
God will only let us stay in rebellion for a while. The time will come when he will say; “enough is enough”. His love will remain the same, but his blessings will cease and his favor will be lifted and then the Rod of Correction must come to drive us back on our knees before him again in repentance.