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After the Heart of God

After the Heart of God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The state of your heart is the only concern God has in selecting you for his service. So, how's your heart?

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The Selection

Background: Let’s place a frame around our text.
Israel had always relied on God for their leadership. He directed them guided them. Protected them. Provided for them.
A group called “Judges” had been the political leaders of the people of Israel. Until a man named Samuel. Samuel was a great and godly man, yet he had raised two wicked and evil sons (1 Sam 8:2 ). They were set to become the next Judges of Israel.
Israel had always felt out of place in the world because they never had a king. Everyone has a king but them. They saw a political opportunity and took it. “WE DEMAND A KING!” ( 1 Sam 8:5)
Samuel prayed and God granted their wish. Sometimes the punishments God gives us are those who result from our own wishes. ( 1 Sam 8:7 )
They want a king because they have rejected me. (7)
Forsaking me and serving other God’s (8)
Obey their voice now (9)
Samuel warns them: A King will ....
draft your sons into his army
take your daughters into his bakeries, kitchens, and to make perfumes
take your servants to be his
confiscate your livestock to plow his fields
tax you a tenth of all you have
you will be slaves to him
1 Sam 8:18 you will cry out to God because of this king, but the LORD will not answer you

Two Questions

Why did Israel request a king?
Why was requesting a king rejecting God?
Why did Israel request a King?
Samuel’s sons were bad judges (1 Sam 8:3-5)
They wanted to “be like other nations” (1 Sam 12:17)
They thought a king would be a better judge
They wanted to see the King ride into battle on the frontlines
Why was requesting a king rejecting God?
Not the purpose of Israel (Israel was intended to be a uniquely separate nation, a beacon of hope and light to the wold, with God at the helm)
Not the promise of Israel (I will be their God and they will be my people)
the Lord your God was your king (1 Sam 12:12 )
God says it was wrong ( 1 Sam 8:7) (1 Sam 10:19 )
It is like serving other gods
Though he provides always for you, you trust not in him
Samuel says it was wrong ( 1 Sam 12:17)
it is a wicked and evil request
Transition: In 1 Sam 8, there are 3 times when God tells Samuel to “Obey the voice of the people” and give them a king. They didn’t know how bad the Kings would be or how great their wickedness. Sometimes the punishments we receive are the due effects of our own actions. God grants us to have what we ask for, but to also have the consequences of our requests.

SELECTING SAUL

Israel’s first king is Saul
Saul was
wealthy
handsome
very tall
it even says he had the Spirit of God in him ( 1 Sam 10:10 )
Samuel anoints him
Chosen by God (1 Sam 10:1 )
Saul even goes on to a huge military victory against a garrison of Phillistines (1 Sam 11)
Saul offers unlawful sacrifice
Public scrutiny (Israel)
Outside pressure (Philistines closing in)
Lack of patience
lack of trust
lack of faith
Saul removed as King (1 Sam 15)
I regret making Saul king ( 1 Sam 15:11)
I reject Saul as King ( 1 Sam 15:23)
Saul has been rejected, but he is still politically king. Samuel grieves over Saul. His demise is incoming, inevitable.
Transition: Sometimes God punishes us by giving us exactly what we ask for. Saul was the kind of king that Israel wanted. But God had another man in mind … 1 Sam 13:14 a man after his own heart.

SELECTING DAVID (1 Sam 16:1-13)

Samuel meets Jesse, a man with 8 sons. He knows that Samuel looks to anoint the next king. He knows he has 7/8 sons who would make for great candidates for king.
Eliab walks by. Samuel thinks this is the one. Surely this is him!
1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Samuel was still thinking like Israel. The heart is all that mattered. Abinadab walks by. The Lord says no. Shammah walks by. The Lord says no. “This is it?” “No. I’ve got one more but he’s tending the sheep.”
As soon as David arrives, Samuel takes one look and immediately the Lord says, “anoint him.” As soon he is anointed, the Spirit of the Lord RUSHED on him.
Transition: Now, we may be familiar with these stories. But I encourage you to avoid shallow reading and teaching. We must go deeper than “Saul is bad - don’t be like Saul.” ...... “David is good - be like David.” What can we know about being selected by God to serve his Kingdom from Saul’s/David’s selections?

3 Sides of God’s Selection

God selects His servants for His glory (1 Sam 10:1)
There is no greater purpose for the servant of God than to bring glory to the name of the Lord. Leaders themselves will be held to higher accounting because of their role in leading astray their follows and detracting glory from God.
God selects His servants for our good.
The good he brings may be short term - God brings a good king like David. The good he brings long-term - a bad king brings punishment and the people realize their wicked ways and repent
Even though Israel was sinning in their rejection of God, he was still faithful to give them a king and to give them victory over their adversaries. The Lord is faithful even in our failures.
God selects His servants with the future in mind
Literally, God knows the future. Who will behave in what manner, how they will remain faithful. He sees Saul’s failure before his selection. He see’s David’s failures as well- he calls him a man after his own heart. God knows about David’s adultery with Bathsheba as the young boy passes in front of Samuel. Yet he chooses him with the future in mind.
CONCLUSION
I want us to be a church full of people, looking for God to select us as worthy servants for his kingdom work. I think Jesus’ words say it best: If we can be faithful with the small things, he will make you faithful in the large things.
Samuel lost sight of these sides of God’s selection. So the Lord gave him the biggest secret of all...
1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
No exterior tricks or facades can blind God to your true motives and intentions. There is no substitute for a relationship with him.
Then, let me close with this question this question:
HOW IS YOUR HEART?
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