(This is a sermon manuscript edited a bit for a blog post. Sermons are meant to be heard … not read. Yet, I pray you are blessed by this message. It tells the story of when the people of God rejected God as King in favor of being like everyone else. You don’t have to think very long to come up with modern day parallels.)
The Bible tells a story … and it’s a good one. The Bible tells the story of God, the people He created, and the wonderful plan of redemption.
This sermon series looks at the story of God and attempts to integrate that story into our lives. We want God’s story in our lives. Amen? We’ve looked at creation, the fall, God’s covenant with Abraham, God’s covenant with Moses and the people of God, we now enter a little further into the story.
The people of God have been delivered from slavery in Egypt and now live in the promise land. Yet, they don’t act like the people of God. While they’ve been called to dependence upon God and holiness, they’ve grown fond of evil.
We will spend our time this morning in the book of 1 Samuel but prior to getting there we need to take a brief bit stop in the book of Judges. The book of Judges provides us with a refrain that is repeated over and over again.
The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD.
( Judges 2:11, 3:7, 4:1, 6:1, 10:6, 13:1)
During this time God ruled his people through judges and priests who were instructed to live out the commands of God and ensure that the people of God lived like the people of God. There was no government binding the people together. There was no army binding the people together. God was to be the glue that kept the people together. Yet, they grew fond of evil.
You see the following pattern in the book of Judges:
(Chart adapted from one found in Telling God’s Story)
Eventually the people grow tired of God’s way of doing things altogether. They’d rather be like every other nation.
[Take the time to read 1 Samuel 8. Seriously. Do it.]
The people of God wanted a king … to be like every the other nations. Yet, there are at least two problems with this request.
#1 They were called to be set apart, holy. They’re not supposed to be like every other nation.
#2 They already had a King. God served as their King. They were called to be his covenant people. Yet, they refused to act like it.
1 Samuel 8 proves that sometimes the people of God ask for things without ever seeking God.
Samuel was the current Judge but served as priest and prophet as well. He took the people’s request for a king as a personal attack on him. Yet, God informed Samuel that the people were not rejecting him but rejecting God.
They used the excuse of Samuel’s sons. They used the excuse of wanting a king and a standing army to fight their battles. But the problem was much deeper. The people had a habit of doing evil in the eyes of the LORD. The people rejected God. Even after Samuel’s warning that a king would come with problems … the people rejected God. And so God gives them what they want. 1 and 2 Samuel tell the stories of the nation living united under a king.
He gives them a king in the form of Saul. It’s a disaster. Read the story.
He gives them a king in the form of David. It’s another act of God’s grace. Through the ups and downs of David’s reign, God is patient and forgiving. He also makes another covenant. That through the line of David God will raise a King that will reign forever. We’ll get there another day.
He gives them a king in the form of Solomon … detailed in 1 Kings. Solomon will be the final king to rule during the United Kingdom. We’ll get there another day.
We could go into a lot of history here but we won’t. Instead I want to integrate the story. What does 1 Samuel 8 have for us?
Here’s the lesson: Do not put anything on the God’s throne but God alone.
- Not your family
- Not your job
- Not your hobby
- Not your money
- Not your pursuit of pleasure
- Not your addictions and hangups
- Not your political candidate
As the people of God – we have God as our king. We must be reminded of that. We must be submitted to God. Yet, this is not something to be done with a bad attitude. God is worthy of your submission.
- God is holy
- God is faithful
- God is wise
- God is loving
- God is powerful
- God is patient
- God is forgiving
- God is gracious
- God is merciful
- God is just
- God is provider
- God is sustainer
- God is redeemer
Do not put anything on the God’s throne but God alone.
We know the end of the story the Bible tells to us. God reveals himself as King Jesus.
- The One who gave sight to the blind
- The One who set the prisoner free
- The One who turned water into wine
- The One who feed 5,000 people with a boy’s lunch
- The One who spoke with authority like no one had ever heard
- The One who died on a cross as a sinless Savior
- The One who rose from the dead defeating sin and death
The King that will reign forever from the line of David is King Jesus. How do we integrate this story into our lives? Submit to King Jesus.
We must do this together. This must be what this church stands upon and stands up for every single day. If not, we have failed.