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The Thread of Life – Part 14 (Who has the authority)
August 29, 2021

The Thread of Life – Part 14 (Who has the authority)

August 29, 2021

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The Thread of Life – 31 Stories that point to Jesus

(Part 14)

Good morning & welcome to Jesus Church

  • We are in a series where we find Jesus throughout the Bible
    • We believe that God reveals himself on every page of the Bible
    • And so we started this series in January
    • We have gone through Genesis… will end in Revelation
  • Last week we looked at the Book of Ruth
    • Starts with a story of Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi
    • And although her story is filled with tragedy and loss
    • What we realize is as much as that can be a part of our story
      • We have ability to not allow it to be the point of our story
  • And when we only focus on the details right in front of us
    • It becomes hard 2 zoom out & see bigger story we are a part of
    • In Ch. 1… Naomi see’s the loss of her land/husband/sons
    • By Ch. 4… we see Naomi’s descendants are the line of Jesus

God is a redeemer of stories – If we will let him be

  • And that is the story we see over and over
    • God proving to us again and again that…
    • Following him leads to life…
    • Walking away from him leads to death…

Deut 11:26-28 (ESV)

See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today…

  • Talks throughout the chapter saying if you follow me you will find
    • Protection… protection
    • Provision… life
  • But when u walk away from God… walk away from those as well
    • And that’s true from Adam & Eve to our world today

Today we move on from Ruth to 1 & 2 Samuel

Originally this was only 1 book – Still is in most Hebrew Bible’s

  • When it translated from Hebrew to Greek (Septuagint – 2nd cent)
    • It was divided into 2 books
    • That was adopted by the Latin translations of early Church
    • And into the Bible you and I read today
  • Samuel is chronologically after Judges… Israel really wants a king
    • They have a King (GOD) – But want a king like other nations
    • Basically they want to be like everyone else
  • So right away we see that’s an issue… b/c what was point of Israel
    • It was to stand out as a light to the nations
    • Not to blend in and look like the world around them

1 Sam 8:19-20 (NKJV)

Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, we will have a King over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.

That’s Key: They’re replacing God… b/c he’s who always goes b4 them

Ex. 13:21 (ESV)

The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day and leading them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.

Ex. 14:13-14 (ESV)

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

So the world that they are longing for…

  • Wasn’t where they followed God… but where they followed man
    • God even tells the prophet named Samuel
    • Who is trying to convince Israel how foolish they are being

1 Sam 8:7 (ESV)

And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.

So God gives them what the ask for

And we’re going to look at the life of 1st king the people ask for (Saul)

1 Sam 9:1-2 (ESV)

There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish (says who his dad/grandpa… are) a man of wealth. And he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.

  • So if we are honest… Saul probably looked something like this (pic)
    • Handsome guy… good family… tall and what a pose
    • And the 1st thing we learn about Saul is how he looks/wealth
  • Bible shows something of human nature… this is what people want
    • We look at the outside – Tall/Handsome/Wealthy
    • But as story goes on… we see how far those things get you

So Saul is anointed by Samuel the prophet as king of Israel

  • And the way this is supposed to work… God speaks to the prophet
    • The Prophet speaks to the King > King speaks/leads the people

1 Sam 10:9-11 (ESV)

When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. (What does that mean… see in the next verse) And all these signs came to pass that day. (What signs) When they came to Ga-bay-ah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them. When all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

  • How amazing is this: Saul chosen/anointed King… meets prophets
    • Spirit of God comes upon him in a way so powerful
    • People who know him say He’s a totally new person
    • And honestly at this point Saul is who you want in a leader
  • Even though the people rejected God as King
    • God is setting Saul up with everything he needs to be successful
    • And clearly God is with the new king

And immediately there are great results

  • He leads the people into battle and rescues a city
    • There’s victory… enthusiasm… anticipation
  • And its interesting just like David (the king who comes after Saul)
    • Saul is killing it right out of the blocks
    • Tall/Handsome/Wealthy/Filled with the Spirit
    • He’s doing everything the people hoped for – And in style

TAG: But the story goes on… fast forward

Biggest expectation on Saul – To defeat the Philistines

[Context] Philistines are a group of people who continually raided Israel

  • And when we think about army of Israel… it was never impressive
    • Were always considered the underdog by numbers/weapons
    • In fact God forbid Israel from using horses in battle
    • It was like Israel was constantly bringing a knife to a gun fight
      • That was intentional… so battle always belonged to God
  • But Saul & army standing up to Philistines (win a few skirmishes)
    • Philistines gather 30k chariots/6k men on horses ready 4 battle
    • Imagine something like LOTR – A sea of an army read for war
    • And imagine Saul there with his army… no chariots… no horses
  • And needless to say… Saul’s men were scared to death
    • So afraid that it says they were hiding behind rocks/in caves
    • And those who did follow Saul were shaking as they walked

And before this – Saul had specific instructions from Samuel from God

  • Face off for battle and then wait 7 days… sorta like Joshua was told
    • And this wasn’t too out of the norm in war – this face off
    • And then he was told Samuel would arrive on the 7th day
    • He would sacrifice to God and in that moment Israel would win

1 Sam 13:8-12 (ESV)

He waited 7 days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from h9im. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me and the peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. (Was that the plan)

As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel came (great timing). And Saul came out to meet him and greet him. Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, (the set time was the 7th day right… it was still the 7th day) and that the Philistines had mustered at Mick-mash, I said “Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord, so I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.”

1 Sam 13:13-14

Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly, You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over all his people because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you”

  • Saul’s men start to scatter… pressure is on… he gets nervous
    • And so Saul takes things into his own hands
    • He goes ahead of God’s plan and does what he thinks is right

Which reflects on the narrative that leads in this book

Jud 21:25 (ESV)

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

  • Saul is the embodiment of the people he is leading
    • We trust in God… until it gets hard
    • We trust in God… until I have a better plan
    • We trust in God… until (You fill in the blank)

And this failure by Saul is two fold

  • First: He just doesn’t obey what God told him to do
    • Decides on his own to go against what God said
    • God’s plan must have hit a snag… maybe he was mistaken
  • Second: When confronted… what does he do? Makes excuses
    • He blames his army
    • He blames Samuel
      • And he never accepts responsibility for his mistakes

And the job of the King – At all times obey word of the Prophet

  • So in refusing 2 wait… he rejects the authority of Prophet & God
    • And he doesn’t acknowledges his sin… he just blames others
    • And we see Saul is not who God wants to influence his people
    • But another will come who WILL HAVE A HEART after God
  • Interesting if you fast forward… the person God is talking about
    • Is David – Who has a whole mess of his own issues
    • In fact he sleeps with a married woman and kills her husband
    • To me… that sounds WAY WORSE than what Saul did
  • But when David is confronted – What does he do
    • He immediately says: I have sinned and regrets what I did
    • And quickly the new prophet says… God forgives you
    • There will be consequence but you are right with me now

All God wanted from Saul – Immediate/honest/humble repentance

  • All Saul needed to say was “I’m sorry… I was wrong”
    • But instead his pride dictates his response
    • And if you think… wow maybe he learned his lesson – he didn’t

It happens again… turn to 1 Sam 15

Might think… but God gave him a new heart – What happened to it

  • Saul is given the spirit… he’s given a new heart
    • But he chooses to do what was right in his own eyes
    • He did not consult the Lord
  • Remember when we talked about Joshua getting into a mess
    • Because he was tricked into making a covenant with enemies

Josh. 9:14 (ESV)

So the men took some of their provisions but did not ask counsel from the LORD.

  • This concept keeps coming up… maybe God wants us to seek him
    • Way before we lean on our own understanding
    • Way before we think we can figure it out on our own
    • Way before we rationalize a response… seek the Lord

Prov 3:5-6 (ESV)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your path.

1 Sam 15 – Saul is still king at this point… but his days are numbered

  • This time God instructs him to defeat a group called Amalekites
    • And God tells Saul through Samuel again… don’t take anything
    • Kill their King – Destroy it all – No plunders of war
  • What do you think Saul is gonna do?

1 Sam 15:9-10 (ESV)

But Saul and the people spared Agag (king) and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them…

    • You would think the guy would learn… right?!?!
    • But his choices are absolutely detrimental to his purpose

The word of the Lord came to Samuel, “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back form following me and has not performed my commandments. And Samuel was angry and he cried to the Lord all night.

  • So next day Samuel goes to lecture Saul again… but he isn’t home
    • The only thing there is a statue of Saul he made after battle
    • So generations would remember the great name of Saul

And Samuel comes in “Not too happy” – And Saul very quickly

  • He starts throwing everyone under the bus
    • The soldiers did it
    • I didn’t know about it
    • We did it for you anyways
  • And Samuel shuts him up and makes things really clear

1 Sam 15:22-23 (ESV)

But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.

That’s intense… Couple things we can learn

First: Great line – To obey is better than sacrifice

Anyone a Keith Green fan… I definitely went through a phase (pic)

  • Loved the hair… in fact I tried to grow my hair like his (pic)
    • He has a song all about this line
  • God wants our faithful obedience and for us to trust in Him
    • Its not about what we can do for him
    • But Saul doesn’t want 2 obey God – Says I’ll bring u a great gift
      • But God doesn’t need a gift
  • Saul’s story is like our story – God wants our faithful obedience
    • He wants our simple trust in him first
    • He wants our partnership to do great things 4 Him second

It’s a lot like how God created marriage to be (Us & Him)

  • After Exodus – God enters a marriage like relationship w/ Israel
    • And their covenant was to be faithful to one another
      • Now if a husband promises that and then is unfaithful
      • And then the husband buys his wife a new purse
      • Can he say “Ok I got you something… we good now?” NO!
    • B/C core of marital health: Respect/honor bond to one another
  • Saul’s doesn’t get it… what is the obedience God was longing for
    • That Saul would trust… have faith… believe God will take care
    • All the building blocks of a growing relationship
  • And when we do mess up – And we will
    • That we would be far more like a David than a Saul
    • To push through the desire to blame shift… dodge… ignore
    • And be like David – Repent before the Lord

Saul thought the way to relationship with God is to give him things

  • And that way I can keep my distance – But keep God happy
    • Do what I think is best… then give God a sacrifice
    • There is no sacrifice that is substitute for relationship
    • God wants you – Not what you can do

Second: Saul has this identity crisis

We can see a ton about where Saul’s heart is and where he find identity

  • When Saul goes against what God tell him to do the 2nd time
    • The excuse he gives (after trying to blame shift & get out of it)

1 Sam 15:26 (ESV)

I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.

  • Which is crazy b/c Saul is the King… no one is more powerful
    • And he is a king that was appointed by the God of the universe
    • God gave him his spirit/power/authority
  • Yet Saul’s fear gives that authority over to his men
    • What his men say is more important than what God says
    • They wanted to bring the best of the spoils of war
    • And he wants to please them more than God…
      • So who now has the authority of the King – His men

Here’s reality: What we allow ourselves to fear…

  • Will try to establish power over us / and even try to define us
    • Think about it… its like a moth to a flame
    • Someone fears become like something – Its what they become
    • Why… because you are a king (spoken over by God)
      • Yet you allow your authority to be given away
  • This is why we are to fear God in THE RIGHT WAY
    • We should desire to please God and when we mess up
    • We go right away to him
  • But in crucial moment Saul shows his fear isn’t of God… its of man
    • And he becomes a servant to them
    • Desires to please them instead of God

And when u read more of Saul’s life – He lives out this false identity

  • And his life becomes a pattern of downward spiral into failure
    • David gets anointed King – So he’s afraid of David
    • Then he is trying to kill David
    • Then ultimately Saul ends up committing suicide in battle
      • Against Philistines… who he was supposed to conquer
  • Saul was a failure as a leader even to point of ending his own life
    • All because he wouldn’t accept responsibility for what he did
    • And allow God to be God in his life…

And a lot of time we are just like Saul

We live out of the identities others give us… over what God gives us

  • Most of us know what the NT scriptures say are true about you
    • In case you haven’t… or if you need a reminder
    • That’s what these bookmarks are for… what ur true identity is
  • Others have had words spoken over your life
    • Specifically about who God has made u to be – made u to do

But often we settle for names and identities that aren’t from God

  • And we give authority to them and end up identifying with them
    • Saul lived out an identity based on fear but we don’t have to
    • We need to take a moment and ask God
      • Where am I agreeing with false names given to me
      • Where am I allowing false identities authority over me
  • And there is more fear in our world / in the church that ever before
    • And when you allow fear to determine your decisions
    • You hand your God given authority over

And you will become something other than what God calls u to

  • Its time to take back authority– to believe in the names God gives
    • Where someone called you a failure…
      • You lived in fear of that – gave authority to that
      • Its time to reject that name “In Jesus name”!
    • Where some said you are good enough…
      • You lived in fear of that – gave authority to that
      • Its time to reject that name “In Jesus name”!
    • Where some said you aren’t smart/successful/spiritual enough
      • You lived in fear of that – gave authority to that
      • Its time to reject that name “In Jesus name”!

U R a child of God… heir to kingdom… fearfully & wonderfully named



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