The Call for a King
This sermon on The Call for a King from The Drama of Redemption was preached by Robert Greene at Redemption Hill Church on Sunday, January 27th, 2013.
Sermon Reflection Guide:
1 Samuel 1-8
“This has always been the temptation and the failure for the people of God. Pagan gods have caused less trouble than the tendency to re-fashion God into a more congenial, serviceable god.” – Donald McCullough
1. The Priests – Where does the disregard for God begin? 1 Sam 2:12-29
What were Eli’s son’s guilty of?
- they cheated the people…kept some of the worshippers portion
- they were taking some of the Lord’s portion
- They treated the offering with contempt…didn’t consider worthy of their respect…felt tied to it
- They weren’t openly serving other gods, but they treated the worship of the 1 True God as though he was one of the many worthless deities of the Canaaninties.
- no respect for Father or authority
What was Eli guilty of? v29
- He honored his kids above God…benefited from their sin
- he was jealous for their glory rather than the Lord’s
- He indulged them and his indulgence of them only hardened their hearts
- Eli would rather have seen God’s honor disgraced before his own sons, he was more sensitive to their reputation than to God’s.
What parallels can we see in ourselves?
2. The People Had No Regard for The Lord 1 Sam 4:1-10, 6:19-20
What were the elders and people guilty of?
- they treat the Ark like a magic charm…this was the Ark, the place were the glory of the Lord was enthroned in the Tabernacle…
What happens when God becomes trivialized?
- He seems no more valuable than a good luck charm to get you what you want…look at how the priests and the people views and treated the ark.
- The greatest temptation and failure of God’s people is always the trivialization / disregard for God…the desire to strip Him of His authority.
- Their lives had become ineffective and unfruitful.
How do we get here? 2 Peter 1:3-9, Heb. 3:12-13
- Like we’ve seen before, they knew information intellectually, but their hearts had grown cold to God and His Grace,
- The information didn’t leak out of our heads, it is just no longer warming our hearts.
- When Jesus and the Gospel cease to be precious in your heart, when they cease to be central, it creates a vacuum and those never stay empty.
- Something else will capture your affections, attention, and the place where you hope rests.
3. God gives them what they wanted. 1 Sam 8
What’s driving the desire for a king?
- To Israel, they thought having a king would mean freedom!
- Give us what we want and we’ll be free.
- Samuel seems to say, “no, just the opposite, what you want will enslave you.”
How is this rebellion deceptive?
- There was nothing inherently wrong with a King. In fact in DT 17 God gave Israel directions for this very day. It’s not that what they want is wrong, what’s wrong is their motive.
- This is the general anatomy of rebellion. It usually starts with wanting something that inherently isn’t wrong in itself but we want it for the wrong reasons.
Where have we seen this before in the Story?
- Think back to the Garden of Eden, it’s a good thing to be wise and to be like God, but Eve wanted those things on her terms. Things that God would have surely given them in His time according to His wisdom and plan.
- But she wanted what she wanted when she wanted it.
Why should this scare us?
- What begins as shortsightedness, misplaced confidence, results in an absolute act of treason and rebellion.
- We always assume that there will be a point that will come when in our rebellion we’ll just stop.
- There are always these moments of clarity in our rebellion when we just assume that we won’t always be doing this. I’ll grow out of it. I’ll get tired of it. This is just a season. One day I’ll stop and when I do, God will clean up our mess.
- However, God just lets them have what they want. Though what they want is not what they need.
- When God gives you over to what your sinful heart desires, that is not freedom, it’s a living hell.
- God will hand you over to your sinful desires and you’ll just assume that He’s flung open all the doors to paradise!
- His blessing must be on this!
What looks like blessing is really judgement! Romans 1:21-26
The voice of God echoes down through the centuries and says “you can have the king you want and in it, assume that you’re free…but you’re far from that…that freedom is just an illusion.” But what you really have is the prince of the power in the air, the wrong king…he’ll lead you to exactly what you want…and cause you to choke on it.
What is this for you? (job, ministry success, family, fun, $, ________?)
How should we respond? (will power, changing our ways, asceticism?)
- “I know the kind of King you have always needed.”
- one that could defeat more than your political enemies
How is Jesus different from what we want, but is exactly what we need?
- This is why God sends His Son Jesus as an entirely different sort of King.
- Why He comes as a rejected prophet a rejected king.
- He’s spat upon, mocked, beaten, crucified for the sins of you and I.
- In the most backwards of victories, King Jesus defeated our enemies of satan, sin and death and triumphed over them putting them to open shame by dying in our place for our sins.
God then raised Him from the dead, vindicating His life, death, sacrifice being sufficient and has raised Him up and he now sits at the right hand of God ruling and reigning. You can follow the leadership of this King and be lead into forgiveness, redemption, wholeness, peace. But, you’ll have to surrender your agendas and your desire to be like all the other nations. You’ll have to claim, His blood for yourself, His life for your life, His cross for yourself. Not only claim it, but you’ll have to pick that cross up and carry it. You’ll have to follow this King wherever he leads.
What can following Jesus like this look like?
2 Peter 1:3-9
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.