We Need a King

We Need a King
Jan 2020 - May 2020
Study of 1 & 2 Samuel

Sermons in this series

Man on the Run - Pt2
Sun, May 17, 2020
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. - Psalm 18:1-3 (ESV) It was terrifying. A yard school Goliath stood between me and freedom. He was probably only 4 feet tall, but he might as well have been 15 feet high, had impenetrable armor, nuclear weapons, and laser eyes. Here I was without even a single pebble or rubber band slingshot, just a bag of insecurities and fear. At the moment that I knew I was about to be crushed into dust, his face suddenly transformed from intimidation to terror. He looked, how I felt. His eyes were wide and his stance changed from fight to flight. And then he was gone. What changed? Maybe in that moment of stress I'd become the superhero I'd always known I was in my mind. No. He'd just seen my high school, middle-linebacker friend Mark get out of his car and head toward me while calling my name. In the moment of fear I'd forgotten he was my ride that day. Been there? How did you respond? Did you puff up your chest proud of how tough YOU were? Or were you fawningly thankful for a friend like Mark? David was a man on the run. He'd escaped death numerous times. He wasn't afraid of battle. He'd won many, but with relentless energy Saul had pursued him, but now Saul was gone. How would he think about those years? How was he still here? Who had stood behind him? This week we close out our series in 1 Samuel, by looking at another Psalm. In Psalm 18, David reflects on how he was saved from his enemies including and especially Saul. This must have been a lyric that he sang often because not only is it in Psalm 18, but it is recorded in 2 Samuel 22 as some of the closing words of David's life. I want to encourage you to take a few minutes to read through it. We are going to consider how God is the one that delivers us.
Man on the Run - Pt 1
Sun, May 10, 2020
David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men. - 1 Samuel 22:1-2 (ESV) Life was good. He had single-handedly driven back the nation's greatest enemy. He had won subsequent battles. He was the darling of the people. He had married into the royal family and was going to be the next king (even though it was still secret). Now everything was unraveling. His father-in-law, the current king, had become his rival instead of his champion. He was constantly looking over his shoulder. He was even running to his previous enemies looking for anywhere to hideout. Where could he turn for comfort, rest, and hope? In the next few weeks, we will wrap up our 1 Samuel study. David is a man on the run, but out of this moment he has something to teach us about living in crisis. I want to encourage you read through the story of 1 Samuel 20-31 to prepare your heart and mind for Sunday.
Rivals And Revenge
Sun, May 03, 2020
Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul. So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. And David had success in all his undertakings, for the LORD was with him. And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them. - 1 Samuel 18:12-16 (ESV) Relationships are ruined through rivalry. When there is a competition for who is the fastest, smartest, bravest, or best within a friend group there is sure to be conflict. It's in our nature. We hate being bested. But when you add power, position, and politics in the mix expect an explosion. This is the situation with Saul and David. David is coming off the heels of an amazing victory over Goliath and the Philistines. His star is rising quickly. And Saul is seething. It's not that the nation had turned on Saul. They just have a new hero. In these chapters, that are filled with intrigue and escapes fitting for an action movie, we see the relationship go from admiration to anger. But where is God in the midst of all of this? And how is this part of his purpose and plan? I want to encourage you to take a few minutes and read through 1 Samuel 18-19 as we continue our series: We Need A King. If you have ever asked, 'Where is God?' in the midst of your crisis and pain these chapters will help provide insight through the life and experience of David.
God: The Giant Killer
Sun, Apr 26, 2020
And David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth." - 1 Samuel 17:32-33 (ESV) There are a few stories in the Bible that most people have heard and if you grew up in church probably saw play out on flannel graphs and coloring sheets. The story of David and Goliath is one of those stories. Underdog stories encourage us to overcome impossible obstacles. So, we love this story. When the 'little guy' wins (spoiler alert!) we feel empowered and inspired to kill our own 'giants'...but is that the point of the story? Is the story there to inspire us to have courage in the face of obstacles? Is David the hero of the story? This week we look at 1 Samuel 17. I want to encourage you to shed the mental pictures you may have accumulated and read the text for yourself before you listen to the sermon. It might be different than you remember.
The Fall of a King
Sun, Mar 08, 2020
And 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 listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king." - 1 Samuel 15:22-23 (ESV) 1 Samuel 15 is a difficult passage. It's not difficult because of manuscript/translation issues or even really the interpretation. Those things are fairly clear and straight forward. It's difficult because of what it says. People have looked at this text and walked away from the faith because of it. In the opening of the chapter God commands Saul to do something that many find questionable. Take a look at the opening verses. No doubt these are thorny issues to talk about and they directly connect to who God is and what he does. I actually think there is an issue in the text that is even more difficult to deal with because it's not a theoretical, theological distance but an individual personal struggle that exposes us to the core. Saul is a very religious person. He has no problem with the rites and rituals. The problem for Saul and for us is do those rites and rituals go beyond sights and scents? Do they mean anything to us at a heart level? In other words does our religion change the way to live? When Samuel shows up after the battle with the Ammorites he confronts Saul's religion and ours. How will he respond? How will we respond? Take a few minutes and read through 1 Samuel 13-15 as we explore the fall of the first king of Israel, in our search for a real King.
The Prophet's Farewell
Sun, Mar 01, 2020
If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well. But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king. - 1 Samuel 12:14-15 (ESV) In the closing words of the Dr. Seuss' classic Oh, the Places You'll Go, he points the reader into the future with this very suessical farewell. 'You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.' Turning the pages of life can be exciting and scary. They come with opportunities, challenges, and choices. In the upcoming chapter of 1 Samuel 12 a page is turned. The prophet-judge Samuel has presided over a peaceful transition of power from himself to the newly chosen king of Israel, Saul. As he leaves he points the nation both backward and forward. He wants to remind them of who and whose they are. He gives them a choice and direction. What will they do? What will their newly crowned king do? Take some time to read his farewell speech, or maybe use a Bible app and listen to this appeal to the nation to seek God. Hear the prophet's heart for the people.
The Unlikely King
Sun, Feb 23, 2020
Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its clans, and the clan of the Matrites was taken by lot; and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found. - 1 Samuel 10:20-21 (ESV) 'Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it!' This phrase is a haunting truth that often what we want isn't what we need. Ever been there? Your heart longs for something, but when it arrives it's disappointing. Even worse it not only does not satisfy the desire, but it only multiplies the problems of life. This week, we are introduced to the first king of Israel - Saul. He is the king the people ask for. He is literally 'head and shoulders above' everyone. From the outside he is a king just like the other nations, but he is also deeply flawed. I think in many ways he is more of a judgment on the people and their desires than a solution to their fears. Take a few minutes to read through 1 Samuel 8-11. It's a story with twists and turns. It's filled with the miraculous and ridiculous. We will take some time this Sunday to re-tell it as we try to understand what God's purposes and plans are in the middle of it.
Blessing or Judgment
Sun, Feb 16, 2020
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” - 1 Samuel 8:4–5 (ESV) Have every really wanted something so bad that you begged God for it? Did God answer your prayer? When you received it did it turn out like you planned? When we ask God for things we want Him to answer our prayers by granting our wishes. When He doesn't we can become disappointed and doubt, but have you ever considered that God giving you something could not be his blessing but actually his judgment? It's a reversal of how we usually think. Getting what we want has to be blessing. Right? In 1 Samuel 8, Samuel is old, and the people are without a king. They are still doubting God and their solution,' give us a king!' If we only had a king then things would be better. We would be safe, protected, and whole. The only problem is their desire and dependance on a king means they have forgotten who is the true King. Take a few minutes to read through 1 Samuel 8 to get the context of the narrative. Come ready to consider what you are asking God for and plan to bring a friend with you to church.
Revival in Israel
Sun, Feb 02, 2020
And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the LORD only. - 1 Samuel 7:3–4 (ESV) We live in an era where news, events, tragedy, and triumphs from around the globe are reported to us almost instantly. Often times it is so quick we don't know how or if we should respond. We question a story's legitimacy, and our emotions affect how we react. In our day it seems that slow, thoughtful reasoned analysis of new events is at a deficit. I bet if it was reported on the news or the internet that a revival had broken out in another part of the country it would be met with cautious optimism at best or cynical dismissal at worst. But what if? In our text for this week, 1 Samuel 7:2-22, we see Samuel step into the spotlight and speak to the nation. What is his message? What does he call for? Take a few minutes to read through the text. It's an amazing text of renewal and revival. I'm praying that this affects us both personally and corporately.
Who is The LORD Almighty
Sun, Jan 26, 2020
So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. As soon as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded. - 1 Samuel 4:4–5 (ESV) We are a superstitious people. In order to harness the forces beyond our control, we use sacred objects, special words, and potions to obtain the outcome we want. Most of us would scoff at such an idea. Consider what you do or say or wear to ensure your team wins, or what you do to ward off sickness, or what you knock on when you utter something that you fear may happen. All of these are mild forms of superstition. They are funny and odd, but there is something much more dangerous...being superstitious about God. In our text in 1 Samuel this week the nation of Israel decides they will use God for their purpose. They are going to conscript Him to battle on their behalf. That doesn't go so well. The Philistines then decide after Yahweh's grand defeat they will just add Him to their pantheon of gods. That does not go well either. I want to encourage you to read 1 Samuel 4-6. In this text we are going to find the uncontrollable, just, preeminent, almighty God. Take a minute to consider if you use or worship God.
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