Sermon:
Nowadays, our society marks its victories with a symbolic object known as a trophy. According to the dictionary, a trophy is “an object, reminder of a success or victory; an award given in a contest; spoils obtained from a war to credit triumph.”

I remember being sent to a dealership in Austin, TX to setup a new mainframe and computer equipment. We thought it was quite odd that the owner’s office was heavily guarded and always locked. We had to request permission to enter the room in order to install the owner’s new equipment. When the owner’s secretary opened the door for us, I was in awe seeing the different hunting trophies the man possessed. There was the head of a lion, several antelope and a rhinoceros hanging from the walls. Not only that, but on the floor he had the skins of zebras being used as carpets. He also had the stuffed remains of a gigantic bear standing over six feet tall. On his desk there were elephant tusks that served as decorations. As I looked at that scene, the Lord spoke to me and explained that in the same manner, the devil would like to have us as trophies and expose us in his infernal galleries. That is why the Bible advises that we should run away from the devil in order to avoid becoming fair game. The Bible also provides the experiences of some characters that, without caution, got themselves caught by the devil and became his trophies. The question thus rises, who are the devil’s trophies?

I. THOSE WHO BECOME AN AWARD ONCE THEY’VE LOST THE OBEDIENCE CONTEST
“The next day, when the Philistines came to rob the dead, they found Saul and his three sons dead on Mount Gilboa. They cut off Saul’s head and stripped off his armor. Then they spread the good news all through Philistine country in the shrines of their idols and among the people. They displayed his armor in the shrine of the Ashtoreth. They nailed his corpse to the wall at Beth Shan.” (1 Samuel 31:8-10)
A. Saul started out as an excellent contestant
1. His name means “Desired”
a. Without a doubt he was loved deeply by his father
2. He was obedient and fulfilled even the simplest of requests
a. Some of his father’s donkeys had gotten lost
b. When asked to go look for the donkeys, Saul immediately obeyed
c. No complaints, arguments or excuses
B. It was during this quest, that Saul had an encounter with God’s prophet
1. Samuel had been told by God about the young man’s visit
2. The encounter was awesome and life-changing
a. Saul was anointed king
b. Saul was given clear instructions on how to be anointed with God’s Spirit
c. Saul’s heart was changed
3. Saul was also advised about the importance of obedience
“When these confirming signs are accomplished, you’ll know that you’re ready: Whatever job you’re given to do, do it. God is with you!” (1 Samuel 10:7)
C. Saul seemed to be willing to obey and please God in all he did
1. He was eventually presented as the new king
a. Without