Summary: I’ve already mentioned to several people that I grew up in Southern California. Now Don and the elders know that I have since repented of my ways and have been in Tennessee for a total of about 15 years. I attended Loma Vista Elementary School. Friend Dav
I’ve already mentioned to several people that I grew up in Southern California. Now Don and the elders know that I have since repented of my ways and have been in Tennessee for a total of about 15 years. I attended Loma Vista Elementary School. Friend David Minasian. Birthday. Monkees were coming. Not from zoo, but a musical group. Only certain people invited. I was one of them! Day came, drove into driveway, David not there but his mom in driveway. He had made the whole thing up.
Have you ever been disappointed when somebody you expected failed to show up? Could have been special date, grandparent, somebody talking to you about job interview. And you were really excited, really wanted them to show up. Abut they never did. Well, maybe they didn’t show up because they didn’t appreciate how they were invited. You see, that’s one reason God doesn’t show up. Sometimes God doesn’t come because he doesn’t appreciate how he’s been asked to come.
Revival isn’t going to happen as long as we won’t God to come so that we can use him rather than serve him. And that’s what our lesson is about today. We’re going to study a revival under the prophet Samuel. Samuel is going to teach us how to invite God to come, so open Bibles to 1 Samuel 4.
II. ISRAEL’S EXAMPLE FOR US TODAY
Now it’s been a long time since the days of Moses we studied last Sunday morning. The children have entered the land under leadership of Joshua who has since past away. And they have been through a period of judges who have led Israel through a series of victories, but also, the judges have tried to bring Israel out of a cycle of spiritual regression, moving backwards. When Samuel was born Israel was in one of her darkest times. In fact, in I Samuel 3:1 it says, “In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.”
Because you see by that point the leaders of Israel, Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas were so corrupt they were perverting the very tabernacle of God with their practices. God wouldn’t give the people a word because he didn’t want to use them as his spokesmen. Now this is the situation Israel faces. She has wondered far from the Lord and her leaders are corrupt. Now they are in a land that has a border with a people called the Philistines who were going to prove to be a thorn in her side for many years. Three Principles to learn:
A. You Will “Reap” the Harvest of the Seeds You “Sow”
Look with me at I Samuel 4:1-3. READ. Now, before we go further I want you to notice something. Notice how quick Israel was to blame God for her defeat. Did you notice when she went out for the skirmish, 4,000 men were defeated, they said, “Why did God do this? Why did God let us lose in battle?” Now defeat should have caused them to ask themselves, “What is wrong with us right now?” Instead they asked what is wrong with God.
Let me share with you an important principle. When a man’s heart is not set on the things of God, he will make foolish choices, he will reap what he sows, and then he’ll get mad at God. Have you ever seen that happen. The write says in Proverbs 19:3, “A man’s on folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord.”
How many people do we know who’s recklessness ruined their marriage, or ruined their Christian example, or ruined their health, and they’re mad at God for simply reaping the harvest of the seeds they sowed. So Israel wants to make war against the Philistines but she does not want to battle her own sins. The Hebrews from the yoke of the Philistines, but they do not want to submit to the yoke of God. They want to treat God like a distant relative that they can invite for a visit whenever it suits their purposes. Only one problem: When you treat God like that he just might not show up.
B. You Will Be “Defeated” in Battle Without God’s “Presence”
Let’s read verse 4-11. READ. Now, no one in all of Israel could have anticipated such an event. They had their ace up their sleeve. They had the ark of God. If nothing else, they could just call on God to show up whenever they needed him. They let out a mighty roar. It says the ground shook. By the way a church can holler and scream until the building shakes, but that doesn’t mean God is there. They went out to battle and the Philistines gave them a mighty defeat. In fact, it says in verse 12-18. READ.