Summary: This sermon examines the two Saul’s, King Saul & Saul, later Paul, the apostle, & their contrast of loyalty to God.
A CONTRAST OF COMMITMENT
1 Sam. 26:21
2 Tim. 4:7
Intro: The Bible is a book of contrasts. In the NT, especially the teachings of Jesus, we find many contrasts. i.e.- 2 roads-1 broad, that leads to destruction; 1 narrow, that leads to life. 2 went to pray—a Pharisee & a publican…. The foolish man, built on sand; & the wise man who built his house on a solid foundation.
Even in the OT we see some contrasts. i.e.—in Psalm 1 there is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly & he is like a tree planted by the rivers of water—his leaf shall not wither, & whatever he does he will prosper. But the ungodly are like the chaff which the wind drives away & they will perish. Isa. 1 we have the willing & obedient who shall eat of the good of the land; but those who refuse & rebel shall be devoured by the sword.
Yet another contrast we see repeatedly in Scripture, is the contrast of people. The contrast I want to deal w/is a contrast between 2 people—one in the OT, & 1 in the NT.
We have before us 2 men who had a lot in common. They have the same name…from the same tribe (Benjamin)…both had outstanding conversions & entered the service of God…
…both were appointed of God to important service…both had tremendous potential. But the paths of their life took a different track. One is King Saul & one is Saul, who later became the apostle Paul. One is an example of pride; one of humility. One is an example of bitterness; one of grace. One is an example of jealousy; one of purity. One is an example of revenge; one of forgiveness. One is an example of selfishness; one of self-less-ness.
1 Sam. 26:21, …I have played the fool & have erred exceedingly.
2 Tim. 4:7,I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
I. A Contrast of DEVOTION.
A. Partial Obedience.
1. First Instance—Saul & Samuel were to meet together at Gilgal so that Samuel might offer sacrifice on the eve of a pending battle. But Samuel was very late. This was very disturbing to those who were waiting. The soldiers, unwilling to go to battle w/o a sacrifice, were beginning to desert. Saul found himself in a tight corner & he offered the sacrifice himself.
2. Second Instance—God sent Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites. He was told to destroy sheep, cattle, king, & slave. Saul defeated them, but took their king captive & saved the best of the sheep & cattle. Then God spoke to Samuel & said, Saul is turned back from following me.
Saul’s sin was that he refused to obey the Lord completely. As long as it suited him & his interests, but beyond that he would not go. He killed the cattle that he did not want & kept the rest. He clung to the sins that appealed to him & threw the rest away. He was perfectly willing to destroy what he did not value.
Unfortunately, we have a lot of people infected w/that malady. They are partially obedient to God. Disobedience is like a plague that soon grows out of control.
ILL- In Europe a plague destroyed as many as 80% of the population in some places, & it started from just a little germ.
B. Fully Obedient. Acts 26:19, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.
God’s call was revolutionary & costly, changing the entire course of his life: his plans, prejudices, activities, beliefs, & relationships. He became despised, hunted, persecuted, imprisoned, & martyred. But he obeyed fully—no matter the cost, loss, or cross! Wherever God called him he went; whatever God told him to do, he did. There is no greater joy than being fully obedient to God!
II. A Contrast in their DISPOSITION.
A. Saul Yielded to Carnal Passions.
1. Jealousy—the song the woman sang of Saul killing his thousands & David his ten thousands caused jealousy to spring up in Saul. He became so jealous of David he threw a spear at him while he was ministering to him in song. Saul allowed the poisonous cancer of jealousy to grow w/in him.
2. Bitterness—he hunted David like an animal because he allowed the ugly attitude of bitterness to operate in his life.
B. Paul Refused to Yield to Wrong Attitudes.
Paul had far more injustice in his life than Saul did. While Paul was in prison, some mocked him & preached against him. But as you read his epistles, especially Philippians, you never read a trace of bitterness or a hint of a grudge. Instead you read of joy, grace, forgiveness, purity, & love. Even sitting in a damp jail, the theme of Philippians is joy! Prison did not keep him from his pen, prayers, purpose, prospects, or his pulpit! Out of the prison of false accusation did not come complaint or bitterness; but Philippians, Colossians, Ephesians, & Philemon. All because Paul did not yield to carnal attitudes, but a Christlike attitude!