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.