Summary: We can make a huge mess of things, but God’s grace is sufficient not only to save us, but to use us for His glory
Passage: 1 Samuel 12:1-24
Intro: One of the most persistent misconceptions in the Christian life is that God’s grace is tied to our behavior.
1. quite simple. If we behave, then God is gracious to us.
2. if we misbehave, God’s grace stops.
Il) we sometimes say when something good happens, “God is so good.” So what do we say when something bad happens?
3. we have been following the life of Samuel, leading up to the 3 kings of Israel’s united kingdom.
4. last week, Israel made a huge mistake in asking for a king to replace God as their king.
5. so now we can expect God to disappear, right? Grace no more.
Il) leaves and slams the door
6. what follows their sinful choice is nothing short of amazing.
7. and the good news is that we can find principles to encourage us this Father’s Day morning.
8. Dads, we can find great encouragement this morning from the actions and words of God, because His grace is always available, especially when we have blown it.
I. God Graciously Cleans Up
1. no doubt that Israel blew it
PP 1 Samuel 8:7
2. in next few chapters, God chooses and anoints a king for them.
3. Saul had one thing going for him.
PP 1 Samuel 9:2 He looked like a king!
4. I believe God chose him because the people would like him.
5. He was the kind of king the people envisioned.
6. spiritually, Saul was probably like most of the rest of the nation. Dead.
7. in chapter 10, Samuel anoints Saul to be the king in a private ceremony
8. but in v6, something very powerful is promised.
9. what is this but the grace of God?
10. in v9, the change takes place, and Saul experiences the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit, and begins to prophecy!
11. God has graciously empowered Saul to do right, to serve God, to lead the nation righteously.
12. and at the beginning, he does so.
13. chapter 11, rescues the city of Jabesh from the Ammonites.
14. here is the principle: God is gracious by nature, and is the God of the 2nd and 3rd and 4th chance.
15. not because we deserve it, but because He loves us.
16. and with that opportunity comes the power to obey, to trust God.
17. the failure is not with God, but with our refusal to accept His grace.
18. certainly the gift of Christ had nothing to do with our actions.
PP Romans 5:8
II. God Graciously Supplies Godly Leaders
1. Samuel is now at the end of his ministry.
2. so he gives the people a history lesson to remind them of how God’s grace has carried them. Vv1-11
3. for 500 years since Moses, God has supplied godly leaders to deliver them, from Moses down to Samuel.
4. Samuel stands in this line, as he reminds them in vv3-5
5. but Israel’s consistent response has been to forget God and worship other gods.
6. and now finally, they have rejected God and asked for a king. V12
7. in light of this, God reminds them of an important principle.
8. when God picks a leader to bring grace to His people, he prioritizes spiritual character.
9. Moses is a prime example.
PP Numbers 12:1-8 (selected verses)
10. these others God used, He sometimes had to do some serious reconstruction before using them.
11. when God delivers, He uses godly men and women.
12. dads, we need to remember that we are God’s junior deliverers for our families.
13. our godliness or ungodliness will have a huge impact on them. This is God’s design.
14. human leaders are God’s gracious gift to us, and when they do not follow God, watch out!
Il) how much damage has been done to the kingdom when leaders fall?
III. God Graciously Reveals the Pathway of Blessing.
1. this may sound like law, but it is grace.
2. God has graciously revealed truth to us and calls us to respond with faith-based obedience.
3. our choice is introduced by the word “if” in v14.
4. repeated in v20 and v24
5. God has revealed the pathway to a restored relationship, which in the OT and the NT was the same.
6. that is, to trust in the provision of God for our salvation, and not in our own plan.
7. for these Israelites, who were on the road of rejecting God, He calls them to submit to His Lorship, even though they had a new lord.
8. bottom line. They had a new king, but God was still their king, whether they wanted Him to be or not.
Il) sometimes we say “I made Jesus my Lord.” No.