Summary: Learning from the mistakes of Israel asking for a king and making Jesus the King and Lord of our lives

1 Samuel 8:1-9

Israel asks for a king

Primary Purpose Statement: To call on the congregation to make Christ Lord and King and to avoid the mistakes of Israel.

I want to talk with you this morning about learning from mistakes. In the passage we are looking at today, we see the nation of Israel make some fatal mistakes that I believe we can learn much from. Sometimes it is important to not make mistakes. Consider what would happen in some cases if we settled for 99% correct:

We would have no phone service for 15 minutes each day

1.7 million pieces of first class mail would be lost each day.

35.000 newborn babies dropped by doctors and nurses each year.

200,000 people would get the wrong drug prescriptions each year

We would have unsafe drinking water three days a year.

Then some mistakes are just downright unbelieveable. Take the case of the bank robber in Los Angeles who told the clerk not to give him cash, but to put the money in his checking account. Or maybe the one about the two teenager who burst through the front door and ran to the counter and demanded the clerk but all the money in a bag.

The puzzled library attendant who had less than $1 in collected fines that day ducked out the door and called the police. They had never heard of two bandits holding up the local library. It seems the youth got confused because the bank and library are a block apart and both are on the corner and look alike. As you can imagine, they were apprehended by police and “booked”.

These are unbelieveable mistakes that people actually make all the time. Some mistakes we should learn from though. The mistakes in this passage are from Samuel and the people.


Samuel’s sons took bribes just as Eli’s sons did. God doesn’t condemn Samuel for his sons actions. Evidentially, Samuel did not know about his sons actions or perhaps he has tried to correct them. Since the victory that God gave them in chapter 7 perhaps 30 years has passed. They quickly forgot about the Ebenezer they had dedicated. They had experienced spiritual decay again.

When there is spiritual decay, the church tends to become more like the world and uses the world’s methods and resources to do God’s work. God gave them what their heart desired though it wasn’t his will. Samuel may have interpreted it as a rejection of his leadership. But, God sees things differently. Samuel does what we should do, he made it a matter of prayer. He laid out his case before God and shared his heartache with him. We first want to look at:

I. Israel’s fatal mistakes

a. They wanted to be like the nations around them. vs.5 They wanted a man instead of God leading them into battle. God had called them to be a chosen people who would be His witnesses. Instead, they wanted to be like and look like the world. God’s people are to be “sanctified” or “set apart”. We are to look different from the world and not to be conformed by it. This desire to be like the nations also applies spiritually. They worshipped the gods of those around them. vs.8

b. They rejected God’s leadership vs.7 God calls us to make him king. The Christian life is not a democracy. God had never led the people down, but they continually rejected him over and over vs.8 God is looking for a people who will follow His leadership.

2 Timothy 2:13 “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

c. They weren’t willing to wait on God’s timing. God was grooming David to be king. Sometimes the worst that can happen to us is that we get what we ask for. Israel wanted a king in their own timing and God gave them Saul when he was grooming David.

II. The tragic results

a. They failed to experience all that God had for them. He wanted to lead them himself, but they rejected him. Exodus 19:5-6 God said that He wanted for them to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Dt 14:2- they are a holy people, a treasured possession. (Deut 26:19)

b. They experienced a harsh monarchy that often led them farther away from God. God gave them what they wanted, instead of what He wanted them to have. We should be careful what we ask for. We might actually get it. vs.9

Conclusion: Is the Lord your king?


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