Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This is the 4th sermon in the series "Pot Holes". Should we quit and turn around?

Sunday Morning July 26, 2009

Bel Aire Baptist Church

Series: Pot Holes [#4]


1 Samuel 13:1-23


Have you ever been going somewhere and the road is so bumpy and full of potholes that you have to stop? What do you do? Do you keep maneuvering your way to your destination or do you make a u-turn and go away from your destination?

Up to, this point Saul’s record had been one of obedience and victory. He defeated the Ammonites and had established himself as Israel’s hero and king. The nation went to Gilgal, had a celebration of their new King, and heard a great sermon from Samuel about being faithful to God. But, understand that one victory doesn’t make you a conqueror. In 1 Samuel 13 the Philistines came on the scene and Saul had to deal with them. Unfortunately at this point Saul stopped moving towards God and started moving away from Him.

In chapter 13, we find the 30 year old king being faced with a battle that looked impossible to win. The Philistines were angered about Jonathan attacking their outpost and therefore assembled an army of 3000 chariots with 2 riders in each and an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore.

1 Samuel 13:6-7 (NIV)

“When the men of Israel saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear.”

A sign of making a u-turn is…

1. Unbelief

Saul started to walk by sight and not by faith. Apparently the Philistines were becoming a threat, but it wasn’t Saul that did something about it, it was Jonathan. Jonathan trusted God and stepped out on faith. He went into a Philistine outpost in Geba and began the battle that his father should have. What did Saul do? He had the trumpet blown throughout the land. He had no choice; he had to prepare for battle.

This mighty leader was no longer so mighty. The army was “shaking in their boots”. It is a proven fact that most groups take on the characteristics of their leader and that is what it looks like happened here.

Saul had quickly forgotten what Samuel had said in his sermon. If the people and the king followed God, God would take care of them; but if they didn’t they would be defeated.

1 Samuel 13:8-12 (NIV)

“He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, "Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings." And Saul offered up the burnt offering. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. "What have you done?" asked Samuel. Saul replied, "When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash, I thought, `Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering."

A sign of making a u-turn is…

2. Impatience.

Saul couldn’t wait any longer for Samuel to arrive. He knew Who they needed, but he did things on his own terms. He didn’t even consider the affects of his decision. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Our faith and patience go hand in hand.

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)

“But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

The opposite holds true.

James 1:2-8 (NIV)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”

A sign of making a u-turn is…

3. Dishonesty

Saul rushed ahead and offered the burnt offering- and then Samuel arrived. Samuel could tell something was wrong. Immediately Saul began to make excuses. In chapter 13 he blamed Samuel. In chapter 14 he blamed Jonathan, and in chapter15 he blamed the people. Saul never blamed himself. He was good at making excuses.

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