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]
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…
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."