Summary: When we make decisions according to a results model, we will find we have walked away from God’s plan and are lumbering down the path of ultimate destruction.
Passage: 1 Samuel 8:1-22
Intro: Wouldn’t it be nice to know for certain the results of every decision we made, before we made it?!
1. college choice, career path, stock purchase, marriage partner, location, etc.
2. we are obsessed with results, and the marketing community knows this.
PP) pill guaranteed to make us lose weight, investment that will grow 10% annually, “before and after” pictures.
3. we are typically pragmatists; drawn to make decisions because something “works” or we believe it will.
4. but when we make decisions according to a “results” model, we will find we have walked away from God’s plan and are lumbering down the path of ultimate destruction.
5. here’s a powerful example of that principle in 1 Samuel 8.
6. we are going to ask some questions about what drove this decision by the Israelites to demand a king.
7. we are going to find that we are no different, and that decisions we make, good or bad, will have incredible impact.
I. Why Do People Tend to Reject God’s Plan?
1. things were going better for Israel.
2. gotten rid of idols, Philistines leaving them alone. Samuel an accepted leader
3. v1, Samuel getting old, had failed to disciple his sons. Gone too much?
4. delegation comes to house in vv4-5, asks for a king. Why?
5. on surface, reasons make sense.
6. Samuel’s sons corrupt, and kings were common in the neighborhood.
7. another reason down in v19, “fight our battles.”
8. but God lays out the foundational decision that was being made in v7, the foundational reality of all decisions: God’s way or man’s way.
9. why is God’s plan so hard for us to accept?
10. it requires trust in a sovereign force outside our control.
PP) unmanipulatablility of God
11. we become impatient with the part we are given in the process
Il) preacher who had a tree fall on his car. Neighbor said, “Where’s God?” Preacher’s response, “I’m in sales, not management.”
12. we want to be in charge.
13. finally, we have a hard time with God’s plan because the results are out of our control.
14. God calls us to “trust and obey”, but that means we are do things His way and trust Him for the results.
Il) 20 years of “results” at CBC that don’t fit the success model. (The other “nations” around are doing better)
15. a focus on results will cause us to reject God’s plan and seek another way.
II. What is So Appealing about Man’s Plan?
1. clearly what drew Israel to ask for a king is that everyone else had one. V5,20
2. and frankly, the other nations seemed to have better results than Israel.
3. and so there is a “the grass is greener” syndrome going on here.
4. we cannot underestimate the seductive power of someone else’s success.
Il) Carter successfully won Democratic nomination in 1976 by running in every primary until he won with 2278 delegates. Now everyone starts incredibly early!
5. if we care only about the results, we will adopt whatever plan works. Pragmatism!
6. Man’s plan offers immediate gratification, quick satisfaction with a minimum of sacrifice.
Il) weight loss commercials, just take this pill and use this machine 5 minutes a day!!
7. no waiting for God, no sacrifice, just three easy steps to success and the results you always wanted.
8. we want to receive God’s blessing, but by man’s system of works.
Il) no one sells this better than proponents of the prosperity gospel.
9. what is really amazing about this passage is vv10-18.
10. taxation, slavery, economic bondage will be the actual result of this decision.
11. but the people were willing to pay that if it meant they would have some control.
12. power to manipulate their condition.
13. man’s plan promises success, and sometimes it works…briefly.
14. let’s get down to cases; God’s plan for His people.
III. What is God’s Plan for His People?
1. God has a plan for leading His community; one that the Israelites rejected.
2. never told them they could not have a king, but made it clear that He was their king.
3. Here is how His rule fleshes out.
4. God reveals the truth through His Word.
5. He uses certain men to teach those commands to others. Prophets, priests.
6. He calls parents to teach their children to trust and obey God.
7. that was the OT plan. God reveals truth and calls people to live in it.
8. NT system is the same
9. God has revealed the truth through a person, Jesus Christ, who keeps the moral law and fulfills the sacrificial law once for all.
10. He then appoints certain men to teach that truth to others.