Sermons

Summary: If God gives us what we want, is there a guarantee of satisfaction?

Art Linkletter’s statement that "Children say the most amazing things" helps us to laught at life from a child’s perspective. But, here are some news items that will cause you to SHAKE you head in amazement.

The Stupid - Criminals HALL OF SHAME……

How could anybody do such a stupid thing?

I recently was in a convenience store and observed a child and parent near the check out. The child picked up some candy and said, “I want this….” Mom said, “I told you no more candy today… you’ve had enough….” The child objected “but, Mom…I want this…” A little louder, Mom said, “I told you no….” Then, with a tear and louder in volume, the child said, “Mom, I want some candy…” (as if they had not had any candy in years). Several more people had gathered and were waiting to check out & Mom knew something had to be done quickly. So, under the pressure to check out and pressure from the child - so she said, “OK”.

Another picture - A child wants something badly but senses that his parents will not let him. “Dad, can I ask you something?” But, Dad says, “NO!”. Not content with that answer, the child goes to Mom … and instead of asking “what did your Dad say?" (and stick with that answer), the child asks Mom and if she says "Yes", the child got what was desired by playing the parents one against the other.

Do people also do that with God? When God says, “NO” have you kept asking, trying to twist God’s arm? When God says, “YES” - we may even gloat (we may call it thanksgiving) but we GOT IT!

God’s word is practical. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Bible is the record of God’s plan for humankind. In the beginning, Adam and Eve were created perfect and lived in THE perfect place with only 1 restriction - do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, like a WET PAINT sign, that tree was attractive to them and when they gave into the temptation and took the fruit from the tree, they had what they wanted but discovered it was not all it was cracked up to be & certainly not in God’s plan for them. They got what they wanted, but it wasn’t good for them.

Sometimes, in our spiritual growth, God gives us what we ask for. But, does it satisfy?

In 1 Sam., the nation of Israel had settled in the Promised Land. After the Exodus from Egypt under Moses’ strong leadership, Joshua led the people of God through a long period of conquering the land God had given them. Following Joshua’s death, when there should have been a period of success, prosperity and spiritual growth, there was confusion and spiritual defeat. This was known as the time of the Judges - a dark period in the history of Israel. (read Judges 2:10-19). Life revolved around small groups. No central government dictated laws or taxes or military service.

Israel was not a military power, however. And, as their enemies, particularly the Philistines became more of a threat, Israel wrestled with what it meant to trust Jehovah God. Could He protect them? Could He be trusted to deliver them from their enemies? On one occasion (1 Sam. 4), they superstitiously trusted the ark (God’s presence) and were defeated. As a result the Ark was captured and they lost a sense of God’s presence and power. After being returned by the Philistines, the ark remained for 70 years in Kiriath Jearim (1 Sam. 7). Samuel, the last of the judges, called for a nationwide Revival. Samuel followed a long line of leaders who proclaimed Jehovah God was KING of ISRAEL.

Now, after a lengthy and successful career, Samuel was considering retirement. His sons were the natural choice to succeed him. Unfortunately, Samuel’s sons were more interested in making money than following God. 1 Sam. 8:3 - NLT - “They were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice.”

So, with Samuel retiring and his crooked sons in line to lead the country, the leaders of Israel met with Samuel and said they didn’t want his sons to lead them. Instead, they wanted a military leader who could lead them against the Philistines and other enemies.

From a human perspective, their request was very understandable. After a period of DARK days, and since Samuel was going to retire and no one was qualified to lead them into the future, it seemed like a good time to propose the idea of a KING. In the middle of a leadership crisis, with hostile neighbors, and a lack of confidence in Samuel’s sons, confidence in leadership was necessary. While Jehovah God had been faithful in the past, "those days" were in the past. The new generation did not live through them and since the Philistines were strong and powerful with their king, a king seemed to be the need of the hour.

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