Summary: Game of Thrones would well have been the title of I & II Kings in our Bible. Israel's desire to be ruled by a king was tainted by their worldly aspirations and would bring heavy, painful consequences until God’s true King arrived in Bethlehem.

“The Game of Thrones Begins ”

I. Introduction

Game of Thrones is the title of the American fantasy drama series created for HBO, now in its 5th season. This series is based on the George R. Martin's series of novels entitled A Song of Ice and Fire, sent in the fictional land of Westeros. It is filmed in a Belfast studio; on location elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Malta, Scotland, Croatia, Iceland, the United States. The fifth season is scheduled to premiere on April 12, 2015.

Set in the fictional Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the series chronicles the violent dynastic struggles among the realm's noble families for control of the Iron Throne. More than 5.3 million people have watched the first 4 episodes.

The series is filled with intrigue, the murder of honest and good men, the murder of evil and foolish men and women, all who have the desire for power.

Game of Thrones would well have been the title of I & II Kings in our Bible. Israel's desire to be ruled by a king was tainted by their worldly aspirations and would bring heavy, painful consequences until God’s true King arrived in Bethlehem.

Samuel, the last Judge of Israel anointed Saul as the first king of Israel. When the 12 tribal leaders came to Samuel asking for an earthly king they had already made the decision to “dethrone” God as their King. So, God gave the Israelites the king they wanted.

As we watch the life and kingship of Saul unfold through the words of I Samuel we will see the “Game of Thrones” changing the human names who would occupy the Thrones of Israel. It was a long and painful history as men and women vied for power, failing to obey God’s word.

I Kings 13 tells us that Saul was 30 years old when he was crowned king and he ruled over Israel for 42 years, until he was 72. These were not easy years. These were years of constant warfare and personal failure. Ultimately Saul and his sons were killed by the Philistines, and the “Game of Thrones” would shift to the family and descendants of David.

This Game of Thrones is still going on in the Middle East to this very day as “strong men” vie for power and control of territory and people.

In many human ways my heart goes out to Saul.

1. 12 tribal leaders did not really want to give up power to a powerful king. He didn’t even have a palace.

2. There was constant shuffling of tribal alliances, and changing borders.

3. Saul had to always gather a volunteer army to fight the neighboring tribes, like the Philistines & Amalekites.

a. In the first battle Saul had 3000 foot soldiers, arraigned against 3000 chariots with horses, 6000 charioteers and soldiers. He was outnumbered and afraid. That’s when we saw King Saul’s patience falter in God. It was his first major political and religious misstep when he failed to wait on Samuel to offer the sacrifice.

b. Our story from the life of Saul in I Samuel 15 shows another fatal mistake.

4. Saul constantly demonstrated a lack of trust in the power of God….because of his lack of patience which Pastor Hues pointed out 2 weeks ago… Saul began to manipulate both God and God’s people creating his own laws, causing God’s people to disobey God’s laws.

There are three questions that I want to try to answer with you this morning.

1. Why does God delight in obedience?

2. Will our disobedience always brings God’s judgment?

3. Is there hope and forgiveness?

II. God’s Command to King Saul was clear. 1 Samuel 15:2–3,

Here’s the background. When Israel came out of Egypt and passed through the wilderness, the Amalekites attacked them. We read about it in Exodus 17:8–16. God gave the Israelites victory, but the evil was never forgotten.

Finally the Lord commands Saul: Thus says the Lord of hosts, "I will punish what then Amalekites did to Israel in opposing them on the way to the “promised land” when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and smite Amalekites, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them.

III. Saul's Fatal Disobedience I Samuel 15:8.9

But verse 9 describes the fatal disobedience of Saul.

Saul and the people spared Agag, the king. They spared the best of the sheep, oxen, the lambs, and all that was good. Saul failed to obey the word of the Lord. His failure also caused the Israelites to disobey God’s command as well, for they did not utterly destroy everything.

The Lord saw this disobedience and he repented that he had made Saul king (v. 11).

Samuel is angry at this turn in God's attitude toward Saul and he cries out to God all night (v. 11, cf. 12:23). The result of his night of prayer is a firm resolve to do what God says. Samuel rises early in the morning and finds out (v. 12) that Saul has gone to Carmel. Why? To set up a monument for himself. He was on his way to Gilgal where he was first made king (11:15).

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