Summary: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see the Israelite people make a bad decision. And at the beginning it didn’t seem like they were that far off. But b/c they weren’t hitting life in the CENTER of the club, so to speak, they ended up in a
“The Slow Fade”
1 Samuel 8: 1-18
May 26, 2013
Intro: For some strange reason I LOVE to play golf. When the weather’s good I usually get out to play golf once a week w/my dad. But as much fun as golf is, it has to be the most infuriating sport there is. It’s such a precise game. I mean, if you’re just off a fraction of an inch in your swing, it can have a massive impact on where your golf ball ends up.
-I was reading an article on how to hit longer drives. And the writer said, “If you want to hit longer drives, hit the ball in the middle of your club face.” If you do this, w/a 100 mph swing, you’ll hit the ball 258 yards. He said if you’re off just a fraction of an inch, you’ll hit it 243 yards. If you’re off by 1 inch, you’ll hit it 227 yards. One inch really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. And at impact it’s not.
-But as time goes on, that one inch slowly fades into a BIG miss. And I believe the same kind of logic can be used in our lives. A lot of you look like you’re doing pretty well in life. You live in a great community. Our schools are solid. There are a lot of activities to be involved in.
-But a lot of us are just an inch or two off in our walk w/Christ. We believe it’s important to be a part of the church, we believe it’s important to be good, moral people. But we’re not quite hitting it in the center of the club b/c Xianity is more than just trying to be a good person who tips our hat to God every once in a while.
-His calling is for us to FOLLOW Him; to be surrendered to Him! And if we don’t do that then we’re going to end up asking the question like so many others, “How did I end up here? Why am I not further down the fairway of life?”
-We’re concluding our series “Breaking Bad” this morning, and it’s my desire for us to be able to identify when we’re making a bad decision, so that we can put a stop to it before it’s too late.
Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see the Israelite people make a bad decision. And at the beginning it didn’t seem like they were that far off. But b/c they weren’t hitting life in the CENTER of the club, so to speak, they ended up in a place they never wanted to be.
TEXT: 1 SAMUEL 8: 1-18
Bckgrd: At this point Israel was a theocracy, so they didn’t have a king but they had a religious leader, the prophet Samuel, who would give them direction concerning what Scripture said. The Lord would also speak to the religious leader w/dreams and visions (and sometimes even an audible voice) to give even more specific instructions for His people.
-Just in case you’re a little jaded you could say that the religious leader was working a scam. But you have to remember that the standards were extremely high when you claimed to speak for God. Deut. 18: 20, “But the prophet who dares to speak in My name a message I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods--that prophet must die.” I don’t think I’d want to add “Prophet” to my resume just for kicks.
-Samuel was a prophet who truly spoke for God. He lived up to the standards. How well was that working out for the people? Well, when they were obedient God blessed them. But the people still weren’t satisfied! And from our text we can see some warning signs that showed they were headed towards making a bad decision.
-Very briefly I want us to see some warning signs that show we’re @ to make a bad decision as well. The 1st warning sign that demonstrates we’re @ to make a bad decision is:
1: MAKING EXCUSES (vv. 1-5)
Exp: Samuel was the virtual leader of Israel at this time. He was the most respected religious leader of the day. He was a great leader who’d restored Israel after the Philistines had taken the ark of the covenant from Israel. He moved the people to repent of their sins against God back in 1 Sam. 7. He told them in v. 3, “If you are returning to the Lord w/all your heart, get rid of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths that are among you, dedicate yourselves to the Lord, and worship only Him. Then He will rescue you from the hand of the Philistines.”