Sermons

Summary: God gives us the freedom to obey or disobey Him. When we choose our way, God does not abandon us. God directs the steps of those who delight in Him.

1 Sam 9:15-17 - THINGS WE LEARN ABOUT GOD

We get to know more about God, in seeing the way He deals with His people Israel.

God had a plan for Israel, but the people felt they know better.

• 8:6 “Give us a king to lead us…” They wanted a king for all the wrong reasons, because the other nations have them.

• 8:5 “such as all the other nations have.” They wanted to be like the rest of the world. Such a temptation is very real, even for us today.

• Instead of seeking God and His pattern for life, we tend to copy what we see around us, thinking that if everyone is doing it, it is fine.

As God’s people, if we desire MORE to be like the world than what God THINKS, then we are in trouble.

• We are called to be HOLY, just as the Lord Himself is holy. We are SET APART to be different, to be like Him.

• Israel wanted a human king. God tells Samuel to warn the people of the consequences of their choice. It was a lengthy warning (end of chapter 8).

• 8:19 “But the people refused to listen to Samuel.” They chose to ignore the warnings.

THINGS WE LEARN ABOUT GOD:

GOD GIVES US THE FREEDOM TO OBEY OR DISOBEY HIM

I do not know if this is a bane or a blessing of life; it is a good thing or a bad thing.

• God has given us freedom in life. We are free to choose - the good and bad, the right and wrong, or most of the time, between two goods.

• God guides us, warns us and reminds us. But at the end of the day, we are given the freedom to choose.

Why doesn’t God stop me from making the wrong choice, forcefully? (Forcefully because usually we are not willing to listen.)

• Why doesn’t God force the right choices upon us? Which also means I’m rob of my freedom to choice.

• The reason is partial freedom is no freedom at all. We are just being controlled, but in a less obvious way. We become puppets in the hands of God.

It saddened God to see that Israel demanded for a king. Samuel reasoned with them but failed. They had already made up their minds.

• It takes humility to know that we can be wrong, because pride will always tell us we are right.

• I was talking with my dad about the flowers on Mark & Sophia’s wedding. He says there were sunflowers but I say NO. I was quite sure that there isn’t any sunflowers, not even on the arch. Then the thought came - I might be wrong. I took out my phone to prove it. I’ve a photo with the bride and groom. Photos cannot lie. Guess who has to eat the humble pie.

• We are just talking about flowers here, but the consequences will be much greater if we are talking about bigger decisions of life.

Don’t always think that you are right. The fact that God has given us FREEDOM in life, means that we need to be MORE CAREFUL of the way we use this freedom.

• Every choice counts. Every choice has its consequences. Every decision matters.

• Seek God with a heart of humility. We can never be SMARTER than God. CONSIDER more carefully His Word and His ways.

• Take time to understand God’s heart. Seek “His good, pleasing and perfect will”. (Rom 12:2)

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With Israel’s rejection of God’s counsel, I expected God to “dump” them. “Serve you right!” I expected Him to turn His back on them and be silent.

• Yet reading on to 1 Samuel 9 and 10, we continue to see God’s involvement. In fact, He is doing MORE, much, much more than I expected.

• In fact, God is helping them find a king.

THINGS WE LEARN ABOUT GOD:

WHEN WE CHOOSE OUR WAY, GOD DOES NOT ABANDON US

His door stays open. He did not close it, not yet. He is still watching over them.

• God let us have our own way WITHOUT leaving us. We can reject God, but He will not forsake us.

• It is not His character to do so, nor His will. He is the loving Father waiting for the return of His disobedient child, Jesus said in the parable.

So we see this God stepping in to help Israel finds a king. And He will prepare a prophet (Samuel) to anoint this king, because that’s what a king will need.

• The story starts with this seemingly random event of a man named Saul sent by his father to look for lost donkeys (1 Sam 9).

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