Summary: Sin has consequences in our lives. The text is the story of two men, Saul and David and how they handled their sin.
“Two Responses to Sin”
October 9, 2005
Today is a message dealing with a very uncomfortable topic. Sin has become an issue that all too often churches don’t want to address and don’t want to deal with. We like to focus on grace and mercy and forgiveness, but we fail sometimes to really look at the gravity and the severity of what sin does in our lives.
Today we are going to look at sin and the consequences that sin has in our lives. We are going to do so primarily in the context of the story of two men, Saul and David.
To begin today, let’s look at what sin is and what it isn’t.
Sin is defined as actions by which humans rebel against God and surrender to the power of evil rather than God.
“Holman’s Bible Dictionary”
Sin is not making a mistake or using bad judgment.
The key issue in the life of a follower of God is simply call sin what it is. Don’t minimize sin or its effect.
I. The Denial of Sin
Saul is the first man anointed to be king over Israel. God chose Saul and gave him the throne. Samuel, the priest is the one who anointed Saul and who God had given to Saul to guide and advise him in the spiritual affairs of the nation.
We pick up the story with Samuel telling Saul of God’s plan for an upcoming battle.
“Samuel said to Saul, "I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ’I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ " 1 Samuel 15:1-3 (NIV)
The instruction of God was to completely destroy everything of the Amalekites.
Saul had his own plan.
“Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs--everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.” 1 Samuel 15:7-9 (NIV)
Sin is willfully doing what God has forbidden or willfully not doing what God has commanded.
God takes sin seriously.
“Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: "I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions." Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.”
1 Samuel 15:10-11 (NIV)
God sends Samuel to tell Saul that he is not pleased.
“Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, "Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal." When Samuel reached him, Saul said, "The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions." But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?" Saul answered, "The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.""Stop!" Samuel said to Saul. "Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night."
"Tell me," Saul replied. Samuel said, "Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. And he sent you on a mission, saying, ’Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.’] Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?"
1 Samuel 15:12-19 (NIV)
Saul is caught in his sin.
When we are caught in sin, we have two options, confession or excuses.
Saul chose to make excuses.
"But I did obey the Lord," Saul said. "I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal."