Summary: This sermon teaches you how to respond when God says no (to your requests).
Has God ever said no to something you desired? Maybe you asked for a new job, a change of career, a new house or a similar request. In I Samuel 8 we find an occasion when God’s people requested something they did not need. When they prayed God told them, no! The people had prayed that Samuel would appoint a king to rule over them. Samuel sought the Lord and the Lord said, no! He informed Samuel that a king was not in the best interest of the people. In considering this truth I want to ask two questions. The first question is: what is the spirit that drives us to desire what we do not need? The second question is: what are the reasons God says no?
Are we like a child in a toy story? Do we take no for an answer, or, do we submit to God’s answer? Let’s see what we can learn from I Samuel 8 that will guide us.
1. The first question is:What is the spirit that drives us to desire what we do not need?
A. In the case of the Israelite people it was insecurity (vs. 5).They had three reasons for requesting a king. These reasons are found in verse 5.
(1) Samuel was old and nearing the end of his ministry.
(2) Samuel’s sons were corrupt and showed no signs of leadership.
(3) The Israelites did not trust God to take care of them.
Insecurity drove the Israelites to act foolishly on two other occasion.
Example: After coming out of Egypt they faced a time of fear when they were trapped between Pharaoh and the waters of the Red Sea. In that moment of insecurity they made a foolish statement. They said they would rather live in Egypt than die in the desert.
Example: When the Israelites arrived at Mt. Sinai they faced a moment of insecurity when Moses was delayed in coming down from the mountain. In that moment they pressured Aaron to build a golden calf.
Insecurity will drive you to make bad choices.
B. The Israelites were influenced by insecurity. A closely related point is that they were influenced by those around them. They observed what other nations were doing. When they compared themselves to other nations they found themselves wanting to play the copy cat game.
2. The second question is: what is the Reason God says no?
A. God sometimes says no because he knows some things will harm us. He is looking out for us. God told the Israelite people that a king would be unhealthy for them. He explained that a king would be a dictator over them (vs. 11-18).
Illustration: When God says no he has a good reason for saying no. For instance, there has been much discussion of the Ten Commandments in recent years. Many people consider them to be outdated rules. They consider them to be negative commands. What these people do not realize is that when God gives a negative response he has a positive reason. Consider the command of not stealing. God knows that stealing will ultimately harm the person who steals. It will harm his integrity. It will put a dark spot on his character. It it’s worst form it could result in a person going to prison.
B. God sometimes says no because he has something better for us.
Illustration: When I was a student at New Orleans Seminary I applied for a job officiating high school basketball games. This was a clean activity. Surely God would not say no to such a request. However, in the process of applying for the officiating position God slammed several doors in my face. Why did he do this? Approximately a month after God slammed the door shut He opened another door. He provided the opportunity to serve in my first church. He knew I did not need the other job. He had something better.
The bottom line in accepting a no answer from God is to learn to be submissive. We must learn to submit our wills to His will. In Romans 12:2 we are instructed to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” God has a perfect will for us. We must find it. Sometimes that involves Him saying No!