Summary: When we know what God wants in our lives and yet chose to go another direction we are very best, choosing second best.
A Study of the Life of Samuel
Sermon # 7
“When We Settle For Less than the Best”
(1 Sam 9:1-10:10)
God had a plan for the life of his nation Israel, but Israel thought they understood better what they needed than God did. They wanted a king, and they wanted one for all the wrong reasons. They wanted to be like the other nations. When we as God’s people desire more than anything else to be like the other people of this world we are in trouble. When we know what God wants in our lives and yet chose to go another direction we are very best, choosing second best. We need to recognize tonight that God’s will for our lives, is what we would choose if we could see clearly. God’s will is not to make our lives miserable but to make our lives fulfilled.
In the story we have before us we are going to see Israel make a choice that was less than God’s best for their lives. As we examine this story we can see; 1. Some things we can learn about Choices. 2. Some things that we can learn about Saul. 3. Some things that God showed Saul about Himself.
I. Things We Can Learn About Choices.
1. We are free to obey or disobey God. God has
a perfect will for each life, but God gives us a great deal of freedom to make our own choices in life. For example it is God’s will that I honor others above myself. However, God will permit me to honor myself above others. But when I do, I’ll suffer some negative consequences. It is God’s will that I be generous in sharing my personal possessions. Does God allow me to be selfish and stingy? Yes, but when I am selfish, I will face negative consequences.
2. When we choose less than God’s best he still does not abandon us. It grieved God and his prophet Samuel that Israel demanded a king. Samuel was sent to reason with Israel but they replied, “No, we want a king like all the other nations.” They thought that they knew what was best, they took counsel of their own hearts and having chosen a course independent of God, they proceeded at once to follow it up. Sometimes the severest judgment God can give us is to let us have our own way. And yet even when we reject God’s best he does not forsake his people. Most of us are painfully aware that things would be far better in our lives if they had made wiser decisions. I believe that it is especially frustrating to realize what they are going through now is the result of poor past decision in our lives, times when we settled for less than God’s best.
II. Things We Learn About Saul. Ch 9
1. Saul was from a leading family (v. 1)
“There was a man of Benjamin whose name was
Kish … a Benjamite, mighty man of power.”
Saul was from the house of Benjamin, the smallest tribe of Israel, an unlikely source for future kings. Interestingly Saul means “that which has been asked for.”
2. Saul was physically strong and attractive
(v.2)“And he had a choice and handsome son
whose name was Saul. There was not a more
handsome person than he among the children of
Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller
than any of the people.”
Psalm 139:13-16 “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. (14) I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, Marvelous are Your works And that my soul knows very well. (15) My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were
written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” This passage reminds us that even our genetic structure, the way that are made physically, is ordained by God. He creates us with particular characteristics because he has certain tasks for each one of us to perform.
Saul was well-built and appeared every inch
a king. Saul was literally “tall, dark and
handsome.” He was the most handsome man in
Israel (v.2) and his size marked him out for
leadership and gave him a distinct advantage in
handling a bow and spear.
3. He was obedient in the Small Things. (v. 3)
“Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost.
And Kish said to his son Saul, "Please, take one of
the servants with you, and arise, go and look for
He could have said, “I have more