Summary: When a person depends on God’s power, good things will happen; but when a person depends on their own wisdom and strength, failure will follow.
Please open your Bibles to 1 Samuel Chapter 13…..
Samuel was called to be a spokesperson for God, a prophet. Do you know why God called Samuel? God called a spokesperson because God’s people Israel kept forgetting about God. Take a quick look back to 1 Samuel 12:12…….
Along with Prophet Samuel, to teach God’s People a lesson, God chose Saul to be their king and God empowered Saul. But just like any other human being, when Saul depended on God’s power, good things happened. But when Saul depended on his own wisdom and strength, failure followed. Saul had access to the power of God but he was still a human being bent to sin. This is the main lesson for us today: When a person depends on God’s power, good things will happen; but when a person depends on their own wisdom and strength, failure will follow.
Let us read 1 Samuel 13 and learn….
Some of you have different English translations of Scriptures like the KJV, NASB, and ESV. There are debates about the translation of verse 1. As I looked into this, I find the NIV translation is actually the most meaningful; of course the key to reading God’s Word is context (i.e. ask, is what is translated make sense in relation to the Chapter, the book, and the entire Bible?) If it does not make sense, one really needs to study deeper. For our study, let us note the clear and obvious (if you would like to study deeper, more power to you, and share with me what you find!)
But basically in,
v1: Saul became king as an adult (see 1 Samuel chapters 9-10) and reigned over Israel for many years. We can say this because we have noted from previous chapters that God empowered adult Saul to be king!
Now look again at v2-5: we note that Saul organized an army and attacked the Philistines! Now, we know that the Philistines have been Israel’s enemy ever since Israel was formed; but what didn’t seem right with Saul’s actions??
Saul took an offensive action without consulting God!
And so, according to v5-8?, what happened after Saul attacked the Philistines?
The Philistines fought back with might and the Israelites ran and went into hiding! Israel was embarrassed due to Saul’s actions!
And so because the Israelites were in trouble, what did Saul do in v9? Saul prayed to God!
But according to v10-13, what did Saul do wrong??
v13: tells us straightforward that Saul disobeyed God! Saul was supposed to wait for Samuel!
And in v12: we note why Saul did what he did; Saul took action based on what he thought and how he felt! Instead of doing what God told him, Saul did what he personally thought and felt!
And the result? v14: the kingdom was to fall because of Saul’s disobedience.
So what do we note in v16-23? Israel was enslaved and destined for failure!
As I mentioned earlier, the main lesson is: When a person or a nation depend on God’s power, good things will happen; but when a person or a nation depend on their own wisdom and strength, failure will follow.
But before we apply this lesson to our own lives, there is a significant truth in v14; What was it??
While Saul and the nation of Israel was failing, God promised a godly leader, a man after God’s own heart!
Let us close by applying the lessons to us personally.
When a person or a nation depend on God’s power, good things will happen; but when a person or a nation depend on their own wisdom and strength, failure will follow.
Now we can blame our nation for all the foolishness it is doing and fear the destruction to follow because of sin; but let us think about this logic: The world is a mess because we have messed up countries! We have messed up countries because we have messed communities! We have messed up communities because we have messed up families! We have messed up families because we have messed up you and me!
So, is it over for you and me, our families, our communities, our country, and our world?
What was the solution for Israel during Saul’s time? God promised a new leader, a man after God’s own heart! Who was that man? King David was a man after God’s own heart and through him, Israel was restored!
How can we be restored today? God did not just give us a man after God’s own heart, God gave us His own heart, through Jesus Christ, to restore us!
And how can our families, communities, our country, our world be saved from failure and be restored?
It all starts in our own hearts! How are we personally doing? Are you and I depending on God’s power through Jesus Christ or are we depending on our own wisdom, strength, and emotions? We do the wrong things many times don’t we? Praise God that He is a loving God, always ready to forgive for Jesus Christ died once and for all of our sins! What we Christians are called to do is fight the battle within. We Christians are to experience this victory by Jesus Christ by saying no to sin and saying yes to God! Jesus already won this battle for us, all we have really do is just yield to Him; but this is easier said than that isn’t it? this is why it is still a battle that we must fight; We must yield to Jesus Christ in everything!