Gleaning from Samuel: Where's God in your Decisions?

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning November 5th, 2017.

A Big Challenge can lead to a Big Mistake
Sometimes we leave God out of our desires and plans. We must always go to God for guidance, especially when we face life’s challenges.

1 Samuel 8:1-22 NIV
1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice. 4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” 6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.” 10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”

Summary of Text:
1. Samuel is old and his sons are corrupt
2. The Elders of Israel want a king like the other nations (like the Philistines & other pagan nations)
3. In this, they are rejecting God as King (neglecting their heritage)
4. God warns of the bondage to an earthly ruler (“you will cry out for relief”)
5. God’s warning is rejected

Closer look into this Text:

  • Was it permissible for Israel to have a king?
    (Yes, Deut. 17:14-20)
  • The problem: their motives are wrong
    (Forgot God’s past provision)
    (Forgot to ask for God’s guidance and help)
  • They are making a “pendulum / emotional” decision
    Result: Rejected God and sin/bondage

Deuteronomy 17:14-20 NIV
14 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 15 be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. 18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.

Everything God Warned against - Happened (Solomon):

  • 700 wives & 300 concubines (most from other nations) 1 Kings 11:2 / Exodus 34:16
  • Taxed the nation (some into slavery)
  • Yes, built Temple for God
    But: He built shrines and alters for pagan worship
  • 4000 horse stalls for his imported horses
  • Summary of Solomon's life and reign: 1 Kings 11:6
    Result: Nation eventually splits, more bad kings...God's judgment: captivity

1 Kings 11:6 NIV
6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.

God's Way - Best Way
Again, God did not oppose Israel having a king. They went about it with wrong motives and ended up in bondage as a result.
What was the key in making the right decision?
1. Ask God out of right motives (One the Lord chooses)
2. Once chosen, He must obey God’s law

Application for us:

  • Avoid emotional decisions
  • Beware of the Pendulum mindset
  • Don’t abandon God
  • No matter how trivial you feel the decision is - live under the Lordship of Christ
  • Ask what is God’s heart? (leading, direction)
  • Heed Divine warnings (From God, Scripture, Anointed Wisdom)

Colossians 3:15-17 NIV
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”