1 Samuel 15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord. 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and attack[a] Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”
4 So Saul gathered the people together and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. 5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and lay in wait in the valley. 6 Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, get down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7 And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8 He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.
10 Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, 11 “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night. 12 So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal.” 13 Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord.”
14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” 15 And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”
16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Be quiet! And I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
And he said to him, “Speak on.”
17 So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel? 18 Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are [b]consumed.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the [c]spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?”
20 And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”
22 So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of [d]witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the
Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”
Explain the meaning of the text- here we see the goodness and the severity of God, not a war of conquest but Saul was an instrument of judgment against an ungodly and wicked nation
It is Superbowl Sunday! 7 year preaching- mission impossible. Rams v. Patriots Who you got?
This is the first year ever that a Boston team is playing a LA team in both the World Series (LA Dodgers v. Boston Red Sox) and the Super Bowl. Patriots predicted to win- here’s my predictions:
You will eat too much food
You will get a sore throat from yelling at the refs who cannot hear you
Your house will be divided or it will be united
You will put together a puzzle because you won’t care
You will go on a hike or go shopping because again, you do not care
I have to watch. I have been coerced and begged and pleaded with. I will cheer for the Rams
But today I want to talk about some of the fundamentals of football.
Games are won and lost on fundamentals.
Fundamental #1– Have a winning mindset
No pro team should go into a game thinking they are going to lose. EX: Toni’s meeting about beating KR
If any team is going to succeed, they must have this fundamental mind set “utterly destroy”, do not let them succeed in further yardage.
The Superbowl is not about friendship. It is not about giving up or giving in. You cannot make things easy for your opponent. You must utterly destroy. Destroy all chances of them winning, if you are ahead, you keep running up the score to get further ahead. This is not about “everyone gets a trophy”. One team will get a trophy. One.
Now, I am not a Patriots fan, but one thing they do well is to utterly destroy their opponents. They do not give up. Garbage Bag Bill is famous for running up the score, driving it home until the very end.
In 2007, ESPN wrote an article titled: “Running it up: Belichick, Pats take no prisoners” From the article: “Belichick has a no mercy policy….the Pats coach simply doesn’t care. Asked why he would go for two fourth downs in a blowout, Belichick responded, ‘What do you want us to do? Kick a field goal?’ (most teams would kick a field goal on 4th down)
Pressed further, he said, “It’s 38-0. It’s fourth down. We’re just out there playing.’”
He is a ruthless coach. He will get in your mind and destroy your heart. His objective- utterly destroy.
“Face it folks, Belichick plans to lay waste to the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell took away a first rounder, so the Patriots will take away your first born. Belichick has assembled perhaps the most dominating team in NFL history, and he’s intent on destroying all opponents in his path.”
Saul was told to “utterly destroy” the Amalekites.
The nation of Israel continued to back slide and serve idols because of their refusal to utterly destroy the pagan nations around them.
-Utterly destroy sin– Satan’s sin was telling God, “i want to do my own thing”; when we follow in his footsteps by displaying this attitude, we are declaring that he is our lord. Sin is not just wicked because of what a person does but because of whose authority a person rejects. “Because you have rejected the Word of Lord, He has rejected you as king”
Your flesh is your greatest enemy- for sin is always striving to regain control over us. “We are debtors, not to the flesh to live after the flesh; for if you live according to the flesh you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, you shall live”
1 John 3:4-9
Fundamental #2- Wrap UP!
one of the fundamentals of football tackling is to wrap up your opponent. Demonstrate
It seems like so many guys want to show boat, lunging at their opponent and he is quick to maneuver out of the way. But, wrap up your opponent and its a sure fire way to stop him.
I was reading some boards on this and so many football players said that there was always some kind of penalty from the coach for not wrapping up- typically running.
In rugby, it is a penalty on the field if you do not wrap up.
Be aware that you have a real enemy that is seeking to devour you! And be aware of his devices.
Saul has an opening, a chance to choose a path to repentance. But instead hardens his heart and makes his road harder and harder to return from. 15 And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.” Saul shifts blame to the people, and ultimately to God.
We give the enemy a foothold when we lie, lose self-control, speak crudely
We at times get caught in our sin, but what we do next when the Holy Spirit confronts us is of life or death importance. DO NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
1 John 1:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Proverbs 28:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
A huge tactic of the enemy is our need to be liked- the heart of Saul’s disobedience is that he wants to be a famous king with world-class power. Saul is after a name for himself- his own kingdom, his own stature. That is why he spared Agag (it was not an act of mercy, but to parade him around as a prisoner), why he keeps the spoils, why he builds a monument to himself. His only concern is how he will look in front of other people.
Proverbs 29:25 New King James Version (NKJV)
25 The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be[a]safe.
Fundamental #3- a rebellious player will be indefinitely suspended
Here is the heart of the matter.
“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of [d]witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”
Josh Gordon (leave off name)–Six seasons with the Browns
He was a great player- (reveal stats)
2012 top wide receiver in the draft, 50 catches, 805 yards and 5 TD’s
2013 receiving yards leader (in just 14 games)- even after missing the first two games, he had two back to back games with at least 200 receiving yards, ended the year with 1646 receiving yards
(Avg 700-900, Good 1000)
2013 nominated to the Pro bowl
2014 played 5 games with still 303 receiving yards, 2015-2016 suspended, 2017 played 1 game
2018-2019 season went to the Pats
He played for the Browns for many seasons, but continuously violated the terms of the NFL drug policy multiple times over his career. THIS would have been his year to play in the game of all games. But he was continually disobedient to the rules of the NFL.
Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land- but allowed only a glimpse from afar
Speaking of Moses, John Piper wrote this:
“I see an old man with a straight back, a strong bronze face, clear eyes, and snow white hair climbing Mount Nebo. And as he climbs, the camp of his beloved Israelites gets smaller and smaller on the east and on the west beyond the Jordan, and the promised land stretches out larger and larger. I see him atop the peak of Pisgah facing west, all alone with God, at the end of one of the greatest ministries the world has ever known, the wind blowing his white hair, and tears of regret flowing down his face. And I ask myself, “My God, how many conquests of joy have I forfeited through disobedience?”
Saul forfeited his kingship through disobedience. One single act of disobedience can annul a lifetime of obedience.
Disobedience is anything less than full obedience.
God is not fired up about people singing songs, giving Him some of their time and money. What thrills God is a heart that obeys Him- a surrendered heart.
1 John 2:3-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God [a]is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
John 14:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 “If you love Me, [a]keep My commandments.
John 14:21 New King James Version (NKJV)
21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and[a]manifest Myself to him.”
John 15:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
There’s an alternative to full surrender– rebellion. Even 98% obedience is rebellion and Samuel says we might as well be worshiping Satan. If Satanists are those who worship the devil, practical Satanists are those who do not live fully under the authority of God.
Many people give 90% obedience, just like Saul and are completely at peace
Not unlike Saul- those who are religious attempt to cover up rebellion with ritual; substitute ceremony for surrender.
We disobey in one area and try to “make it up” to God with some offering in another area. Ex: pick up the dog poop
We refuse the call to minister, so we tithe heavily
We refuse to break off an ungodly relationship but resolve to share Christ with them instead
We refuse to give our money, but resolve to “tithe our time”
Religious rituals try to pay off God, laboring under the delusion that your life is your own.
Religion want to obey God on its own terms—terms that mean partial, delayed or conditional obedience– but all this is just various forms of disobedience. You might as well worship the devil if you’re going to disobey God. It has the same consequences- open the door for the demonic.
It takes zero talent to be obedient.
Oswald Chambers “Stubbornness and self-will will always stab Jesus. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set in our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus. Every time we stand on our own rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Him. Whenever we rely on self-respect, we systematically disturb and grieve His Spirit”.
Fundamental #4- Operate at peak performance.
Every professional athlete must eat right, exercise and practice, practice, practice. This means they are disciplined. Tom Brady is the oldest starting QB in the NFL, also oldest non-kicker. Age 41
Goes to bed at 8:30 wakes up at 5:30, rigorous exercise routine, only practices QB moves, time is spend between the Pats and family, cuts out friends to spend time with his family, doesn’t watch tv but watches film, he takes no days off, he does not eat: sugar, white flour, olive oil, iodized salt, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, all caffeine and dairy, little or no alcohol (this is the small list)
Vs. 11 “Samuel cried out to the Lord all night”
This is very simple- pray always, at all times without ceasing, meditate on God’s Word day and night, seek His face evermore, put on your armor daily
Iron sharpens iron- quit hanging out with dull blades
Fundamental #5-hold on to the ball.
This may be the most important of all. HOLD ON TO THE BALL. Samuel reminds Saul how gracious God has been to him and that He made him king when he was a nobody. Sasul shouold have responded in gratitude because of God’s amazing grace. He should have allowed the value of God’s gift to him to break the power of sin, but instead he hardened himself against God’s grace.
Never forget what God has done for you. God does not want rationalization, He wants repentance. He does not want sacrifices, He wants submission. The choice has passed from Saul to us. The choice between self-deception and repentance, between life and death, stands before each of us, even today.
Hold on to the horns of the altar, hold on to His grace, hold on to His Words, Hold on to the hem of His garment, hold on to the powerful gift of the Holy Spirit to overcome sin and rebellion.