Kevin Phipps / Oct 27, 2019 / 1 Samuel 13
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Sermon Summary / Transcript
The advice to follow your heart assumes that it will guide us to goodness and truth, but scripture teaches that our heart is no guide, that our sin reveals our true heart. Last Sunday, Kevin took us through 1 Samuel 13 and the dilemma that revealed the heart of Saul.
In this passage, we see…
1 Saul’s situation (v.1-7). Jonathan takes the right action. He attacks and defeats the Philistine garrison at Geba. But right actions are no guarantee of blessing. Saul takes credit for the victory, and all the land hears of it until Israel becomes a stench to the Philistines. Saul then sees the cost of obedience before him. His army is in trouble. His men are scattering. His faith is being tested by God, and what is revealed is his sinful heart.
2 Saul’s sin (v.8-13). Saul waits the seven days but he does not wait for Samuel to return. His half obedience proves to be disobedience, and the reasons he uses to justify himself are familiar ones to all of us:
- He is pragmatic. The ends justified his sinful means.
- He shifts the blame. Samuel was late.
- He makes a spiritual case for his actions. He was seeking God’s favor.
Saul’s sinful heart compelled him. He was sincere, but his heart was an unreliable standard. Like Saul’s heart, our sinful heart will find a way to sin; and to make light of sin is to make light of the cross. But there is hope for the corrupt heart – not just an outward conformity against inward desires but a new heart, a supernatural work. This work never happens with Saul, but we see it in his successor.
3 Saul’s successor (v.13-15). Because Saul acted foolishly and did not keep the command of the LORD, his kingdom over Israel will not be established but will be given to a man after God’s own heart. It may seem a small matter of neglect on Saul’s part, but it reveals his heart’s posture toward sin. He takes sin lightly, so his kingdom will be given to David, who does not take sin lightly.
Verses 16 through 23 paint a grim picture for Israel under Saul’s reign. They are in need of God’s man David. And while David’s testing will go differently — he will trust the LORD, fail, and repent — he is only a pointer to a better savior. Jesus Christ is tested, never fails or falters, and is obedient always and in every way.
Our place is secured by his obedience, not ours. He makes us a people after his own heart.