Kevin Phipps / Oct 20, 2019 / 1 Samuel 12
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Sermon Summary / Transcript
Last Sunday Kevin took us through 1 Samuel 12, the transition between Samuel as prophet and judge to Samuel as prophet only. Contrary to Samuel’s (and God’s) wisdom, the people have chosen the false security of a worldly king over the sure and proven security of God himself.
In this passage we see…
1 The vindication of the judge’s integrity. Samuel first establishes that he has been above reproach. He has not defrauded the people, oppressed the people, or perverted justice for the people. And they affirm his words. This was not Samuel being full of himself, but rather, he was reminding them that their rejection of him (and his good and just rule) was a rejection of God and His rule. Samuel recounts for the people the sin-cycle of Israel, that they were rejecting God once again. He tells them, in effect, “You asked for this!” Such foolishness seems unbelievable to us, and yet we are quick to do the same thing. If we could but see the beginning from the end, we would drop our accusations against God. Consider that He has not treated us unjustly but has sent His son to die in our place. Submission to Him is the only proper response!
2 The validation of the prophet’s message. It was wrong to ask for a king, and yet it was still God who had placed Saul over them. Even in their error they must still obey the voice of the LORD, and to validate Samuel’s words he asks the LORD for a sign: rain and thunder during the wheat harvest. Like their forefathers in Exodus, they are told to stand still and to see, but it is not an enemy receiving the sign of judgement this time but themselves. And yet, God shows them grace. He does not leave them in their sin.
3 The renewal of the covenant. Why is God so consistent with His people? Because He is a covenant keeping God. Here He invites them to renew their covenant with Him, and like He did in Joshua 24, He points to both the blessings that will come in serving the one true God and the curses that will come in turning away and serving idols. Notice, God does NOT tell them to come back but to not turn aside. God is still with them. Though their sin is great, He has not forsaken them. And yet the language here is conditional. God will not abandon them, but if they do wickedly they will be swept away.
Praise God, we have a better covenant in Christ, the ultimate and perfect covenant keeper. Jesus will pray for us, and Jesus will instruct us in the way, and through his perfect obedience, we will persevere. God will not abandon those in Christ, for this new covenant is unconditional.