Kevin Phipps / Aug 4, 2019 / 1 Samuel 11:1-15
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Sermon Summary / Transcript
In last Sunday’s sermon, Kevin exposited 1st Samuel, chapter 11 and helped us answer the question, How does Saul go from reluctant king to savior of God’s people?
All leaders have feet of clay, but God uses them to perform his will. And at least in this passage of scripture, we see Saul being used to rout the enemy as the spirit of God falls on him. It is Saul’s best moment, and behind him the nation of Israel is solidified.
We considered the Lord’s salvation under three headings:
1 The enemy’s demands. There is bad blood between the Ammonites and Israel. They are distant relatives, descendants of Lot’s incestuous relations with one of his daughters. They opposed the Israelites during the Exodus, and more recently the judge Jepthah had taken twenty Ammonite cities. Nahash is now seeking revenge. When the people of Jabesh Gilead sought a treaty with Nahash, they learned that they would need a savior instead. We are reminded here that there are no peace treaties with the enemies of our souls, that our enemy will demand more than an easy allegiance. If we seek terms with him we will only be maimed and humiliated and made to serve him. And yet, the people of Jabesh Gilead do not call out for God. They look instead for a savior among the people.
2 The need for the Spirit’s power. Here Saul is like Gideon and Samson. The Spirit of God has come upon him and he is as a different man (not a converted man, as the rest of 1 Samuel demonstrates, but a different one). A righteous, holy anger has been kindled in Saul, and this is a good and right response to evil. We are not to be pacifists in the face of evil but should be provoked to righteous anger by the work of our enemy, knowing that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the rulers and authorities and cosmic powers over darkness. When we see evil at work in the world and in the lives of those we love, we have a go-to weapon: prayer. The prayer of a righteous person has great power, and this is how we’re to fight when our anger is provoked. The Spirit moves us to pray, and the Spirit anoints men like Saul to perform God’s will. We read of Jesus always having the Spirit with him, attending him throughout his ministry as a constant companion. And it is this same Holy Spirit, from all eternity in the blessed fellowship of the trinity, who is part of the gift of salvation to each of us.
3 The king who makes peace. Saul points us to the Messiah. He intercedes for the “worthless fellows” and shows them undeserved favor. In this chapter, we’ve seen God’s wrath against the Ammonites, his deliverance of Jabesh Gilead, and here we see his mercy toward his enemies. Samuel then inaugurates the reign of this new king by calling the people to worship. It seems (at this point at least) like a good start for king Saul.
In the midst of real spiritual warfare, as those who have been forgiven much and given the gift of his Spirit, let us renew our allegiance and devotion to King Jesus, our great God and Savior.