Throwing Away a Kingdom
Topic: AM Service Passage: 1 Samuel 13:1–13:23
In times of trouble, what brings success? There are many initial answers to that question: confidence, preparation, hard work. But we cannot trust our initial thoughts, especially when they are centered on our wisdom and what we can do. The Bible teaches us repeatedly that success comes not from ourselves, but from the Lord. That is we are continually told to “seek wisdom” and to “follow the Lord.” Israel had asked for a king, and Samuel had warned both Israel and Saul that it would go well if they followed the Lord. Yet in one of the first crises that Saul faced, he looked to circumstances and his own wisdom instead of the Word of God. And it was not just that Saul failed to obey one command from the Lord – in doing so he deprived himself of the continual guidance and blessing of God’s Word. We can learn from Saul’s error, and how it led to “Throwing Away a Kingdom” (1 Samuel 13:1-23).
I. Trouble Instead of Contentment
A. Initial Success
B. Hard Pressed
II. Trust Instead of Sight
A. Test of Faith
B. Foolish Decision
III. Hope Instead of Hopelessness
A. Every Reason to Lose Hope
B. The Best Reason to Have Hope
Questions for consideration: (1) Why do you think it is that the Lord does not give comfort and ease to His people at all times? Think about some of the most troubling times in your life. What did you learn then about yourself? About God? (2) Why does sight so often cloud the view of faith? What can you do to keep your eyes of faith clear and open? (3) Why should you have hope in the midst of trying circumstances? Why is that kind of hope so critical to us, even beyond circumstances?