“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).
I would like to, in this message, explore when a nation rejects God as their ruler and asks for a king to protect them. This is a story of three kings. We all know the story of how Israel asked for a king, and God let them choose a king through Samuel to reign over them. Follow the sad story found in your Bible, of a man standing a head above everyone else. This man was strong physically, but weak mentally and spiritually in what counts before God. The first king I name was Saul and you may find his story in the pages of 1st Samuel beginning in chapter 8. Samuel the prophet was sore displeased with the people’s choice for wanting a king, but God gave them free will to choose a king to reign over them. They wanted a king to do their battles. A king to protect them, and also, to be like the nations round about them. And these nations were pagan and God haters.
SAMUEL ANOINTS SAUL KING OVER ISRAEL
1 Samuel 8.7-8: “And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.”
Samuel tried to reason with them and protested solemnly about what a king would impose upon them. They would loose their freedom of choice, their sons and daughters would be drafted into service of this king, and a portion of everything they possessed he would require. Some today call it: taxes.
1 Samuel 8.19: “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us.”
Saul was not unlike any other man. He had flaws, and he sinned because he was mortal. But Saul had a fatal flaw within his character; he never took responsibility for anything that went wrong. When God gave him directions in dealing with the pagan nations around him, he never would take it upon himself to repent of sinning against God. Let us point to the one event that ended God’s blessing upon the reign of this man, called Saul.
1 Samuel 15.2-3: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
Now many people wonder why would God command this. If we read our context of the passage and dig for the reasons, it was because of the murders committed by these people against the people of Israel. They slew the defenseless, the stragglers, the weak and the lame that followed on the tail end of the trail of people in the Exodus. They showed no mercy, and though they received not judgment immediately, God was pronouncing judgment immediately and Saul was commanded to smite the nation of the Amelekites and destroy them all. What did Saul do? If you follow the story in chapter 15 of 1st Samuel, you find Saul did what he thought would be pleasing to God and to the people, by keeping the best of the livestock and the king of the Amalekites, Agag alive. The Lord spoke to Samuel and repented of making Saul, king:
“Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night” (1 Samuel 15:10-11).
As the story progresses, Saul boasts to Samuel when he came unto him and said:
“And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD” (1 Samuel 15:13).
Had Saul performed what God gave implicit instructions through Samuel to carry out? No, obviously, he had not, but did what he thought God wanted, in his own mind. Not what God said, but what Saul wanted. And why was that?
“And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal” (1 Samuel 15:20-21, emphasis mine).
Notice the finger pointing? “The people made me do it…” “I’m not responsible.” “I did what was politically correct.” “I wanted the adoration of the people.” “I was scared to do as You said, Lord.” “I decided to lie about it.” “The devil made me do it”…to coin a Flip Wilson phrase.
And what was Samuel’s response speaking for the Lord God through him?
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king” (1 Samuel 15:23).
God rejected Saul as ruler over Israel. A harsh sentence was passed. Not because Saul was unable to sin. No, he was like any other man, but the problem was before God, he made excuses. He rejected responsibility. The buck did not stop with him, as he pointed out the flaws of everyone else, and not looking inward and repented of his sins. In other words, he lied to God. Until:
1 Samuel 16.14: “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.” (Some translations interpret this evil spirit as a sadness, bitterness, or chronic depression.)
GOD CHOOSES DAVID TO REIGN OVER ISRAEL
1 Samuel 16.1: “And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.”
Samuel was afraid to go down to Bethlehem, for fear that Saul would murder him for the plans of anointing another king, as our Bible tells us:
1 Samuel 16.2-3: “And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.
And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.”
Saul had changed from when he was made king. He was not to be trusted, and Samuel believed him to be a murderer that would take his life should he find out what Samuel was about to do. All along, Saul was a mortal man prone to sin, but with the spirit of depression and bitterness, his mental stability and his ability to stay away from doing wrong had caused Samuel to fear Saul’s intentions toward him, even though he being a prophet of God.
The story continues of a little shepherd boy, who Samuel would never have imagined that God would choose. But God had been preparing David for a long time. He was a ruddy, good looking lad that had killed a lion and a bear to protect his father’s herd of sheep, showing his strength and his courage. Read the passages of how each son came before Samuel, and the prophet just knew that this one, or that one was the chosen by his outward appearance. But we learn that God looks on the heart, not the outward appearance. Read 1st Samuel chapter 16.
1 Samuel 16.13-14: “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.”
The Holy Spirit of God rested on David, but departed from Saul because of his not following the commandments of God and adding insult to injury, he lied about fulfilling the commandments of God, when he knew full-well, that he had not, but made excuses to justify himself before Samuel and before God.
What follows in Scripture is an unfolding story of a man in torment because of his unrepentant heart before God and the relationship between Saul and David. David was a righteous man who would not dare harm the chosen king of Israel as God’s protector of the people, as David viewed Saul as God’s anointed one to the throne. But jealously filled Saul with rage, as David was known to have God being with him and Saul feared him greatly.
DAVID, A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART
Why is there a difference between the two men, the actions of Saul and David not being provoked to strike back at Saul who wished to kill him, but respected the office of the king who was over him? Both men were mortal and prone to sin. David committed some terrible acts of sin, as king, regarding Bathsheba in an adulterous affair and the indirect killing of her husband. But why was David forgiven by God and Saul not? There are several reasons that God repented of allowing Saul to be king over Israel. David was a born leader. A man of character, a man of strong belief and faith in Almighty God as his benefactor, and David was a man after God’s own heart. When David failed and sinned, he took responsibility and repented of his sin. He didn’t cast blame on anybody but himself. David was the epitome of the seven reasons listed later below, of a man after God’s own heart and who loved God enough to change his behavior.
Saul proved time and again that he was not a leader and that he would not repent of sins that transgressed God’s commandments, but harbored ill will against God’s authority over him concerning David being called of God to replace him. He was proven to be not fit to rule and lead the people of Israel according to the Laws of God. The most important thing before God was what were the feelings of David about God. Did he really love God? Did he love to fellowship with Him? We begin to see as we read 1st and 2nd Samuel all the way into Psalms, why God said of this man—even when he was a teenager, “Here is somebody after My own heart!” David was in love with God! It is spoken of in Acts chapter 13:
Acts 13.22: “And when he had removed him (Saul), he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.”
In contrast, did Saul love God? Saul proved that Saul was in love with Saul. Some call that having a narcissistic personality disorder, or being in love with your self only. Also, Saul was not sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit or the Word of God through His mouthpiece, Samuel the prophet. Nor would he lead his people in the full-knowledge of the will of God. God was looking for repentance of the failure to keep God’s commands and sinning against God, but all Saul did was become bitter and commit suicide in the end. There are seven reasons why I believe God removed Saul from being king over Israel and called David. Examples of a good leader, that Saul never learned:
1. Don’t blame other people for your mistakes. Look at yourself.
2. Do not minimize your mistakes, but take ownership of them.
3. Don’t justify yourself. Only God can do that.
4. Accept responsibility for your failures.
5. Admit when you are wrong.
6. Apologize for your mistakes to the people and to God.
7. And the most important is to repent and turn around from where you have been going.
Why am I comparing Saul with David? Why is there a lesson between a leader who is lacking in character and the ability to take ownership for his actions and a leader who displays all seven characteristics mentioned above, as David did? I move onto to a modern “unrepentant king” who is Saul in our time.
BARACK OBAMA, THE UNREPENTANT KING?
Proverbs 29.2: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
I use the word “king” when mentioning this man’s name. Has he not made himself king over us? When this man was elected by whatever means the first and sadly, the second time, he promised change. Did we not get change, but was it the change we expected or promised? Like our ancient king of Israel who would not repent and/or take responsibility for anything that went wrong, Obama has become our modern day, King Saul. Have you ever seen or has anyone ever seen a man who has a knack for finger pointing? Some say that Obama oozes the narcissistic personality disorder trait that is evident in those of an immature nature or extreme self-love and adoration that they can’t admit doing wrong. We have seen him lie to us all. Now you can lie to the people, and you are a deceiver. You can lie to yourself and you’re crazy. But you lie to God, you’re …well, you fill in the blank!
CASES IN POINT
Note the latest scandals that plague this administration? Let us briefly discuss those scandals, not to mention all the failures to lead in the past, but for brevity let’s look at only three.
The attack on our U.S. mission in Benghazi, and the details hidden from the public of the gun running through Turkey to Syria to arm the rebels wishing to overthrow Assad’s regime. These rebels are hand in hand with Al-Qaeda and wish to institute Sharia law and further an Islamic Caliphate. “Christopher Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, who was killed along with three other Americans after terrorists stormed the mission, was twice turned down from senior military officials for additional security at the facility,” McClatchy news services reported. Ambassador Stevens was Obama’s point man for this gunning running scheme and Obama wanted to keep it quiet.
By all the evidence, the political fall-out during an election year kept them from doing anything and let four American’s die without attempting to intervene and lied about the details of what could and should have been done in a blatant cover-up. During and after this known terrorist attack, how did our illustrious administration respond? They flat out lied. Blamed it on some unknown video that was proven rather quickly to be false.
Out came the fingers that pointed in misdirection of who was responsible. “Not I,” bleeted Obama. “Not I,” clucked Secretary Clinton. “We’re not to blame. It’s that dastardly video that’s to blame” They would NOT accept responsibility for incompetence or the lack of leadership on either of their parts or the cover-up of the details. From where I stand, the “buck stops here,” ended with Harry Truman’s White House. I’ll bet my beanie that if the American people knew the full story of this whole sordid affair, heads would roll and Obama would be leading the parade in impeachment followed by tar and feathers.
Second, the IRS intimidation of conservative groups that dare have “Patriot” or “Tea Party” or anything conservative associated with their names being targeted for audits and intimidation to muzzle their political beliefs. At first blush, I shudder to think that this is the same hated group of bureaucrats who will be administering “Obamacare” and leveling fines for non-compliance. Can you smell a dead fish in Denmark? Are they a part of this administration’s attempt, to eliminate political dissent? News agencies report:
The IRS department in charge of deciding on tax-exempt status requested its specialists to be on the lookout for Tea Party applications. Criteria included “…various local organizations in the Tea Party movement” seeking 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) status between 2010 and 2012.
The results of the investigation by the Inspector General, has led to actions by the U.S. Congress.
And lastly, the NSA wire tapping scandal of news reporters, and American citizens on the pretense of national security and the flagrant violation of the 1st, the 2nd and the 4th amendment of the Bill of Rights to our Constitution. The age of big brother and the Orwellian saga of 1984, has arrived. And who is doing the investigation of the NSA and this IRS scandal? You got it, the fox is in the hen house. DOJ Attorney General Eric Holder is investigating himself. Don’t you feel relieved and confident that justice will prevail? No? Me neither!
The three stories are so complex and inter-related that I could spend several hundred pages of comments about where this is all leading. But for simplicity it is the nullification of our basic freedoms given by God and substituting tyranny. But those of you who are following more closely even than myself on these matters, when was the last time that you observed this president taking responsibility for anything that goes on in his executive branch of government? Can’t think of a time? Neither can I.
If you haven’t started to mourn, as the verse in Proverbs 29:2 testifies, you may just soon start, as either God will remove this man from office, or allow him to stay to further his judgment on this nation for the sins she has committed. Face it: Obama is our King Saul. What we need is a King David to set things right on this earth. As it was in the days of ancient Israel, we have left following after the commandments of God. We have thrown God out of every aspect of our lives in our courts, in our legislatures, in our schools, in our military, and have opted out for a “king” to make us feel safe all at the expense of a little liberty. Who needs liberty? “We don’t need no stinking liberty.” Give us more welfare, government handouts, Obama phones, and food stamps. Make us impossible to think for ourselves with “big brother” telling us when to turn our heads and cough in a physical examination. Ben Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” In our national apathy we have elected an official who mirrors our depravity.
That is what we have given up as a nation. Security for less freedom has been our cry by allowing the above scandals and every other attack on our freedoms to stand without fierce resistance. This administration paves the way for the “lawless one” to come on the scene. This final “unrepentant” king is coming. In all unrighteousness he will rule this world we know. The stage is being set as I write.
Revelation 13.5-6: “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.”
KINGS OF KINGS, AFTER THE LINEAGE OF DAVID
I mentioned we need a King David. But as a matter of fact, we do have a descendant of King David from the tribe of Judah. He will be the righteous KING we so desire to set our course straight in this world. As David was after God’s own heart, this mighty KING of kings will be after God’s own heart, as the Father and He are one. I speak of the Son of God, our KING: Jesus Christ.
Our Lord will return soon:
Revelation 19.11: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”
Are you ready for the righteous King of kings, or do you follow an “unrepentant king?”
Wake-up and choose wisely as our redemption draweth nigh. So come Lord Jesus.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor praying God’s salvation comes into your life. If you have prayer request, needs for counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit me online at www.churchofgod-usa.org for more biblical messages from God’s Word. God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus’ feet.