The Problem with Kings – Pt. 1

1 Samuel 13:1-15

The Problem with Kings – Pt. 1

Forgetting the True Reality

1. The Jews OPPRESSED by the PHILISTINES. (v.3, 19-22)
2. A KING for the first TIME. (1 Sam. 8:5; v.1)
3. An event that INCITES the OPPRESSOR. (v.3-5)

We return to the 4th year of the lectionary, as we enter the Season of Foundations. This is the telling of the story of Israel. We left off last year with the end of Samuel, and this year we move into the monarchy in Israel. We are going to spend the next 8-10 weeks on the various problems that come along with having a king.

  1. Kid’s Question: When have you been in a situation where you were really afraid? What happened?
  2. Who are what do we look to for protection when things are difficult in the world today? Don’t just give the church answer, who do we actually expect to help us?

II. REALITY from Saul’s PERSPECTIVE. (v.3-12)
2. His troops are FEARFUL and DESERTING. (v.6-8)
3. SAMUEL is taking FOREVER. (v.8)
4. FORCED to take ACTION. (v.9-12)

Saul had a major victory in chapter 11 that confirmed himself as King. But now a crisis is looming that threatens to make his reign very short lived. He feels the pressure as the people are afraid and running away. As usual, God seems slow to arrive and Saul feels the need to take some action.

  1. What does reality (during COVID) look like right now from your perspective?
  2. On a scale of 1-10 how much does fear impact your life right now? Don’t skim over this, take some time to really reflect on things where fear might be pushing you.

III. What Saul FORGOT about “REALITY”. (v.13-14)
1. There’s only ONE KING of Israel. (v.13)
2. SUCCESS does not DEPEND on us. (v.13)
3. Our role is TRUST and OBEDIENCE. (v.13-14)

The hardest part of the spiritual life is remembering what is really true when the reality that we see is often so skewed in the other direction. Saul made the same mistakes that I am sure I would have in his position. But his bad example gives us some insight into how to react differently.

  1. How would your life look different if you could actually live trusting in God despite the way situations look in regards to success?
  2. Where is God specifically asking you to trust Him at the moment and how will you respond?

IV. Applying THEN to NOW for the GBC FAMILY. (Rom. 15:4)
1. Despite the CHAOS there is a KING. (Ps. 2:6; Phil. 2:9-11; Rev. 5:5-6)
2. Seek OBEDIENT TRUST over SUCCESS. (v.13; Esther 4:16; Ezek. 2:4-8; Rev. 12:11)
4. God is shaping PEOPLE, not EVENTS. (v.14; Rom. 8:29-30)

This is the week of the year when we always have a family meeting. It’s a time to remember why it is that we do what we do the way we do it at GBC. And even though we can’t all be together, this story reminds us of some specifics about how we need to live out being the church in 2020.

  1. Which of the 4 commitments could use some attention in your own life and what steps will you take toward that?
  2. Where might you be resisting the “shaping” of God in your life at the moment? How can you surrender that?