1 Samuel 15
Theme: As we dive back into our “knowing God” series, we will be focusing on Saul this week as we read through samuel. At this point the people of Israel were convinced they needed a king to rule them. This is significant because the people were no longer satisfied with God as king and felt that manly rule would serve them better. God works through Samuel to appoint Saul as king but warns the people of what they have done (man is corrupt and rules in such ways). As Saul begins to lead the people we see sin clouds his ways. It’s easy to separate ourselves from Saul but as we study this week I want to encourage you to prayerfully consider what God is showing mankind through Saul.
(The DNA of sin)
The DNA of sin is a complex thing that infects all areas of our lives, but for the purposes of our time together, let’s look at 3 components:
Arrogance & Rebellion:
When Saul deviates from God’s instruction in the slightest way, deep down it implies that his way is better than God’s way. This is where we begin to separate ourselves from Saul. Most of us would admit we don’t think our way is better than God’s, however our actions tend to reveal what we truly feel inside. In most cases our actions will deviate (at least in some way) from God’s instruction for our life. It’s the arrogance of our heart that leads us into rebellion.
Selfishness & Idolatry:
Saul managed to turn God’s plan for justice into a conquest for himself. He set up an altar in his own honor, took plunder for himself, and even took the king as a trophy of his own accomplishments. Simply put, Saul cared more about what pleased and made him look good than he did God. The question for us is not “do we struggle with this” but “where do we see this in our lives and how do we kill it”. We have to be conscious enough to evaluate our choices before we make them, which can’t happen with a selfish attitude.
Disobedience & Rejection of God’s Word:
Saul obeyed 98% of what God commanded, but the 2% matters just as much. When we continue to ignore sin in our life there is no question of the outcome: disobedience. Anything less than immediate obedience is disobedience. The word of God is the ultimate rule over your life. The sin in us puts us in opposition to that Word, therefore to walk in light of God’s Word means we will probably have to adjust our course a little. Our willingness to do so is simply sin doing it’s thing.
(The power of self-deception)
The number one issue in the church today is an unwillingness to be honest about our sin. That is a hard problem to overcome because most people are truly blinded to their sin. This comes from a lack of evaluating our spiritual health. Saul’s heart had become hardened to ways of his sin, hardened toward wise counsel, and hardened to simple obedience. Many people have this inner feeling that we can either hide our sin because no one will know about it, clean it up on our own at some point, or maybe even clean it up with religious activity like Saul (offering or going to church). All Christians need to constantly take inventory of our spiritual health and be honest with the people closest to us or our sin will cripple and deceive us.
(The decision of life or death)
The fact that we have sin in our heart means we have a decision to make. When sin is present in our lives we have to respond to that sin. For some, like Saul, it’s denial or justifying it. For others it may be blame shifting or hiding it. In any case, the only Godly response to sin is to kill it by choosing life in Christ. We do not have the power to eradicate sin from our lives by any stretch of the imagination, however we do have the Holy Spirit which allows us to turn from sin and into repentance. That’s the beauty of the Gospel, it gives us freedom from our sin through Christ. Make the choice for life and battle the sin in your life. This only happens when we understand and are honest about our sin.
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
What are some ways our actions prove we think our way is better than God’s?
Do you believe you struggle with arrogance, selfishness & disobedience? How?
How would the Bible instruct you to move forward?
How did self deception show itself in Saul’s life? How about your life?
How can sin in one area of your life affect the rest of your life?
What are some God given things to combat self deception?
What areas of sin are you not dealing with in your life?
How do you naturally respond to sin in your life?
How do we hold ourselves more accountable in our choices?