1 Samuel: Finding a leader to follow
1 Samuel: Finding a leader to follow
By the end of the book of 1 Samuel, Israel finds itself in a hopeless situation. Saul, the king upon whom they have pinned their hopes, is dead and humiliated, a failure. Israel could now see how hopeless things were apart from God’s intervention. Only once they understood this truth would they able to understand the hope that they had in David, the king in waiting. The Christian life is a little like the history of Israel at this point. In order to know the hope that Jesus brings we must first know the weight of the hopelessness of our situation before God. Our sin means we are distant from God. But there is a great source of hope in Christ. Is he your source of hope?
Leaders are generally rated by how they perform in a crisis. By this measure, King Saul was a miserable failure. But the king-in-waiting stands in stark contrast. When faced with yet another massive crisis, David showed his true colours by casting himself upon God for strength and guidance. And when God delivered him and his people, he was quick to give all the glory to God and share the rewards with others. Here was a king who would rule for God and under God, and for the good of his people. Compared with Saul the future looked bright. Unfortunately David was not the perfect king that Israel longed for, but 1000 years later that King did come ….. the Lord Jesus Christ. He rules with righteousness and justice, and He gives rather than takes from His people. In fact, He has given His life for them! We all need this King. Is He ruling in your life today?
Tucked away in the stories of most people’s lives there are usually some details which we wish weren’t there. The heroes of the Bible are no exception …. Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses etc. In today’s message we read one of these chapters in David’s life. After years of faithfully holding on to God while on the run from Saul, he started to lose confidence in God and this led him to lie and compromise his integrity. He deserved God’s judgement. Instead, what God gave him was “amazing grace”. There is more than a bit of David in all of us, and we deserve to have our sins exposed and punished. But God’s grace is for us, too. Because of Jesus we don’t have to live with our guilt. That’s why God sent His only Son into the world …. to free us from our sin and give us a second chance. As you look at the story of your life, do you need to flee to the God of grace today?
Where we turn to in a crisis can tell us a lot about the default state of our hearts. In 1 Samuel 28 we see the sad state of Saul’s heart towards God. His heart had become hard towards the things of God. Listen as Pastor Dave shares some warnings we must heed from Saul’s encounter with the medium in Endor so that our hearts do not become hard towards the things of God.
Leadership is rather topical these days. Prime Ministers, corporate bosses, football coaches …. they seem to come and go with monotonous regularity! But what should we be looking for in a good leader? Our passage today probes this question as we put David’s leadership under the microscope. Certainly he had many admirable qualities and these shine through. But he wasn’t a perfect leader (as we will find out in a few chapters)! Only Jesus, the humble servant-leader, is truly worth following. So don’t be disillusioned when another human leader let’s you down. Just make sure you’re following Jesus.
David was God’s chosen king in waiting. Everyone knew this. You’d expect that everyone would have treated him with honour and respect. Well today we meet two people who treat David in very different ways. One of them is Nabal, a fool who treats David with contempt, and pays the price. The other is Nabal’s wise wife, Abigail, who honours David as a king. The question for us is this: when it comes to responding to God’s chosen King, who will I be like, Nabal or Abigail?
The story of David’s life is full of drama – real, believable and sometimes jaw-dropping! What we sometimes don’t realise is that behind the events of his life God is actually shaping a man, preparing him for the day when he would lead his nation politically, militarily and also spiritually. David was not just a good man. He was God’s man! And in today’s message Pastor Murray looks at some specific ways in which David submitted to God’s authority, and how God enabled David to grow personally through these experiences. Issues like knowing what to do in tricky situations, relying on God for protection, waiting patiently for God’s timing, and being prepared to accept God’s justice are common to us all. Jesus perfectly lived under the authority of His Father. Now he invites us to submit to His authority. Let’s be straight: Is Jesus really LORD of your life?
1 Samuel is a story about three men – Samuel, Saul and David – and how God used them in shaping a nation that had lost its way politically, socially and spiritually. It desperately needed godly leadership. In many respects we see parallels in Australia today. In this message the young future king, David, is on the run from an irrational, jealous King Saul. This is the beginning of years of life as a fugitive for David. Life was hard. He made mistakes. He also learned many important lessons along the way. But through it all God was shaping him and preparing him for his future role as the godly king his nation needed. Like David, we also learn to trust God as we face opposition, difficulties and even enemies. And God intentionally uses these times as part of His greater plan for our lives. He also provides the perfect leader for us to follow in David’s descendant, Jesus Christ, who offers to save us from our greatest enemies, sin and death!
Tune in as Pastor Dave takes us through the remarkable friendship between David & Jonothan.
National leadership dramas are nothing new! We’ve had our share here in Australia in recent years. As doubts about King Saul started to increase, the young shepherd-warrior David was attracting more and more attention. But did he have what it would take to lead a nation? Despite of his father’s jealousy of David, Jonathan saw a man to whom he wanted to pledge his absolute loyalty. David did not turn out to be the ideal king Israel was looking for, but 1000 years later a descendant of David did come who was the perfect King – Jesus Christ. He still reigns over His kingdom. Have you recognised Him? Why not pledge your loyalty to Him today?
Wouldn’t it have been amazing to be there to see God deliver his people from that great enemy Goliath and the threat of death that he posed? Well, today we have a special guest to tell us all about what it was actually like to see that first hand (sort of….) Listen as we hear what he learned on that incredible day.
What makes a good leader? And how do we choose them? These questions are as relevant today as they were 3000 years ago in the nation of Israel. Saul had proven to be an abject failure and God decided it was time to start again and choose a new king. 1 Samuel 16 gives a fascinating account of how God used the prophet Samuel to anoint a shepherd boy as the future king, and how He empowered him for the task ahead. Despite all the question marks over young David, God saw his heart. Outward impressions are often premature, but godly character …. that’s different. I wonder what God sees when He looks into our hearts?