God was the true king of Israel but the people reject the Lord and ask for a human king, despite the promised consequences. In spite of the difficulties that will come from having a king, God still ultimately works things for good and through his monarchy, the king of kings comes into the world.
Part 1 – First kings first
1 Samuel 8:1-22
May 7, 2017
Main idea: Don’t look to earthly kings when we have a heavenly king.
In this passage, the Prophet Samuel is near the end of his life, and there’s a problem. His sons are both awful people! So the people of Israel demanded a king. They are warned of the consequences. They think the king will make them like the other nations, that it’ll bring prosperity and security. The opposite happens.
Part 2 – Be careful what you wish for
1 Samuel 9:1-10:27
November 9, 2017
Israel had asked for a king and in this chapter, they get their wish. But much of what we see from Saul is a man who is not especially equipped to be a leader. But in the end, the people love him anyway, largely based on superficial qualities.
Part 3 – Pinnacle
1 Samuel 11:1-15
November 26, 2017
In the preceding two chapters, we’ve seen Saul become the king of Israel. Here we see the pinnacle of Saul’s reign as king where he leads the people of Israel to a great victory. In the Old Testament, there are relatively few success stories of Israel’s monarchs, but we see a picture of a good king in this section, Israel’s territory preserved, Saul’s ability to rally the troops. But we will see his struggles in the following chapters. Saul and all kings of Israel are meant to point us to the true king: Jesus. While people fail, Jesus is our king who never fails.
Part 4 – The beginning of the end
1 Samuel 13:1-23
December 3, 2017
In this passage, Israel’s king, Saul, is under immense military pressure. Facing desertion and overwhelming odds, he responds in a way that shows a lack of trust in God’s faithfulness and promises. The results would be a disaster to his monarchy but the heart behind his sin is a struggle for all of us.
Part 5 – Like father, unlike son
1 Samuel 14:1-52
December 10, 2017
Be a Jonathan, not a Saul.
In this passage, the Israelites are facing tremendous odds as they battle the Philistines. But regardless of earthly resources, Jonathan displays tremendous faith in the Lord’s ability to provide the victory. From Jonathan, we see faith, initiative, and leadership. But from his father Saul, the king, we continue to see struggles with sin and a leader who is not putting God first.
Part 6 – Excuses, excuses
1 Samuel 15:1-35
December 17, 2017
In this passage, Saul has a specific command from the Lord of what to do and he doesn’t do it. Partial obedience is disobedience. He makes excuses and casts blame on others. An all too common response to our failures and negligence. There are no excuses before a holy God.