FCQ. 136 – Who may rightly partake of the Lord's Supper? Those who repent of their sins, believe in Christ and live a new life.
Shorter Catechism Questions:
SCQ. 107 – What does the conclusion of the Lord's Prayer teach us? The conclusion of the Lord's Prayer, which is, For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen, teaches us to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to him; and, in testimony of our desire, and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen.
The Bible can come across as a very strange book, particularly the Old Testament.There are different imageries than we are used to, different customs, different geography, different cultures over all.There are also what seem to be unnecessary and, frankly, mistaken repetitions.This passage is one of them.Last week we saw that Samuel anointed Saul in Ramah.If you are reading ahead in 1 Samuel, you noticed that there is another ceremony to declare Saul king in 1 Samuel 12.
In chpt. 9, Samuel privately anoints Saul much like later on he will anoint David (1 Sam. 16), and much like John the Baptist will privately anoint Jesus for his ministry in the Jordan river and later on Mary, Martha and Lazarus's sister, will anoint him for his own coronation on the cross.If we were talking about the current political process, chpt. 9 would be the taking of a straw pole among a few key leaders to make sure that a particular candidate should run for president or not (just in this case the candidate is assured of winning).
Chapter 10 is the equivalent of election day, with the actual voting and at the end the major networks except for CBS announcing who the winner is.Then, the last episode in chpt. 12 is the actual inauguration.
I.All of Israel Is Called to Appear before the Lord in Mizpah, 17.
A.Remember how I have said several times that the passing of time in the narrative of 1 Samuel is not symmetrical, that is, it is not evenly distributed among the verses and chapters.
1.Sometimes one verse will cover several years, even decades (transition between chapters 7-8).
2.Sometimes several chapters one cover several days or even one day.
B.All that we read in chapters 10-12 happen in the space of seven days (literal days).
1.In chapter 10, Samuel tells Saul to go to Gilgal in seven days and wait for him there, 10:8.
2.Chapter 11 ends with the people going to Gilgal (11:15) and chapter 12 describes what they did there.
II.The Choosing of the King, 19b-21.
A.God used a lot system to reveal to Israel and to affirm to Saul who the new king was.
1.Every tribe (likely by leadership) participated in the process till it was narrowed down to Kish's family.
2.Even though it is not explicit in the passage, I think Samuel used something like the Urim and Thummim instead of dice or short and long straws because the same system is seems to be used to find where Saul was, 10:22.
B.When the whole process was ended and Saul was chosen, he was nowhere to be found, 10:21.
III.Here Is Your King… Hiding in the Luggage, 22-25.
A.Can you imagine the embarrassment?
1.The king is hiding among the luggage and the people have to drag him to the assembly, 22-23.
a.Maybe it was because of the magnitude of the appointment. b.Maybe it was timidity. c.May it was cowardice
2.Whatever it was, it did not bode well for the prospects of Saul's reign.
B.Samuel presents the cowering king to his subjects and they liked him, 24.
C.Samuel likely reads Dt. 17 to the people and to Saul in order to explain what God expected of the king, 25 (more on this next week).
IV.Most People Liked the Choice, Some Didn't, 26-27.
A.Most people cheered for him, 24b.
B.Some men even signed up voluntarily to be Saul's bodyguards, 26.
C.But some did not like the anointed of God, 27 – rebels = sons of belial (worthless).
V.The Invitation to the Meeting, 18-19.
A.Notice how Samuel starts by reminding them of God's faithfulness to them, 18.
1.In no moment in her history, did God abandon Israel.
a.He brought her out of Egypt by his mighty hand and outstretched arm.
b.He went before them day and night as they wandered in the Sinai Peninsula for 40 years.
c.He strengthened them as they conquered the nations of the land under Joshua.
d.He provided judges to lead them against their enemies when they cried out to him.
2.All the evidence they had before them was that God never failed them.
B.Contrary to all the evidence available to them and contrary to their experience, Israel thought that their own invention was going to be better for them than the God of the Bible, 19.
C.What we see in Israel is a display of human nature.
1.All evidence we have points to God's faithfulness to us, his Church – with Jesus being the greatest evidence.
Rom. 8:32 – He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Rom. 5:10-11 – For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
a.Jeremiah understood that despite what looked to be a dire situation with the destruction of Jerusalem the fact that the Church of the time was spared was an amazing sign of God's faithfulness to her.
Lam. 3:19-25 – Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall.My soul still remembers and sinks within me.[change in Jeremiah's focus] This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."The Lord ismy portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!"The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.
b.Paul understood that God's faithfulness was something that he could take to the bank all the time (faithful saying).
2 Tim. 2:8-13 – Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.This is a faithful saying: for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.If we deny Him, He also will deny us.If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
2.Despite of this evidence, the remains of our sinful nature (even in Christians) tend to work in a contrary to fact way.
Rom. 7:21-23 – I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
3.We tend to come up with our own inventions because we don't think that what God has done for us is good enough for us, or what he says as the King of kings and the Lord of lords is not really the best for us.
a.So we think, "Loving my wife selflessly is not really for me.I need a king who will tell me that I should live my life for myself."
b.Or, "Asking me to submit and respect to my husband even when he doesn't seem worthy of my respect can't be good for me.Give me a king that will allow me do otherwise."
c.Or, "The promise God makes to me if I honor and obey my parents must not be true because I don't want to honor and obey my parents."
d.Or, "If God was really faithful to me, he would let me have sex with whomever I want.I'm going to find a king that lets me do that."
4.And this other king that we are looking for, this other king that will rejoice in our fulfilling every last desire of our flesh, will invariably be the good old self.
5.Every time we sin, we are rejecting the God who himself saved us – read v. 19 again.
a.We deceive ourselves into thinking that sin is better than God.
Jer. 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
b.How do we change that?How do we stay faithful to the God who loves us in Jesus Christ and whom we love?
1)We repent because in repentance there is freedom and joy.
Ps. 51:7-12 – Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice.Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
2)We realize that Christ died to atone for the guilt of every single sin, including faithlessness.
Rom. 7:24-8:1 – Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
3)We think God's thoughts after him, that is, we believe exactly what God says he has done for us and what the result of faith in Christ is.
Eph. 4:17-24 – This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Rom. 6:8-14 – Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.And do not present your members asinstruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members asinstruments of righteousness to God.For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
4)We forget all the bad (and all the good) we have done and press on to Christ
Phil 3:12-14 – Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Phil 3:7-11 (The prize is to know Christ) – But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
D.Israel's rejection of the Lord as their king began the process that in about 400 years would lead her being taken captive.
E.Yet, even through all that, God was preparing his Church to receive her ultimate King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Pt. 3:9 – The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
God is faithful."He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"