|설교본문||1 Samuel 138-18|
|설교 한 주일||July 3, 2011|
“What Have You Done?”
1 Samuel 13:8-18
(Reading 1 Samuel 13:8 – 18 NIV)
8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.
11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel.
Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”
13 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”
15 Then Samuel left Gilgal and went up to Gibeah in Benjamin, and Saul counted the men who were with him. They numbered about six hundred.
16 Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Mikmash. 17 Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual, 18 another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboyim facing the wilderness.
Prophet Samuel asked King Saul, “What have you done?” It was about two years since King Saul had his position as a king. And also, that time was very hard because the Palestine, the enemy of the Israelites, always try to destroy the Jewish people even today. Even today, there is a front line in Gaza – the Palestine and Jews – that battle had been a thousand years; in that time also was the time of King Saul, the first king in Israel.
But actually, God disliked having a king for the Israelites. Israelites want a king. Before, they have prophets and judges but no king. They saw that the other countries have kings so they said, “Oh, looks good, good looking country because there is king! But our country has no king…” So, the people asked Samuel, “Samuel, give us king! Give us king! Give us king!” just like a little one when your children ask you, “Mommy, buy me this, buy me that…” Then you have to say, “Okay!” Sometimes you don’t like but too much asking so your children is bothering you on demanding things especially in SM or City Mall. So, Samuel said, “No, having a king is not good. If you have a king, the king will press you very hard and you’ll pay taxes – ten percent for your harvest. And then another ten percent from your domestic animals...Then the king will get your sons to make his troops, his soldiers, to keep his palace…And then the king will take your daughters to do cooking, baking, for the king… (The king wants to make your children another king – cooking.)”
But then the Israelites were hard-headed, “Okay, never mind! I like king! I like king!” Prophet Samuel doesn’t like. Do you know the main reason that they want a king? They want a king because they dislike the leadership of prophets. They like king because they trust no more the power of God. So, Prophet Samuel said, “No, it’s no good. God never allow you…” But the people were asking, “Give us king!” What is the purpose? That is a political purpose in that community.
We pray sometimes to the Lord, “Lord, allow us for this…” And then when you see yourself in that prayer, the prayer has a kind of string attached. Do we really pray and ask God, “Lord, please allow this…because this is good for the glory of God.” Did you ever pray once? “Lord, our church temple has no wall. The tabernacle has torn and some parts vanished because of some kind of reason. We have no place to worship. We can see the raindrops inside. Sometimes we can see stars at night. The Bible says that You stay in a very good house. Literally, the Bible says that You have a house with walls and then You stay there and never think about Your place of worshipping...” Do we really pray for the church? Do we really pray for another family? Do we really pray for the glory of God? Just think about yourself. And then you ask God, “Give us a king…so we can have a very good communication with another country…so we can battle because our king is very good…we will have very good king like a ninja, Rocky or batman or tiger man or cat woman…whatever… We need hero and heroine. We need because we are weak! Lord, allow us…” Those were the contents of your prayers in many cases.
So, God said, “Ok, you will have a king…” then God ordained and poured oil to Saul and God made Him the first king of Israel. It seems that if they have a king, everything is really good because they believe that the king will do. They trust the king because he is a very strong man…he sends some men…he’s very good in politics…he’s very good in international communication…so people trust the king. I told you before that the things never turned out as we expected.
While the Israelites are waiting, something happened in the border – the Palestine attacked and destroying that when they see, not only hundred, not only ten hundreds, not only thousand hundred people. With so many soldiers and arms, the Palestine troops came. King Saul saw it. The enemies were sitting down, just there like sand. And then when he counted his people, they were three thousand. King Saul thinks that the people are really struggling and trembling down and then hide themselves because they were afraid. You see tens of thousands people and they have only three thousand. Actually, the people of Israelites don’t have any weapon. They don’t have spear. They don’t have sword. They have nothing. Only King Saul and his son Jonathan has sword, that’s it. And then the people have only wooden stick. When you see yourself that you have only just a little wooden stick which is not really good to fight against your enemy, you’ve got to remember when you see yourself that you are small comparing to your enemy and competitors. “My enemy has very good sword made in China. I have small piece of wooden stick made in Quiapo.” This is the situation. And then your people, co-workers and soldiers say, “Okay, I can fight for our country because I need you. Long live King Saul!” And then they have only small sticks to fight. That is the situation.
For example, two countries or some barangay, some family or some of your competitors, some of your friends; they are really good…they graduate MIT (Made in Taiwan). But you have made in Quiapo. One thing you have to remember brothers and sisters is when you see yourself, “I’m a Filipino…Our country is this…My family is this…” if you realize that you are a Filipino, you’ve got to realize that you are the people of God. You see yourself like a small piece of stick, that’s all you have to fight against to, while you can see a very good fence and looks strong sword from your enemy that stand against you. What are you going to do? People beside of Saul hide themselves in small caves. And when Saul saw that he said, “Oh, I have only six hundred people now, unarmed with small sticks.” Those were like shovels that are not made of iron but of copper or bronze.
We see our situation. We have nothing to show up. We have nothing to fight against. Who is your leader or who are your people to follow behind you? I want you to see the Bible. I want you to open your heart and eyes and read it very sure. What the Bible teaches us today? The Word of God never always gives you blessings in good way but same way God gives you blessings throughout under the pressure and under the education. The education is not always happy. Education means practice. Education means training. Education means there is kind of dark canal and tunnel that you have to pass through. That is God’s set upon you intentionally to make you pure to suit in the working of God.
Saul was waiting for Samuel as Samuel said, “I will go. I will see you in few days…We can do just wait for my instruction.” And then Saul saw his people running away and the enemies look they even stick together at that moment, attack at that moment. So, Saul was thinking, “Where is Samuel? I have to see God. I want to talk to Him. Where is His instruction? Why did Samuel never come? This people are people of Samuel, not my people. I’m only aching, just elected by Lord.” That is the situation. Saul has nothing; his people and soldiers ran away back home or somewhere. And then Samuel, his mentor and power, and his God is not around. So Saul said, “Okay, never mind. Bring something and let’s do our burnt offerings. Let’s do it; he’s coming anyhow. Bring!” And then he finished as soon as he finished the burnt offering to the Lord. Amazingly, Samuel showed up, maybe one second or one hour difference. And then Samuel said to Saul, “What have you done?” In many cases, God is asking you and me, “What have you done? What was the purpose and why?” – Because we are doing some strange things without thinking. We just do it and then sometimes in our hearts, if I do this, it is no good; but, you follow that because you lost your control in your heart.
And then Samuel came to Saul, “What have you done?” “I just had a little offering…” Saul has excuse and everybody understands. It’s reasonable. When your parents or superior asked, “What have you done?” “Sir, because…Sir, because…” that is your excuse which is reasonable.
Brothers and sisters, God never listen to your excuse. Why you did it and why you give your excuse to God? Why you made yourself so busy? Two things – you did it against God and then you deliver your excuse again. Excuse number one – because you did not come at the time you set. Second – so I offered because you are not around. “You said you will come but you never showed yourself up so I offered by myself, I offered burnt offering…so it’s not my fault… Samuel, it’s your fault!” that’s what you want to talk. “Why you said so?” “You never came to me, right? So, what can I do, I have to offer it! It’s your fault, not my fault! Don’t tell me like that way!” That’s what you want to say in your life even to God. This excuse ends up that way…This excuse can be interpreted that way. “That’s your fault! How can I have offerings? I’ll do it alone…me…me…” Who said, you alone? Why you never recognize God who is always beside you?
We have another excuse – because we have soldiers but they are afraid and then they get away…I have no more soldiers…that’s why… That is a very good excuse because without soldiers how can you fight? “Samuel, can you fight? I’m alone, how can I fight? There are million of people around there. How can I fight against them? Why you made me killed?” “Why you made me a leader? Why you made me a pastor…blah…blah…? Why you made me your wife? Why you made me your husband? Why you made me your son…blah…blah…blah…?” That is the excuse we have. There’s another question that comes from the Lord, “You see your people to fight against the Palestine? You see that your about three thousand people can fight against the Palestine? You trust your three thousand people; now you have only six hundred. You trust your people! You depend on your people! You depend on what you have today! So, your people can fight against your enemy? So, you can solve your problem in what you have in you, what you possess today, Saul? You trust your fame…you trust all that…” It is funny enough; they are talking about your three thousand people. That’s only small. How many people Gideon had? –Three hundred only to fight. They came first in twenty thousand; God never asked them to gather twenty thousand. We need only three hundred because when you see 1 Chronicles 18, “The battle belongs to me, not to you…” Yahweh said. But what kind of battle we fight against? You’re always counting how many people you have, how much money you have, how much time you have. You never consider how God wants us to finish His tasks in our lives! And then you always say excuse number 2 – because my time is running out…my money is running out…my people is running out…Pastor, I have no time, sorry…” You keep your time in your life to make yourself happy because you don’t have time to share, to spare for the Lord. “Okay, 24 hours is for you…” Father said.
The Palestine were assembled – excuse number 3. “Samuel, my Lord, when I see the people there, our enemy, they attack us immediately. I know…I can hear all the sounds of their walking around, their yelling sounds every day, ‘you small one, I will fight against you! I will kill you!’ so I did it…” Saul has his own strategy which is agreeable or reasonable. We understand it. The enemy is moving very strangely so we have to prepare ourselves. That is how the people say but we, believers, people of God, we wait until the pillar of the fire is moving, not the people around you, your enemy’s movement. The time you have to put your power is the time when God gives you a queue. You never consider God in your life because you are very busy counting your people. You are very busy counting your money, maybe… “How much I have…how many people I have…how many members I have…” Remember, you enemy is always more than you regardless how many you have, regardless how much you are powerful. Remember that Satan is always stronger than you because Satan is not a human being. In the eyes, God will laugh at you. You count yourself – three thousand and you trust them. And then they ran away, now you have six hundred only so you have other special tricky things. You never waited for my queue just like a standby ‘lights, audio, video, queue – Saksi, bente quatro oras…’ You have to say this, right? Time is up, “Oh, I have the time but I think it’s wrong! Oh, 9:00 o’clock already…why there’s no queue! Okay, bente quatro oras!” He never realized he has the wrong time. It is his own idea because he knows how to say ‘bente quatro oras’ or ‘Saksi’ whatever. He knows, ‘you come okay, I’ll go’ so you always do that. You never consider God around you.
King Saul failed to wait. And then he relied or depended on his troops. I will never rely on my troop because I don’t have my troop. I know myself. I am nobody, I am very small. I have nothing. That’s why brothers and sisters, let’s see our God who is working in the very center of our lives. He trusts his own knowledge. I don’t say that your knowledge is nothing – your knowledge is very valuable, it is very reasonable but in terms of battle, spiritual warfare, trust in the fundamental knowledge of God. Trust Him. “The Palestine will come…I have three thousand then I have six hundred only…” It makes no difference with three thousand, with thirty thousand, even thirty million, if God will never be with me I can never defeat them. That must be our confession in our lives. ‘”I believe that this is the time to go…I think this is the last train I have to catch…” But God says nothing. You have to leave that last train. You think that is the last train, right? But I trust that there is always a special trip for you. God never will put you in the failure when you trust God, even King Saul. So, Samuel said, “You acted very foolishly. You missed the chance. You trust which you have but you never trust God so you have not kept the command. The command is not in the Bible all the time. The command here is the task we have to do, the responsibility we have to follow as a Christian. The Bible teaches us in 2 Chronicles, “…battle is not yours, but God’s…” In our life, if you have a problem, so do I; but this problem I just cast at the feet of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “My cross is far light than yours…” I believe in Jesus. “Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watch man stand guard in vain…” this is how the Bible teaches us today. The one who made Saul king is God, if so, the one who keeps His throne is God as well.
Rev. David Bang