I Samuel 8:1-22

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Text: I Samuel 8

BUT EVERYBODY'S DOING IT

INTRODUCTION:

But everybody's doing it is an excuse we frequently hear. Translated into other terms, people are saying, It does not matter if it is right or wrong, just as long as most people are doing it. This is saying, We need to conform to society so that we won't be thought of as oddballs or as being different.

It is the same idea as the new morality of 50 years ago. Another term for this is situation ethics. What it means is that the situation determines whether a thing is right or wrong. It is part of Satan's over-all plot, and its intent is to break down our society by destroying our individuality by getting us so concerned with being like everyone else that we just conform without even thinking. It is as old as the hills. Satan has used this tactic from the very first. By the way, what is the difference between the basic philosophy of situation ethics and the pragmatism practiced by many independent Baptists who claim to be Biblical in their practices?

We have been conditioned to believe that to be politically correct we must be tolerant of all sorts of things. In a modern society such as ours, those who believe that homosexuality is sin are to be tolerant toward homosexuality. Are the homosexuals tolerant of those who believe that homosexuality is sin?

Those who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman are supposed to be tolerant of those who believe in same sex marriage, but are those who believe in same sex marriage tolerant of those who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman?

We are supposed to be tolerant of those who believe that abortion is acceptable for women's rights and for women's health. Are those who believe that abortion is a matter of women's rights and women's health tolerant of those who believe that abortion is murder.

The Bible says in Romans 12:2 , Be not conformed to this world; and I Peter 1:14 , As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.

Today we have a nation full of sissies who wouldn't dare to be different. People would rather switch than fight. Unfortunately, the picture in our fundamental churches is not much different from that of our nation. By the way, the churches typically illustrate the problems in society. It is sad, but many Christians would rather pay some missionary or pastor to do their witnessing for them.

It is a good thing that the founding fathers of our nation dared to take a stand on political matters. It is a good thing that some Bible characters such as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego dared to stand alone for the Lord. Do we still dare to be different? Do we still dare to go against the crowd? Any old dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a real live one to swim against the current.

We need men and women who will stand for what is right and who will pay any price to be right with the Lord. How far are we willing to go? If we are the only ones left in the whole world, we need to be willing to stand for the Lord all by ourselves.

Do you remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, how they refused to bow down to the image of Nebuchadnezzar in the plain of Dura? With everybody else bowing down, it is perfectly obvious who is standing up!

Look at Israel. They are different from the other nations. They don't have a king, but every other nation does. So they want one too. Twenty years had passed since the revival in chapter 7. People have short memories. They forgot things such as the exodus, the entering in to the promised land, and the tremendous revival 20 years earlier.

In this message I would like you to see a pattern which will be repeated often in life: when someone becomes discontented with God's methods or ways, God allows him to try his own method or way; and it always ends in failure.

If we are going to live for the Lord, we are going to be different from the world.

Psalms 1:1 - Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Proverbs 19:27 - Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

Romans 16:17 - Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

II Corinthians 6:14-7:1 - (14) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (1) Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Titus 3:10-11 - (10) A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; (11) Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

II John 9-11 - (9) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (10) If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (11) For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

We see that -

I. THE ISRAELITES WERE DISCONTENTED WITH GOD'S METHODS - 8:1-9

I Samuel 8:1 - And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

I Samuel 8:2 - Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba [Beersheba was located in southern Israel, 48 miles south of Jerusalem].

I Samuel 8:3 - And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre [i.e. money], and took bribes, and perverted judgment [i.e. justice].

The law specifically prohibited taking bribes.

Exodus 23:8 - And thou shalt take no gift [i.e. bribe]: for the gift [i.e. bribe] blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

Deuteronomy 16:19 - Thou shalt not wrest judgment [i.e. distort justice]; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift [i.e. bribe]: for a gift [i.e. bribe] doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.

Proverbs also speaks against taking bribes.

Proverbs 17:23 - A wicked man taketh a gift [i.e. bribe] out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.

I Samuel 8:4 - Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,

I Samuel 8:5 - And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.

God had made provision in the law for the appointment of a king.

Deuteronomy 17:14-15 - 14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

I Samuel 8:6 - But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.

I Samuel 8:7 - And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

I Samuel 8:8 - According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.

Having a king would bring new problems which the Israelites had not previously had.

I Samuel 8:9 - Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

They had a better idea. They were going to improve upon what God had for Israel. Their plan did not sound too bad until you compared it with the Word of God. It reminds me of Satan's words to Eve, Ye shall be as gods knowing good and evil. They were actually rejecting the Lord's rule and His ways.

We have the same problems today. Satan has not changed his tactics, and we are not ignorant of his devices. He seeks to get people discontented with God's ways.

God's pattern for the home where the father is the leader and the mother is second in command and the children honor and obey their parents.

God's pattern for the church where the pastor is the leader but not a dictator.

God's pattern for the nation, where the Bible says in Proverbs 14:34 that Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

God's pattern for morality where all sexual relations are exclusively between a man and his wife.

God's method of salvation which is by grace and through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross to save us from our sins.

God's methods of evangelism where people went everywhere proclaiming the gospel as they went, not cooperating with unbelievers to get the gospel out and not compromising with trickiness and deceptiveness in order to get people saved.

God's method of separation, both personal and ecclesiastical, where people seem to think that they must be more like the world in order to win the world.

We see that the Israelites were not only discontented with God's methods, but -

II. THEY WERE WARNED - 8:10-20

I Samuel 8:10 - And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.

I Samuel 8:11 - And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

I Samuel 8:12 - And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear [i.e. plow] his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war [i.e. equipment for war], and instruments of his chariots [i.e. equipment for his chariots].

I Samuel 8:13 - And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries [i.e. perfumers], and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

I Samuel 8:14 - And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.

I Samuel 8:15 - And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

The people will be paying a tenth of their income in taxes to support the king's officers and servants.

I Samuel 8:16 - And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses [i.e. donkeys], and put them to his work.

The king will draft young men and young women into his service.

I Samuel 8:17 - He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

More taxes.

I Samuel 8:18 - And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.

You will regret your decision to have a king, but the Lord will not hear your prayers regarding this situation you created for yourself.

I Samuel 8:19 - Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;

I Samuel 8:20 - That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.

Note God's patience. He takes people where they are and works with them.

Romans 12:1-2 - (1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

James 4:4 - (4) Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Finally, we see that -

III. GOD PERMITTED THEM TO HAVE THEIR OWN WAY, BUT HIS PERMISSION SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH HIS APPROVAL - 8:21-22

I Samuel 8:20 - And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.

I Samuel 8:22 - And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.

When people insist on going their own ways, God will let them do it; but the results are always undesirable.

Do you remember Isaiah 53:6 ?

Isaiah 53:6 - All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

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When people reject the message, they are not rejecting God's servant but they are rejecting God, even though they might outwardly blame the man of God. God may teach us to hate sin by allowing us to sample it for a while, i.e. God permits us to learn lessons the hard way.

Although it was God's will eventually for the Israelites to have a king, it was not the time of His choosing or the manner of His choosing that they demanded a king so that they could be like the rest of the nations.

CONCLUSION:

Do things God's way. Do not insist upon your own way. God knows far better and more than we do.

Wanting to be like everyone else is not a good idea. It is far better to want to be like the Lord Jesus Christ and find our heroes in people like Joseph, Daniel, Paul, Peter, and John.

Let's instead be pursuing after the Lord with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths.

Are you sure that you are saved and are on your way to heaven?

Jesus Christ, i.e. God the Son, died on the cross and paid for all your sins. He then rose again from the dead on the third day. This is what you must believe [i.e. be trusting in] in order to be saved, to have your sins forgiven, and to go to heaven.

If you are not saved or are not certain that you have been genuinely saved, I would love to have the opportunity to sit down with you and show you how you can be certain that are. Give me this opportunity, won't you?