They Have Rejected Me

They Have Rejected Me

They Have Rejected Me is a sermon teaching us to keep our focus upon the Lord Jesus to follow Him. Walk away from that which is evil and walk toward that which is good. And that means walking towards the Lord. Ask the Lord to show you the light, to help you choose the Lord.

Key Verses:
I Samuel 8:1-22
Deuteronomy 17:14-20
John 19:4-15

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 the second Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.“

I Samuel 8:3: “And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.”

A Desire to Fit In

We have previously talked about choices. It’s time to choose. God gives mankind choices. But often man chooses man over God. We do that and the nation of Israel did that. Now the desire to be like the world often overpowers our reasoning.

I’m saying we want to fit in. God calls his people to come out of the world and to be different. Now people have understood that in different ways. And we’ve got to be fair about that. But the truth of the matter is the word “church” means “a called-out company.” One called out of there. Peter writes, “and he says that you were not a people, but now you are the people of God.”

And you’ve been called out of darkness into light.” And that’s exactly what the Lord does. He calls us to leave the world and to come and be his children, to be his family, to be his followers. Jesus’ primary message when he was here could be summed up in the two words, “follow me” and we’re going to follow him.

We’re going to be walking away from the world, the world in general. And I’m not, I don’t say this with any smile. There’s nothing to smile about. Nothing to joke about the world, in general, is lost. The world in general is on its way to hell. We can follow Jesus and where’s Jesus going, going to heaven, but he’s walking in the opposite direction in the world.

It’s Our Choice

Where’s the world going? It’s going to hell. Do you want to live like those who are going to heaven or do you want to live like those who are going to hell? That’s really what the choice comes down to. Now, having said that, we choose man, and man’s ways over God, and we choose the world over God. And when we do that, we place ourselves outside God’s best for our life. And God has a perfect plan and purpose for us, but, again, he gives us a choice in the matter. Think about that. Adam and Eve were placed in a perfect environment. They were given only one choice that they had to make. It was a simple one and they chose wrongly.

The School of Life

Even in a perfect environment, you can make the wrong choice. You make the wrong decision. And so often we do that. Notice in verse one, it says, “and it came to pass when Samuel was old,” you know, people get old, Samuel got old. Life is interesting. Those of us who are, in the latter part of it, know that life goes fast. It goes way too fast. And sometimes you look around and you say, wow, what happened? How did we get this far, this fast? And the older you get it seems the faster it goes. And I heard a study, that said it is really true. I’m not sure that study is accurate, but that’s what they said. They said in reality, it does go fast. There’s a lot involved in saying that. But it comes, we live our life. We are appointed a certain amount of time to live.

And I think it’s a lot like going to school. If you think about it, you start school, maybe you start in kindergarten or preschool or whatever you wanted to call it when you’re just a little child and everything’s brand new to you and you’re just learning.

And then you get up into the grades and, and you learn new things. I remember in first and second grade, they were teaching us just to read and write. And that was a big deal in those days. And now they are doing that with four-year-olds and maybe younger. But the truth of the matter is you learn more and more and more and you go through school, but as you go through school, what happens?

You’re going to meet people. And you’re going to meet people and form relationships with them. Some of them you’re going to like, you’re not going to like some, you get along with some of them, and some you don’t. You have various teachers, but you continue through school and you get up into middle school and high school.

And then maybe you go to college. But, at the high school level, the college level, maybe beyond college level, you come to a point of graduation. And when graduation comes, you leave the school behind. And you leave all of your school experiences and your friends that you’ve made behind. Now, you may see some of them again. Some friendships that you make are going to last for a lifetime.

If you have a friend or friends like that, that’s a good thing. But graduation day comes, and you move on into a whole new situation, a whole new world. Really. Life is like that. All of our life is like going to school. And as we go through, we learn and we grow and we meet people and we build relationships, but someday we get to the end of life and we graduate, and we go on.

Now, some of the people that we formed relationships with, we’ll see, again, some of them, we won’t. But school is a very, very good analogy to life itself. Always learning, always building, always growing, always forming relationships. And yet we have to keep our focus on the goal of graduation day. There’s a popular saying, it’s an old saying it’s not new by any means, but it’s gained a lot of popularity in recent years., “it’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.” Well, that sounds good on the surface, doesn’t it? “It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.”

Think It Through

I looked at that and I said, you know, that’s not really accurate. “Oh, don’t worry about the destination, you get what you want during the journey?”

No, anytime you hear something, a philosophy, always follow it out to its logical end. Always. If I stay with this philosophy, where is it going to take me? I’ve told you before, one of the greatest questions I ever heard asked, was where will you be when you get where you’re going?

Always think about that. If you continue the direction you’re going now, where are we? Where’s it taking you? Where are you going to be? It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Think that through its logical end. So, what that is saying is, it’s what’s here and now that counts, don’t worry about what’s out ahead, or another way to look at it, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. That logic says it’s okay if you go to hell, as long as you had a good trip. See, it really is about the destination, isn’t it? It’s not just about the journey. The journey is important. Of course, of course, it’s important. Let’s go back to the school analogy. Did you have a good time in school? It doesn’t matter whether you graduate or not. Well, sure, it does. Sure, it matters. You have to have goals in life, and you have to focus on where you going.

You can’t think about where you are right now. You got to think about where you’re going to be, you’re going to be there before you know it. You have to think ahead and you have to keep your eye on the road and you have to keep your eye on the gold. Where the road has taken you to it’s all part of it.

Sons of Samuel

So Samuel came to the point where he was old. He’s getting to the last of his life. He’s getting towards his final days now, he’s still a good man, but time has taken its toll on him. And it was more difficult for him to carry out his duties than it was when he was younger.

And so that takes us to verse two. He made his sons judges over Israel. He had been the judge, and Samuel was in a unique position. He was the high priest. He was also a judge. Weren’t all the judges, high priests? Absolutely not. And if you read the book of Judges, Samuel is the last of the judges. He’s the last one. He’s not in the book of judges. He gets his own book, but he is the last of the judges. So, he’s getting older and he makes his sons judges because he needs their help.

I Samuel 8:2: “Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of the second Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.“

So far, so good.

I Samuel 8:3: “And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.”

That’s sad. Now previously, Eli had been the high priest before Samuel and Eli’s sons were wicked men. Samuel’s sons may not have been as bad as Eli’s sons. Eli’s sons did abominable things at the tabernacle.

But Eli’s sons set that example, Samuel sons walked not in his ways. They didn’t live the way Samuel did. To Samuel following the Lord was everything. Apparently not with Joel and Abiah. So verse three, again:

I Samuel 8:3: “And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.”

They apparently weren’t committing the abominations that Eli’s sons were, but what were they doing? They were taking bribes. You know, “I can decide your way for a price.” That’s exactly what they were doing.

I’d love to tell you they were the last judges to ever do that. It’s not true. I don’t think judges, in general, do that. But there have been notable cases where they did, where judges have been bought. I’ll give you one notable case, took place back in the 1920s.

There were two brothers who were accused of murdering their parents. And their lawyer became a very famous man. In later days, bribed the jury to rule in their favor. Well, what happened? Well, he got the boys off. He went on, he had a long, and some would say successful career. If you measure success in money and fame, he had a successful career.

But he also is the person, the attorney, who not all by himself by any means, but he was the, person whose work in a certain case that happened in the 1920s got evolution taught in our public schools. A man who bribed the jury. I can tell you a great deal more about him, but, you can look him up for yourself.

Give Us a King

Here’s the point. Samuel’s sons were not like Samuel and they took bribes. And I’d love to tell you also that not only were they the last judges to take bribes, they weren’t, I’d love to tell you they were the last preacher’s son to do that, but that’s certainly not true either. So what happens:

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.”

Here’s what they’re saying, “You, you have been our leader, you have been our judge. You’ve been our high priest. You’ve been our judge and you have been our leader, but really we know it’s not you who has been the leader. You follow God. Now your sons are not following God.” And obviously, that was true. “Your sons are not following God, and you’re getting old and we’ve got to think about the future.”

They wanted a King now, but the last phrase of verse five is so important. So we can be “like all the nations.” God called the people of Israel unto himself. Like he calls the church unto himself and he called the people of Israel to be different than all the other nations. And now what did they want to say? They want to say, “we want to be like all the nations. We want to be like everybody else.”

So verse six:

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.”

Samuel didn’t like that. Why? Israel had been established as a theocracy.

God was our king during the American revolutionary period. There was a popular saying we have no King, but Jesus. Now, where did they get that?

Where they got it from is the New Testament when Jesus stood before Pilate, people there said we have no King, but Caesar. And so, the popular saying in the Revolution was, “We have no King, but Jesus.” And what were they saying then? They’re saying we don’t want to be under King George the third. They said “we don’t want to be under King George the third anymore. We don’t want to be under a King. We don’t want a King, except Jesus. The Lord is going to be our King” and they formed a new country and they formed a new government that was not like the rest of the world.

Now it was intentionally not like the rest of the world a few years ago. One of our congressmen came out and he quoted that and said, “We have no King, but Jesus.” and you would’ve thought the press was going to crucify him for saying that, “How can you say that?“

But the people of Israel said they wanted to be like everybody else. And Samuel says that God called them to be a different people. The church has been called to be different, called out of the darkness into the light, called out of the world unto the Lord. And we are to be different now again, what does that mean to be different?

Well, we ought to be different in our speech. We ought to be different in our attitude. We ought to be different in our daily living. We ought to be the most trustworthy people there are. We ought to be the person that people say, “You know what? I could trust them with my children. I could trust them with anything. I can trust them with the keys to my house. I could trust them with my bank account number. I could trust them with anything.” We ought to be those kinds of people we really ought to be. And we ought to be setting an example, not just as saying to the world that we’re better than they are. We’re not really, I’ve said this many times.

I’ll be honest with you. I understand people who have addictions. And addictions can take many forms. And we talked about that many times, but let’s just talk about one and there’s, there are so many others. Let’s talk about alcohol. The only way that I can stand in front of you and tell you that I will never be an alcoholic, it’s not that I couldn’t be, it’s not I’m better than everybody else, it wouldn’t happen to me. No, it’s not true. But If I were to drink, I might become an alcoholic, that’s why I’m not better than other people. I’m not innately such a good person that it couldn’t happen to me.

Making Choices

So, you have to make a choice. You have to make a decision and your choices have consequences. And we are called to be different from the world. Now, when they come to Samuel and they say, your sons don’t walk in your ways. That was true. And they said, we want to be like all nations, but they were the chosen people of God.

They were not supposed to be like the rest of the world. God was to be their King and truly was, and the only theocracy that has ever been. Is Israel a theocracy today? No, it isn’t. They have a government and it’s kind of a complicated government that they have there It’s similar to ours, but it’s not the same as ours. And it works differently.

So not only were they not supposed to be like other people, they did not need a King. How would you place one here? I want you to see what God had to say about a King in Deuteronomy chapter 17:

Deuteronomy 17:14: “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;”

Now God calls them into the promised land. They are surrounded by nations that do not believe in God, do not follow God. They follow after other gods. And He’s telling them don’t be like those other nations. Another important thing, Deuteronomy 17 was written 400 years before the situation we were reading about in I Samuel chapter 8 occurred. Four centuries have gone by:

Deuteronomy 17:14: “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;”

They wanted to be like all nations, the ones that God has called them to be separate from.

Deuteronomy 17:15: “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.”

Now, here’s what He is saying. If you’re going to have a king, it’s not God’s perfect will for them to have a king, and is not a perfect way for them to follow Him. But if you going to have a king, let me choose the king. That’s what God’s saying. And He’s saying not to choose somebody who is not of the house of Israel. What? Did they ever have a king that wasn’t? Yes.

In the New Testament, you have King Herod. King Herod is King over Israel. But he is not an Israeli. He is not of the house and lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is an Edomite a descendant of Esau Jacob’s brother. Well, how did he get to be King over Israel? The Romans made him King. Well didn’t they know that the King of Israel was supposed to be an Israelite? Sure. They did. They did many things that just purposely insult the people of Israel. And that was only one of them.

What a King Should and Should Not Do

Deuteronomy 17:16: “But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.”

So verse 16, the King that God chooses shall not multiply horses to himself, he’s not supposed to have great stables of horses. King Solomon had great stables of horses which were very famous. He says not to let the people go back to Egypt and buy Egyptian horses, apparently Egyptian horses were fine horses, and that’s probably true.

He doesn’t want you to go back there, even for that, “forasmuch as the Lord has said unto you. You shall not henceforth return no more. That way.” Don’t go back to Egypt. Why they were in slavery and bondage in Egypt, God called them out of Egypt, unto himself to follow him, to enter to the promised land. He took them to the promised land said, now once you’ve come, you follow me and you come to the promised land. Don’t go back. Don’t go back to where you came from. Don’t go back to where I delivered you from. Do not go back to where I saved you from.

Deuteronomy 17:17: “Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.”

Notice in verse 17, God says clearly and plainly in his word, that the king is not to have multiple wives. I don’t know how you could miss that. When the kings of Israel, David, and all the kings after him, had multiple wives was that God’s word? Not at all.

God let him do it? Sure. God lets us do what we choose to do. He does, but there are consequences when we violate His word and His will, and He says the king “shall not multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.”

Verses 16 and 17, King Solomon did all of that. And scripture clearly says that King Solomon’s wives turned his heart away from the Lord. Solomon started out a great King, a godly King, and he built the temple. But in his later life, he got cold and turned his heart away. His many wives, you add up wives and concubines, and there were a thousand of them.

I cannot imagine. I honestly don’t even know how you’d remember all the names. It’s an absolutely astounding thing to do. “Well, preacher don’t, you know, some of those were just political marriages to make good relations.” Where does it tell you to do that?

Well, kings have always done that. Sure. But God didn’t say do that. Yeah, that’s another thing. We have to understand this, just because we’ve always done something doesn’t make it right. And because everybody else is doing it, doesn’t make it right. If God says it’s wrong, it’s wrong.

Deuteronomy 17:18: “And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:”

So verse 18, understand that the king when he becomes king is to sit down, take the scriptures, and hand-write his own personal copy of the scriptures.

Now, why would God want to do that? How could you get to know the word any better than to sit down and copy it yourself? Word for word. I talked to a man a couple of weeks ago when we were in Pensacola, he showed me his journal. He is doing that. He is hand-copying the scriptures, writing it word for word.

He’s not making his own new version or anything like that. He just copying the scriptures word for word, and he’s got a book. A journal book for every book of the Bible and he’s making his own. You get to know it better that way. And the king was supposed to do that. Why? Because the king was supposed to follow the Lord.

Deuteronomy 17:19: “And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:”

Deuteronomy 17:20: “That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.”

The King’s Walk

That’s what the king was supposed to be like. Did one of them ever live up to that? Not one, some of them got closer than others, David and Josiah, and later Hezekiah. They got closer, but none of them ever did it. King Saul started out as a good king, but then he got self-centered.

David was a great king, but he was not without sin. He had his faults, he had his failures, Solomon took David’s faults and failures and magnified them. He magnified the good things David did, but he magnified the bad. Solomon’s son was a disastrous king. And after that, you have this rollercoaster ride of good kings and bad kings, and you would read it over and over.

He walked in the ways of the Lord. He walked not in the ways of the Lord over and over for the whole time of the kings till finally, they got so far away from God that God said no more. And he allowed King Nebuchadnezzar, who was a godless man to rule over God’s people. He later came to trust the Lord. You read the story in Daniel, but God allowed King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

Think present-day Iraq to come down and conquer Jerusalem and Judah and take the people of Jerusalem and Judah captive for 70 years. After 70 years, Babylon had fallen into the Persians think present day, Iran. But the King of Persia graciously allowed the people to go back to the land, but they never re-established their own nation until 1948.

That is a long, long, time. Had they followed God’s law, by the way, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are the books of the law. Had they followed God’s law concerning the king, Deuteronomy 17 and 14 to 20. It would have been a lot better off, a lot better. But the fact of the matter is they would have been far better than that. If they just said Lord’s our King and followed Him. All right. Leave Deuteronomy and come back to I Samuel chapter 8.

Rejecting the Lord

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.”

And he did the right thing. He didn’t like what they said. He didn’t like what he heard, but he went to the Lord with it and the Lord answered his prayer. Look at verse 7.

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.”

It’s where we get our title this morning “that I should not reign over them.” Understand this Samuel, the people have made a bad decision. They’ve made a bad choice, but Samuel, they haven’t rejected you. They rejected me. Jesus gave the parable where the people said we will not have this man to reign over us. And in that parable, the man that they didn’t want to reign over them represented the Lord himself. So what happens? They’ve not rejected you. They 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.”

In verse 8, it isn’t Samuel they rejected. They rejected the Lord and they serve other gods. The gods of the people around them. They are being like the people around them.

Be an Example to Others

Are we supposed to be like other people? Of course, God is not saying that we need to live a monastic life. Those of us who are Christians tell you why we’re just all set up living here in these two buildings, all of us who will stay here, we’ll never go out and see the rest of the world, and nobody else will ever come in. That’s absurd. Yeah, people have done it. Well, do you see any problems with that? I see a lot of problems with it but let me just give you one. The Lord said, go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. How are you going to do that?

If we all stay inside the building here, you never going to do it. You never going to be able to do it. So obviously that is not what God wants us to do. And you’re going to go out and you’re going to be in the everyday world. And everybody around you is not going to be a believer. But you can be an influence and a light where you are, and you can be a witness where you are and you can tell other people, let them see the difference in you.

And you can try to lead them to the Lord. I know some good brothers who will disagree with what I’m about to say, but I’m going to say it anyway because I think it’s true. You cannot make another person become a believer. They have to make that decision. Our job is to give them the opportunity to make the decision.

Our job is to go to them and give them the gospel and make it clear and plain, and not muddy the water with our sins in our own life. Be an example to other people. What’s Paul writes to Timothy, “let no man despise thee but be an example of the believers in word and faith and purity and all of these things.

Be an example to the believers. But the truth of the matter is you go out and you share the gospel with people, and you be the example you ought to be. You share the message but it’s up to them, they trust the Lord or not. Where we fail is when we don’t do our part.

I heard a great sermon many years ago. I still remember the outline of it. The preacher was preaching on the resurrection of Lazarus. He said it is our part to get rid of the obstacles. Then God’s part to call the unbeliever from death to life. Then their part to respond to the call, and then our part to help them get rid of the old grave clothes, the old way of life, and help them to start living the new life. Beautiful picture, beautiful picture. And that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.

So the Lord then tells Samuel in verse 7, “harken to the voice of the people.” In verse 8, he says:

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.”

I think the biggest god that’s worshiped in our society today is the god of self, having so much self-worship and self-love. “Well, you know, we’ve got to have a good self-esteem preacher.” Well, you do need healthy self-esteem. there’s one verse in the Bible that talks about self-esteem, you’ll find it in the book of Philippians.

Philippians 2:3: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

What to Expect From A King

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.”

In verse 9, God says it again, “hearken under their voice.” Do you know what he’s saying? Give them what they asked for. You know, the Lord will do that. He’ll give you what you asked for. Sometimes you asked for the wrong thing. He’ll let you have it. I heard this quote, “There are two kinds of people in the world, those who say to God, die will be done and those who say to God, my will be done” and I’m afraid the majority of people are in that second category.

Verse 9 again now:

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.”

So what the Lord is saying in verse 9, is to protest solidly and seriously to them. How are you going to do it? “Show them the manner of king that shall reign over them.”

I Samuel 8:10: “And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.”

Samuel did what God told him to do. He went and told the people, he said, let me tell you, let me tell you what God has said.

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.”

What’s he saying? He’s saying the king is going to institute a draft. Why is he going to need to build up an army? Well, hadn’t they had an army before? Not a full-time army. No. “Now preacher, you saying it’s bad to have an army?” I’m not saying that at all. God was just telling them what the king was going to do. He’s going to institute a draft and he’s going to compel your sons to serve him.

I Samuel 8:12: “And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.”

I Samuel 8:13: “And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, 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.”

I Samuel 8:16: “And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.”

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

Now stop right there. That is the pattern of kings. It was a pattern of kings in the Old Testament time. It has been the pattern of kings straight up throughout history. Let me give you a little more clarity on that picture. When you have a king, the king owns everything. That’s what God’s saying here.

The king owns everything. All the land is his. Everything that grows on the land is his, all the livestock is his, everything belongs to the king. Now the king, if he’s a good king allows you to live on his land, maybe he’s a bad king. He lets you live on his land, but you have no quality of life whatsoever. And God’s warning about that, but He’s a good King.

He lets you live on his land and you work the land and you grow the crops and you produce the products and so forth and you give it all to him. Why? Because it belongs to him and he gives you back what he thinks you need to live.

The king owns everything. You live on the king’s land, you work for the king and you give him back or he gives you back what he thinks you need to live on. Now, today in 2020, they still have that situation in many countries. Yes, I know some countries still have kings.

And I think I could be wrong about this, but I’m basing this on Bible prophecy. I think you’re going to see in the years to come more and more countries having kings, maybe not, but I think you will. Let’s tell you the same story I just told you. That’s what God just said and let’s change “king” to “government.”

Now here’s the thing. The government owns everything, and you work for the government. They own the land, they own everything, and everything you own belongs to them, but they’ll give you back what they think you need to live.

And that’s feudalism that’s life under a king, or the modern 2020 name for that is socialism. It’s the same concept. It’s the same idea, new idea, new terminology, but it’s the same idea. Nothing really new about it, except the terminology. It works the same way. And God says, okay, this is what you asked for. You have to understand, this is what you’re going to have.

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.”

What? God’s not going to hear what Isaiah says? The Lord’s ear is not heavy that he cannot hear, his arm is not short, but your sins have separated between you and your God.

The Psalmist says, “if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me not, he can’t hear me. He will not hear me.”

So, what happened when the preacher Samuel told the people this? Well, they all repented and said, you know, Samuel, we see the truth here and we see the reality of the situation and we’re going to repent. No, that’s not what happened at all. What did happen? Look at verse 19:

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;”

That’s a pretty clear statement, isn’t it? Yeah. We hear what you’re saying, but we want what we want. We’re not going to have a high priest and a judge anymore. We’re not going to be making God our king anymore.

We want to be like everybody else. Be careful about that, being like everybody else. That’s the problem. God called you to be different. God called you to be His people. God called you to follow him, not the other gods that those other nations serve and what other people say, Nope. We want to be like everybody else. Now there’s a certain degree of comfort in being like everybody else.

Being Like Everyone Else

When you’re like everybody else, people just accept you more readily and you don’t get persecuted and you don’t have any of those issues. Okay. That doesn’t mean you won’t have any trouble at all. Of course, you will, but you don’t have those issues. Yes, there’s a certain degree of comfort in that.

Nobody likes to be the loner. Nobody likes to be out there by themselves. It’s like running a race and you’re no longer in first place and you’re not going to win. That’s what happens when you say, I want to be like everybody else, you drop out of first place to be with the crowds there, but you were in first place. That’s what it’s saying.

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.”

What did the Lord just tell them? No, you’re going to fight battles. The king is going to be telling you to do it, but you’re going to be the one out there fighting.

General Norman Schwarzkopf autobiography is titled “It Doesn’t Take a Hero.” And where he got that title, he says, “It doesn’t take a hero to be the man who commands people into battle. It takes a hero to be the one who goes into that.”

I Samuel 8:21: “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.”

Do you know what He’s saying? Give them what they want. “And Samuel said unto the men of Israel go you every man into his city.”

So, they had a King. The people refused to listen to the preacher because they wanted to be like everybody else. We want to be like all the other nations and Samuel heard the people and he went to the Lord and Lord said, give them what they want. The Lord allowed them to make their own choice. And they chose a King over God.

“I Find No Fault in Him”

Now let’s finish up, go to John chapter 19. This is the chapter of the Lord’s crucifixion. We’re not going to go through the whole story, but I do want you to see some of it and we’ve already referred to a part of it.

John 19:4: “Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.”

I heard Ravi Zacharias say this some years ago, and I want you to think about it. He said this, “Whatever you have against the church, and it may be legitimate, what is it that when you look at Jesus makes you say, ‘that’s not right.’”

What’s there? When you look at Jesus, can you find fault in the church? Sure, you can. Why? The church is made up of people and people aren’t perfect. You can find fault in the church, any church. So, he said, whatever it is about the church that you don’t like, you may have a legitimate grudge against the church.

What is it about Jesus? And when you look at him, makes you say, that’s not right. Pilate, that judge, the Roman governor said, “I find no fault in him.” Didn’t find anything.

John 19:5: “Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!”

John 19:6: “When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.”

You want it done? You do it.

John 19:7: “The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”

The Jews answered him by the way, let me emphasize this. We’ve told you this many times before, but it was a really important time to say it again. The Jews here are not all of the Jewish people. The Jews here are the religious leaders of the people, everybody in this story, except Pilate is Jewish. The Jews answered him. We have a law and by our law, he ought to die because He made himself the Son of God.

Why does he need to die? He said He’s the Son of God. Did he say that? Sure did. They’re saying, because He claimed that, did they not know that a Messiah was supposed to come? Yes. Did they not know that Messiah was supposed to be the Son of God? Yes, they did. Did they not understand these things? Yes. They just didn’t know or want it to be Jesus.

John 19:8: “When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;”

Why is he afraid? Maybe this is the Son of God, Pilate’s thinking. Maybe He is, “I don’t want to be crucifying Him”. No, Pilate didn’t understand it. He’s not believing at that point, but he’s just considering the possibilities.

John 19:9: “And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.”

John 19:10: “Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?”

Humanly speaking, that was true.

John 19:11: “Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.”

What Jesus is saying, and I’m sure Pilate doesn’t understand. It’s God who set up the human government, it is God who established human authority. So, when Jesus says he could have no power at all against Him, except it was given him from above. That’s true. So the one who betrayed Jesus, who delivered Him to him, he has the greater sin.

John 19:12: “And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.”

He was looking for any legal out in this situation, so he could get out of this and not have to be the bad guy. They called out that Caesar’s the boss. Caesar is the emperor. Pilate works for Caesar.

Pilate is the governor, but Caesar is the big man. You don’t want to go against Caesar. What happens if Pilate is not Caesar’s friend? Well, the least thing that will happen is he’s going to lose being governor. The worst thing that’s going to happen is he’s going to lose his life. And he knows this.

John 19:13: “When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.”

John 19:14: “And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!”

John 19:15: “But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”

The chief priests are supposed to be the leaders leading people to God. The chief priests said “we have no King, but Caesar,” not Jesus. Nope. Don’t want Him, crucify Him. They want Caesar, do you know what they’re doing? They’re doing the same thing their ancestors did all those centuries before in Samuel’s day.

That’s what they’re doing. Same thing. “We don’t want the Lord to be our king. We want Caesar to be our king.” Now there’s obviously more to this chapter, they crucified Him and we’re going to stop there. They made the same choice their ancestors had made centuries earlier.

Making the Same Choices Today

And people are still choosing man over the Lord. People are still putting their faith in hope. And man, can I, can I share something with you? I want you to think of the best person, you know, I don’t know who that is. And if you mentioned the name, it might not be anybody I ever heard of, it doesn’t matter.

I want you to think of the best person that, you know, whoever that is, man, or woman, whoever it is. I hope you highly respect them. You should. And I hope you honor them but let me show you a couple of things about them.

Number one, they’re not perfect. The best person that, you know, whoever that is, will at some point in time, be disappointing. You’re going to find out that they’re not perfect. Now, when you find that out, don’t think they’re no longer the best person, you know, they’re still probably the best person you know, they’re just human.

Does that make sense to you? Okay. So that doesn’t mean you dishonor them, or you disrespect them or you turn away from them. It doesn’t mean any of that, it just means to understand that they’re human too.

Number two, the best person, you know, whoever that is, is temporary. We all aren’t always going to be there. I think probably everybody in this room can think of somebody, you know, in your life who was a big influence on you and, and who you really connected to. And now, they’re gone. I’ve heard of people who got angry at somebody who passed away. Don’t get angry at somebody who passes away.

But understand when we choose man over God, we are choosing that, which is imperfect over that which is perfect. And we’re choosing that which is temporary over that which isn’t, and that’s the issue.

We all make our choice. So the question is, what is your choice? What is your decision? Do you join the group that says we want a king so we can be like all the other nations? Do you join the religious group that says we have no king but Caesar, or do you say I have decided to follow Jesus?

Keep our focus upon the Lord Jesus to follow Him. Walk away from that which is evil and walk toward that which is good. And that means walking towards the Lord. Ask the Lord to show you the light, to help you choose the Lord.

Get in-depth knowledge by viewing or listening to the sermon: They Have Rejected Me

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Dr. Michael L. McClure, our lead pastor, is known for his in-depth knowledge and effective teaching style of biblical truths applicable to every day living.

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