Sunday Recap for 1/21: Big Picture Question: How does God show His great pleasure to His children?

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Our Scripture for today is 1 Samuel 12:19-25:

1 Samuel 12: 19 And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” 20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24 Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”

Our Big Picture Question is:

 How does God show His great pleasure to His children?

And we found these three answers to our Big Picture Question:

  • He makes them a people for Himself
  • He gives them Godly leaders
  • He does great things for them

Let’s look at our first answer.  We see that God shows His great pleasure to His children because…

He makes them a people for Himself

1 Samuel 12: 19 And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” 20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.

  • What was Samuel’s exhortation to Israel prior to these verses?
  • What sin did He accuse them of?
  • What is their response in verse 19?
  • How have these sins been a pattern in the life of the people of God?
  • Consider this quote from John Owen and consider how it details what Samuel is commanding the people.

If a sin has remained long corrupting your heart, if you have allowed it to abide in power and prevalency without vigorously attempting to kill it and apply healing to its wounds, this attitude is dangerous.   Have you permitted worldliness, ambition, and greediness to eat up other responsibilities instead of holding constant communion with God for a long period of time?  Have you allowed sin to defile your heart with vain, foolish, and wicked imaginations for many days?  That ongoing sin has a dangerous symptom as David said in Psalm 38:5 “My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.”  

  • How does Samuel comfort the people?
  • What aspect of God’s character does he highlight?
  • Consider these three verses to show us how we might root out deep-seated sin in our hearts

Be silent before GodPsalm 4.4b ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent

Ask God to search youPsalm 139. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!  24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Confess knowing you are in Christ2 Corinthians 13.5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?

  • What does it mean that God will not forsake you for His name’s sake? Consider Hebrews 6:

Hebrews 6:13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul

Let’s look at our second answer.  We see that God shows His great pleasure to His children because…

He gives them Godly leaders

1 Samuel 12: 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.

  • What role does Samuel see that he has in the life of the people of God?
  • How seriously does Samuel take that role?
  • How does the gravity and weight of Samuel’s responsibility and role display God’s pleasure for His children?
  • How is verse 23 connected to 19? What should that relationship look like in the life of the church?
  • Where do you see this type of relationship demonstrated and commanded in the NT?

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Let’s look at our third answer.  We see that God shows His great pleasure to His children because…

He does great things for them

1 Samuel 12: 24 Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”

  • What is the intersection of faith and fear look like?
  • What is the motivation for obedience in verse 24?
  • What is Samuel’s warning?
  • What are New Testament encouragements that are similar to this? Consider James 2:

James 2: 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

  • How is James’ explanation of faith similar to Samuel’s exhortation?
  • What is the application that James gives?

Consider also 1 John 4:

I John 4 20 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

  • How are the promises of 1 John also similar to Samuel and James?
  • How do these commands and promises work themselves out among the people of God?

Big Picture Question:  How does God show His great pleasure to His children?

Truth: God demonstrates His great pleasure to His children by making us a people for Himself, who He then equips with Godly leaders, to proclaim the great things that He has done and is doing.

Application: Live knowing that you spend each minute of each and every day beneath the undying and unending pleasure of God because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Action:  Begin your days this week with the recognition that God’s love is going to be poured out to you and through you. 

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