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A Heart for God

TORN

Scripture: 1 Samuel 15:24-35

I. You will not have something precious torn from you if you fear God more than people. 

A. Saul admits in vs. 24 that the reason he disobeyed God was that he feared the people in his army. Saul both feared the rejection of the people in the army, and he craved their acceptance. But over and over again in the Bible we are told to fear God – not people. Matthew 10:28: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” So, who are we to fear? People or God? God!

B. The Bible defines the fear of the LORD as worshiping God with the reverence and awe that His glory deserves. Unfortunately, King Saul’s fear of people was much greater than His fear of God. And that made his confession of sin and his repentance shallow and insincere (vs. 25). What really matters to Saul is to be held in high esteem by people (vs. 30). The support of people was far more crucial to Saul than reconciliation with God.

II. You will not have something precious torn from you if you repent of your sins.

A. When Samuel spoke to Saul of tearing the kingdom from him, Saul tore Samuel’s robe. Numbers 15:38-39: “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes.” By tearing Samuel’s tassel from his robe, Saul was symbolically revealing his breaking of God’s clear command to destroy the Amalekites.

B. How do I know if I have repented? 1) We no longer make excuses for our sin like Saul did. 2) A truly repentant person will move toward God. 3) True repentance leads to a changed life and changed actions.

III. You will not have something precious torn from you if you obey God’s Word.

A. Over and over in 1 Samuel we read about the importance of obeying God’s Word. There was a living, breathing sign of Saul’s disobedience in 1 Samuel 15: king Agag of the Amalekites. Saul was supposed to kill all of the Amalekites because of their wickedness. But it was left to the old prophet Samuel to obey God (vs. 33). Saul and Samuel separated after this failure on Saul’s part. And they never saw each other again. Because Samuel was God’s prophet it meant that Saul would have no more relationship with God. No more direction from God’s Word.

Application:
God is faithful to His promise to save those who repent through the death of Jesus.   

Sources:
The book of 1 Samuel
Commentaries on 1 Samuel by Robert Bergen, Dale Ralph Davis and Tim Chester

Sermon Discussion Questions

  1. What does it mean to fear God? How is it different from being terrified of God? How do you know when your fear of people is greater than your fear of God?
  2. Does the way in which you repent of your sin include the three characteristics identified in the sermon?
  3. Do you agree that you need to find reasons to say yes to obedience before you can say no to disobedience? Can you see how saying yes to God is much better than saying no to God?