Sunday Recap 11/19: Big Picture Question: Will God defend a sinful believer?

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Sunday, November 19, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at 1 Samuel 11:1-11:

1 Samuel 11:1 Then Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh-gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you.” 2 But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “On this condition I will make a treaty with you, that I gouge out all your right eyes, and thus bring disgrace on all Israel.” 3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days’ respite that we may send messengers through all the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will give ourselves up to you.” 4 When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul, they reported the matter in the ears of the people, and all the people wept aloud.

5 Now, behold, Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen. And Saul said, “What is wrong with the people, that they are weeping?” So they told him the news of the men of Jabesh. 6 And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled. 7 He took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hand of the messengers, saying, “Whoever does not come out after Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen!” Then the dread of the Lord fell upon the people, and they came out as one man. 8 When he mustered them at Bezek, the people of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. 9 And they said to the messengers who had come, “Thus shall you say to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have salvation.’”

When the messengers came and told the men of Jabesh, they were glad. 10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will give ourselves up to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good to you.” 11 And the next day Saul put the people in three companies. And they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day. And those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

We attempted to answer this Big Picture Question:

Big Picture Question:  Will God defend a sinful believer?

And we found these three answers:

  • Yes, by His Spirit
  • Yes, by the dread of the Lord
  • Yes, by His people   

God uses His Spirit

1 Samuel 11:11 Then Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh-gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you.” 2 But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “On this condition I will make a treaty with you, that I gouge out all your right eyes, and thus bring disgrace on all Israel.” 3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days’ respite that we may send messengers through all the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will give ourselves up to you.” 4 When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul, they reported the matter in the ears of the people, and all the people wept aloud.

5 Now, behold, Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen. And Saul said, “What is wrong with the people, that they are weeping?” So they told him the news of the men of Jabesh. 6 And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled.

The people of God are desperate.  Their enemy beat them, and the conditions of surrender were to have their eye gouged out.  Word gets to King Saul, and the Spirit of God moves on Him.

This is the Spirt of God moving for a specific task like we see with Gideon in Judges 6, with Samson in Judges 14, and with Zechariah 2 Chronicles 24.

For the believer, we have John 14:16 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

God uses the dread of the Lord

1 Samuel 11:7 He took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hand of the messengers, saying, “Whoever does not come out after Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen!” Then the dread of the Lord fell upon the people, and they came out as one man. 8 When he mustered them at Bezek, the people of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. 9 And they said to the messengers who had come, “Thus shall you say to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have salvation.’” When the messengers came and told the men of Jabesh, they were glad.

The dread of the Lord falls on the people, and the become unified in action.  The dread of the Lord is a rightful fear and recognition of the holiness of God.  It has two reactions.  For the non-believer, it is being stricken with a fear and a hardening of the heart.  For the believer, the dread of the Lord moves you to action and unity.  Our action is repentance and obedience, and as God does that in His people, we are unified.

God uses His people. 

1 Samuel 11:10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will give ourselves up to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good to you.” 11 And the next day Saul put the people in three companies. And they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day. And those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

God uses His people as an act of defense for believers.  He has called believers into the church.  You are not saved alone.  Don’t feel up to the task?

2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.  15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother

Your God has this character.

Psalm 78 says, “38 Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath.  39 He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.

Big Picture Question:  Will God defend a sinful believer?

Truth:  God does not abandon sinful believers.  Instead He defends them through a Spirit-filled dread that motivates His people.

Application:  Live knowing that God will defend you while using your experiences to make you more like Himself.

Action:  Pray that the Holy Spirit would enable you to both be more like Jesus and to encourage another Christian to do the same. 

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