The Saulish Spirit of Rebelliousness, Stubbornness, Disobedience and Witchcraft (Part 2) (Four Dangerous Spirits to Avoid, Part 3)

Part 1 [audio]

Part 2 [audio]

TEXT: I Samuel 15:22-23

Two weeks ago, we began looking at the second spirit in our series titled “Four Dangerous Spirits to Avoid.” We looked at the spirit of rebelliousness, stubbornness, disobedience, and witchcraft as shown in the life of Saul, the first king of Israel. Today, I want to expand on this topic and really explain the meaning of each of the sins that Samuel says Saul is guilty of. By doing this, we will be able to better identify any of these sins in our own lives, because that is the true purpose of this series — not just to talk about these sins in the historical lives of these biblical characters, but to see if we are guilty of these sins ourselves and to take the necessary steps to repent and get right with God.

1. The first sin that Samuel names is the sin of rebellion. The Webster’s American Dictionary defines rebellion as “an open and avowed renunciation of an authority to which one owes allegiance.” Thus, a rebel is a person who opposes someone whom he or she should obey. A rebellious person disregards his proper authority, be it spiritual authority or human authority.

2. The second sin that Samuel names is the sin of witchcraft. Samuel says, “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.” When the Bible speaks of “witchcraft”, it is largely referring to the work of divination. According to Holman Bible Dictionary, divination is the “attempt to contact supernatural powers to determine answers to questions hidden to humans and usually involving the future.” The “witch of Endor”, whom Saul consulted with in 1 Samuel 28, was a necromancer, one who attempted to communicate with the dead in order to answer questions for the living.

3. The third sin that Samuel names is the sin of stubbornness. The Hebrew word for “stubbornness” literally means “to push, or to press, to be insolent.” A stubborn person is one who continuously goes the wrong way even though he gets blocked everytime; like a man who keeps driving down a dead end street thinking that he is going to get somewhere. Watchman Nee said, “Many of our spirits are too arrogant: they can teach others but can never themselves be taught. Many possess a stubborn spirit: they stick to their opinions even if they realize they are wrong.”

4. The fourth sin that Samuel names is the sin of iniquity and idolatry. Samuel tells Saul, “stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” The Hebrew word translated as “iniquity” in our English Bibles simply means “idolatry” and the word that is translated as “idolatry” is a more specific reference to the physical idols (statues or images) that are used in idolatrous practices. Idolatry was also another big no-no for the children of Israel.

+ Plus, listen to Jonathan Butler singing “O Magnify The Lord” and Salvador singing “Open The Eyes Of My Heart”

The Saulish Spirit of Rebelliousness, Stubbornness, Witchcraft, and Disobedience (Part 1) (Four Dangerous Spirits to Avoid, Part 2)

TEXT: I Samuel 15:12-26

Today, we come to part two of our series, “Four Dangerous Spirits to Avoid.” As I mentioned last week, I believe there are four spirits that are driven by Satan that are especially dangerous for Christians, or anybody for that matter. Last Sunday, we looked at the spirit of pharaohistic pride as shown in the life of Pharaoh in the book of Exodus. Today, we are looking at the spirit of rebelliousness, stubbornness and witchcraft shown in the life of King Saul of Israel. And Lord willing in the following two weeks, we will look at the spirit of betrayal shown in the life of Judas the disciple of Jesus; and the spirit of worldliness shown in Demas one of the first century believers who was an associate of the Apostle Paul.

We all know of Saul as the first king of Israel. After the children of Israel had been settled in the Promised Land for some time, they began to demand a king like all the other nations around them. They did not want to be a theocracy, under the rule of God alone; they wanted to be led by a human whom they could look to for leadership. God decided to grant them their request, and commissioned his prophet Samuel to anoint Saul from the tribe of Benjamin as the new king of Israel. The Bible tells us that Saul was a man who looked the part of a king. He stood head and shoulders above the crowd. But, he was fearful of the responsibility of leadership. Even after Samuel had anointed him, when it came time for him to be announced as the new leader of Israel, he was found hiding from the people.

After Saul took on the office of king, however, some disturbing character traits began to appear in his life and the way he governed. These events culminated until the events of our passage for today. God had commanded Saul to attack Amalek and wipe them out — their people and their animals — because of how they had treated the children of Israel many years before. However, Saul does not follow God’s instructions. He saves the best of the animals alive. When Samuel comes to see Saul, he tells him that the kingdom is being taken away from him and that his actions amount to rebellion, witchcraft, stubbornness, and idolatry.

What happened in the life of Saul? How did Saul go from being the celebrated first king of Israel to a man who displeased God? Let’s look at three traits in Saul’s life that show us how this came to pass.

1. Saul began to think too highly of himself. Even though he appeared to be a humble young man before he was crowned king, it seems as though the power and position that Saul gained eventually went to his head. He began to think that he was somebody important. So much so that when Samuel came to visit him, he had to remind Saul of just how far he had come. Samuel told Saul, “When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?”

2. Saul was selfish, impatient and unwilling to wait on God. These three traits are shown by Saul’s actions. In I Samuel chapter 10, Samuel commands Saul to go to Gilgal and wait there for him to arrive. Samuel says that he will arrive in seven days to tell Saul what he is to do about the Philistines. However, in chapter 13, we find that Saul is in Gilgal waiting on Samuel. The Bible says that “Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.” Saul started to get nervous because he knew the Philistines could attack at anytime. Instead of choosing to wait and trust God, Saul decided to take matters into his own hands. Saul calls for the sacrifices to be brought to him, and he steps into the role of the priest and offers the sacrifices himself. The Bible tells us that “as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came.”

3. Saul thought he knew how to run things better than God. When Saul was given a direct command by God to completely wipe out the Amalekites and all that belonged to them, Saul thought it would be best to save the king alive and bring back the best of the livestock. He even tried to sound spiritual about it. He told Samuel, “Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.”

+ Plus, listen to Tamela Mann singing “Step Aside” and Andrae Crouch & Marvin Winans singing “All Because of Jesus”

Don’t Let Looks Deceive You: David (A Picture of Christ)

Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #102

TEXT: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

The Italian historian and philospher Niccolò Machiavelli said, “Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.”

We live in a society where much emphasis is placed on a person’s outward appearance. We make judgments of people based on how they look on the outside, instead of taking the time to learn more about their character and personality — how they really are on the inside. How many people have gotten into relationships with somebody who looked like they had it all together on the outside, but after a few weeks or months with that person, they found out that that person was not all they appeared to be. Appearances can be deceiving.

Today, I want us to look at a man who looked like he had it altogether. He looked like he was a born leader. He was somebody the people of his nation were willing to follow. However, he failed them because, even though he looked good on the outside, there was something wrong in his heart. He did not have the kind of respect for and relationship with God that he needed to have.

First, we’ll take a look at Saul — the failed king. Then, we’ll look at the type of king God wanted for his people. And, finally, we will look at the selection of David as the king of Israel.

+ Plus, listen to Shirley Caesar singing “Yes, Lord, Yes” and the West Angeles COGIC Choir singing “Lord, Prepare Me To Be A Sanctuary”