Uncompromising Clarity


One of the many things that made Nick Saban a successful coach was that wins didn’t fool him. Many coaches think a win is a win, but Saban knew better. He possessed uncompromising clarity. For instance, Saban was fully aware that Alabama often went on the field with far superior athletes than their opponent, and as such, winning didn’t necessarily occur because they played and executed as they were supposed to. Check out this classic clip.

Saban, perhaps as much as any coach that ever existed, could bring uncompromised clarity to whether or not a win was actually a win.  He knew that sometimes you could win not because you executed better than the other team but because you were much more athletic or just got lucky!  He knew his job as a head coach of a team that won almost all the time was to make sure he clarified when their wins resulted from everybody doing their job and when they weren’t!  He had an unmistakable ability to bring uncompromising clarity and objectivity to every situation and never found himself in awe of a win that wasn’t really a win!

In our study of 1st Samuel, the Hebrew people now have a King that everybody has finally united around.  They did so after God used Saul to defeat Nahash and the Ammonites in a massively decisive way.  However, in all of their energy and excitement, they were apparently totally misinterpreting the reality of their wins.  The fact that God gave them what they wanted, a king, and that God used that king to lead them to a substantial military victory was not at all meant to be an indication of them being in a healthy relationship with the Lord.  So, as they gather and worship the Lord in Gilgal, Samuel uses it to have a “Nick Saban” moment of clarity with the people.

Three reality checks in 1st Samuel chapter 12 provide Israel with uncompromising clarity.

 The first reality check is in verses one through five.

 Reality Check 1 – Samuel’s blunt rebukes of Israel’s constant demands for a King had nothing to do with selfish gain. 

 Remember, Samuel was the nation's most significant influencer and authority figure before getting a King. As the Judge of Israel and prophet of God, there was no higher “ranking” or influential person.  Therefore, it’s easy to imagine that some may think Samuel’s resistance to Israel having a king was motivated by his desire to cling to his importance.  Once Israel had a king, the position of Judge and the entire governmental system around it would be completely nullified.  However, the facts of Samuel’s life clearly demonstrated that his motives were pure, and Samuel needed them to publicly admit it before he continued with his speech.  The writer of 1 Samuel records,

 1 And Samuel said to all Israel, "Behold, I have obeyed your voice in all that you have said to me and have made a king over you. 2 And now, behold, the king walks before you, and I am old and gray; and behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day. 3 Here I am; testify against me before the LORD and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me and I will restore it to you." 4 They said, "You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man's hand." 5 And he said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand." And they said, "He is witness."

“… the reference to his sons here in v 2 may imply that he had dismissed them from their posts in Beersheba and brought them back home.) There is emphasis on the fact that Samuel had taken nothing unjustly from anyone. [given his sons had been guilty of this Samuel may have wanted to make sure everybody knew and understood he was not like his sons!] This description of Samuel makes a strong contrast with his own description of kings in 8:11–18, which shows them taking one thing after another from their subjects. There is a broader perspective intended by the biblical author. The speech is contrasting the judges of the past with the kings of the present and future. The leaders of the past had been individuals chosen by God, and so had given good government; but now the Israelites were beginning to choose their own leaders, and that was a very dangerous step to take. It was true that God had chosen Saul, and would later choose David too, but in the Northern Kingdom after Solomon’s death, many kings would be chosen by one section or another of the populace." 4Payne, D. F. (1994). 1 and 2 Samuel. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., pp. 308–309). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

“The character of Samuel’s leadership was vindicated in the sight of all (including, notably, the Lord’s anointed, Saul). However, the vindication of Samuel meant the indictment of the people: “The Lord is witness against you.” Samuel had invited the people to testify against him (v. 3). Their failure to do so exposed their own guilt, which will be more fully detailed later in this speech. They would shortly find themselves in the dock. Everyone acknowledged that the Lord himself was witness to the outcome of this stage of the proceedings: “And they said, ‘He is witness’ ” (v. 5b). Literally what they said was, simply, “Witness.” The one-word reply emphasizes that the people had nothing to say against Samuel. They could only agree by echoing his words.”5Woodhouse, J. (2008). 1 Samuel: Looking for a leader (pp. 212–215). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

 If you were with us last week, you know Israel is celebrating a huge victory. They have come together in Gilgal to worship the Lord and universally acknowledge Saul as the man God chose to be their King.  So why would Samuel disrupt all the excitement and positive vibes and do what he just did?

 The author of the Book of Samuel uses contrast throughout it.The contrast between Hannah and the rival wife of her husband; Hannah and her husband’s faithfulness to give Samuel to the Lord as they promised, contrasted with Eli’s hypocritical unfaithfulness; and young Samuel’s faithful service with the wickedness of the sons of Eli are just a few of the examples of how the author has drawn our attention to how faithfulness to the Lord looks very different than unfaithfulness.

 Therefore, I believe what Samuel is doing here is not only squashing any of the deceptive criticisms that may have been circulating against him but, much more importantly, demonstrating a contrast between his pure motives in rebuking Israel and the motives that led Israel to demand a king, and more importantly and ironically, with the selfish motives that will drive most every king Israel will have! The list of kings who led out of their personal love of God and genuine desire for the people to know and follow God is very short!

 So, Samuel just pointed out the reality of the situation. Unlike the Judge before him (Eli), Samuel led with absolute integrity for God's glory and the people's sole benefit. Additionally, as the prophet of God, he had not used his position of influence for selfish, ill-gotten gain, but quite the opposite; he had done nothing but point the people to trust and obey God.  The victory they had just experienced, and the euphoria of that victory didn’t change the fact that they had utterly disregarded Samuel’s sound, Godly leadership.  Samuel could not let this reality get lost in the moment because it was the reality of the spiritual condition of Israel.

The victory against Nahash and the unity they were experiencing were not the correct indicators of the nation's reality. Still, before Samuel could address that reality, he first had to eliminate any concept he had ulterior motives in addressing.

The second reality check is in verses six through thirteen.

 Reality Check 2 – The victory God gave Israel against Nahash was not because Israel had faith in God! 

 If we think a person has ulterior motives, we are rightly slow to put much weight into what they say.I always pick on my wife about purchases she makes based on the recommendation of a person on Instagram.  These influencers are highly motivated to give positive reviews because they are paid by the people who make and/or sell the stuff they are reviewing, either outright with cash or through giving them tons of free stuff.  Successful corporations didn’t get that way by being stupid; they aren’t going to intentionally send their stuff to be reviewed by somebody who won’t give them a good review!  Companies like Consumer Reports purchase everything they review and are entirely supported by consumers' donations.  The purpose is to create as much bias-free review as possible.  However, most of the “review” websites on the internet and influencers on Instagram are bought and paid for by the makers of the products, so the results really shouldn’t be trusted.

In this case, Samuel was very biased, but his bias was one that could be trusted.Samuel’s only concern was for God to be trusted and obeyed and, as such, for Israel to enjoy the blessings of living in glad submission to Yahweh.  All of Israel had just rightly acknowledged this was indeed the case with Samuel, and they publicly declared they had no reason to question the integrity of the rebuke he was about to unleash on them.

 6 And Samuel said to the people, "The LORD is witness, who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. 7 Now therefore stand still that I may plead with you before the LORD concerning all the righteous deeds of the LORD that he performed for you and for your fathers. 8 When Jacob went into Egypt, and the Egyptians oppressed them, then your fathers cried out to the LORD and the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place. 9 But they forgot the LORD their God. And he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab. And they fought against them.

“Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor” - 1And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD after Ehud died. 2 And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. 3 Then the people of Israel cried out to the LORD for help, for he had chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years. (Judges 4:1-3)

“and into the hand of the Philistines” – This was a reoccurring thing that you see in passages like, Judges 3:31; 10:7; 13:1; 1 Samuel 4:1–11; 7:7

 “into the hand of the king of Moab” - 12 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel because they had done what was evil in the sight of the LORD. 13 He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the Amalekites, and went and defeated Israel. And they took possession of the city of palms. 14 And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. (Judges 3:12-14)

However, in every one of these instances, they eventually cried out to the Lord in repentance, and God sent them a leader who would lead them to victory. The writer of Samuel notes,

 10 And they cried out to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. But now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, that we may serve you.' 11 And the LORD sent Jerubbaal and Barak and Jephthah and Samuel and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in safety.

Jerubbaal, also known as Gideon, was used by God in a miraculous way to lead Israel to an unbelievable victory against the Midianites and the other kingdoms of the east that allied with Midian and attacked Israel. (Judges 6-8)

 Before that, Barak was the general that a female judge of Israel named Deborah called on to lead Israel into battle against Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor. Sisera fled the battle and hid in the tent of a woman named Jael, who then killed Sisera with a tent peg and a hammer while he was taking a nap!  Under Barak’s leadership, the army went on and defeated Hazor. (Judges 4)

Jephthah’s story is one of success for Israel but, sadly, a great tragedy for Jephthah because of a rash vow Jephthah made out of his lack of faith in the Lord. His father was named Gilead. However, his mother was not Gilead’s wife but rather a prostitute.  Gilead had other sons by his wife, who eventually despised Jephthah and ran him off.  Ironically, however, when Israel needed a warrior to lead them, they turned to the best one they knew, Jephthah, who led them to defeat the Ammonites. (Judges 11-12)

As we already saw in 1 Samuel 7, when the people were gathered in Mizpah repenting of their idolatry and renewing their commitment to the Lord, the Philistines tried to take advantage of the situation and attack them. However, God thundered against them with such force that it threw them into a massive panic and disarray, and the Israelites easily routed them in battle!

Samuel brought all that up because before each rescue, they had first repented from worshiping idols, that is, from not living in glad submission to God. Calamity came because they rejected God, but just as God promised, when they returned to God, he granted them a champion who led them to victory and allowed them to start over again with the Lord!

Nonetheless, despite this very long history of God proving time and time again that he would rescue them, the moment Nahash started threatening Israel, they panicked and turned not to God but instead demanded a King. Samuel said to them,

 12 And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, 'No, but a king shall reign over us, 'when the LORD your God was your king. 13 And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you.

In other words, Samuel just set the facts of the situation straight. This great battle you just won against Nahash was not like the grace God showed you in the past when you repented and believed in Him.  This victory is necessarily different.  Those were victories in the game that mattered most—trusting and obeying God.  Those were testimonies of what happened when you stopped rebelling against God and finally trusted Him.  However, this victory was fundamentally not that!  This time, it was VERY different.  This was God demonstrating grace at a whole new level because, this time, they refused to repent of their lack of faith in God.  Instead of trusting God, they demanded a King like all the other nations.  They plainly and very straightforwardly rejected Samuel’s appeal to trust God!  The writer of 1st Samuel records,

“19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, ‘No! But there shall be a king over us, 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.’” (1 Samuel 8:19-20)

The victory against Nahash was totally unlike the victories of the past. In the past, God gave Israel victory because they repented and believed in Him, but this victory came after they REJECTED HIM AS THEIR KING for a human KING!  God was no longer their King; Saul was.  They had traded God for Saul.

So, yes, God gave them victory against the Ammonites and thus blessed Saul’s leadership, but that shouldn’t be confused with them trusting and obeying the Lord. Their victory was in spite of their lack of faith in God, not as a result of their faith in God.  It was in spite of their sin and in no way because of their righteousness.  In doing so, God was once again demonstrating that He would uphold the blood covenant He made with Abraham in Genesis 15, where He alone passed among the pieces of the sacrifice, assuring Abraham that He alone would be the responsible party in fulfilling the promise of the covenant!

Therefore, nothing about this victory against Nahash, nor the fact that God had given them a King, should have been confused with God honoring their faith in Him. Samuel was saying, don’t let the win confuse you!  You failed, and in still not acknowledging that failure, you continue to fail, and as such, that victory needs to be properly understood as nothing but the merciful grace of God!

This leads to the 3rd reality check.

Reality Check 3 – If you don’t repent and live in submission to God, God will eventually withdraw His grace and replace it with His wrath!

 14 If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well. 15 But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king.

 Israel needed not to be confused. What God just did to Nahash was nothing but Him being merciful to Israel. Under the Mosaic Covenant, that was an exception, not the rule. If you will not obey the Lord and rebel against His commandments, both you and whoever your King is, then know for sure the harsh discipline He promised in the Law that He gave Moses for Israel will happen!

Now, remember, Israel is in a situation where they would be heavily tempted not to take Samuel seriously. Apparently, based on what happened next, that’s precisely what was taking place. Imagine you just won a game, but your coach told you that you played terribly!  You might find yourself thinking there is something wrong with the coach!  That’s exactly what was going on here.  Israel thought it wasn’t that big of a deal that they had rejected God for a human King, and therefore, it must not be a big deal to reject God.  We rejected Him, and everything turned out OK!   So, Samuel wants to make sure they understand it is absolutely vital that they hear what he’s saying.  So, here’s what happens.

16 Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the LORD, that he may send thunder and rain. And you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking for yourselves a king." 18 So Samuel called upon the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.

“Rain never came in Israel during the wheat harvest (mid-April to mid-June). The fact that it would come now shows that it is Yahweh’s warning."6Hoffner, H. A., Jr. (2015). 1 & 2 Samuel (1 Sa 12:17). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Therefore, the fact that a torrential thunderstorm popped up on cue was nothing more than an act of God. It caused the people to not only fear Samuel in that God would respond to him that way but, most importantly, to fear God! The silliness of thinking it was no big deal that they had rejected God for a human King came to a screeching halt, and they suddenly realized they were in a huge mess!

 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."

 So, they finally realized the reality of what Samuel had told them time and time again and had even begged them to stop doing! They finally acknowledged the glaringly obvious thing that demanding an earthly King when God was their King was EVIL!

Now, here’s the coolest part of this entire story. As God always does when we genuinely repent, He restores!  This doesn’t mean the reality created by their sinfulness would change (being under the rule of a human King), but the reality of their relationship with God certainly would.  Samuel responded to their honest confession of sin with the good news of God’s Grace and our responsibility to God because of it.  The Bible states,

 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."

I think it’s really cool that Samuel, who could have taken their rejection of God personally because it was also a rejection of him, says to them in verse 23 that he will continue to pray for them and influence them to know and follow God! Samuel isn’t giving up on them even though they totally disregarded and tossed him aside.

However, the more significant point is what Samuel said about God. God will do everything He promised Abraham with Israel and will always restore His blessings on them if they repent and follow Him!  He also told them to keep the knowledge of the ridiculous amounts of testimonies God had given them about His power and love very close to their hearts and minds so that they could resist the foolish temptations of not trusting and obeying Him!

Samuel adds in verse 25 that although God will not give up on Israel, keeping His promises includes sweeping away every generation that worships idols and refuses to trust and obey Him! He did it in the wilderness after He set them free from Egypt, and numerous other times, He sent invaders to oppose and punish Israel.  As clearly as God has demonstrated His power and might to be their blessing, He has also demonstrated His power and might to punish them; therefore, they need to remember both!

Samuel is saying that in the future, when you have health, money and power over other nations, don’t for one second let that be the judge of your relationship with God! The only measure of your relationship with God is your willingness to live in glad submission to Him and, as such, trust and obey Him!

So, if that was true for Israel and their relationship with God, then it’s also true for us!

 Challenge: How are you determining the reality of your relationship with God—through God’s Word and the leadership of the Holy Spirit or your circumstances? 

 Sometimes, you can flawlessly execute your game plan and still lose, not because you didn’t do things to the best of your ability, but because your opponent's ability was better than your best!  I don’t remember exactly how old I was, so I don’t remember the age bracket, but there was a swim meet where I swam the fastest 50-meter freestyle for my age group in the history of the North Hampton pool. The problem was that one of the other competitors that day was named Kurt Jachimowski, a future multi-year All-American swimmer for Auburn and, I believe, alternate for the 1996 Olympic Team!  I didn’t stand a chance of anything better than what I did—second place!  I came in second with what would have been a new pool record had Jachimowski not come in first.  He beat me so badly that I think he may have had time to dry off and change his clothes before I finished! HA!

My point is that just because things may not work out how you want them to doesn’t mean you’re rebelling against God.  But furthermore, like the story of Job in the Bible, just because everything in your life is a complete disaster also doesn’t mean your relationship with God is!  Peter wrote,

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

In far too many places around the world, Christians suffer horrific persecution completely because they refuse to stop loving and trusting Jesus!  The point is that just because the circumstances in your life are horrible, either from persecution or not, doesn’t mean it’s because you are rebelling against God.

However, as we saw in 1 Samuel 12, the opposite is also true. Just because everything is going great in your life doesn’t mean your relationship with God is where it should be, either!  We know this, right?  Yet, it's incredible how we think we got away with something when we don’t experience a consequence from it, as if somehow the act of disobeying God not only went unnoticed by God but that it somehow wasn’t a big deal that we refused to obey Him or worse, justified it as if it wasn’t even disobedience!  We do it all the time.  If we do something we know is wrong, but then everything works out, we find ourselves either justifying what we did or lying to ourselves about the reality of a relationship with God that allowed us to justify rebellion against Him in the first place!  I mean, how do we do that?  How can we justify what is obviously not justifiable and think we are in a healthy, faithful relationship with the Lord?


What I’m about to say will thankfully sound crazy to almost everybody who hears me say it, but after twenty years of pastoring, I’ve seen it enough to know it’s not crazy.   I’ve met with numerous people who, when they found out their spouse had been having an affair, were truly as shocked as a person would be if they came home one day and found a green alien from outer space walking around their house.  The instances I’m referring to are not because they were stupid or gullible, but rather because up until that point, there was literally nothing in their marriage that would say anything but that they had a great marriage!  In a couple of cases, the person said their marriage had actually become stagnant, if not toxic, with their spouse totally disengaged.  But suddenly, their spouse was back, and their marriage was better than ever, so the last thing on their mind was that another person could be in their marriage!

So, how is that possible?  When a person is having an affair, they enter a state of euphoria.  They are experiencing the rush of successfully navigating a secret relationship.  Almost 100% of the time, the person in the affair tells me they believed the person they were having an affair with was the person they were always meant to be with and the first person that genuinely understood and cared for them; the first person they could ever really just be themselves with.

As a result, the sexual experience of an affair is exhilarating.  It’s like two people who have saved themselves sexually for marriage.  The moment they get engaged, the internal fire for one another becomes a raging furnace, and they can hardly sleep thinking about being together.  When Keri and I got engaged, I initially tossed out the idea of us taking a year or more before we got married, but within a few days, that quickly changed to how quickly we get our family and friends together for a wedding!  Keri had our wedding all together in three months!  The obvious glaring difference in the motives of an engaged couple who have sexually saved themselves for marriage and a couple having an affair is that one is walking in a righteous path and the other is not, but both feel very much the same!  The engaged couple experiences a euphoria that tends to last six months into the marriage, and the people having an affair experience it as long as they are covering up the affair!  In either case, the euphoria blinds you to your spouse's faults and causes you to be more positively intentional and careful about what you say and do in the relationship.  A lot of people refer to this as the “honeymoon phase,” and ironically, a person in an affair can start seeing and treating their spouse that way.  The euphoria of the affair can spill right over into the marriage, which can cause the person having an affair to pursue their spouse emotionally, physically, and sometimes even spiritually like they did when they were engaged and first married, which typically leads to a really good experience in marriage even though the marriage is being secretly shared with a third party!  I’ve met with couples who started going on dates with each other again, saw their sex life improve, started talking again, and were even reading their Bible and praying together, all while one of them was utterly betraying the marriage in an affair!

Now, listen, I’m not sharing this with you so that those of you who have healthy marriages will start thinking your spouse is having an affair!   If your marriage is going great, the worst thing you can do is start questioning your spouse's integrity.  That’s a fast track to disaster, and it's not love.  I love the way the NIV paraphrases the definition of “love” in 1 Corinthians 13:7,

 “7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)

My point in bringing this up is to illustrate just how deceptive our circumstances can be. Here’s the most shocking thing I’ve discovered with this: every single time this occurred, the person in the marriage having the affair told me how “healthy” their marriage was!!!!!  Do you understand the insanity of that?  By definition, if you are cheating on your spouse, no matter how well you're getting along with your spouse, your marriage is a complete train wreck, if for no other reason than you are cheating on your spouse!  But every single time I’ve been in this situation with a couple, the person cheating on their spouse talked about how great their marriage was, and a few even said it was the best their marriage had ever been!

With that in mind, let me close with this,

 14 "And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. 15 "'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:14-20)

Let God’s Word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit as we read and submit ourselves to His Word tell you if you are obeying Jesus.  Let Him tell you if you are in a healthy relationship with Him and others.  Let Him tell you if the life and convictions you have become comfortable with are a life in a pot of water rising in temperature so slowly that you aren’t noticing that it’s already starting to kill you!  Let Him lead you to the place of repentance because when you do, you will most certainly realize just how terribly foolish and embarrassingly disgusting your sin is, but also how incredible it is that His forgiveness is even bigger, and His love is more sustainable!  You can never truly know God’s grace until you truly know your sin.  Until you see your sin for what it is, you can’t correctly measure and appreciate the tidal wave of the love and grace of God that overwhelms it and washes it away!

So today, will you stop hiding behind your circumstances and finally repent and follow Jesus?


Discussion Questions 

  • How had success blinded Israel to its own sin?
  • How did God use Samuel to give Israel a reality check?
  • Why is success in life such a spiritual dangerous position to be in?
  • What caused Israel to agree with Samuel about their sinful hearts?
  • Why was Samuel’s integrity and humility important to Israel’s relationship with Yahweh?
  • Who do you have in your life who is willing to tell you the hard truth about your spiritual condition?
  • How can a small group perform the role of Samuel?

Related Resources


They Answer The Call

King Saul's Do or Die Moment


Godly Character

Looking For A Leader