Jan. 2, 2017

We find heroes, both men and women, all through the Bible. Yet, the Bible never flatters its heroes. We find out the truth about each one against the backdrop of human failure and frustration. This telling the truth magnifies the grace and providence of God.

Our daily Bible readings and Worship Services leading up to Easter (April 16) will focus on four leaders. Their stories are found in the Old Testament—Samuel, Saul, David, and Solomon. God used these individuals, in spite of their flaws, to fulfill his ultimate will.

These sweeping stories are captivating. You will notice most of the daily readings are pure Bible—very little, if any comments. This is intentional. Immerse yourself in God’s Word and ask questions along the way. Why did the nation want or need a king? How did God feel about the desire of the people to have a national leader? What can you learn from the lives of these four leaders and their families?

God is still in the business of raising up men and women who share his heart and vision. Count yourself among that group.

Your Pastor,

Stephen G. Hatfield

Week One, January 2-8
In Search of a King

“Why isn’t God enough?” was a question that I am certain Samuel asked himself over and over again all throughout his life as one of God’s most faithful and prolific prophets. From his birth, Samuel belonged to God, and all throughout his life, he was obedient to his calling. It is evident by his life that God was more than enough for Samuel.

From 1150 to 1025 BC, the nation of Israel was led by 15 notable judges. In addition to his role of prophet, Samuel was also the nation’s final judge. Wanting to be like every other country, the people of Israel wanted a king, so God reluctantly decided to give the people what they wanted and assigned Samuel with the task of finding, anointing, and advising the first Hebrew king.

Samuel’s search for an earthly king to appease the people was the beginning of the end for his people. And although the nation enjoyed a few years of prosperity and strength, it was the kings that ripped the nation to shreds.

Over the next few months as we explore the sordid lives of Saul, David, and Solomon, we need to ask ourselves, “Why wasn’t God enough?” While every nation needs leaders, the content of the character of her leaders is typically a reflection of the character of her citizens (There are a few exceptions). The answer to this question leads to the next, “If God is enough, then why did God give in to the people’s desire to have earthly kings to begin with?” The answer to that question is “Choice.” God gives his people the right to choose him. He forces no one to follow him.

It is my prayer that over the next few months, Israel’s search for a king will reveal there is only one true King. And following him is a choice we must make every day (Matthew 16:24).

Monday
1 Samuel 1:1-18