King of kings (By Chris Barnes)
Text: 1 Samuel Chapters 4-14
OBSERVE: As we read into the book of 1 Samuel, we see that the judge and priest of Israel (Samuel) is nearing the end of his life. This prompts Samuel to appoint his sons to be the next judges of Israel. But rather then promoting justice, as judges were supposed to do, his sons ruled with greed and with perversion. Their reckless reign forced the elders of Israel to take action and meet with Samuel where they requested to have a king like other nations. “”Look, they told him “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have”” (1 Samuel 8:5). Samuel then followed God’s instructions to listen to their request and anoint Saul to be their king.
INTERPRET: God had been a faithful divine King who protected and cared for his people. But they didn’t want him as their King – they wanted a human king so they could be like all the other nations. Samuel described the demands a human king would make on them, and warned that the day would come when they would beg for relief from the king they were demanding to have. But God had his own purpose for giving in to the people’s sinful demand for a human king. Over the coming centuries under a series of kings, the people would discover for themselves that only God should be their King. A long line of human kings would fail them again and again to help the people understand their need for God as their King.
APPLICATION: The failures of these kings would continue over the centuries, until finally a King would come who was not only a man but was also God. This King would rule in righteousness. In this way, God would prove that only God can be King of Israel. God also planned that the rightful King of Israel would die for his people. Rather than lead his people to death in battle, this King would die for the people and rise again to rule over the people.
Each of the gospel writers wanted to make sure that Israel recognized Jesus as the King that God had always intended to give them. Each gospel includes Jesus’ response to Pontius Pilate question “Are you the King of the Jews?” with the response “You have said it” (Matthew 27:11; Mark 15:2; Luke 23:3; John 18: 33-34).
Jesus is not just the King of the Jews, but the King of all. He is seated at the right hand of the Father until all of his enemies are put under his feet and all his elect are gathered in from the peoples of the earth. And when he appears a second time, we will all acknowledge that he is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16).
QUESTION / REFLECTION: Is Jesus the King over all the kings and things in your life?
PRAYER: King Jesus, I crown you as the King of my life. Take your rightful throne and rule over all of my plans and my passions. Thank you for the great privilege of serving you and your Kingdom.
SONG: The Lion and the Lamb (Big Daddy Weave)
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In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.