As Douglas Wilson has observed, these are fragile times. And when a nation finds itself in the kind of mess we find ourselves in, there is a kind of widespread longing for a leader who has the qualities, vision, and ability to show the way out. That makes sense. Who doesn’t want to find their way out of a mess? But it’s a dangerous spot to be in. It can leave one vulnerable to charlatans and pipe dreams.
A wise dead guy once wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. Given the fallibility of humanity, it makes sense to look and see if such a mess has happened on a nation-wide scale before, and what was successfully done about it. And given our desire for a solution we can actually count on, it makes sense to do that in the Bible.
Which brings us to the book of Samuel (found in two parts in our English Bibles). There’s guidance here for this longing inside of us for a leader. A leader who won’t fail us. A leader who can truly deliver. And it’s all found in the story of David and Goliath, which is actually — as we discovered on Sunday — a story about three Kings. A story that helps us understand all of 1 and 2 Samuel. We could sum up that whole story this way:
God raises up kings to rule the Israelites. The first is a failure, and the second becomes God’s most faithful king, but then rebels, resulting in the slow destruction of his family and kingdom. And it all points to the Leader we long for.
This past Sunday we spent the majority of our study discovering where not to look for that One who will show the way out. But that doesn’t mean the longing was wrong. Or even that the longing for a King was wrong. It has always been God’s plan to save us from this mess through a man. And this coming Sunday, we will find, in the middle of this story brought to us in Samuel, the answer to humanity’s longing for a Leader.
I hope you’ll be able to join us, both on Easter Sunday at 10:30am (as well as Good Friday at 7pm). A great way to prepare would be to:
- Make sure you’ve continued reading through The Whole Story as we preach through it each Sunday, which means this week you’ll complete 2 Samuel. And don’t worry, if you are behind, or haven’t even started, don’t let that stop you. Jump in right now by reading 1 and 2 Samuel this week.
- Review last week’s sermon on Samuel (part one).
- Click here and here to find videos, milestones, study resources, and recommendations for further reading and study on this remarkable tale of some of the most famous stories in the Bible. A tale filled with Kings, Giants, Miracles, Battles, War, and — the Leader we all long for.
As always, please feel free to email me with questions about or ideas for The Whole Story.
Looking forward to our Gathering on Sunday morning,
I had a class on preaching once, many years ago, from a pastor and a professor. And here is what he argued was the key question the preacher must ask of every text of Scripture:
2 Corinthians and The Whole Story
The reason that we began the Whole Story sermon series in January of last year was for the simple reason that we wanted to inspire you to read the Bible.
In the unsearchable counsel of God's will for the world, he has so designed that salvation will come through the church, that body of people gathered by the power of his Holy Spirit.
Why Should I Read The Bible?
Most days I love waking up, coffeeing up, praying up, and then gobbling up the Bible. But not every day. I’m just like you in that. I need reminding about why the Bible — God’s Whole Story — is an important part of my day, for every other part of my day.
One of the dangers of reading the stories of those followers of Jesus that we find in the Bible is we can treat them as if they are almost super-human.
Martin Luther warned that the people of the church are always in danger of their hearts straying from the truth of the good news of the kingdom of God found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
The Whole Story
On Sunday, January 7th, we will begin a year and a half exploration of the whole story of the whole Bible...
1 Corinthians (part two)
This last Sunday in our Gathering, we studied the book of 1 Corinthians together. The week of preparation leading up to that moment in the pulpit was deeply encouraging, as I sat at the feet of Paul, and watched him apply the reality of Jesus and the fullness of the Good News to four main issues in the lives of Christians in the church at Corinth. I discovered that each issue was a case study in the application of the good news to the very practical matters of our lives.