This week we continue in 1 Samuel as we look at the events surrounding the death of King Saul.
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good morning everyone and welcome if you're new here among us my name is gene and i serve here at c3 church as your lead pastor and at this time if you have any kids kindergarten age or under we ask that you take them to the lobby to the kids checking area if you want to stay with your child throughout the service you can watch it in a special family room we stream the service uh all throughout the building and online so this morning it was interesting i had a new box of tissues on my desk did you know that the tissues turn brown to let you know that you're running out of tissues i happen to know this i worked in retail it's like registered tape turns all red different colors right when you're running out so i mentioned something and then a new box of tissues appeared on my desk today because there are awesome people here that take care of me sometimes i need tissues on a sunday morning but i noticed something about these tissues the box looked a little different and on the box it said professional tissues it's a different shaped box now i know what it meant but i was thinking what is different about this tissue how is it a professional tissue do we have to pay it no so i threw it away turns out they're no different than the regular tissues on the inside there was once a philosopher named diogenes i'll try to say it in greek but it's kind of hard viogenies diogenes we'll say it in american he was a cynic philosopher who lived around the time of alexander the great in fact they died in the same year 323 bc except diogenes was a little bit older diogenes was also more humble than alexander the great he lived a very humble life he made himself homeless it is said of him that he only had one possession a bowl and when he saw a young boy lapping up water with his hands he gave him the ball it is said that he criticized those who exalted themselves those who made much of themselves you could say he was the original troll he went around trolling people like plato with chickens you can read up about that kind of a funny story interesting guy it is also said that he had an encounter with alexander the great himself in the city of corinth first and second corinthians hundreds of years later written to the churches in those cities in one encounter it is said that alexander so remember people thought him to be a god some people highly exalted figure king warrior king macedonian king comes up to humble diogenes and he says what do you want of me and give him anything diogenes i need you to get out of my sunlight you're blocking the sun and it said that alexander walked away from this encounter very impressed who talks to a king like that and he said if i were not alexander i would be diogenes right in another encounter it said that diogenes is looking at a pile of bones staring intently at them for a long period of time and it gets alexander's attention so alexander goes up to him and basically says what are you looking at and he says i'm looking at your father's bones his father is philip philippi philippians king philip is dead i'm looking at your father's bones funny thing i can't seem to distinguish his bones from those of the slaves those who exalt themselves will be humbled i think alexander might have gotten the point however alexander died at only 32 years of age after an agonizing 12 days of fever and pain indeed those who exalt themselves will be humbled today we are continuing in the rest of the story this is where it's kind of fun i'm having a lot of cool conversations with people like i didn't know that story was there so we're going to see more of that stuff there's some interesting stuff in the bibles we're taking some time to look at it last week we saw that david has sought refuge with the philistines they're technically the enemy but he goes there so that saul will stop chasing him while he's there he's lying to king aka she's deceiving him if we pick up first samuel 28 starting at verse 1 about that time the philistines mustered their armies for another war with israel king akish told david you and your men will be expected to join me in battle very well david agreed now you will see for yourself what we can do then akish told david i will make you my personal bodyguard for life meanwhile cut away too samuel had died and all israel had mourned for him he was buried at rhema or rama his hometown and saul had banned from the land of israel all mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead the philistines set up camp at shunam and saul gathered all the army of israel and camped at gilboa when saul saw the vast philistine army he became frantic with fear he asked the lord what he should do but the lord refused to answer him either by dreams or by sacred lots or by the prophets saul then said to his advisors find a woman who is a medium some versions will say which so i can go ask her what to do so his advisors say there's a medium at endor that's the one with the ewoks anyway guys okay never mind i try come on star wars fans so saul immediately breaks his own rule he's a hypocrite all throughout so he gets disguised and goes out at night he brings two men with him and this is kind of funny remember the baggage he tried to hide behind the baggage but he's ahead taller than everyone else so there's an element of humor in here he's really bad at hide and go seek so again he disguises himself and he goes to this medium the medium knows the rules so she says no you're trying to get me killed here i'm not gonna do it i promise i swear nothing's gonna happen to you if you do this finally he convinces her so okay who do you want me to conjure up samuel now the text is kind of funny because there's no like okay she got the ouija board out and there's a crystal ball or whatever it is none of that happens it just says boom when she saw samuel she freaked out your soul you're trying to deceive me what does he look like like a god coming up out of the ground kind of interesting well describe him to me well man with robes describes samuel so immediately saul starts conversing with him he's kind of grouchy like why did you disturb me what's going on here he's not happy about it but saul's freaking out the philistines are after me what are we going to do he's like well this happened to you because you didn't deal with the amalekites god has torn the kingdom from you he says oh and by the way tomorrow you and your sons are going to be here with me well saul's pretty upset that's bad news so he's flattened out on the ground he doesn't want to eat he's refusing food but finally this medium convinces him to eat so she feeds him and he goes on his way so we see again the flawed character of saul as his rule declines meanwhile for samuel 29 1 the entire philistine army now mobilized at aphic and the israelites camped at the spring in jezreel as the philistine rulers were leading out their troops in groups of hundreds and thousands really large army david and his men marched at the rear with king akish but the philistine commanders demanded what are these hebrews doing here and they remember they're the enemy and akush told them this is david the servant of king saul of israel he's been with me for years and i've never found keyword a single fault in him from the day he arrived until today but the philistine commanders were angry send him back to the town you've given him ziklag they demanded he can't go into battle with us what if he turns against us in battle and becomes our adversary is there any better way for him to reconcile himself with his master saul then by handing our heads over to him isn't this the same david about whom the women of israel sing in their dances saul has killed his thousands and david his ten thousands so we don't really know the text doesn't tell us whether david intends on doing that however he's been letting saul off the hook again and again so maybe this is true we've heard this song before remember this whole thing has been said of david before but akish lets him know operative word found found david protests basically you haven't found a single fault in me right but we know he's lying he's deceiving him after the protest he agrees to leave and it says this first samuel 29 11. so david and his men headed back into the land of the philistines while the philistine army went on to jezreel if we turn the page first samuel 31 says three days later when david and his men arrived home at their town of ziklag they found that the amalekites had made a raid into the negev and zikleg they had crushed ziklag and burned it to the ground they carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone when david and his men saw the ruins and realized what happened to their families they wept until they could weep no more david's two wives ahem from jezreel and abigail the widow of that mean man nabal from carmel were among those captured david was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters and they began to talk about stoning him but david found strength in the lord his god that was key remember last week david finds his strength in the lord so david he consults with the priest god is not listening to saul anymore god is listening to david by a far he has the ephod the priestly garment and the lord says go you're going to be successful in this so they take 600 men remember 600 was an operative number keeps coming up again and again and again 600 men remember the men from benjamin this is how many they had left and something interesting happens they get to the brook of beor and they split 200 are tired it says in this account so they stay behind and 400 go on ahead so this is kind of a reverse picture of what happened with the brides for benjamin if you've been paying attention remember they're at j bash j beth gilead and then they get the 400 for them there out of the 600 and then they go to shiloh and there's a funny kind of scene well it's not really funny where they're kidnapping the women and carrying them off they get the other 200. there's like a reverse split you could say it's foreshadowing going on here so the 400 go on and they run into an egyptian slave he's a slave of the amalekites he'd been left behind because he says he was sick they left him behind hungry hasn't eaten anything for three days so they give him some bread and water fig cakes cluster raisins he gets a little bit better and david approaches him tell me where they are i want to find him will you be my guide sure as long as you don't kill me or give me back to my master that would be good because it wouldn't be good because he's a traitor now right shows them where they are they find the amalekites they see them partying in the fields and the 400 men go and attack them they get their stuff back they come back to the brook to the 200 men david is happy to see them but the men are not they say no no no give them back their families but no plunder for them they didn't come out and fight with us they don't get any david says no no no we're all equal in this now something interesting happens he says those who stay behind to watch the equipment are just as important as the front line warriors if you were paying very close attention you would have noticed that in chapter 25 when he goes to get that mean guy nabal abigail saves the day he doesn't do it but he leaves 200 behind to watch the equipment and takes 400. so this is a practice and he decrees that this is going to stay a practice the people who watch the equipment get a fair share as the front line workers if we turn the page first samuel 31 1 now the philistines attacked israel and the men of israel fled before them many were slaughtered on the slopes of mount gilboa the philistines closed in on saul and his sons and they killed three of his sons jonathan abinadab and malcoshua the fighting grew very fierce around saul and the philistine archers caught up with him and wounded him severely saul groaned to his armored bear take your sword and kill me before these pagan philistines come run me through and taunt and torture me but his armor bearer was afraid and wouldn't do it so saul took his own sword and fell on it when his armor bearer realized that saul was dead he fell on his own sword and died beside the king so saul his three sons his armor bearer and his troops all died together on the same day horrible scene the people in the surrounding towns see it they flee the philistines take over everything they're going and getting the loot off the bodies they take saul's armor they cut off his head and they fasten him to a wall of the city of bethshan first samuel 31 11 but when the people of jabash gilead heard what the philistines had done to saul all their mighty warriors traveled through the night to bethshen and took the bodies of saul and his sons down from the wall they brought them to jabash where they burned the bodies then they took their bones and buried them beneath the tamarisk tree at jabesh and they fasted for seven days and they gathered up the bones i wonder if they could distinguish saul's bones from the bones of anyone else you see diogenes he had a point we're all equal in death both kings and slaves alike must die ashes to ashes saul he made much of himself he's very narcissistic as we saw self-centered but in the end he was humbled those who exalt themselves will be humbled in the gospel of matthew jesus like diogenes is criticizing those who puff themselves up in their leadership make much of themselves they're exalting themselves in this case the pharisees jesus is going to go on a tear in matthew chapter 23. he says this don't let anyone call you rabbi for you have only one teacher and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters and don't address anyone here on earth as father for only god in heaven is your father and don't let anyone call you teacher for you only have one teacher the messiah the greatest among you must be a servant but those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted now clearly there's a little bit of hyperbole here because later if we keep reading it's okay to call people teacher that's just fine but jesus is making a point equal in fact if you're a leader less than jesus teaches us we must humble ourselves in luke 14 he probably has proverbs 25 6-7 in mind when jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner table were trying to sit at the seats of honor near the head of the table he gave them this advice when you're invited to a wedding feast don't sit in the seat of honor what if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited the host will come and say give this person your seat then you will be embarrassed and you have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table instead take the lowest place at the foot of the table then when your house sees you he will come and say friend we have a better place for you then you will be honored in front of all the other guests for those who exalt themselves will be humble those who humble themselves will be exalted again a theme here jesus uses himself as an example of humility of course we know about the cross ultimate humility but before that he's having his last supper with his disciples this is in the gospel account of john you don't get this exact detail on the other ones why we have four gospels well it's getting ready for the supper he's sitting at the table but a couple of items he has to address first judas he knows who's going to betray him but before judas leaves the table he does something interesting takes off his robe girds himself wraps a towel around himself and then proceeds to wash the disciples feet now we have to assume that judas is there remarkable he gets a peter peter protests whoa we're used to wash my feet ah if i don't do this you're not clean okay wash my head and my hands too no just the feet we'll be fine washes their feet john 13 12 after washing their feet he put on his robe again and sat down and asked do you understand what i was doing you call me teacher and lord and you're right because that's what i am and since i your lord and teacher have washed your feet you want to wash each other's feet i have given you an example to follow do as i have done to you i tell you the truth slaves are not greater than their master nor is the messenger more important than who sends the message now that you know these things god will bless you for doing them this is true christianity servant leadership loving your enemies last week remember bless don't curse love everyone it's easy to love those who love you back even sinners do that love your enemies serve them wash your judas's feet some of the writers of the new testament refer to themselves as slaves that's the reason for it they know jesus is teaching yes i paul happen to be an apostle but i'm a slave of christ jesus that's the intro to his letters not apostle paul no paul an apostle a messenger that's what it means and a slave of jesus read it it says servant cross it out it's the wrong word in greek slave is the word he's using it's supposed to have force because of what jesus does if jesus did this who's paul he writes to the church in ephesus the emphasis in ephesus is unity he's trying to bring the church together so it's got some big theology in the beginning and it starts to narrow down into people groups jews and gentiles want you to get along you're all the body of christ then husbands and wives and kids like how you should all be treating one another for the sake of the gospel so we don't slander it we can do that he gets down to slaves ephesians 6'5 slaves obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear that's interesting serve them sincerely as you would serve christ trying to please them all the time not just when they're watching you as slaves of christ do the will of god with all your heart work with enthusiasm as though you were working for the lord rather than for people remember that the lord will reward each one of us for the good we do whether we are slaves or free work as if we're working for jesus if you're familiar with the gospel of matthew you know what happens when we get to chapter 25 it's a really hard teaching the sheep and the goats it's tough right what you did to the least of these you did it to jesus he tells people where they're going if they do that very hard teaching we must work we must treat everybody as if they're jesus that's what he's teaching many christians forget this treat everyone if they're as if they're jesus himself and you know what there's no task too small think about the 200 men david left behind you're moving an army around it's a lot of people we do a lot of stuff here in church in the morning it's not as many people a lot of logistics watch the equipment it says but i bet just to guess there's a little bit more to it than that you think they had to cook stuff has to be maintained were there animals and horses and stuff like that that need to be fed and cleaned up after probably did anybody ever get hurt in battle probably so did you need medical people like hospital workers and things yeah they're important they'll say this much just kind of reiterating what radiating what david said they get a share they're they're equal to the front line warriors the warriors in the back are just as important and so are those who serve this way in the church those who serve humbly as david's warriors who stayed behind with the equipment they're very important so are those who serve in the unseen ministries there are a lot of them and there's no task too small it brings me great joy to get here early on a sunday morning see what nobody else is probably going to see come in the front door and there's the kids room there and they're getting kids room ready but there's more to it than just maybe holding a baby or something like that no there's a lot going on that's very important because i don't like holding babies i don't like cleaning boogers and tissues even though we have professional tissues i don't like using them so great you hold the babies i cry i don't like it so that's important to me because i can't do everything so that makes me smile then i talk to other people who put together the kids lessons that wasn't fun this week oh let's see what are we going to teach the kids about a witch people impaling themselves on their own swords awesome so do you want to do the kids lesson this week not it but they do and they coordinate with me throughout the week they know what i'm going to preach on they're looking at the scriptures they're reading them carefully figuring out what they can say and what they can say they put together activities and coloring and all kinds of other things i might like to do that then if i keep walking through the church i see the people getting the coffee ready i made jokes about the coffee because like if you've been a christian for a long time and you decide whether you're going to join a church based on the coffee please don't stay here i just it's going to be problems in the future i don't want to hear it so whatever so that's my gripe about the coffee but maybe you're new if you don't know what jesus said and you're sitting there like wow i really don't know if i want to sign up for this whole christianity thing but you don't know and there are a lot of people like that and so we want to meet those people where they are also i don't want you falling asleep during the sermon the snoring is very distracting so we give you coffee and that's an important so i pass by them and they're just humbly serving no one's telling them what to do i didn't have to call them and say make sure they're off he's done no micromanaging it's pretty awesome passed by the staff you've ever worked at a church you know what kind of job that is why did i sign up for this it's a tough job but they're serving they're getting everything ready then i pass by the worship team they're getting ready they're practicing the songs they want to honor you and lead you in worship and honor the lord there's all kinds of stuff going on so then i go upstairs the kitchen there's people getting stuff in the kitchen ready the coffee people again because that's where we make the coffee and they got to go up and down and up and down and up and down i appreciate these people they're important just as important as anyone on the front line we're all equal then there's the media i joke it's your first time here and you don't get it you will this is like a live studio audience we film it we stream it but that's actually not the big thing the big thing is getting it out online that's where it really gets all the views but still there's a lot going on here so i coordinate with the person that does the slides they get my message usually on friday or saturday and they put together the whole thing everything you see here it's all put together and so we check and we go through all the scriptures make sure we get them right so there's no distractions so that's a whole thing person working the camera the sound they need to be able to hear me all important the videos that you see all custom made something about c3 we don't buy programs this is not a program church everything you're hearing today if it's not scriptural it's original and so are the videos they make them it's pretty cool right it's a neat intro video i like it that's all custom made it's all done all original it's amazing what goes on here then it goes out to social media lately the sermons have been getting a couple thousand views it's a lot more than we can fit in here isn't it and then it goes on different social media platforms that you wouldn't think of we know that all the kids are there's an exodus from facebook so we had to chase them right like the amalekites and find out where they are like where did these kids go because our facebook views went from like 200 to zero like where so what happened here it's only the old people complaining about everything so where do we go crazy places like tick tock i thought it was just kids dancing and stuff like that but it's not so we got a tick tock account and we're getting like thousands of views think about it there's kids who can be looking at all kinds of other stuff that are actually hearing the gospel amen it's amazing so we go to these weird places instagram or whatever and we get lots of views so it's important it's really important so all of this is important every single job and i didn't even get to the administration if you've been an administrator of anything you know that's a crazy job but for a church it's worse really crazy there are people that do all that stuff in the business meetings in the building and we have tenants and they deal with all kinds of crazy things that some pastors try to take on and then they just burn out they deal with that for me so i don't have to take those phone calls i have to sit here and it's like oh gene there's another coffee salesman here great that's important you know so they take care of all this crazy stuff and it's more than just that then there are those who participate by giving because none of this is free unfortunately none of it and so your support we need you to get all of this done it doesn't happen without your giving nothing so i want to give you some encouragement this week couple weeks ago i said if you haven't already done so and you want to get off the bench come and see me how well kind of old-fashioned idea here thrown out there like come up to me shake my hand it's okay we can do that right give me a hug i say what can i do very simple if you're shy fill out a connection card carolee will tell you how to do that there's like tables out there and you just give us your name email i want to help i want to be a part of what you're doing here i want to participate you'll be told about the app i know a lot of people don't like the apps and the phones but it's very efficient we are supporting two churches in india for what the bulletins and all that other stuff costs that was the exchange so what do you think we should do the paper stuff and all the goodie bags or support the pastors in india don't give me the wrong answer all of these people are so important i want to just encourage you today i want to thank you this is a very operative church the statistics it's like oh 20 of the people are serving and then 80 of the people consume here it's the opposite it's really weird like 80 percent of people come here are serving like so we're just all serving each other that's what we do here but it's beautiful it's a really beautiful thing and the consumers they don't like this church because of what i just said i'm not going to give you the refrigerator magnet and the coffee cozy thing no we're going to do good with that and so they leave well i've actually had people say things like that like oh it's a little early i'm hungover so it's too early to come to church you know i mean you don't have the coffee we had someone bring us creamer because our creamer wasn't good enough it's like go go i'm done just done with churchianity but you people are awesome you're the body of christ because that is what church is it's not a building it's not consumerism it's a thing it's a body the body of christ and this church is really operative which is beautiful and i want to take a minute just to encourage you because normally i'm like i do the opposite you guys are awesome beautiful things are happening here but perhaps of all these unseen warriors the most powerful warriors are the prayer warriors the most powerful warriors unseen warriors are the prayer warriors i told you last week i was ministering to a woman who has late stage cancer i told you like how we should be dealing with this stuff not like how christians deal with it on social media or politics and things no no no this is how we're peacemakers so what was the process okay i know you're afraid that's normal we're told in the bible that can be intelligent right talked about that last week i get it so it's not lie start this whole session by lying let's just be honest we're scared david was scared jesus was scared yep that's true but let's move that fear to faith through prayer we're going to pray for the immediate we pray we believe in miracles i've seen them i'll tell you about one in a minute i believe that they happen i believe that but i believe it's by the lord's will not ours he's not a genie in the bottle no we cannot manipulate god so if it's his will lord please heal this immediate problem okay we're just we're begging to heal it and give me a testimony that's what it's for really give me a testimony so we pray for calm i met with this woman last week again we're praying over the situation and if the cancer if the cancer wasn't bad enough there's a whole pile of other problems one of them being her grandkids were kidnapped were missing can you imagine that for two years she has not seen her grandchildren they're missing okay so we pray over that whole situation we're just praying and praying and praying we had another meeting immediately after in the offices and so we say our goodbyes i go into the office for staff meeting not too long knock at the door like maybe a few minutes i opened the door and it's this woman she has a cell phone in her hand like i think he's on the phone and just has this like expression on her face like she's just had her mind blown she's crying and here's the thing about working in ministry get kind of pessimistic because it's been said that no one ever comes in here with a winning lottery ticket if you're that person today please tithe it here we can just throwing that out there we get a lot done just saying okay so i'd be remiss and the board would be mad at me if i didn't say that so but that's not the case right hey pastor i want lotto no a lot of people you're here why not a lot of you are broken i get it i meet with you i know the stories that's why you're here why and spread this please this is where you come for peace right that's why we don't do the politics because we come here for peace not politics and so i'm trying to be a peacemaker i'm trying to agitate you that's why i do that because i communicate with so many broken people and i know that so here's the thing it's all of the time that's why we need vacations and days off because it's just hard and so confession here's what i do all in a split second i take a look at her and i go what now really that's what i'm saying in my head not allowed i'm doing what pastors do you know but inside come on really this woman needs what happened in my head i'm making all these assumptions right she backed into somebody someone hit her car you know a dead cat i don't know whatever i'm going through these things i'm mad what now lord you know what the woman says they found the kids yeah you can say hallelujah to that the lord will fight our battles the prayer warriors are the ones who are faithful in believing that the lord will fight our battles indeed the lord will fight our battles if we submit to him we believe that he's going to take care of it with faith i know we get afraid we have to submit and give that fear to god just it's yours lord i trust you i believe this that's the key i trust you no matter what whether the immediate need i don't know i just trust you with everything implicitly that's the kind of faith we need to get through this i just trust you if we exalt him and not ourselves if we worship him and not our minds ourselves our ideas our opinions we just give all that to him if we come to him and all reverence and humility really humble i don't know i don't know lord but you do and i trust you no matter what i love you and i trust you same way i did as a child real face i had a friend once say you know you know the kind of faith i want to have gene remember when you were a kid and you just you just hopped in the truck with dad in a car with mom and he didn't even know where you were going you're just happy to be with him that i don't know where we're going i have no idea but father i'm just happy to be with you that's enough for me and you know what if i die better for me to be with the lord than to be here that faith that faith we need to put our faith in the word not the world so i want to encourage you with that we need to believe that he will fight our battles let me pray for you lord i thank you for this church and that is the body of christ every single soul i pray for those who are going to watch this later lord touch their hearts may we be peacemakers as we go out this week being vessels of your love your mercy your grace bringing people love joy with patience peace kindness self-control that's all from you by the power of your holy spirit we ask these things in jesus name amen so