Storyline #50: 1 Samuel 13-15 “EPIC FAIL: Where the Wrong King Leads”

Free files for youth pastors:

If you like our “Epic Fail” sermon, you’ll love this sermon on the “Sexiest Story in the Bible” on Numbers 25. You won’t believe it!

4 – 1 Sam 13-15 – Saul Decline (Scripture)
4 – 1 Sam 13-15 – Saul Decline (mp3)
4 – 1 Sam 13-15 – Saul Decline (outline)
4 – 1 Sam 13-15 – Saul Decline (ppt)
Powerpoint Game – Busted (Fails go to Jail)
4 – 1 Sam 13-15 – Saul Decline (order of service)

Piggy-backing off last week’s lesson, I have another story from my canoe trip in Canada.  One of the days there while portaging (hiking with the canoe on my shoulders from lake to lake), I was following behind my canoe partner since I couldn’t see where I was going.  What was supposed to be a 2 minute hike turned into about 30 minutes…and longer.  I decided to run ahead a mile to try and find the rest of the crew, but all I found was myself all alone in the middle of the Canadian wilderness and defenseless while wearing a bright yellow “come and get me all you wild animals” life jacket.  I followed the wrong leader which led me to isolation, fear, helplessness, and danger.

The same is true for our lives.  I want to challenge you on where the wrong leader will lead you, and to give you some reasons as to why you need to follow Christ. 

Following the wrong king leads to failure.  If you remember from last week, the people of God demanded God to give them a real leader…a king.  Saul was chosen and inaugurated as their ruler based on his prestigious and warrior-like looks.  Throughout his kingly career, he led Israel in the wrong ways and led them to failure.  Let’s look at key leadership mistakes made by un-Christlike leaders.  First, Saul took war into his own hands by not following God into battle but fighting for his own glory (13:1-7).  Second, Saul made light of a covenant sacrifice by not being patient for the priest but offering it himself which was unlawful (13:8-15).  Third, Saul was a sissy and didn’t fight when he needed to, and even his own son fought the Philistines with just his armor-bearer (14:1-15).  Fourth, Saul took truth into his own hands by making a vow against his people that was only about his own glory (14:24-46).  Lastly, Saul took judgment into his own hands by disobeying God and not destroying all of the Amalekites.  Why would God command the wiping out of an entire people?  It’s probably because they would have wiped out all of Israel which would mean no Messiah, no Jesus, no cross, and…no heaven!  Watch out, be warned, and be aware of false kings who are only out for their own glory, who take lightly the sacrifice and gospel of Jesus, who stir up trouble but too cowardly to fix it, who make up their own truth and not teach God’s Word, and who don’t deal with sin completely but let it fester.  Those are the kings who will lead you away from Jesus!

Jesus is the opposite of all those.  He’s all about His fathers glory, He became our sacrifice, He is a courageous warrior who only fight’s God’s battles, He is the Truth, and He destroys sin completely.  Some might have a problem with this God of the Bible who commands genocide on a whole nation.  They will also have a problem with Jesus who will return and personally murder all of His enemies.  God designs this because He is a loving God.  If Jesus does not destroy His enemies and all people go to heaven, then all the rapists, thieves, pedophiles, and killers will be there forever…which would be hell.  God has judged all our sin on the cross through Christ.  We can be saved through Him!

Here’s the big question – are you following the wrong king, or are you following the only right King, Jesus Christ?  Are you His follower, His disciple, His servant?  How can you know?  The best way to identify the king in our life is by looking at our lifestyle.  You can see who you follow by looking at what you love most with your time, your money, and your joy.  Here are ten things I find that teenagers can be tempted to love more than Jesus: their image, dating relationships, sports, entertainment, leisure, themselves, materialism, pleasure, friendships, and money.  Jesus offers all of these, but in a way better way without sin through life in His kingdom.  We look forward to the fullness of the Kingdom for all eternity, but we enjoy His present kingdom found in the church.  Is your phony king leading you to hopelessness, or your powerful King to glory?

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