COMPELLED | 11.30.22 | Wednesday PM | On Fire Christian Church
1 Samuel 13:8-12 Saul feels compelled to do something
Compel-To exert a strong, irresistible force on; sway.
When someone wrongs us (or our spouse or our children), we feel compelled to give them a piece of our mind. When someone disagrees with us on the internet, we feel compelled to lash out against them in a tirade of comments. When we are called out for sin, we feel compelled to say we’re sorry, but not compelled to repent and rid our lives of that sin.
Just like Saul had consequences, there will be consequences for us if we feel compelled to go against God’s commands. Even if we feel like we’re doing what’s best—what’s right, even— breaking God’s commands brings consequence.
Saul didn’t learn his lesson, and just a few chapters later we read of another blatant disregard for God’s commands. Instead of utterly destroying the Amalekites, he spared the choicest animals and their king. His justification was that they were going to offer these animals to God. No amount of rationalization could make his actions acceptable, though, and Samuel tells him plainly, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD?” (1 Samuel 15:22).
God desires that we obey His voice. He desires that we bend our will to His. He desires that we sacrifice self and let Him lead our lives. He doesn’t desire that we do what seems right or what we feel compelled to do for His service. He desires that we follow Him.
Abraham felt compelled to lie down with his servant instead of waiting on Gods promise
Genesis 15:1-4 heir of your own body
After 10 years of waiting he gets compelled
David felt compelled to number his army
1 Chronicles 21:1-4
The first thing we should glean from this episode is that it was Satan who provoked David to number Israel. In other words, numbering Israel’s army was done because the adversary Satan was tempting David. That is a very important thing to remember because it explains much. The second thing to consider is David’s reason for doing this was, “that he may know it.” In other words, his own delight or pleasure was what induced him to do this. These are the keys to understanding this sin. God allowed David to be tempted by Satan because Israel had taken their eyes off God as their ruler, fortress and provider. We read in previous chapters how they had begun looking to themselves for strength. Even as they had pressed Samuel for a king that would be just like the nations that were around them, they weren’t satisfied. This illustrated that they had forsaken trust in the Lord and forgotten that He alone was their sword and bulwark. And David too momentarily took his eyes off the Lord and looked toward Israel’s own ability to provide a host as their strength. By God declaring that Satan provoked this census, we know that David’s purpose for numbering the men of war was that he might delight or glory in Israel’s own might or resources. Yet this sin was not David’s alone, because God Himself informs us that He allowed this numbering because of Israel’s sins. Thus it was God who had removed His normal restraint of sin from David, and it was because of the judgment He would upon Israel for their continuing sins of pride and vanity. 2nd Samuel 24:1 “And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.”
God moved David in the same way that He hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Not that He made David sin, but that He took away his hand of restraint of sin in him, and David’s own human pride and vanity does the rest. God tempts no man to sin (James 1:13), but neither is He obligated to restrain any man from his own sin. And here God takes full responsibility for bringing this judgment upon Israel. For by removing his hand of restraint from David, He “allowed” Satan to provoke him to this error. Without God’s hand of restraint on believers as they live out their lives in this world, they would all be as lawless and wicked as the unsaved people are. It is only “God in us” that keeps us from succumbing to our diverse sin nature in the lusts of the flesh.
Compelling times can be avoided through prayer and intimacy with God. Lead me not into! Stay needy upon the spirit