In week three of our sermon series, we’re diving into the tragic nature of not trusting God. The history of Israel is one of a people who have trouble trusting God to provide for them. However, the people of Israel are not the only ones with trust issues.
Last week, we studied the beginning of God’s plan for the redemption of creation. God chose Abram to be the father of a great nation who would be God’s people in this world. And we followed the story of the Israelites until they entered the Promise Land. And we saw that God rewarded and cultivated the faith of the Israelites throughout the desert, and yet still many chose not to have faith in God.
This week, we’re looking at the Israelites and their history in the Promised Land. We see God calling his people to trust in Him and to let their God lead them. But, not too far into the history of Israel, we see the Israelites asking God to let them have a king, just like the other nations. This would be the beginning of a tragic history for the nation of Israel.
Because the Israelites wanted to trust in a king and not God, they got the whole package of having a king. This stems back to the tower of Babel. When humanity got together and tried building a tower to Heaven, God spread the people out into different nations with different languages. God’s purpose for Israel was to be a people that united the world back together. However, the people of Israel decided to follow the broken ways of this world. As a result, their nation reflected these broken ways.
Bloodshed became a norm for the Israelite people. We see throughout their history many different nations waging war against Israel. We see famines and plagues. We even see human sacrifice to other gods.
We also see an imperfect human trying to lead Israel. The people chose their first king, Saul. Saul looked the part, but he didn’t have a humble heart that wanted to follow God. Instead, he wouldn’t admit when he was wrong, and it led to Saul rebelling against God. David followed Saul, but David fell into sin with Bathsheba and having a census of the people. Solomon followed David, and even though God gave Solomon supernatural wisdom, Solomon fell into idolatry. No king was able to fulfill the role that God wanted to provide the Israelites.
In truth, even after Jesus, we have trouble trusting God to lead our lives. We live like the Israelites live, constantly falling away from God and wanting to do things our own way. But what the Old Testament shows us is that God is always seeking after us and wants us to join with his story and redemptive work in this world.
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