Full text of senior pastor Dr. Charles Stanley’s sermon titled: ‘The Consequences of Impatience’.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Dr. Charles Stanley – Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Atlanta
When you observe someone being very, very impatient, how does it make you feel?
Well, how do you suppose other people feel when you and I become very, very impatient with them?
Well, probably all of us become impatient about some things in life, and probably most of them are rather insignificant. For example, you’re in a hurry and you can’t find your car keys anywhere. You know exactly where you laid them down, but somehow they’re not there.
Or you’re having lunch and 25 minutes have gone by and they still haven’t shown up. Or you’ve said to your children: ‘in the bed by 09:00; I mean it!’ And what happens is you walk in there three times, they’re still in the bed frolicking and having a good time, totally ignored you. Then you take some other action, probably.
So the issue is What Happens When We Become Impatient, And How Do We Feel? And how do we feel when other people become impatient with us?
Well, we could talk about insignificant things, but in this message I want us to talk about those very significant times, those forks in the road, when you and I come to that place in life, and we want to move, we don’t have God’s yes about it, and we move anyway.
So this is a part of a series, The Power of Patience. And oftentimes we sort of joke about patience. Well, you know, I’m not impatient, or I am patient. The truth is not a joke in matter, because it affects every single area of our life.
Now I want you to turn, if you will to the 13th chapter of 1 Samuel, because I want us to look at the Consequences of Impatience in the lives of two men. Two different total situations. That one of these two is going to grab every single one of us and make us stop to think. Well, Lord, this could happen to me. Or it has happened to me, because of my impatience.
First Samuel, Chapter 13.
So let me give you a little idea of what’s happening before we come to the verse.
The nation of Israel has been under great distress because of the Philistines, and so Jonathan, King Saul’s son, has just wiped out a garrison of the Philistines. They’ve heard about it, and now they’re arming for war, and they’re far outnumbering the nation of Israel.
Well, what happened back over in the 10th chapter and the 8th verse, the prophet Samuel… remember now, the prophet is the ultimate spiritual leader of the whole nation of Israel. He’s the one who hears from God and passes on the word to the king and to the people of Israel.
He said to King Saul, he said to Saul here, before he’s king, he says, ‘and you shall go down before me to Gilgal and behold, I will come down to you to offer burn offerings and sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days, until I come to you and show you what you should do.’
So that was his word to him.
Now, so with that in mind, here’s what I want you to see what happens.
Beginning chapter 13, 1 Samuel now, look, if you will, in verse 8, Samuel the Prophet just gave him the word from God. ‘Wait.’
Now verse 8. Now he waited seven days according to the appointed time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal and the people were scattering from him.
So Saul said, ‘Bring to me the burnt offerings, and the peace offerings.’ And he offered the burnt offerings. As soon as he finished… ‘as soon as he finished offering the burnt offerings, behold, Samuel came, and Saul went out to meet him and to greet him. But Samuel said, ‘What have you done?’ And Saul said, ‘Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, because they were afraid of what was happening, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash.’
You see he had a reason.
‘Therefore I said, now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal and I have not asked the favor of the LORD. So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offerings.’
Just couldn’t help it. I forced myself to do it.
Samuel said to Saul, ‘You’ve acted foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, for now the LORD would have established your kingdom of Israel forever, but now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart. And the LORD has appointed him as a ruler over His people because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.’
Here’s what I want you to see. Notice it didn’t say that Samuel showed up later. It says that as soon as he had completed that offering, Samuel showed up.
Now let me show you what’s important about this offering. There was no law that said a king, for example, could not offer burnt offerings, any kind. But there was a law that no one could offer this particular offering, burnt offering, sacrifices to God before war except the prophet himself be present at that sacrificial offering. He had to be present. That was the issue.
So he said, Wait seven days.
Well, when in these seven days? More than likely, Samuel must have shown up probably toward the end of that 7th day. Because as soon as Saul offered the offering, disobeyed God, Samuel shows up.
It was the command of God. You must not do that. Only the prophet can do it.
He knew that. He knew what the rule was. He knew what the law was.
But he said, if you’ll notice, well, the enemy was coming and people began to scatter. So I forced myself to do it. Which means he knew he should not have. He knew the law of God. He knew the command of God. He remembered what the prophet who was the ultimate final leader, spiritual leader in Israel, he knew what he said, and he said, I forced myself to do it.
He said, ‘you violated the law of God’, and here’s what I want you to see now. Watch this.
There were consequences to this act of disobedience. It was a very, very specific command, because God’s idea was that the prophet who represented God was to be there to offer that offering when they went to battle, because God intended for His people to win the battles, because the nation of Israel was God’s chosen people through whom the Messiah was to come. And He intended to send a message throughout all of history: these are My people, and the Messiah is coming through them. It was their responsibility to teach the world of their day monotheism that there is one God, and His name is Jehovah.