In 1 Samuel 15:11 we learn that God regretted making Saul king; however, in verse 29 we read that God is not a man that He should have any regrets. How are we to understand these two statements? It is from passages like this that we see that God is not like us. His nature is not like ours. Though God may be said to “repent” or “regret”, this is merely creaturely language being applied to an infinite, eternal, and…
In Matthew 16:5-12 Christ warns the disciples of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. It is strange that the Pharisees and Sadducees have joined together in their opposition to Christ given the number of things they themselves disagreed on. We see that though the ungodly are often opposed to each other, they will always be more opposed to the Church. Furthermore, we learn that false teachings which appear to be opposites very often have much in common.
In 1 Samuel 15:1-35 Samuel commands Saul to destroy the Amalekites. Saul destroys them, mostly. When confronted by Samuel he argues that his disobedience was really done to serve the Lord, since the things not destroyed were to be offered to God. Samuel then gives one of the great fundamental principles of service to God: Obedience is better than sacrifice. Attempting to do things for God that He has not commanded, that is making sacrifices for God in an attempt…
In Matthew 16:1-4 the Saduccees and Pharisees ask for a sign. This is a strange request in light of the many miracles Christ had done to this point. Their goal, like many skeptics today who make similar demands for proofs, is to hide their rebellion against God behind the request for a sign. The reality is Christ had done enough to make himself known such that the request can only be interpreted as disingenuous. Ultimately, Christ tells them that the…
Guest sermon from Danny Olinger.
In Matthew 15:32-39 Christ feeds four thousand men besides women and children. This is the second time Christ has miraculously fed thousands with just a few fish and a few loaves of bread. Why record such a similar miracle twice? God’s people often need to hear things again.
In 1 Samuel 14:24-52 Saul, like Jephthah before him, makes a rash oath. God’s people must be careful about the kind of oaths they take. In today’s world oaths and vows are treated as things that are insignificant, things that can be broken on a whim. The Scriptures, however, teach that you must uphold every lawful oath and that every unlawful oath is sin.
In Matthew 15:29-31 Christ heals many on a mountain. Mountains are significant in the gospel of Matthew as they point to the fulfillment of the mountain of God theology in the OT. What is the purpose of this summary of Christ’s miracles? To indicate that the new creation has come in Christ. Christ’s miracles are a foretaste of the resurrection.
In 1 Samuel 13:16-14:23 God gives deliverance to His people through Jonathan. Jonathan believed in God, and his trust is seen in the fact that he states God can save by many or by few. It is such faith that is needed today.
In Matthew 15:21-28 Christ heals a Canaanite woman’s daughter. Before the healing happens Christ implicitly calls her a dog, since she is a Canaanite. Rather than taking offense, she continues to plead with Christ for healing. Her humble faith amazes Christ and is a model for us today.
In 1 Samuel 13:1-15 Saul’s reign begins to unravel. He fights against the Philistines and appears to have some success, but once things appear dire, he disobeys God causing Samuel to tell him that he will lose the Kingdom. True service to God, even when things are difficult, entails obedience.
In Matthew 15:1-20, Christ not only affirms the supremacy of the Word of God over tradition, but also highlights the danger of traditions that nullify the Word of God. The tradition of the Pharisees focused on externals, whereas the Word of God focuses on the heart. Very often traditions that contradict the Bible give people a false hope on the basis of external conformity to manmade laws rather than the purification of the heart in the gospel.