Light from the Word

1 Samuel #04: An exposition of 1 Samuel 3:1-21. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, November 6, 2011.

“After darkness, light.”  That was the motto of the reformation in Geneva under John Calvin.  After years of spiritual darkness and superstition light had reappeared through the preaching of the Word of God.  The Word of God and preaching were so central to the life of the church in Geneva, believers were treated to six sermons a week!  Three on Sunday and then one each day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  The reformers believed the way out of darkness was through the Word of God.  The way to lift, not only the slumbering church but society in general, out of its silly superstitious ways was the way of biblical literacy.  Let the good news be proclaim throughout the land.  The Old Testament seems to hold the same assumption.  That’s why God would send a prophet.  This is important for us because I think we’ve lost that understanding.  I’m afraid we (the conservative, evangelical church) have bought into the American notion of power politics.  Organize, strategize get our guy elected and change things by playing hardball.  Well, to quote Dr. Phil, “How’s that work’n for us?”  I think the last 30 years has shown that we will never play the world’s game as well as the world plays it.  We also have learned that power corrupts.

Maybe we need to go back and look at this again from another perspective.  We would do well to ask, “How did God do it in the past?”  It just may be there is a more productive way for us to impact the world.  I’m not at all suggesting that Christians not be involved in the political process.  I believe Christians should run for office.  I think they should allow their faith to inform their decisions and seek to use godly influence whenever and wherever possible.  But as the church we should come at this from a very different perspective.  I’m convinced there is a lesson to be learned from the 3rd chapter of 1 Samuel.

Text: 1 Samuel 3:1-21

It was a time when every man did what was right in his own eyes.
A time of great corruption demonstrated by the corruption at Shiloh, in the house of God!
Yet in the noise and chaos of this corruption God was at work in the heart of a young boy.
God was raising up yet another judge who would be a king-maker and as we learn this evening – a prophet.

As we work our way through this chapter we discover that…

Thesis: In times of great darkness, moral and spiritual decay, light and vibrancy come through the ministry of the Word of God.

There are three things I want us to note.

  1. In times of darkness God brings light by His Word through His prophet.  (3:1, 19-4:1a)
  2. In the calling of the prophet God demonstrates His kindness and long-suffering.  (3:2-10)
  3. The ministry of the prophet is one of joy and great sorrow.  (3:11-18)

The way out of moral and spiritual darkness is through the Word of God.  May God give us grace as He raises up preacher to declare the truth of His Word; as He reveals His kindness and grace; and as we maintain the tension of the joy and sorrow of biblical proclamation.

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