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The Just War
1 Samuel 11-12
Skip Heitzig

1 Samuel 11 (NKJV™)
1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, "Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you."
2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, "On this condition I will make a covenant with you, that I may put out all your right eyes, and bring reproach on all Israel."
3 Then the elders of Jabesh said to him, "Hold off for seven days, that we may send messengers to all the territory of Israel. And then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you."
4 So the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the news in the hearing of the people. And all the people lifted up their voices and wept.
5 Now there was Saul, coming behind the herd from the field; and Saul said, "What troubles the people, that they weep?" And they told him the words of the men of Jabesh.
6 Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused.
7 So he took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, "Whoever does not go out with Saul and Samuel to battle, so it shall be done to his oxen." And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.
8 When he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.
9 And they said to the messengers who came, "Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh Gilead: 'Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have help.'" Then the messengers came and reported it to the men of Jabesh, and they were glad.
10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, "Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do with us whatever seems good to you."
11 So it was, on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
12 Then the people said to Samuel, "Who is he who said, 'Shall Saul reign over us?' Bring the men, that we may put them to death."
13 But Saul said, "Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the LORD has accomplished salvation in Israel."
14 Then Samuel said to the people, "Come, let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there."
15 So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal. There they made sacrifices of peace offerings before the LORD, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.
1 Samuel 12 (NKJV™)
1 Now Samuel said to all Israel: "Indeed I have heeded your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you.
2 "And now here is the king, walking before you; and I am old and grayheaded, and look, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my childhood to this day.
3 "Here I am. Witness against me before the LORD and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you."
4 And they said, "You have not cheated us or oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man's hand."
5 Then he said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand." And they answered, "He is witness."
6 Then Samuel said to the people, "It is the LORD who raised up Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt.
7 "Now therefore, stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD concerning all the righteous acts of the LORD which He did to you and your fathers:
8 "When Jacob had gone into Egypt, and your fathers cried out to the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place.
9 "And when they forgot the LORD their God, He sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them.
10 "Then they cried out to the LORD, and said, 'We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD and served the Baals and Ashtoreths; but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve You.'
11 "And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you dwelt in safety.
12 "And when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, 'No, but a king shall reign over us,' when the LORD your God was your king.
13 "Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And take note, the LORD has set a king over you.
14 "If you fear the LORD and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the LORD your God.
15 "However, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
16 "Now therefore, stand and see this great thing which the LORD will do before your eyes:
17 "Is today not the wheat harvest? I will call to the LORD, and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking a king for yourselves."
18 So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
19 And all the people said to Samuel, "Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves."
20 Then Samuel said to the people, "Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.
21 "And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.
22 "For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people.
23 "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way.
24 "Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.
25 "But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king."

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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09 1 Samuel - 2002

As detailed by Pastor Skip Heitzig, First Samuel tells the stories of a prophet, a politician, and a poet--Samuel, Saul, and David--and how God used them to form the nation of Israel.

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You know, the Christian life is not a playground. As some of you know very well, it can be a battlefield, right? There's a lot of issues that we face. And I don't mean that just spiritually, but now we find ourselves and our country in a situation where the battlefield literally is quite a possibility for many-- not only a possibility, a reality, because of the war that is going on overseas involving our troops.

And the whole issue with Homeland Security. You know what the United States budget is, how much we spend. In the year 2002, it is projected we're going to spend $417 billion for the military. That's a lot of money. That's a big chunk of change to protect our country and to protect parts of the world.

Now, given all that, here's another statistic. 65 million people have been killed in wars in the 20th century alone. And so we're faced with that issue. What about war? What about the issue of a just war. And I thought because the topic tonight is we have the first King of Israel engaged in the first battle with Israel defending the borders of Jabesh Gilead in Northeastern Israel that we would talk about that tonight. And I have a good friend that's with us. He's a part of our board of directors. He's a colonel in the military, a West Point graduate, Colonel Greg Zanetti. Would you give him a warm welcome?

[APPLAUSE]

And look, he even wore his fatigues tonight.

You told me to.

I told him to. Yeah, just for the whole vibe, you know? Have a seat, Greg.

Shine those shoes.

Shine those shoes! I asked him before the service, I said, could you see me in the military? And all my assistant pastors said, no way. And Greg, what'd you say?

Absolutely yes.

See? What do you think? Think I should join?

Very easily. He's the chaplain for the FBI. He's got a strong duty concept. He knows right from wrong. Who would you rather have in uniform? Somebody else or him?

[APPLAUSE]

Are you trying to recruit me now?

Don't sign anything I give you tonight.

Greg, I'll tell you why I brought you here, and I want to cut right to the chase. You went to the War College, which-- a lot of people, I don't even if you know that exist. That's a college. Where is that located, and what's its purpose?

The Army War College is in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. And the motto of the War College is not to make war but to preserve peace. But basically, we go and study war. And it's, how do we not fight the last war? And of course that's the accusation we get all the time, is that the military is always fighting the last one. Please be assured we're trying desperately not to do that and trying to be forward thinking. And that's what the War College is intended to do.

So you went to West Point. You're a graduate of West Point. You went to the War College. You're a colonel in the military. You've studied war. So potentially you've studied how, and you know how to kill people.

Sure.

Right?

Mm-hmm.

How do you reconcile that with being a believer?

Maybe I'm too simple. I don't have any problem with it at all. There's evil out there. They are bad guys. And there are times you have to stop the bad guys.

And so there are parts in the Bible where God steps in and does it for us, and we get called ready to go, and God says, no, I'll just do it for you. But most of the time, He requires us to participate and do our duty. And so are we stopping the bad guys? If we are, sure, you go do your duty.

So to preserve the peace of those normal citizens going about their duty who don't want to fight anybody, they have a family, they have a work week, they want to get along, but they can't because of what?

Well, evil. I mean, it's like your scripture last week. I mean, it all began back in the Garden of Eden, didn't it? And, you know, the first killing was shortly thereafter. And we've kind of been down that road ever since. And so yeah. I mean, sometimes you just do what you have to do.

So Greg, let me ask you about the American feeling, the sentiment. In the Vietnam era, there was a huge outcry in campuses around the country, opposing the Vietnam War, opposing war, "Give Peace a Chance." Has there been a shift in our country lately, say, after September 11?

Really it began before that. It began with Ronald Reagan. And I remember being a cadet at West Point, and the girls from Vassar came up. And they were giving flowers to all of us. And we didn't handle this very well. Some of the guys were biting the flowers off. I mean, it was just stupid stuff.

Did you bite a flower?

No, I didn't bite the flower.

I just wanted to clear that up. Your name-- your name is cleared now.

But it's easy for us in the military to always point the finger at-- and you've heard the stories about people being spit on, the soldiers coming back and so on. We bear some responsibility for what happened in Vietnam too. The Army was lying. The Army was not being honorable in a lot of things in Vietnam. And after Vietnam, there was a lot of soul searching that West Point was coming off of a cheating scandal. We'd been lying all through the Vietnam War about casualties and death counts and what was really happening. And we'd lost the trust of the American people.

Plus we weren't doing our duty with our senior civilian commanders. We weren't telling them the truth. And after Vietnam, when you lose, you change. And the Army in particular made some dramatic changes starting in the '80s. And you saw the fruit of that in the Gulf War. We figured it out. And since then, things have been a lot better. But a rough time, and part of it was our fault.

Have you seen a national affirmation toward the military since the recent war overseas that we're fighting after September 11? Have more people joined? Is there more of an interest in that or what?

No, we really thought we were going to see that, but we haven't. Recruiting is grim, just to tell you the truth. Trying to fill the ranks is hard. Part of that, again, is our fault. It's-- how to put this and say it nicely. The military is in disarray right now because we're not really sure what we're supposed to do. For those of us who came in during the Cold War, it seemed hard. But the Russians were over there, we were over here, we had tanks, artillery jets, they had tanks, artillery jets, and we were going to go fight in the Fulda Gap.

Well, then the Cold War ended. And the next series of things were these police actions-- Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti. And we were trying to keep people apart and stop fighting and all that stuff, and we were becoming more of a police force. Well, that's a different structure than your traditional war.

Well, then 9/11 rolled around. And now they're telling us, well, OK, you need to do homeland defense. But what is that? Do we protect the water supply? Do we protect the border? Do we protect you from anthrax?

Right. How do you know what to protect? There are so many targets.

Right. And so what do you resource? What do you fund? What do you train for, because each mission is different. And so once again, the military is in this struggle. What are we supposed to be doing? And so trying to recruit to that has been very difficult. But as far as the public's concerned, the support has been wonderful.

Greg, what would you say to a young Christian who is maybe either thinking, A, of joining the military, a career in the military, getting involved somehow? Or maybe he's already in it. Maybe he joined. And then all of this has happened and he thinks, you know, I'm going to be called very soon overseas. And yet he's a believer. And he's just struggling with a lot of those issues. If you were to sit with him and counsel him or her, what would you say?

You've got to realize how different we are versus the bad guys. Think about what we're doing in this country. We spend not millions of dollars. We're spending billions of dollars on how to develop a missile to go in that window but not that window because we don't want to kill women. We don't want to kill kids. I don't want to kill grandparents. None of us want to do that.

We're up against a foe that thinks the exact opposite. Kill them all. And in fact, ignore the soldiers. Kill the women, kill the children, kill the grandparents. And here, none of us are righteous. We're all sinners. But I've got to hope that God looks down on our military and says, at least they're trying. In a horrible thing that war is, they're trying to be good and just. And so I'd tell them that.

You know, we just really need to pray, don't we, for our president, for our military leaders. I thank God for you, Greg. I mean, you look so All-American. You look like the perfect colonel. And thank you for coming. Give him a warm [INAUDIBLE].

It's a pleasure. Thank you.

Thank you.

[MUSIC - "STAR WARS" THEME]

War has been around almost as long as man has. Eventually the Bible promises relief from the horrors of war. But for now, armed conflict is a fact in much of the world today. What should the Christian position be towards taking part and supporting war? Is pacifism the proper attitude? Does God still lead his people to use violence to bring peace?

(SINGING) War. Huh! Yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Uh-huh.

If Jesus told us to love our enemies and turn the other cheek, how do we reconcile this with the need to protect our borders and defend our families? Is there a just war? These are some of the interesting questions we will consider tonight as we study 1 Samuel live online.

All right, 1 Samuel chapter 11 and chapter 12 tonight. If you turn in your Bible there, I heard some of you singing those songs as the video was playing. You are dating yourself, let me tell you.

Tonight we want to look at chapter 11 and portions of chapter 12 in summary, and get the flow of this very crucial period In Israel's history in the Old Testament. Now, you may have heard this story before. But it comes from Broken Bow, Nebraska.

Anybody know where that is, Broken Bow, Nebraska? Nobody? OK. Oh, one person does. Good for you. I don't. But I heard this story.

And what the story is is a truck driver. He's going across the country. He's used to making several stops going into a truck stop, having a meal. One particular night, it was late, he stopped in Broken Bow, Nebraska, went into the truck stop, ordered his meal, hamburger, French fries, had coffee, trucker's coffee.

And while he's eating, three Hells Angels pull in on their motorcycles-- rough looking guys. And they see this truck driver. And what makes it even more intriguing for them is he's a slight man. He's short, he's very frail looking, so they thought, let's just give this guy just a rough time.

So they hassle him. So they go over to the truck driver. And the Hell's Angel, one of them, grabs a hamburger, takes a bite of it, and throws it back on the plate. The bread goes everywhere. The other biker grabs the French fries, stuff them in his pocket.

And then the truck driver isn't doing anything during this time, being very patient, smiling, because, after all, one of me against three of them, not good odds. The final biker takes a cup of coffee and pours it on the truck driver, thinking, we're going to have a fight now. The truck driver is annoyed, gets up, pays the bill, is courteous, tips the waitress, walks out the door, gets in his truck, drives away.

And the Hell's Angels are scratching their heads going, I can't understand it. I wanted a good fight. He's not very much of a man. And the waitress said, you know what? She's looking out the window. Not very much of a driver either. He just ran over three motorcycles.

Now, that little quip brings up a truth about us. The truth is, we are good at payback. In fact, we like payback. We like hearing stories about payback, retaliation. And we all have feelings of retaliation. I'll confess to you, when I drive, I have a difficult time. I honestly do. It's something I have to pray about. I get easily annoyed with drivers on the road, and I guess that's why they call it road rage. There's a real thing called road rage. Now, I haven't gotten that out of control. But I've seen people who have get really out of control.

We're good-- and I'm not, like, looking at anybody. You? You? You?

The question is, is there ever a just retaliation? Is it godly to always be passive? Now, I know we're looking for the answer. Are you telling me I can get even? Come on, tell me I can get even. Tell me the Bible says that.

Well, you're going to find that on a personal level, it says, you don't get even. You love, you forgive, you turn the other cheek. In fact, Jesus said, you have heard that it has been said by those of old, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, quoting the lex talionis, the law of the Old Testament.

But I say unto you, do not resist an evil person. If somebody strikes you on one cheek, Jesus said, you are to turn the other cheek to him. If somebody compels you to go a mile, you are to go two with them. Now, in reading that passage, in listening to that passage out of Matthew, some people think that what Jesus meant is that he came to overturn the status of the law from the old days, from the Old Testament, change it, come up with a whole new program.

You've heard that it has been said, but I say unto you-- Jesus was changing the law and giving us a whole different one. Well, he wasn't, because he said, don't think that I've come to destroy the law or the prophets. I haven't come to destroy but to fulfill.

There was a Russian novelist named Leo Tolstoy who believed in total passivity. And based upon what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, don't resist an evil person, he said, we should abolish military, we should abolish police and law enforcement, because they resist evil. So to obey what Jesus said-- not that he was a Christian, but to obey this pacifistic teaching, we must do away with anything that would resist evil. He even went so far as to say in his treatise on War and Peace that we should abolish law courts, we should not even punish criminals. Do away with judges, he said.

The writings of Tolstoy have affected many, including Mahatma Gandhi, who as some of you know, if you know your recent history from the '40s and on, that through peaceful marching and his rallies, he managed to help overturn the policies of a nation. Now, others won't go as far as Leo Tolstoy. They will say we still need law courts, we still need judges. In fact, we still need a police force up to a degree, but we shouldn't have a military. We shouldn't have any weapons of destruction.

As I see that, we would be giving a permission slip to every thug in the world to do whatever they wanted to do if we held to that theory. OK, let's just take it into a microcosm. Go back to your high school days. What if there weren't the narcs on the campus or the vice principal and his gang of people or some of the policing students or alumni that came on to help bring a little bit of law and order to the campus? It would be total anarchy at my campus, I'll tell you that. If we just let anybody do whatever they wanted to do in high school, it'd be outrageous. If we do that in a world setting, it will be equally outrageous.

When Jesus said that, He was not giving words to nations. He was not giving dictums to international communities to forge policy. He was giving it to individuals-- or let's put it as it really was, to His followers. To Christians. Jesus never asked the natural man who was not born again to act like a born again person. But he was saying on a personal level-- not a national level, on a personal level-- we're not to take vengeance. We're not to avenge ourselves. Don't personally even the score.

Now, in our chapter, chapter 11, Saul has begare-- be-garely begun-- be-garely begun to be king. It's the spring air, you know. It happens every year. It's just a virus that I get. He had just barely begun to be the king. In fact, he wasn't housed in a palace. It seems that he went back to his hometown of Gibeah, and he was out in the farm in the fields because he will hear of the battle that is ensuing up in the north while he's out in his father's field.

So yes, he was appointed as the king by the people. But he goes back to work in the fields of his father until a very specific report comes to his ears. There is a trans-Jordan city-state that is waging war against one of the principal cities in the north on the eastern side of the Jordan River. Look at Chapter 11. "Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead. And all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, make a covenant with us, and we will serve you. And Nahash the Ammonite answered them. On this condition I will make a covenant with you, that I may put out all your right eyes and bring reproach to all Israel."

Now, this sounds very bizarre to our ears. First of all, an enemy would encamp around a city, and the city would immediately want to make a covenant, would bear no resistance at all. Well, you can understand why. They're east of the Jordan. The tribes of Israel are not cohesive. They got a king, but not everybody knows it. There has been no military. There has been no strategy. No organization has taken place.

So they're isolated. And they know they're isolated. So they immediately go out to surrender, to bring conditions of peace.

But what is even more odd is that Nahash the Ammonite says, OK, I'll tell you what. I'll make a deal with you. But I want to take all of your right eyes and put them out-- literally gouge out the ball of the eye. That's horrible sounding.

Mutilation in ancient times was quite common, especially for rulers or top soldiers. The idea was to take away depth perception by putting out an eye and peripheral vision to make a soldier useless on the battlefield. He really would be of no value in a fighting situation.

There are Muslim countries who if you steal, they will cut off your hand. I saw a special the other night on television about some African nations where people have come in and have cut off the arms, the feet of several people, mass mutilation, whole colonies of people without limbs, to subjugate them, to humiliate them. Now, the Ammonites-- the Ammonites were terrorists. They were brutal. They would spare no one. They did not have the rules of war that they had on the other side of the Jordan in the camp of Israel. They simply wanted land. They wanted territory. It had been 20 years since the ammonites had a battle with Israel.

Now, where is Ammon? It's east of the Jordan River. There are no Ammonites per se today. But the remnants of the Ammonites, at least their territory, is with us. There's a place in Jordan called not Ammon but Amman. We pronounce it Amman, Jordan. That's the area of the Ammonites in ancient times, though the Jordanians certainly aren't the Ammonites. That's just the territory.

The Ammonites in ancient times were judged by God for their brutality. Listen to this passage out of the book of Amos. This is Amos, chapter 1, verse 13. "Thus says the Lord, for three transgressions of the people of Ammon and for four, I will not turn away its punishment because they ripped open the women with child in Gilead that they might enlarge their territory." Did you get that? We're dealing with a group of people that will stop at nothing. Any terrorist activity is open, even taking a pregnant woman and ripping out her child from the womb to terrorize people, that they might enlarge their territory, get more land.

And so that's why these people in Gilead are going to give a quick surrender to them. But Nahash won't have it. He wants to brutalize them.

So look at verse 3. It even gets a little weirder. "Then the elders of Jabesh said to him, well, hold off for seven days, that we may send messengers to all the territory of Israel. Then if there's no one to save us, we'll come out to you." I know it sounds bizarre. I'll tell you what, let's see if we can get somebody to beat you up. And if they don't beat you up, then, OK. Deal's on. Right eyes out of here.

It would seem that the Ammonites were so prideful they figured there could be no allies with this little town that is isolated in Jabesh Gilead, located about 22 miles east of the Sea of Galilee, up there in the hills, all alone.

They said great. Do whatever you want. They encamped around them. And they would rather have a clean covenant where we put out their eyes instead of any kind of a bloody battle. But go ahead. See what you can do. The idea is that they would come back in seven days and realize, no one is going to help us. We are isolated.

So verse 4. "The messengers came to Gibeah--" that's where Saul lived-- "Gibeah of Saul, and told the news in the hearing of the people. And all the people lifted up their voices and wept." They were in such despair. After all, they had fought the Philistines for years and thought, you know, that's bad enough to have the Philistines in our borders in the south. Now we have enemies in the north. What are we going to do? We have a king, but we don't have an army. So they just wept. They were in despair.

"Now there was Saul, coming behind the herd from the field. And Saul said, what troubles the people that they weep? And they told him the words of the men of Jabesh." Notice this, "Then the spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused."

Now the Holy Spirit comes upon him. And what's interesting, the Holy Spirit comes upon him, and he gets mad. Now, I'm not going to say, use this as a proof text that the evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit is that you're really mad. But it is interesting. I find people in the New Testament will take one text of scripture isolated from its context and use it as the banner.

For instance, it'll say in the New Testament, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke in tongues. So they say, see, the proof that you're filled with the Spirit is that you speak in tongues, glory to God, hallelujah. Well, that is an evidence, but there are many more than that.

Sometimes the Bible says "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they prophesied." Here's another one, "They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they preached the word with boldness." Here Saul hears these words. He's filled with the Holy Spirit, I would say here, with divine indignation and empowerment from God to save Jabesh Gilead from these terrorists. Jesus said something very interesting. He said, whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.

Whoever is angry without a cause. Did you know that there is an anger the Bible speaks about that is not only permitted, not only condoned, but commanded? Did you know that? Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 26. Here's a command. "Be angry, and do not sin." Martin Luther called this the anger of love. Loving someone so much that you would defend that person out of love.

"Be angry, but do not sin." That is, when you are angry for not selfish reasons, you're angry at immorality, injustice, sin, and you're not doing it to get even, it's not for personal reasons, your selfless in the situation, that's a good kind of anger. Jesus had that. Jesus was in the temple two different occasions. They were buying and selling and making a racket with the animal industry in the temple for the sacrifices.

And you know what he did. He took these tables and overturned the money changers' tables. And all the animals, those that sold doves, he took a whip out, and he went after them. He went after them. You don't want to be around Jesus if you're on the other side of those tables that day. It would hurt.

It's a picture we don't always get of Jesus. We don't often get it. It's not a Sunday school Jesus. Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, look upon this little child. [WHIP NOISE] Whoa! I bet even the disciples were a little bit amazed at that. We call that righteous indignation, being angry, being mad at sin. Being mad for the right reason.

There's two men in history that I think are great examples of a righteous indignation that motivated them to action. One is William Wilberforce in England. The other is Abraham Lincoln in the United States. Both men had an anger related to the slave trade. You know the song "Amazing Grace," don't you? "How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me." You know, that was written by a slave trader who got saved, John Newton.

John Newton led William Wilberforce to faith in Christ, telling him of his exploits on the slave ships. William Wilberforce heard these stories, saw the British slave trade and how they were exploiting human beings, and he said, a hatred for that type of sin, selling human beings, welled up within him.

Then Abraham Lincoln was in New Orleans. And he watched human beings being bought and sold on the slave blocks in the South. He got angry, righteously angry. He hated sin. And that motivated these two men to engage in freedom, to give freedom to those who were exploited.

Look at verse 7. Saul hears it. He's filled with the Spirit. He's awfully mad. "So he took a yoke of oxen, cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hands of messengers saying, whoever does not go out with Saul and Samuel to battle, so shall it be done to his oxen." Wow. "And the fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out with one consent."

Why did he do this? He did it to rouse the people into action. Saul is from Gibeah. The people in Israel, as soon as this-- you have to imagine the mail comes to your tribe. You open the mail, and it's a bloody piece of an ox. It had been cut up. You unwrap the package and, oh my goodness, what is this? And a note is attached, in effect saying, enemies are around Israel. If we don't act now, this is going to happen. They're going to do this to us.

Some of you will remember our studies in the book of Judges when there was a man who was traveling from the mountains of Ephraim. He was a Levite. He went down to Bethlehem. He had a concubine from Bethlehem. He's traveling near Jebus, ancient Jerusalem. And he comes to this place where Saul is from, Gibeah. And he spends the night in Gibeah. And the people in Gibeah were so vile, so foul, that they raped this concubine and killed her, left her for dead. Israel had reached such a pitiful state that to rouse their anger against this type of vile activity, the man had his concubine, now dead, cut into 12 pieces. And a piece was sent to the tribes of Israel. And all of them came out with one consent to punish the evildoers.

Saul didn't go to that extreme, but he took an animal. And it would ring the same bell in their heads. We've got to do something. We have a king. Now we need a military. We have to act swiftly. And they did.

Now, there's a commandment in the Bible. You know it. It's the sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill." That's the King James. The New King James, and every other translation since, says, "Thou shalt not murder." It's important to distinguish between the two. It doesn't say in the Hebrew, "Thou shalt not kill." It says, "Thou shalt not murder." And there's a difference.

There are several words in Hebrew for kill. There's one word for murder, and that's the word that was used. You can't personally act vengefully, violently, and take the law into your own hands and kill. That was the first sin that was committed-- at least, socially. Cain killed Abel. This is intentional killing of another human being for personal reasons. "Thou shalt not kill."

"Thou shall not murder." The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for everything. You know the text. It says, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." In verse 3, it says, "There is a time to kill, and it says, there is a time to heal." In the eighth verse of the same chapter, we are told "There is a time to love, there is a time to hate, there is a time of war, and there is a time of peace." The question to us is, when is war, when is killing legitimate? When is it legitimate? When is it wrong?

Look at verse 8. "When he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were 300,000, the men of Judah 30,000." He has a standing army of 330,000 foot soldiers. "And they said to the messengers who came, thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have help. Then the messengers came and reported it to the men of Jabesh, and they were glad." They get to keep their eyes. They get to keep their integrity, their families.

"Therefore the men of Jabesh said, tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do with us whatever seems good to you." Playing along, yeah, well, we got no help. So we're going to surrender tomorrow. "So it was on the next day that Saul put the people in three companies, and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and they killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered so that no two of them were left together."

War is ugly. As we mentioned at the very beginning, 65 million people have been killed in battle in the 20th century. It is estimated that our world spends $850 billion on its military. Collectively, the world spends $850 billion annually on its military for the fighting of wars. We live in a day and age when we know about war. My dad fought in World War II. I almost fought in the Vietnam War, but I was right at the very end of that. Some of you fought in the Gulf War, or you know people who have.

War is an ugly thing, but it's a pervasive thing, because if you look at world history, there hasn't been much time of peace. Did you know that? Only 8% of world history has been a time of peace. That's staggering to think about. The rest of it has been times of war. In the past 3,100 years, 8,000 formal peace treaties have been broken. Forget the ones signed-- broken.

And it's estimated that one in three people in the world live in lands enduring armed conflict. That's the world we live in. We don't see it quite here yet-- and I say yet-- but perhaps the time is coming when we will.

The good news, Jesus Christ is coming to establish His kingdom. We look forward to that. Our blessed hope is that Jesus will return someday. And when He does, He will end all battles, all wars, all conflicts. There will be no military, no need for military. In fact, here is the scripture in Isaiah, chapter 2, verse 4, that speaks about Christ's millennial reign. "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." Fascinating that our guest tonight, Colonel Zanetti, went to the War College to learn war.

The Bible predicts a time when men won't have to even study it anymore. No need for it. But until then, we do. We hate war. We love peace. The question is, do we love peace enough to fight for it? Do we love peace enough to fight for it?

As long as we live in a fallen world-- and Greg touched on this tonight-- good men and women will have to stand against evil. Edmund Burke once said, the only thing that is needed for evil to overwhelm us is for good people to do nothing. Do nothing, be absolutely pacifistic in your thinking. Just let it ride, and evil will overcome good. It'll take over, at least on this earth.

So to protect our society, to protect innocent victims from being victimized by the bad guys, war is necessary to preserve the peace. I don't believe the Bible teaches pacifism. I think the Bible teaches us that we should lift the burden, the yoke of the oppressed and the downtrodden. And sometimes that means we get involved in defending them, standing up for them against an aggressor.

You know, it's easy to sit in a college classroom or over coffee at Starbucks and talk about pacifism versus the military. But put it on a more personal level. Somebody is about to kill your child, your mother, your wife. Well, I don't believe in doing anything. Oh, really? I wouldn't want to be married to you or have you as my parent, then, or as my friend, if somebody is going to attack me and you're not going to love me enough to stand up for me, to defend those who are innocent.

Now, this thinking is called the just war tradition. It has been articulated throughout Church history, and it happens to be the normal or the general, I should say, consensus of the Church from years back. Augustine of Hippo in the fifth and sixth centuries talked about the just war tradition. Later on, Thomas Aquinas articulated it in his writings in the 13th century. And the idea behind it is that you distinguish between what is a justifiable war versus an unjustifiable war in the multitude of counselors. Even Martin Luther the reformer said these words. "Without armaments, peace cannot be kept. Wars are waged not only to repel injustice but also to establish a firm peace."

In a just war, force is limited and it's discriminatory. Again, in a just war, force is limited and discriminatory. That's the United States policy. You discriminate. You only engage combatants as much as possible. You leave out the innocents. You don't involve women, children, or people who are not in the military. It's limited force. It's discretionary force. And there are biblical examples of that. You can go back to the Old Testament and look at Abraham.

Do you remember in chapter 14 of Genesis when there were a coalition of kings under Chedorlaomer and they invaded the Salt Sea Basin, the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Lot was living there in Sodom, and so Lot was taken captive? The Bible says that Abraham mustered up 318 armed soldiers. These are guys that worked for him. He had his own standing army-- small, but his own private militia-- to go to war with those people down in the valley to overcome the coalition, to stand up for his relative and the innocent people down in that area.

You can look at the campaigns of Joshua and David. You can listen to the rhetoric from the word of God that speaks about the battles of the past. For instance, Hebrews, chapter 11, that says through faith they conquered kingdoms, they enforced-- they enforced justice. They became mighty in war. And they put foreign armies to flight.

And then what about the soldiers who came to John the Baptist. He's down at the Jordan River baptizing people, and he's telling people to repent. And soldiers engaged in Rome's army listened to the message of repentance, and they come down into the waters to be baptized. And they say to him, what must we do now? And do you remember what he tells them? He says, be satisfied with your pay. Be content with your wages. He doesn't say, now that you're saved, go AWOL. He says, just stick it out and be content with what they pay. Because he knows in the military, you know, it's scraps that you get, even back then. So just be content with it.

And then what about Jesus himself, who gave a soldier-- a centurion, in fact-- a ranking officer, one of the highest compliments? In fact, He said, I have not seen so great a faith in all of Israel as I've seen in this man. By the way, buddy, quit. Quit the army. Go AWOL. No, He didn't say that. He gave him a compliment of faith.

In verse 11, look at it again. "So it was on the next day that Saul put the people in three companies." This is his strategy now. The spirit of God has come upon him. God is moving him to do this because there are terrorists that have come into Jabesh Gilead. But he is still using human involvement, human strategizing. "Put the people in three companies, and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch. And they killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered so that no two of them were left together."

Here's a question I want to ask. Didn't Jesus say something about loving our enemies? So if we're to love our enemies, how can you love your enemies and then go like we see here, how can we reconcile loving our enemies with using deadly force against them? That's a paradox, isn't it?

Well, you're not the first one to ask the question. In fact, I commend you if you do ask the question. In fact, let me just say something. If you ask questions at all, I commend you. We need more thinkers, people who wrestle and struggle with these issues so that you can formulate, hopefully, a biblical basis for what you believe.

The paradox between love and wrath we also see in the person of God, don't we? What does John 3:16 say? "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever would believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." God loves people, doesn't He?

But the Bible also says that God will one day judge the earth. God loves, but God will judge. God will act in judgement against unrighteousness. Listen to this scripture, and put this with John 3:16-- 2 Thessalonians. "In flaming fire, He will be taking vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." There's the paradox of both love and wrath in the same person in the character and nature of God. Because God is love, but God is also just. Part of love is justice. Part of love is moral love. You cannot love without bringing justice into the equation. Otherwise you don't love fully.

Let's look for a balance. Turn with me to Romans for just a moment. Chapter 11. No, chapter 12. Excuse me. Romans, chapter 12. And let's compare a couple of texts. Romans 12, and we're going to look at a couple of verses in 12 and then in 13. You'll see the distinction, I think.

Chapter 12, verse 14. Paul says, "Bless those who persecute you and do not curse." In verse 17, "Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible--" and that's a big if sometimes-- "as much as depends on you, live peacefully with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves but rather give place to wrath. For it is written, vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him to drink. For in so doing, you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Now, that's on a personal level. As a Christian, we look at our enemy, and when we're involved personally, we love, we forgive, we don't take any kind of vengeance against that person. That was the whole context of the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus said turn the other cheek. Don't resist an evil person. At the same time, he didn't come to destroy the law, the lex talionis, the eye for an eye, on a national level, on a law enforcement level. In fact, Jesus gave a story. And he said, you better agree with your adversary quickly while you're on the way with him. Otherwise you're going to be taken to court, and you're going to have to pay the very last dime. He upheld the courts on the national level, but on the personal level, we forgive, we love. He upheld the just war tradition, but at the same time, on a personal level, we are not to avenge.

Now, look at Romans 13. You'll see right next to it is another context. "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God. And the authorities that exists are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God. And those who resist will bring judgment on themselves, for rulers are not a terror to good works but to evil." Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.

"For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is God's minister and avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil." God says, in a governmental relationship, in a corporate national sense, there is an authority base. And verse 4 has some interesting language. "He does not bear the sword in vain." The Greek word, makhaira. It was a short sword used in a battle. And whenever a governor took office, he was given a makhaira, which was the sign of his ability to enforce capital punishment on people who committed crimes that deemed necessary and required capital punishment.

Even Paul the Apostle submitted to that, did he not, when he was in Caesarea and they accused him of things? He said, listen, if I have committed a crime worthy of death, then go for it, kill me. I will submit to capital punishment if need be. So here is the sword that is executed by the governing authorities to enforce a peace, to enforce justice.

Did you know that in the Old Testament, if there was a murder that was committed in the land, if that murder went unpunished, God called it defiling the land. That's where the lex talionis arose, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," because God says, if you don't punish the evildoer, you will be defiling or polluting the land. Murder, crimes befitting capital punishment that were not acted upon, brought blood guiltiness upon that land.

Now look at verse 12. "So the people said to Samuel, who is he who said shall Saul reign over us?" The battle is over. They won. "Bring the men, that we may put them to death." You know, now they're filled with blood lust. We killed everybody else. Let's find those guys who didn't like Saul. He's our king, man. He's a good guy. Let's kill them.

Notice, "But Saul said, not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the Lord has accomplished salvation in Israel." You know what? He knew when to attack, but he knew when to stop. He knew that there needs to be a sense of justice. And even though people didn't like him and dissented at his own leadership, he wasn't going to kill them.

You know why? And understand this. This whole concept of the just war is based upon the concept of the sanctity of life. The going to war was to preserve the innocent people who were being terrorized by the Ammonites. It was based upon the belief that life is sacred, created in God's image. The Ammonites didn't care. They didn't believe it. They'd rip out children from the wombs of mothers.

But Saul knew when to start. Saul knew when to stop. In verse 14, "Samuel said to the people, come, let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there. So all the people went to Gilgal, where they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal. There they made sacrifices of peace offerings before the Lord. And there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly."

Do you remember Gilgal? Do you remember that that became base camp for Joshua when they crossed the Jordan River? And the state at Gilgal and they encamped there, and they prayed. They went into Jericho. They came back to Gilgal. That's where they started and made their covenant with God. Now they return back to Gilgal and renew the covenant.

And in chapter 12-- I'm going to sum up portions and read a few verses to you-- this is Samuel's final day on the job. This is his last message. This is his swan song, his State of the Union. The nation is gathered together at Gilgal. "And Samuel said to all of Israel, indeed, I have heeded your voice and all that you said to me, and it made a king over you. And now here is the king walking before you, and I am old and gray headed." At least he admitted it, you know? Some of us don't like to admit it. I'm not old, really. He said, I'm old and gray headed.

"And look, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my childhood to this day. Here I am." I like that. Familiar words for him. Remember when God called him as a boy? Samuel? Here I am. That's because that's what he was told by Eli.

He said, what did you want, Eli? You called me. No, I didn't call you. Go back to bed.

Samuel? Eli, what do you want? You called me. I didn't call you, but I think it's God. So next time you hear that voice, say, here I am.

And that sort of became his motto. Here I am. I'm available to you, Lord. I'm available to the people. I'm a servant. Here I am. "Witness against me before the Lord and before his anointed, whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you. And they said, you have not cheated us or oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man's hand. And then he said to them, the Lord is witness against you and is anointed as witness this day that you have not found anything in my hand. And they answered, he is witness."

In the next few verses, Samuel does what Samuel likes to do. He did it once before when we went over one of these speeches. He goes back into their history and says, don't ever forget that you were slaves in Egypt. God delivered you from Egypt, God took you through the wilderness, God brought you into this land, you had several oppressors around you, God sent several judges, when you sinned against God and cried out to God, and they delivered you. So as long as you were walking with God, things were good. When you turned away from Him and served other gods, things went bad. Remember that.

It's important that as a Christian you take personal inventory of your past. Do you ever sit down and just sort of turn on the videotape in your mind and think back to what God has brought you through? Where you were, how you started out, the blessings and the guidance of God along the way? And here you are today. You're facing a big difficulty. But look what God has done for you in the past.

What's God's track record for you? Pretty good. It's turning on that videotape that helps you face what's going to come tomorrow. So he takes them back to the past. In the 13th verse, he says, "Now therefore, here's the King whom you have chosen, whom you have desired, and take note, the Lord has set a king over you. If you fear the Lord and serve Him and obey His voice and do not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the Lord your God. However, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord but rebel against the commandments of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you as it was against your fathers."

Now, he gives this great speech, rousing spiritual history lesson. And then he says, just to prove that I am a spokesman of God, it's going to thunder and it's going to rain. You'll know that I've spoken from God. It was the wheat harvest, so it would be unusual-- it was after the rainy season-- for there to be a drop of rain. It'd be like standing out here, and you have this cloudless sky, and it hasn't rained for days. And you say, just to prove that God has spoken to me, in a few minutes here, it's going to pour. And it did back then. God had spoken.

Verse 19, "And all the people said to Samuel, pray for your servants to the Lord your God that we may not die, for we have added to all of our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves. And Samuel said to the people, don't fear. You have done all this wickedness, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside, for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing."

Really words of encouragement. Yes, you've sinned. I'm glad you have now confessed it and admitted it, but don't be afraid. Keep serving the Lord. Stay on track.

You might say, serve don't swerve. Serve the Lord. Don't swerve from the path. The idea is you're going along a path that has a goal, but something would distract you, something would steal your attention, and you would be diverted from your goal.

Have you ever been on vacation? You've taken the car, you're traveling across country. You've got the family in the back. And they're saying, Daddy, stop. There's free ice water there. There's rattlesnakes if you take that turn off. There's a box full of rattlesnakes. They promise-- I want to see the rattlesnakes, Daddy. Daddy, the sign says there's rocks. I want to see the rocks, Daddy. Daddy, can you stop at that restaurant? I have to use the restroom, and we're hungry.

You want the family to enjoy the process, but you also have a goal. And if you were to stop at every road sign and every attraction, well, you'd get to your goal eventually, but you'd waste a lot of time. You know the Christian life? We know that our goal is heaven, and eventually we've accepted Christ, our sins are forgiven, we're going there. But frankly, I don't want to waste any time.

I have a son who just got a driver's license the other day. Some of you remember when he was born. I do. And he's 16, and he got his driver's license. So I announced to him the other night, Nathan, it's official. He said, what's official, Dad? I'm old. He said, what? Yeah, I have a 16-year-old teenager who has his own driver's license now. It's like, you know, news flash, rite of passage not only for you but for me.

I am conscious that I have a short period of time to live on this earth. It might be over in a week for my life or your life. Or I might live many years. But you know what, in the scheme of eternity, it's only one life. Twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last. I want to maximize my time, or as the Bible says, redeem the time, for the days are evil. So I have a goal but I also have a process. And as I'm marching toward heaven, I don't want to swerve. I want to serve. I want to stay on target.

"For the Lord will not forsake," verse 22, "His people for His great namesake because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people." Oh, there's a lot of truth packed into that verse. The Lord has a reputation at stake. He has His name at stake. He has a name for reliability, faithfulness, mercy. He's not going to forsake you because He has a reputation to keep.

So God is going to work on your behalf because you're God's people. You remember years ago when Tylenol-- somebody poisoned bottles of Tylenol? Not only did Tylenol lose money, they lost their reputation. That was worse you mentioned Tylenol in those days, I'm not going to touch your Tylenol. And they didn't for a long time.

So God's reputation for faithfulness, for love, for mercy, for keeping His promises is at stake. So He's your God. He's going to see you through. You know, God has never been sued for breach of contract. You can rely upon His promises. He's going to keep His word.

And notice what it says in verse 22. "Because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people." Oh, I love that. Have you ever met somebody, they're a Christian, and so you look at them, you don't like them, you know them, now they're saved, and you have to deal with that? You have to deal with the fact that they were chosen by God. You wonder, what did God see in you? Answer, absolutely nothing. It's not the issue. It's not about you. None of us are irresistible. It's not like God stopped and said, oh, you are so special. You're so irresistible. I've got to choose you for salvation.

No, the Bible says plainly. God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. I am honored that He chose me. He didn't see anything in me. Deuteronomy, chapter 7, "The Lord said, I didn't set my love upon you because you were more in number than any other people or better than they were. I set my love upon you because I love you." That's interesting. I love you because I love you. That's the answer. God made a sovereign choice to choose Israel, to choose you for salvation. It has pleased God to make you his people.

Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you, but I will teach you the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all of your heart, for consider what great things He has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, you and your king."

Here's the sum up, summation of the chapter. Look what God has done for you, look at the plan of God for you, now serve Him with all of your heart. As I flip on my little video in my head and I look back on my own personal history, I see a rebellious teenager. Didn't get along with his parents, put holes in the doors of his house with his foot. Very angry, angry at authority.

And I see that young man by God's grace saved, how God took me just as I was. He didn't say, clean up your act first, boy, then I'll see if I want to take you. He said, come just as you are and then I'll clean you up. And I said yes to Him.

And I see that young man attending a church where I was taught the Bible by a pastor who loved the word of God and accepted people just like me. And I remember sitting on the floor of the Church for Bible studies. I'd come to 7:45 service on Sunday. I'd surf all day Sunday, and I'd come Sunday evening in my swimming trunks and my flip-flops and T-shirt. And I've told you this story-- before I walked in, I thought, man, they had me in mind when they built this church. I don't have to wear a suit and tie. I can come in swimming trunks. I can come right out of the beach. My hair was all-- but they loved me.

And I grew in the word. And then I asked a young lady named [? Lenya ?] to be my wife. And wonder of wonders, she said, maybe. No, she said, yes, I will. And then we moved here, and we had a son, a wonderful son, who's 16-- pray for me and him. He's driving now. And God let me do this.

So I look back on God's plan for my life, and I have only one conclusion. It only makes sense that I would want to serve Him with all my heart and nothing less, nothing less. And if you think of the plan that God has for you-- it's not fully realized yet, but as you walk in his ways, it will be-- the only logical response is, Lord, go for it. Use me. I'm going to serve you with all of my heart. Let's pray together.

Lord, we often talk about serving you. We even sing that in our songs, that we are your servants and that we want to serve you from our heart. Lord, tonight we have considered a nation and the words of a prophet and a judge to that nation who in essence said, look back, consider the plan of God for you, where you have come from, where you are going, what He has done for you, and that he has a good and perfect plan for your life. Therefore fear the Lord. Serve Him with all of your heart. Lord, that's logical. It's our reasonable service, Lord, to serve you, to turn our lives over to you.

Tonight, Lord, we've considered warfare. We have to admit, Lord, that there is a battle for souls going on-- not just a battle in Afghanistan or in other parts of the world or in Homeland Security, but there's a spiritual battle going on for the souls of men and women, in this brief hiatus we call a lifetime, a span of life. Lord, many of us have made the right choices, a choice to serve you, to fear you, to honor you, to be born again, to have our sins washed away, and then to be your instruments.

Lord, others, they could only be described as nominally a Christian, a Christian in name only, because they attend a church, or they were raised in a certain kind of a home. Or they have a basic tacit understanding or belief in God, generically but not personally, not authentically. Lord, I pray that you would win the battle tonight for the souls of some who have gathered, who look at this life and what it has to offer, and they are forced to admit, it's not enough. It's not enough. This world is not enough. There's got to be more.

And Father, we pray that tonight will be a night of surrendering to you wholeheartedly on your terms, that you would win the battle for their soul. You'd become their king, their conqueror. And as we're praying, if you're in this auditorium tonight, and Jesus Christ isn't your master, your Lord, your Savior on a personal level, I'm asking you tonight to give your life to Christ. If you want to do that, I want you to slip your hand up in the air right now, and I'll acknowledge your hand. And I will pray for you as we close this service. But you're saying, I am ready to surrender to Christ personally.

Additional Messages in this Series

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3/13/2002
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Why Me, Lord?
1 Samuel 1
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3/20/2002
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Generation Next?
1 Samuel 2
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3/27/2002
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God, Is That You?
1 Samuel 3
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4/3/2002
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Spiritual Superstitions
1 Samuel 4
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4/10/2002
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The Battle Of The gods!
1 Samuel 5-6
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4/24/2002
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Revival: Repentance Versus Conviction
1 Samuel 7
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5/1/2002
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A Tale Of Two Kingdoms
1 Samuel 8
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5/8/2002
completed
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Civic Duties Of A Christian
1 Samuel 9-10
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5/22/2002
completed
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The Downward Spiral Of A Leader
1 Samuel 13-15
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6/28/2002
completed
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Telling A Book By Its Cover
1 Samuel 16
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7/3/2002
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Overcoming Giant Problems
1 Samuel 17
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7/17/2002
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The Green Eyed Monster Of Envy
1 Samuel 18-19
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7/24/2002
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The Four Faces Of Friendship
1 Samuel 20
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7/31/2002
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The Fugitive
1 Samuel 21-22
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8/7/2002
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Who Is My Enemy?
1 Samuel 23-24
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8/21/2002
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Suffering With And Submitting To A Crazy King
1 Samuel 25
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8/28/2002
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Sorrow Without Repentence
1 Samuel 26-28
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9/4/2002
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Saul's Ending, David's Beginning
1 Samuel 29-31
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There are 18 additional messages in this series.
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