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Sermon: Tarentum, by Robert Johnson

The Election That God Lost:

I. Righteousness Exalteth A Nation, But Sin Is A Reproach To Any People. (Prov. 14:34)
II. The Day God Was Rejected As King:
III. Some Things We Can Learn From This Election:

A. This past week the American people exercised the privilege of voting for the one they want to be their country's leader for the next four years. (Results are still pending????).
B. Consider some of the reasons on which people based their decision to vote for one or the other:
1. Hope for financial gain: Tax relief, Social security, the benefits of more government programs(many voted to support their pocket books)
2. Loyalty to some human organization. (party).
3. Like or dislike of a candidate's personality.
4. Hope for greater military strength and support.
5. Desire to see more integrity in the office of president.
6. Desire for a leader who will stand against injustice and the shedding of innocent blood (abortion).
7. **At least one fourth of all American voters (1/2 of the 50% who voted) voted against these last two.
C.This election has brought to my mind an event in the Old Testament where the people of Israel made a decision to chose who would be their leader and reign over them in 1 Sam. 8:1ff.
1. They could have stayed with small government and a leader with unquestionable character and ability to guide them in all situations, especially in spiritual matters.
2. Or, to reject this proven means of government for a king who could fight their battles for them.
a. So they could be like all the nations around them. In the story of their decision we may learn some important lessons concerning our nation and our loyalty and service to God in His church.

I. Righteousness Exalteth A Nation, But Sin Is A Reproach To Any People. (Prov. 14:34)
A. The problem with a strong government is the people's tendency to put their trust in that government to solve all of their problems.
1. Many consider the government to be the rock of their salvation, even if the government supports unrighteousness. (They believe that economics will exalt a nation more than righteousness).
2. They fail to realize that no government can stand for long outside of God's favor:

Psa 94:20: "Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?"

B. In reality, only a people and nation who tremble at God's Word can continue in God's favor:

Isa 66:1-5: "Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? 2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. 3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. 4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. 5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed."

Psa 89:15-16: "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. 16 In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted."

C. While righteousness exalts a nation, unrighteousness is sure to bring the wrath of God:
1. Can a nation expect to be exalted by God if it continues to condone the shedding of innocent blood (abortion: a million a year)?

Deu 19:11-13: "But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities: 12 Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. 13 Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee." (What about a doctor lying in wait to kill a baby???)

Psa 94:20-23: "Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? 21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. 22 But the LORD is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge. 23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off."

Psa 106:36-41: "And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. 37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, 38 And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. 39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. 40 Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. 41 And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them."

Prov 6:16-19: "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."

2. A return to righteousness is the only thing that that can remove the guilt of innocent blood.

Deu 21:9: "So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD."

3. It was the shedding of innocent blood for political and personal gain which brought about the crucifixion of Jesus:

Mat 27:3-4: "Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that." (Those who will not vote against those who are pro-abortion share a similar attitude of disinterest).

D. I believe it is sin to separate our political thinking from our spiritual thinking.
1. Our laws may suggest the separation of religious principle and government, but God does not approve of such a separation.

Prov 3:5-6: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

2. In fact, it was Israel's failure to keep God's will supreme in matters of government and leadership which led to their destruction as a nation.
E. We must live (and vote) as those who regard a higher government for our true citizenship is in heaven.

Phil 3:20: "For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:"

II. The Day God Was Rejected As King:
READ: 1 Samuel 8:1-9
A. Since the days of Joshua, Israel had no king, but was governed by God and His law as administered by His spiritual servants.
1. The nation consulted judges and prophets, 1 Sam. 9:9) for direction in national matters.
2. God raised up Judges to deliver the nation from its enemies.
3. Fact is, they would not have needed deliverance if they would have remained faithful to God:

Deu 6:17-19: "Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. 18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, 19 To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken".

Judg 21:25: "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes."

B. Samuel was the last judge of Israel and he was the first to be both a judge and a prophet.
1. This combination provided both spiritual guidance and justice according to God's law.
2. When the Israelites rejected this form of leadership, they were rejecting an unreproachable leader.(Note: 1 Samuel 12:1-5)
3. God tells Samuel that he was not the first successful and righteous leader that the people had forsaken.

1 Sam 8:8: "According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee."

C. God tells Samuel to warn the people of the consequences of their choice of leadership (Warnings about big government) In 1 Samuel 8:10-18:
1. It will cost them their sons who will be assigned to military service.
2. It will result in slavery and forced labor to build up and support the military.
3. It will cost them their daughters who will be assigned to service as perfumers, cooks and bakers.
4. It will cost them their fields and vineyards which the king will give to his servants.
5. It will cost them their best male and female servants and animals which will be assigned to service to the king.
6. It will cost them a 10% tax (one tenth beyond the 10% which they were to devote to the temple).
7. It would make them slaves, to do the kings will.
D. "The will of the people" carries the day.

1 Sam 8:19-20: "Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles." (Really it was the electoral vote which enabled Israel to have their king: God's permitted it, but with objection).

III. Some Things We Can Learn From This Election:
A. We must learn to be content and satisfied with God's methods and times:
1. Despite what the world and culture does, we must respect God?rdained instructions for maintaining church government, marriage and the family.
2. We must not "change" the teachings and worship of the church to be more like the world, even if we feel that change is necessary to pull in larger numbers.
B. We must patiently trust God to be there when we need Him and not place our trust in anything that is upon the earth, even when we become discontent with God's timing and methods.

Psa 118:4-9: "Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever. 5 I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. 6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? 7 The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. 8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. 9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes."

1 Cor 10:13: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

2 Pet 2:9: "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:"

Phil 4:6-7: "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

C. We must learn that God does not approve of everything He permits!
1. God is patient and knows that we are dust, but His Word will ultimately be our judge.

Psa 78:39: "For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again."

John 12:48: "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

2. Many mistake God's permission to be God's approval, when God is really just patiently waiting and desiring that more would come to repentance.

2 Pet 3:9-10: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."

3. Though God let the people have their way, Samuel makes sure they know that their rejection of God and desire for a king is sin, and warns them that they and their king will fall if they do not remain faithful to God.

1 Sam 12:17-21: "Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king. 18 So Samuel called unto 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 unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king. 20 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; 21 And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain."

D. Choosing our own ways over God's ways is sin and will bring many difficult consequences into our lives.

Psa 34:11-22: "Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. 14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. 16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. 20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. 22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate."

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