Bible Teaching from Pastor Paul Edwards
A Man of God's Own Choosing
September 17, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 16:1–13
What does it mean that "God looks on the heart"? Not what we think it means. Samuel announced to Saul that the Lord had rejected him as king and "sought him a man after his own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14). Later, the Lord told Samuel that "the Lord sees not as man sees...the Lord looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). It is GOD's heart - God's will, purpose, and intentions - that is in view in the choosing of David - not the character of David.
July 30, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 15:24–35
Confronted by Samuel with his sinful disobedience to the Lord's command to "utterly destroy" the Amalekites, King Saul offers "reputable repentance" in response. Saul is more concerned with saving face with the leaders of Israel and his people than he is with recognizing the seriousness of what his disobedience has done to God's reputation, as well as his own relationship with the Lord. Saul says, "I have sinned, yet honor me." Saul wants a repentance that allows him to admit he's done a bad thing, yet believes he can still worship God without a genuine turning from his sin. Sadly, we hold to the same error, believing we can continue our sinning ways through the week while singing God's praise on Sunday with no real conviction or repentance.
July 23, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 15:7–23
Saul's reckless disregard for the word of the Lord lead to an obstinate contradiction of the word of the Lord and ended in a fatal rejection of the word of the Lord. This is the downward progression every person takes who has no regard for the word of the Lord. They go their own way, and the way that seems right to a man is the way that ends in death.
The Problem of God's Retribution
July 16, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards
How do we reconcile what we know of God's mercy and forgiveness with his command in 1 Samuel 15:3 to "utterly destroy" the Amalekites, a command which includes not sparing even women, infants, and young children? This is the problem of God's retribution, and it has been a stumbling block to so many, causing them to see God as capricious and vindictive. But a closer look at the text reveals quite the opposite.
Strolls the Pretender
July 9, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards
Israel is looking for a leader. God is looking for a leader. The leader Israel wants is a king like all the other nations. The leader God wants is a man after his own heart. 1 Samuel 14 is a study in contrasts between these two leaders in the persons of Saul and his son Jonathan. Jonathan displays a heart of unflinching trust in God while Saul displays all the outward forms of religious ritual, but has a heart that is far from God.
Saul Sitting, Jonathan Slaying, the Lord Saving
July 2, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 14:1–23
The Book of 1 Samuel has as it's underlying theme leadership. When it opens, there is no king in Israel; every man is doing that which is right in his own eyes. There is a vacuum of leadership. God is looking for a leader, and so are the people of Israel. But what Israel is looking for in a leader and what God is looking for in a leader are in stark contrast. And no place is that contrast more on display than in the person of young Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14.
A Disobedient Fool in King Saul's Court
June 25, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 13
The story in 1 Samuel 13 serves as an illustration of what happens when we we allow our circumstances to determine our responses rather than the word of God. Saul finds himself in dire straits, and he ignores God's command to wait for Samuel to give him instruction, and the result is a lack of clear direction leading to foolishness.
Coram Deo: Before the Lord
June 18, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 11:14–15, 1 Samuel 12:1–7
In 1 Samuel 10, 11, and 12 the phrase "before the Lord" recurs several times. It is a reminder to us that we live every moment of our lives in the presence of God, under the authority of God, and for the glory of God.
Renewing the Kingdom
June 11, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 12
In 1 Samuel 12, Samuel summons all Israel to Gilgal where a courtroom scene unfolds. First Samuel is the defendant, and then the nation of Israel. Samuel is acquitted. Israel is condemned. But there's a surprise ending to this drama.
A Solemn Assembly at Gilgal
May 28, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 11:12–15
The question on the minds and lips of the people of Israel is the question everyone of us must answer: "Can this man save us?" Saul's victory over Nahash the Ammonite is an Old Testament portrait of the greater victory of Christ Jesus the Lord over our enemy, that old serpent, the devil
Seeking a Savior
May 21, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 10:26–27, 1 Samuel 11
The people had a Savior in God, whom they rejected (1 Samuel 10:19). In His mercy, God gave them a savior in the king they demanded (1 Samuel 9:16) whom they also rejected (1 Samuel 10:27). And now the people are confronted with the tyrant from Ammon, Nabash, and they immediately go in search for a man who can save them (1 Samuel 11:3), all the while God is at work in His mercy to Himself once again come to the rescue of His rebellious people (`1 Samuel 11:13).
Surprised by Gibeah
May 14, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • Judges 19, 1 Samuel 10:24–27
In 1 Samuel 8, the people have asked for a king "like all the nations around them." In 1 Samuel 9, a young man who thinks he is searching for his father's lost donkeys has actually found the Prophet Samuel with whom he has a private audience where he learns that God has chosen him to be Israel's first king, but he will NOT be a king like other kings, much to the dismay of some "worthless men." As we come to know obscure young man from the least of all the tribes of Israel, the most shocking revelation may be in today's text.
God Save the King
May 7, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 10:24–27
On May 6, 2023 the world witnessed the Coronation of King Charles III. When the crown was placed upon his head, the gathered congregation in Westminster Abbey shouted, "God save the king!" In the providence of God, the series we began in 1 Samuel more than six months ago brings us to 1 Samuel 10:24 on this day after the coronation of King Charles where another congregation gathered for the coronation of the first king of Israel. They were the first to shout, "God save the king!" But there are some troubling differences between the coronation of King Saul and the coronation of King Charles III.
The Matter of the Kingdom, Part 2
April 30, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 10:17–24, Joshua 7:10–15
In 1 Samuel 10:17, Samuel calls the people of Israel together at Mizpeh. The last time he called them to Mizpeh (1 Samuel 7), he prayed for them as an intercessor. This time he will preach to them a three point sermon as their prophet/pastor: what God did for them, what the people did in response to what God did for them, and what God will now do in response to the people. The sermon seems to have Saul under conviction, because when it comes time to introduce him to the people as their first king, he's no where to be found. What is Saul running from?
The Matter of the Kingdom, Part 1
April 23, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 9:25–27, 1 Samuel 10:1–16
At the end of chapter 9 of 1 Samuel, Samuel has a private conversation with Saul to show him the word of God as it relates to "the matter of the kingdom. We are not privy to the details of that word, but what follows in chapter 10 are three encounters Saul will have in one day which will serve as signs validating the word of God spoken to him by Samuel.
Saul Still Hasn't Found What He's Looking For
April 16, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards • 1 Samuel 9:15–24
Saul has been commissioned by his father to crisscross the land in search of lost donkey's, unaware that God is ordering his steps in a way that even he will find unimaginable. While we are going about the mundane routine of our lives, God is always at work in mysterious ways to bring us to His eternal purposes for us.
Saul Searching: Lost Donkeys and the Providence of God
April 2, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards
1 Samuel 9 is a vignette of sorts which introduces us to the protagonist in the story of 1 Samuel, the man who will eventually become king, Saul the son of Kish. This chapter is a story within a story: the story which is visible to us and seems to concern only a mundane search for lost donkeys; and the story which is invisible to us, the story of God's providential ordering of the steps of Saul to Samuel and to the throne.
A Solemn Protest
March 19, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards
The people have asked for a king, but the kind of king they will get is not the kind of king God desires for them to have. In 1 Samuel 8 the leaders of Israel are looking for national security in the person of a human king rather than in the covenant promises of Yahweh.
Give Us a King!
March 5, 2023 • Pastor Paul Edwards
Chapter 8 begins a new section of 1 Samuel which runs through chapter 16. Here in this chapter we are face to face with the anxious circumstances which led the leaders of Israel to approach Samuel with a demand for a king like all the surrounding nations. This story illustrates for us what happens when we let our circumstances dictate our responses without regard to our faith in God.