Turn Not Aside

19/05/2019 13:27

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Date: 14 May, 2019
Text: 1 Samuel 12:20-25
Title: Turn Not Aside
 
Introduction:
 
A couple of weeks ago Emperor Akihito: Japanese monarch declared his abdication from the throne.
On the day of his final ministry as Emporer he gave a last public address to the people of Japan - whom he had served as emperor for 30 years.
"I am deeply grateful for the people that accepted me as a symbol and supported me," he said.
"I sincerely wish, together with the empress, that the Reiwa era which begins tomorrow will be a stable and fruitful one," he added. "I pray, with all my heart, for peace and happiness for all the people in Japan and around the world."
 exp. Unsuprisingly, he expressed his deep desire for Japan to have peace and happiness.
 
note: Our text is a final address. It is not that of an emperor but of a prophet, Samuel. Who had served the nation of Israel from childhood until old age.
 
1  And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.
2  And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.
 
exp. Samuel had carried the spiritual burden of Israel before the Lord all his life. In his farewell address - he too wants peace and happiness for God's people and so he tells them....
TURN NOT ASIDE FROM FOLLOWING JEHOVAH. 
 
He had not turned aside from following Jehovah in all the years of his ministry.
3  Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.
4  And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man's hand.
5  And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.
 exp. Last week we considered that his sons turned aside and took bribes. But he had not. He like Paul could say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:" 
- 2 Timothy 4:7
 
 He reminds them that Israel as a nation had turned aside from following Jehovah.
9  And when they forgat the LORD their God, (turned aside) he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.
exp. Samuel's great desire as an old servant of the LORD was that God's people NOT TURN ASIDE FROM FOLLOW JEHOVAH.
 
ill. I am not that old. However, I'm old enough to have seen many in my generation turn aside from following God as they ought to follow God.
- They are turning aside from personal holiness and separation.
- They are turning aside from church attendance and canceling church services.
- They are turning aside from hymn singing replacing it with worship leaders etc.
- They are turning aside looking for new English translations of the Bible.
- They are turning aside to join hands with liberals and turning back the clock on fundamentalism (separation from liberalism).
- They are turning aside from clear Bible preaching that confronts the world and turning to music and ministry styles that cater to the world.
- Many are just turning away from God completely to walk after the world. 
 
Jer 6:16  Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
 exp. If they refuse to walk in those old paths of Jehovah God - they have turned aside from following Him.
 
My message this morning - turn not aside from following God.
 
I. Turn not aside - follow Jehovah with purpose.
note: purpose is what keeps us from turning aside.
 ill. Hearing Layton Kelly speak on this subject of "Purpose" and Logan couldn't figure out what a porpoise (dolphin) had to do with his message. 
exp. Layton is a favourite preacher at men's camp. Lord willing, he'll be here in the near future to preach at our church.
def. purpose - a person's sense of resolve or determination.
chorus: "I have decided to follow Jesus... no turning back.... though none go with me still I will follow.... the world behind me the cross before me.... no turning back....."
 note: Samuel wanted Israel to resolve with determination to give God THEIR PAST, THEIR PRESENT, AND THEIR FUTURE.
A. Purpose to give God your past.
20  And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD
exp. Israel had recently messed up in following God. They had sinned against God by rejecting Him for an earthly king.
12  And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king.
13  Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.
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.
exp. They had a king and had to live with it. However, they didn't have to live a failure. Despite THEIR PAST choice to take a king they needed to FOLLOW GOD.
ill. Here is something you may not know - I've got three kidneys. Because of that I was not allowed to play contact sports competetively. No American football or Basketball. I played volleyball - high school and Inter Mural (societies) - at Uni. When you are competing in any sport - you have to be able to forget mistakes. You don't get negative and go hard on a player who messed up. You encourage them to get back at it and focus on the present. If you focus on your past - you mess up your present.
exp. You got to deal with the error and then let it go.
question: Have you messed up in following God? Deal with it with Jesus blood and let it go!
Philippians 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 app. If you want to follow Jehovah - PURPOSE TO GIVE GOD YOUR PAST. Don't let Satan drag it in front of you - IF IT IS UNDER THE BLOOD - IT HAS BEEN CLEANSED BY THE POWER OF GOD. Leave it where God left it - UNDER THE BLOOD!
B. Purpose to give God your present.
yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;
Ill. You live in the present. I was walking and having prayer the other morning. I told the Lord that sometimes I just want to hit the pause button in life. But, like the road under me, when I stop, the scenery stops. The moment is where we live. The present is a nano second that keeps going into the past as the future comes at us.
exp. You need to serve God with all your heart now.... and now.... and now.
ill. Logan had craniosynostocis as an infant. At 6 months old he had major surgery. Dr. Morasco - his surgeon, had spinabiffada. She stood on a stool to perform surgery. Her heart was in her work because she knew what it was like to have a need that operation could meet.
 exp. When med school got tough - she didn't quit - her heart was in it. When her schedule gets tough - she doesn't quit because her heart is in it.
question: Is your heart in following God? Right now? Have been more zealous for God in the past or are you SERVING JEHOVAH WITH ALL YOUR HEART.
 app. Serving God gets tough all the time. How can you keep from quitting if you aren't serving God WITH ALL YOUR HEART IN THE PRESENT? Give God your present.
C. Purpose to give God your future.
ill. Samuel's has set out the choice of futures very clearly to Israel. 
14  If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:
exp. Fear him, serve him, obey him, don't rebel against his commands - and you will keep following the Lord! AND HE WILL BE FOR YOU!
15  But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.
exp. warning - IF NOT - God will be against you.
note: Samuel's advice for the future - GIVE IT TO GOD! 21  And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.
 exp. If you want to waste your life - go after what God forbids. THEY ARE EMPTY AND VAIN.
 Ill. Stopped my run the other morning to invite two young men to the football tournament. - (14 year old smoking) They don't play footall. "It would be better for you than that. You know that is illegal. That doesn't bother you? It's going to kill you."
exp. What a waste of a young man's lungs and life. Vainly puffing a cigarrette. (He told me (perhaps just being cheeky) that he'd come to church - pray that he would.) 
ill. The Gospel train - went through the Shore workshop - Benson cut out the smokestack and wheels, Kay Lee primed it, all the kids painted it - Kay Lee also designed the lettering and cut out the stencils with her machine. I almost didn't use one of her cutouts.... why would that have disappointed her - she worked hard on preparing it and getting it ready. It was vain if it wasn't used.
 app. If you are living your life for anything or anyone other than God, it is vain. Wasted minutes, days, years - you could have done something of value for God's glory - but you didn't. GIVE GOD YOUR FUTURE! YOUR PRESENT! YOUR PAST!
 
II. Turn not aside - follow Jehovah with privilige. 
 note: Why turn aside when you are in such a place of privilige?
exp. Solomon isn't speaking to people who don't know about God or know God. He is speaking to those who do know about God and should know God.
note: He wasn't trying to get them into the household. He wanted to keep them from leaving.
A. You are priviliged to be His people.
22  For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.
exp. They were God's covenant people. God had rescued and restored them many times.
10  And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.
11  And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.
  exp. God had lovingly kept them as His covenant people and had always been ready to welcome them when they turned to him. THEY WERE HIS PEOPLE.
ill. In our wealthy democratic societies - it is sad to find people who are embittered against their nation.
USA - players kneeling during the national anthem. Other's burning the flag. Other's degrading the nations military, protesting how underpriviliged they are - when so many in the world really know what poverty is.... entitlement when they are given so much.... 
exp. How can you complain - don't you understand what you have - I've often thought - if you don't like it - you are welcome to leave.
app. You are welcome to TURN ASIDE and leave - but why would you do that? God has chosen you. God has set his name upon you. God is pleased to have you as His children. God has blessed you and cared for you.
B. You are priviliged to have His answered prayers.
23  Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: 
 exp. Samuel seemed like the bad guys to Israel. Similarly to what Paul had said, " Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Gal. 4:16 
exp. Paul and Samuel weren't against God's people - they were desperate to see them living in victory. 
note: Even those who were Paul's national people (the Jews) who were against God - Paul would have them come to God. He prayed for them.
Rom 10:1  Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
note: God is for you! God's people are for you! Don't turn aside thinking GOD IS AGAINST ME - THAT PREACHER IS AGAINST ME!
 App. No - you are priviliged - God and His preachers are FOR YOU - praying for God to help you TURN NOT ASIDE! You are priviliged if you are God's people! TURN NOT ASIDE - REMEMBER YOUR PRIVILIGE.
 
 III. Turn not aside - follow Jehovah with protection.
note: There will be temptation to turn aside - or Samuel's last words are vain. What could protect Israel (and us) from turning aside?
A. Be protected by Scripture.
but I will teach you the good and the right way:
exp. IF YOU ARE TEACHABLE, God's messenger and God's Word will protect you from turning aside.
 ill. Our church in GA - a couple who each had a doctorate. One of their son's made it as a finalist on the national geography B representing Georgia. The other son graduated from BJU in three years with a double major in piano performance and medicine. THEY HAD AN APPETITE FOR KNOWLEDGE AND WERE READY TO BE TAUGHT. The university was ready to meet their appetite.
question: If you have an appetite for truth of God - GOD has a table full of food for the teachable.
Mat 5:6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
ill. Preachers love a teachable audience. Paul did....
Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
exp. These weren't skeptics. These were ready to "run the way of God's commandments when he would enlarge their hearts." If it was backed up by Scriptures they were ready to take it on board.
 note: This church and this preacher can only help people who are teachable.
Pro 9:8  Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Pro 13:1  A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
 app. God's Word will protect you from turning away - IF you are teachable.
B. Be protected by submission.
24  Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart:
note: Don't you like simple truths.
 ill. Running with Benson (biking) up to Loganlea Reservoir. Passing the first reservoir and reading, "Warning - deaths occur at reservoirs." Simple truth - don't jump in the water. 
note: In case you want to boil down - turn not away - into a simple positive truth - ONLY FEAR THE LORD - the serving him in truth with all your heart will flow out of that.
14  If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:
 exp. Just fear God and you won't turn away from God.
Pro 8:13  The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Pro 14:27  The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
ill. Samuel's object lesson  TO HELP ISRAEL FEAR GOD.
16  Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.
17  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.
 exp. I can't repeat this object lesson today - nor would you want me to be able to do so. God has recorded it for us. Fear God.
app. God will have no trouble dealing with you if you turn away. DON'T DO IT. Fear him and submit to His authority in your life. If you are in sin today - YOU DON'T FEAR GOD. Psalm 36:1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
 
 
V. Turn not aside - follow Jehovah with pondering.
Pro 4:26  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
 note: pondering (is thinking/reasoning) Stopping to think can keep you from turning aside. 
ill. When Joseph was tempted by Potipher's wife - his thoughts kept him from turning aside.
Gen 39:9  There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
 ill. Job pondered his decision to guard his eyes.
Job 31:1  I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
exp. Both men could have turned aside into moral failure - but as they pondered the problem and reasoned that they would obey God.
A. Ponder God's goodness.
for consider how great things he hath done for you.
exp. Before you depart to try to meet your own fleshly needs, stop and think about how well God has met your needs.
ill. The prodigal son should have stopped to think about how good he had it. He had a nice home. He had plenty of provision. He had security in a protective environment. What he longed for was a mirage. IT SEEMED SO GOOD - TO TURN OFF THE PATH - it wasn't.
exp. God had been very good in caring for Israel.
6  And Samuel said unto the people, It is the LORD that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
7  Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers.
8  When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place.
 app. God has done great things for you. Satan wants you to get discouraged and quit God. (DON'T) The God who did great things for you - will do great things for you - if you wait on Him.
B. Ponder God's displeasure.
25  But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.
exp. Ok Israel - I've tried - TURN NOT ASIDE. But, if you do anyway.... you will SUFFER THE WRATH OF A RIGHTEOUS GOD.
 ill. I have an older brother, Jonathan, and a younger sister, Rachael. By God's grace, all of us are faithfully serving God. I remember my dad and mum telling us - follow Jehovah. But, if not, know this - we are praying that God would just take you home to Heaven than to let you live in disobedience to Him.
 app. Why suffer God's wrath - when you can have his blessing - THINK ABOUT IT - PONDER IT - stay in the path of obedience. Pro 4:26  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
 
conclusion: 
Samuel has concluded his final address. HE DEARLY WANTS ISRAEL TO TAKE THIS MESSAGE TO HEART AND TURN NOT ASIDE FROM FOLLOWING JEHOVAH.
Turn not aside....
1.) ...follow Jehovah with purpose. (resolve to) give him your past, present and future.
2.) ...follow Jehovah with privilige. You are God's people. He favours you.
3.) ...follow Jehoavh with portection. Scripture, Submission
4.) ...follow Jehovah with pondering. God's goodness, God's displeasure.

Date: 14 May, 2019

Text: 1 Samuel 12:20-25

Title: Turn Not Aside

 

Introduction:

 

A couple of weeks ago Emperor Akihito: Japanese monarch declared his abdication from the throne.

On the day of his final ministry as Emporer he gave a last public address to the people of Japan - whom he had served as emperor for 30 years.

"I am deeply grateful for the people that accepted me as a symbol and supported me," he said.

"I sincerely wish, together with the empress, that the Reiwa era which begins tomorrow will be a stable and fruitful one," he added. "I pray, with all my heart, for peace and happiness for all the people in Japan and around the world."

 exp. Unsuprisingly, he expressed his deep desire for Japan to have peace and happiness.

 

note: Our text is a final address. It is not that of an emperor but of a prophet, Samuel. Who had served the nation of Israel from childhood until old age.

 

1  And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.

2  And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.

 

exp. Samuel had carried the spiritual burden of Israel before the Lord all his life. In his farewell address - he too wants peace and happiness for God's people and so he tells them....

TURN NOT ASIDE FROM FOLLOWING JEHOVAH. 

 

He had not turned aside from following Jehovah in all the years of his ministry.

3  Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.

4  And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man's hand.

5  And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.

 exp. Last week we considered that his sons turned aside and took bribes. But he had not. He like Paul could say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:" 

- 2 Timothy 4:7

 

 He reminds them that Israel as a nation had turned aside from following Jehovah.

9  And when they forgat the LORD their God, (turned aside) he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.

exp. Samuel's great desire as an old servant of the LORD was that God's people NOT TURN ASIDE FROM FOLLOW JEHOVAH.

 

ill. I am not that old. However, I'm old enough to have seen many in my generation turn aside from following God as they ought to follow God.

- They are turning aside from personal holiness and separation.

- They are turning aside from church attendance and canceling church services.

- They are turning aside from hymn singing replacing it with worship leaders etc.

- They are turning aside looking for new English translations of the Bible.

- They are turning aside to join hands with liberals and turning back the clock on fundamentalism (separation from liberalism).

- They are turning aside from clear Bible preaching that confronts the world and turning to music and ministry styles that cater to the world.

- Many are just turning away from God completely to walk after the world. 

 

Jer 6:16  Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

 exp. If they refuse to walk in those old paths of Jehovah God - they have turned aside from following Him.

 

My message this morning - turn not aside from following God.

 

I. Turn not aside - follow Jehovah with purpose.

note: purpose is what keeps us from turning aside.

 ill. Hearing Layton Kelly speak on this subject of "Purpose" and Logan couldn't figure out what a porpoise (dolphin) had to do with his message. 

exp. Layton is a favourite preacher at men's camp. Lord willing, he'll be here in the near future to preach at our church.

def. purpose - a person's sense of resolve or determination.

chorus: "I have decided to follow Jesus... no turning back.... though none go with me still I will follow.... the world behind me the cross before me.... no turning back....."

 note: Samuel wanted Israel to resolve with determination to give God THEIR PAST, THEIR PRESENT, AND THEIR FUTURE.

A. Purpose to give God your past.

20  And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD

exp. Israel had recently messed up in following God. They had sinned against God by rejecting Him for an earthly king.

12  And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king.

13  Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.

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.

exp. They had a king and had to live with it. However, they didn't have to live a failure. Despite THEIR PAST choice to take a king they needed to FOLLOW GOD.

ill. Here is something you may not know - I've got three kidneys. Because of that I was not allowed to play contact sports competetively. No American football or Basketball. I played volleyball - high school and Inter Mural (societies) - at Uni. When you are competing in any sport - you have to be able to forget mistakes. You don't get negative and go hard on a player who messed up. You encourage them to get back at it and focus on the present. If you focus on your past - you mess up your present.

exp. You got to deal with the error and then let it go.

question: Have you messed up in following God? Deal with it with Jesus blood and let it go!

Philippians 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 app. If you want to follow Jehovah - PURPOSE TO GIVE GOD YOUR PAST. Don't let Satan drag it in front of you - IF IT IS UNDER THE BLOOD - IT HAS BEEN CLEANSED BY THE POWER OF GOD. Leave it where God left it - UNDER THE BLOOD!

B. Purpose to give God your present.

yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;

Ill. You live in the present. I was walking and having prayer the other morning. I told the Lord that sometimes I just want to hit the pause button in life. But, like the road under me, when I stop, the scenery stops. The moment is where we live. The present is a nano second that keeps going into the past as the future comes at us.

exp. You need to serve God with all your heart now.... and now.... and now.

ill. Logan had craniosynostocis as an infant. At 6 months old he had major surgery. Dr. Morasco - his surgeon, had spinabiffada. She stood on a stool to perform surgery. Her heart was in her work because she knew what it was like to have a need that operation could meet.

 exp. When med school got tough - she didn't quit - her heart was in it. When her schedule gets tough - she doesn't quit because her heart is in it.

question: Is your heart in following God? Right now? Have been more zealous for God in the past or are you SERVING JEHOVAH WITH ALL YOUR HEART.

 app. Serving God gets tough all the time. How can you keep from quitting if you aren't serving God WITH ALL YOUR HEART IN THE PRESENT? Give God your present.

C. Purpose to give God your future.

ill. Samuel's has set out the choice of futures very clearly to Israel. 

14  If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:

exp. Fear him, serve him, obey him, don't rebel against his commands - and you will keep following the Lord! AND HE WILL BE FOR YOU!

15  But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.

exp. warning - IF NOT - God will be against you.

note: Samuel's advice for the future - GIVE IT TO GOD! 21  And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

 exp. If you want to waste your life - go after what God forbids. THEY ARE EMPTY AND VAIN.

 Ill. Stopped my run the other morning to invite two young men to the football tournament. - (14 year old smoking) They don't play footall. "It would be better for you than that. You know that is illegal. That doesn't bother you? It's going to kill you."

exp. What a waste of a young man's lungs and life. Vainly puffing a cigarrette. (He told me (perhaps just being cheeky) that he'd come to church - pray that he would.) 

ill. The Gospel train - went through the Shore workshop - Benson cut out the smokestack and wheels, Kay Lee primed it, all the kids painted it - Kay Lee also designed the lettering and cut out the stencils with her machine. I almost didn't use one of her cutouts.... why would that have disappointed her - she worked hard on preparing it and getting it ready. It was vain if it wasn't used.

 app. If you are living your life for anything or anyone other than God, it is vain. Wasted minutes, days, years - you could have done something of value for God's glory - but you didn't. GIVE GOD YOUR FUTURE! YOUR PRESENT! YOUR PAST!

 

II. Turn not aside - follow Jehovah with privilige. 

 note: Why turn aside when you are in such a place of privilige?

exp. Solomon isn't speaking to people who don't know about God or know God. He is speaking to those who do know about God and should know God.

note: He wasn't trying to get them into the household. He wanted to keep them from leaving.

A. You are priviliged to be His people.

22  For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.

exp. They were God's covenant people. God had rescued and restored them many times.

10  And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.

11  And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.

  exp. God had lovingly kept them as His covenant people and had always been ready to welcome them when they turned to him. THEY WERE HIS PEOPLE.

ill. In our wealthy democratic societies - it is sad to find people who are embittered against their nation.

USA - players kneeling during the national anthem. Other's burning the flag. Other's degrading the nations military, protesting how underpriviliged they are - when so many in the world really know what poverty is.... entitlement when they are given so much.... 

exp. How can you complain - don't you understand what you have - I've often thought - if you don't like it - you are welcome to leave.

app. You are welcome to TURN ASIDE and leave - but why would you do that? God has chosen you. God has set his name upon you. God is pleased to have you as His children. God has blessed you and cared for you.

B. You are priviliged to have His answered prayers.

23  Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: 

 exp. Samuel seemed like the bad guys to Israel. Similarly to what Paul had said, " Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Gal. 4:16 

exp. Paul and Samuel weren't against God's people - they were desperate to see them living in victory. 

note: Even those who were Paul's national people (the Jews) who were against God - Paul would have them come to God. He prayed for them.

Rom 10:1  Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

note: God is for you! God's people are for you! Don't turn aside thinking GOD IS AGAINST ME - THAT PREACHER IS AGAINST ME!

 App. No - you are priviliged - God and His preachers are FOR YOU - praying for God to help you TURN NOT ASIDE! You are priviliged if you are God's people! TURN NOT ASIDE - REMEMBER YOUR PRIVILIGE.

 

 III. Turn not aside - follow Jehovah with protection.

note: There will be temptation to turn aside - or Samuel's last words are vain. What could protect Israel (and us) from turning aside?

A. Be protected by Scripture.

but I will teach you the good and the right way:

exp. IF YOU ARE TEACHABLE, God's messenger and God's Word will protect you from turning aside.

 ill. Our church in GA - a couple who each had a doctorate. One of their son's made it as a finalist on the national geography B representing Georgia. The other son graduated from BJU in three years with a double major in piano performance and medicine. THEY HAD AN APPETITE FOR KNOWLEDGE AND WERE READY TO BE TAUGHT. The university was ready to meet their appetite.

question: If you have an appetite for truth of God - GOD has a table full of food for the teachable.

Mat 5:6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

ill. Preachers love a teachable audience. Paul did....

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

exp. These weren't skeptics. These were ready to "run the way of God's commandments when he would enlarge their hearts." If it was backed up by Scriptures they were ready to take it on board.

 note: This church and this preacher can only help people who are teachable.

Pro 9:8  Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

Pro 13:1  A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

 app. God's Word will protect you from turning away - IF you are teachable.

B. Be protected by submission.

24  Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart:

note: Don't you like simple truths.

 ill. Running with Benson (biking) up to Loganlea Reservoir. Passing the first reservoir and reading, "Warning - deaths occur at reservoirs." Simple truth - don't jump in the water. 

note: In case you want to boil down - turn not away - into a simple positive truth - ONLY FEAR THE LORD - the serving him in truth with all your heart will flow out of that.

14  If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:

 exp. Just fear God and you won't turn away from God.

Pro 8:13  The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Pro 14:27  The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

ill. Samuel's object lesson  TO HELP ISRAEL FEAR GOD.

16  Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.

17  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.

 exp. I can't repeat this object lesson today - nor would you want me to be able to do so. God has recorded it for us. Fear God.

app. God will have no trouble dealing with you if you turn away. DON'T DO IT. Fear him and submit to His authority in your life. If you are in sin today - YOU DON'T FEAR GOD. Psalm 36:1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

 

 

V. Turn not aside - follow Jehovah with pondering.

Pro 4:26  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

 note: pondering (is thinking/reasoning) Stopping to think can keep you from turning aside. 

ill. When Joseph was tempted by Potipher's wife - his thoughts kept him from turning aside.

Gen 39:9  There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

 ill. Job pondered his decision to guard his eyes.

Job 31:1  I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

exp. Both men could have turned aside into moral failure - but as they pondered the problem and reasoned that they would obey God.

A. Ponder God's goodness.

for consider how great things he hath done for you.

exp. Before you depart to try to meet your own fleshly needs, stop and think about how well God has met your needs.

ill. The prodigal son should have stopped to think about how good he had it. He had a nice home. He had plenty of provision. He had security in a protective environment. What he longed for was a mirage. IT SEEMED SO GOOD - TO TURN OFF THE PATH - it wasn't.

exp. God had been very good in caring for Israel.

6  And Samuel said unto the people, It is the LORD that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.

7  Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers.

8  When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place.

 app. God has done great things for you. Satan wants you to get discouraged and quit God. (DON'T) The God who did great things for you - will do great things for you - if you wait on Him.

B. Ponder God's displeasure.

25  But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.

exp. Ok Israel - I've tried - TURN NOT ASIDE. But, if you do anyway.... you will SUFFER THE WRATH OF A RIGHTEOUS GOD.

 ill. I have an older brother, Jonathan, and a younger sister, Rachael. By God's grace, all of us are faithfully serving God. I remember my dad and mum telling us - follow Jehovah. But, if not, know this - we are praying that God would just take you home to Heaven than to let you live in disobedience to Him.

 app. Why suffer God's wrath - when you can have his blessing - THINK ABOUT IT - PONDER IT - stay in the path of obedience. Pro 4:26  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

 

conclusion: 

Samuel has concluded his final address. HE DEARLY WANTS ISRAEL TO TAKE THIS MESSAGE TO HEART AND TURN NOT ASIDE FROM FOLLOWING JEHOVAH.

Turn not aside....

1.) ...follow Jehovah with purpose. (resolve to) give him your past, present and future.

2.) ...follow Jehovah with privilige. You are God's people. He favours you.

3.) ...follow Jehoavh with portection. Scripture, Submission

4.) ...follow Jehovah with pondering. God's goodness, God's displeasure.

 

Have you turned aside or have you followed? Are you following? Will you follow?

Have you turned aside or have you followed? Are you following? Will you follow?