Freedom: The Right to Choose, But You Live With the Consequences

Text — 1 Samuel 8:1-22; 12:10-15


  1. Introduction
    1. Have you heard the story about the young man who sowed his wild oats and then prayed for crop failure?
    2. On the other hand, are you getting fed up with people who keep restricting our choices because they think it’s not good for us?
    3. Last week we opened a new series “Stories that Shaped our Theology.” Last week we discussed “Freedom,” and the fact that liberty is an unalienable right granted to us by our Creator.
    4. We mentioned that there is a difference between liberty and license. This is general knowledge. However, in our society we have a tendency to miss the truth that freedom comes with responsibility and that there are consequences to our choices. God makes this very clear. Here’s the story that open my eyes to this truth about freedom.
  2. The story
    1. Samuel, a good judge in Israel, had grown old. He turned the judging responsibilities over to his sons.
    2. His sons, however, did not have integrity. They took bribes and did things to take advantage of their position.
    3. The elders of Israel came to Samuel and ask that they be given a king.
    4. Samuel was understandably upset. He took it personally. When he went to the Lord about it God told him, ““Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other Gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”
    5. So, Samuel informed the people of the consequences of this decision.
    6. However, the people would not listen. Samuel returned and reported to the Lord the decision of the people. God said fine. Samuel sent them home.
    7. Through a series of events Saul son of Kish was anointed by Samuel to be king.
      1. In his first act as king he led Israel to a might victory over the Ammonites.
    8. At the celebration following that victory Samuel gave his farewell address. In his address he gave these words, “But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule over us’ – even though the Lord your God was your king. Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the Lord has set a king over you. If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and your king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God – good! But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.”
    9. For the most part neither the people nor the kings served the Lord. The end result was that they lost their land, their beautiful temple and their freedom. They lost their freedom in 586 BC and never regained it until 1949 AD.
  3. Consequences
    1. Notice, God allowed the people to choose the form of government they wanted. However, they would live with the consequences of their choice.
    2. He allowed the decisions as long as served Him, and both the people and the king had to live according to his laws and statutes.
      1. Freedom comes with the responsibility to live within the boundaries God set. Those boundaries are for our protection and the protection of those around us.
      2. The amount of freedom any people have is directly proportional to their virtue and their knowledge
    3. Wisdom is all about good and bad choices.
    4. People make bad decisions and the result is that a lot of people get hurt.
      1. What about the children?
      2. When we protect people from the consequences of their sins we become enablers.