1 Samuel 13:11-12 - Different Types Of Excuses

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Last week we looked at the “Early Success of King Saul”.  We read how Saul “chose for himself” (v2) 3,000 men of Israel.  Jonathan, Saul’s son attacked the garrison of the Philistines and gained victory (v.3), but Saul easily takes the credit for another mans victory.  We begin to see Saul’s decline. 

Earlier in Chapter 10, Samuel had anointed Saul, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul, and he became another man.  Samuel gives Saul some strict instructions concerning what he is to do:

“And you shall go down before me to Gilgal; and behold, I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings.  You shall wait seven days until I come to you and show you what you should do.” (1 Samuel 10:8)

Saul was given strict instructions, however he did not obey.  When Samuel does come at the appointed time and confronts Saul with his disobedience, Saul begins to make excuses:

"As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him and to greet him. But Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, therefore I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked the favor of the Lord.’  So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.”" (1 Samuel 13:10-12)

Saul offered an excuse for not obeying the Lord God!  I don’t care what you say; there is never an acceptable excuse for disobeying the Lord.

You remember Peter when the Jesus was going to wash Peters feet, Peter said, “Never shall you wash my feet”, the Lord responded by saying, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me” (John 13:8).    The word “Lord” means master, and if God is your Lord that means He is your Master, which means He has the right to tell you what to do. 

Saul did not listen to God and suffered the consequences and when we fail to listen to God, we will suffer many consequences.  However in 1 Samuel 13, Samuel confronts Saul, and instead of repenting, Saul begins to make excuses for his actions.  And that is what I want to talk about tonight is the issue of making excuses. 

A.                 The Nature Of Excuses.

1.                  The Excuse Of Blaming Others.

a)                  Offered By Adam For Disobedience (Gen.3:12-13).

(1)                 He Attempts To Explain His Sin.
(2)                 He Attempts To Blame His Sin
(3)                 He Makes Not Attempt To Confess His Sin:

David: “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Samuel 12:13)

"When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin." (Psalm 32:3-5, NKJV)

"Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge." (Psalm 51:4, NKJV)

"He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy." (Proverbs 28:13, NKJV)

The Prodigal Son Took Responsibility: "And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’" (Luke 15:21, NKJV)

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." (1 John 1:8-10, NKJV)


b)                  Offered By Aaron For Making An Idol (Exodus 32:1-10, 19-24)

(1)                 Aaron Blames The People & Takes No Responsibility For Himself  (v.22-24 cf. v.2-4).
(2)                 Aaron Should Have Obeyed God Rather Than Man (Acts 5:29)
(3)                 They Clearly Violated The First 3 Commandments (Ex.20:3-7)

"You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain." (Exodus 20:3-7, NASB95)

(4)                 Aaron Was Responsible: He failed to restrain the people, showing a lack of leadership (v.25).

Moses Rehearses Israel’s Rebellion: "I fell down before the Lord, as at the first, forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you had committed in doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord to provoke Him to anger. “For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the Lord was wrathful against you in order to destroy you, but the Lord listened to me that time also.  “The Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him; so I also prayed for Aaron at the same time." (Deuteronomy 9:18-20, NASB95)

(5)                 Israelites in the Wilderness Were Examples for us (1Cor.10:1-13).  Disqualified For:
(a)                 Idolatry (v.7), Sexual immorality (v.8), Testing God (v.9), Complaining (v.10)
(b)                Paul did not want to be disqualified (1Cor.9:27)

c)                  Offered By Saul For Sparing An Enemy (1 Samuel 15:20-21)

(1)                 Saul was commanded t utterly destroy Amalek (15:3), but did not (15:9).
(a)                 David Later had to deal with the Amalekites (1Sam.27:8; 30:1; 2Sam8:12).
(b)                Haman, who tried to wipe out all the Jewish people was a descendent of Agag (3:1)!
(c)                 Saul was killed on the battle field by the hand of an Amalekite (2Sam.1:8-10).
(d)                Not obeying God will lead to death.
(2)                 God said Saul did not performed God’s command (15:11), Saul says he did (15:13, 20).
(3)                 Saul then blames the people, again showing a lack of leadership (v.21).
(4)                 Saul confesses his sin (v.24), but does not repent (v.30).

d)                  Offered By Jonah For God’s Goodness (Jonah 4:1-4)

e)                  Offered By A Servant For Unfaithfulness (Matthew 25:24).

f)                   Offered By Those Who Blame Sin (Romans 7:15-25).

g)                  Offered By Those Who Blame God (James 1:12-16).

(1)                 Excuses: (1) it’s the other person’s fault; (2) I couldn’t help it; (3) everybody’s doing it; (4) it was just a mistake; (5) nobody’s perfect; (6) the devil made me do it; (7) I was pressured into it; (8) I didn’t know it was wrong; (9) God is tempting me.

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13, NKJV)

2.                  The Excuse Of Claim Inadequacy.

a)                  Offered By Moses To The Call Of God (Exodus 3:11; 4:1,10, 13)

b)                  Offered By Gideon To The Call of God (Judges 6:11-15)

c)                  Offered By Jeremiah To the Call of God (Jer.1:1-10)

(1)                 Inadequacy Comes When We Are To Confident In Our Own Ability.

"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God." (1 Corinthians 1:26-29, NASB95)

"Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12, NKJV)

(2)                 God gave Moses the resources he needed (God Himself, Aaron, ability to do miracles).
(3)                 God gives us the resources we need.

"His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3, NKJV)

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly." (Psalm 84:11, NKJV)

"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32, NKJV)

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV)

3.                  The Excuse Of Lacking In Trust.

a)                  Offered By Ten Spies for Not Entering The Promised Land (Num.13:26-33).

(1)                 God gave them a promise (13:1), but they did not believe (13:26-14:5)
(2)                 Joshua and Caleb believed, but the congregation wanted to stone them (14:5-10).
(3)                 God said they would not enter into the land (14:20-24).

"Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV)

"Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;" (Hebrews 3:12, NKJV)

"And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?  "So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief." (Hebrews 3:18, 19, NKJV)

"For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it." (Hebrews 4:2, NKJV)

"Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?" (Numbers 14:11, NKJV)

"Because they did not believe in God, And did not trust in His salvation… "In spite of this they still sinned, And did not believe in His wondrous works." (Psalm 78:22, 32, NKJV)

"They forgot God their Savior, Who had done great things in Egypt… "Wondrous works in the land of Ham, Awesome things by the Red Sea… "Then they despised the pleasant land; They did not believe His word," (Psalm 106:21, 22, 24, NKJV)

"“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (John 3:18-19, NKJV)

"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”" (Revelation 21:8, NKJV)

b)                  Offered By Elijah For Fearing A Woman (1 Kings 19:10).

4.                  The Excuse Of Putting Yourself First.

a)                  Offered By those whom Christ Called (Luke 9:57-62).

b)                  Offered By the Pharisees Avoiding To Meet the Needs of Others (Mark 7:1-37).

(1)                 They used God as an excuse to neglect their responsibilities of helping their needy parents, although God’s law specifically says to honor fathers and mothers (Exodus 20:12) and to care for those in need (Leviticus 25:35-43). We should give money and time to God, but we must never use God as an excuse to neglect our responsibilities. Helping those in need is one of the most important ways to honor God.

5.                  The Excuse Of Not Receiving Salvation.

a)                  Offered by Felix for not accepting Christ (Acts 24:22-27)

b)                  Offered by Three Invited Guests (Luke 14:15-24).

(1)                 Earthly possessions (v.18).
(2)                 To Busy (v.19)
(3)                 Relationships (v.20)

"For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him," (Hebrews 2:2-3, NKJV)

"Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?" (Hebrews 10:28-29, NKJV)

"See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven," (Hebrews 12:25, NKJV)… God spoke from heaven through His Son and said listen to Him!

"Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?" (Matthew 23:33, NKJV)

"He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him— the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day." (John 12:48, NKJV)

"And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?" (Romans 2:3, NKJV)

6.                  These Excuses Are Only Excuses.

a)                  Excuses will not turn away God’s Punishment (Matt.11:20-23).

(1)                 What about those who haven’t heard the Gospel (Rom.1:18-23)?

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things." (Romans 1:18-23, NKJV)

(2)                 What about those who think they a moral right (Rom.2:1)?

(3)                 Jesus said they have no excuse for their sin (John 15:22)
(a)                 He exposed their sin and set the truth before them.
(b)                He provided the remedy for their sin, (forgiveness, and power to do what is right).
(c)                 Where much is given, much is required (Luke 12:41-48).
(d)                People just hate Him without a cause (Ps.35:19; 69:4).
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