by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: I Samuel 8:1-8
I. For over 400 years, God ruled over the land of Israel.
A. When the people became wicked, God sent in an enemy nation to conquer a portion of the land.
B. When the people turned backed to God, he raised up a judge to lead the people against the enemy and to teach the people how to live for God.
C. The last judge God raised up was Samuel. He was a judge, priest, and prophet of God.
D. As the prophet Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges over Israel.
E. Unlike their father, these boys were corrupt. They took bribes and perverted justice.
F. Notice though the people’s solution to the problem – get rid of judges and appoint us a king.
II. I’ve noticed a trend in our country to “fix” problems in a similar manner.
A. Sexual promiscuity
1. Young people began living together without a covenant of marriage in greater numbers.
a. The solution? People ignored the sin.
b. Not only that, laws against cohabiting were removed from the books.
c. All that remains is a few laws against living with someone before a certain age.
d. Like the early Gentiles our youths have dishonored themselves - Romans 1:24-25
2. It has spread. Adultery, while frowned on, is no longer illegal.
a. Divorce rises.
b. More homes are broken than whole
B. The impact of divorce on children
1. I read an article in the paper, in 2000, titled, “Marriage Debate: Promote it, Fix it or Move Past It?”
a. “Given the sizable body of research showing that children of single parents end up with poorer education, job prospects, and health, the fundamental issue, they say, is making sure that children are well cared for, whether or not their parents are married. Some even go so far as to suggest that marriage is part of the problem, not part of the solution.”
2. Imagine that. Children from single homes and broken homes don’t do as well as children from married homes. Therefore marriage must be the cause of the problem!
a. Is this any different than the Israelites who had problems with corrupt judges, so their solution was to remove all judges?
3. Martha Fineman, a professor at Cornell Law School said, “This obsession with marriage prevents us from looking at our social problems and addressing them. Marriage is nothing more than a piece of paper.”
a. If that was true, then how is this mere piece of paper improving the lot of children in society?
4. She goes on to say “For children, the important thing is that there be enough adults to care for them, whether it’s by married biological parents or two or three or four others. If that’s what we want people to do, that’s what we should focus on, not marriage.”
a. This ignores the large body of studies showing children do not do as well with non-biological parents.
(1) True, they are better off than children of single parents.
(2) But few single parents live alone. Most have live-in boyfriends or girlfriends. Having others around does not improve the children’s situation.
(3) There is evidence that children with non-biological parents still don’t do as well as children of married biological parents.
(a) The non-biological parent often is hampered.
(b) There is less commitment.
(c) There are higher incidents of abuse.
5. Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at John Hopkins University, is quoted as saying, “So the whole concept of single parenthood may need rethinking. It may be time to think about this in terms of unions rather than marriages.”
1. This same illogical view of fixing problems by discarding righteousness is seen in the legalize drugs movement
2. Drug use continues. At times we are losing ground, so let’s “fix” the problem by making drugs legal.
3. But consider a drug that is already legal: tobacco
a. We are agonizing over its addictive qualities and the dangers it presents to the users.
b. We want the tobacco companies, which in turn means the users, to pay for the increased cost of medical care.
4. How is legalizing substances which we know are more addictive and more dangerous than tobacco going to change things?
a. Some will say of marijuana, “It’s just a plant!” Well, so is tobacco, yet people oppose cigarettes and want to legalize marijuana.
5. It has been repeatedly argued that our jails are overcrowded and a large portion are there for drug use. So we “fix” the problem by decriminalizing the use of drugs.
a. Overcrowded jails are not caused by the law, but by the number of people breaking the law.
b. The true problem is an acceptance of drug use.
c. But we are told drug users are non-violent! Well, then, so is stealing, should that be legalized? How about lying on Federal documents?
d. It isn’t the violence that determines whether punishment is necessary but the danger sin causes in society.
1. It started with people trying to justify their sexual misbehavior.
a. They sought out a cause – other than that the person chose to sin
b. “It’s the birth,” “It’s the environment,” “It is genetic”
c. Each has been disproved but that hasn’t stopped the supporters
2. People started claiming that it is a different gender.
a. Homosexuality is supposedly like being male or female.
b. But wait a minute, what about people who will have sex with anyone?
c. What about those who don’t like sex at all?
d. Before you know it, we have an alphabet soup of imaginary genders
3. Supposedly, acceptance of sexual sins and giving people choices in deciding their gender will make them happy, but oddly suicide rates among the LGTB+ community is high
a. “After taking demographic factors into account, the researchers found that suicide risk was three to six times greater for lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults than for heterosexual adults across every age group and race/ethnicity category” [“Researchers find disparities in suicide risk among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults,” National Institutes of Health, 9 November 2021].
4. Enabling people to become a different gender was thought to help. But according to a 30-year study in Sweden, “Ten to 15 years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery rose to 20 times that of comparable peers.”
a. If you think about it, changing a person’s physical look is not going to change their DNA. A male may look like a female to some extent, but they are still male.
b. Thus, instead of resolving conflicting emotions, additional conflicts are created
III. Illogical quick “fixes” usually put us in worse situations
A. Israel had some glory days with a few kings, but the nation as a whole went downhill morally.
1. Within three generations, the nation was split in two.
2. The northern nation basically stopped following God.
3. The southern nation’s decline was more gradual, but it still was a decline.
B. In the end, listen to God’s statement - Hosea 13:9-11
C. Has the situation of children improved by allowing people to live together without marriage?
1. So how is changing the meaning of marriage going to help.
2. We know marriage is the better situation, so why do we feel we must change it?
D. Will drugs become a rarity if we legalize them?
E. Will marriages become steadier if we continue to accept adultery as “normal”?
IV. God said he doesn’t think like men - Isaiah 55:6-9
A. Yet we have a notion that we can fix societies ills by moving away from the standards which God has set forth for man
B. It doesn’t take an intellectual giant to understand that man is too finite to decide between right and wrong - Jeremiah 10:23
C. Actually, what is needed is a humble heart - Matthew 11:25
V. God is righteous. His ways are just.
A. Following God’s commandments will improve your life.
B. Will you not accept His call to become a child of His?