What do you do when you’re displeased?

Sunday Sermon 3.20.21

First off, you probably don’t even use the word, “displeased”, right? For those of you that do, KUDOS! You get a gold star in Vocabulary for the day

Although not difficult to figure out, here is it’s meaning –

“feeling or showing annoyance and displeasure.”

Oxford disctionary

This is the biblical text that got me evaluating what I do when I am displeased –

But when they said, ” Give us a king to lead us, this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord.”

1 Samuel 8:6

Other translations put it this way –

“Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance.”

NLT

” When Samuel heard their demand … he was crushed. How awful! Samuel prayed to God.”

The Message paraphrase

” And the thing was evil in the eyes of Samuel… and he prayed to the Lord.”

The Septuagint

When I read it again this past week, I seriously thought, “Wow! Without the slightest hesitation, when Samuel was displeased, He prayed.” And of course, I began evaluating myself and my first reactions and responses. If we’re keeping score here, Samuel wins this one over me! How ’bout you? What’s your first response when you are displeased?

The Hebrew meanings of these words about Samuel’s response actually mean that he was “broken up, with an expected violent reaction. Figuratively, fear.” In other words, Samuel was so upset with what was happening, it broke him up, He was truly ticked off and in fear.

For Samuel, he was dealing with a political situation. He was the leader of the nation of Israel, and the people were now asking to have a king, “like all the other nations”. Israel had never had a king because The Lord, Jehovah wanted to be their king. But here the people were asking to be like every other nation. They wanted a king.

This is what caused Samuel such displeasure. He couldn’t believe that the Israelites were turning their backs on Jehovah God and denying His authority over them. This tore him up, and in fact it caused him fear. He was afraid for the nation. He was afraid for what it would become apart from God. He was afraid of what would become of it. He feared for the nation.

What do YOU do when you are displeased?

Without missing a step, we see Samuel taking his whole load of displeasure in prayer to the Lord. It’s like it was his go to, basketball pivot – receive displeasure = pivot and go to prayer. As quick and smooth as a Kobe move, receive the hit pivot to prayer.

I am not quite that quick. Kobe’s pivot picture makes me a laughingstock.

The truth here is this. Our displeasure, whatever the cause, can and should be taken to the Lord in prayer.

Whether it’s a displeasure that crushes us or a displeasure that incites fear within us. Be it a displeasure that angers us or confounds us, pivot and take it to the Lord in prayer.

Other choices are to let that displeasure out on another person, or to allow the anger to simmer and boil over into other areas of our life. Or maybe do or buy something stupid, or simply throw up your hands and succomb.

We do have other options for how we handle our displeasure.

But today, this is a spiritual and biblical blog, therefore the option we advise is prayer.

Samuel, in his hurt, questioning, and fear, took it all and poured it out in prayer to the Lord.

What does that mean?

Prayer is simply talking to the Lord. There are alot of different kinds of prayers, but here’s what the Bible says:

” Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. “

Ephesians 6:18

” Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”

Colossians 4:2

So, we can pray for any reason, on any occasion. We can talk to God anytime, anywhere, for any reason.

But what Samuel did, his kind of prayer was a little different. His prayers actually intervened for Israel, By that, I mean, His prayers stood in the gap for Israel. Israel was on one side of the valley and God was on the other side of that valley. Samuel’s prayers made a bridge, across that valley, and connected Israel with God. He literally intervened to connect Israel with God again.

That is called intercession, when one intervenes in a relationship to bring two together.

Isn’t that what Jesus did?

He came to earth to bridge the gap between God and man. He interceded. That is why the scripture says,

“… Christ Jesus who died is at he right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

Romans 8:34

Jesus threw himself across that chasm between God and man at the cross. He intervened.

Samuel did similarly. Confounded at Israel’s choices and stubborn refusal to follow God’s ways, afraid for what lay ahead for them, he threw himself between God and Israel in prayer. In his displeasure he immediately pivoted to prayer. Intervening for them all. Standing in the gap for the nation. EVEN THO’ HE WAS DISPLEASED.

Are we any different from Samuel? 2,950 years have passed since he prayed in his displeasure for Israel.

Undoubtedly you have faced displeasure over something recently in your life. If not, Hallelujah. Be prepared tho’, it is coming, because that is the way of life. That displeasure is meant to draw you into a place of prayer with the Lord. A place of interceding for others, intervening on their behalf to the Lord.

You don’t have to be a great spiritual leader or pastor to intercede; all you have to do is lift up that one to God in prayer. Stand before God, in prayer, on their behalf. Stand in the gap for them. Create that bridge across that valley for them.

You can intercede for another. You can make a difference. Your prayers matter. The one you’re praying for needs your prayers and the Lord will hear your prayers. Whether it be for an individual, a family or a nation. Do not hesitate to pray, intervene and intercede. Do not hesitate to pivot and pray.

In your displeasure – pray.

Go with God.

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