1+2 Samuel

Day 4: Israel’s Demand for a King

1 Samuel 7:1-17, 1 Samuel 8:1-22, Proverbs 1:29-33, Hebrews 1:1-3


Think about the last big purchase you made. Maybe it was a television, laptop, camera, car, or appliance. Did you read any reviews beforehand, scrolling through websites for a few hours and looking for pros and cons?

When my wife gave me the green light to buy a new camera for our family, I spent hours researching cameras within our price range, reading reviews from both professionals and amateur consumers. It’s good to get input from others, especially trusted authorities in those areas. I don’t know enough about cameras to make a safe and wise decision. I need some guidance.

If I don’t know enough to make a purchase like that one on my own, why do I think I know enough to make decisions about my life without the Lord’s help? I know I don’t, but I still plow forward anyway, doing my thing.

The nation of Israel took their eyes off of the Lord and worshiped idols, bowing down to other gods instead. They thought they knew what was best for them. They had their self-prescribed wants and they thought God wasn’t meeting them, so they looked elsewhere.

“There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Self-generated spiritual guidance will always lead to disaster. When God’s ways are tossed to the side, we enter a spin-cycle of sin and destruction.

Israel came out of their dizziness, confessed their sin to the Lord, and experienced a moment of serenity in 1 Samuel 7. But did you see what happened in chapter 8? They rejected the Lord’s leadership, His authoritative review, His thoughts—the cons of choosing to follow a mere human king, versus trusting the almighty God to lead them. Israel looked around at the surrounding countries and wanted to be like them, to live like them. Every day we find ourselves looking out onto the same horizon, choosing whether to follow the rest of the world or to follow God.

Today, the crucified and risen Lord Jesus sits on His throne, speaking to us from His Word, reminding us there is a narrow path leading to life and a wide road leading to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). There’s the way of Calvary or the way of the world.

Where will you go today? Which path will you follow?

May we answer like our brother Peter: “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68–69). Who else is worth following? No one but Christ alone.

Let’s confess our sins, knowing they’ve been forgiven through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection (1 John 1:9). And let’s choose to seek Him, His Kingdom, and His ways, instead of our own.

Written by J. A. Medders