By J.A. Medders
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
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6 thoughts on "Israel’s Demand for a King"
Israel’s desire for a human king mirrors our own desire to want what others around us have instead of following God because Israel looked at the surrounding tribes and wanted to be like them. Thus, we should find our stability and security in the Lord only and seek wisdom from the Lord only.
It’s amazing how we forget how good God is to us. God protected Israel from the Philistines and set Samuel to judge Israel. But when Samuel gets old the people forget that God gave them Samuel and he would most likely give them another person when Samuel dies. So when the Israelites don’t know what’s going to happen, instead of trusting God, they look at other countries to get insight into what they should do and they beg to be like the rest of the world. God replies with what they would actually get if they rejected God and got a human king but they are persistent on following the rest of the world instead of our powerful God.
This is easily translated to today because often we look at what the rest of the world is doing and ask God for what they have instead of trusting him to provide everything for us. Even though it was only a chapter apart, the bible skipped the whole life of Samuel, so even though it seems quick it was probably closer to 100 years since God protected them from the philistines. This is an important reminder because it’s easy to look back and say how stupid Israel was for forgetting but we are the same way and forget WAY quicker then them. If we trust God in his timing, even though it is not our timing, it’ll work out for us in the end.
“…there is a narrow path leading to life and a wide road leading to destruction”
Man, this always seems so true. It seems there are infinite ways to walk the wide road leading to destruction, but extremely finite ways to life. Why is that?
The struggle may be the point, and while the destination is not unimportant, focusing on it may prove problematic. Each and every day, every moment there are challenges to avoiding the wide road. The strength to stay on the straight and narrow comes from Jesus alone.
Earnestly seek the Lords leadership in all aspects of life, regardless of their apparent size.
To follow God is an active choice. It is a choice to be made in every situation from the first to the last of the day.
I have to choose to follow Christ and his plan for me. My life hasn’t worked out great because I wanted to be like everyone else. God knows way more than I do about life. I’ll take his advice over mans.
TRUST and OBEY
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