“Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.” Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.” 1 Samuel 8.10-21
The people had fair warning as to how much a king would demand of them. He would take their sons for battle, their daughters for the perfumers, cooks, bakers, their fields and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of their produce, he will take their male and female servants, as well as the best of their cattle and donkeys. The institution of a king would not only affect their spiritual standing with the Lord, it would also affect their own freedoms and independence.
But the people insisted and “refused to listen to Samuel saying, “No, we want a king over us. Then we will be like other nations, with a king to lead and to go out before us and fight our battles.” And in-spite of all this, God told Samuel, “Listen to them and give them a king.”
Can you imagine how devastating this would be for a people who called God their king? For centuries God had been their king, their leader, their judge and their deliverer. He brought them out of Egypt, he helped them arrive at the Land of Canaan and he helped them over come their enemies. He promised to make them a great nation through Abraham and gave them laws to help them abide in God’s presence through Moses. Now though, they were rejecting God and ask for a human being to lead them, for them to have a king so they could be like other nations. No longer would they be “set a part” now they would be like their neighbors who relied upon the strength of men, not of God, to save them.
Samuel must have been exacerbated with the people. He must have been so put out that the people would reject God and put a man upon the throne where God would sit. But God said, “Give them a king…” and they would soon have to live with the consequences of their own actions.
Today our world is in chaos. Is God judging us through Covid? If not through Covid than certainly through our lack of morality, ethical decisions and spiritual depravity. Our world is in judgement because we have rejected God as king. Our world has rejected Jesus as Lord and Messiah. And when we do this, we are forced to live with the consequences of our poor choices. The wages of sin is death. End of discussion.
But as the Israel will soon learn to repent, and often, so we can do the same. We have made poor decisions, poor choices, and eventually allowed sin to replace the Savior. We have run from God because we believe we know best and that our ways are higher and better. Jesus tells us that “he is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him,” John 14.6.
Let’s correct our waywardness today and run towards the Father. Reject the world, it’s comforts and desires and turn to the Lord for help and salvation. Do not trust in any President, any King or any cultural figure who might lead you away from the Lord. Our King is the Lord of the Universe who came in the flesh as Jesus Christ.
Have you made Jesus king of your life? What are you waiting for?
“O Lord God, so many valuable lessons are learned through the mistakes of the Israelites. We can look at their lives through Scripture and learn how to walk with you. Thank you Lord for giving us so many examples of what to do and what not to do in order to remain attached to the vine. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill us with your power and love. Help us know the truth of your love through the compassion in your voice. Send forth the Holy Spirit to guide, direct and show us the path to righteousness. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen