Scripture: 1 Samuel 8
Israel Asks for a King
8 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.
4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”
10 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 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.”
Observation: Here we see a real turn in the history of the Isrealites. It almost feels like they were looking for a reason to demand a king. They saw Samuel’s sons not following in their fathers footsteps, and demanded an earthly king like the rest of the nations had. Wow, talk about turning your back on God. How easily we forget and reject. They had the King of kings and the Lord of lords leading them, but this was not good enough. Then Samuel warns them of all the bad things that will happen when they get a king to lead them, and they still demanded one. How blind does Satan make us sometimes? This story reminded me of the decision the people had to release Jesus or Barabbas. Are we choosing God or rejecting Him? How disappointed God must have been, and yet He still saw fit to send a savior because He loved us so much.
Application: Question to myself today, how often do I turn my eyes from God so that I can fulfill my own earthly desires? Do I reject Him easily because I cannot see Him like I can other people? My challenge; ensure we have got our eyes on Jesus today. What is causing us to divert our attention?
Prayer: God you are so good! Lord forgive me when I take my focus off of you and follow other things or people. Search my heart, show me where I have not place you first and where I have not place my full trust in you. Thank you for an awesome Thanksgiving weekend, thank you for the blessings of family and friends. I pray you guide and direct me through the challenges that lay ahead this week. In Jesus name, amen.