Samuel watched a group of gray-haired men walking up the hill. “What do you need help with today?”
One of the men stepped forward. “Your sons are not like you. They judge loosely.”
Samuel tilted his head. “What do you mean by that comment?”
Another man pushed the first man aside. “I had a case come to them about a property dispute I had with my neighbor. They met with him in a tight group before the judgement. I know I heard coins and laughter. I lost half a field that day.”
The first man placed his hand on the man’s shoulder. “I had a similar thing happen to me. They must not lead us after you die. The nation will crumble under men like that.”
Samuel sat back and stroked his beard. “And just what do you suggest be done about the situation? The Lord has not directed me to anything else.”
Three men pushed past the first two. “We want a king.”
“Israel should be like the nations around us.”
“A king will be able to lead us into battle. The Lord is too unpredictable. How do we know what He wants from us? A king is what we need. I tell you!”
Samuel shook his head as he stood. “No. No! This thing is not good. The Lord has been our defense. Only He can win wars and defeat enemies. A king will bring too much pain to everybody.”
The first man stood in front of Samuel. “If you don’t find us a king we’ll get one ourselves.”
Samuel fell back in his chair. “I shall pray and seek the Lord’s guidance on this matter.”
Samuel walked into the temple and fell before the ark of the covenant. “Lord, what is happening? How did I fail to pass Your importance on to my sons? A king is not good. He will be as corrupt as anybody. All we need is You, Lord.”
God’s voice was clear. ” Listen to the people. It’s not you they’re rejecting, but Me. They’ve been doing it since they left Egypt. I will tell you who to make the king, but you must warn them about what a king will do.”
Samuel walked back out to the men. “A king will bring you much hardship. He’ll take your sons to fight his battles, even if they don’t want to fight. Some of your daughters will serve him as well. They may become his concubines. Your flocks, crops and fields will be confiscated, too. When you cry out to the Lord then He will turn away from you.”
The first man stepped forward. “Give us a king like everybody else.”
Samuel swallowed. “Very well, go home. God will lead me to the man of His choosing.”
This was a massive turning point in the young nation of Israel’s history. They began with a promise to Abraham. The Egyptian captivity isolated them to grow into a distinct race of people over a 400 year time period.
Dependence on an invisible god was their distinction alone.
There’s a story of a little girl who was afraid of a storm blowing outside as she went to bed. Her parents did their best to calm her fears by spending time with her in her room.
Since the girl had recently accepted Jesus as her savior they told her that Jesus would be with her during the storm. She nodded so they went to their room to get some much needed sleep.
A few minutes later the girl yelled down the hallway. “But, I need somebody with skin on.”
We’re so much like that little girl. We know God is powerful and kind and loving, but sometimes we need a human touch. A physical hug does more to calm us than a promise in a book.
I’m not down playing our need to depend on God in our lives. We need that more than anything.
But, God made us physical beings in a physical world for a reason.
He wants us to reach out to hurting souls desperate for a touch of love.
He uses us to rescue those trapped in addictions and/or bad situations.
He guides us to guide young lives in need of direction for their lives.
Israel’s best king was called “a man after God’s own heart.” Too bad very few leaders try to be that style of leader.
The young nation of Israel struggled under the direction of this God who spoke to only a few select people. They wanted a king to lead them. A man who would tell them what to do. Somebody with skin on is who they wanted to give their allegiance to.
Most people are followers. They want somebody to tell them how to vote, where to work, what to do and so on. As long as they bring in enough money to pay their bills they’re content to sit back and be entertained.
A king seemed like the best solution to the dilemma. God recognized the rejection of Him they were actually doing. He planned for this moment before they ever left Egypt.
In Deuteronomy 17:14-20 God told Moses how these kings should rule. Yeah, before the people ever reached the promised land God knew they would demand a king.
He knows our hearts.
He is well acquainted with our stubbornness.
Our decisions don’t surprise Him.
Where have you rejected God’s rule in your life? I hope it’s not all of it.
What demands have you given God about how to run things? Remember who is in charge.
How have you tried to twist things to fit in your agenda? Release those reins today.
Not all leaders are bad. Some are actually benevolent.
Sometimes we need to take action to rectify a situation.
God needs us to step in to change things occasionally.
So, how do we know how and when God needs us?
That’s why God wrote the Bible for us.
It’s our guidebook to live by.
Let’s use it that way.
I’ll see you later. Wade