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They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 1 Samuel 8:5-6
Israel was clamoring for a king. The twelve tribes couldn’t get along. Each one had its own leader, its own territory, and its own rules. The sibling rivalry between them was incredible. They believed that if they had a strong king, it would unite them as a nation and make them stronger. They didn’t want Samuel to be king. He was too old, plus he was just a prophet and a judge – nothing like what they thought a king should be. Samuel’s sons were out, too. They definitely didn’t fit the bill. The people of Israel wanted a strong military ruler, someone who would come in and take charge of the country and lead them on to world dominance. In typical fashion, they were missing the point. God had already told them how to achieve what they wanted, but, to them, it didn’t make any sense. He had told them that if they would get right with Him, He would solve all their problems. Israel rejected this idea. They rejected God as their leader, but asked God to give them a king. They asked God to solve their problems, but refused to do what He had told them to do to solve those very problems.
There is very little difference between the Israelites and us. We pray for God to help us, but reject what He tells us to do. We ask Him to lead us, but keep right on following the world. We pick and choose those portions of our lives that we’ll commit to God, keeping the rest for ourselves. We accept only those portions of God’s Word with which we’re comfortable, ignoring – and thereby rejecting – the parts that make us uncomfortable. Our lives get worse and worse and worse, and we can’t understand why. We ask God for help, then watch our dreams crumble right in front of us. What we ignore is the fact that we, like Israel, want God to hold up His end of the bargain while we refuse to hold up our end by following Him totally and completely.
Take a look at your life. Have you committed everything to God? Not just the parts you want to… everything. Remember God’s promises, and start holding up your end of the bargain.
“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.” Deuteronomy 28:1
Reprinted with permission www.dogwoodministries.org