Part 1 – Shadows of the Kingdom, Chapter 8 – Kings and Kingdoms
[Bible references: Judges 21:25; 2:10-23; 1 Samuel 8:1-22; Psalm 81:8-16]
Ever since the time of Adam and Eve, we have had a problem of thinking that we know better than God. After Israel started to settle into the Promised Land, that same problem appeared again with the diagnoses, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” It was that problem that caused the cycle of God disciplining Israel by allowing them to be dominated by one of the nations, which then caused the people to cry for help, after which God raised up a leader who overcame the dominating nation, then once Israel is freed up, they turned from Yahweh and the cycle repeated.
Eventually, Israel figured that they thought they knew what the problem was … that they needed a king … like everyone else. When the prophet, Samuel, was old and people became uncomfortable with Samuel’s sons leading the nation (Note: It seemed that Samuel had the same kind of problem with his sons as Eli had with his), the people rebelled against God and asked the prophet Samuel to ask God to give them a king. Samuel was troubled because he knew that their diagnosis was wrong. Yahweh confirmed that when he told Samuel that the real problem was not that they rejected Samuel, but rather they’ve rejected Yahweh as king. Unexpectedly, Yahweh said that he would grant their wish anyway. They will get a king (!!!) … like everyone else!!!. One of the lessons from this event is that we need to be careful; in our rebellion, God may condemn us to what we want.
What kind of results are we expecting when we elect someone just because we don’t like the alternative?
Read 1 Samuel 8. Knowing that God may discipline us by giving us what we want instead of what we need, how should we then pray?