To Be Like Them
Heavenly Father, thank You that You are transforming me to be more like Jesus. Keep working today, I pray.
Read 1 Samuel 8:1-22
 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel.  The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba.  But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.  So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah.  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.  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.  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.  Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”  Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king.  He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.  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.  He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.  He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants.  He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.  Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use.  He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.  When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.”  But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us.  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.”  When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD.  The LORD answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.” Then Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Everyone go back to his town.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat did the people do by asking for a king?
God has mercifully saved these sinning Israelites from death, yet they turn around and reject him. It’s an incredible sin for these people to tell their Creator that he’s just not cutting it as a king. They seem to think that the solution to their problems is an earthly king. And the reason for this? Because all the other nations have one. This is idolatry, pure and simple—they desire something more than God.
Samuel turns to his Lord in despair and solemnly warns the Israelites of a human king who will take their children and lead them to ruin. However, gloomy predictions can change their stubborn minds.
How brilliant it is that God can use people’s wickedness for his glory! This king and his successor, David, foreshadow the perfect leader, King Jesus. In God’s plan, kings were needed as the ancestors of the Messiah, the son of David, who would fulfill the promise of God’s blessing for all nations found in Genesis 12:2. It’s certainly no excuse for sin, but a glorious reminder of the sovereignty of our God in desperate situations.
Reflect on how well God works in all situations. Praise him for how perfectly he rules over everything.
Lord, You are, indeed, a wise and good ruler. I trust You to work Your good will in my life, too.
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