Israel wants a King: two mistakes
1 Samuel 8 tells us of the account of Israel’s desire for a king. Verse 5 says “…now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” NIV As Samuel hears this request he is distraught. “What has gone wrong with Israel?” So he begins to pray to the Lord. What the Lord tells this prophet points to two errors.
In verse 7 we read, “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.’”
Error #1. Samuel may have thought Israel’s problem was with himself. He thought he had blown it and had been rejected. He felt ‘dissed’ by them. That was his error. He had gotten himself in the way of the ministry God wanted to accomplish. This is a stumbling block for us as we serve. We think the problems our people face are because of us or that it is our weakness. Sometimes it has nothing to do with it. When I drove summer camp busses for young life our busses regularly broke down. Our boss, Jim Panoff used to say when that happened, “God may be teaching you something, he might be teaching the kids on the bus or teaching the people that are helping us.” In other words, it’s not just about us. God has much more he wants to do than solely to teach us. He has everyone in mind. Samuel had gotten himself so into the situation that he forgot it wasn’t about him.
Error #2. Israel wasn’t satisfied with God as their king. They wanted what every other nation had. They wanted to trust in something they could see. They didn’t want the scary life of trusting God. They thought it would be so much easier to rely on a king that they could see. They rejected the only one who could provide for them, the Lord himself. God as their king should have been enough. Yet they wanted something more. May we live the life of trust in God alone. May we live the life free of relying a person or our bank account and rest in the Lord’s provision.
Two errors. Which do you need to avoid today?