Hallelujah for the Lord Almighty reigns. He is indeed our only king.
“ It took many years for My people to really understand My kingship. Many stumbling steps and deviations and even now do you you truly understand what my kingship means? My complete, benevolent authority over My whole kingdom – the whole of creation. Many have submitted and recognize Me but many have not, The day will come though, when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that I am The king of all. Bring your voice, bring your whole being and worship at the foot of My throne, singing hallelujah for the Lord the Almighty reigns and revel in My reign, enjoy it and serve Me with gladness and rejoicing”
Now to 1 Samuel 8. This is a key chapter to understanding the steps towards the appointing of a king for Israel. To put this in perspective we need to take a step back and look at what God has been doing and will do in this process.
If we look at the appointing of Saul as king it appears to be a disaster as God allows them to appoint this man apparently against His wishes as king over the nation of Israel. However if we stand back and look at the bigger picture we see that this event did not take God by surprize. He had in fact anticipated it as we see in Deuteronomy 17. When they demanded to have a king, God said, they should appoint His choice and he should be a God-fearing man, following God and His law closely.
We don’t see this yet in today’s passage but the real choice of God was actually the humble shepherd boy David. But even David was only a step in God’s bigger plan as the story of Israel unfolds, because as much as he loved God he was very humanly fallible, despite his faith and love for God. What we can see today as we look back, however is that this concept of King and kingly rule was actually looking forward to the coming of the perfect King, King Jesus, many years later.
Now back to 1 Sam 8. We see the picture of Samuel getting old and the elders gathering to make the request for a king for the nation, vs 5. But there is a fatal flaw in their request, can you see it in this verse? They want a king “such as all the nations have”. Samuel was rightly displeased, as the nation had been led up to that stage by prophets, like Moses and judges like Joshua and Samuel who acted as God’s agents as it were, with God Himself actually ruling.
Although we know that this fitted God’s bigger plan, He nevertheless tells Samuel not to take this personally, vs 7 “it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their king”. This is a symptom of their unfaithfulness surfacing again vs 8. (Remember the people had supposedly repented of their unfaithfulness in the previous chapter)
Then God tells Samuel to warn them of the dangers of having an independent king ruling over them vv 10-18 and he warns them there will come a time that the people will cry out for relief from these tyrants who would not care for them. vs 18.
Nevertheless he people ignore God’s warning and continue to demand a king so that they could be like all the nations around them vv 19,20. So God says to Samuel, “listen to them and give them a king”. vs 22.
Now there is an important application here. God wanted His people to be different, holy and different, following Him, representing Him to the nations around them. It was their very difference which would be their testimony. Yet they were avoiding this very privileged status and instead wanted to be the same as these people. Now, how often is there an avoidance on our part to standing out as God’s witness by being prepared to be different and instead wanting to “fit in” so that we don’t make ripples? You see it is not only what you say but your whole life which is a witness and if it does not demonstrate your unique relationship with our God and Creator through His Son Jesus then we are not true witnesses. It does not mean we have to be rude or prudish, we just need to live out our dynamic relationship with Jesus in a loving way in the community we live and move in and not be tempted to try and be like them so that we fit in..
There is another application which is echoed in Romans chapter 1. Three times in vv 24, 26, and 28, Paul says, “God gave them over” to continue in there sin. The warning is that if one sins continually and does not heed God’s warnings, He will step back, in judgement and “give you over” to continuing in your sin and then let you face the consequences of that. So here is and example of that. The Israelites kept demanding a king like the nations around them so God “gave them over” and said to Samuel “give them a king“, and we shall see what sort of king they got in the next chapters as we meet king Saul.
The message Jesus seemed to be saying to me was a reminder as to the the difference between human kings and rulers and our Almighty King and ruler of the universe. A reminder to examine my heart to plumb the depths as to whether I truly wanted to be totally different, in His words holy at the danger of being rejected by some. But the joy of realizing what it actually means to believe in this King of ours and truly serve Him. The question to you and and to me is do I really grasp and understand this? Like many things about our loving God, some things are so clear and some remain a mystery.
God bless you this coming week.