Recently I ran into a great section of Scripture in 1 Samuel that really spoke to me. It is Chapter 8 and we find Israel being led well by the prophet Samuel for many years, but yet they still aren’t happy. Shocking I know.
As a prophet of God (and a great one at that) Samuel was God’s voice to the people of Israel and had guided and protected them without the use of a king. But now the grumble bunnies had surfaced again and this time they wanted to have a powerful king to point to as their leader. Apparently the All Mighty God was not enough I guess.
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“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 claim as his rights.” ” – 1 Samuel 8:6-9
So Samuel tells the people of Israel what God says and outlines exactly what would happen if they chose to be ruled by a king. God was so specific that he even told them how much of what they owned the king would take from them along with what jobs they would occupy under his rule. As transparent as He could possible be, He basically says, “A king? Oh no. Trust me, you don’t want that. That would be a bad thing and you will not be too happy with that decision.”
But did they listen?
“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.”” – 1 Samuel 8:19-20
Now check out this haunting response from God.
“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.” – 1 Samuel 8:21-22 (emphasis mine)
Out of God’s love and compassion He tells the people of Israel the consequences of asking for a king. They refuse to listen to His warnings and God gives them what they want. Knowing full well it will hurt them.
Boy did that hit me like a ton of bricks.
How many times in my life have I read my Bible and known God’s will for what to do and not to do, but yet I still do what I want anyway? I’m not sure I can even count them all, but I know more times than not I paid the price for not following God’s plan.
Sure there are lots of things in this life that we can’t see and only God knows why they happen, but honestly these are the exceptions to the rule. There are far more things that we have our eyes wide open to the dangers of but still do, and yet we are shocked that the consequences still happen.
For crying out loud He said it was going to end up this way!
We may not always believe this, but God’s plan is not designed to steal our joy it’s designed to create it.
My hope for you and I is that we can start to listen and obey God’s designed for us from the beginning instead of constantly having to dust our selves off from another avoidable tumble through life. Believe me God is hoping you choose the path He has laid out for you because on it you will find a tremendously fulfilling life.
Trust me you don’t want the other one.