Real quick bedtime thoughts.
I was just reading in 1 Samuel about the time leading up to Israel’s first king, Saul. Up until this point, the Israelites had been ruled by “judges” who “judged” or governed the people, and who tried (well, at least some of them) to keep Israel align with worshiping the one true God.
Now, flash forward a little bit to my readings tonight. The Israelites are no longer content with having judges. They desire a king. They want to be like “all the nations” (1 Sam. 8:5). Rather than following God’s way for them, they’d rather follow the ways of the world around them. They have handed in their priceless glory as the people of the INCOMPARABLE God (2:2), who has saved them, rescued them from the Egyptians, continually protects them, shows mercy on them, and provides for them…all for status in the world. They want to be “like all the nations”.
God tells Samuel (Judge), “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you.” (1 Samuel 8:7-8)
They rejected the kingship of God for the kingship of man.
I thought about how we’ve rejected the kingship of God because we wanted to be “like all the nations”. Or, put in a different way, we “wanted to be like everybody else.” We wanted status. We wanted acceptance from man. We’ve desired things, people, possessions more than the almighty God.
We’ve traded in the perfect, holy, righteous, good God for…what? …the world?
God told Samuel to obey the people’s wishes, but, first to “solemnly warn” them.
Samuel talks about the “ways of the king” or the mishpat in Hebrew. In Hebrew it means, “judgement, decision, rule, justice, custom”–basically, the low down of what exactly was going to happen when this king of theirs took the throne.
The one that stuck out to me was in 8:17, “…and you shall be his slaves”
Basically, all of the Israelites and all of their possessions were the King’s. He owned them. They were his slave.
This makes me think of Romans 6 when Paul’s talking about us having been “slaves to sin” and now being “slaves to righteousness” because we have been made new in Christ.
I guess I just asked myself, “Who’s really your king?”
I mean, if you’re not a born again Christian, you’re dead in your transgressions and you’re a slave to sin. Ephesians says you are “children of wrath”.
Phil 3: 19 says, “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”
If you haven’t accepted Christ and asked him to give you a new heart and change you, you’ve traded in God for “earthly things”…earthly “kings”. Slaves to these kings. They own you. They own your passions, your desires, your longings, your time, your energy, and your efforts…your everything. All of you.
But, I’m not just gearing this towards unbelievers. “Idols” has been a big word for me these past few months. I’ve been discovering idols in my life left and right. I struggle with truly making God supreme in my life, not just in word but in deed.
As Christians, we must make sure that our sole focus in life is Christ. If not, just like when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink into the tumultuous waves, we’ll fall into worshiping “creation” above “Creator”.
May we live in freedom and no longer live as slaves to sin, but, slaves to righteousness.
Philippians continues in verse 20, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
Wow. And we want the world?
May we make GOD our King and willingly give him ALL of us and ALL of our possessions, knowing that they are truly his anyway.
Don’t settle for the world and its fleeting pleasures when the God of the UNIVERSE is offering out his hand to you. Jesus’s gift of salvation is for everyone. It’s a gift. It’s free. It’s not promising a life of luxury and comfort. It actually promises the exact opposite. But, in the end, you get GOD…and he’s the greatest luxury and comfort of them all.