Wednesday, March 7, 2012
“Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, and said unto him, Behold thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:4,5 KJV).
In the context of today’s Scripture, for the past 500 years, Moses, Joshua, and several judges (rulers) have led Israel (Acts 13:17-20). Here, Samuel, Israel’s prophet-judge, is old and his sons are too wicked to lead the nation in God’s ways (1 Samuel 8:1-3). Furthermore, Israel is tired of being different. Sadly, they want a king so they can be like “all the nations.”
Read the two verses following today’s Scripture: “But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them” (verses 6,7). S-A-D!
Israel is tired of being God’s “peculiar” (unique; Exodus 19:5) people! They want to be like everyone else (pagans!). By rejecting God’s prophet Samuel, Israel is rejecting God. God instructed Samuel to “protest solemnly” with Israel (verse 9). So, Samuel fervently complained to Israel regarding the disadvantages of a monarchy (1 Samuel 8:10-18). “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations” (verses 19,20). Amazingly, God foretold their cry for a king in Deuteronomy 17:14… 500 years earlier!
After everything God did for them, ungrateful, sinful Israel argues with Him and rejects Him. Yet, how many today share Israel’s attitude? Despite everything that God did for them at Calvary, they reject Him. Or, think of the Christians, who are tired of being outcasts—like Israel, some compromise with the world to “fit in.” Thankfully, as God in His grace tolerated Israel, so He tolerates us when “we do not want to be different anymore!”