Have you ever rejected instruction from your parents, pastor, or from reading the Word of God itself?
Maybe you were told that your friends were a bad influence on you, or that the movies or music you were filling your mind with weren’t God honoring. Instead of listening to your parents, pastor, or the Word of God, you probably just ignored them and kept choosing what you knew in the back of your mind was sinful.
This has happened to all of us, but it shouldn’t, especially we who claim to know Christ.
The passage of 1 Samuel we are looking at today shows us a whole nation of people who ignored first their own leader’s instruction, and then the instruction of God himself!
1 Samuel 8 tells the story of Israel demanding their first king.
Before this time, Israel had been ruled by God himself through Judges like we saw in our last study through the book of Judges. In this chapter, Samuel, the current judge of Israel, was getting old and had set his sons as judges over Israel. His sons were not obedient to God, however, so the elders of Israel came up with a plan.
They wanted a king!
At first, it seems like a reasonable request. I mean, Samuel’s sons were very evil and there would be no one to judge and lead Israel without Samuel.
But the key here is in verse 5, where at the end they say they want a king to “judge us like all the nations.”
They are directly rejecting God as their leader, desiring to conform to the ways of the pagan nations around them. Understandably, both Samuel and God are very angry with this decision.
God tells Samuel to tell the people all the consequences of having a king.
When Samuel tells them in verses 10-18, the people are defiant to God and Samuel, saying, “No! But there shall be a king over us, that we may also be like all the nations…” (Verse 19b-20a.)
When I read this, I picture a defiant toddler throwing a temper-tantrum when their parent disciplines them. Israel is honesty acting very pitifully in this passage of scripture.
The sad truth is that many of us are being just as defiant towards God in our lives today as the Israelites were in Chapter 8.
Many of us are holding onto sins in our lives that God wants us to get rid of, but we, like bratty little toddlers, refuse to let go.
Maybe you know your music isn’t honoring to God.
Maybe that movie you’re planning on seeing with your friends is less than holy.
Maybe you are making sports or relationships an idol in your life, elevating them above God in importance.
When we let these things happen without ever addressing them, we are being just like the Israelites here in Chapter 8.
We are demanding that God does it our way and ignoring His commands.
We are putting ourselves in place of God, and who could imagine a more disgusting sin than that?
So what are you holding onto today? What are you trying to force to work your way instead of God’s? Let it go, give it to God, and repent of your pride and selfishness today.
Let’s talk in the comments below:
- Has there ever been a time in your life when you ignored God and did things your way?
- What were the results of ignoring God?
- What is there in your life that you aren’t giving to God today?