googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: 1 Samuel 8:11-18: You Asked for Him

Thursday, December 27, 2007

1 Samuel 8:11-18: You Asked for Him

Is it blasphemous to believe that God has a sense of humor? Sometimes I think God, in His providence, has a funny way of reminding us how wrong we can be.

When God delivered His people out of Egypt, He established an unusual form of government. They did not have an earthly king; instead, God was their ruler. He gave them the Law through Moses and appointed judges whose job it was to interpret the Law. This lasted from the time of Moses until Samuel.

Now when Samuel was old, his sons had turned away from God (1 Samuel 8:3). Since there were no other judges, the people came to Samuel and asked him to give them a king like other nations (1 Samuel 8:5). It grieved God that they rejected Him as their ruler and He gave some stern warnings about what it would be like having an earthly king:
“… This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.” [God ended with this most dire of warnings:] “And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.” (1 Samuel 8:11-18)
The people persisted and God appointed Saul as their king. Sure enough, everything God had warned them about came true.

So where is the humor? The name “Saul” is a Hebrew word meaning, “asked for.” Every time we read about the failings of Saul, God reminds us that this was the king the people asked for.

A lot of people call Jesus, "Lord" but won't let Him be Lord of their lives. They think they know what’s best so they live their lives however they want – not how God wants. When things don’t turn out like they planned, they sometimes blame God. I think God, in His own gentle way, reminds them, “Don’t blame me - this is what you asked for.”

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