I was recently reading a story from I Samuel 8:1-22. Samuel is an old man at this time, and his sons are corrupt. The people, recognizing that Samuel isn’t going to be around too much longer, and not wanting his sons to become the next High Priest, make a request. They ask Samuel if they can be like everyone else, and be ruled by a king.
Of course, Samuel takes this personally. For Israel’s entire existence, they were ruled by God. The High Priest would talk with God, and then tell the people what God would say. Samuel, obviously upset at this request, shared it with God. With Samuel feeling rejected, God comforted Samuel by telling him that it was not Samuel they were rejecting, but rather it was God himself they were rejecting. God told Samuel to warn the people of the additional burdens a king brings to the people. The people did not care and still wanted a king.
If you read further in I Samuel and read straight through I and II Kings, you will see the tragedy that many of these kings bring to Israel. All the pain and suffering some of these kings brought, was all out of the people’s desire to be like everyone else.
Verse 5 “Appoint a king to rule us, just like everybody else.”
My devotional posed this challenge to me, and I thought I would share it with you:
Be honest with God about any frustration of wanting to be like others or frustration with those who do. Ask God to show you the advantages of trusting him more with these things.
Proverbs 3:5 sums up the solution “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.”
My “understanding” often leads me to thinking that if I had the looks, the charm, the money, the talent, that skills, the athleticism, etc. that someone else has, that I would be happier. When I look at someone else, I think my life would be MUCH better if I had what they had. God says, “lean not on your own understanding.” What I think I know/understand, doesn’t compare to what God knows/understands (Isaiah 55:8-9) God says to simply just “acknowledge” Him. In other words He says, “talk and listen to Me about what you are thinking.”
Hopefully today I’ll be A LOT less like the Israelites. I need to “acknowledge” God more in my life, and quit trying to simply copy everyone else. I need to trust the ONE that can lead me down the right path. The only path that will truly give me joy and happiness and a fulfilling life!