What Do You Want?
But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the Lord said to Samuel, “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. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.” —1 Samuel 8:6-9
After the nation of Israel settled into the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, God ruled over them as their King. He also sent some hand-picked representatives who were called judges to provide leadership during crises. Samuel was the last of the judges. He was a pretty good man, but not so great father. 1 Samuel 8:1 says, “When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel.”
This was nepotism of the worst kind. Samuel’s sons didn’t even pretend to want the role their father assigned them. Neither the people nor God were pleased with the situation, but for different reasons. The people said they rejected Samuel’s wicked sons in favor of a king; God knew that in that rejection was a deeper rejection of Him.
The people were like, “Man, we’re tired of this judge thing. We don’t want that anymore. We want to be like other people. Why can’t we just have a king like other people have?” Well, the deal in place was that God wanted to be their King. And that’s why, in verse 7, “The Lord said to Samuel, ‘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.’”
God was like, “You think this is great? You think you want to have a king? I’m not enough for you?
As a general lesson, beware of begging God for stuff. Sometimes God’s like, you know, “You want that? Here you go!” Psalm 106:15 says, “He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul” (NKJV). Getting what we want is sometimes God’s way of teaching us what we shouldn’t want. And when we reject God’s rightful lordship over our lives, we put ourselves on the road to disappointment and disaster. Israel wanted a king, and they got one. But generation after generation would regret getting their way.
Most of us carry around “what I want” lists that govern our decisions. More of us need to edit them into “what does God want” lists. God always knows better. —James MacDonald
· How would I have to change my “I want” list to make it into a “God wants” list for my life?
· How would those changes affect the way I live?
Prayer: Father, since we are Your creatures, it makes sense to remember that You know what’s best for us. Guide me as I seek to order my desires and priorities to make sure they fit what Your Word is telling me are Your desires for me. Help me not to insist on having my way now that I realize you sometimes answer our demands with a lesson. I long to see Your will be done even in the details of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen