Here is part of the reading from my chronological reading yesterday, and some of my thoughts.
1 Samuel 8
Israel Requests a King 1 As Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel. 2 Joel and Abijah, his oldest sons, held court in Beersheba. 3 But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice.
4 Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. 5 “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.”
6 Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance. 7 “Do everything they say to you,” the Lord replied, “for it is me they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. 8 Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. 9 Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.”
Samuel Warns against a Kingdom 10 So Samuel passed on the Lord’s warning to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 “This is how a king will reign over you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons and assign them to his chariots and his charioteers, making them run before his chariots. 12 Some will be generals and captains in his army, some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, and some will make his weapons and chariot equipment. 13 The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. 14 He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own officials. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your grape harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. 16 He will take your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your cattle and donkeys for his own use. 17 He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding, but then the Lord will not help you.”
19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. 20 “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.”
21 So Samuel repeated to the Lord what the people had said, 22 and the Lord replied, “Do as they say, and give them a king.” Then Samuel agreed and sent the people home.
Today's reading is sad and scary. How many times have we allowed Things and People to capture our God and take Him out of our lives. How many times have we turned to other things and people for comfort, joy, peace and prosperity. I'm guilty. It reminded me of Romans 12:2 (NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Even more reason why it is so critical that we build ourselves up in God's word. I know personally that the more I read the more I want to be pleasing to God and the farther from this world I see myself. I feel like I don't belong, and you know what - I'm okay with that. It's hard sometimes to read through so many wars and rules and laws, but it also helps me see the passion and feelings that God has. His emotions, anger, hurt and frustration. If we are made in his image, then why do we think He won't understand what we are going through. Why do we hesitate to go to Him for our answers. Is it because we feel He won't agree with us? Today reminds me that I/we need to slow down and carefully think about the things I think I want in and for my life. Do I really want a King? Or do I want my God?
Thanks for reading, Blessing to all of you - Have a wonder-filled Easter. He is alive!