There’s a lot going on in the chapters I read from 1 Samuel today. It’s certainly good to read the bible in a year, but you realise you need to go back and read it to really take it all in! I’m doing this by listening to the Bible, ‘The Bible Experience’ in the car on my commute; awesome version of an audio bible!
Anyway, in Chapter 4 to 8 of the first book of Samuel, I worked through some battles with the Philistines, the death of Eli and his sons, the Ark being stolen. Then I read that one of Eli’s son’s wives died in childbirth, then God really punishes the Philistines for stealing the Ark and so they return it with some big sin offerings in the hope that God would stop punishing them, which worked. In amongst this Samuel was the Judge and then retired and appointed his sons who, like Eli’s sons, were not good. And the final story in chapter 8 is where the people asked Samuel to give them a King. It’s this story that stuck out for me today.
Although Samuel was upset at the idea, he went to the Lord for advice and the Lord told Samuel to do as the people asked and that they were rejecting God not Samuel. God said ‘..They don’t want me to be there King anymore’. God told Samuel to warn the people about the problems that would happen if they had a King and what’s interesting is that God had already predicted this in Deuteronomy 17:14-20 and there had provided guidelines.
I just find it amazing how God still looks after us when we make bad choices and even when we reject Him as King. I guess if I’m honest I probably do this everyday in one way or another and yet God still helps and still provides. In Samuel, it wasn’t the desire for a King that was wrong, but the fact that the people wanted a King to be like other nations. Israel was called to be a holy nation, separate and unique from others. The Church is called to be set apart from the world and Jesus is our true King –King of Kings. This reminds me of the song by Jarrod Cooper: King of Kings, majesty, that’s my worshipful prayer to my King:
King of kings, majesty,
God of Heaven living in me,
gentle Saviour, closest friend,
strong deliverer, beginning and end,
all within me falls at your throne.
Your majesty, I can but bow,
I lay my all before you now.
In royal robes I don’t deserve
I live to serve your majesty.
Earth and Heaven worship you,
love eternal, faithful and true,
who bought the nations, ransomed souls,
brought this sinner near to your throne;
all within me cries out in praise.
Written by Berry Bunch Jo