Day 26 Samuel 8:1-22
In I Samuel 8, the Israelites came to Samuel and asked him to appoint a king over them “as all the other nations have” (v. 5). This didn’t sit well with Samuel and so he went to the Lord in prayer. The Lord told Samuel that it was Him and not Samuel that the people were rejecting. The Lord also told Samuel to warn the people what the king ruling over them would do. When Samuel did as the Lord said, the people wouldn’t listen.
But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” [I Samuel 8:19-20]
Two things in these verses really stand out. The first is the reason the people wanted a king – “Then we will be like all the other nations.” This “keeping up with the Jones” mentality points to their desire to “fit in.” This is definitely a human trait, but not a godly one! The other thing that stands out is the last statement of what this king would do for them – “go out before us and fight our battles.” This desire to have someone else fight our battles is also a common human trait. But there are many times when we need to fight our own battles. When we do, Scripture reminds us to not do so in our own strength, but in the Lord’s. The Israelites were saying that they no longer trusted in God’s strength but were willing to put their trust in a man. This after how many times God had led them to victory?
We can sit back and judge the Israelites for their choices, or we can meditate on this passage and how it is often a reflection of our own choices. How often do I want to fit in at any cost? How often do I look for others to fight my battles for me rather than trust in the Lord to provide what I need to face them? Let’s look in the mirror before we look at others through a magnifying glass.
In Proverbs 3:5-6, we are told, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” It begins with where we are to put our trust – not in ourselves; not in another person; but first and foremost, we are to put our trust in the Lord. When we do trust Him and acknowledge or involve Him in everything we do, He will guide us.
Everyday we have decisions that need to be made. Do we first look to the world around us for help and guidance? Do we rely solely on our own abilities and desires? Or, do we trust in the Lord and seek His help? Who really is the ruler of your life?