And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. – 1 Samuel 8:7
Samuel grew old and was unable to travel his circuit to judge Israel as he had in the past. He appointed his sons as judges over Israel, but they turned to filthy lucre and did not follow after God. The people came to Samuel and demanded a king to lead them instead of him, the man and servant of God. This news displeased Samuel, who had tried to lead them with all his heart by following after God. However, the people wanted to be like the rest of the world and be ruled by a man and not God. God tried to cheer up Samuel by saying the people were not rejecting him but God, as their king.
It is interesting that the people of God in Samuel’s day wanted to be ruled by an earthly king rather than the King of kings. They had lived under pharaonic rule for 400 years. I’m sure they had become accustomed to that style of living, but that generation died out in the desert. Their children inherited the Promised Land and lived under the rule of God’s appointed judges. In the time of the judges, though, many foreign powers invaded the land and oppressed Israel and continued the rule of man. They Hebrews only called out for God to deliver them when the pressure of slavery became to great.
From the very beginning of their lives as His chosen people, God desired to be their God and their King. However, the hardness of their hearts always turned them away from God to pursue their personal ambitions. Science tells us that human propensity for imitation, mockery, and “monkey-see-monkey-do” is an integral part of the human nature. People see others doing something, and they want to do it. It is really nothing more than the sin of greed and jealousy. These two items are at the very center of human nature. They are contrary to the nature of God that is giving and loving.
Many people, today, are no different from ancient Israel. They want to have the blessed life promised by God, but they don’t want to be ruled by God. They want human leadership that will conform to their every whim and not tell them how to live. You see, under God’s rule there is only one Way to do things, His Way. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. People don’t want to hear that they can’t just do whatever they want and not receive God’s blessing. The fact of the matter is that obedience to God brings blessings. There is no other way.
Do you rule and sit on the throne of your heart, or does God? Who is King in your life? Is it God? Is it you? God will not compete with anyone or anything to be ruler of your life. He freely offers an invitation to all people everywhere to allow Him to be King of their lives. Those that accept that invitation turn their lives over to Him will enjoy an eternal reward of life with Him forever. Those that refuse to submit to Him will receive their eternal reward of torment in the fiery lake of hell. Those are the only two choices in this life.
When we reject God as King, we make ourselves king. Many people like that idea and will do as ancient Israel did. They were told that having an earthly king would only submit them to slavery, but they cried all the more for it instead of having God as King and the associated blessings coming from Him. Who do you want as King? Do you want slavery to sin? Or, do you want freedom in Messiah? The choice is yours to make. God awaits your decision.
Father, thank You for inviting me into Your family and forgiving me of my sins. I gladly trade places with You and allow You to be King of my life. I want You to sit not only on the throne of heaven but to sit atop the throne of my heart and life. It is Yours for the taking. I bow humbly before You and serve the greatest King ever! There is none like You! All hail King Jesus! He is the only One worthy to receive all glory, honor, power and praise! Holy is He! Praise Him all you people, for His blood has washed away our sins. Glory to God in the Highest, the King of kings and LORD of lords. In Jesus’ name, Amen.