November 3

November 3, 2020
By Pastor Jonna
“God as King” 

Read: 1 Samuel 8
After God’s people had been rescued from slavery in Egypt, judges were appointed to lead them and to judge disputes and matters of concern to the people, fairly. Samuel had been a good judge, but his sons were evil. Verse 3 says that “they turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.” Naturally, his sons were the wrong people to have been given this responsibility, and the elders approached Samuel. But instead of asking for new judges to take the place of his sons, they asked for a king, so that they might be like the other nations.
Samuel was displeased with the elders’ request, so he prayed to the Lord. In a roundabout way, we learn that he was displeased because he was slighted; he believed they were rejecting him. But God told Samuel that were not rejecting him; they were rejecting God as their king.
The intention all along was that God, and God alone, would be Israel’s king. God would fight their battles, expand their territory, protect them, and guide them. And in return, God alone would be obeyed and receive their worship.
But no more. The people demanded a king so that they might be like the other nations, and God in His humility, accommodated them. He told Samuel to warn them of what the king would do. The king would take and take and take and take and take and take (6 times in 6 verses). And when that day came, they would cry out for relief from the king they had chosen, and the Lord would not answer them in that day (1 Sam 8:18).
Despite this negative forecast, the people refused to listen, and demanded a human king. A monarchy was not God’s intention, but God accommodated the will of the people, and gave them what they wanted. Eventually, God used other kingdoms to dismantle the kingdoms they had created, so that they might turn back to Him in humility.
We are not Israel, but when we hear this story, we can see ourselves. We want, and are desperate for, a human leader who will make everything right and will protect and lead compellingly. We have the responsibility and the privilege to vote for our leaders, and so we do, praying that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Not divorced from that responsibility and privilege, we recognize that no human institution will be perfect or as God has intended. Yet we pray that while we are on this side of eternity, we would hear and be responsive to God’s calling, in humility.
Heavenly Father, we crown You as King. You are King of creation and King of our lives. May we live in humble recognition of, and in service to, You all our days. We pray that You would give us wisdom as we vote for those who will soon lead us. We pray for these leaders to be led by You and that You would bring peace to troubled hearts. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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