Choose Your King

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” -1 Samuel 8:4-20

“We want a King”!

The people shouted.

Prophets filled with the Spirit of God lost their appeal.

“We want to be like the rest of the world. We want to be owned.”

Slavery was okay if they could see their king.

If they could be like the rest of the world.

He will take what is yours and use it for his work, said the Lord.

He will put to use your resources for his own agenda. Your talents for ill-purpose.

To which they cried, “We must have a king over us!”

Beforehand, it was the Word who led them.

Slowly, this became not enough.

They were distinctly led by their Shepherd.

His law and love made them different. His mark was on them.

This distinction was no longer relished.

Where they should have welcomed His mark, they wanted to hide it.

The Word was no longer their delight.

Their source of security roamed and found a new place to settle.

In the men their Shepherd created.

“We want to blend in”, was their plea.

The cost mattered little to them.

Sacred Care they cast away for the idol of acceptance .

“Take what we have, we want to be like everyone else.”

They wanted what they could see.

Sovereign over their lives, He knew what they needed.

Their best interests wrapped up His ways.

The glory they sought, the glory they were made for, they missed.

The Maker knows they were made to glory in Him.

Yet they settled for the illusion of man.

“We want a king!” But not like the One we can’t see.

This great and awful exchange only leaves us crying out.

In the end we groan for help.

This king is a symbol.

A symbol of earthly agendas and worldly hopes.

If this life is all we have then anything that requires waiting or faith is unnecessary to us.

Is the Lord necessary to you?

“Sit before me.” Jesus said to Martha.

Learn and submit to my word and presence”.

This is the good portion and it will never be taken away.

Look like the world? You never will.

What does this mean for you and for me?

When it feels like we are left in the dark, and the impulse to reach for the world’s resources arises,

Let us choose our King.

He lets us wait.

His face he may hide.

His presence far off feels.

His work untraceable.

Yet His word is present.

His spirit is promised.

His life means life for us, regardless of feelings.

The Lord reigns!

His Kingdom has no end.

And we are His people.

Called into a kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Created to be under Christ’s care.

Under our King’s authority we are priests and co-heirs.

Royals hidden in rags.

We are not what we will be.

Two paths lie before us.

Do you see Christ for who He is?

Remember how easily we deemed him a fraud.

“King of the Jews” above his head hung.

We trade glory for criminals.

Lasting joy for momentary bliss.

Eternity cries out to you and me.

Speaking of reality beyond the grave.

So, dear flock.

The question you must face.

Today, who demands your praise?

Choose the right King.