Samuel was displeased with their request for a king; so he prayed to the LORD, and the LORD said, ‘Listen to everything the people say to you. You are not the one they have rejected; I am the one they have rejected as their king. Ever since I brought them out of Egypt, they have turned away from me and worshipped other gods; and now they are doing to you what they have always done to me.’
Read 1 Samuel 8:1–22
The suburb where we live is full of new houses with lots of nice things inside and outside, electric garage doors, automatic reticulation systems and those little garden lights everywhere! Maybe we have fallen into the trap of ‘keeping up with the people next door’. It’s a trap for Christians, because this drive to have the best and most expensive toys can rob you of the very thing you are chasing, which is a happy and prosperous life.
Israel fell into the trap too. They wanted a royal family, a palace, a court of nobles and recognition, just like all their neighbours. Samuel was not happy with the request because he knew that it was a rejection of God’s management and care of the people. ‘Nothing new there’, says God. ‘That’s what my people have always done and still often do’.
So, what does God do with us who often call his management of our affairs into question? He stays with us, just as he stayed with his people, Israel, even in all their bad decision making!
Thank you, Lord, for managing your world with grace and infinite wisdom through Jesus Christ. Help me to trust your management of my affairs, and stay with me even when I make wrong decisions. Amen.
by Adrian Kitson, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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