Thursday, November 06, 2008

Does this sound familiar?

When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice. 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." (1 Samuel 8:1-9)

The people wanted a man to be king over them, a man to rule them rather than God. They wanted someone else to lead them, someone who would appeal to what they thought a ruler should look like and act like and sound like. Not God who would require sacrifice and humility. So who ended up being the king? A man who on the surface really looks like a great candidate to be king, but turns out to be a disaster.

There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. And he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people. (1 Samuel 9:1-2)

He was comely, tall and handsome. He stood out in the crowd. People probably naturally liked him. But he was sent to these people not as a blessing, but a reproach to those who sought to throw off the lordship of God for a human leader. Saul turns out to be not so great a king. Just ask David! He became paranoid, crazed, he worshipped God in unauthorized ways and eventually he and his sons died, Saul by suicide.

It is reported that a large percentage of so-called evangelicals rejected their King and voted for a man who suited them better. Could it be that the man elected over us has been sovereignly placed over us as a reproach instead of a blessing?

1 comment:

Michael R. Jones said...

My wife has been saying this very same thing and I think both of you may be right on the money!

Thankfully we can still rest in the sovereign care of God, trusting in his promises.