The Jephthah Cycle - Day 5

Opening Prayer:

Dear Lord, You are alive and almighty! Make my life glorifying to You. Help me accept You fully into my heart. Amen.

 

Read: 1 Samuel 8:4-7 (NIV)


“So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 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.”
 

Reflect:

This is a pivotal moment in Christian history. Israel, God’s chosen people, are asking Samuel for a king. So what’s the big deal about this? Samuel is just a prophet so he shouldn’t be too offended, right? And who doesn’t want a leader they can follow into battle and to depend upon for protection?

Well, the sad part is that God was serving the role as their leader up until this point. He was all they needed to lead the people in the history of the faith until then. It was Samuel that God used to communicate to the people of Israel, just as He did with many prophets throughout history. So when the people demanded a king, just like “all the other nations”, it is easy to understand how Samuel felt like a failure. He was the prophet under whom Israel demanded a human king rather than just a heavenly one.

But God reassures Samuel. Samuel has served faithfully and probably even if one of his children was the perfect next prophet, I’ll bet the people would have demanded the same thing eventually. The truth was Israel had fallen away from the faith and no longer trusted God to lead them.

And in a classic “grass is always greener on the other side” situation, demanding a king comes back to bite the Israelites. They go through centuries of pain and sacrifice. And Samuel even warns them of all of this before he gives in and starts the king-appointing process. The warning is written in the rest of 1 Samuel 8.

Apply: 


Rejection hurts. Whether you’re a human or God, it hurts. When we reject God in our daily lives, it only leads to pain and unnecessary sacrifice. Where have you rejected God in order to have what others have? Write down some areas that you have done this and ask God for forgiveness. Seek Him and He will bless you fully!

 

Closing Prayer:


Dear Lord, You are all I need. I sometimes think that what others have without you is better than what I have with You. Forgive me for thinkng this way and even at times pursuing this. Help me to be Your fully devoted follower! Amen.

Terry Schneider