Chapter eights application was filled with hard truths, but honestly felt really familiar to where we are today in our world, but first here’s a quick recap on our chapter. Samuel’s sons were supposed to be the new leaders/judges. However, they too had become corrupt, so now that Samuel was getting older, the elders of Israel came to Samuel demanding that he instead appoint a king to lead them. It says in scripture that they said, “such as all the other nations have.” (v. 4) Did a red flag go up for anyone else right there? They were wanting to do what everyone else was doing even though they had God. Samuel knew that his sons couldn’t go on to lead, but that a king was not the answer. So he prayed about it.
As Samuel prayed over his feelings about handing it over to a king, the Lord answered him with today’s scripture, “…it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.” 1 Samuel 8:7 He went on in his response to tell Samuel to listen to them but to warn them what will happen if they do go forward with having a king as their leader. But, despite Samuel’s warnings and sharing what the Lord told him, they still demanded a king… this can’t be good! I believe this verse still applies to today. That when we are rejected because of our faith or judged because we make different choices, that we can see that it’s not us, but that it is Him they are rejecting. We are living in a time where God seems to only be getting more and more removed and the world’s voice is only getting louder and louder, but we have to fight to keep God as our leader, and fight for what we believe He desires for us. Our application took it one step further to say “The Israelites motive in asking for a king was to be like the nations around them.” Not because they thought it was the best or right choice for their country. Anyone else feel the constant pressure to be like the world around them? “It was not their desire for a king that was wrong, but their reasons for wanting a king.” Exactly! It’s all too easy to let the values and actions of others, tempt us, possibly even change our own ways. We need to be on high alert that the values of others don’t pull us away from what God says is right. “What they needed was a united faith, not a uniform leader.” Despite where we fall politically, we need to come together, love each other and be united by our faith!
Have you ever felt rejected because of your faith or has someone judged you because you follow the ways of the Lord and don’t just do what everyone else is doing? Write down a time when you chose the world instead of God. How did it go? How did it make you feel?
Heavenly Father, thank you for today’s reading and for highlighting this verse for us. Help us to unite in our faith, to keep you as our leader. Help us to stand up for our faith, despite the rejection it may cause. We know you call us to follow you in ALL areas of life, help us to be faithful in that, so that when the world shouts, we can continue to live for you. Be with us when pressure rises and we struggle to hear you, remind us that you are with us always and your ways are greater. In your faithful name we pray, AMEN!