The Israelites Request a King


Today's Reading: 1 Samuel 8:1-22

I've been thinking a lot lately about something that Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  The basic idea is that no mater what we might say we want, we will always pursue and do that things that line up with our real treasures.

I can't help but see this very thing happening in 1 Samuel...

Israel was a theocracy is the truest sense of the word.  They were ruled directly by God, who then appointed judges and prophets to speak through and make his will known to the people.  At first this worked, but as is often the case, the people started to despise the fact that they were different from everyone else.  They wanted a human king to tell them what to do.  They were insecure with the fact that things worked differently for them.

I also see something about faith.  Israel lacked faith that a God they couldn't see really was taking care of them and could command the respect of the nations.  They didn't trust that God's plan and approach would work for their long-term wellbeing.  Hence the reason God says to Samuel, " is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king."  God was no longer good enough, and God's ways were no longer productive in their minds.  And rather than continue to sit and rest in and trust that God was still just as powerful as he showed himself to be during the exodus, they opted for putting their faith in a human and human plans.

I think about this in regard to how I conduct myself.  Yes, on a certain level I have be pro-active in working and making sure I keep a job so that I can pay bills; I can't just sit back with the attitude of "God will make sure my bills get paid" and use that as some kind of holy excuse for laziness.  But at the same time, do I trust God and what he has revealed for me enough to sit and rest in what he's doing?  Do I trust that the ways he says things do and will happen in the Bible are still that way today?  Or am I acting like Israel and running off looking for a human, earth-bound solution to the things I ought to be trusting God to handle?