Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: I Samuel 8: 1-22
Text: But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, “No! We are determined to have a king over us, so that we may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.” (vs. 19-20)
Be careful what you wish for…you may just get it…in spades!
The people wanted a change. They told the prophet Samuel that he was getting too old and that his sons were corrupt. Well, he knew that latter and resented the former.
The people wanted a king who would fight their battles. They wanted to be like everyone else. Where else have we heard the lament; “Everyone else is doing it!” Ah, yes, from our own mouths and the lips of our children.
God told Samuel not to take it personally. The people were not rejecting him but God. Samuel warned Israel that they did not know what they were asking for. He explained what having a king meant in the starkest of terms but it didn’t make any difference. So God gave them a king, and things went from bad to worse.
Life lessons: It’s not always about leadership; sometimes it’s about followership. Some things can only be learned through experience. No one else can fight your battles. Trusting God’s Providential is hard. Trusting the God knows best is even harder. Be careful that in the pursuit of success that we do not lose our soul…or our heart in the process.
Lord, give me a heart of wisdom and understanding today. Let me not seek easy answers or dangerous shortcuts that cut me off from experiencing Your gracious mercy. Amen.