Summary: There is a very popular saying that states, “those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it,” and this is the theme that we will explore today. Today we are going to learn a very valuable lesson from a terrible decision.
As I have said on numerous occasions, no one is perfect. The truth is that all of us make mistakes, and are guilty of making decisions based on impulse. In other words, we allow ourselves to be led by our feelings, and the worst part is that we allow ourselves to be led by the things of this world. This causes many to reach the painful conclusion that our life would be much better if we had taken wiser decisions. Recognizing this in our life is not something easy, as no one likes to admit that we have been mistaken, and this is something extremely frustrating; especially when we are going through a difficult situation, that on many occasions we have brought onto ourselves. There is a very popular saying that states, “those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it,” and this is the theme that we will explore today. Today we are going to learn a very valuable lesson from a terrible decision. Let us now turn to the Word of God.
1 Samuel 8:4-7 - Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.
Like I always say, in order to have a better understanding of the message that God has for us today, it will be necessary to conduct a brief history review. The first book of Samuel describes the leadership transition in Israel from judges to kings, in other words from theocracy to monarchy. As we can see in the verses that we are studying today, Samuel had the distinction of being the last judge of Israel, and also the distinction of being the first prophet. This is something that is clearly stated in 1 Samuel 3:19-21 when we read, “So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the LORD. 21Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh. For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.” At this point in history Israel had settled in the Promised Land. They did not have a king that reigned over them, there was no government that dictated laws, demanded taxes, or that had an army. The reason why they did not have any of this is because they did not need it, they had judges that were raised by God, and He protected them at all times. This is something that is clearly reflected in Judges 2:18 when we read, “And when the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them.” In all reality the people of that time should have been extremely joyful because God himself guided and protected them, but apparently it was not enough for them. Keeping these brief details in mind, let us now continue with our study for today.
In the verses that we are studying today we read, “Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” As we can clearly see, the people were not satisfied with God reigning over them; the people were not satisfied with being extremely different than the rest of the world, but rather wanted to be just like the rest of the world. God had chosen them to be something very different from the rest of the world; this is something that is extremely clear in Deuteronomy 7:6 when we read, “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth;” however, they chose to ignore this.
Ignoring or not paying attention to the Word of God is something that continues to be a grave problem within the people of God of today. I say this because these people were chosen to be extremely special and different, and we also have been chosen in the same fashion. This is something that is clearly stated in 1 Peter 2:9 when we read, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” But regardless of this, there are many that insist in not being different from the rest of the world. The principal reason for this is because the majority of us have the need to be accepted by those that surround us. The problem that exists in this is that in order to do that, we then have to be part of the mix. This means that our way of thinking and acting will be more influenced by the circumstances and situations that surround us, instead of the Word of God. This means that our way of thinking and acting will be more influenced by that which is commonly and easily accepted by the world, instead of that, which is acceptable to God. Once we do this, then our faith begins to falter; needless to say that to cause the faith of a believer to falter and fail is a very well orchestrated plan by our enemy.