Summary: Addresses areas where Christians often unknowingly fall short.
THE WRONG PRESCRIPTION FOR THE PROBLEM
-Read 1 Samuel 8
As we read this chapter, it’s easy to say the leaders of Israel were all wrong asking for a king. Or, we can wrongly interpret God’s answer to Samuel as saying that simply asking for a king meant they were rejecting Him. But, before we jump to conclusions, let’s look at the situation for a minute.
In Israel at this time, there was neither peace within country, nor security from their neighbors. National unity had almost disappeared. They seemed more like 12 tribes than a united nation. They were scattered over a wide and rough territory, traversed by only a few paths. When hostile nations attacked a tribe, often, the other tribes were unmoved by their brothers’ plight. Many of the judges God raised up, had little impact outside their immediate areas of ministry.
In addition, Samuel’s sons were dishonest. They accepted bribes.
Now, God had promised both Abraham and Jacob that they would be the fathers of kings.
God even gave specific instructions concerning appointing a king in Deuteronomy.
- Read Deuteronomy 17:15-20
With all of this in mind, what was wrong with the people’s request?
I. THE PROBLEM WITH THE PRESCRIPTION
1. They desired a sign – They no longer trusted God, whom they could not see, to lead them, they wanted someone they could see.
2. They wanted to be like everyone else – v5
Look, everyone else has one, we want to be like them. It’s not good enough for God to move according to His timing, we want one now.
3. They wanted government to address what was a spiritual problem. – True, Samuel’s sons were corrupt and needed to be replaced, but they failed to notice that someone was paying them bribes.
These were the leaders of the nation. They were the ones who were supposed to address those problems within each of their tribes, but they wanted the government, a king, to handle bribery & dishonesty for them.
4. They wanted government, a king, to do what God had done for them in the past – v20
In the past, God had gone before them & given them great victories, but that was no longer good enough.
1. Trust God, not sight – How often do we feel that we must have a big bank account in order to feel safe and secure, instead of God’s promise “thy bread shall be given thee, & thy water made sure.”
2. Trust God’s timing, not others’ plans – We will have a building, organization, teams etc. in God’s timing. Don’t push, just because others & other churches have them already.
3. Examine our own sins – True, we must vote for Christians and support morality in our government, but we cannot allow government to excuse us from the responsibility God has given us.
Last Christmas some folks came to me and said they wanted to give some food & money to a family in need, but they didn’t know any. Why is that? Is it because we haven’t taken the time to get to know the people around us? How are we being salt & light then?
In almost every area, Christians, those who attend church, are equally as sinful as those who don’t attend church. Premarital sex, abortions, divorce, bankruptcy, you name it. Could it be that we want government to legislate what we fail to teach and model?