READ: I Samuel 8 – 10
BACKGROUND: Up until this time, Israel’s “government” had truly been “one nation, under GOD” – a theocracy. Israel, God’s chosen people, experienced the unique and amazing blessing of having GOD as their “head of state.” Time after time, Israelites rebelled against GOD’s authority and failed to receive all the blessings GOD wanted to give. Eventually, the Israelites ask Samuel to appoint a king for them just like those of their pagan enemies who did not know God.
I Samuel 8:7 – 9: Ultimately, despite all GOD had done for his people, they rejected him!
11- 18: God ordered Samuel to warn Israel of some of the disadvantages of having a king…it’s not all it’s cracked up to be!
19 – 22: Israel continues to insist they want to be “like all the other nations.”
1 Samuel 9 – 10: God allows the Israelites to have their way. Saul, tall, dark, and handsome, is anointed king.
9:6 – Read between the lines: Besides being really nice looking, what kind of a guy is Saul? Strike one….he has apparently never even heard of Samuel and that doesn’t say much about Saul’s intelligence.
10:11 – Strike two: The folks who knew Saul are saying to one another, “You’ve got to be kidding….He’s now a prophet?”
10:23 – Strike three: Poor Saul has to be dragged out of hiding to assume his new responsibilities!
Amazingly, Samuel is so full of humility and has such an incredible servant’s heart, he becomes Saul’s best friend, doing all he can to encourage, support, and instruct Saul in God’s ways.
THINK: Tonight, our small group gathered at our house as we do almost every week. Our church bulletin usually includes some thought provoking questions about the Sunday sermon and these lead to some interesting discussions. Sunday’s sermon was on repentance. One question asked why we find it so hard to repent, and the conversation jumped to the recent election, morality, immorality, abortion, same-sex relationships etc. Someone lamented that many popular television shows include same sex relationships. Someone else started talking about a recent very television episode and pretty soon everyone was laughing about some really entertaining shows featuring some really funny same sex couples. We went from thinking about repentance to laughing about sin in the space of about three minutes.
God purposely set up Israel as light to the Gentiles; as a light in a dark world, but Israel didn’t want to be different. In fact, they wanted to be just like the Gentiles. We don’t like to be different either. Many of us have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, but instead of longing to be more and more like him, we live just like the unbelievers around us – and, sadly, no one can tell the difference.
PRAY: God let our hearts be broken over the things that break your heart. Create in us a fresh desire to follow you!
Written By: Deb Howard