Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and 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.” 1 Samuel 8:5
Let me give you some background as we launch into today’s Victory Call. Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan, conquered the inhabitants and dispensed the inheritance to each tribe. Upon Joshua’s death judges were appointed to rule over the people. As long as the judge ruled the people obeyed; when the judge died the people strayed. That cycle continues throughout the book of Judges. Samuel was a great and honorable judge, but when he got older he appointed his two sons to be judges. His sons were not righteous like their father so the people demanded a king.
While that may have been a contributing factor, according the 1 Samuel 8:5 it was not the real reason. They actually wanted a king to judge them “like all the nations.” NIV says, “such as all the other nations have.” They believed that they were missing out because they were not like the other nations.
Israel was God’s chosen people. He is their God. He is their King. “I will take you as My people, and I will be your God “ (Exodus 6:7). “I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Lev. 26:12). “I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel” (Isaiah 45:3).
Yet, the Israelites wanted more. They wanted a king, like the other nations. They were not satisfied with God as their King. He was not like other kings. They wanted a king with skin on.
Samuel was distressed by their request, but read the LORD’s response: “But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to judge us.’ So Samuel prayed to the LORD. And 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…’” 1 Samuel 8:6-7
Do you know where I’m going with this?
Are you one of God’s chosen and adopted people? Are you part of the Bride of Christ? Is God your Father? Is Jesus your Groom? Have you ever said or thought, “I just want a (friend, husband, fill-in-the-blank) with skin on?” Do you feel deep down that Jesus is not enough? You want more? When we start to believe the lie that we need something God has not given us, we become dissatisfied with what it is He has given us. Himself.
I am not suggesting that we were not created for relationship or community or to be loved. We were, but we need to keep all of that in perspective relative to our relationship with Christ and how He has sovereignly chosen to meet the needs in our lives.
If He is not enough, let us pray that we will look to Him to be enough.
I am blessed today. How about you?
Diane Hunt served for 16 years on the staff of America’s Keswick until recently when she and her husband relocated to North Carolina. She now continues serving as a contributing writer and Partner Care consultant. Diane is also a Biblical Counselor, speaker, teacher, and author. She delights in the opportunities she has as a women’s conference and retreat speaker to share from God’s word. Many of her illustrations are drawn from her relational experiences as a wife, mother, and mema. They are the very relationships that bring her the greatest joy and the most fun!