Monday, September 20, 2010

Is God Enough?

(1 Samuel 8) 7 [God speaking to Samuel] "it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.” 
(1 Sam 12)
12 "But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, 'No, we want a king to rule over us'-even though the LORD your God was your king. 13 Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for… 17 And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a king.

I've been reading through 1 Samuel which among other things, chronicles Israel's move from being a people ruled by judges, to a people ruled by a king.  It is a surprising end to an era in Israel's history; an era that saw them move from trusting God (mostly) and the men He appointed to lead them, (Moses, Aaron, Joshua), to wanting to look like the other nations and have a king (rejecting God).  There's many observations and lessons we could glean, but I want to focus on just 2.

1) Is God enough?  It is clear in this passage that God views Israel's desire for a king as outright rejection.  They no longer trust God.  Instead, they want a king - and in effect they are saying, "we trust in human kings that we can see more than in an Sovereign God that we can't see."  Now before you get all judgmental on them, ask yourself, who or what do you trust in?  It's easy to say you trust in God, but what if things stopped going your way?  What if you lost your job, or house, or cars, or had all your savings lost, or the stock market crashes and you lose your retirement, or you get diagnosed with cancer, or a child dies, etc.  Then who do you trust?  Is God enough?  What if, like Job, everything you had and had worked for were stripped away?  Ultimately, we can't honestly answer that question unless we're in that place.  However, the call for us as believers is nothing short of whole-hearted trust in God.

2) Do you look like the world?  In other words, Israel wanted a king because all the other nations had kings (1 Sam 8:19-20: " 'No!' they said.  'We want a king over us.  Then we will be like all the other nations...").  How many times have you and I been guilty of wanting something or wanting to do something simply because "everyone else has/does it?"  As Christians, we are called to live "in" the world but not to be "of" the world.  Our citizenship is in heaven and we are sons and daughters of God.  In other words, we're not supposed to look like everyone else.  We're supposed to be LIGHT - and SALT.

In the end, Israel was found guilty on both counts; rejecting God as their king, and wanting to look like everyone else.  And still, God promised to bring them back to Him if they would follow Him whole-heartedly; "For the sake of His great name the Lord will not reject His people..." (I Sam 12:22)

I leave you with two questions; 1) Is God enough?  2) Are you "different"?

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