“But the Lord told him: Listen to the people and everything they say to you. They have not rejected you; they have rejected me as their king. They are doing the same thing to you that they have done to me, since the day I brought them out of Egypt until this day, abandoning me and worshiping other gods.” – 1 Samuel 8:7-8
When I read today’s scripture verse, my heart sinks deep within me. I am so appalled that all I can think of is ‘How could they reject God this way?’ It seems crazy and sad that the children of Israel could desire a king for themselves, to rule over them like the other pagan nations around them when they had the one true King. Then, I am reminded of the many times when I have done the very same thing and am convicted of my own sin and realize that I am more like my forefathers than I care to admit. I may not have uttered the same words as they did, not so bluntly, not so explicitly yet I know God’s heart was grieved just as deeply. All so I could “be like the other nations”. How often do we desire to be like other nations? And to embrace what other nations embrace even though it is contrary to God’s desire for us?
Reality hits me hard when I realize that I have rejected God when I thought I knew best when it came to my sexuality.
I rejected God every time I chose my will over His will.
I rejected God as my King every time I chose to follow the wisdom of this world rather than His Word.
Well, you get the idea…There are so many ways in which we reject God as our King on a daily basis. Your ways of rejecting God may look different from mine yet in the end we get to the same result.
Sadly, God allows us to obtain the desires of our heart even though it isn’t always best for us. However, He does so after having read out loud the big disclaimer that we try to bypass and pretend to be blind to. The Bible says that God “gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.” Psalms 81:12 ESV
Oh how stubborn we can be. Later, once we have obtained what we desire, we are quick to come crying back to him failing to understand that with every evil desires of our heart, God sent a specific warning.
In the same way, Israel could have their earthly king as they demanded but their king could take the best of their possessions, their sons as soldiers, their daughters as perfumers, cooks or bakers. The king was not guaranteed to do what was best for the people but God always did. While the king would be a man, God was and is God, knowing and doing what is best for His people. God was already their deliverer who had taken them out of Egypt, out of bondage. Yet, now, they wanted to become “slaves” to a new master.
God had been their provider, making sure they never lacked even in the wilderness as He poured manna from heaven. Their new king would be sure to take from them whatever he could but had no power to provide as God did. God was their leader and commander of their armies granting them victory over their enemies but the king could be defeated.
Israel failed to value God as their ultimate King even more so Jesus who would come to be the king of Kings. Today, let’s turn our hearts and mind back to God, letting go of the things we idolize from the world and holding on to what draws us closer to heaven. Let’s become children who value God and His ways more than we value what the world has to offer. Let’s not give God any reason to say that we have rejected Him. God is King over all, even our King.
2 Peter 2:19
Dear God, I know I have rejected you many times consciously and at times unconsciously. My rebellious heart has often turned away from you and I have sought the lesser things over you. Forgive me for my rebellions and help me find my way back to you. Take your place back on the throne of my heart and be my King again for I want no other than you. Be my leader, my sustainer, my provider, my deliverer, my strength and my first love. In Jesus’ name, amen