Monday, April 13, 2015

Message from Ryan Stephens, Middle & High School Teacher

It’s interesting, in 1 Samuel 8:1-22 we read that God is saddened when the elders of Israel request a king. Yet in Deuteronomy 17:14-20, God had already given permission and laws concerning how a future king was to conduct his rule. Furthermore, in Genesis 17:6 God had already promised Abraham that “kings would come from him.”

The obvious question is, why is God upset at the request for a king in 1 Samuel when all along God has been paving the way for a king?

The answer is that in 1 Samuel God is not angry that they asked for a king. Rather, he is angry about the kind of king they are asking for. In 1 Samuel 8:20 we read that the main reason Israel wanted a king was so that they could have a “leader in battle” who would fight for them. Now is becomes clear why God is hurt by their request. All through Scripture one of the common themes is that God wants his people to know that when they are faithful He will fight for them. God wants to be our warrior, our savior, our redeemer. God wants his people to look to him in times of trouble, not to their own strength. Over and over again from Gen-Judges God showed his people, against the worst of odds, what happens when his people trust him to lead. Abraham rescuing Lot, the Exodus, Joshua in Canaan, and the Judges.

Going back to Samuel then, we can see that the problem was not with having a king, the problem was with asking for a king who would take God’s position rather than for a king who would understand that his role is as servant to the Great King.

As a reminder for us today, may we look to God as our warrior, our savior, our strength. May our leaders trust God to lead, and submit to Him as servant under His rule. And may we find security and contentment in our God who promises to fight for His people even when the odds seem insurmountable

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26

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