The people of Israel wanted a king. Samuel took the request to God and the LORD told Samuel to warn them: A king will take much away from them.
“But the people refused to listen to Samuel. ‘No!’ they
said. ‘We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with
a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles’” (1 Samuel
In the end, we get to choose our kings. We decide to whom we give our
allegiance. We decide where we send our money. We decide where we point our
children. We decide the focus of our time. We decide who we will follow as
“When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated
it before the LORD. The LORD answered, ‘Listen to them and give them a king.’”
(1 Samuel 8:21-22a [NIV]).
We get to choose our king, but we cannot control what the king demands. When
we choose money as our king, it demands greed that never obtains enough. When
we choose sex as our king, it seduces us with desires that are never completely
quenched. Power is no better as the leader is always subject to someone else.
The Israelites wanted a king. So, God gave them a king.
“Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul
son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. After removing
Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: 'I have found
David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him
to do.' From this man's descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus,
as he promised” (Acts 13:21-23 [NIV]).
Saul led well for awhile, but then he broke down and focused his energy on
chasing after his successor. David was known as a man after God’s own heart,
but he wasn’t thinking with his heart when he slept with another man’s wife,
killed that man, and then took her for himself. Solomon asked for wisdom and
received it, but in using it he fulfilled all the worst predictions God
announced to Israel through Samuel. Israel wanted a king and the LORD gave
them a king. Then, piece by piece, Israel gave away the best parts of
themselves and their lives. They didn’t choose wisely.
How about you? Who is your king? Have you chosen? Are you thinking about
choosing again? Choose wisely.