Thursday, December 17, 2015

Choose Wisely

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 8:19-20 [NIV]).

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 king.

“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.