Thursday after the Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Samuel 8:1-22 (NKJV)
1 Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5 and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9 Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”
10 So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked him for a king. 11 And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. 16 And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. 18 And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the LORD. 22 So the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.” And Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Every man go to his city.”
“Be careful what you ask for!”
Samuel was getting old and his sons where not faithful judges of Israel. The people saw a problem. However, they did not see the proper solution. They had a really good system. God was their King. He watched over them and had placed judges over them. They were a unique nation among the nations for the true God was also their King. He is the God Who rescued their forefathers from bondage in Egypt. He provided food and water for them in the wilderness. He defended them from their enemies. He gave and gave and gave.
But the elders of Israel had another idea “Now make us a king to judge like all the nations.” They weren’t content with God’s way of doing things. They would rather be “like all the nations.” Indeed, their king would be “like all the nations.” “He will take.” The people refused to listen to God and God gave them what they wanted and they suffered much for it.
It is hard for us to fully grasp that the True God is a giving God. He has expectations for His people: “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Yet, all that He expects, He gives to us in Christ. The explanations to the three articles of the Apostles’ Creed clearly show our giving God.
But there is one thing that He does “take” from us. He takes away our sins. He takes away our sins so that He may give us life and salvation. So be careful what you ask for by always asking for forgiveness.