4. Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel.
5. “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.”
1 Samuel 8: 4–5 NLT
Today’s Passage, at last, brings us to the crux of Part Two of The Story of Samuel. In my assessment, Part one was Samuel’s birth and instillation as Priest and Judge. Today’s Passage begins Part Two in earnest, as we start to see why God Called Samuel in the first place.
We already know that God sees the end from the beginning because Time for Him does not pass as it does for us. 2 Peter 3:8 tells us that God does not process the chronological timetable the way we do. He sees beyond time to tie tapestry strings together in the most intricate ways.
But what does that tell us about Today’s Passage and the Israelite’s decision to have a King? It means that God already knew the people’s desires BEFORE He established Samuel. In turn, it implies that He appointed Samuel for more than just replacing Eli and his sons because of their sins.
God saw this coming and knew the people would need a Strong Spiritual Leader to Guide them through what was approaching. Today’s Lesson stems from the most noteworthy portion of Today’s Passage, where the people reveal the reason for their desire to have a King.
The way I’ve chosen to break down this Chapter leaves both God’s and Samuel’s reactions to the people’s decision out to be covered on another day. But rest assured their response will be noted. Before we get to that, though, let’s look at Today’s Lesson.
Why did the Israelites ask for a King? Was it because of Samuel’s son’s sins, or was there another, deeper underlying motivation? Well, if you look at Today’s Passage, they clearly state their reason. The people told Samuel, “Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.”
So their motivation was to be like the nations that surrounded them. But God had already told them NOT to be like the other nations, that He would be their Ruler. And if that was not enough, the Israelites, throughout their post-Exodus history, had witnessed the reasons God wanted them separate from their neighbors. I suppose they forgot.
Today’s Lesson is never to forget who we are! God has not made us to be “like the world” but separate from them. We don’t act like they do because we have a different focus. The people of Samuel’s day wanted a King to feel like they belonged in the surrounding community of nations, but God had established Himself as their Ruler, and they rejected Him.
We’ll find out how that played out for them as we continue on through The Story of Samuel, but until then, Today’s Lesson is to embrace your uniqueness. Never try to fit into a world that hates and rejects God. You see, we have little in common with the world except for everything! The only difference between them and us is Grace!
God has called us all, everyone in the world, but those who have answered that Call understand the Invitation is more than simply submission. He has Called us to be unique, and with all that’s going on around us, we can only do that through His Power. The Israelites repeatedly proved that the allure of sin, especially when it surrounds you, is difficult to ignore.
Today’s Lesson is to Lean Into Your Peculiarity and Embrace God’s Mind and Mentality. It will absolutely make you different, and that difference will make you a target. But God is our Teflon body armor against enemy attack. When you let God be your Ruler, you are Protected. When you let anyone else lead you, expect failure!
Have a Thought-Provoking Thursday And Be Peculiar; It’s The Only Righteous Way To Live!