FREE WILL DOESN’T FREE YOU FROM THE CONSEQUENCES

Chris Reid
4 min readMay 25, 2023

DAILY WORD

5/25/23

14. “Now if you fear and worship the LORD and listen to his voice, and if you do not rebel against the LORD’s commands, then both you and your King will show that you recognize the LORD as your God.

15. But if you rebel against the LORD’s commands and refuse to listen to him, then his hand will be as heavy upon you as it was upon your ancestors.

1 Samuel 12: 14–15 NLT

Today’s Passage answers the question many of you reading along with these DAILY WORD Posts covering this portion of THE STORY OF SAMUEL may have been asking yourselves. What’s the Point?

Over the last several days, we’ve reviewed Saul’s coronation as the inaugural King of Israel. But even as God consents to the rebellious Israelite’s request for a King, He warns them about their decisions.

But what is the Point of all His warning and admonition if He was just going to grant them their request anyway? It has already been established that by asking for a King, the Israelites were rejecting God as their King and Ruler in lieu of a human being they could see and assumably touch.

If God was their King and they didn’t like one of His rulings, what were they supposed to do about it? But if they had a human as their Ruler, and he made an edict they disapproved of, he would be far easier to complain to if they could go to where he was and speak to him directly.

I do not know if that motivated the Israelites, but it tracks logically, especially given their previous dealings with God’s Authority. He’d never have had to tell them not to kill each other, steal from each other, or sleep with another individual’s spouse if that behavior wasn’t already a significant concern among them.

So, there was a reason God Commanded His people in specific moral tenets after their Exodus from Egypt. We aren’t talking about a group of automatically honorable or pious people here. The Israelites were defiant, untrustworthy, and prone to following whatever trend the local pagans deemed customary, and we know some of their practices were displeasing to God, to say the least.

God knew who He was dealing with when He decided to allow Israel a King, but He had a few caveats if He was going to sanction this new dynamic. God had a few rules for the Israelites to adhere to if He was going to give His nod to Saul, and His guidelines are the Point of all He’s been saying to the Israelites through Samuel’s prophecy.

God told the Israelites they could have their King. He would allow their rejection of His Rule, but they still had to Remain Faithful to Him and Obey His Voice. He told them that if they did that, the people and their King would enjoy God’s Favor and Protection.

But as with His initial Commandments, God said if they rebelled and turned away from His Laws, He would stretch out His Hand against them. It is no different from when they began. Now they only have another layer of human failure between them and God’s Hand of Favor. You can’t even call that an upgrade!

The Point of all this and the Nugget of Truth constituting Today’s Lesson is that God may alter the dynamic for us so we can more readily accept His Love and Authority, but the parameters of His Law DO NOT CHANGE! Just look at what He did with the rebellious Israelites. He gave into their whining, but He didn’t really change a thing! They still have to Obey Him, and they’re still under His Authority.

So what’s changed? Now, the people’s attitudes and behaviors not only affect them. God has indicated that their recalcitrance will impact the entire nation, including their King if they fail and rebel. God added another layer of Authority but didn’t lessen the stakes. If anything, you could say He raised them because now, the entire outcome of their gambit hinges upon their Obedience.

The Israelites could tank their entire newly altered societal structure simply by acting out of selfishness and rebellion. That is the Point! God is warning the Israelites that He hasn’t really just done them a favor by giving in to their request. They are still in the same boat, and if they mess this up, they have no one else to blame but themselves!

Have a Thought Provoking Thursday, And Remember, Free Will Means Our Decisions Are On Us, But So Are The Consequences!

#dailyword

--

--

Chris Reid

A lifelong poet and lyricist, and aspiring novelist, who’s taken to heart the old adage, “Only what you do for Christ shall last.”