1 Samuel 12:20-22,24 – “And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.”
A lot of verses, I know – sorry. But I felt like they were needed.
The people of Israel had been begging for a king. They wanted to be like everyone else. They wanted a ruler they could see and touch. God had been their king but to those around them, it was weird. And they didn’t want to be weird. They wanted to be like everyone else.
Sound familiar? Aren’t we, even as adults, the same way from time to time? We want to have similar stuff as they people around us. We want to look like the person on the magazine or in the movies. We want to know the latest trend in whatever we are interested in so that we can pursue it. We are just like the children of Israel except thousands of years in the future.
God gave them what they wanted. However, it wasn’t without warning. He gave them all the negatives of what they were asking and they still wanted what everyone had – a king. In this passage, Samuel has just pointed out to the children of Israel, again, that this request was a sin. And they were mournful of their decision. But Samuel reminded them that was is done, is done. Now, you have to put on your big boy pants, suck it up and do what God has told you to do – follow Him and worship and serve Him only. Of course, this is me paraphrasing big time!
But nonetheless, when we mess up and God gives us what we ask for and we finally see the error of our ways…well, what else is left to do but deal with the consequences and change our choices in the future based on what we have learned today. That’s what God is telling them to do here. You can’t change the past but you can make better choices in the future.
And like any caught child, the people are ready to follow God wholeheartedly. They are ready to follow God and king into the future. Unfortunately, some kings will lead the people astray. But there will be others to bring them back. God always provides a way back – sometimes we just have to look for it.
So today, remember that you don’t have to be like everyone else. God has given you exactly what you need for this moment. But if you do get what you ask for and you find that it wasn’t exactly what you expected, learn your lesson and move on by following after what God was leading you to in the first place. Choose Him over what you think you want. It may be a hard choice but it is right path to follow.