This chapter captures a hugely significant moment in Israel’s history from God’s own perspective. Israel is choosing a human king instead of having their God as their king. From God’s perspective he is willing to let them have their way, but he sees it as a rejection of his own leadership and a road towards future trouble for his people.
I can see where the Israelites are coming from. Samuel has for the most part done a wonderful job leading Israel as a Priest. He has been full of the Spirit of God and been obedient to God. He is now old and the Israelites are wondering who will next take up this priestly position, Samuel’s sons certainly are not a promising bunch.
I can think of some specific moments in my life where I was not happy about the present circumstances that I or my work organisation found itself in, I can think of moments where I did not like the direction leadership in church or work were going, I can pinpoint moments where I thought I could see the future clearly and it wasn’t looking good.
And I can see that too many times I was just like the Israelites; I took matters into my own hands and did not wait upon the Lord. The lesson for me is clear: when things are not going well or the future looks gloomy, do not be hasty in acting according to worldly wisdom. Cry out to the Lord, seek him out as King, and let him “lead me, go out before me, and fight my battles”.
Written by Andrew Mellor