Where is our King? Standing next to a pile of rubble that used to be a church building might cause people to ask that. How could God allow our church to burn down? It could be easy to look at a situation like this and say “We want this and this and that.” We are entitled to a new building with all of these fancy things. When we stand before God and tell Him what we want, we are just asking for trouble. Our King has not left His place of rule, but oh how easy it could be for us to lose sight of that in the scramble to do what we want to do.
In 1 Samuel 8 it was a different scenario, but people were telling God what they wanted- a King. They didn’t want just to have judges who told them things about God; they wanted a King!
The problem was that this was not what God had in mind for them. He was to be their King! He had a plan for a King to come, David, who would be a King after God’s own heart. He had a plan that through the line of David would come the King of Kings, our Savior, Jesus Christ. He even warns them about what would happen if they took ‘their’ king over ‘His’ King, but they didn’t care. They wanted it and they were going to get it.
In our time right now as a church we need to remember that God is our King. We must be careful not to be guilty of rejecting Him, or to somehow get in front of Him. We most certainly do not want to reject our King.
We Reject God as Our King by Rushing Ahead of Him
They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” – 1 Samuel 8:5
The nation of Israel already had a King, but they wanted a new one. Their reason — well, Samuel you are old for one and your kids aren’t doing the right things. Their request was a disguise for their real reason- the power and status that comes from having a king.
And listen to how blunt their request is: “Give us a king to lead us!”
They say haste makes waste. The reason they say that is that when people are in a hurry they miss things, or do things in a way that is not the most helpful. Things turn out better when we stop and think.
Right now as a church there are a lot of meeting place options for our ministries. We are in no hurry to make any big moves because we have a King. The building being destroyed does not change that at all. The fact that we don’t have all the fancy things we used to have doesn’t change anything. God is king. Now, we could act like them and say, “we must do what we have always done right now.” Doing that would be ignoring the place we are in and what God is doing among us.
We Reject God as Our King by Refusing to Listen
Samuel was upset by the request because it meant he wasn’t doing as good a job as they wanted. He immediately went to God with the request, and God answered.
And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. – 1 Samuel 8:7
God to Samuel no to take this personally because it was about their rejection of Him, not of Samuel. This came with warnings about how this king they wanted would lead. God told Samuel to let them know that if they decide to put their king in place, their king will not be a good king like He is. Samuel told them this but they did not listen.
But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. – 1 Samuel 8:19
They refused to listen. Samuel inquired of God. The people heard the response and didn’t care because they had in their mind what they wanted.
We could be guilty of that as a church also if we inquire of God and press ahead with our own plans no matter what God tells us. This is one reason why we don’t rush because God might not be in a hurry to tell us. He might want us to wait, seek, and listen.
We Reject God as Our King by Making Outward Comparisons
The people looked around and saw the other nations around there with their fancy Kings and armies. Why can’t we have that? Comparisons are dangerous because everyone is in a different place and situation.
Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”- 1 Samuel 8:20
Their outward comparison got them into trouble, and Saul became their king. Saul was an awful king, but they were warned.
This is a danger for us also as we consider who we are. It might be easy to look at other churches and decide we want to do what they are going. We cannot compare ourselves to other groups, churches or people. We look to God alone as our King.
God is our King! We must let Him be.