I have heard it so often from children and teenagers: “I can’t wait until I grow up so I don’t have all these rules to obey.” As we all know, the rules increase as you get older. A short list of household chores and expectations from our mother and father grows into an unimaginable long list of rules and laws we have to obey as we get older.
But, those rules and laws are all made by the individuals we choose.
Whether it be our boss, our landlord, our government leaders, or any other leader in our life – we choose them. We choose who we will agree to work for, where we will live, and we vote in elections to decide our government leaders.
So, why is our life in such chaos? It’s for that very reason. We have chosen it.
The Israelites, God’s chosen people, found themselves in that very predicament too in I Samuel 8. Their first bad decision: Wanting to be like everyone else.
“His (Samuel) sons did not follow his example (of obeying and following the Lord), but looked to their own gain, accepting brides and perverting justice. Therefore all the elders of Israel assembled and went to Samuel at Ramah and said to him ‘Now that you are old and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, like all the nations, to rule us.” (I Samuel 8: 3-5)
Despite Samuel taking this personally and feeling a little betrayed perhaps, God tells him not to look at it that way. By demanding their own way, God said they did not reject Samuel and his leadership but they rejected God.
“The Lord said: Listen to whatever the people say. You are not the one they are rejecting. They are rejecting me as their King. They are acting toward you just as they have acted from the day I brought them up from Egypt to this very day, deserting me to serve other gods.” (1 Samuel 8: 7-8)
Wanting their own way and desiring to be like everyone else didn’t turn out so well for Israel. The king that was chosen, as a result of their demands, ended up not being a godly king and leader. The Israelites found themselves in some serious trouble – all because they demanded to be like everyone else.
It all started when Samuel’s sons did not follow God and chose to take brides and commit sin. Instead of submitting to God’s authority, they made their own authority and rules. As a result, the people demanded they get a king like everyone else had. They received a king – just as they requested, but the result was not what they were hoping for in the end.
You and I often demand to be like others. We start desiring the material things that everyone else has, some even start desiring spouses that someone else already has, and we fall into a pit of selfishness and sin. We want what everyone else has and begin to create plans of how to achieve those things instead of asking God what He wants for our lives. His plan for our life is probably much different than His plan for the lives of the people we are eyeing.
In addition, let’s also be cautious when others turn against the Church. Just like God told Samuel, they are not rejecting the Church but they are rejecting God. Let’s not jump on that bandwagon when it starts. It’s a destination we don’t want to arrive at.
Do you want a king or do you want THE KING? Do you desire to be the ruler of your own life or do you want THE RULER to show you the path He created even before you were formed in the womb? Do you want to have what others have or do you want to have what God desires for you to have? More importantly – what god are you truly serving each day?