October 30: King Saul

Read 1 Samuel 8:1-10:27

Israel’s first king didn’t rise to power out of God’s desire. Sure, He chose him, but Saul represented what the Israelites wanted and what God did not.

“We want a king . . . (so we can) be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles” (8:19-20).

They rejected God’s way and demanded their own. The Israelites’ idea of how things should be was not God’s perfect way.

They had made up their minds about what God should do for them, and it overrode every sense of reason that the LORD, and Samuel, tried to get them to see.

The unexpected way of God is the only way to really live.

It was the same kind of reasoning the Pharisees would one day use to reject the Eternal King of Israel, Jesus Christ. He didn’t look like the king they thought they deserved. Didn’t come with pomp or circumstance. But He was everything they needed and more. If only they would submit to His way and trust Him.

It’s difficult to do, though, especially when we think we know what’s best. We ask God to ease a pain or grant what we would call a blessing, rejecting any other ideas because we’ve made up our minds, convinced of what God should do. There is no listening to reason. Just give me what I asked for!

Their idea of blessed and best, however, fell short of truth. What they thought they wanted, was in fact not at all what they needed. Not the Israelites or the Pharisees. Not you or me, either.

Later, the consequences would fall fierce for the nation of Israel as they clung to their ideas and held to their wrongly-placed desires, and the heaviness of the underlying truth is difficult to ignore. God had let His people reject Him.

How many times have we ignored the warnings and the real blessings that God wants to give us because we think we know what’s best? Sure, God might work it out like we think He should, but, rest assured, His way is always best.

The Israelites would face this truth a few years later when Saul went rogue and His selfish pride took over. The Pharisees would never realize the abundant and real life they rejected in Jesus the Christ. And you and I are faced with it now. The unexpected way of God is the only way to really live. And His way will always prevail.