I SAMUEL 8:4-7, 19-20: “Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them…Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
OBSERVATION: We want a King! What motivated God’s chosen people to make this declaration? For over 400 years God had shown Himself faithful as both their Lord and King. When they followed and obeyed the Lord they prospered. When they disobeyed the Lord they fell under the persecution of the surrounding nations. As time wore on the children of Israel became discontent with their life. They insisted,
- “No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations…”
In life, the grass always looks greener on the other side. Someone once wisely said – “When you are looking at your grass you are looking at it from a vertical view. You see all the brown and bare spots. However, when you look at someone else’s grass you are looking at it only from a horizontal view. All you see are the tops of the grass blades. The brown and bare spots are hidden. It appears that the lawn on the other side of the street is lush and green without any challenges.”
This is what happened to the nation of Israel. They looked at the surrounding nations from a horizontal view. They saw each nation had a king with pomp and circumstance. There were grand chariots, a royal palace, and all the appearances of grandeur. Yet, the nation of Israel was left with an aging prophet in Samuel, and two sons of Samuel who were disobedient and taking advantage of the people. They wanted a change! They wanted some pomp and circumstance.
They wanted a King!
I believe we are experiencing the same situation in the life of the United States of America. This nation, founded over 200 years ago, on Christian principles, is now looking at the grass of the nations of the world and they are saying in a sense – “We want a King!” We want to be like all the other nations. America looks at the green fields of socialism and lusts for its beauty. America longs for acceptance by the nations and is willing to lay down its torch of liberty. There are growing efforts in America to reject the Constitution so that we can be just like all the other nations.
In all of this, America is not rejecting a president or a political party. America is rejecting God. Once, one nation under God, we want to be one nation – just like everyone else. We have taken God out of our schools. We are systematically removing Him from the public square. And, we are rewriting history to remove Him from our past so that He does not influence our future.
America is making the same mistake as the nation of Israel.
What is the motivation behind America’s rejection of God? We can always point to sin and the work of the enemy of our souls. Yet, I believe there is something more at work here. I believe it is a growing spirit of national laziness. We are no longer pioneers. We are no longer a nation that is dependent upon God. We have become a nation of people who want someone else to do the work for us. We look to the government to solve our problems and fight our wars. We are glad to part with our money and liberty if we don’t have to put in our own effort!
- “No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
Notice these words from the children of Israel – “…that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” Today, we want the government to do everything for us. Personal responsibility is becoming extinct. So is working hard to excel. We want all the accouterments of liberty without any effort. We want to create our own morality and have someone else watch the chicken coop. We have exchanged faith in God for devotion to government.
God told Samuel to warn Israel of what would happen if they rejected Him for a king. A king would be harsh, take their hard-earned labor, use their children for his purposes and benefit, and turn them into a nation of entitled slaves. Israel did not listen to this warning. They had crossed the line already in their heart. They wanted to be like everyone else.
They wanted the lawn across the street – at any price!
I pray for our nation. I pray for the church. I pray for the next generation that will determine the direction of both should the Lord tarry in His return. There have been many bleak and hopeless looking times in the history of America. Yet, God has poured out His Holy Spirit upon the church and revival has turned the tide in our land. America was the hope of the world because God was the hope of America. We are at a crossroads, or perhaps we have already chosen our path.
I pray for God’s mercy and that it is not too late!
Lord, turn the hearts of Your people back to You. Pour out Your Holy Spirit once again upon our nation and bring revival to our land. Let this revival turn our hearts once again to You. May we truly be one nation under God – once again. Grant us the grace to change the tide of America, one person at a time, as we proclaim the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ!
In Jesus’ Name!