Sometimes in life, we go down a road that we know is slippery. A path we know good and well God has not called us to! Yet, we choose to pursue it. We test the waters. We linger a little too long. We start down the path, ignoring the whisper from the Holy Spirit, warning us of the consequences that are to come, and we keep on walking. Why do we insist on gambling with God, promising ourselves we won’t end up the way He says we will?
The Israelites did the exact same thing in 1 Samuel 8. Let’s see how they fared with their gamble against God:
The Israelites ask their priest Samuel,
“You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 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. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights” (1 Sam. 8:6-9).
The Israelites wanted a king, just like all the other nations around them. Yet, they were called to be different than the other nations. God chose them to be set apart, different from everyone else. They were the nation that was to reveal God to the world.
Yet, they kept asking and pursuing the wrong path.
God warned them of all the things that would happen if they chose to disobey, putting their trust in anyone else. The king they asked for would do nothing but take from them! Take their sons, take their daughters, take their fields and vineyards, take a tenth of their grain, take their cattle, take a tenth of their flocks, take, Take, TAKE (vs. 10-18).
Idols are funny that way. They can’t do anything but take, because they have no power to give.
“But the people refused to listen to Samuel” (vs 19).
So God tells Samuel to give the people what they wanted. Let them pursue the path He sternly warned them against!
Wow! Does that scare anybody else but me?! God allowing the Israelites to have what they want because of their stubborn pursuit of “it”.
Sometimes, God gives us what we continue to ask for because of our own persistence. He doesn’t force His ways upon us. We must follow Him wholeheartedly and willingly. And if we won’t, then He will let us make our own foolish choice.
When we put our trust in anything other than God our Father, we will follow idols and things that will only take from us too! Take our Hope, take our Love, take our Peace, take our Grace, take His presence, take, Take, TAKE!
Eventually, we realize we can give no more. There is nothing left in us. The path that once looked so inviting, so promising, has now taken everything it could! We desperately need to be filled! We long for someone to give us what we can’t give ourselves!
God is the only one who can fill us and give what our souls truly desire. Give us what we don’t deserve. Give us everything He is. Give us back our hope, joy and peace. Give us… Himself!
Let us not be like the Israelites! Don’t dismiss the warnings you hear. Heed God’s calling to choose a different path. Chose the path He has laid out for you. One that leads you straight into the giving arms of your Father!