But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be 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.” 1 Samuel 8:19-20
Back to the Old Testament period of Judges. Samuel, another judge and prophet, was dedicated to God as an infant and taken to Eli, the priest, to be raised. He heard from God as a child and grew in stature and favor with both God and man. As judge, he ushered in a time of repentance and peace for Israel.
Near the end of his life, Samuel sought to appoint his sons as judges. But they were no Samuel. They sinned against God and looked out more for their interests than that of Israel. The elders push back. They don’t want Samuel’s sons as judges; they want a king. They want to be like all the other nations. The problem is God doesn’t want them to be like the other nations. God wants to be their king. They are in essence rejecting God.
So God warns them what life under a king will be like: their sons will be taken to man the king’s chariots, work his fields, make equipment for war. Their daughters will be taken to be perfumers, cooks, bakers. Their best fields and vineyards will be taken and given to his servants. Their servants and livestock will be taken. They themselves would be slaves.
Guess what? They still insist on having a king.
How often do we look around and think what others have is better than what we have? We think it will satisfy us. From our view, it looks like things would be so much better if we just had what they had. But we miss out on what God has for us when we try to copy what others have.
God has unique plans for all of us. We have to put Him as king over our lives. We have to trust in His plans for us, not try to replicate His plans for someone else. We never see the full picture. Things on the other side are not always what they seem. Israel asked for a king. A king they will get.
Question: On average are you more grateful for what you have, or do you spend more time wishing you had what someone else has?