Grace From the Start: Day 19 {Dec 13th}

Through the history of God’s people he has provided them with leaders. He has set them apart and has wanted them to look differently than the nations around them.  God wants his glory and work to be attributed to Him. 

Think of Rahab, she saw all that was accomplished through God’s people. She knew it was not because of a leader or a king or because of the greatness of these people but because of the greatness of their God.  He wanted His people and everyone around them to see Him for the great God that He is.  

The people wanted a king.  An earthly king they could point to, call on, and depend on. Samuel warned them it would not be what they expect.  Having a king is not going to give them the security and protection they desire.  They wanted to be and look like the nations around them.  Instead of serving God they wanted to serve earthly kings.  They wanted the king to judge them and to fight for them.  They wanted this king to do everything that God had been doing.

But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20 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.” 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”  {1 Samuel 8:19-22}

The people wanted a king so they could be just like the other nations around them.  How often do I look around and what the things that other people have?  I know it is childish and immature.  I think if I just had ‘this one thing’ then I would be content.  These things become ‘king’ in my life and I demand them from God.  The thing is that God wants to be king of my life. 

I will demand these things to be king of my life.  I want to serve these things and I want these ‘kings’ I demand to protect me, judge me, and fight for me.

What are these ‘kings’ that I demand.  They can vary.  They can change.  They can change but I think we have ones that we cling to through life.  They might change a little but at the core these ‘kings’ remain the same.  These ‘kings’ can also be called idols in our lives.

What are the things that we use to protect us?

What are the things we use to judge if we are ‘doing okay’?

What is our running list of things in our heads that tell us if I do xyz it’s all going to be okay?

What do I use to fight for me?  

What do I use to fight in my defense?

What do I use to fight to justify myself with?

Whatever your answer to these questions are…these are your idols.  The answer to all of these questions should be Jesus.

Who do I go to for protection?  Jesus.  Who do I go to to hear ‘everything is going to be okay?  Jesus.  Who did the whole list so I don’t have to keep a list anymore?  Jesus.  Who is fighting for me?  Jesus.  Who is my defense?  Jesus.  Who has justified me?  Jesus.

I know the right answer to these questions.  I know the right answer but I don’t always use the right answer.  Jesus will remain King in my life but only because He has placed himself there.  This battle between knowing what is right and doing what is right continues in my life and in yours.

As Romans says:

“For I do not understand my own actions.  For I do not do what I want,but I do the very thing I hate.  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.  So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I have the desire to do what is right,but no the ability to carry it out…..

Wretched man that I AM!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! 

Romans 7:15-19 &24-25

These people requesting a king will soon discover that this king thing is not all it is cracked up to be.  Saul soon fails and is rejected by God as the king.  Samuel speaks to Saul about what God delights in and what will happen because he has rejected ‘the word of the Lord.’

Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
    as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
    and to listen than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
    and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
    he has also rejected you from being king.”  {1 Samuel 15:22-23}


{1 Samuel 15:22-23}

 They will see a whole string of kings that can not accomplish what is needed. Even the king who is called ‘a man after God’s own heart’ cannot fulfill their needs.  

Who can do what Samuel speaks of?  Who accomplishes what Samuel speaks of in these verse?  The person the whole bible is written about, Jesus.  Jesus is the king who is able to obey the word of the Lord without rejecting it because he is The Word.  He is able to make the way because he is The Way.  He is able because He is God and we are not.  

Just as these people demanded a king I demand so many different things to be given to me.  I think that these things, these gifts from God will be what can get done what needs to get done.  I forget that the creator of these gifts is really what will get done all that needs to get done. All will be provided for not by these things but by Jesus.

Who protects us?  Who can tell us ‘everything is going to be okay’?  Who completed everything that needed to be done?  Who fights for us?  Who is our defense?  Who has justified us?

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