The Right King

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1Sam.8:4-7
Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy 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. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.
And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

I’m reminded of two songs of not so recent memory that you may recall. One was Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’. This song, uplifting to many, spoke about the glories of determination and self-will. ‘The story goes, I took the blows, and did it my way’. Sounds so good, right? The other song, Billy Joel’s ‘My Life’, is a simple little ode to rebellion. Check out some of the words:

I don’t need you to worry for me cause I’m alright
I don’t need you to tell me it’s time to come home
I don’t care what you say anymore this is my life
Go ahead with your own life leave me alone

The operative word in both songs is ‘my’. That’s who we are. We want our way, because we know what’s best for us. After all, it is our life right? We don’t need anyone to tell us what to do, how to do it or even when to do it. We got this. While the world spouts a message of pseudo-freedom, independence and self-reliance, scripture tells us that we need a Saviour. Someone to take us by the hand and lead us. Someone to show us the right way and help us to avoid the wrong way. Someone to navigate and govern. Someone to be the king of us. God. Oh how we need Him!

Israel was a theocracy. A theocracy is defined as, a form of government that is led by God or by a person or persons who rule by divine authority. Are you being led by God? Is He your king? As stated in our scripture, the Israelites wanted their own king. In so doing, they were rejecting God as their king. This means they were forfeiting:

1. His will                                                       3. His approval
2. His blessings                                          4. His peace

We need to see ourselves as living under a theocracy. He wants to rule. He wants govern. He wants to lead. We reject Him as King when:

1. We want to be our own king
This means doing our own thing; doing what makes us happy.
2. We want the king others have
This happens when we want approval and choose to follow the status quo and be like everyone else.
3. Through pride, think we can handle things on our own.

When these things happen, we in essence squeeze God out, while pushing ourselves to the forefront.

Solomon’s Folly

We read in 1Ki.11:1-4 of Solomon: But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.

Solomon’s problem? He formed alliances with the enemy to keep the peace and by doing so he placed himself in bondage. Though God should have been his king, he foolishly fraternized with the enemy, and paid the price: they became his king. The things we won’t let go will wind up being the things we can’t let go. They will be our king.

To Each His Own

The times of the judges we’re some of the darkest days in Israel’s history. God had not given them a king of His choosing yet, but the people should have been following God. We read in Ju.17:6: In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
We read these words no less than three times in this book, which means God is trying to tell us something.
The people had a ‘to each his own’ mentality. Each person did whatever they thought was right for them. A careful reading of the book reveals that this mentality led to anarchy. We surely do need a king, but not ourselves.
Imagine being able to do whatever you wanted to do, whenever you wanted, not having to worry any repercussions? What would you do if you knew you could get away with it? Most people would call that freedom. I call it bondage. Being the king of your own life may seem to have its perks. The reality is, living this way squeezes God out while pushing self to the forefront. Is that really how we want to live?

As a Christian, I want my every waking moment to be filled with the knowledge of His presence. I not only want Him to reign over me, I want Him to reign in me. Jesus be the King of my life. When I am tempted to take over, shake me loose from my pride, so that I can see. Being my own king means that I have lost sight of you. Reign over me Lord.

I see the Lord, high and lifted up
Sitting on the throne of my life
You are holy
You are holy
You are holy
Sitting on the throne of my life
Is he sitting on the throne of your life? Is He your King?

That’s the Word! Take it with you. God bless you.

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