1 Samuel 8:19-22
19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”
21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”
Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”
When was the last time you did something for yourself that was truly good for you? Did you start and exercise routine or change your eating habits? Did you commit to more time with your family and kids, or maybe more time in the Bible? We often set healthy goals for our lives trying to work towards experiencing the best in our lives.
But now, turn that around. When was the last time you did something for yourself that you knew was bad for you? It’s funny how we don’t set goals on those things! We don’t set out thinking, “I’m going to go and choose to do the worst thing for me.” Yet, we often do just that. We choose the worst things for ourselves and the worst part is: we know it when we do it and we do it anyway.
Israel had the one true God as their only King. It was the best thing for them even though it was not the easiest thing for them. But before too long, the nation’s heart had turned and instead of wanting what was best, their hearts began to long for the worst. They wanted an earthly king, even when God told them it would be terrible for them.
Have you ever stopped and wondered why it is that we often want the worst for ourselves and reject the best that God is offering? Israel wanted to be like other nations, even if that meant wanting the worst. I think sometimes we fall into the same trap. We want to be like others, or have what others have, or do what others do, even if it means wanting the worst for us rather than the best. What areas of life you might be wanting the worst for yourself?
While God gave Israel and earthly king He didn’t abandon them. They chose poorly, they wanted the worst. But God intended to give them the best, a King that would not be chosen by the people’s desires, but a king that would be chosen by God Himself. Even when we choose the worst for ourselves, God continues to look out for us and invites us into His best through Jesus.