Do you ever wish God would tell you how a person could ruin your life before you commit yourself to them? What if every bad friend, destructive spouse, negative experience, etc. came with a warning letter? Like, if riiiiiight before you walked into a relationship or situation that would have emotional impact years down the road, God stepped in and gave you a plethora of reasons as to why this here is a TURRIBLE (yes….with a u) idea. We see Him do this in 1 Samuel 8, and chillleee....let’s just get to it.
So in this chapter, the elders of the children of Israel come to Samuel & essentially say “Look, you’re old, and your kids are out of control. This isn’t working for us anymore. We want a king to guide us.” Samuel takes it to God in prayer. God sees it for what it actually is, and tells Samuel to warn them about what this king they’re requesting will do to them, then…give them what they want. Samuel returns to the people, tells them that if they get a king, he will essentially be TRASH. He’s going to take most of what you have, from children to crops, and use them for his own service. This won’t make you happy. Then, in your unhappiness, you’re going to call on God, and He won’t respond. Their response: …are you finished? Or are you done? KING PLEASE!
Why? Well, this decision is that it seems to be driven by comparison, emotion, and a lack of perception. A decision driven by either of those is quiiiite the risk.
The children of Israel wanted to be like everybody else. They wanted to fit in. Which is interesting, because that was never their purpose. They were supposed to be different. Yet, being purposed to stand out doesn’t negate the desire to fit in or belong. You’re either comfortable with that, or you’re not, and they weren’t. They looked around them, and noticed that the other nations had a visible ruler, while they were with old Samuel and his troublesome children. So they wanted somebody like themselves, because it’d enable them to fill a hole they thought they had.
But....when did God stop being enough? At what point did they (and do we) decide that this situation requires God Plus, or God 2.0? I’ve been studying the various names of God, and one common theme I’ve noticed is they all reference His ability to do a thing completely. He is a complete Father. He completely delivers. He fulfills us completely. He’s a completely consuming fire. He’s the One who was, is, and is to come. He provides complete deliverance, and complete restoration. So how and when do we ever determine that a complete God will somehow...not be enough for this? We look at what’s around us instead of who’s with us.
Like the children of Israel, we look around at what other people around us have. Their marriages. Their babies. Their homes. Their money. Their….everything. After looking at one section of their lives, we compare it to our own. Suddenly, a gap appears that we think God forgot to fill, and we fill that hole by settling for something beneath what He has. Saul was cool at the beginning, but they settled with Saul. They rejected an infinite, all powerful God for a finite king that was just as human and limited as they were. Whatever you do, don’t let comparison cause you to settle.
Final moment: it is truly my prayer that you reach for all that God has for you. You were not created to settle, or to live a life just like everybody around you. If you made it to this post, He sent you here, so He has a plan for you. That plan may mot work the way you want it to, but it will work for you. Standing out is not easy, but settling hurts more in the long run. Remember that He is with you, He is for you, and He will bring you into more than you could’ve ever imagined.
Background Music: Comparison Kills - Jonathan McReynolds
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
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