There are days when I am sad about the governing in our world today, at every level. How many times do I think, “How could this be?” and this is usually followed by another thought like, “God, what are you thinking?”
It is at this point that I am often reminded that so many things in life are beyond my control. We are called to be faithful disciples and serve others the best we can. We are called to love. None of this is really about me. I am not in charge.
So today, God set me straight. He spoke to me quite clearly through the scriptures of 1 Samuel 8, found in the Old Testament. Keeping in mind that I am not a theology major, here is the story in a very brief nutshell. The people of Israel asked Samuel for a king, as he was up in years and his sons were not considered as an option to move up the food chain. (They had their own issues: they had accepted bribes and perverted justice, which was not acceptable behavior.) Samuel was aware that the request for a king was a direct slap in the face of God, who protected them, loved them and was indeed, their Sovereign King. When Samuel checked with God about this, God reminded him that this was not a rejection of Samuel, but of God. Samuel was instructed to warn them about the consequences of having a king, as the surrounding nations had kings, but to give them what they requested.
Samuel did exactly as he was told. He spoke truth about how life with a king would be. Bottom line: not so rosy. Life would be more difficult for them. Even after Samuel spoke these words, “…you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day.” (From 1 Samuel 8:18 NIV)
Guess how the people responded? They still wanted a king. Samuel repeated this to the Lord, who answered to give them what they wanted.
We must be attentive. We must understand that our ways our not His ways. We must trust. And sometimes, we must feel sad.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24 NIV