And he said, this will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you. I Samuel 8.11
No Comparison -
Israel has demanded a king so they would be “like all the other nations”. They had decided that rather than be subject to the loving God; Creator of all of heaven and earth, they would take their chances with a mere mortal. Not a wise choice.
Samuel then warns them, telling them that this decision will come at a cost… the king will take; then he will take some more.
It is a sobering warning that fell on deaf ears but maybe we can glean something for our own lives.
Paul tells us in Romans 6.16-18
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Now that is pretty heady stuff! What he is saying in a nutshell was summed up pretty well by Bob Dylan when he sang, “you’re gonna serve someone… it might be the devil, or it might be the Lord, but you’re gonna serve someone.”
But we do have a choice who we serve. Paul is saying don’t go back to the taskmaster of sin; you have been freed, be instead a “slave” to righteousness.
Now, back to Samuel. He gives them a list of things that this king of theirs will take:
Vs 11-13 He is going to take your children and make them slaves
It’s going to impact your family
Vs 14 He is going to take the best of your fields –this years harvest
It will affect your work
Vs 15 He is going to take your seed – next years harvest
Your financial security will be affected
Vs 16 He is going to take your servants and beasts of burden
Your ability to serve will be impacted
Vs 17 He will take your flocks and you will be his servants
You will be brought into bondage as a result
No comparison -
Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said,
“No, but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” Vs 19-20
They were willing to trade the miraculous, victory winning, miracle working "Lord of Hosts" for a flawed human general. Not a wise choice.
Well there is plenty to apply to our lives in considering this but let me just drop one devotional reality in your lap.
No comparison -
The “kings” of this world take and take and take; it is the way of the world, the way of the flesh, the way of our enemy. But our King of Kings came to give and give and give.
He gave us His life, it always begins there; but hardly ends there.
He has also given us “Everything that pertains to life and godliness…”
He has also given us “Every good and perfect Gift…”
He has also given us “All the promises of God are in Him”
He has also given us "every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ"
No wonder we serve Him, have made Him our King – now that is a wise choice!