By Nathele Graham
Israel has always been a unique nation. It was established by God, but its history is filled with many ups and downs. When they obey God, they prosper. When they rebel, things aren’t good. Even in rebellion, God never deserts them. They had strong leaders in Moses and Joshua. These men led them from captivity and conquered the land that God had promised to Abraham forever. God’s plan was that He would be their King and they would prosper. After they settled in the land God promised them, there were disputes. Instead of a human king to rule over them, God raised up judges, but the people eventually demanded a king.
Samuel was a prophet and a godly man who served God faithfully. His sons weren’t as honorable as their Father.
“And it came to pass when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba. And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.” – 1 Samuel 8:1-3.
Samuel served God, but his sons weren’t honorable men. Still, they became judges over Israel. There had been judges for many years, but no king. Judges and kings are human, and unless God is looked to as the ultimate King, there will always be failure of nations. The rule of the judges was a time when Israel rebelled.
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” – Judges 21:25.
That same attitude seems to be governing our world today. The people were fed up with the evil in their land, and today in America, the people are getting fed up with the corruption. The people in Israel approached Samuel with their dissatisfaction;
“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.” – 1 Samuel 8:6.
The people went to Samuel, another human, asking him to make them a king, but they should have gone before God, then waited for His answer. People haven’t changed much over the many, centuries since that time. Instead of wanting a king just like the nations, they should have desired for God to be their King.
History is a good teacher if we pay attention. We forget to consult God when we choose our leaders. Samuel wasn’t happy with the people, but he did turn to God. He felt that he had been rejected.
“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.” – 1 Samuel 8:7.
God should have been their king, but the people rejected Him. God gave them what they deserved: Saul. He looked good…tall, dark and handsome, but those aren’t qualifications for a God-fearing leader. If the people had been patient and waited, God would have provided a godly king. That’s really what causes most of our problems in life. We try to solve our problems by our own efforts in our own time. The people demanded a king and Saul was selected. He wasn’t the best leadership material. He had mood swings and was a violent man who couldn’t lead his army with competence. Not the best choice for king. In addition to that, he was a Benjamite. The Kings were to come from the Tribe of Judah, so he was wrong on every point. It was a young boy from the tribe of Judah named David whom God had chosen for their king. David was the youngest son of Jesse, and a shepherd. God was preparing him for leadership but it would be many years until he was skilled in fighting enemy armies and leading the nation of Israel. God allowed Saul to be king until David was ready.
David was a great king and his heart was humble. He was far from perfect, but when sin was brought to his attention, he didn’t try to justify his actions. He turned to God in humble repentance.
“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightiest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” – Psalm 51:3-4.
David had committed more than one great sin. He lusted after a married woman named Bathsheba and she became pregnant by him. Her husband was a very loyal member of David’s army, and David made sure he was put in a position in battle where he would be killed. The sin was great and worthy of David’s death. At least, David didn’t have the baby murdered in the womb. When his sins were brought to his attention, David was broken. He realized that he could lose the closeness he had with God. That’s when he went before the Lord and acknowledged his sin.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” – Psalm 51:10.
How do you react when you sin? Do you just keep on sinning and justify your actions? Or do you go before the Lord, repent, and then turn away from sin? David ran the very real risk of losing his salvation. Christians are sealed with the Holy Spirit, but David lived before the Cross and his salvation could be lost. He loved the Lord, but he understood the seriousness of his sin. He repented and was forgiven. Brothers and sisters, do you acknowledge the sin in your life and go to God for forgiveness?
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9.
God loves us and will forgive all sin, but then we need to turn away from our sin.
David and Bathsheba’s baby was born in very poor health. David had mourned deeply as the baby struggled for life. David fasted, and prayed, and mourned. Then the child died.
“Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.” – 2 Samuel 12:20.
King David did what was right. He sought God while the child was alive, but when the baby died, David cleaned himself up, and went “…into the house of the LORD, and worshipped…”
Again, here’s a lesson to be learned. Pray fervently while we can, but when God’s answer isn’t what we prayed for, it’s important to make ourselves presentable and worship the Lord. Never blame or accuse God.
Bathsheba was also in mourning for her son.
“And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him.” – 2 Samuel 12:24.
Time passed and eventually Solomon became king over Israel. Solomon began his reign as a God-fearing monarch, and God granted Solomon wisdom.
“And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.” – 1 Kings 4:32-34.
Solomon had a father he could look up to and use as an example of a godly man and king, but Solomon didn’t follow David’s example of worshipping God and wasn’t a good steward of God’s blessings. Solomon made many mistakes, such as marrying pagan wives, and building them pagan places of worship. He never forgot God, but he never honored God in the way David did. Solomon did do some very good things, such as building the Temple which David had desired to build for God.
God was pleased with Solomon’s efforts, but He had a warning and a promise for Solomon, the Jewish nation, and for Christians. The warning was for all of God’s people.
“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:13-14.
God’s blessings are all around us, but there are troubles too. Natural disasters, famine, and more. God wants us to turn from the wickedness of our daily life. If all of God’s people would turn from wickedness and turn to God, we would be amazed at the blessings we would receive. Sin is out of control within Christian congregations. Just like Samuel’s sons, authority is being abused and God’s truth is being perverted and rejected. Many congregations today take pride in accepting sexual sin within the congregation and leadership. Read the first chapter of Romans to see what God thinks of rejecting Him as the Creator. The lie of evolution isn’t a minor issue. The punishment is homosexuality. It’s a sin to participate, but also a sin to accept it as normal. Take a look at the nations that are on the verge of collapse, and ask yourself whether we should turn from our wicked ways. The answer is “Yes”! I listen to news reports and there are some encouraging things happening. Men who think they are women are being stopped from competing in woman’s sports, many states are coming against abortion, and some states are requiring the 10 Commandments to be posted in public schools as well as Bible study. This is a start, but Christians need to get behind these laws. We need to stand strong for our Lord and King, Jesus. America will soon have elections to choose leaders. We must vote for candidates who support Biblical truth.
Saul was given an amazing blessing from God, but he didn’t appreciate it and was very much like the world in his attitude. David honored God, and even when troubled times came, he praised God. When he failed, he didn’t treat his sin lightly or cover it up, but humbly repented. Solomon was blessed by God with wisdom. He didn’t use his gift wisely and was very dissatisfied with life. His riches and wives didn’t bring the contentment that his father David found in serving the Lord. There is a greater King.
“I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” – 1 Timothy 6:13-16.
All praise and honor to our King, Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Christians should learn a lesson from these accounts. God wants the best for each of us, but it might be that we want our way and we want it now. We can see the result of everyone doing what is right in their own eyes. God’s truth must be first. God wants His best for us and will give it in His perfect time. When we pray, we need to listen to His answer and be content. It’s good to present our desires to God, but we need to be patient. Israel wanted a king like the nations had. Those kings were pagan, idol worshippers who didn’t know the True God. We need to turn away from the world and only worship God Almighty. Jesus needs to be the King of our life. The world around us is getting darker and darker with wickedness and evil. Jesus is the Light. Live your life according to the Gospel. The world cannot understand God’s truth, so we need to shine brighter than the darkness.
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light to the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.
Let the Gospel shine in you, and don’t let Satan make you blind.
Who do you want to rule over you? A fallible human who is only trying to please the world, or do you want the King of kings to reign? Jesus will soon call Christians Home to live eternally with Him. You would be wise to let Him be King of your life today.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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