Be careful what you ask for. Sometimes God will give it to you even if He knows He has better plans for you!!
This is exactly what we see happen to the Israelites in our reading for today, 1 Samuel 8.
Samuel was raised in the house of God, where he grew in stature and in favor with both God and man ( 1 Samuel 2:26). As a young man, the Lord spoke to Him and through Him. Samuel served the Lord as a prophet, priest, judge and leader of Israel, yet somehow his own children rejected God.
When Samuel grew old, he appointed his wayward sons as the next leaders of Israel (1 Samuel 8:1). The people knew that the two sons were not walking with the Lord and they were understandably upset. The people did not look to God and ask what is best, instead they looked all around and decided they wanted what every other nation had…a king.
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him,
“You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have. 1 Samuel 8:4 &5
Israel, the nation chosen by God to be set apart, to be His nation, to follow His commands, wanted a king.
The people went to Samuel and pleaded with him.
“But when they said, ‘Give us a king to lead us,’ this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 8:6
Samuel went to god with the issue. The people of Israel did not look to God, but instead to one another. Then they refused to listen to the counsel of Samuel. They wanted what they wanted and they wanted it now. God gave them a warning through Samuel that their desires were not His. Samuel warned them of all the consequences that would happen with a king in place.
“But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations…” 1 Samuel 8:19&20
God wasn’t pleased with this request because demanding a king meant the nation was rejecting God as their leader. But guess what God tells Samuel to do? He says to go ahead and anoint Saul as Israel’s first king.
Many of us consult God about important decisions in our lives, but how many of us are ready to accept His counsel and abide by it? Especially when His counsel appears to go against our own desires? Samuel was a great man of prayer and consulted God in all situations. The Lord answered, “listen to them and give them a king.” (1Samuel 8:22) The people knew this of Samuel and respected him for it. The Israelites even asked him to pray for them in 1 Samuel 12:19.
Like the nation of Israel, we sometimes think we know what is best and what would work best for us. Israel saw the other nations being led by a king and they thought that a king might make their lives easier and solve their problems. Samuel goes into great detail telling them what would happen if they appointed a king, but they did not hear him. They stood their ground and asked for a king anyway.
Is there anything you are asking God for that you think would make your life better? Has God ever answered that prayer and given you exactly what you asked for? Only to later realize that maybe your idea was not the best idea?
We look at other people’s jobs, houses, social media posts, talents, marriages, clothing, accomplishments, children, bank accounts, and even other people’s prayer life and think, “I want what they have!”
We think that someone else is doing it better and if we did it that way our life would also be better.
When all the while, what we really need is more of Jesus. Our biggest need is a deep, soul-level relationship with God. Where we seek Him, know Him, trust Him, savor Him, walk in His ways, and serve in His name.
We need to stop looking to what others have and instead look up to Jesus just as Samuel shows us in the book of 1 Samuel.