From: Rich Carlson
Date: October 28, 2019
Subject: It's October 28; Good Morning Union

“We want a king.”       1 Samuel 8:19

A pretty simple verse but not too much different than some of the things I might say in my journey through life. Up to this point God had been leading His people. Through patriarchs, prophets, Moses, Joshua, and the judges it had been God who was calling the shots. And as is pretty typical in life, (though obviously not for me! J), the same “boss” and the same “system” can get tiring sometimes. Maybe I’d like to try something new! And so it was with Israel.

“Samuel,” they said to the prophet, “we want a king.” What a slap in the face to God who had always been there as their “King.” Samuel felt like a failure and God assured him, “it’s not you, it’s Me they are rejecting.” (8:7) What caught my attention most as I reviewed this story today were the three reasons Israel gave for wanting a new king.

  1. To lead them (vs 5)
  2. So they could be like the other nations around them (vs 5 and 20)
  3. So he could fight their battles for them (vs 20)

God had been their leader; HE directed them to NOT be like all the other nations; and HE had been fighting their battles for them since the beginning (see the story of Jericho as an example!) He had been doing it all for them all along, but like restless humanity too often, they wanted to try something different.

It was interesting that when they asked Samuel for a king he wanted to give them an emphatic NO; but God said go ahead and give them a king, “it’s Me they are rejecting, not you.” Samuel was feeling like a failure and God wanted to teach them a lesson.

And my ah-ha was—how similar my life can be some times:

  1. How often do I look somewhere else for my guidance and direction in life? Data can be great, even with all its variables, but data without divine directives can be disasterous.
  2. How often do I want to “be like everyone else” which can cause me to fall to peer pressure rather than following the Father?
  3. How often do I turn to picketing rather than prayer to defeat the social enemies in this world? How often do I focus on the “causes” this world defines as the problems rather than to the ways of Christ? For me famine is not the primary battle, nor is war, or human trafficking, as terrible as they all are and as willing as I am to help; Satan and sin are the problems and the only solution is the Savior. I can’t get distracted by the evil results and miss the cause and the only solution. As good as the intentions of the world are, and which I support, I cannot get distracted into thinking the world’s solutions are going to fix the problem.

God’s plan in my life includes HIM being my king; HIS ways being correct, even when, or especially when they conflict with popular opinion; and HIS victory HIS way as I relate to the world around me. I don’t want another king; I already have the best King!

Have a great day focusing on the great which we have available and not settling even for the good options,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      "Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you."

PS           This is Mission Emphasis Week. NOW is the time to be opening your mind and your heart to the idea of serving somewhere in the world as a volunteer. Watch for displays and activities all week and talk to the missions team in Campus Ministries or Pastor Rich if you are interested.