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1 Samuel 8

May 29, 2023

Groundworks Ministries Daily Bible Challenge

“Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, 'Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king...'”

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1 Samuel 8

“Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, ‘Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.’ But the thing displeased Samuel when they said ‘Give us a king to judge us.’ So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:4-7 (NKJV)

Growing up in Arkansas, my family had a persimmon tree in the backyard. Unripe persimmons are numbingly bitter! Unripe persimmons also look a lot like plums. So, one day my brother decided to prank me by placing a few unripe persimmons at the top of a bag of plums, and offered me one. There he stood, eating a nice plum, offering the bag to me. Of course I wanted one! Everything about the situation said “yes” until I took a bite!!

Because some of our idolatry can seem so sophisticated and appear so reasonable, it can be extremely difficult to detect. But God's eye penetrates the fog. Samuel experienced from his own people what Jesus, Moses, and the prophets experienced:

“We don’t want this man to rule over us.” Luke 19:14b (HCSB)

We have an aversion to holiness, the same as Biblical Israel did. By “aversion,” I simply mean that we do not like to be different, for God’s sake. Do you recall the last time you shared your faith with the intent to lead another person to the Lord? Most believers have NEVER shared their faith. Why? They say they don’t like the feeling of being rejected or judged for being different. Most believers want the benefits of following Jesus (salvation, eternal life), but when given a choice, their decisions reveal they would rather have a “king like all the other nations.”

Believer, your distinction from the world is not a curse! It is the sign that your Savior is able to effect drastic change in the lives of sinners!

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove [discern] what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

We do not naturally like to be distinctly “God’s.” We would rather blend into the world, waiting out our time until the Last Days trumpet sounds. When we refuse to engage in spiritual battle, as the Lord prescribes in His Word, we become like that military deserter who refuses to fight yet refuses to leave the regiment. We show up for roll call and the chow hall, but when the battle ensues, we hide behind a tree, waiting for it to all be over. GET INTO THE BATTLE! Serve the King, Whose Kingdom is UNLIKE all the other nations, and trust Him to lead others into His Kingdom through your bold, courageous, and gracious testimony.

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©Steve Wiggins 2021

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