Friday, March 16, 2012

You Don't Want That

1Samuel 8:19-20
19But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. 20Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."

The prophet Samuel attempted to tell the people of Israel they were asking for something they really didn't want. They thought they wanted it but when Samuel told them what they were in for all the people of Israel were concerned with was "being like all the other nations." Sometimes being like all the others gets you into trouble. The people of Israel were not satisfied with the idea of the Lord being their guide. They refused to understand they were special. The Lord wasn't leading the other nations. He was leading Israel...His people. But they rejected God. And for it they paid. The people confirmed Saul as king to fight their battles. Yes, he fought their battles. Saul disobeyed the Lord more than once regarding going to battle. But when the Lord told him on one particular battle against the Amalekites not to allow the men to take any plunder and to spare no one, he didn't listen. The Amalekites were very detestable to God as they had once attempted to destroy Israel as they left Egypt. Anything of theirs that was obtained was tainted. And the idea of King Saul's men using anything from the Amalekites to be offered up to the Lord was unthinkable. Saul didn't obey. He refused to obey the Lord's instructions and so not only pronounced judgement over himself but also on Israel. It was his actions that led to continued hatred that would one day nearly destroy the Jews had it not been for the Lord placing Hadassah into position as Queen Esther. She risked her life to save them because an Amalekite named Haman who was a descendant of the king that Saul defeated, sought to erase them based on this historic battle. And her exposing Haman's plot led to the festival of Purim which the Jews celebrated last week.

Why is this important? One action leads to another. It took hundreds of years for Saul's actions to come full circle. After his entire family had been demolished, the people of Israel still had to pay for their choice. Asking for something that God doesn't really want for you is a sure way to pay a hefty price that you didn't bargain for. When the Lord says, "you don't want that", there is always a reason. Not listening can have consequences that span for years, hundreds in the case of the Israelites. The good news, in between all of this God had appointed David as King who was a man after His own heart. Yes in the middle of your mess, God can still bless you, but the price for the choice will be paid at some point. The question is when will it happen and who else will reap the consequences with you?

P.S. Check out my man V of the Artist to Artist Show on Saturday at 8am CT/9am ET!

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