I Samuel 8:7 But the Lord told him, “Listen to the people and everything they say to you. They have not rejected you; they have rejected Me as their king.”
I started my week off in my study of I Samuel 8, not knowing the long-reaching decisions that would occur in our world later in it. Succession, a break, the freedom to make our own decisions, I’m not sure exactly how to label Britain’s decision to leave the EU at this point. Clearly, this is what the people wanted, and I’m not saying what should have been done one way or or another, but if I could have transported this scenario from I Samuel fast-forward 3,000 years, change some names and some faces, it’s almost like we’re sitting in the very same spot.
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.”
But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”
I’ll admit it, this political season, recent world events and the fear that is threatening to grip our hearts in light of these tragedies has me scratching my heading and throwing my hands up, but when I started my study off, we began with this passage of scripture in Romans 13:1-7
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you wan to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you own them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
So, maybe this post isn’t really about what happened on Thursday, maybe, it was my excuse to get us to examine what’s in our hearts: is It lust, greed or the desire for control, or it simply the desire to see that things are just and fair? God is a God of justice, blessed are all who wait for him (Isaiah 30:18b). Let us, as believers, never forget who our King truly is. Are we walking toward God or away from him? How are our political decisions reflecting this?
This is what God is asking from us. Again, this is not my partisan, highly opinionated soap box, hiked-up-waistline-‘cause-I’m-ready-for-a-fight coming out, I have just printed what the Word of the God says and here I stand. I know, you’re chaffing, but what if the pilgrims, what if abolitionists, what if separatists…? I know. Seriously, I know. But we are talking about governing authorities that build our schools, our roads, hire police officers that come to your door at 1:00 a.m. looking to arrest someone by the name of “Smith”*(yeah, that happened this morning) doing what they can to preserve the peace and well-being of the people under their reign.
Right now, more than any.other.time. we need to be on our knees in prayer, thanking God for godly authority that he has place over our lives, whether those are our pastors, our Bible teachers, etc., praying that God will continue to lead and guide them in integrity as they are messengers for what a Holy God wants us to hear.
Filter EVERYTHING through scripture, asking God for his wisdom as we make our decisions, not based on what everyone else has/is doing.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.