Be Careful What You Ask For


toddler-on-phone1Samuel 8:4-6 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; 5 and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord.

I have seen good churches misfire when a pastor leaves after a long healthy season of ministry. Usually by digging in on something they really want that that they didn’t feel the last guy had and developing blindness to the bigger picture.

This happens in our politics as well. Back & forth swings between parties. We want this… No. That didn’t work, we want something else. There is something about us that wants what we don’t’ have so much that we fail to see what God has already provided.

Times of transition can be tricky. Uncertainty, fear, grief and even anger can cloud thinking about the next leader. These emotions leave us vulnerable to a poor decisions and any fallout that comes with it.

This leads to a final warning in this series: Be Careful What You Ask For!

Israel misfired in this kind of transition. We can learn from the key players in their situation to keep from making the same kind of mistake. Those players are: the Crowd, the Creator and the Committed.

THE CROWD: Beware of Choosing Leaders Based on Fear & Discontent.

1Sam. 12:12 When you saw that Nahash the king of the sons of Ammon came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ although the Lord your God was your king. See 10:19

Discontent with God’s provision became distrust. God had always provided for them in the past through protecting their circumstances and miraculous intervention. He regularly raised up the right leader for the challenge they face. They were getting ahead of Him in this case out of fear of a neighboring nations growing strength. This fear made them forget about seeking God first. Their distrust of God’s provision led to rejection of God’s rule.

THE CREATOR: Remember the Scope and Nature of Jesus’ Rule.

Psalm 100:3 Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Psalm 29:10-11 …the Lord sits as King forever. 11 The Lord will give strength to His people;
 the Lord will bless His people with peace.

God understood what was happening. This was not the first time he dealt with fickle human beings. Through conversation & action it reminds us that God allows people to reject Him and embrace lessor gods and that God’s purpose is not derailed by rejection of His people.

A critical lesson for us is that God raised up human rulers in response to the heart of the people. When His people’s hearts were set on Him, he gave them good leaders, When their hearts ran after lessor things to make life work, he allowed bad (sometimes even outright evil) leaders to emerge. With the darkness our nation has embraced in the last century, no believer should be shocked at the moral condition of candidates left standing after the primaries.

So what are we to think & do?

THE COMMITED: Continue to Embrace Jesus as King Even When Others Don’t.

1Sam 8:6-7 But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Cf. Prov. 3:5-6

Samuel offers an incredible example for followers of Christ in this election season.

  • First, Go straight to God with your concerns. The first thing Samuel did after taking the hit the people brought to him was to pray. He poured it all out to God.
  • Second, Trust what God allows even when you don’t like it. God gave Samuel both perspective and direction. He even involved Samuel in meeting the people’s rebellious request. Samuel boldly and obediently did what God showed him to do.
  • Finally, Continue to follow Jesus as an agent of his Kingdom. Though the people were concerned about Samuel’s age, he managed to live another 40 years embracing His role as God’s prophet/ servant among the people. The whole nation was struggling morally, but he remained as a source of God’s light. That is what we are to do as well.

For the whole lesson go to We will begin a new series next week. I hope you benefited from this one and will be able to join us again this coming weekend.