|“You should read and study God’s Word like you read the morning newspaper. The context gives you the meaning of the words. Let the text make its case. Don’t try and be cleaver by seeing any more or less in the passage than what the words warrant.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Ruled By Men
“…now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” I Samuel 8:5
Men would rather be ruled by a tyrant than governed by God. You easily capture this truth from Israel’s desire for a king. The people ask Samuel to give them a king. God said their desire was a rejection of Him, the culmination of a history of not wanting Him as their King. Thus He spells out the consequences of having man rather than God rule them.39No matter how tyrannical a human ruler may be, the people believe they can influence his decisions, while all know that they cannot manipulate God. Thus they choose the tyrant as their ruler rather than God.
Although it may appear contradictory, men want someone to tell them what to do. For example, when Saul was looking for Samuel the people said, “You will find him, before he goes up to the high place to eat; for the people will not eat till he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those eat who are invited.” 40 The people would not eat without Samuel’s permission and blessing. All want to be told to obey and follow tradition in order to feel good about themselves. But this is different from obeying when they don’t want to do it. Seeking to obey in order to feel good about yourself is entirely different from seeking to be God’s obedient subject.
Thus the two thoughts are in reality one. Men crave both autonomy and affirmation. God will affirm them only to the degree that they repudiate their autonomy and submit to His Lordship. Men deceive themselves into believing that in human leadership they can have both, when in reality they end with neither. It is a lesson the rebel refuses to learn.
39 cf. 1 Samuel 8:7-22
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