Saturday, July 18, 2015

1 Samuel 8

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Samuel 8. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • In his old age, Samuel appointed his sons to be judges over Israel.  But much like Eli's sons, they turned out to be corrupt.  
  • In light of this, the elders of Israel asked Samuel to appoint a king.  The people of Israel had wanted a king for some time and it wasn't just because Samuel's sons were corrupt.  They wanted to be like their neighboring nations (verse 20).
  • God tells Samuel to warn the people what it will mean for them to have a king.  After being warned, the Israelites still demand a king.  
  • God tells Samuel to give them a king. 
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • It was not wrong for Israel to want a king.  However, the reality is the people were rejecting God as their leader.  The Israelites wanted laws, an army, and a human leader in the place of God.  God realized that His people having a king would make it easy to forget that He was their real leader.  
  • Samuel carefully explained all the negative consequences of having a king, but the Israelites refused to listen.  When you want something badly enough, you often become blind to the potential problems.
  • Israel was called to be a holy nation, separate from and unique among all other nations.  The Israelites' motive in asking for a king was to be like the nations around them.  This was in total opposition to God's original plan. 
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • When you face an important decision, weigh the positives and negatives carefully.  Consider how others will be affected by your choice.  Don't discount the negatives.  
  • Have you ever made a wrong choice because you wanted to be like everyone else?  Often we let others' values and actions dictate our attitudes and behavior.  Be careful to not let the values of others pull you away from what God says is right.