Apr 10 (Daily reading: 1 Samuel 9-12, NIV) God agreed at the end of chapter 8 that Israel would have a king, after saying to Samuel: “They have rejected me as their king” (8:7). He led Samuel to anoint Saul, who began with a heart open to God, because God changed his heart (10:9). Saul made a good beginning, but we will see over the next two days where he went wrong.
Samuel spoke to Israel about their choosing a human king: “Now you have a king as your leader” (12:2). Samuel reviewed his leadership over them as the last judge. He also reviewed how God had brought them out of Egypt and into Canaan, and by the hand of various judges, “delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around you, so that you lived in safety.” But they wanted a king like other nations, even though, Samuel reminded them, “the LORD your God was your king” (12:12-13).
Samuel was making the point that it would be a mistake to put their trust in a human king. After all, even when they had a king, it was God’s work: “The LORD has set a king over you.” All would be well “if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God! … Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish” (12:13-14, 25). We would do well ourselves to remember this. When we give first place to people or things, putting them before God, it will always bring unwelcome consequences.
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Tim. 1:17).
– Al Gary