1 Samuel 8:5b: “Now appoint us a king to judge us [and rule over us] like all the other nations.”
Sometimes we have these tendencies to look at others and see what is happening in their lives and want to emulate them. We think what has worked for them will work for us. We might have fallen prey to prayers that sound like, “God do it for me like you did it for Brother John, I want a business like his.” However, you need to understand that you are not brother John and that you are unique and peculiar (1 Peter 2:9). Brother John might be working according to God’s plan for his life so your focus should be towards following God’s divine direction for your life.
A king is a ruler and just like a measuring ruler he aligns the path of his people towards a certain path and checks to see that they have been accurately aligned to the path he/she wants i.e. makes sure the line is straight and makes sure the line is accurate. Thinking about a measuring ruler there are two role players that make every line straight and to make sure every 5 centimeters is actually 5 centimeters. These role players are the person using the ruler and the manufacturer of the ruler. These are the people involved in making sure the lines are straight and they are accurate.
To summarize 1 Samuel 8, God was the king of Israel and hence the ruler of Israel, He was in charge of the affairs of Israel. He put Samuel to be His prophet but as he grew older he appointed his sons as leaders. These sons were dishonest and so the people of Israel wanted their own king so as to be like other nations. God warned them of the calamities that will befall them if they decide to have a king and be like other nations but they rejected and still wanted a king of their own. God in His mercy yielded to their desires and Saul was appointed in 1 Samuel 9.
There are different lengths of measuring rulers; 30 centimeters, 1 meter and so on. The accuracy of a line drawn by a ruler is enhanced if the line drawn by the ruler falls within the boundaries of the designed length i.e. a 30 centimeter ruler will be more accurate for a 10 centimeter line up to a 30 centimeter line. However, this does not mean it will not be able to draw a 50 centimeter line but we can be sure that this line might not be accurate or as accurate as a 30 centimeter line and the accuracy of this longer line depends on the user of the ruler. God was the ruler of Israel being his own manufacturer, user and being infinite in length Israel had unlimited potential of being on a straight path. They had other ideas and then asked for a leader they can control and perhaps use to draw whatever lines they wanted. God yielded to their demands and you can be sure that the ruler they gave them cannot be like God he was limited and even if they managed to draw a longer line within the sphere of the limitations of their king, we can be sure the line will not be straight.
The big questions are:
– who is your king?
– Do you want the straightest infinite path or do you want to work within the boundaries of yourself?
– Do you want to work according to God’s divine plan or do you want to manufacture your own plans?
The fact is sometimes in life we might be fazed with certain circumstances and problems which might not be expected and might make you feel down. The question at that point is who is your king? If God is your king, you are to report it to your king. If God is your true king, then you must report the case to Him. He knows more than you know, He is the beginning and the end. God even warned the Israelites of the calamities that will befall them but still they wanted a king of their own ( 1 Samuel 8:10-17). Brethren, every time you are fazed with a calamity and the king is not aware you are disproving God as your king (1Samuel 8:7-8). Rather, than the Israelites to convey the problem to Samuel who then conveys it to God they skipped Samuel, skipped God and then came up with a disastrous solution.
God is the King of Kings and as the king of kings we too are kings in this life and He is the king of you who is a king. You are a ruler of something God wants to be done on earth and that is your purpose. As a ruler, your purpose is your subject and you are to make the path of your subject straight. However, do not seek to be like other nations, you have a specific target and a specific purpose, the day you seek to be like another nation your subject begin to suffer. God’s purpose for you is perfect. Being a King then means that your purpose is already designed but it is to be established with the designer which is God. You are to work with God throughout the lifetime of the establishment of this purpose on earth i.e. You and God are to work together on this. That is two kings coming together to rule over a subject with one king (you) admitting I cannot do this on my own, therefore seeking the help of the most powerful king who even put you there in the first place (see 1 Chronicles 28).
Sometimes, it does happen that yes we forget God when we face calamities but then in His mercies, He shows us signs of the things to come (John 16:13), if we take a certain wrong step, don’t be stubborn, humble yourself to the fact you made a mistake and God in His infinite mercies will forgive you.
In conclusion, you cannot choose to be like others and not suffer like others. The best you can be is to be what God wants you to be and rule over the purpose God has for you. With the mindset of having God use you and not to be fazed by how others are doing things and living their lives (which might seem better than yours). You might be seeing it from the surface and their lives might look and seem good and your life which you know so well might have a few hiccups and then you become so eager to be like a man you do not really know what is going on within. Have a new mindset and don’t look at the lives of others but have your eyes fixed on what God has designed you for. In everything always ask, Who is my King?