1 Samuel 8:4-7
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and went to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Therefore, appoint a king to judge us the same as all the other nations have.”
When they said, “Give us a king to judge us,” Samuel considered their demand wrong, so he prayed to the Lord. But the Lord told him, “Listen to the people and everything they say to you. They have not rejected you; they have rejected me as their king.
1 Samuel 8:19-20
The people refused to listen to Samuel. “No! ” they said. “We must have a king over us. Then we’ll be like all the other nations: our king will judge us, go out before us, and fight our battles.”
The Reality of the Invisible
People simply do not excel at trusting in the Invisible God to guide, protect and provide. Our human nature wants flesh out in front. We want something we can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and cling to with our arms. We want someone’s neck we can get our hands around when things don’t go as we planned. We need to hold someone accountable other than ourselves. Someone we can see and scorn. It’s sad, really, and that is a huge understatement.
From the very beginning, God commanded us to worship Him and follow Him only. No images. No surrogates. No icons. No earthly substitutes. Just Him. We, however, have trouble with the reality of the invisible. When we walk by faith and not by sight we have this really big problem of stumbling and falling on our face a lot. Trusting in the unseen does not come naturally. We want a king.
Father God accommodated His people over and over again appointing earthly leaders who, even when being formed after God’s own heart, failed miserably. Failure. Doubt. Fear. Rejection. Sadness. We are slow learners and Father God is remarkably patient. Even when we are faithless, Paul writes in 2 Timothy, He remains faithful.
God’s Final Earthly King
The fulfillment of His love for us was manifest in the Man Jesus Christ. Once again in history God raised up a Man to lead us – a King on earth for His people. But, this time the Man was and is God. He became flesh and lived right here with us. He walked with us and talked with us and led us and taught us. The ultimate King was before us in perfection and truth and, once again, was more than we could accept. Here was God’s final earthly King walking among us – teaching, preaching, healing, loving. God Himself with flesh. He was here! Our request was granted in a way we would never have imagined and, in much the same way, we wouldn’t accept either.
We rejected Him fully, crucifying Him in humiliation and disgrace. The ugly truth is that we don’t really want a king like God. We want a king like us. Plainly put, we want to be our own king – our own god. From the very beginning, we have been rejecting God’s Kingship and plotting our own course. We’ll decide what’s best for us! The results are always disastrous, but for some stupid reason we keep thinking it will work the next time. Just give us someone to do the work and take the fall when things crumble. Give us a neck to strangle when failure inevitably results. Give us someone to hold accountable for our faults, failures and selfish ambition. Give us someone to crucify when our sins overtake us…
He did. In an almost unbelievable act, this Man Who was and is God became sin for us. The King who walked among us delivered us from the rebellion of our own evil hearts. He knows us inside and out and accepts us as we receive Him. He accepts those who have been rejecting Him since the Garden – the very beginning of time. Who can fathom such? What kind of change can such acceptance bring? All who come to Him in faith will never be cast out. Those who will bow their hearts to Him as King of their very lives will receive the power, strength and humility to follow Him into all righteousness. He has become our righteousness before the Father we rejected. He hides us in His Nature and promises to reveal us in His glory upon His physical return. He is Perfection crucified by the rebellious, so that those who were and are willing may enter into His sacrifice for the salvation of their lives and the redemption of their souls. God has shown mercy upon our evil, self- serving, insubordinate hearts. He has redeemed us from our very own selves.
How can we not now bow before Him and serve Him every single day? He is worthy. He is forgiving. He is here. We will walk by faith and not by sight for we will have no other King than Christ!