Scripture Read: Judges 8:22-23 then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, both you and your son, also your son’s son, for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian.” But Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you.”
Application: It is amazing how we humans...like water...seem to always sink to the lowest level. We deceive ourselves into believing that our ideas and ways are more correct and wiser than God’s. One of the dangers that happens when we read passages like this is, either; we fool ourselves into thinking we would do something very different; or we are so spiritually arrogant that we believe ourselves more godly than the ones we are reading about. I am not saying that it is not possible to NOT repeat the same mistake as these folks do, but what I am concerned about is that many of us think we would never act the same way. The problem is, that kind of thinking brings several problems with it.
First, the Scriptures make it clear that ALL humans fall short...not just some. So when we think we cannot do what any other sinner has done, we elevate ourselves into a false reality. That will make our fall all that much harder. Second, the Scriptures tell us that all of these stories and facts were written for examples to us so we would not make the same mistakes. If we think we are beyond those same mistakes...we will read passages like this and not take heed. We will only arrogantly shake our head at “these foolish sinners” and as we are shaking our head we will not notice we are on the same path. Third, history clearly shows us that the Scriptures are true. Time and time again, any person can do the most sinful or foolish thing. Whether it be a man “after God’s own heart” running into murder and adultery, a prophet thinking he can run and hide from God, a disciple that only has head knowledge but no relationship selling himself for 30 pieces of silver, or even two great missionaries becoming embroiled in an egotistical argument and breaking fellowship with each other. Anyone of those could be anyone of us. Here, after watching what God did through Gideon the people do not turn to God and ask Him to continue to lead them. They turn to a human, which they can see. Living by faith is always more difficult, so having a human king is for the eyes, and humans think that makes life easier. Maybe it does...but “easier never equals better” In their future the Israelites insist. They demand that Samuel appoint a human king:
1 Samuel 8:5–9 Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. “Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. “Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.”
God tells Samuel to do it, but also tells him to explain to the people what a human king will do to them and their children. Samuel does this, yet the people still insist:
1 Samuel 8:18–22 “Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the Lord’s hearing. The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”
Let’s not trust our eyes – Trust God!
Meditation Questions: Do you believe you could fall into any sin? Why? Why Not? When you see someone fall, what do you think? What does that say? When you see someone fall what questions should go through your mind? Is there an OT story that God has used to teach you, that kept you from making the same mistake? Think about all the scriptures you have read, how are you allowing them to give you insight so you do not repeat the same mistakes? Do you think if you kept a journal of lessons learned, it might help?