Thursday, July 02, 2009

When a nation wants a king – The high price of freedom

In 1 Samuel 8:4-5 the people ask Samuel, the prophet for a king; for what reason? So they could be like other nations. It’s the mentality that “because you have an iPod, I need an iPod. They want to be hip and “with it”. Oh, the power of the desire to conform to a worldly standard.

Why did they want a king? 1 Samuel 8:20 says: “Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles." They wanted a king to fight their battles. Yes, the wanted to be taken care of. Please O King, protect me in all ways—fight all my battles.

Samuel prays to the Lord in 1 Samuel 8:7“And the Lord told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.” Yes, we would rather have an earthly king than a heavenly king.

Samuel then warns them of the consequences of having an earthly king. Some are:
1. The king will take your sons and daughters. 1 Samuel 8:11,13 - He said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.” Compulsory military service.
2. Some will farm specifically for the king – 1 Samuel 8:12-14 – “Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and GIVE them to his attendants.”
3. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards. 1 Samuel 8:15 – “He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.”

See the pattern--He will take.

Do you hear any clamor today for a king? Not really, but many people want the government to take care of them from cradle to grave. We want a king rather than we ourselves being responsible for certain areas of our own life.

The earthly king who takes care of us, takes from us. There is no free lunch—it costs something.

The ONE who takes care of us is the Heavenly King not an earthly king. He is an eternal king, not an earthly king who rattles his saber and pounds his chest. Some of them end up eaten by worms.

The Eternal King and His Son Jesus rule and love us in spirit and truth. Remember this idea of an earthly king may be tantalizing but the earthly king takes and we pay a high price for such silliness.

This July 4th remember to be free costs us something, usually a high price. Don’t settle for anything less than freedom. Bow your knee only to The Father and His Son Jesus. Philippians 2 :9-11 says, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” If there is a high price to pay, a ransom as it were, what’s the high price concerning our Heavenly Father? It cost HIM His Son. No, not us, it cost Him, God himself, His Son, and what does God require of us? Micah 6:6-8 – “With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." Galatians 5:1,13 NIV