Judgment Upon the Stubborn

Michael Beck

“Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.” (1 Samuel 8:19,20)

One of the Father’s correcting judgments is to give stubborn children what they demand. When an idol has been set up in our heart we are compelled to serve and bow down to it. We see what other people have, we get ideas of what we need, what would make us happy, and then we present our “Christmas list” to God. “Lord, get me this. Lord, you know I need that. Lord, how come others have this or that and I don’t.” We pout. We whine. We obsess. And then, not in mercy, but in anger, God grants our request. “I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.” (Hosea 13:11)

You do not need an image of wood or stone set up in your living room to be an idolator. Covetousness is idolatry, and the covetous person is an idolator. (Col 3:5; Eph. 5:5) Beware of eyeing your neighbor’s “goods.” So, they have a new, sporty car, and you don’t; he has a stylish wife, and you don’t; she has a handyman for a husband, and you don’t. Looking and lusting is sin in and of itself and it will only lead to words and actions that declare the idolatry lurking in your heart.

We have this word: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb. 13:5) It was not Samuel that the people rejected when they wanted a king, it was God. When we are not content with our car, our house, our spouse; isn’t it really God we are finding fault with? The creation was never meant to provide us with ultimate satisfaction, our Creator is the fountain of life. He was Israel’s king; He is our Life. Don’t let your happiness depend on anything other than knowing Him.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.