As I read I Samuel for my Old Testament class, I’m seeing this recurring theme of God wanting to stay in relationship with us, even when we don’t want the relationship with Him. In I Samuel 9, the Israelites have a hissy fit about not having a king. Though they’ve been led by the spirit of God through the wilderness, through intercessors like Moses and judges like Deborah, the Israelites wanted to be like the nations around them and have a monarchy.
After all their pleading and begging, God finally gave it to them. Having a king, however, would come with a cost.
“‘…appoint for us, then, a king to govern us like other nations,” Israel cried. Samuel prayed to the Lord and the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them… you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.’” I Samuel 8:4-9 NSRV (paraphrased)
As we all know, Saul was appointed king over Israel and he got caught up in all kinds of mess, but what I’d like to point out is God’s heart toward the Israelites in I Samuel 9. Even though God didn’t want Israel to rule under a king, and even though He let them have their desires, He still took ownership of them. Speaking of Saul to Samuel, God says, “[Saul] shall save my people… he it is who shall rule over my people.” God still takes ownership of Israel even though they didn’t want Him. They still belonged to Him in spite of a natural ruler being in place. He still wanted to have them as His own in spite of that same love and commitment not being reciprocated.
How this speaks to our own desires that may pull us away from God! Even while we fight to have what we think we should (and God forbid He lets us actually have it!) He’s still wanting us, desiring us, hoping that we’ll choose Him over this world and what the world says we should have.
This makes me want to break myself even further for Him — let loose of what I think should be and take hold of His heart and hand. Having those two things is what matters most.
So how can we shift our hearts towards God’s desires over our own? I think it’s time we try to reciprocate His love back to Him. Though we’ll turn to dust before we could even give back one thousandth of His love for us, knowing that we are putting His desires before our own can only result in a life full of peace and contentment.
On the Chase,