Getting What I Want
Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them . . .I Samuel 8:9
I can recall several discreet instances, while pursuing my destructive behaviors, that God used others to warn me. You are headed for disaster. You must turn around. I had various responses: I lied, I made excuses, and I told others to mind their own business. In the end, I did what I wanted and discovered for myself why I had been warned.
The Israelites did the same in today’s passage. Living in perpetual conflict with the kingdoms around them, they looked to the monarchies of those kingdoms and became jealous. They too, wanted a king, so they went to the prophet Samuel, and demanded one.
God was supposed to be their king, but they wanted a real one. In the end, God granted their request, only after delivering a warning. You can have what you want, but you will live to regret it. Getting what you want will be your misery and your undoing. The Israelites refused to listen as they knew better than God. Predictably, they got what they wanted and suffered for it.
It is not that what I want is always evil. I’m just wrong often enough that it is ridiculous of me to ignore God’s warnings. When I dismiss His warnings, He allows me to do what I want. Then, as the misery of what I want rains down, I usually have the audacity to turn back to God, begging for deliverance from my self-inflicted disaster.
To my repentance, God says, I will always forgive you, but there was a reason I warned you. I was trying to protect you from the consequences of your own way. Now, you will endure a season of consequences. As you follow me though, you will create new, better consequences. This will take time. Just listen and follow.
When we listen and follow God, life is not guaranteed to be easy, but when we obey, we stop creating our own disasters as we embrace life, joy and peace.