Two Perspectives on Rebellion

Two Perspectives on Rebellion

As Israel’s “old” and final judge was nearing his last days, the elders of Israel gathered to Samuel and made their demands. The first thing they basically said was, “We don’t want you or your sons!” And then they laid out this directive, “Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations” (1 Sam. 8:5). Notice several things about this demand.

Their timeframe for this change was “now.” They were done waiting. They wanted satisfaction to their wishes immediately.

Their focus was on “us”—make US to judge US. All they could see were their own selfish desires.

Their standard was “like all the nations.” Divine standards were of no interest to them. They wanted to be like everyone else.

At this point, Israel was in full rebellion against God. And the Lord related such to Samuel, when He said, “they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them” (8:7).

Does any of this sound like what we have seen happening around us—in our nation, in our families, even in our congregations? People want change “now.” They are solely focused on self. They want to be like whoever the latest craze is. They are in full rebellion against God.

What should we do? Look at Samuel’s perspective when it came to this rebellion. Did he approve of it? Did he celebrate it?

When faced with rebellion against the Lord, Samuel was “displeased” (8:6). Anything that involves sin and going against God should never bring us pleasure or entertain us in any way!

When faced with rebellion against the Lord, Samuel “prayed to the Lord” (8:6). We get frustrated and discouraged sometimes and don’t know what to do. Easy! Talk to God about it! Tell Him what is going on and how you feel about! Pray for wisdom!

When faced with rebellion against the Lord, Samuel warned the people and told them “all the words of the Lord” (8:9-10). In similar fashion, we need to warn people of the dangers of yielding to the devil, for “He will take…He will take…He will take…He will take…He will take…He will take” (stated six times of what an unrighteous ruler would do in 8:11-17). “But the Lord will not hear” those who rebel against Him (8:18; cf. Psa. 34:16).

When faced with rebellion against the Lord, Samuel kept on listening to the Lord and obeying Him. Today, the world around us seems in full rebellion against the God of heaven and His ways. Let us recognize it and respond in a holy manner, just as Samuel did!


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