In 1 Samuel 8:5, the Israelites came to Samuel to “appoint a king to lead (them), such as all the other nations have.” Samuel was unhappy with the Israelites' request and prayed to God about it. The LORD responded by saying, “‘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’” (1 Sam. 8:7).
Samuel warned of the terrible ways an earthly king would rule, but even so, the possibility of immediate safety, security and protection captured their hearts and ruled their lives, plunging them into decades of distress and dysfunction.
We, like the Israelites long to feel the safety, security and protection that comes from the rule and reign of a perfect, loving, just and righteous king. Also like the Israelites, we settle for lesser versions of The King in hopes that our problems will be solved, anxieties will be calmed and chaos will be brought into order.
We buckledown when money goes out of our account faster than it comes in; we begrudgingly vacuum yet again when popcorn gets spilled all over the freshly clean carpet; we retreat into our own thoughts when the person we love most is no longer on this earth to talk to. When we turn to our own solutions, our problems, fixations and sin get worse, not better.
Thankfully, Jesus meets us in the fear of not enough, the chaos of managing a home and the pit of emptiness after loss. When we are tempted to ease our unrest with quick fixes of lesser kings, remember, Jesus is the King of kings who brought safety, security and protection to our souls with His finished work on the cross. We can cling to the good news that in Him we have a king who would never lead us into distress and dysfunction for his personal gain, but instead endured the ultimate form of distress and dysfunction for our gain.
Home is not the place we make for ourselves on earth, but rather the place where Jesus is in our hearts.
In what areas of your life are you like the Israelites? What lesser kings are you fixating on to bring order to your life? Where in your life does the good news that Jesus is King refresh and replenish you? Now, take these reflections to the King of kings and be at home in His presence.
“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 acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV)
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