Who is Your King?
One of the earliest mistakes the Israelites made was mistaking the true identity of their king. God led the Hebrews out of Egypt by way of His chosen prophet, Moses. He also established rules intended to keep His people away from sin called the Old Law. Back then God ruled and guided His people through appointed prophets and judges.
In 1 Samuel 8:5, all the elders of the people approached the prophet Samuel and said, “Behold, you are an old man and your sins do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the other nations.” God saw the hearts of the elders and told Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but have rejected me from being their king…only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them” (1 Samuel 8:7-9). In 1 Samuel 8:18, Samuel ended his warning by telling the elders that there’d be a day they’d cry out in distress because of their king, but God would not answer on that day.
God’s people faced many tragedies because of their kings: including but not limited to civil war, exile, and being taken over. The number of kings that were God-fearing can be counted on your fingers. Most of the time, the people had a king who lived sinfully and encouraged them to do the same. However, lovingly God had a plan in place to restore His people and everyone from their sinful ways. He was going to sacrifice His only son and shed His blood to pay mankind’s debt of sin. Hebrews 9:15 reads, “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.” The Old Law had the purpose of showing mankind what sin is, but through Jesus, we all have a way to be saved from sin.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Humans like to think that there can exist multiple priorities. A person can have many things important to them, but they can only be truly focused on one. The Israelites got tempted and made the mistake of focusing on the physical. They choose to have a flawed person rule them over the infallible almighty God. Only one option will lead you to eternal life and prosperity. God loves you so much that He left the choice to you.