I’m helping out a little in our Sunday school program at my church and am teaching a class of the sweetest children. It’s always amazing to me how the Lord takes the simple lessons I’m teaching them and drives home a truth that I need to hear. It happened again last Sunday.
We were all reading in I Samuel 8 about the children of Israel demanding a king. God told Samuel to warn them about what would happen if they had a king ruling over them.
- Their sons would be his warriors, his servants, his captains, his weapon makers
- Their daughters would be his maids, cooks, bakers
- Their fields would belong to the king
- The king would take their servants, their sheep and donkeys
- They would regret their choice, and will call out to God, but He will not hear them
Then my whole class read verse 19. After hearing the dire consequences the Israelite’s response was:
Nay; but we will have a king over us!
I had the children repeat the Israelite’s response with me. First we stood, folded our arms and stomped our foot while saying, “NO!” Then we pounded one fist on our other hand while saying, “WE WANT A KING!”
I talked to the children about their stubbornness in demanding something from God, even though they knew it was not good for them! Then the arrow came to my own heart.
How often I do the very same thing! When I read or hear the danger of sin in my life and I choose it anyway, I am behaving just like the king-demanding-Israelites, and God will give me what is not good for me in order to teach me and discipline me. Gossiping, slandering, being lazy, proud, or uncaring for the lost will all bring the consequences God warns about in His Word. Bitterness, anger or being deceitful are full of dangerous consequences. Having a faithless heart in God’s plans, worrying, planning and scheming my own actions are also sinful choices. It’s me pounding my fist into my palm and making demands that God lovingly warns about.
It’s my choice – will I heed God’s loving warnings and go His way, or will I stomp my foot in defiance and foolishness only to reap the costly consequences? The danger in saying “No” is that God will let me have my own way. But He loves me too much to let me go on stubbornly and sinfully disregarding His directives. He knows what is best for me! It may look like things are good for a while when I go my own way, but eventually I will reap from my sinful choices. God will not be mocked.
“Oh Lord, help me to lift my hands in surrender and say instead, “YES, I WILL OBEY!”
If there’s any area in your life not surrendered over to the Lord, hear His loving warning and obey. There are also blessed consequences for obedience!