Are you Listening?
We are continuing our sermon series on Samuel.
‘But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; …
Do you want your way or God’s way?
I remember being in metal work class at school in what would now be called year 8, where I was making a bench vice. I had already cast the moving parts in aluminium using a sand mould and was impatient to fix up the handle. I made a steel bar and feed it through the mechanism, heated it up and then flattened the ends so it wouldn’t slip through to secure it. I was quite pleased with myself, but then my teacher came up to stop me just before I had finished and asked me why I didn’t wait for him to show me how to finish this handle off properly as he had planned. For many years I used this vice at home and when I’d catch my hand on the awkward metal handle I would remember that my teacher had had a better way.
…the people said, ‘No! but we are determined to have a king over us, so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us
and go out before us and fight our battles.’ 1 Samuel 8:19-20
The people in this story in the book of Samuel are being impatient and want to have immediately what they see the other nations have. They think this is what they need. Samuel tries to tell them that God has a better way, but they are not listening. They choose for themselves a king who seems to fit the bill—he has all the right characteristics—but Samuel’s prophesy comes true. This king is not good for them after all.
Fortunately God has so much love, compassion and grace that he does provide them with the sort of king they need in King David who will be a forerunner for the ultimate King in Jesus Christ. But it does cause us to wonder—what would have happened if they had listened to God’s voice the first time…