Like the Nations
Topic: AM Service Passage: 1 Samuel 8:1–8:22
It is a great challenge for Christians to find our daily hope and provision in the Lord. It is much easier to think of the Lord as our provision in either the abstract or in times of great distress; but in the grind of day upon day, we often look to our techniques or resources. After all, this is what the people of the world do – and it is hard to be seen as foolish, relying on the invisible, sovereign God. When idolatry is all around us, we are tempted just to keep our heads down and “go with the flow.” But the message of the Bible is that as the Lord is different, God’s people are different. That is one of the ways to describe holiness – “differentness.” We must resist the temptation to seek the same solutions that the world seeks. We must resist being ashamed of a wholehearted commitment to the Lord. Israel had not learned that yet in Samuel’s day, and they were about to get a lesson in the school of the Lord’s chastisement. They sought a king, but the real problem was that they wanted to be “Like the Nations” (1 Samuel 8:1-22).
I. Rejecting the Lord
A. Replacing the Lord
B. Running from the Lord
II. Response of the Lord
A. Witness of the Heart
B. Warning of King’s Ways
III. Ramifications of Their Choice
A. Foolishness Instead of Wisdom
B. Desires Instead of Necessaries
Questions for consideration: (1) What things in your life are you tempted to look to as a replacement for the Lord? Why do you think you want to do that? (2) In which situations are you most afraid to appear different from the world? How do you respond to that fear? (3) Have you ever thought that it would be a bad thing if God gave you what you asked for? What about now?