As we learned on the first day of this Plan, the Israelites often justified their poor choices by the absence of a king. “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6, NLT; Judges 21:25, NLT). And when they brought their request to Samuel, a righteous leader was a prominent expectation. “‘Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have’” (1 Samuel 8:5, NLT).

But again the Israelites’ first king disappointed them. And not in a small way. King Saul committed many very serious sins. First by sacrificing the burnt offering himself instead of waiting for Samuel (1 Samuel 13). Then by disobeying the Lord’s direct command to destroy the Amalekite nation (1 Samuel 15). After that, he deceived David by not honoring his promise to give his daughter Merab to him in marriage (1 Samuel 18). Then he killed Abimelech and all his family, who served as priests from pure jealousy (1 Samuel 22). And finally, Saul consulted a medium to call up Samuel’s spirit for battlefield advice (1 Samuel 28).

The Israelites’ hopes for a king who could guide them to obey the Lord’s commands were shattered. And it had terrible consequences for centuries to come. On many occasions after King Saul’s reign, the Israelites got into idolatry under the guidance of kings they trusted for their spiritual well-being.

In the same way, we often gamble with our spiritual lives by going after earthly “kings”. We attend any church where the pastor promises us exactly what we want to hear. We listen to any so-called “prophetic word” that benefits us despite it going against the Word. And we trust the people close to us by following their example without testing it against the Bible.

What are you requesting from God at the moment? Is there any part of your request that might lead you away from the Lord’s commands?

Let us be careful with our desires and requests from the Lord. Let us make sure that we keep trusting Him alone to keep us on the right path. “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world” (1 John 4:1, NLT).

Scripture readings:

1 Samuel 8:5

1 Samuel 13:7-14

1 Samuel 28:6-14

1 John 4:1-3