I was sitting in church this morning, flipping through my bible, when I came across 1 Samuel 8. The light bulb in my head went off when I read the following:
1 Samuel 8:1-8: "When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, 'You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.'
But when they said, 'Give us a king to lead us,' this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: 'Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.'"
So what's going on in this passage? First off, at this point in history, Israel had no king; God himself served as Israel's immediate king, and the prophet Samuel served as God's messenger, like all the other prophets. Secondly, the people of Israel's request for a human king and their reasons for requesting a king were nothing but smokescreens. The real reason they wanted a human king was that they had rejected their true king, God; They instead wanted to serve the man-made gods of the Canaanites, and as part of their conforming to the sinful world, they wanted a sinful human being to lead them as king.
We see this kind of thing going on in our world today. People reject God as their king, and they often give supposed intellectual-reasons that in reality are nothing more than smoke screens. The truth is that people reject God as their King because they love their sins more than they love God. This was true in 10th century BC, and it's true today in the 21st century.
That's my thought for the day. Now go and serve your King.