No Kings, Please!

Posted on July 7, 2012

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1 Samuel 8:11-18

“11 And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. 16 And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. 18 And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day”

Samuel’s warning to the people about the king that they so desperately wanted, sounds eerily familiar today. In the name of security and governmental care, they were willing to give over their freedoms. Samuel, in accordance with God’s command, warned the people about the dangers of having an all powerful king. The system of judges that Israel had been under was much different than a monarchy. Unlike a king, the judges had very little “legal” authority. The judges worked under the divine appointment of God, they settled disputes and provided strong military leadership when necessary. However, the authority of the judges was largely dependent upon the people’s willingness to follow, and it was a far less centralized system.

Having a king would change all that, he would excessively tax, and reapportion property, wealth, and man power according to his own desires. He would have the authority to rule over their lives. Samuel makes it very clear that the king would take people, crops, wine, and livestock for his own purpose, and reapportion them according to his own desires. Samuel goes on to warn that there would come a day when the people would cry out because of that king, and God would not answer. What is interesting, is that our own government is becoming more and more like this, and just like the Israelites, our people are asking for it.

The American people have asked our government to be our provider and our caretaker, yet that role belongs to God. We have placed our faith in government, and the government will fail us. The bottom line is that we have set our government up as our God, and God will not take second place. What is happening here is the culmination of many generations of Americans who have become more and more dependent on the government, and many administrations that have been eager to answer that call. Just like the Israelites, we need to be careful what we ask for.

One main emphasis now is taxation, and we are excessively taxed and the money redistributed among the masses. They would limit our ability to defend ourselves, thus making us more dependent on the government. The government has also placed an emphasis on government jobs rather than private industry, thus giving government authority to decide how to utilize people. Through many types of taxes and regulations government is now in the business of deciding what we should learn, what foods are best for us, what kind cars we should drive, what type of appliances we should have in our homes, how much money we can earn (and how much of it we can keep), and what type of healthcare services we require. They have told us that we must accept and be tolerant of all other faiths, and all types of sinful activity, and the list goes on and on.

In 1 Samuel 8:7, God warned against such a system, saying that it was a rejection of Him.

“7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.”

God has given us freedom, and we have given it up to another god. Yet, this freedom is precious, and is evidently very important to Him. You see, God has given us the most precious of all freedoms, the freedom to either accept or reject Him. Consider the consequences of this freedom. Because of this freedom, countless souls will spend an eternity in Hell. This freedom carries the highest price of all, the ultimate cost or the greatest reward, Heaven or Hell. Since God decided that our freedom was worth such a tremendous price, shouldn’t we be willing to safeguard our earthly freedoms?

Indeed, today we have rejected God and placed our government in His place. We have said that God should not reign over us, and when we cry out to Him we wonder why He doesn’t answer. God has not changed in the last 3000 years, and He still requires us to rely on Him. He still says that we shall have no other Gods before Him, and anything less will meet with His displeasure. We in this country are in the shape that we are in, because we have traded our God-given freedoms for man-made security. As long as we continue to choose man over God, He will not hear our cries. The choice is ours to make, man or God!

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