You Asked for It

The title phrase is usually spoken to another when something happens to another because of their foolish action or talk. This is exactly the reason this could have been said to the Israelites after they had asked for a king.

For years Israel had been guided by judges that God has chosen. Samuel was the last one appointed before the beginning of the kings. According to 1 Samuel 8:1-3, Samuel made his sons judges over Israel. However, they “walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.”

The children of Israel used this as an excuse to ask for a king so they would be “like all the nations” (vs. 5). God told Samuel to give the Israelites a king but straitly warn them “the manner of the king that shall reign over them” (vss. 7-9). This Samuel did (vss. 10-18).

God knew that Samuel was not the problem. He knew that the children of Israel were rebelling against Him (vs. 7). The man Saul became the first king (9:16-17) and for a time he did well as king. However there came a point in time when Saul became disobedient toward God. He neglected to do all that God had told him to do concerning the Amalekites (15:1-24).

Fast forward ahead to the fourth man to become king over Israel, the man Rehoboam. Rehoboam was the son of Solomon (1 Kings 11:43). The children of Israel had apparently become tired of the way they were being treated by the kings and petitioned Rehoboam to ease the burden which had been placed on them (12:4). The king seeking advice asked the older men what to do but did not care for their advice and instead took the counsel of the younger men (vss. 8-14). Due to this lapse of good judgment, the people rebelled against the king and from that point on the kingdom was divided (vss. 16-19).

The children of Israel got exactly what they asked for. But, instead of keeping the ruler that always took care of them, they chose to rely on a fallible and weak man. The God of heaven said that He would “dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God” (Exodus 29:45). This should have been all the Israelites ever asked for. However, in asking for a king they were also asking to be given a burden they would not want to bear (1 Samuel 8:18).

If we could confront the children of Israel today, we could rightly say to them, “You asked for it.”

In Christ, Steve Preston

#desires, #israel, #rehoboam


Psalm 111

Vs. 1 gives praise to “the LORD;”

Vs. 2-9 point to His works as evidence;

Vs.10 gives the conclusion for those who praise Him.

This Psalm seems to call to mind why Israelites, particularly, should “praise the LORD.” Another reminder of God’s works for them appeals to their gratitude. There is a corresponding reminder for Christians today in these words, also.

Verse 1: “Praise the LORD” (or Hallelujah) with the “whole heart” (nothing held back), in the “assembly” (small gathering), and “congregation” (larger, more public gathering).

Verses 2-9: “The works of the LORD” are: (verse 2) “great” (impressive), “studied” (sought out), by those who serve the LORD wanting to know more (Judges 2:7); (verse 3) “honorable and glorious” (His perfection) “righteous” (always the right thing to do); (verse 4) designed “to be remembered” (Ecclesiastes 3:14), even His grace and compassion (bringing Israel out of Egypt, Exodus 6-14, or saving sinners through Jesus’ cross, Hebrews 2:1-4); (verse 5) God provides for those who “fear Him” (having gone through the wilderness, Deuteronomy 8:1-9; or becoming a member of the kingdom of Christ, Matthew 6:25-33; 1 Timothy 6:6-8), always true to His “covenant” (to preserve Abraham’s descendants until Jesus Christ, Exodus 2:24-25; or fulfill His covenant with salvation through Jesus Acts 3:24-26); (verse 6) God gave “His people” their Promised Land taken from “the nations” in Canaan (Joshua 21:43-45; or Christians making disciples “of all the nations,” Matthew 28:18-19); (verse 7) all God does is based upon “verity” (truth) and “judgment” (justice) and are “sure” (never needing to be appealed); (verse 8) God’s plans, purposes, and precepts “stand fast forever” (are above any failure or “shadow of turning,” James 1:17); (verse 9) He has given “redemption” to His people (Israelites, Exodus 15:11-13, Christians, Colossians 1:13-14), hence “His name” is in a category to itself (at the burning bush for Israel’s deliverance, Exodus 3:1-15, for sinners today, Acts 8:12-17).

Verse 10: Respect for God (“fear of the LORD,” Proverbs 1:7; 14:27; 22:4) is “the beginning of wisdom.” Little wonder, therefore, how unintelligent people become who keep God out of their classrooms, governments, businesses, or homes (Ephesians 4:17-20). Everyone who searches the works of the LORD finds praising God easily done!

Thought: In the King James Version, Psalm 111:9 used a Latin word “reverend,” the only time that word is used of God. Actually, the word, which is translated “awesome” in the New King James Version is used many other times in the Scriptures, but still mostly only of God and His works. Just as the word “reverend” has been profaned by false teachers in religion, so the word “awesome” has now become commonly used for mundane things. It is a never-ending struggle to keep some word, or words, reserved for God, alone, but wholly worth it! Christians must “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #god, #israel, #jesus-christ, #salvation, #wisdom, #works-of-the-lord

Leading back to slavery

Subject: Weekly Devotional for 9/16/12

“They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery” Nehemiah 9:17.

In their restoration to God and rebuilding of Jerusalem, the Israelites confess their sins and those of their fathers – among them being this incident from their nation’s forty years of wandering in the wilderness. So many want to lead without really knowing the way. Through the plagues and the Red Sea, God had rescued His people from slavery. In their rebellion God’s people appointed a leader to return to that slavery. Jesus said that if the blind lead the blind, they both will fall into a pit. But in our case we often idolize celebrities, sports or political figures who influence us right back into the slavery of sin. Sometimes the leaders we appoint in our rebellion are fleshly desires, time-wasters, and selfishness we yield to.

Who or what is leading you?

Doug Kashorek Continue reading

#devotionals, #israel, #leaders

No more dramatic tale is told than the…

No more dramatic tale is told than the story of the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt. Movies have been made, books have been written and songs have been composed about it. For sheer drama, neither history nor fiction can surpass the tug-of-war between the two heavy-weights that took place long ago. If you had read the Goshen Gazette or the Cairo Chronicle the week before, they would have called it a mismatch. After all, here comes Pharaoh swaggering in with all the might and power of Egypt. Then, there is the underdog Moses with his rag-tag band of slaves. But shortly after, it was another story. The headlines cried in bold print – “Stunning Upset.” They forgot to include God in the equation. Moses walked with his face to the wind, paddled against the current, swam against the tide but Moses succeeded because he was decided – “he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt” (Heb 11:26) This is Just-a-Minute with Ed Boggess

#egypt, #israel, #just-a-minute, #moses

A Word of Lamentation

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:37-39, ASV).

Jesus, during the last week of His life on this earth, speaks these words because of an anguished heart. For three years He had been preaching the message of God, both in Jerusalem and in the extended areas. And for three years His message was spurned by the masses. Certainly it was not because His word did not warrant acceptance, rather it was because His word was contrary to preconceived notions. These preconceived notions and the subsequent rejection of the message of God brought God’s wrath upon Jerusalem.

Jerusalem and the Israelite nation was the “chosen” of God. But the nation Israel had fulfilled its purpose, now the purposes of God had gone beyond that. When God chose Israel it was because through them the promised Savior would come into the world. Into the world He came and many people wanted nothing to do with Him. But, whether rejected or accepted, Jesus is the chosen of God. Will we accept God’s chosen?

#chosen, #israel, #jerusalem, #jesus, #lament