Signs of the times
God had led ancient Israel into a new land, but they rejected His loving protection and leadership. Now they wanted a king. A strong ruler seemed good to a nation which -- like America -- had forgotten the terrors of government oppression. So God told Samuel to warn the people. Samuel obeyed, saying,
Thus says the Lord God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all kingdoms and from those who oppressed you.
But you have today rejected your God, who Himself saved you from all your adversities and your tribulations; and you have said to Him, No, set a king over us!1 Samuel 10:17-19
1 Samuel 10:17-19
Samuel knew that the coming government would destroy their freedoms, take their possession, draft their son, and control the land: "This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you," he began. "He will take your sons...."
But God's warning fell on deaf ears. Just as the American public now welcomes global rulers, Israel preferred their own deceptive vision of a king. Years later, when they finally faced the devastating consequences, it was too late.
Today we do well to take Isaiah 30:12-15 to heart -- especially the last verse:
Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:
"Because you despise this word,
And trust in oppression and perversity,
And rely on them,
Therefore this iniquity shall be to you
Like a breach ready to fall,
A bulge in a high wall,
Whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant....
For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
"In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
But you would not...."
Those who still trust and follow God can't count on His strength, peace and comfort -- no matter what happens:
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."