When God’s Yes Is No Good 1Sam 8:4-22
‘The Lord answered, “Do what they want and give them a
king” …’ (1Sam.8:22a)
“DON’T YOU EVER TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER…”, the young, charismatic preacher urged the congregation; “GOD SAYS FOR YOU TO COMMAND HIM CONCERNING THE WOKS OF HIS HANDS…” he concluded. The audience erupted in an unending applause, they have just been handed a new “key to answered prayers”. As I walked out of the hall, I begun to wonder how many of those sincere, trusting and excited believers will use that “key” to lock themselves in a prison of despair as they discover that our GOD is not our DOG – you can’t order Him around to do your bidding. HE IS THE LORD! God had chosen Israel, for whatever reason, as His peculiar people; just the same way He has chosen you and me. His desire was to be their Lord and King. They were to owe their allegiance to Him and walk in His ways. He had a plan; He designed a path; He was leading them to the land of promise where His ultimate purposes for them would be realised. All this was because He loved them; and all he required of them was to TRUST and OBEY Him, for TRUST, CONFIDENCE and FAITH, are the key ingredients in any love relationship. God had demanded same of Adam and Eve in the Garden. He had demanded same of Abraham when He asked Him to leave his father’s homeland security and follow Him into the unknown. He demands same of all who would follow Him today – TRUST and OBEY.
· Israel’s demand for a King was an affront on God’s
reign over their nation (vs.7)
· It was a culmination of years of subtle rebellion against
· God wished they didn’t have to seek another king over
· They wanted a king at all cost, they will not take NO for
an answer, not even God’s NO (vs.19)
One may argue that they had a legitimate reason; Samuel’s sons were guilty of corruption and misrule. That may as well have been, but it was a mere excuse; the real reason was, “… appoint a king to rule over us, so that we will have a king, as other countries have.” (vs.5), they wanted to take their destiny in their hands like other nations around them. They wanted independence from God. That was the same desire that drove Adam and Eve out of the garden. That same desire is at the heart of every sin and rebellion against God’s will, even if it manifests as “persistent prayer”
Israel had been on this road before. Do you recall Israel in the wilderness, fed by the hand of God with manna? They protested and longed for the fish, cucumbers, onions melons and foods of Egypt. The Lord
obliged them meat until it oozed through their nostrils (Numbers 11).
The writer of Psalms puts it succinctly:
“… And he gave them their request; but sent
leanness into their soul” (Ps. 106:15)
There is a prodigal spirit that can masquerade as importunity in prayer; this is the spirit that wants to have its way irrespective of what God says or think. It can fast, serve and plead just to “bend God” to its wishes and desires. Samson exercised it (Judges 14:1-3); the prodigal son exercised it (Lk.15); we can be guilty of it when we seek to get God to do our bidding by our subtle rebellion in “refusing to take NO for an answer”.
Our God is good to His children; “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Ps.84:11 KJV). Prayer, even with fasting, therefore is not intended to cajole God out of reluctance but to get us to fit into His will. The ultimate desire in prayer is “Not my will but yours be done…” (Lk.22:42)
One thing with our God that is both great and dreadful is that if you really want it and insists, He will give you; you may have what you want but you may not want what you have. WHEN GOD SAYS NO, HE HAS OUR BEST INTEREST IN MIND; take it. Insisting from thence is not faith, it is folly.
Sam KPUTU is a missionary with CAPRO MISSIONS, an African indigenous and non-denominational missionary organization. CAPRO Missions seeks to disciple, mobilize, train and deploy missionaries from Africa to Africa and the remaining unreached parts of the world. She currently has over 500 missionaries serving in various ministries in 24 countries of Africa, the Middle East and Europe. www.capromissions.org
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