Common thing isn't it. To want to be like your neighbours, to have what they have, to be able to do what they do and such like. It's a common thing.
Israel was no different than we are. We are no different than Israel.
BUT like Israel we are supposed to be different, that is, if we love the Lord God.
God is our king. Wanting to be like everyone else, is a way of rejecting his kingship in our lives.
Israel, in 1 Samuel 7-8 wanted to be like the nations surrounding them. Predicated by the dislike of the Samuel's sons being judges over them, they came to Samuel and said
"Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations."Samuel was exactly thrilled with this news. He went to God with it, and God said
"Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them."The people rejected God's kingship. They weren't rejecting Samuel, they were rejecting God.
Samuel warned the people what would happen if they chose to have a human king, but they refused to listen.
How often do I do this?
See what someone else is able to do and think to myself...I would like to do that. From shopping on Sundays, to running agility trials with my dog, to skipping church, to not praying at meal times or before bed or..... a whole host of things. Because no one else has to do these things! And they get to, so what's the big deal if I do it too?
Rather me-centered isn't it?
I want to do this. I want to do that.
My faith is in God is not to be me-centered. It is to be God-centered. Focused on who God is and what HE has done for me. All what I do is supposed to bring him praise and glory and showcase who he is. That is what Israel was to be.... a showcase of who God is and all he is and can be and so forth. They forgot that, I don't want to.
I will be away for the next couple of days at this event, so if you don't already know who was chosen, read on in Samuel to find out. :)