I feel like the Israelites are getting to enjoy a piece of pie they stole. It was wrong, yes, and even though they have to enjoy it all huddled up, hiding in a corner, man, oh, man, is it good. Samuel lets them know in this chapter that God is going to let them have their pie and eat it too, but that “free” piece of pie will have a price even before the last crumb is devoured. We’ve discussed in past chapters how it’s pretty easy to see why the Israelites may have wanted a king. They were the only kingdom in Israel without a human king, and apparently, having a priest as a leader just wasn’t cutting it for them anymore. They wanted to be like everyone else. Gosh, where have we heard that before? God gives the Israelites an out though for wanting to follow the crowd because He’s good like that, and Samuel reminds the Israelites just how many times God has shown grace and mercy and forgiveness to generations before them. This is really nothing new to God. And even though He doesn’t like that the Israelites have essentially forgotten that He is the only King they need, he still grants them their wish – on one condition: the Israelites AND their king must recognize the Lord as their God (v. 14). Sounds easy, doesn’t it? We shall see how Saul and the Israelites handle the transition in chapters to come, and as we do, try to keep in mind some of these foundational chapters that are laying the groundwork for the Israelites’ and their new king’s continuing journey.
Writing prompt: guilt and glory
Have you ever received something but felt guilty for how you got it? I used to play cards with my grandma a lot, and sometimes when she’d get up for a break to use the bathroom or whatever, I’d stack the cards in my favor so that the next few cards I drew would be ones I needed. I always felt good about winning (and I KNOW my grandma knew I cheated but never said anything), but I also felt guilty about it. I remember once in our gifted and talented class in fifth grade, we were doing a fun test to see if we had any “psychic” abilities. That sounds really bad on paper, but it was actually a lesson on perception, but my fifth-grade mind remembers it as “psychic abilities.” Anyway, our teacher, Mrs. Warman, made like 25 cards with five symbols on them, and she’d hold them up so we couldn’t see, and we had to guess which of the five symbols was on each card. Well, I got a lot right, and she was giddy with excitement thinking I might be a prodigy or something. She just celebrated me and announced to the whole class that I might be gifted in more ways than one. (Oh, had she known! Hahaha!) And I just let her celebrate me because it felt good. I didn’t dare have the heart to tell her that I could see through those cards. Oh, the guilt. But, oh, the joy! How about you? Write about a guilty-joyous situation you’ve found yourself in. Do you wish you would have responded differently?