I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are a lot of things in this world that take our sights off of Jesus. And I mean a lot. Everywhere we turn it seems there’s something that sounds better than what God has to offer. I say “sounds better” because I know--and hope you do, too--that there truly is nothing greater than living a life surrendered to the King. But that’s just the thing...sometimes I think I need a new king. Sometimes I think I need a king I can see.
I know I’m not alone in this. It goes way back...all the way to the ancient Israelites. Long story short, God has already brought the Israelites into the Promised Land. He gave specific instructions for how they were to conduct themselves and how their nation should function. He set up Priests and Judges to lead and govern the people. Fast forward a little and we find ourselves roughly around 1050 BC. Samuel is the Priest over Israel and the spiritual leader of the nation. God is their King.
Then, in 1 Samuel 8:5, the nation of Israel tells Samuel, “appoint a king to judge us the same as all the other nations have.” And although Samuel thinks this is a horrible idea (by the way...it will be a pretty large disaster for quite some time), God says, “Listen to the people and everything they say to you. They have not rejected you; they have rejected me as their king (1 Samuel 8:7).”
And my first thought is “Wow, you guys are dumb. God is your King. Why do you want someone else?” And then I’m reminded that I do this, too. I want a king, too. I have a King, but the riches of this world are so tempting. The things of this world are distracting. And we have an enemy who continually works to make them ever more so. And the shiny things catch my eyes and I lose sight of my King. The One who gave it all to save me. The One who loved me before I knew His name.
Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you have kings. These kings promise everything and deliver nothing. These kings are tangible and yet unfulfilling. These kings become our treasures on earth, “where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19).” And these kings always leave us empty.
The Israelites learned this the hard way. The king they chose, Saul, turned out to be selfish and self-serving. He was jealous and disobedient and God removed the kingship from him for these reasons.
Here comes the good news. God placed the kingship on another man--”a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14)”. God appointed David to be Israel’s new king and he led Israel well. He still made plenty of mistakes, but overall He followed God’s commands and statutes. And, thousands of years later, God would send through King David’s line another King--One who never made mistakes. One who never sinned.
Jesus Christ came to earth and lived a sinless life. He died a sinner’s death and defeated sin and death by rising from the dead on the third day. He fulfilled every single Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah because He is the One sent by God the Father to save the world.
So my soul longs for a king. And I so frequently get caught up by all of the kings this world has to offer. And every time I’m disappointed. But when I set my sights on THE King, I am filled. And I pray that you are, too. Only when we focus on King Jesus are we able to see Truth and Life.
Keep your eyes focus on the the King.
In His Grip,