Read the “0331 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba. And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” (1Samuel 8:1-7)
Good morning. God is still on the throne and prayer changes things. That is the way Southwest Radio Church has always opened it’s program and still does. The key here is that God is still on the throne: God is in control, and everything is going according to His plan. He already knew the griefs that would come into your life, as well as the many blessings. And yet the people of God, the children of Israel did not want God to reign over them. They gave two reasons why…
1) Behold [SAMUEL], thou art old.
Yes, Samuel was old, but he had a lifetime of walking with the LORD. Maybe his preaching wasn’t as hard as it used to be, although he did not hold anything back when it came to standing up and confronting Saul for his disobedience: Saul’s sins (see 1Samuel 15:7-23).
“And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand. And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.” (1Samuel 12:1-5)
2) Thy sons walk not in thy ways.
They turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. Is it any wonder that the people didn’t want them to judge Israel?
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
Samuel was old, and would leave this world soon. His sons were corrupt and could not be trusted. The people wanted a king to rule them. In their eyes, they were out of options, what else could they do but ask for a king?
1) They could have prayed.
God is still on the throne, and prayer changes things.
“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:1-10)
They could have prayed that Joel and Abiah (Samuel’s sons) would get saved. They could have prayed that God would send someone else. Or
2) They could have just trusted God to provide godly leadership.
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
“And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel. And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan. The LORD thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the LORD hath said. And the LORD shall do unto them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and unto the land of them, whom he destroyed. And the LORD shall give them up before your face, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you. Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deuteronomy 31:1-6)
And God kept His Word. Israel had their share of good kings and bad kings, good prophets and bad prophets. God used them all to direct them and draw them to Himself: both in blessing and chastisement. So. What’s your problem? The solution begins and ends with you humbling yourself and asking the LORD for help. He not only has the solution, He IS the Solution: nothing is to big for Him to handle.
“O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.” (Psalm 115:9-13)
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9)
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
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