After being slaves for 400 years in Egypt and wandering in the desert for 40 years, the Israelites then entered the promised land of Israel. Roughly 500 years after that, they asked for a king. I am amazed at the people’s main reason for wanting a king: so that they could be like other nations! Just a few verses later, God reassures Samuel that the people aren’t rejecting him, but God as their king (1 Samuel 8:7). They didn’t want to be ruled by God anymore. They wanted to be like everyone else, like all the other nations.
1 Samuel 8:4-5 NASB
“Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; and they said to him, ‘Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.’”1 Samuel 8:4-5 NASB
Oh how we as Christians so often feel that temptation! We don’t want to be ruled by God, or to be different. Sometimes, we just want to be like everyone else!
When it comes to public opinion, it’s very easy to voice ours when it agrees with what’s culturally popular. But when God’s Word goes against the culture, what do we do then? Do we choose to follow God, or do we choose to be like everybody else? Friends, if following God were easy, more people would do it. It’s never been easy being different. But we’re called as Christians to be holy, or set apart. God has chosen us for a purpose, and that purpose has never been to be like everyone else.
Maybe you feel you’re the only one at work not cutting corners because you want to honor God. Maybe you’re the only one of your peers not engaging in gossip because you know it’s wrong. Or perhaps you’re the only parent who disallows her children to watch a certain TV show. Standing firm is tough and you’re tempted to just want to be like everyone else. But that’s not what the Lord has called you to. He’s called you to Himself because He loves you and He wants what’s best for you.
Let’s choose to submit our lives to God and His Word today, no matter the cost of being different. Our reward in Heaven is far greater than the cost of being different on earth. Pray for believers all over the world to stand firm in the faith despite the challenges life brings.
This is from my upcoming Daily Devotional.