My quiet time has me reading in Samuel this fall. I know I have read this section of the Bible before, maybe more than once. But it sounds so different this time. I absolutely love how the Bible can be that way.
As I pray over my marriage and my teenage children’s future spouses, God brought my thoughts to Israel. Early in the book of 1 Samuel the Israelites asked for a king. This was really a petty request considering God was there king. Samuel was befuddled but he asked God about. God had Samuel tell Israel all that having a king would require. They would have to pay taxes to the king and have to work the land for the king and have to send their sons to war for the king and have to send their daughters to the castle to work for the king. The king would get their best. Or they could keep God as their king and give Him their best.
Israel wanted to be like the world. They wanted to have a king. They wanted a king’s leadership and protection and provision and the status that comes with having a king. So God gave them one.
Samuel doesn’t describe Israel’s first king Saul with much except to say that he was really tall and rather good looking. Saul is humble, he shied away from being anointed. Then he began taxing and warring and collecting things for himself.
One thing I often pray for my children is the wisdom to see better into their circumstances than I saw into my own when I was young. God showed me that when I was in college I wanted a king, I called him husband. I wanted someone to make decisions for me and to protect me and provide for me. I had no idea the cost.
So now in my experience and limited wisdom I understand what Paul meant when he said to focus on Jesus if you are single, to stay single if you could. Having a king comes at a cost. Being a king also has a cost.
Entering a marriage should be about teaming up to glorify God. When you look for your own personal benefit out of the arrangement, there will be much heartache and pain. There will be great cost.
I love how God can use old stories to share new truths with me. I pray I will glorify Him in sharing His wisdom here.