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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

When God Is Not Enough

Yesterday I posted about 1 Samuel 7 where Israel calls on Samuel because they want to follow God. They repent and get rid of their idols and serve the Lord. You would think this would last but the next chapter is a disappointment. In 1 Samuel 8, Israel takes a turn the wrong way.  The leaders of Israel ask Samuel, who is now old and can no longer do all he used to do (and his children did not follow his steps-which often happens with good leaders, but it is a topic all of its own), to appoint a king for them like the other nations. You say, "What's the problem with that?" The problem is that they didn't need a king, they already had one: God!  In their asking they were essentially saying that God wasn't enough. Here is God's answer: 


"And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.” (NIV)


Samuel goes on to tell them what they will experience with a king and this in no way changes their minds. So God gives them their desire and get they get Saul who ends being a king who follows his own heart and not the heart of God.  


Every time I read this passage I think how foolish Israel was in this.  But then today I thought how often I think God is not enough for me.  For a while, God was not enough for me because he didn't answer my prayers the way I wanted. I questioned Him and walked away from Him. Slowly, God began to show me that He is enough for me. He is all I need!


Young people many times don't think God is not enough and decide that a girlfriend or boyfriend is better. Or sex. Or drugs. Or having fun. God is just not cool enough!


Adults think God is not enough and think that money, work, a career, children, traveling, having fun, fulfilling your "bucket" list are better pursuits.


Christians think God is not enough and think that their favorite preacher, books, churches and endless activities are a substitute for Him (and this is very subtle).


People in old age think God is not enough and think that doing their favorite activity, charity or just enjoying their retirement is more fulfilling.


In doing this God tells us: "You have rejected me as your king."  


God reminds us that He is enough.  Anything else is an idol (1 John 5:21)





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