A Devotional by Margot Cioccio
6 But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said,
“Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord.
The Lord does give me opportunity to live transparently and to share with you my struggles and my revelations when I actually see them. So I have often read the stories about Israel and thought, what a bunch of bone heads. They have God doing major miracles right before them and still they want to make a golden cow to worship. Or even guys like Moses, who sees a burning bush can't find the courage and confidence to go speak up for the people and God has to send him his brother Aaron to help him. Theres a story that goes along with today's verse. The people of Israel had the opportunity to see and hear for God themselves but they found Moses to be terrifying when he would come down from the mountain from conversing with God. They said he should cover his face and they would do what ever God told him. They did not want to seek the Lord for themselves. They wanted an intermediary. So God gave them leaders like Moses and Joshua, and priests like Arron and Samuel. He gave them judges and prophets but still at by the time we get to first Samuel 8 they are demanding a king, they want to be like the rest of the world and have a ruler they could see, and touch and serve. They did not want to use faith to trust that the prophets, priests and judges were leading them rightly according to Gods direction. So they were given kings and in the long line of kings for both Judah and Israel there were very few good Godly kings. Some times when we are being bone heads and we move from seeking and following God to thinking we should demand God give us what we think we need he does, and usually it is to our own detriment.
So recently a lot of things changed in my life, the things that determined for me what I did each day or how I fit in various places, some support structures changed. I found myself feeling like a ship at sea that was no longer held securely to the dock. So I cried out Lord I need a captain, some one who knows how to guide and direct me. I need someone to tell me what I should do, where I should go, thats how you work with just about everyone else I know. Why do I have to be so different. I can be a stubborn bone head at times. So I have gravitated a bit to some of the stronger voices in my life and have used them to help me find direction. God is gracious to allow me to learn things in a hands on kind of way. He's been willing to let me explore an idea and to eventually see that His plan is better.
My husbands a great guy and at times he will wake up in the night and tell me Margot, the Lord says he's going to do this or that. Or, "Margot the Lord is going to do this ..." followed by something that I have recently asked the Lord for, that my husband did not know about. Followed with "I asked him why and he said because you asked for it." On a day to day basis however I have a lot of freedom to make decisions because my husband trusts me to pray and hear from God and do the right thing.
So here's when we get into trouble. When suddenly life as we have known it changes and we find our selves having to figure out how the new normal works. It is easy in those times to want the easy way, to have someone else tell us what we should do. The other is when God is seemly silent, and does not give us what we want, when we think we should have it and does not tell us what to do as clearly as we would like. There are some things that he waits for us to take a step of faith and to believe what he has told us. Anyway yesterday after posting From Dreamy to Grumpy, the Lord reminded me of the story of Israel demanding a king. I realized that I need to repent to the Lord for wanting more than His own voice to lead me. I hear him very clearly most of the time. Sometimes he is silent, like when I have offended Him by wanting others to lead me. I am thankful that he has allowed me to see the error of my ways and to come back to Him and tell Him that He is more than enough.
Sometimes he tells me things that stretch me. Frequently he will tell me to call someone and when I do I find out that I could not have called at a better time. They needed someone to talk to and did not know who to turn to. Or he will tell me to go tell someone something and when I do I find out that it was something that no one could have known and that word actually meant something to them. Or when I lay hands on people to pray for them, the Lord tells me what to pray, its like I suddenly just know and they say "how did you know?" I didn't God just prayed through me. He knew. I don't know why the Lord uses me this way. I don't think I'm any more special than anyone else and as you can see, I can be a major bone head at times. I think the Lord wants to have a close relationship with each and every one of us but I think that most don't really want that. We would rather have our pastor or our husband or our doctor or our boss or our lawyer or the so called experts tell us what we should do. We would run to all those other voices before turning to God and waiting for him to speak to us. Some of us want a gum ball machine God. We put in a dime or a quarter sized prayer and out comes our gum ball answer. Some want Santa God and once a year we make our list of requests and submit it hoping we will get some of the things we want. Others are so guilt ridden and full of fear that they only see God who shakes his finger at them and live in fear of their every sin on mistake because His shoe is going to drop and squish them. Or there is far away God in a space ship who just grows a long beard and observes. I prefer to know him as my Lord, my friend, lover of my soul. My abba daddy, my beloved. My shepherd who gently leads me every day. Lord forgive me.
Thank you for your great patience to allow us to gain wisdom. Thank you for turning on the lights when we have been stumbling around blindly in the dark of our own foolishness. Thank you for forgiving us when we have gone astray or thought our convoluted plans were better than yours. Thank you for being our shepherd and leading us by your gentle voice that your sheep learn to know by being around you every day.