1 Samuel 8 – Teenage Rebellion

In 1 Samuel chapter 7, we compared the nation of Israel to little children who get distracted and wander away from their parents. But sometimes, God’s children are more like willful teenagers, opposing what God wants and willfully choosing a different direction.

This is what you see in 1 Samuel chapter 8. Israel decides that they want to be like everyone around them, rather than look like their parent (God.) They want God there when they need help, but they still want to do their own thing. And even after they are warned about the difficulties and dangers their choices will produce, they still want what they want. And they are willing to enter back into a slavery of sorts to get what they want.

The truth is, we are more like the Children of Israel than we want to admit. How often we disregard what God wants in favor of what we want. How often we turn our back on His provision and find ourselves in slavery to what we thought we wanted/needed.

And like a good parent, God will hang back and watch us make poor choices. He will allow us to willfully turn away from Him, while all, the time waiting for us to realize the slavery and mess we’ve chosen. Then, when we cry out to Him, He will step in to help us walk out of our mess.

God wants children who will stay close and dependent to Him, not teenagers who will willfully break away from Him. The question is…which are you?

Joshua 22 – It’s Really None of My Business

“It’s really none of my business. “Besides, what right do I have to say anything to them?”

Individualism and personal freedom dominant our world today. They sound like noble ideas, but they actually run counter to what Scripture teaches.

  • God implies that we are our brother’s keeper. (Genesis 4:9)
  • He encourages us to “interfere” in the lives of those involved in sin. (Galatians 6:1-3) (James 5:19-20).

God tells us that we weren’t created for individualistic isolation, but rather for caring community. (Gen. 2:18) (Ecc. 4:9-12).

In Joshua chapter 22, the Israelites on the west side of the Jordan river learn their brothers and sisters on the east side of the river have sinned. They don’t say, “What they do over there is their business. God will deal with them. It doesn’t really effect use anyway.” Instead, the people to the west go to those in the east, and seek their restoration. They even offer to bring their eastern brothers and sisters back home with them and share their land with them. The people of the west cared enough about their eastern brothers and sisters to be assertive and get involved.

This may feel like intruding, but we are our brother’s keeper. We are to get involved when others are drifting into sin, in hopes of restoring them to the community. As God’s people, we are not called to be a collection of individuals, but rather a community of care and concern for one another.

So, in love, gentleness, and humility, get involved in reaching out to your brother and sisters struggling with sin.

Numbers 21 – A Snake on a Pole

The physician’s symbol for healing is a pole around which is wrapped a snake (sometimes two.) This imagery relates to a story found in Numbers chapter 21. There, God’s people were complaining and rebelling against God, so God sent deadly snakes to strike the people on the feet and ankles.

But, despite their rebellion, God provided a means of rescue. He told Moses to lift up a bronze snake on a pole, high above the people. Everyone who looked up at the bronze snake, rather than the snakes at their feet, lived.

This story raises some questions:

Read moreNumbers 21 – A Snake on a Pole