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Debbie Dartt Ministries © 2016
One of my questions for God when I get to heaven will have to be why he gave us the ability to turn our heads to the left and the right. As convenient as that is for things like driving and playing basketball, it is also a challenge because it gives us the ability to look at others, not just look at them, but really study them. It’s interesting that with the way our bodies are constructed it is actually easier to look at others than it is to look at ourselves. People watching has become an art form, and for some of us the people in our peripheral vision have become our obsession.
We want to be like them. We want to look like them. We want to have what they have and do what they do. Things would be so great in our lives if we were just like them. “Oh, please God make me just like someone else.”
That is the prayer that Israel was praying in 1 Samuel 8 when they came to Samuel asking for a king. For a very long time they had been ruled by judges. Some of the judges, like Gideon, Deborah (of course) and Samuel were good and godly leaders, but for the most part the judges were pretty horrible. So the elders came to Samuel and asked for a king.
Heartbroken, Samuel asks God the best course of action and God says “give them what they’re asking for.” He tells the people that their new, human king will take their money, their crops and even their children. They are warned that when they lose everything and are so desperate for relief that they once more cry out to God, there will be no answer. There will be no relief. Knowing all of this, they answer: “Even so, we still want a king. We want to be like the nations around us.”
There they go looking to the right and the left and not seeing what they already have. They are willing to sacrifice their children, their livelihood and even the one true God on the alter of being like someone else. According to 2 Samuel 8:7, in demanding a human king they are rejecting God as their King and all of the blessing, promise and protection that comes along with that.
And now it’s time to crane our neck to that difficult, uncomfortable and even sometimes painful position of looking at ourselves. Do we long to be just like everyone else? Do we structure our lives in a way that makes us indistinguishable from the world that surrounds us? Do we focus our prayers on asking for the things that everyone else has? Do we beg God to make us as comfortable as everyone else seems to be? We must be very careful. We just may get what we nag for.
Instead, why not be shamelessly persistent in seeking Him to be our King, our comforter, our provider, our healer, our very present help in time of need. Let us beg for peace that passes understanding and love that never fails. When we stop looking to the left and right we see that right in front of us, He is our King and we are his people. We don’t need to be like anyone else.
"Careful What You Nag For"