“Then [Israel] believed His words [trusting in, relying on them]; they sang His praise. But they hastily forgot His works; they did not [earnestly] wait for His plans [to develop] regarding them, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness and tempted and tried to restrain God [with their insistent desires] in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their souls.”
Psalms 106:12-15, Classic AMP
Reading this devotional is based off of: 1 Samuel 8, Psalms 106.
Even though the Israelites believed in God, they didn’t really know Him in a deep way. God performed some pretty big miracles for them, and they forgot what He did, becoming discontent time and time again.
Before we criticize them too harshly, we should take an internal look at ourselves. Are we any different? How often do we wait for God to move in our situations before taking matters in our own hands?
The Israelites continuously tested God’s patience, much like a strong-willed child. They just had their own ideas about the way they thought things should be.
When my kids were small, there were times as a parent I said no to things that were not good for them, but occasionally I gave into their requests. Why? Sometimes reasoning didn’t work, and they had to learn the hard way. One such time was when there was Halloween candy in the house. I gave them freedom to eat as much as they wanted instead of the daily struggle of arguing over how much they could have. They ate way too much and then never wanted to do that again because it had made them so sick.
God gave into the Israelites at times too, and Psalms 106:15 says they had lean souls as a result. To me a lean soul means a person feels empty, dissatisfied and unfulfilled. It also makes a person feel dead inside.
In 1 Samuel 8, the Israelite leaders met with Samuel, the prophet, to ask for a king. They wanted to be like the other nations. Samuel was upset at their request and asked God what to do. God told Samuel the Israelites were not rejecting him but God, who was their king. He told Samuel to warn the people and let them know what a king would require of them.
Despite all the warnings, the Israelites still wanted a king, so God gave them exactly what they asked for. And true to God’s word, all the things Samuel said would happen did. The heartache and sickness they felt for getting their own way proved to be a good lesson that God really does know best.
The Israelites thought if they could just have a man rule them, like the other nations, they would be complete. It’s easy to look at what others have and desire it. However, no person, place or thing will ever be able to fill the void in us but God Himself. They can be like the icing on a cake if we have our priorities in order, but God must come first.
The Israelites said they wanted a man to fight their battles for them, forgetting it was God who had won many battles for them in the past. It is tempting to go to people to help us out when a problem arises. As important as people are to share and pray with, our first inclination should be to run to God, surrender to Him and get wisdom from His Word.
Let’s begin today.
I surrender my life fully to you today. Show me if there are things I need to repent of and correct in my life. I don’t want anything to hinder me from hearing your voice.
Direct my steps and give me the mind of Christ so my desires will be in line with what you want for me. Open up your Word to me today so I can gain wisdom from you.
If I ever ask for anything you don’t think I’m ready for or should not have, please don’t answer my prayer. I trust you, your timing and your plan.
In Jesus name, Amen.
Devotional written by Debbie Gray. Graphic designed by Daniel Christy.