BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “Then Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship, and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the Lord….Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched. But some worthless fellows said, “How can this man save us?” And they despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.” 1 Samuel 10:25-27 ESV
As God’s people lived among the Canaanite people groups, they saw they way they lived and were governed and soon desired not only their way of life, but their system of governance. Samuel warned them about all the “downside” of a human King, but the people resisted and remained firm. The Lord told Samuel, to let the people have it their way.
As a King is appointed there are several observations that stand out to me; ones that are unique to godly rule.
1 – The King was chosen by God through the prophet Samuel. As such he was to see his authority as that which was derived from and given by the Lord. He was not god, but he was the “Lord’s anointed.” In the New Testament we read, “For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1 ESV)
2 – God equips those He chooses. As Samuel meets Saul, he gives him a detailed and extensive list of events that will take place. Only a sovereign God through His prophet could with “pinpoint” accuracy tell someone step by step what where he should go and what would happen. But the key was the Lord’s words, “Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.” (1 Samuel 10:6 ESV) The enabling the gifts that the Lord provides leaders is what enables them to serve as God’s agents in their sphere of influence in an effective manner.
In the New Testament we read, “If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously…” (1 Corinthians 12:8 NLT)
3 – I notice the key function of governance. It could be summarized by saying the King’s duty was to, “protect the people (keep them safe) from outside forces and to protect them from themselves.”
“He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines….When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall restrain my people.” (1 Samuel 9:16,17 ESV) National security and domestic order are seen in this brief job description.
Romans says of governing authorities, “…for he is God’s servant for your good…” (Romans 13:4 ESV) The familiar verse of Proverbs says, “When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.” (Proverbs 29:18 NLT)
“When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.” (Proverbs 29:2 NLT)
The Lord’s leadership in the lives of His people and the order He establishes is a good model and guideline for human leaders and those who govern today.
Prayer for today… Lord when our leaders and those who govern recognize the “divine” role to which they have been called and they look to You for wisdom and guidance we can know the blessings that You desire for people who live as a “nation under God.”