When We Get What We WAnt

When We Get What We Want
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
April 17, 2018
Photo by Thomas Griesbeck on Unsplash

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When We Get What We Want - I Samuel 8

Our story today, starts with the Children of Israel, no longer wanting to be ruled by judges but instead wanting to be ruled by a King.  They wanted to be a kingdom like all of the other kingdoms that surrounded them. 

But this wasn’t the plan God had for them… In Fact, they already had a king. God was their king.  Although, I’m not sure they recognized this or even realized that He was their King, even though they should have.

I think maybe they were so blinded by wanting to be like everyone else that they did not stop to consider that what they did have made them special and was much better.  So they pressed Samuel to anoint them a king.  (I Samuel 8:1-9)

Samuel didn’t think this was right, so he went to God and asked what he should do.  And God said, to listen to them because they hadn’t rejected Samuel but rather they had reject God and because of that, He was going to give them what they wanted.  So before he does, He instructs Samuel to give them fair warning about what it meant for them to get a king and it wasn’t pretty. 

I Samuel 8:11-18
He said, “These are the rights of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and put them to his use in his chariots, on his horses, or running in front of his chariots. 12 He can appoint them for his use as commanders of thousands or commanders of fifties, to plow his ground and reap his harvest, or to make his weapons of war and the equipment for his chariots. 13 He can take your daughters to become perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 He can take your best fields, vineyards, and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He can take a tenth of your grain and your vineyards and give them to his officials and servants. 16 He can take your male servants, your female servants, your best young men, and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17 He can take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves can become his servants. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out because of the king you’ve chosen for yourselves, but the Lord won’t answer you on that day.” 

But despite these warnings, the people rejected Samuel (and God) and demanded a king so that they could be like all the other nations (I Samuel 8:19-20). So, in chapter 9 God directs Samuel to anoint them a king. 

So, what can we learn from their story?

We are given over to our desires.
When we want something so badly, that we refuse to let go of it and we keep chasing it and chasing it and chasing, despite God’s warnings, eventually, He’ll let us have what we want.  He will hand us over to our desires. 

Psalm 81:12 says
“But my people did not listen to my voice;
Israel did not obey me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
to follow their own plans.
13 If only my people would listen to me
and Israel would follow my ways,
14 I would quickly subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes.”

God will give us over to our stubborn hearts but not without first giving us a caution.  The problem is, when we want something so bad that we can hardly focus on anything else, we become deaf.  Or as the old saying…love is blind.  The warnings might be right directly in front of us, but we are blind to them or we don’t listen to them because we want them so badly that we end up justifying what it is that we want.

When I was younger, I wanted to be in a serious relationship so bad, I didn’t know what to do with myself.  So, I would look for relationships around every corner when I should have been looking for God.  I would justify it by saying, if I find the right relationship, it will help me get back in church…but guess what, that NEVER happened.  It wasn’t until I wanted God more than I wanted a relationship, that I met my wife, Sarah.

As another example: There are people who desperately want to be popular, even though they have heard warning about drugs and alcohol or driving while drunk… they turn a blind eye to those warnings because they desperately want to be liked and so they get drunk or do drugs to be liked by their friends.

As yet another example:  Some people want a certain career so badly that they choose to worship their job instead of God, even though the warnings are a Job will let you down.  Money will let you down… People will let you down.

The thing that we refuse to let go of can be any number of things: Wanting a kid so bad, that you put that before God.  Wanting a dream home so bad that you stop tithing.  Wanting to travel so much, that you quit going to church.  This can come from so many different directions…

But the point here, is that when we want these things so badly and we hold on to them so tightly that we ignore the warnings, God will eventually hand us over to those wants and desires.

When we get what we want, we reap what we sow.  
Okay, so we get what we want, what’s the big deal?  Why is that a problem.  The problem is that when we get what we want, we reap what we sow. 

Galatians 6:7 "Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap,"

Still don’t get it?...

“Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster,” Proverbs 22:8

“You have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil,” Hosea 10:13 

“They will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes,” Proverbs 1:31

Here is the thing…when we want a relationship more than we want a God, then we will get a relationship that is more important than our faith…. And that will take down the wrong road.

When we want to be popular more than we want God, then we will be popular but maintaining that popularity will consume all of our time and energy and none will be left for God.

When we want a job more than we care about God, then we will get a job who doesn’t care if we care about God.  And guess what, one day, the Job will let us down.  We will be fired, or it will begin to consume so much of our time, we miss our life or it will burn us out or we will give so much to our job that we lose our family. 

So, heed this warning… When we get what we want, we reap what we sow. 

The children of Israel didn’t heed the warnings and here is what happened.  They wanted a man for a king instead of a God for a king, and that is just what they got.  They got a man, who would lead them to wars they shouldn’t have been in.  A man who would take their children and put them in his armies where they constantly battled and many lost their life. The children of Israel were being led by man, not by God.

So what do we do, how do we fix this?

We must learn to want, what God wants!
What does God want for us?  He wants the same thing for us that He wanted for the Children of Israel.

1. He wants to be our king and the focus of ALL of our worship.
2. Is for us to not be like everyone else.

He wants to be our king, and He wants us to stick out like a sore thumb in an evil world.  He wants us to be a light in a dark world. He desperately wanted the Children of Israel to be different than the other kingdoms so that the other kingdoms would see what God (their King) was doing in their lives, but they desperately wanted to be like everyone else. 

Here is the thing, when we stick out and He does great things in our lives, then He is glorified, but when we are just like everyone else, and something good happens in our lives, then it is man who is glorified. 

I really like what Peter said about being like the rest of the world in I Peter 4:3 “For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the Gentiles choose to do…” 

If we learn to want what God wants for us, then we will reap what God sows!  And if we don’t want what God wants for us, pray and ask God to help you want what he wants!

What does the rest of the world have that you want?
What does God want for you instead?

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