Like a child begging a parent for candy before dinner, I wonder if there are times when we beg too hard for what we want, and God gives it to us—but it’s not for our best. Better to examine our hearts, motives and emotions to discover why we’re begging for something. Better to ask, “according to God’s will” and from a heart of peace that is aligned with what God has predetermined is best for us or our loved one.
Once more, just before the public declaration of God’s choosing, the prophet Samuel warned the people of their folly in desiring a king (I Samuel 12). It’s like the Israelites begging for meat in the wilderness: God answered their prayers, but then they suffered the consequences.
So why did the people want a king? “To be like the other nations” it says in one place. But verse 12 gives us more insight:
But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me [Sam], “No, we want a king to rule over us”—even though the Lord your God was your king (NIV).
Their folly began with bending to the culture, followed by fear of the enemy, which led to stubbornness and rebellion against God.
What gives me hope is that even after God granted their request for a king, He still gave them a second chance to do right.
If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God—good! (v. 14). [But IF the opposite is true, watch out!]
Even when we sin and foolishly ask for something that’s not good for us, God can still redeem the situation—IF we repent.