"So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” 1 Sam 8:4-5
The people of Israel looked around at all of the other nations and decided they wanted a king to rule them. To this point God had been king, provider, benefactor, protector, friend and father, even while they continually went after other gods. He even selected representatives to lead them in His ways, nevertheless they remained obstinate with an eye always toward what others who were not of God were doing.
We continue to have this problem today. We have a kind and gracious Father who loves us deeply, yet our eyes are so often cast toward the world and the perceived benefits of living a godless life. There are those who have it fixed in their minds that Christianity is restrictive and no fun but that without it, all of life can be enjoyed. Most of us, however, will not totally reject Him but will try to eat our cake and still have it. We show up at worship on Sunday, pray, give, sing and commune and then it is right back to the base detours of life. In essence, we have fired God from headship of our lives in favor of having what we perceive everyone else has.
Beloved we need to know what the people of the time should have known: God is in control. Deciding to reject Him does not diminish Him in any way. Doing so will only reveal that base living, as was demonstrated at Sodom and Gomorrah, has its consequences but godly living has the ultimate benefit. Understanding this will lead to the knowledge that Christian living is not restrictive and no fun but freeing and joyous. Most of the things we would do if we were not Christians (or that we do anyway) is bad for our health, finances, relationships and mental state, not to mention our spirituality. The loving and obedient life is good for every aspect of life.
Yes God had given us free will with which can we reject Him, but He is still God and we will all someday meet him, some as friends and some as enemies. Choose wisely.
Rejoicing in the Lord,