For much of the history of the nation of Israel, the Jewish people didn’t have a king, they mostly followed God directly and often had a human leader.
With all of those people, we don’t really have an authoritative leadership “position” like the king that most other nations had.
6 After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to their own inheritance. 7 The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.
The people were doing well when they followed God, but when the leadership was gone, so was the faithfulness of the people.
10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
When strong and committed leaders go away, the people walk away from God. But, at the same time, every human leader we see is imperfect, and they have their own issues.
Really, people need a PERFECT LEADER.
Eventually God sends the people Judges.
16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
It didn’t really matter how great the leaders were that God put in charge, the people were always rebellious and kept going back to doing disgusting and ungodly things.
At the end of the 299 years of Judges, a Judge named Samuel got too old to lead, and he put his kids in charge, but they did terrible things.
1 Samuel 8:4-5
4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 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 Samuel 8:6-9
6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”
Throughout this entire history of the Jews from creation to the time of Samuel, God doesn’t ever give His people a king, because HE is their king.
1 Samuel 8:7
7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.
Really, people need a PERFECT LEADER.
Eventually, we get a perfect leader… We get a PERFECT KING!
God coming in human flesh as Jesus (100% God and 100% man) wasn’t just about dying on the cross for us and paying the price for our sin…. It was also about him coming in person, to be the perfect King that we needed.
That’s truly what the Christmas story is all about: Jesus came to be the perfect King that we’ve always needed.
… and not just all of us, YOU.
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2120 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222