July 29, 2006

The King

Am studying book of 1 Samuel at DG and at church. I used to prefer reading the new testament of the Bible than the old testament. New testament is easier to understand and easier to relate to the gospel and my life directly. But ever since I began to take up the Moore Coorespondance Course a few years ago, I begin to appreciate old testament better especially when I did the module on OT1 where it looks at the first 5 books of the Bible - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The old testament has lots of stories... stories that points to God's one and only purpose - to save His people and reconcile them with Him. This begins with the nation of Israel and the salvation plan was finally revealed through Jesus Christ - His life, His death and His resurrection.

In 1 Samuel, the Israelites asked God for a king to rule over them. The Israelites want a human king to rule them just as the other nations surrounding them. The purpose of wanting a king was so that he could lead them to gain military power to fight the nations. God has already proven to the Israelites at many occasions that He is the Lord and King and where with God, they had won battles against their enermies. But they once again reject God and demanded for a man to rule over them. Instead of a God King, they want a man king, even though they were told by the prophet Samuel that the king will be one who will reign over them, take their sons and daughters to work hard for him and taking a portion of their fields and harvests... and when they cry out for relief over the king they have chosen, God will not answer them.

Despite that, the Israelites still demanded for a king. Surely God was not pleased that His people wanted a man king over a God King. Yet God still provided a king for His people. 1 Samuel 9-10 details the process of the selection of a king amongst the Israelites. From the details leading up to Saul being made king, you can see the entire picture that God's hands were significantly in it. Even though the general idea of the Israelites wanting a king displeases God, in His love He still provided. From the selection of Saul, one can see that God is in control and sovereign over all. When you read the entire 1, 2 Samuel and all the way until the new testament gospels, you will be able to see that God's purpose is achieved against all odds.

I was challenged by the question my DG leader asked: Knowing that God is sovereign, how has His sovereignty worked out in our lives? I shared with my DG mate that I was praying with, how God has been sovereign in my life. As I think of them and recounting the incidents/occasions, I have reminded and encouraged myself (and P whom I was sharing with) through my past, in which I can only conclude that God indeed has His hands in my life. It makes me grateful and thankful to Him. From certain more significant incidents that occurred in the past, there was always something that happened in such a way that I knew it was not my works, but His. There would be a 'stamp' of assurance for me in the beginning of the episode such that as the going gets tough, I am asssured that this is where God has placed me in and He will continue to see me through.

One good example of this was my current job. I did not desire for this particular job, nor knew what as exactly in store. Strangely, I was the first one to be interviewed amongst the few shortlisted by my boss (and that was amongst 60 applications for that one post). My boss had then recruited me on the spot and not waited to interview other candidates. Only when I was into the job, that I know that it was something which suited me and I like to do. I had the pay that I wanted and unexpectedly, a good boss and colleagues to work with, good working hours that allow me to have time for ministries... what more can I ask for? A few months into the job, I was fearful at the possibility that I might have to leave this job due to some work politics because I may have offended someone. But as I recalled how God provided me this job when I didn't exactly ask for, I was assured that if indeed He has given me this job and if I really have to leave because of politics, it is still all within His control. God can give and He can take away too. God can open doors and He can close the doors too. Time flies and I have been in this job for more than 5 years!

It is always difficult for us to see and recognise God's sovereignty when we are going through tough times. These times challenge us on our standing in God and our faith and trust in Him to be King and Lord over our lives. But we can hang on because of the hope that we can have in who God is and knowing that all things will come to past when Jesus comes again. God will make all things beautiful in His time... there is a timing for everything. Lord, help me to look up to You and fix my eyes on You.

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