It seems like we always want what we don’t have. Our lust for what our neighbor has is a passion further enflamed by the messages coming at us constantly (yes, like here on my blog page ads), drawing our eyes to what is shiny and new. This lust is nothing new for humankind, as seen in this text for Sunday.
The Israelites looked around noticed that everyone around them had something they didn’t–a king. “Yes, yes, yes. God is our king, but we can’t see him” must have been their thinking, which was expressed to Samuel. Samuel knew this wasn’t a good thing, visited with God about it, only to find out that God would allow it to happen, though making it clear that it truly was a bad idea. God responds to their lust by giving them just what they were asking for, like a parent worn by the pepper of questions from a child. This answer to prayer was not the best God could give them, but here we see the vulnerability, long-suffering, and fatherly wisdom of God.
This text intersects so well with where our congregants are every day–confronted with trusting in God’s best plan vs. our best plan. And our best plan is so often someone else’s plan. We forget the incredible benefits of having a faithful yet invisible King who has everything to give. God always has something better than our plan, so much greater than we could even imagine for ourselves, so much more suited for our needs.