Who Decides?

I was reading in 1 Samuel 8 this morning, where Samuel is old and his sons walked not in his ways. So the people came to Samuel and said, “Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” I thought, well that’s good: the people at least recognize that Samuel’s sons are not following Samuel, and they want someone different to rule over them.

Then I read God’s response when Samuel inquired of Him: “…They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”

I wondered how the people’s response was against God. As always, when I find (what I think is) a discrepancy in God’s Word, I know Who to go to, to set me straight. As I prayed over this passage, I thought it was likely that the people did see that Samuel’s sons were unfit to lead them. But, the people were also cognizant of the cultures around them, and how other people handled their affairs. They were enticed. This was something they wanted for themselves.

Isn’t that the way we so often are in our own decision-making? Don’t we do this in our families, in our communities, in our governments? We see how the rest of the world is running, we pick out what we think are the best parts of it and what works, and we fashion a decision that we think fits us best.

The people were asking for something that didn’t involve God. It broke His heart; not just because His people, whom He loved, were turning away from Him, but also because He knew that, by turning away, they would start down a path of destruction. Samuel knew this, and it broke his heart, too. The chapter continues with Samuel’s warnings to the people about the consequences of their decision, but they waved him off and stuck to their guns.


We all face decisions: whether due to circumstances beyond our control or because we want to change an existing condition, we must decide what is the best course of action.

Remember to involve God. Use Him as your plumb line and source of wisdom. It’s easy to look around and see what everyone else is doing. Don’t be enticed. Ask God. He’s right there, and He wants ever so much to guide you and be included in your life