1 Samuel 8:9-10,
"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. Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king."
Think We've all experienced it. In the middle of a situation, a decision, a conversation – even a sermon – you get that bad feeling in your gut. You may wonder, "Is it something I ate? Am I just imagining things? Am I being paranoid?" It's hard to describe and you can't always explain why, but it's a warning sign! Warning signs are there to protect us. And we get in trouble when we ignore them. We learned in earlier devotionals this week that the people wanted a king, just like all the other nations, and Samuel was not having it! He went to God in prayer – probably expecting God to adamantly oppose their request. Instead, in a surprising turn of events, God told Samuel "listen to them, but warn them." Strangely enough, the people didn't care about the negative things that would be demanded of them. Their response was, "Long live the king!" Sometimes, we do the same thing. We choose to ignore the warning signs. Many times that "warning sign" or "gut feeling" is the Holy Spirit prompting us to slow down and listen to what God wants for us, but we miss it because we didn't take a moment to listen! And we need to remember: God gives us free choice. Though he may not agree with our decision, he will allow us to make our own choice – and suffer our own consequences.
Act To see the warning signs given by Samuel, read 1 Samuel 8:11-18 and write down what the warning signs were.
Pray God, thank you for a church that reminds us of what we need to hear instead of what we want to hear. In moments when I sense that warning sign, help me slow down to listen to what I need to do in that situation. Thank you for your discernment in these moments! In Jesus' name, Amen.