1 Samuel 12:12-15
12 “But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule over us’—even though the Lord your God was your king. 13 Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God—good! 15 But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.
They’ve done it again! Despite the fact that he’s always been there for them and done everything they want of a king, the Israelites have rejected him and demanded a human king like the other nations… It is always a temptation for us to follow those around us, the power to conform is an important one, supporting community identity and cohesion, but sometimes it is not helpful, but is destructive, leading us to settle for something less than best when the best is available. ! Samuel reminds us that perhaps we are the ones that should be envied, rather than those around us, as we have God as our Lord.
Father, help us to know when we can learn from the world around us, when culture is a good and helpful thing, and when it is a hindrance or destructive. Give us the courage to be different when it is for the good, and to not be shy about you.