From the time babies are born we see the strength of their wills. They force their will upon their parents by resisting with their bodies. As they learn to speak, one of their first words is “No.” And the battle of wills begins. Unfortunately, sometimes it is the same with believers. One of the most difficult things to learn as Christians is to submit our will to the Lord’s. There is no greater blessing than to submit fully to Him. Israel God’s chosen people, Israel, saw that the other nations had kings ruling over them, and they said, “Give us a king to lead us.” Evidently the “craving” in their hearts for an earthly king was so strong that God couldn’t convince them otherwise. So He gave them exactly what they wanted. God said to Samuel: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their King” (1 Sam. 8:6-7 NIV). God told Samuel to warn them of the consequences of this bad choice, but they said: “No! ... We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations.” God gives His people what they want to show them that what He had originally planned for them would have been far better for them in the long run.
King David found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. At a time when kings went to war, David stayed home. How differently things would have turned out had he been on the battlefield with his men fighting Israel’s enemy. But instead he gave opportunity to the enemy within. David’s sin with Bathsheba cost him more than he had ever bargained for. He thought that sinning with Bathsheba would make him happy, but his sin of adultery led him to murder Bathsheba’s husband, and worse (2 Sam. 11:1-12:14). Often “the cravings of sinful man” lead us to do the unthinkable. We do not read of God trying to stop David from sinning. God allowed his sin and all the consequences that came with it.
In Judges 14:1-20 Samson, one of Israel’s judges, had a great craving to marry the wrong woman, a Philistine. Despite God’s command to marry within His nation of people, Samson did his own thing. His parents reminded him of God’s Law, yet he saw what he liked and said, “I have seen a woman … of the Philistines; get her for me as a wife” (Jud. 14:2). For Samson it was the lust of the eyes that brought him down (1 Jn. 2:16). And ironically God allowed the Philistines to pluck out his eyes, which led to his bringing down the house upon himself and the Philistines. God used Samson’s lust to accomplish His will against the Philistines.
It does not pay to get what we want! God knows what is best for us, and in His time opens His hand and gives it to us. The consequences of our disobedience and self-will can be enormous, as we have seen in the lives of the nation of Israel, David and Samson. They never thought their sinful cravings would result in so much tragedy and unnecessary heartache.
Yet God’s wonderful mercy steps in and works for us despite our disobedience. When we acknowledge our sin with confession, God comes in and takes control of our lives. He teaches us that our sinful cravings come “not from the Father but from the world” (1 Jn. 2:16). He doesn’t remove the consequences of our sin, but by His grace accomplishes His will in our lives. And we thank Him for that.
By Pat Stuart
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org