"Is the Grass Greener?"
BIBLE READING: 1 Samuel 4-8
Have you ever heard the expression “the grass is always greener on the other side”? This phase came from an old Latin proverb that said, “The corn in another man’s ground seems ever more fertile and plentiful than our own does.” Why is that? Why do we always look at other people’s situations and think that they have it much better than we do ourselves? It is all about perception; we perceive that others have it better, when they perceive the same thing about us. The children of Israel fall into this same trap. After the period of the judges, they had looked around and noticed that they did not look like the other nations. The other nations had a king, yet they did not. It was God’s intention for them to see Him as their King, but they perceived that their neighboring nations had it better than they did. In I Samuel 8.4-5, the elders of Israel approached Samuel "Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations." (1 Samuel 8:5). The phase I want us to key in on is “like all the nations”. The Israelites looked to the neighboring nations and thought “they have it better off than we do, please make us like them”. Of course, this displeased the Lord as well as Samuel. They knew that having an earthly king would be bad news for the Israelites, yet God allowed them to have one. In hindsight, having an earthly king was not a good idea at all. It didn’t take long for the Israelites to become like those neighboring nations. Within a matter of years, they had begun practicing idolatry, causing the kingdom to be split and ultimately carried off in to Babylonian Captivity. Truly the grass on the other side was not greener at all. If they had just looked at themselves and understood, it isn’t about looking like everyone else. It is about being different; it is about standing out; it is about being a people that realizes that they are God’s possession and do not need earthly king. Today, it is very easy for us to do the same thing. Remember what the Apostle Peter said, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9). God doesn’t want us to be like everyone else; He expects us to be different.