1 Samuel 8:1-9:27
"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."
Jesus is the only thing we need.
I can think of a lot of things I need. I can think of a lot of things I want.
Reading about Israel's desire to have a king is in one sense hard to relate to, but in another sense it reminds me of my own desire for a significant other. Israel wants a king and that's not a bad thing to want necessarily except God says "no, I'm Your king!" It's not a bad thing to want a boyfriend but I don't need one. I am not promised one but what I AM promised is the presence the Holy Spirit and intimacy with God.
My favorite thing is that Israel hears Samuel's harsh warning: "If you have a king you are NOT going to like it." And they say, "eh, we still want one."
They say, "You don't get it. Everyone else has a king. And we need someone to fight our battles. You don't get it. We have reasons to want a king."
I can just imagine God saying "HELLO! I am Your King! HOW MANY BATTLES HAVE I FOUGHT FOR YOU!"
Seriously, the very thing they want the king to do is the one thing that God has proven over and over and over and over and over and over again that HE IS THE BEST AT THAT.
HE WINS ALL BATTLES.
It's my favorite part of it because it sounds so much like me. God says, "now is not the time" or "you don't need a boyfriend" etc. And I say "eh, I still want one."
I say, "You don't get it. Everyone has a boyfriend or a husband. I need a companion, I need someone to know me and want me, I need someone to love me. You don't get it. I have reasons to want a boyfriend."
And God says "HELLO! I'm right here! I'm your companion. I know you better than any man ever will. I want you more than any man ever will. I want you so much I paid a higher price for you than any man ever will.
I. love. you.
I love you more than anyone ever could.
I love you more."
Maybe you don't relate to that specific feeling of "but I feel like I need this", maybe you aren't wanting a boyfriend or a girlfriend. But I know you can relate to this "but I feel like I need this": I feel like I need food.
When I read about fasting in the Bible I can't figure it out. I need food! I tend to get hungry faster than most people, I get really, really cranky too. It's a problem.
I used to have really bad issues with blood sugar; it's a lot better now, but I still get so cranky if I don't eat.
I've only fasted once, while I was in college. It was kind of an experiment. It was actually a class assignment. In my Bible class we were practicing different spiritual disciplines and writing reflection papers on them. I only fasted for 24 hours for it.
I remember sitting in the prayer chapel at Biola and praying and feeling hungry. It was a cool moment. I went to bed that night feeling hungry. When I woke up the next day I had to wait until lunch to eat and I was so hungry I couldn't focus on anything. By the time I was able to eat I was so grouchy and I remember thinking I never wanted to do it again, "that's so pointless, all it did was put me in a bad mood."
I'd like to try fasting again now that I'm a little older and hopefully more mature and also maybe I'd feel better since I had such bad blood sugar issues back then.
It really makes me think though about (one) how Jesus fasted for forty days. HOW. And (two) Jesus says He is the bread of life...He is all we need.
I know in a lot of ways this is figuratively speaking. But it's also literal! Because I certainly do not need bread more than I need Jesus. I'd die of starvation before I ever gave up my Jesus.
He is all we need yet we let our gaze wander to the other things we think we need. One moment I'll have my eyes set on HIM the prize and the next moment I'll be chasing bread. The next moment I'll be chasing after the dream of dating and marrying. The next moment I'll be looking at something else, not Jesus.
But He has not taken His eyes off of us.
And that is all I need.
His unfaltering unrelenting unshakeable love.