SDA Sabbath School Lessons
May 18, 1996

#7 Royalty and Disloyalty

Read for this week's study: Judges 8:22-9:57.

Memory text: Judges 8:23, KJV

Key thought:

A person's relationship with God is reflected in the way he or she treats other human beings. Thus, loyalty to God as Lord leads to human kindness, but rejection of God as Lord leads to ingratitude, selfish pride, and cruel ruthlessness.
The Cost of Kingship. Ever since Lucifer came up with the idea of being like the Most High (Isa. 14:14) and deceived the human race into accepting his philosophy (see Gen. 3:5--"you shall be as gods"), people have played God and lorded it over others. From earliest times, kingship has been likened to and associated with divine power. The Egyptian pharohs, Mesopotamian kings, and Hittite emperors, to name a few, even demanded and received worship as gods. With their awesome authority, ancient kings claimed to be the "shepherds" of their people, providing for their protection and well-being. But the price was high (1 Sam. 8:10-18).
When Gideon was offered the kingship of Israel, he was not offered the kind of constitutional monarchy that many nations have today. He recognized that to take that position would be to substitute despotic human rule for God's authority, to play God (Judges 8:23). But his son, who did not respect God or people, wanted to be king at all costs. The price to others was high, and in the end, so was the price to him.