Politics can divide people.
Talking politics with family and friends during the holidays often leads to disagreements and arguments. Politics divides people.
Three thousand years ago, God's people had some politics to talk about during the days of Samuel the prophet. Although Samuel was a faithful prophet and leader for Israel, the people of Israel looked at the neighboring countries and realized that other people groups had kings ruling them. So they asked for a king.
God used Samuel to anoint Saul as the first king of Israel. 1 Samuel 10 describes the announcement of Saul as the new king.
Samuel begins by saying because they rejected God as their true King, they are seeking a king like Saul. In other words, their political desire for a king was driven by a spiritual failure to obey their true King.
Then Samuel announced that their new king was a tall man named Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin.
The response to this announcement is mixed. First, many in Israel welcomed Saul as their new king. Some shouted, "Long live the king!" Other men of valor went with Saul to enforce his rule, to make sure that people in Israel followed the new king.
However, Saul did not have a 100% approval rating. Many in Israel doubted Saul's leadership and others "despised him."
The response to the new king was mixed - some approved and others rejected him. I'm sure many of the political conversations at the dinner table in Israel resembled political conversations today: some people arguing in support of Saul and others making the case that Saul will fail.
This story from three thousand years ago reminds you that there is a true King today and your response to him matters. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the eternal King who conquered sin and death at the cross and that he rules all things today. The Bible also teaches that your response to him matters in light of eternity. Those who reject Jesus as King will stand before him when their life is over and face eternal consequences for rejecting him. The Bible calls those consequences hell.
Those, however, who embrace Jesus Christ as King will stand before him when their life is over and be welcomed into his eternal kingdom. All the promises of the Gospel are fully received when you enter into Heaven, when you enter the presence of the Triune God.
Your response to politicians today matters for the next election, but your response to the King of Kings matters forever. Will you accept him or reject him?