You’re probably wondering how people could take this verse out of context. I mean, how else could you interpret it? Well, for starters, it’d help if the Bible actually said that. As Got Questions points out, Scripture actually says the opposite.
Whenever someone wants to discredit the King James Version of the Bible, they usually say it was translated by an earthly king who wanted to make himself appear higher than anyone else. They say King James was out to glorify himself with his version.
This is a very ignorant statement to make.
King James was very educated, and often questioned the bishops of the Church of England. When he dared to say he had a personal relationship with God, they scolded him, saying that he’s not on the same level as God. There were already several English translations of the Bible, but all of them (the Geneva Bible, the Bishop’s Bible, etc) were corrupted and often had the translator’s opinions thrown in.
In 1604, James commissioned a new translation of the Bible. One that had no bias, but instead was based entirely on the original texts. In fact, if you take the Greek and Hebrew versions and do a literal translation of them for yourself, you’ll get something extremely close to the King James Version. As I’ve said before, other translations change the Word, and those don’t hold up when looked at the original languages.
People also like to point out all of James’ flaws to show the his version must also be flawed. If you’re looking at any human, you’ll find a long list of imperfections. The only perfect person was and is Jesus Christ.
My whole life I’ve heard it preached that “Money is the root of all evil”, so wanting money is a sin. Having money is a sin. Only the poor are righteous!
But the Bible does not say that. They have taken out a couple words out to change the meaning of the verse. Let’s look at the verse itself.
1 Samuel 8:19-21 (KJV)
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. 21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.
It’s often heatedly debated weather or not we have free will or if our every action is governed by God, like a giant game of Sims. Those who think we’re controlled like Sims should keep in mind that if you let the Sim do it’s own thing, it ends up killing itself on accident. In that scenario, free will is a bad thing. But if it’s predestined, then that means God is deliberately doing evil things like killing babies and making people have terminal illnesses.
But if God controlled every movement we did, we’d all do nothing but worship Him 24/7. But at the same time, He knows everything that’s going to happen, so how can we have free will if everything is already known by God?
The answer, according to what I’ve found through studying, is what I shall call “predestined free will”. If I were to throw my phone against the wall as hard as I could and smash it, God didn’t make me do it. I chose to do it. He knew before He created the universe I was going to smash my phone. So is it free will that I smashed my phone if He always knew about it? I’ve debated people over this subjected, mostly my own friends. It’s taken nearly a year for me to get around to writing about this because I could never word it to where I could express it. I have finally found a foundation for predestined free will in scripture.
The early days of the Nation of Israel didn’t have an earthly king because God, Jehovah, is the King of Israel. But the Israelites eventually decided they wanted an earthly king because that’s what everyone else was doing. Or as scripture says, “That we also may be like all the nations”. God originally refused because, as I said, He is their King. But they kept at it, using their free will to tell Jehovah He wasn’t good enough for them. Finally, He told them they can have their king.
22 And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.
He knew before he even set Himself up as King that this would happen, so He used it as part of His plan. The blood line leading directly to Christ starts with King David, the second earthly king of Israel.
Likewise, you have free will to believe in Jesus or not believe. If you were being controlled by Him, you’d have no choice to believe. But He already knows who is going to believe and not believe.