A long time ago, the nation of Israel came to a crossroads. Samuel, their judge, grew old; his sons “walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.” according to First Samuel, chapter 8, verse 3 (KJV).
This resulted in a request by the nation: “Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” (verse 5 of the same chapter)
Samuel was not pleased with this and prayed to the LORD about it.
The LORD said to Samuel to hear the people for “they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them”.
Not only that, but Samuel was to show them exactly the kind of king they would have. (See verses 10-18.)
Interestingly, a tithing system resulted in this foretelling because Israel was warned that their future king would take a tenth of their seed, vineyards, and sheep.
When I visited England two years ago, I ran across a “Tithe Barn” for the village of Landbeach with its administration building still standing in nearby Ely. The tithing system caught on and endured to our time.
In addition to the forced tribute Israel would face, there was another consequence.
Things would be getting bad, as we say, and they cut off their spiritual relationship with God at the same time, because the LORD said at the end of the warnings to Israel: “And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”
Fast forward to New Testament times about 2000 years ago.
In the book written to the Romans, Paul shares in chapter 1, verse 28-32: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful; Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
The consequences of rejecting God have been and remain serious.