Every human being goes through joy and strife. It is in the difficult moments that we are tempted to look at people and make comparisons. Unfortunately, most of the time, we think that our situation is worse than everybody else's. We think that "the grass is greener on the other side."
In the text for today, we see that the Israelites suffered because of leadership not faithful to God's commandments. This generated discontent, and the people started looking at neighboring nations with the belief that they lived better with their government system centralized in monarchy. Until that moment, Israel was a theocratic country, where God governed through prophets or judges. By looking at other nations, the Israelites went on to forget about the Lord and believe that if they had a king, like other nations, their problems would be resolved. This was a great illusion and only brought more suffering. Everything happened as the Lord has announced: many served the king and contributed to the maintenance of the governmental structure. Besides, many kings did not follow God and turned their people into idolaters. Israel's security depended on the contrary of what they did: they should have been different than other nations.
It is always better to walk with the Lord, even through difficulties because our limited view of things can conduct us to illusions. We cannot let ourselves be deceived by the good life of others; greed can blind us and ruin our lives. It is necessary to remember that when God is our leader, we do not need to look at things that belong to others. Even if we are going through troubles in life, we must remember that serving God is still the best option.
Someone else's life might appear better than our own, but in difficult times, the Lord's direction is incomparably superior.