Tuesday

“And the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.’” (vv. 7-9)

1 Samuel 8:4-18 Tuesday 16 December 2014

Psalm: Psalm 34


Background

Fashion's a funny thing. Designers strive for a unique stylethat sets them apart from every other fashion house in the hopethat everyone will buy their product … and all look alike!

In today's passage, the elders of Israel turn on Samuel becausethey want to adopt the fashion of all the other nations. They arefed up of being a theocracy, ruled by God through propheticguidance, and want a monarchy.

Samuel is offended because he thinks it's all about him but Godshows him the bigger picture: this is another turning away fromGod, something that Israel has had a habit of doing since "the dayI brought them up out of Egypt to this day".

So Samuel address the people in a speech that sounds eerily likea prediction of so many times when people put themselves under theauthority of an absolute ruler: be careful what you wish for. Theyare told that a king will take the very best of their children,sons and daughters, and turn them into soldiers and servants; thebest land and its produce; the best herds. They will be under thepower of this king and no amount of pleading will be able to undoit.

It will be their choice, no one else's.


To Ponder

  • Is it the task of the Church to be counter-cultural or toinculturate the gospel (the good news of Jesus)? Why? (And howmight it?)
  • To what extent is this warning against a secular monarchy stillrelevant today?
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