Thursday 02 December 2021

Bible Book:
1 Samuel

But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, ‘No! but we are determined to have a king over us, so that we also may be like other nations.’ (vs 19-20)

1 Samuel 8:10-22 Thursday 2 December 2021

Psalm 134


Yesterday we read that the people of Israel were calling for a king because Samuel’s sons did not follow in his ways and were corrupt. Today we read God’s warning of what having a king would entail, and this warning is pretty stark. The people were told in no uncertain terms that having a monarchy would be a bad idea. It would destroy their independence, their livelihoods, and even result in slavery. It couldn’t really be worse.

It seems strange that the people would listen to that and then choose this option. Under the judges it was not normal for leadership to pass through a family line. Under a monarchy it is expected. As God makes clear through Samuel, what seems like a move against corruption will only make things worse.

When we try to improve a system in our society it can be tempting to go for the easiest option. For the Israelites the easiest option is to have a leadership like other nations that will allow them to fight and win battles.

But if we don’t address the root of our problems nothing will really change. This year across the world there have been calls for major changes in many areas of our lives, including changing our reliance on fossil fuels, ending our commemoration of some dubious aspects of the past, and a call to improve the way the police work. Unless we are prepared to address the root of these problems, we risk things staying the same, or even getting worse.

To Ponder:

  • What are some of the issues in our society that need to be addressed?
  • Are there times you try to ignore God’s warnings?


Just God, we are sorry for the times we have not listened to your warnings. Teach us to listen to you and empower us to challenge injustice in our society today. Amen.

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