Wednesday 17 December 2014

Bible Book:
1 Samuel

“When Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the LORD. The LORD said to Samuel, ‘Listen to their voice and set a king over them.’” (vv. 21-22)

1 Samuel 8:19-22 Wednesday 17 December 2014

Psalm: Psalm 100


Although Samuel had warned them against it, people were stilldetermined to have some kind of king: something other than aprophet to mediate between them and God.

Ultimately God authorises Samuel to begin the process whichleads to the anointing of Saul as king (1Samuel 10:1) and a reigns that begins with great promiseultimately descends into depression, a failure to obey God and therejection of his kingship.

There was, of course, a difference in the kind of king forIsrael compared to the kings of the nations surrounding them at thetime of Samuel. Their kings were absolute secular monarchs but, asthe Psalms remind us, for Israel the king was God'srepresentative.

Psalm 2 begins:
"Why do the nations conspire,
  and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
  and the rulers take counsel together,
  against the LORD and his anointed." (vv. 1-2)

By the time this Psalm is in use, it's all right to quote Godsaying "I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill" (Psalm2:6). The nation is still, ultimately, in God's care.

So although the story of Saul is like the story of most ofIsrael's kings - about the failure to fulfil the role for which hewas ordained - it is also a step on the path that prepares the wayfor the coming of the king of kings, who would prove God's completeauthority over even death.

To Ponder

  • Can you recall a time when, looking back, you've realised Godwas in control even though it hadn't seemed like it at first? Whathappened? Give thanks to God for this.
  • What qualities do you look for in a leader?
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