“People ain’t been readin’ their Bibles now.”
Barack Obama, June 2008
We have been readin’ our Bibles Mr. Obama. Here is an interesting passage from the Old Testament, recorded history from long ago bearing lessons for today:
1 Samuel 8
4 Fed up, all the elders of Israel got together and confronted Samuel at Ramah.
5 They presented their case: “Look, you’re an old man, and your sons aren’t following in your footsteps. Here’s what we want you to do: Appoint a king to rule us, just like everybody else.”
6 When Samuel heard their demand – “Give us a king to rule us!” – he was crushed. How awful! Samuel prayed to God.
7 God answered Samuel, “Go ahead and do what they’re asking. They are not rejecting you. They’ve rejected me as their King.
8 From the day I brought them out of Egypt until this very day they’ve been behaving like this, leaving me for other gods. And now they’re doing it to you.
9 So let them have their own way. But warn them of what they’re in for. Tell them the way kings operate, just what they’re likely to get from a king.”
10 So Samuel told them, delivered God’s warning to the people who were asking him to give them a king.
11 He said, “This is the way the kind of king you’re talking about operates. He’ll take your sons and make soldiers of them – chariotry, cavalry, infantry,
12 regimented in battalions and squadrons. He’ll put some to forced labor on his farms, plowing and harvesting, and others to making either weapons of war or chariots in which he can ride in luxury.
13 He’ll put your daughters to work as beauticians and waitresses and cooks.
14 He’ll conscript your best fields, vineyards, and orchards and hand them over to his special friends.
15 He’ll tax your harvests and vintage to support his extensive bureaucracy.
16 Your prize workers and best animals he’ll take for his own use.
17 He’ll lay a tax on your flocks and you’ll end up no better than slaves.
18 The day will come when you will cry in desperation because of this king you so much want for yourselves. But don’t expect God to answer.”
19 But the people wouldn’t listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We will have a king to rule us!
20 Then we’ll be just like all the other nations. Our king will rule us and lead us and fight our battles.”
21 Samuel took in what they said and rehearsed it with God.
22 God told Samuel, “Do what they say. Make them a king.” Then Samuel dismissed the men of Israel: “Go home, each of you to your own city.”
Saul became King of Israel, and did as God had said, even going so far as to attempt to kill David. In the end, Saul fell on his sword in battle.
[Let’s not forget the Good News however. David became King, restoring the kingdom, and from his line came the Messiah. Amen.]
2 Peter: 1-22