Monday, November 5, 2012

Give Us a King! - November 5, 2012


1 Samuel 8:4-22(New International Version) 

4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead[a] us, such as all the other nations have.”

6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[b] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.

19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”
 
Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”

Four hundred years after Moses led the nation of Israel out of Egypt, and after the nation was ruled by prophets and judges appointed by God, the people decided they wanted a king. No longer would they follow after the leadership of God, but now they demanded that they be like other nations and be ruled by an earthly king. You don't have to read much further in the Bible to learn that their decision would ultimately lead their destuction and eventual dispersion throughout the world.

For over 236 years, we have been a special Nation; because we had based the make up of our governance after Judeo-Christian values and sought be live as a nation "under God", we have remained fairly unscathed from the turmoils that have long battered other worldy governments. But over that past few decades, we have blatantly turned our backs on God, and have sought to "be like other nations". We have desired to be like the many secular governments around the world and have pushed God out of every public place where He once "stood in vigalence" to protect us. We have scorned Him, mocked His Son, and denied the influence of His Spirit, and in doing so we stand at the brink of His long-overdue judgment.

Tomorrow we will select for ourselves a "king" as we head to the polls to vote for a President. We will also select men to leads us and make our laws to inhabit our Congress. This year, the choice before us is very stark, between two very different paths. One path desires to take us back to our founding values, to follow more closely after what pleases God's heart, and supports life and His desire for marriage; the other cries for freedom from anything having to do with God, openly scorns His definition of marriage and chooses to sacrifice the most vulnerable among us on the altar of "personal choice". One seeks to applaud hard work and build up those who choose to take responsibility; the other demands that it is only fair that those who have worked for their gain, should surrender it to others, and blame their lack on others.

There is a stark choice before us; a clear path back to God or further away from Him. Now all that is left is for the people to make their choice, and their choice will ultimately define if we will remain a blessed Nation or if we will eventually follow after the many nations and governments of men that are only mentioned in the history books.

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