I Samuel 8: 1—9: 27
It’s totally ok for Israel to ask for a king. God told them that they would have a leader like that. The problem is the timing. The kingdom that God would institute in his own good timing would be a Kingdom, like the kind that happens after the cross, when Jesus comes back for the second time. The Israelites were not interested in waiting, so God tells them a human king will only disappoint them. But ever teaching them, he allows their plan to go forward.
You have to know that every time I read about Saul I am immediately transported back to Judges class at NTBI (now Ethnos 360 BI) in 2015. Our teacher, Rich Bruce, called Saul, “Good Call Saul,” meaning that he did not always make good choices. I have never had a teacher that made narrative come alive like Rich did. I guess that is why it sticks! The following stories are going to illuminate for us what it looks like when people reject God and put our faith in a kingdom or government order. Israel wants to be like the nations around them. What a slap in the face to God. He specifically said that as his chosen people they should reflect him to the nations around him. If they had reflected him to the nations around them they would have reaped such great rewards.
John 6: 22-42
This section today is freedom for those of us who really tried to earn our way to heaven. “Jesus told them, ‘This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.’” That is what you can do to please God. You are free from “being good,” and beating yourself up when you do something wrong. God is not impressed with your “being good.” He celebrates when you do his will which is seeing his son and believing him, so you have eternal life. The Law had one job, to show the Israelites that they were sinners in need of a Savior. Studying the OT for us has one job, to show us that humanity cannot follow the rules that reflect God, we are just sinners in need of a Savior.
What a beautiful repentance Psalm. Think about the fact that the Psalmist wrote a song of repentance to be sung by the people so they would learn from the mistakes of their ancestors. Songs are a gift that make things easy for us to remember. This song reminds us of God’s faithfulness and forgiveness despite Israel’s faithlessness and rebellion.
Proverb 14: 34-35
There are so many things I want to say but I will just go with this: You reap what you sow. This is true for nations, kings and people. You cannot escape this universal principle set up by God from the beginning.