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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
June 6, 2015

     One day the nation's leaders came to Samuel at Ramah and said, "You are an old man. You set a good example for your sons, but they haven't followed it. Now we want a king to be our leader, just like all the other nations. Choose one for us!"
     Samuel was upset to hear the leaders say they wanted a king, so he prayed about it. The LORD answered:
         Samuel, do everything they want you to do. I am really the one they have rejected as their king. Ever since the day I rescued my people from Egypt, they have turned from me to worship idols. Now they are turning away from you. Do everything they ask, but warn them and tell them how a king will treat them.
     Samuel told the people who were asking for a king what the LORD had said:
         If you have a king, this is how he will treat you. He will force your sons to join his army. Some of them will ride in his chariots, some will serve in the cavalry, and others will run ahead of his own chariot. Some of them will be officers in charge of a thousand soldiers, and others will be in charge of fifty. Still others will have to farm the king's land and harvest his crops, or make weapons and parts for his chariots.
1 Samuel 8:4-12 (CEV*)

Sometimes people take the stories of what the kings did in the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament), and assume that these things were what God wanted. In doing so, they are ignoring this passage which clearly states that the people of Israel chose human kings in rejection of God. What happened under the kings was often disastrous, just as God had predicted.

People today are not much different from the people of Israel in Samuel's day. We are prone to look for leadership and even salvation from political systems and officials, rather than from God. And these ways are still defended because they are what other nations do. And the results aren't much different.

The change the world needs will only come from a change in human hearts so that we are ready to live according to divine principles such as love, compassion, mercy and sharing. Only then will we have a world in which people can live fulfilling lives free of fear and want.

Bill Samuel

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2015 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 13-Jun-2015 22:12:15 EDT