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Tag Archives: human government

Getting to Know . . . I Samuel! (chapter 8) Demanding a King!

Looking at I Samuel 8 this morning, we recall that in the previous chapter a great revival broke out among the people of God! The story now fast-forwards to when Samuel is old and he appoints his sons as Israel’s leaders. [I don’t believe we were told in the text about Samuel’s wife or their two sons].

Unfortunately, his two sons — Joel and Abijah — followed the pattern of Eli’s two sons. “They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice” (v. 3).

Israel’s elders have to approach Samuel. They ask for a king as the other nations have, because Samuel’s sons do not follow Samuel’s “ways.” (v. 5). This displeases Samuel and he prays to the Lord.

The Lord tells Samuel to listen to the people, for “they have not rejected you but me as their king. They have a habit of forsaking me and serving other gods — their practice since I rescued them from Egypt. Warn them that a king will claim certain rights.”

Samuel lists the “rights” a king will claim — conscripting their sons to serve his chariots and horses, becoming commanders of Israel’s soldiers, plowing his ground and reaping his harvest, and making weapons of war and equipment for his chariots (vv. 11-12). He will also draft their daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers (v. 13). He’ll take the best of the fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. A tenth of your grain and vintage will be given to his officials. He will take for his own use your servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys (v. 16). He’ll take a tenth of your flocks “and you yourselves will become his slaves” (v. 17). Then the Lord says, “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” (v. 18).

The people insist on having a king — “We want a king over us. We want to be like the other nations and have a king who will fight our battles” (v. 20).

Samuel repeats all this to the Lord and the Lord tells him to listen to them and give them a king (v. 22). Then Samuel sent all of them home.

How fickle are the people of God! One moment they repent and experience

“You have made a wise choice!”

a great revival. The next minute they demand a king like the pagan nations around them.  Samuel bears some guilt in this turn of events. He did not discipline his sons, but followed Eli’s example in allowing his sons to live ungodly lives.

Incredibly, the people of Israel no longer want the Lord to be their king! They want a human being to lead them. We see that the Lord acquiesces to their demand, telling Samuel that they have not rejected him but the Lord!

But no human ruler is perfect. And, although they are warned in specific terms of the claims that such a king will make on their families and property, they insist on having a human king to “fight our battles.”

My takeaway today:  I can reject the Lord as my King, becoming persuaded by the world that He should be replaced as the ruler of my life.  But there will be a price to be paid.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2018 in I Samuel 8

 

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How Do I Get Spiritually Healthy? (a study of Titus – Part 18)

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 7.47.47 PMThis is the machine I hate the most.  This machine works your “core.”  Your “core” involves everything around your stomach that has made you — you.  Your core tells a story, a well-rounded story, of all the fried chicken, Krispy Kreme donuts, and M&M’s that you have ever consumed.  And that story is not usually a pretty one.

My “core” story is not as bad as it could be, but it needs help.  Hence — the ABDOMINAL machine.  We’re talking major league sit-ups here, friends.  And I hate this machine and this machine hates me.

But let’s move from hatred to the real issue at hand — which is SPIRITUAL HEALTH.   We were looking at a few verses in chapter three of Titus:

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

And we came up with few questions to think about (here are my preliminary answers):

1.  What are some unbiblical ways that Christians have responded to human Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.52.18 AMgovernment?  Christians have gone to one of two extremes:  (1) dominion theology:  Which teaches that we are to take over human government and submit our world to the laws of God (especially those in Deuteronomy); or (2) escapist theology:  We ignore our responsibilities as citizens (perhaps not even voting), don’t pray for our leaders, and don’t involve ourselves in the political process in general or in society in particular.

2.  List the six commands Paul gives to Titus to give to his people about our proper response to humanScreen Shot 2014-07-29 at 3.57.28 PM government and our surrounding culture:  (By the way, the Bible teaches that we are to be salt and light in our culture — preserving what is good and illuminating what is evil).  Those six commands are:  (1) to be subject; (2) to be obedient; (3) to be ready to do what is good; (4) to slander no one; (5) to be peaceable and considerate; and (6) to be gentle toward everyone.

3.  What seems to be the role of our WORDS in these instructions?  We are to turn away from slander and to turn toward gentleness.

4.  How would you define “gentleness”?  How might we be more gentle toward those outside the Christian family?  I believe gentleness is strength under control.  We are to be gentle toward everyone.  How might we do that to those outside the Christian family?  Sometimes we Christians Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.50.31 AMcome across with arrogance, pride, holier-than-thou, judgmental, critical.  We must not give up our Christian convictions.  One way I know I could be more gentle is to ask more questions of those who are not yet believers.  And really listen to their answers.

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Posted by on September 5, 2014 in spiritual health

 

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How Do I Get Spiritually Healthy? (a study of Titus – Part 17)

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 7.55.42 AMNow this is the machine!  The BICEPS CURL separates the men from . . .  the older men who are just trying to do “reps.”

Since we were little boys, we learned that a man expressed his absolute manhood by showing his “guns,” an expression referring to his biceps.   My “gun show” seemed to consist of a couple Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 8.12.52 AMof pre-Civil War, thin muskets which neither threatened nor treated anyone.  But I’m doing my bicep “reps.”

This series is about becoming SPIRITUALLY HEALTHY, Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 7.35.33 AMand we’re working our way through the little letter of Titus.  We now begin our study of the last chapter, chapter three.  Let’s look at the beginning verses, then ask a few questions:

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

A few questions to think about:

1.  What are some unbiblical ways that Christians have responded to human government?

2.  List the six commands Paul gives to Titus to give to his people about our proper response to humanScreen Shot 2014-07-29 at 3.57.28 PM government and our surrounding culture:

3.  What seems to be the role of our WORDS in these instructions?

4.  How would you define “gentleness”?  How might we be more gentle toward those outside the Christian family?

 

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2014 in spiritual health

 

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