Hello friends! I know that today is calling for a massive blizzard so if that does come I hope that you are safe and sound today. Todays' reading skips ahead to when Samuel is older and is the presiding judge over Israel. The story ends with the first election of a king which is a massive shift in human's history of going from nomads to settlers. This also helps give us a clue as to the timetable we are workin with here. (1000BC)
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this teach me about humanity?
What is my interpretation of this text and would Jesus say amen to my interpretation?
What are the implications of electing a king to model the other cultures?
- My Thoughts -
The election of a king has so many problems for people. First, people do not handle the introduction of power into their lives well. For example it introduces systems of class with the ranks such as commoner and noble. Second, it makes people complacent. Once you settle down and build a farmstead with protective walls you become lazy. Third, it only continues to subject women. Prior to this women had significant roles as hunter / gatherers. They were just as much an active participant of culture as the men because they literally could not afford to do nothing. But once you have a secured lifestyle women can be viewed as baby making machines by culture. The sad part is God warned agains this through Samuel and the peoples still wanted it.
I think for the church the introduction of a church building is similar to the establishment of a king. Churches were previously always on the move, surviving off whatever rations a town could provide, they lived out of tents, they could afford to invest a majority of their money into evangelism and good deeds. But now consider the average church budget with our build old buildings that constantly need repaired. 30% or more of the operating budget is just maintaining the building. That's before we even factor in staff which brings us up to about 80%. The remaining 20% goes to missions and programming. That's a tough pill to swallow when look at the reversal from the early days.
As Gen Y and Gen Z continue to reject institutional churches and our buildings continue to age more and more I believe there will come a day when all churches will be forced to retire their buildings and go back to the way things used to in the 50's. (no not the golden age of churches 1950 I'm talking like literally 50 CE) Like a phoenix rising from it's ashes I believe that only through death can the church find a new life again.
In your own life I wonder if you have become too complacent - too comfortable. What ways can you change things up this next year to experience something new? Something risky? Something that requires a leap of faith
Lord, I realize that it is easy to clamor for things You know are not best for me. By Your grace, protect me from myself so that I will not pursue something I will later live to regret. Amen.