I will begin preaching from 1 Samuel in a couple weeks. As I was reading through the book today I had this strong sense that 1 Samuel has much to say when it comes our attempts to change the world and modern day politics. I have made up a fictional account of 1 Samuel 8. Let’s call it the Uninspired Michael Edition.
19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” -1 Samuel 8:19-20
The people were #outraged over the many problems they saw in the world. They came to Samuel and told him that the answer to all their problems was to find just the right leader. Not too liberal and not too conservative. Samuel knew this was a terrible idea. He warned them that any human leader they selected would be a raging sinner and would be unable to fix all their problems. They cried out to Samuel and explained that by their estimation there were 780,093,870 different #movements that they had felt strongly about for at least 3 hours. They concluded that it was only reasonable to expect the new leader to accomplish their agenda for them. Action must be taken.
Samuel sighed deeply. He reminded them that God was to be their only king and He had already given them the plan to change the world. He told them that the place to start was a deep love for God. Moses had been clear that love was the greatest of all commands. Samuel was concerned that their political anger could spill over into actual violence in the streets. Samuel then talked about the prophet Isaiah and how he taught them that it was their responsibility to be a light to the nations. This meant living differently then the culture around them. They were responsible to live out their faith in a manner that accurately reflected who Yahweh truly is. Living as a light to the nations might even lead to the unthinkable, getting to know their Gentile neighbors who are lost in darkness. Samuel finally pointed out that the prophet Micah had commanded them to pursue justice. This was a roll up your sleeves, leave the confines of your tent, and actually make a difference in the world kind of command.
The people enthusiastically nodded and said they knew all of those commands because they had studied them in their Synagogue Group.
Samuel felt a sense of hope as they recited the verses out loud. But hope quickly turned to despair as the people explained to him that they wanted to elect a leader so that he could do all the things the prophets had told them to do.
So God told Samuel to go ahead and do as the people had requested. A President was elected.
But the people began to wonder what in the world they would use so that they knew how to think, talk, act and live in this new kingdom. Samuel, again, reminded them that they had the all-powerful Word of God that was sufficient for all their needs.
The people patted ole Sam on the head but they knew better. Some suggested a golden calf. Most liked this idea, very retro. But they decided they had been there, done that. Some thought they should put together a book. But they agreed that everyone was just to busy to bother reading. Finally someone suggested that instead of a calf or a book that they create a box. But what kind of box? How about a box that talks to people. This box would serve as a mechanism that would grow their power and influence in the world. It would also be a great way to indoctrinate, incite and motivate the masses. Discipleship from a box.
Through this box came news programs, talk shows and a plethora of channels that could give them the daily wisdom they were so desperate for. They would know when they should get #outraged and when to form a new #movement. The kingdom of God was taking shape right in front of their very eyes. The people cheered.
You’ll have to read the rest of 1 and 2 Samuel to see how it all turned out. Let’s just say not good.
Photo taken from historydotcom