Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Tale of Two Responses--Part 1 or God's response to a nation

"We Want a King!"
17-18 Samuel called the people to assemble before God at Mizpah. He addressed the children of Israel, "This is God's personal message to you:

18-19 "I brought Israel up out of Egypt. I delivered you from Egyptian oppression—yes, from all the bullying governments that made your life miserable. And now you want nothing to do with your God, the very God who has a history of getting you out of troubles of all sorts.

"And now you say, 'No! We want a king; give us a king!'

"Well, if that's what you want, that's what you'll get! Present yourselves formally before God, ranked in tribes and families."

20-21 After Samuel got all the tribes of Israel lined up, the Benjamin tribe was picked. Then he lined up the Benjamin tribe in family groups, and the family of Matri was picked. The family of Matri took its place in the lineup, and the name Saul, son of Kish, was picked. But when they went looking for him, he was nowhere to be found.

22 Samuel went back to God: "Is he anywhere around?"

God said, "Yes, he's right over there—hidden in that pile of baggage."

23 They ran and got him. He took his place before everyone, standing tall —head and shoulders above them.

24 Samuel then addressed the people, "Take a good look at whom God has chosen: the best! No one like him in the whole country!"

Then a great shout went up from the people: "Long live the king!"

25 Samuel went on to instruct the people in the rules and regulations involved in a kingdom, wrote it all down in a book, and placed it before God. Then Samuel sent everyone home.

26-27 Saul also went home to Gibeah, and with him some true and brave men whom God moved to join him. But the riffraff went off muttering, "Deliverer? Don't make me laugh!" They held him in contempt and refused to congratulate him. But Saul paid them no mind.

The Word of God is clear...there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9 The Message). Are we, in America, in this generation, experiencing something new, something that is without precedent? Hardly.

What was will be again,
what happened will happen again.
There's nothing new on this earth.
Year after year it's the same old thing.
Does someone call out, "Hey, this is new"?
Don't get excited—it's the same old story.
Nobody remembers what happened yesterday.
And the things that will happen tomorrow?
Nobody'll remember them either.
Don't count on being remembered.

God's response to our (more and more) godless nation is clear. It was He who formed our nation, He who delivered us from those who persecuted us, in our motherland(s).

But, two hundred and some odd years later? We clamor for a king, a savior, a messiah, a deliverer. Our hearts and souls are empty. We are made to worship something bigger than ourselves. We are made to worship God. But He is no longer the center of our lives as a nation.

And we have been given, by God, over to our desires. We have been given the desire of our hearts. A King. A Messiah. A Deliverer.

And it will *not* be as some have hoped. It will not be the hoped for "change" the people sought. It will be much worse.

So, as Christians, what then is to be *our* response to the new President Elect? Once again, there is nothing new under the sun. I believe a much-loved Bible story shows us the way.

That will be Part 2 to this post. Go forth today comforted and know that God is in control.

And remember, beloved, Christianity *thrives* under persecution.

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