• 1 Samuel 8:1-7 As Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel. Joel and Abijah, his oldest sons, held court in Beersheba. But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice. Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.”  Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance. “Do everything they say to you,” the Lord replied, “for they are rejecting me, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer.”
  • Thought: As we decry racial injustice and attempt to find social, political, and economic equilibrium in the midst of a pandemic, it’s imperative that we truly recognize where the help we need will come from. The United States, like many nations, has rejected God as King. Similar to Israel, the U.S. has opted for the gods of power, mammon, and pleasure. We’ve deified celebrities. We’ve judged the innocent and victimized the helpless. We’ve willingly trekked down secular paths, painstakingly trying to yet find spiritual meaning and connection. It won’t work.
  • Israel was never the same after this pivotal moment. Despite the numerous miracles and victories wrought by the Lord, the people began to be influenced by natural desires. They forsook the ancient path of faith and spiritual fidelity. In an attempt to secure liberty and safety and prosperity they left the God who gave them life. As a result, Israel experienced constant division, besiegement, persecution, famine, and destruction. Rejection of God came at a high price.
  • Are we prepared to keep paying the costs of rejecting God? Are our coffers plentiful enough? Is it worth the expense to insist on living according to our own ways? The U.S. can learn from Israel’s mistakes. We don’t just need cures for disease. We need a Healer. We don’t just need economic stimulus. We need a deliverer. We don’t just need justice. We need the Lord of Righteousness. God is all of what we need and more. If we make Him the King, then we have access to His largesse and the abundance of His kingdom. Otherwise, we are left to save ourselves. Given the current landscape, that clearly isn’t the best option.
  • It’s a missing of the mark. It’s a reliance on the arm of flesh, which is not pleasing to Me (Jer. 17:5-6) “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land.) I’m smashing the arm of the flesh. I’ll will make it so that every place or entity that man seeks over me is lacking and wanting. I will close those doors and force man to look to Me.

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