Friday, 17 July 2009

1 Samuel 1-liners

I've been listening to chunks of 1 Samuel recently, and several one-liners have stood out to follow what's going on.

chs.3-4: The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.
ch.6: "Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God?"
ch.7: The Lord thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were routed before Israel. [...]
"Till now the Lord has helped us."
ch.8: "No! But there shall be a king over us, 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."
ch.9-10: But some worthless fellows said, "How can this man save us?"
ch.11-12: And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”

In one-liner thinking this morning, I'm left thinking,
- They need God to be King!
- They need a man who can save them, a man who forever won't do wickedly but righteously, so that they won't be swept away for their sins.

But how can they have a righteous man to save them, and God to be their King?
How will God do this righteousness - this honouring of His name? He has so bound himself to his people in covenant, in promise, that to not do so would dishonour his name and thus be unrighteous! They must have God as king and, now, a man who will rule in righteousness.

So God spoke, later:
"I will save my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken." (Ezekiel 34)

But David failed to live righteously, so who is this King to come who would mean that actually, God was King?

"Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?" (Malachi 3)

And Jesus came.

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