Sunday, March 13, 2011

Today's Sermon

In the days before the Israelites had a king, they were ruled by judges who settled disputes and interpreted the law, but otherwise the tribes of Israel were more of a confederacy. Samuel was the last and greatest judge. But the people wanted a central government in the form of a king. 1 Samuel 8:10-18 gives this cautionary word.

Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

Those Israelites had it good, the king only took a tenth of their earnings.

Image from the blog Piety and Humanity, where the same verse is quoted with a broader message.

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