Giving Up Our Moral Authority

Giving Up Our Moral Authority

This is a follow up to my previous post “For Comfort and Convenience”.  The post was about how the Israelites were willing to give up a piece of their freedom for a king.  They still wanted a king even after being  duly warned by Samuel. They wanted someone to fight their battles, someone to give them comfort and convenience and they were willing to give up a piece of their freedom.

After writing that post, I began to think more about a verse in 1 Samuel 8, verse 7.

And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.

God says, “but they have rejected me from being king over them”. Continue reading

Give Your Son That We May Eat Him

Give Your Son That We May Eat Him

2 Kings 6:24-29

Afterward Ben-hadad king of Syria mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria. And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver. Now as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!” And he said, “If the Lord will not help you, how shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the winepress?” And the king asked her, “What is your trouble?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ So we boiled my son and ate him. And on the next day I said to her, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him.’ But she has hidden her son.”

I read these verses and was a bit taken back by the matter of fact telling of this story.  Try to imagine having to go through something like this.  Try to imagine the brutality and inhumanity that is sited in stories like this and others from the Old Testament.  It’s quite stunning. Continue reading

Preconceived Expectations

Preconceived Expectations

In the Second Book of Kings, Chapter 5, there is the story of Naaman and Elisha.

Elisha was the understudy of the prophet Elijah and when Elijah slept with his fathers, Elisha became the man of God, the prophet.  Naaman was the commander of the army for the king of Syria and he was held in high regard by his king.

At that time the Syrian army had been making raids into Israel (see how long this stuff had been going on in the Middle East) and one of the captives was a little girl who ended up working for Naaman.

Naaman is described in the Bible as a valiant man, but he was a leper.  The girl from Israel knew of the prophet Elisha and told Naaman’s wife about him.  The little girl told her that Elisha could cure her husband. Continue reading

A Low Whisper

A Low Whisper

1 King 19:9-15

There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.  And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria.

The prophet Elijah has fled to a cave to hide from the persecution of Jezebel.  Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab who did not walk in the way of the Lord.  Jezebel had slaughtered the prophets of God, except for one hundred who Obadiah, the overseer of Ahab’s household hid in caves. Continue reading

Giving Up Our Moral Authority

Giving Up Our Moral Authority

This is a follow up to my previous post “For Comfort and Convenience”.  The post was about how the Israelites were willing to give up a piece of their freedom for a king.  They still wanted a king even after being  duly warned by Samuel. They wanted someone to fight their battles, someone to give them comfort and convenience and they were willing to give up a piece of their freedom.

After writing that post, I began to think more about a verse in 1 Samuel 8, verse 7.

And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.

God says, “but they have rejected me from being king over them”. Continue reading