Tuesday, August 09, 2005

So I've been in 1Samuel recently. I'm pretty sure it's been for-ev-er since I've spent time in some of the OT narratives. I've hung out in the prophets a bit lately, but it's honestly been so long since I've read some of these great stories that I feel like they're really fresh. Almost like reading them for the first time. It also helps that I'm reading them in my new favorite version the New Living Translation.
There's just so much incredible stuff in this book. I think as Christians we tend to focus a little too much on the New Testament. I mean that's a really good place to start if you're a new believer because that's really where the basics of salvation and life in Christ are laid out. But once you start growing and really wanting the deeper things of God, there is so much in the OT that is incredible and we miss out on.
Ok so you get to chapter 8 and it's where Israel decides they are tired of being lead by God and they want a king to rule over them. Yeah, how often do we do that today? "I'm tired of following God and living by faith. I'm going to go make my own money, my own way, my own life with out God." Maybe it's more subtle than that, but it's still there. Then, God, in his infinate patience, grace, and love for his people tells Samuel to tell the people what it will look like if they have a king over them. It basically boils down to what any government looks like: takes your money, drafts your boys to fight wars, takes your best crops, takes your daughters to serve him, and on and on it goes until God says that the Israelites will cry out to him for help from this king who is oppressing them and he won't listen to their cry because he warned them. So Samuel tells them all this and they basically say, "We don't care, we want a king anyway because we want to be like the nations around us. We're tired of being different and sticking out and we want to be like everyone else." (That's my own little paraphrase there.)
But seriously, how much does this sound like our society today. Espeically within church culture. We don't want to be sanctified, we don't want to be different. Instead of using the amazing original creativity God has divinely given to us, we chase after the trends in secular culture so that we have "positive alternatives" which really means "crap copies of music that wasn't so great to start out with". I was just blown away when I was reading this chunck of the story that there really is nothing new under the sun. I could hear the cry of the Israelites coming out of kids in my youth group, christian media, the church, and me.
What is so wrong with letting God lead us, being set apart, and possibly if we get our heads about us even leading the way in the arts. Or even leading the way in medicine, education, science, etc. I believe God wants his church to lead. Because really, what good is salt if it looses it's saltiness?