1 Sa 6-8; Heb 10; Psalm 26-27
1 Samuel 8 is one of the key turning points in the biblical narrative. Samuel has ‘ruled’ over Israel as Prophet. Speaking the words of the Lord – but now the people for all their talk of devotion to the LORD, hanker once more for ‘security’. Something more sure to them than having to live in the radical freedom before Him to which God has called them.
As they longed for Egypt – a longing which keeps recurring – so too they long not to be unlike those around them. They long Not to be distinct. They want a King like all the other nations – even though as Samuel reports to them how they will be in servitude to their rulers . . . something which in these dying days of democracy we are beginning to learn is true of all forms of rule. He will tax you, he will take the best of all you have . . .
How unlike the King who is to come – the one who comes amongst us as one who serves. ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God’.
The false King takes in exchange for a false security – a freedom that is no freedom at all. The true King Gives, of his very being to set us free . . . a freedom we still live in fear of. How long will we so willfully persist?