Today’s’ reading: 1 Samuel 7-9, Luke 18:24-43
Shortly after the birth of our youngest son we came to the realization that with four kids our car just didn’t have enough room. By the time we put in the car seats for the two babies the older two were so cramped that they the spent most of their time bickering over who had crossed that imaginary line. I looked for a car that would meet our needs and finally while visiting my parents I found a minivan advertised in the local news paper. We stopped to look at it on the way home. It was a customized ‘electric blue’ GMC Safari. Once the older kids saw it with its reclining back seat and mood lighting they were sold. They eagerly promised to give up candy, ice cream, McDonalds and whatever it might take to help pay for it. I must admit having the extra room looked good to me as well. They were so excited when we drove it off the lot, but we hadn’t made it ten miles until they were begging to stop at McDonalds.
In First Samuel Chapter eight we have a similar thing taking place. They saw that Samuel was getting old and that his sons were corrupt. I suppose and old and poor prophet was nothing to be compared with a king richly attired in the finest purple. The fact that Samuel was conversant with God was not readily visible to those who were looking for the external evidence of pomp and power. Wouldn’t the neighboring lands be envious of the royal court with its highly ornate guards and officers parading in and out with military precision? After all wasn’t that old prophet just a little bit old fashioned? Samuel at the direction of God told them they would have a king but the cost would be great. Samuel told them that the best that their land had to offer would be taken by the king. He told them they would give up sons and daughters to the service of the king but that did not dissuade them from their objective. Like my kids, they saw this as an opportunity to modernize and though they were made aware of the cost they did not fully grasp the magnitude of what they had asked for.
We drove that van for several years. I could not even begin to estimate the number of ball games it went to. I cringed the first few times it was hit by a foul ball but after a few dozen times I got to the point that I could laugh along with the rest of the parents. When I went to trade it in they commented on how well maintained it appeared to be but they couldn’t imagine how bad that hail storm had to be to cause all those dents in the roof.
It wouldn’t take long for Israel to fully realize the full cost of their bargain. But that will be the subject for another blog on another day.