Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30)

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

2020.05.27 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Samuel 8:9–22

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Yahweh tell Samuel to heed (1 Samuel 8:9)? How must Samuel forewarn them about their request? What did Samuel tell the people who had asked him for a king (1 Samuel 8:10)? What is the first thing that he says the king will take (1 Samuel 8:11)? For what kinds of things (1 Samuel 8:11-12)? What is the second thing that he says the king will take (1 Samuel 8:13)? For what? Which fields, vineyards, and olive groves will he take (1 Samuel 8:14)? For what? What else will he take (1 Samuel 8:15)? For whom? What else will he take (1 Samuel 8:16)? For what? What else will he take (1 Samuel 8:17)? What will he make Israel into? How will Israel end up responding (1 Samuel 8:18)? How will Yahweh respond then? What do the people not do (1 Samuel 8:19)? What do they say? What is the first reason they want a king (1 Samuel 8:20)? What else do they want a king to do? What did Samuel do with all these words of the people (1 Samuel 8:21)? What did Yahweh tell him to do? And what did Samuel say to the men of Israel (1 Samuel 8:22)?
What a terrible thing it is to have any king but Christ! But still, we clamor to be ruled by sinners because of our delusions about what they can do for us.

The Lord had already told Samuel that they were rejecting Him because they didn’t want to be ruled by Him (1 Samuel 8:7). We know the good and gracious God whom they are rejecting as King, but the Lord also wants them to know what kind of kings sinners make: self-interested men, who take the people’s children and things.

This, of course, is not the purpose of civil government. It is in fact to do things like judge (reward good and punish evil) and oversee civil defense (cf. 1 Samuel 8:20, Romans 13). It is a mercy of God that nations have civil government as a method of mitigating evil in this world. And, the more that people in government serve God and fulfill His design for their role according to His law, the more that civil government will be a blessing.

Israel had a perfect King already. The living God. Earthly government cannot “fight our battles”—it can only use us to fight battles, that may or may not be in our own best interest. But the Lord Himself can most certainly fight for us. Indeed, through Christ, we have full confidence that He does so, whether through means, above them, or even without them.

Thankfully, we are looking forward to a perfect King—the King prophesied in places like 2 Samuel 7 and Psalm 72. Our Lord Jesus Christ. He is God, who has given His Son instead of taking ours, who gives us all things instead of taking them. And He will be King forever and ever over an entire New Heavens and New Earth. Indeed, He is already King of kings.

This ought to make us rejoice that Christ is King now, and long for the day when all lesser authority joyfully obeys Him. But, if we love Christ and submit to Him, and if we love our neighbor and what’s good for him, we will also pray and work toward government that submits to Christ.
How are you praying for Christ’s kingship in your own country? How are you working toward it?
Suggested Songs: ARP72A “God, Give Your Judgments to the King” or TPH417 “Jesus Shall Reign Where'er the Sun”

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