Samuel, Israel And Us


Scripture never ceases to amaze or surprise me, which I guess is to say that God never ceases to amaze or surprise me. As I was reading the Old Testament reading for today's Mass in Samuel, I was struck by a particular verse: 
"And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.  And the Lord said to Samuel: Hearken to their voice, and make them a king." (1Kings 8:21~22)
Right before this the people of Israel are pleading with Samuel for a king so they could be like other nations. Even after Samuel reports to them what God has said will happen if a king is appointed, they still want the king.
This is where the irony struck me. After thousands of years, not much has changed. In reading the reports of Obama's ratings after his first year in office, it would seem that things have not turned out as many of those who voted for him had hoped. I am not going on a political rant here, but this passage just brought to mind the adage: "Be careful what you ask and pray for!"
Israel was relying on the knowledge of the culture instead of God. The same could be said of our current society.
St Augustine also had something to say about this: 
 "Don't be presumptuous, and as it were give knowledge priority over God's instruction, or you will remain full of hot air, instead of solid understanding."

 I just love Augustine; he knows how to just say it as it is!
My own observations of the "signs of the times" is that too many in our culture are relying on their own knowledge instead of God's instructions. It didn't work out for Israel they way they had hoped, and I don't think its working out too well for those who voted for our current president.
But there is always hope. God can and will bring about a greater good. From that line of kings came David and from his line came our King, Jesus Christ.
Israel didn't know how the story would end; I am glad that I do!

Notes: You can read the full text of today's Mass readings by clicking the Readings for the Day widget on my sidebar. For those of you who prefer the Douay~Rheims translation from 1Kings, you can find it here in 1Kings 8:4~22

Comments

Brother Charles said…
Thanks for the reflection! It's such a grace for us to have these five weeks of the royal history of the people of God every other Ordinary Time. May we accept the royal anointing of our Confirmation each day!
Karinann said…
Thanks Brother Charles,
"royal anointing of our Confirmation"~so true and at times easy to forget; thanks for the reminder!
Anne said…
Karinann, this scripture stood out for me today too. Instead of Obama, I was thinking of myself and how I speak like the Israelites, I want a King so that I can be like everybody else. I think I will be writing about this on my blog very soon.

I love your new picture! It would go well with my post today!

Thanks for your friendship! You are so wonderfully faithful!
Karinann said…
Thanks Anne. I am right there with you; I too speak like the Israelites. Feel free to grab the picture; don't remember where I found it.
Thanks too for being a faithful reader and commenter here.
Mary333 said…
Karinann,
A while back I got a word from the Lord saying that God was giving America the king[president] that they requested. This was not His perfect will but his permitting will and there is a world of difference between the two. Change we have asked for and change we will receive. It is not a positive thing, though many who voted for Obama think so. America was being tested and flunked royally to put it bluntly. Now we are starting to reap what we have sown over the years. I am getting daily warnings that the US is in big trouble both spiritually and physically and we need a lot of prayer and conversion. It is very serious. Strangely enough, I am an optomist despite all these warnings. I take it as a call to prayer and then place it in His hands. Two other people close to me are getting the exact same warnings. How long these words will take to play out I do not know. I have been asking for clarity when I pray concerning these warnings. Your post reminded me of this.
Karinann said…
Mary,
Everything you say is true. Like you I have known for a long time that this country is in big trouble until and unless it converts. I am also convinced that our "leader" is not the one truly leading but that there are demonic forces at work in those he is listening to. Despite all this I too am an optimist; I hope in our Lord and pray.
Thank you for you comments.
~ Judy ~ said…
What a great post Karinann!
And I LOVE how Mary333, in her comment, draws the distinction between God's "perfect will" and His "permitting will". WOW...yes...there IS a difference, isn't there?
Karinann said…
Judy,
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read this post. Yes, Mary is absolutely right; there is a difference.
Michael said…
Very nice reflection in your post. Its amazing how scripture is continually relevant over thousands of years.