Prayer for the day
Sing to the LORD a new song; sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Scripture for the day
…Israel had no king.
It seems a likely story. There’s no king in Israel, so everyone does what is right in his own eyes. The people run amuck, doing whatever they want to do. The stories in this passage of scripture are hideous and plumb the depths of human depravity. It seems like having a king would solve all of these problems.
Israel, sadly, is going to find out that a king is not necessarily the panacea they believe him to be. A king will give order, it’s true, but this order may not be any better than the chaos of anarchic rule.
The problem in Israel was not the problem of a lack of a king. It was that they wouldn’t acknowledge the sufficiency of the true King.
Jesus regularly runs into the same problem. People see him and instead of acknowledging who he is and what he’s doing, they get caught up in the rules and laws that he created. Jesus embodies the true spirit of the law of God, he lives what the Israelites were created to live, and they don’t recognize the true king of the law in their midst.
When Jesus is king, and is acknowledged as king, no one will do whatever seems right in his own eyes. We will seek what is right in God’s eyes, and we will do it. We will look to Jesus as the author and perfecter of our faith, as the perfect God and perfect example of a life lived in service to the king.
When we look at the heinous deeds of the people of Israel, when we look at the foolish squabbling of the religious leaders and even the disciples, our reaction should not be mockery but sadness: they had God in their midst, desiring to be acknowledged and followed as king, and they decided to do what they wanted to do.
There but for the grace of God…