Morning Prayer: June 23rd

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Psalm: 105:1-22
Old Testament: 1 Sam 8:1-22
New Testament: Acts 6:15-7:15

‘Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you (1 Sam 8:7b-8)

Disaster. In many ways here we have the beginning of the end for Israel. Despite Samuel’s warning that a king will cause the people to become vassals and slaves, they are insistent in getting their own way.

Initially, Saul is picked…which leads to civil war. Then David is chosen…….which goes well for a while, but eventually crumbles. While David’s son Solomon shows early signs of promise, he becomes corrupt and turns Israel away from YHWH and straight into the arms of Baal.

But what do we do with this story in 2011??? Other than saying “HAHAHA! silly Israelites”???

One place to start is to look at the deeper context. Israel is not just asking for a leader…..they are asking for a leader other than YHWH and his chosen prophets.

Their request for new leadership is not so much a “reasonable request” by poor nomads who are surrounded by monarchies…..it is an echo of their complaining in the desert..

Instead of complaining about miserable manna, they are now complaining about the way God chooses to govern them.

“What kind of God would give us a measly judge??? Don’t we deserve a king???? What has YHWH done for us lately anyhoo???”

Call me crazy…but I don’t think that sentiment is completely foreign to our own time. Even in my own experience, I question the way God works all the time….and a lot of time, I wish things could be different.

What causes those kinds of emotions, though? I think that more often than not, it stems from the fact that we forget God is our King. That he is the one in charge of our lives.

We forget the promises of Christ that we–like the birds of the air and the lilies of the field–will be provided for, loved, and protected. We want to be masters of our own destiny.

As we pray each day, let us remember that our God is indeed a great God and king above all others. O come let us worship +

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Evening Prayer: June 14th (Combo Post)

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Psalm: 78
Old Testament: 1 Sam 1:21-2:10
New Testament: Acts 1:14-26
Gospel: An excerpt from a Treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by St. Cyprian

Even though he struck the rock so that water gushed out
and torrents overflowed,
can he also give bread,
or provide meat for his people?’ (Ps. 78:20)

Whenever I read this Psalm…I always call to mind the story of the snakes in the desert. “What kind of God would give us this detestable food to eat???”

I wonder if the allusion in my own brain was the same one the author of Ps. 78 intended.

With that in mind, I am left to wonder….how often do we look at blessings as a source of curse and distress???? Where are those points in our lives where we are overlooking God’s grace in our life???? I leave that question with you tonight, as I think it’s one we all need to ponder from time to time. +

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