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December 2nd

Day 2
1 Samuel 8:10-22

So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He
said, 'These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint
them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; and he will appoint for
himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plough his ground and
to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will
take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and
vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. He will take one-tenth of your grain
and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. He will take your male and female
slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take one-tenth
of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king,
whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.'

But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, 'No! but we are determined to
have a king over us, so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us
and go out before us and fight our battles.' When Samuel had heard all the words of the people,
he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, 'Listen to their voice and set a
king over them.' Samuel then said to the people of Israel, 'Each of you return home.'

Be careful what you wish for – you might get it!

How often, as children, did we pester our parents for something that we really, really wanted – just
because everyone else had one? If we got what we wanted (which was rare!) it inevitably turned
out to be a bit of a disappointment and was soon discarded for the next new interest.

In this reading, the people decided that they wanted a king, like everyone else, ignoring the fact
that God was their King and He had looked after them during some really tough times, fighting for
them again and again. No, they wanted a "real" king that their enemies could see and fear,
someone who would ride out for them and fight their battles.

Samuel delivered God's message to the people: Did they really want a king? A king would force
them to work for him; he would tithe their goods and their produce and they would have to serve
him. They insisted that this was what they wanted, and God effectively said, "all right – go ahead,
but don't come crying to me when it all goes wrong!"

They went their own way, turning from God, who intended to anoint David as king when the time
was right. David's line would lead to the birth of Jesus Christ, His Son; the King who came to
serve, not to be served. He had no interest in wealth or power. He came to give, not to take.

In this time of Advent, let us rejoice that God is our King and as we love and serve Him, so He
loves and serves us. His throne is eternal, and no one can ever take His place. Amen.

The King of Love my shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never; I nothing lack if I am His, and He
is mine forever. Amen.

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