Slow Down! We Move Too Fast. – PART THREE
Posted on August 2, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”- 1 Samuel 8:4-5 (NKJV)
If you were to ask me who was the first candidate for a political office I could remember supporting it would be Richard Milhous Nixon. I was 9 years old when he was re-elected to The Oval Office by a historic landslide victory over George McGovern. It was a big deal election at that time period and I was proud to wear a Nixon/Agnew button after Election Day. When you watched him on the nightly news, he seemed to have his act together. Dealing with the Vietnam War, Russia, China, and the Yom Kippur War made Nixon seem like a man who wanted world peace BUT, if you looked around the American backyard, he seemed to have no interest at all.
I also remember being introduced to SPAM sometime after his re-election because the way Nixon handled rising inflation was through price controls that were really unpopular with regular folks. Anyway…I was told that this “new meat” makes a great sandwich, which, once fried up the right way, with an added slice of American cheese, actually did. Even though SPAM had been available long before my childhood, I thought it was the coolest “new meat” ever. To this day you’ll find a can of SPAM in the cupboards at my house and it still tastes the same, which may speak to how long it’s been in the can.
However, I don’t think SPAM was on Saul’s mind when the Spirit of God came upon him after he heard the news that Nahash the Ammonite who, not only besieged Jabesh Gilead, but was only willing to make a covenant with the men of Jabesh by gouging out their right eye so that they were made to be a reproach on all Israel. Saul would bring national unity by hacking up oxen and sending the pieces throughout Israel with this message “Whoever does not go out with Saul and Samuel to battle, so it shall be done to his oxen.” (1 Samuel 11:7b) It would be this event that would solidify that Saul should be king and by the end of 1 Samuel 11 the Nation of Israel would crown him as such.
“Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the LORD who raised up Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt.” — 1 Samuel 12:6
Just like the manna in The Wilderness, the Nation of Israel may have gotten tired of the judges, especially after Samuel appointed his sons to fill the role. Joel and Abijah were probably more corrupt than what the everyday Israelite could stomach, and in their haste to right the nation, the elders of Israel demanded to be ruled by an absolute, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” (1 Samuel 8:5) Samuel, who himself was appointed judge by The LORD, may have made a mistake in appointing his sons to the role of judge but to give them a king? Yeah, that’s gonna take divine permission to do so.
When all the hoopla was done after Saul’s coronation, Samuel will speak to Israel by way of reminder. Chapter 12 of 1 Samuel is full of moments where Samuel tells of how Israel had its share of troubles but it would be YHVH that would deliver them. Samuel warns Israel that this pattern of prosperity, apostasy, oppression, and deliverance would, not may, continue even though they got themselves a king…just like everyone else around them does (see 1 Samuel 12:13-15) It was enough to bring this admission from God’s people, “Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves.” (1 Samuel 12:19b)
America wasn’t at peace with itself during those days when I was a wild-eyed young boy thinking that a president would solve our problems. Elected officials took prayer, something that takes being still in the moment to do, out of the public square and America has been paying for that ever since. If the nation isn’t seeking God for salvation and deliverance from the nonsense that surrounds it, then electing a whole new system ain’t doin’ it any good either! We need to stand still and be reminded all that God has done for us in order for us to truly know our place in the world. In the meantime, why not consider the goodness of a fried SPAM sandwich, with American cheese, on toasted wheat, slice of Jersey tomato… mmmm. Praise God from whom all blessing flow! Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” Hebrews 5:8-9