Day 23 Devotional & Discussion – March 16, 2015

1 Samuel 8:4-22

When you read Samuel’s warnings, what impression do you get of kings? The phrase, “he will take”, is repeated again and again. What do you think motivates the kings actions? How will the people’s lives be impacted in this dynamic? Given the impact, why do you think the people continue to pursue these political and economic arrangements?

The history of Israel and Judah attests that having a King like all the nations around them was a mixed bag. A few of them were good and led the nation toward justice; but many more were destructive. Even Solomon, often considered the pinnacle of the Israelite monarchy, used slave labor and forced labor for many of his building projects.

What parallels do you see between the Samuel’s warning and our current political and economic arrangements? How does the profit motive or the power motive impact the ‘average Joe’ in our economic system?

 

One comment

  1. The dominance of one human over another and private over property held in common is an ancient problem for sure. We talk of animal kingdoms. “King of the Beasts” and so on. Hierarchy with alpha males is easy to find even at the Zoo. To have a protector would at first glance seem natural and desirable. If your tribe is the only one without a king chances are you would see this as a vulnerability. Divisions within societies
    seem at least in part to occur “naturally”. Said divisions arose as survival. Hunting and gathering was based on sharing scarcity. Dominant members of pack, troop, or tribe getting first dibs on sweetest fruit or kill seemed the natural order. It is, however, still a group and the position of King is always dangerous as many of them found out. Dissatisfaction with how the distribution of the scarcity goes down can play havoc with the society and even cause its downfall. Greedy kings from Midas to Louis the XIVth seem to serve as a warning.
    In todays world we seemingly have replaced Kings except as figureheads at least for the most part, The history of Europe is instructive because the capitalist class supplanted the royal aristocratic rule and declared this was freedom for all. It was clearly not. One form of rule replaced another. Private property as a constant is what the historical record shows. We know there were some human societies in what is now South America who had thousand year age of peace and trade – sharing an abundance unique to that location. Archeology shows they had no fortresses or temples.
    I think that must have been very much like heaven – and the silly monkeys fighting in the trees over ripened fruit would have made every one laugh. i believe we are at a historical juncture where the abundance is so great that we have to elevate our thinking and society to the level of the divine or in complete and utter to compliance to God’s law. We got to get ourselves back to the garden. The process does not depend on us wanting to go there but on waking up and realizing God is opening the path for us.

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