The way less worn…
1 Samuel 8: 4-20 (NRSVA)
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5 and said to him, ‘You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.’ 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to govern us.’ Samuel prayed to the Lord, 7 and the Lord said to Samuel, ‘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. 8 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. 9 Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.’
10 So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 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; 12 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. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. 15 He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. 16 He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 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.’
19 But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, ‘No! but we are determined to have a king over us, 20 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.’
Imagine the people of Israel’s call…
“We want a King”
And God’s disappointment as He answers, “But I’m your KING”
“But” says Israel, “We want a King, just like everyone else”.
It’s hard to be different,
To take the road less travelled,
The way less worn.
Having made a choice to turn,
Having set the direction of travel,
There will always be things which try to turn us back from whence we turned.
In your life,
What is your ‘king’?
The temptations and desires of the world?
Or the Creator of the World, whose way may be less worn and the path rougher, but whose plans are perfect?
Way Maker, Path Forger,
I long to journey with you,
My soul yearns for you,
I know it does,
And despite the roughness of the track under foot,
I know you promise green pastures –
I just long to journey an easy well-worn track
Along with everyone else.
Encourage and sustain me,
So that I may choose
To journey on,
To journeys’ end – with you.
For our July theme In Good Time we are revisiting past weeks of Daily Worship. Our writers this month are taking us back in time as we meditate on time itself! The piece above originally came from 2018.