Week 2 // October 11th-17th

At this time, we have over 6,000 years of recorded history. The problems that existed so long ago, still exist to this day. Injustices, abuse of power, selfishness, hate, and so many problems have not been erased from our societies. They persist, regardless of how we structure our governments, or the policies we pass, or the laws we enact. Mankind is not capable of creating, let alone sustaining a perfect world. Still, so many look to our govorning bodies to make our world better. So many look to politicians to solved the problems in their lives and abroad. This will always lead to disappointment, because mans best laid plans still leave us wanting. Consider this excerpt from 1 Samuel 8.

1 Samuel 8:1–9

Israel Demands a King
1 When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3 Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice.
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey 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 According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9 Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

Station 1

Read verses 1-5. Samuel was God's prophet to Israel at this time. As the text says, Samuel appointed judges to handle matters, both civil and criminal. These judges were corruptible though. So Israel wanted to trade many judges for one king.  Why do you suppose they thought a king would solve their problems of injustice? Do you have this much faith in man?

Take some time to pray now, and consider these prayer suggestions while you do:

1. Pray that God would search your heart for misplaced faith that might be present in your life.
2. Confess these misplaced faiths and ask for forgiveness from God.
3. Pray for a spirit that both loves and trusts, but doesn't place our ultimate hope in man.

Station 2

Read verse 6. Why do you suppose Samuel was displeased with their desire to trade a king for many judges? Is it not easier to remove one corrupt judge than a corrupt king if need be? Do you suppose the people really thought that a king would bring them true peace and ultimate justice on this earth? What was Samuels first response during his distress?

Take some time to pray now, and consider these prayer suggestions while you do:

1. Thank God that, while man is corrupt and unjust, He is incorruptible.
2. Pray that God would help you establish your hope in Him and in the place He has prepared for us in Heaven rather than in the people and things of this earth.
3. Pray for God's will in our lands with our government. 

Station 3

Read verse 8. Why do you think God would allow them to make a decision that ultimately wasn't the best for them? What causes us to reject God in favor of their own wisdom? How do you think God feels about this rejection?

Take some time to pray now, and consider these prayer suggestions while you do:

1. Confess ways you are rejecting God in favor of your own wisdom if indeed that is the case for you.
2. Pray for the wisdom and faith to choose God's ways over your own.
3. Name specific things to God that you need to trust Him with and ask him to take those burdens from you.

Station 4

Read verses 8-9. God showed himself to be faithful to His people, yet the continued to reject Him. Still before they finalize their decision, He warns them about the troubles of being led by a man (king) over being led by God.

Take some time to pray now, and consider these prayer suggestions while you do:

1. Meditate on all the ways God has been faithful to you, maybe even make a list, then thank God for every one of them individually.
2. Pray for the men and women who lead us, for God to work His will in and through them.
3. Present any other requests to God now, with thanksgiving, and ask to receive a pea ce that surpasses all understanding.