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We Want A King

Written by Phyllis. Posted in Articles

Moses, as a part of his deliverance from infanticide, was raised in the household of Pharoh. He witnessed the exercise of divine right power and authority and probably as a result of his intelligence and inherent leadership qualities, Pharoh let him have a measure of dominion, despite his Hebrew origins. Moses wielded the power of an earthly king. {jcomments on }

 

   There was a calling on his life; he was to deliver his people from slavery and lead them to the land Abraham had laid claim to many years before. Moses was a man raised up by God to fulfill a purpose in His divine plan. It seems certain that Moses was well steeped in the history of his people; he wrote it out in the Pentateuch and knew enough in his early manhood to strongly identify with his brethren, to the point that he was compelled to avenge one of them by killing an Egyptian. He was carrying out a calling in his own will, in his own way. Interestingly, this is exactly how Satan chose to take his best shot at Jesus in the wilderness- "let's fulfill your calling now and speed this thing up a bit. Throw yourself off  this building and people will see God's hand rescue you, or better yet, just bow down to me and I'll enable you to get this kingdom rolling!" Jesus resisted, Moses jumped right on it.

    Moses was probably knowledgeable of and inspired by Joseph's story. A man who sensed his calling and ultimately placed in a position of worldly authority to deliver his people from starvation. I'm sure, prior to killing that Egyptian, Moses had surmised that God was going to work the same way; having installed Moses in that lofty position, God would activate him to rescue His people from oppression and cruelty. But God had other plans; plans that required a tremendously yielded vessel as God was intent on showing His supernatural presence more than His manipulating of events. Moses was in for an extended period of shaping and molding to prepare him to lead a process that would instruct, inform, and inspire believers for centuries to come.

     What began with Moses continued through Joshua, the judges, to Samuel and ended with the people of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, calling for a king to rule over them. A serious bible reader doesn't require a great deal of time to go from Exodus, skim through a lot of the legal stuff in Leviticus and Numbers, to Deuteronomy, through Joshua and the Judges and not be aghast at a people who see the mighty miracles of God turn around mere pages later, sometimes just paragraphs later and be so utterly faithless. To read through the book of Judges- story after story of God raising up a single anointed man or woman to deliver His people from an overwhelmingly superior enemy and then demand a king to raise up armies seems (to the reader) a level of faithlessness hard to comprehend... until the bible reader has the Holy Spirit point out that the reader is FOREVER crying out for a king!

     The Lord uses a strong and holy people to execute judgement on the unholy inhabitants of the earth; neither Moses nor Joshua were kings. Rather they were servants of God who obeyed. And as long as they obeyed, they were sure to be victorious. In the book of Judges, God allowed enemies to rise up and harass Israel when they ignored the law and began doing what was right in their own eyes; as the harassment became intolerable, the people would unite and turn their eyes to God and cry out to Him for salvation. God then would raise up a single man or woman to destroy the enemy. That man, in the time of peace, refused to rule over the people but would live as a judge and promoter of God's law. Once they died, the cycle would repeat. When Samuel came on the scene, the people had grown tired of being subject to the whimsy of external, malignant forces. They wanted an earthly authority imbued with power to beat their enemies and right their wrongs.

 Walking in the Spirit as much as anything requires that one walk in a kingdom perspective ; always scanning the Word or past spiritual experience to interpret events, and scanning the Word to judge a proper response. While we might accuse someone or ourselves of overspiritualizing things, in fact we may just be incorrectly interpreting an event spiritually. Walking in the Spirit demands a large measure of trust; as sophisticated as we may see ourselves as being, sometimes we just don't know or understand and it's crucial that we know in our hearts that God is good.

   It's also important that we be serving God rather than Mammon. Jesus said you cannot serve both which is probably the most ignored truth in modern Christianity. All of the need for judges and kings focused mainly on protecting and deciding the material rights of man as these were the most common causes of conflict in the day. We have trouble escaping carnality because we call ourselves Christians but we are incapable of completely turning our back on mammon; we still believe he holds the key to our joy and peace. Our desire for a king reflects our faith in the necessity of having all in order in mammon's kingdom; the king is of the world, powerful in the world and can keep order for mammon.

     This is all in stark contrast to Jesus' instruction to give up your tunic if your cloak is confiscated; or walk an extra mile with an enemy who demands one of you. Or turning the other cheek. All these instructions represent a refusal to bow to mammon! Jesus told Pilate that the only power he had over Him was what God had ordained that His plan be carried out! Paul told the Corinthians that it was preferable to be cheated and just relinquish what was taken from you than to rely on non believing agents to set things right ( don't demand a king!). Jesus and Paul are both admonishing us to not let mammon get hold of us; it's too easy to lose spiritual focus and perspective!

     These are simply impossible concepts to the believer who idolizes provision- which is difficult as God has always and will always direct an ebb and flow of supply to test his people's heart. "Am I your Source; Am I your Supply?". This is why Paul comments that he can live in plenty or lack and be content in either- he trusted God in either state, not crying out for an earthly agent to right his material wrongs.

When Pilate was demanding information from Jesus, he declared, " Don't you know I have the power to decide your fate?"

 Jesus was not focused on His life, or His comfort, or on His progressing in this life; He was focused on the kingdom of God and His Father's will. His eye was single. This is why it was so clear to Him that it was not necessary to summon some earthly agent (a king!) to secure His freedom; He , in turn, declared to Pilate, "you have no power over Me, except that which My Father has given you."

   Can we receive the slights, the persecutions, and the offenses of this life as permitted by God's hand, or will we forever demand a lawyer, a judge, a gun or a king to bring justice!

 

 

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