Monthly Archives: June 2013

mmmm 1 samuel 8 mmmm

Mmmm spicy Chinese beef with Italian Farfalle & Parmesan Mmmm

I love cooking Fusion Food that mixes my Asian heritage with Aussie flavours!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College, I’m eating mouthfuls of Old Testament this semester.

So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, ‘You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to leadus, such as all the other nations have.’ But when they said, ‘Give us a king to lead us,’ this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: ‘Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.’

1 Samuel 8:4-7

The book of 1 Samuel talks about Israel’s first king.

The elders of Israel don’t want a repeat of the anarchy when Israel was led by Judges.

So they ask Samuel for a king just like the neighbouring nations have.

This idolatrous request is a slap in the face of God as we read in the verses above.

Israel has rejected God as their king.

In the rest of chapter 8, God warns that a king will enslave and tax them.

The elders refuse to listen to wisdom and stubbornly repeat their request for a king.

Like other parts of the Old Testament, God gives the Israelites over to their sinful desires.

God is still sovereign: He uses kingship as a mechanism to judge and bless Israel.

So what does this mean for us today?

Verse 7 above reminds me of the popular Gospel tool: 2 Ways To Live.

God created the whole universe and is rightfully king over all peoples on earth.

But all humans reject God as their king.

Instead, we appoint ourselves as “king” and try to rule our own lives without God.

But we fail to rule the world properly and control our own lives.

God will punish us for our rebellion with death and judgement.

God sent Jesus to die in our place and take God’s punishment that we deserve.

God raised Jesus to life as King of the Universe and He will return to judge all people.

So we now have 2 choices:

1. Accept Jesus as our king and rely on his death to pay for our rebellion.

2. Continue as “king” and suffer the consequences of our rebellion: death and judgement.

Which way do you choose to live your life?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 1 samuel 2 mmmm

Mmmm spicy Thai Green Curry with Tofu Mmmm

Sydney has fantastic Asian food that is so fresh!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College, I’m eating mouthfuls of Old Testament this semester.

‘The Lord brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and makes them inherit a throne of honour.
‘For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
on them he has set the world.

1 Samuel 2:6-8

After the anarchy of Judges in the previous blog post below, we come to a new period in Israel’s history.

1 Samuel opens with the birth of the prophet Samuel to Hannah.

Hannah was so thankful to God for answering her prayer that she dedicates Samuel to priestly service.

A portion of her thanksgiving prayer is quoted above.
But take time to read the whole of Chapters 1 & 2 in 1 Samuel.

Hannah’s prayer acts like a roadmap for Israel’s kingship history that follows.

Even though she is not a prophet, the words of her prayer are prophetically played out in the lives of Israel’s kings.

We can see that God alone is in control of the rise and fall of kings.

David, Israel’s greatest king had humble beginnings as a shepherd and God exalted him (lifted him up) to become the leader of a nation.

But sadly, David abused his royal power and God humbled him in the end with disastrous consequences for his family. But God still lovingly forgave him and promised that his dynasty would last forever.

So what does this mean for us?

God brings prosperity and also poverty to everyone on earth – Christians or non-Christians.

Some people have the wrong view of Christianity – they believe that as long as they follow the Ten Commandments, God will shower them with wealth and success in their lives.

But Christians can also experience poverty, hardship and unemployment at some point in their lives.

This is not necessarily because they are leading “bad” lives.

Bad things can also happen occasionally to “good” people or loyal followers of God.

God is reminding us that he is in control and that we need to trust him even when disaster strikes in our lives.

Whether we are rich or poor, we need to live humbly before God and not to become proud of our own achievements. We need to thank God in good and bad circumstances.

It’s not all bad news: there is a greater promise in these verses.

God has the amazing power to raise people from the dead!

God raised Jesus to life again after he died on the cross.

If we trust Jesus with our lives, God will also raise us to eternal life after we die.

This is the hope and confidence that Christians have.

Some Christians are rich, some Christians are poor.

But we all will face Jesus as our judge at the end of our lives, regardless of our wealth.

Clearly we cannot control the global economy or prevent cancer from striking.

How do you cope when disaster strikes?

Who do you trust?

mmmm Bible mmmm