Tuesday, March 11, 2008

People Read the Old Testament Wrong (Part 2)

You can see part 1 of this post here. The basic premise is that the Old Testament should be read as a historical narrative. The stories of real people in real time living real lives (sounds like the tag line for a cheesy contemporary church). People whom God has interacted with and used over the span of their lifetime.

The second story I want to highlight is the story of SAMUEL. You can check out his deal in the book of 1 Samuel. In his adult life, as high priest and judge, Samuel had the amazing privilege of anointing the first and second kings of Israel. After an all night prayer session, he had to deliver this message to Saul (Israel's first king), "You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel!" Then he went on an incognito mission to find the next king.

Seven candidates were offered forth who completely looked the part. But God continued to whisper to him, 'that's not the one, that's not the one...' Then he finally heard from God when a somewhat unlikely candidate stood before him named David (1 Sam 16). He chose the one who would ultimately provide the bloodline through which the messiah to enter the world (no pressure). The whisperings and promptings of God are a very powerful thing. Samuel made one of the biggest decisions in the history of Israel based on a whisper from God... That's heavy stuff. How confident are you about acting on the promptings of God? Where did Samuel learn this sensitivity? Ahhh - the rest of the story - the Old Testament as narrative.

Samuel the baby was born to a woman named Hannah. The woman that we reference often when we do baby dedications because she dedicated her child, Samuel, to the Lord and gave him back to God at the Temple. There he grew up under the care of a priest named Eli. The story is in 1 Samuel 3. During the quiet hours, in the dark of night, in the overwhelming Temple chambers, little Samuel would hear a voice. He ran into Eli's bedroom thinking that Eli was calling. Finally Eli told Samuel that it was the voice of God. At a young age, Samuel learned what God's voice sounded like - that familiar timbre - the gentle inward prompting - that became familiar as he grew older. And as an old man, it was the same voice that rang in his head when the young man David stepped in front of him that said, "HE'S THE ONE!"

No comments: