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Saturday, June 13

Today’s Readings: Psalm 19; 1 Samuel 13:1-18; John 17:18-26; 2 Corinthians 8:1-8; Psalm 25

Every once in a while I run across a story in the scriptures that pushes every last one of my buttons. Today’s story from 1 Samuel is one such story. The story pushes my buttons because of the way Saul get’s treated in the story. In the story it is implied that Saul was left alone with his soldiers near the scene of the battles at a crucial stage in the military encounter. Samuel said he would return in seven days to help lead the Israelites on the next stage of their journey. Seven days passes and there was no sign of Samuel. So what did Saul do? He did what I think most good leaders would do; he stepped up to the plate, made an offering to God, and prepared to lead his soldiers into the next stage of battle. And what happened to Saul? He got in trouble for not waiting long enough for Samuel’s return?! Now if Saul had not waited for the agreed upon time, or if Saul had tried to rush into battle without seeking God’s blessing; it would have been easier for me to understand why Saul got into trouble. But as it is, the God portrayed through the words of Samuel comes across looking rather capricious and sadistic (neither of which are qualities I would associate with God). I know the moral of the story is supposed to be: “Hang in there and wait upon God – no matter how difficult that waiting might be”. Today, however, I come away with another moral for myself; I come away with a commitment to continue to wrestle with my understanding of God and challenge those portrayals of God that don’t seem consistent with the nature of God as I have come to know and experience it. There is one critical thing I would note here. I’m not continuing to wrestle and challenge others portrayals of God until I can simply mold God into a form that fits my narrow needs and conceptions. Rather, I’ll wrestle and challenge others portrayals of God until I grow in my capacity for truth and understanding – knowing that I’ll never be able to fully grasp the immensity of God. Who knows? Perhaps the wrestling and challenging will lead me to be more (and not less) sympathetic of God as portrayed in today’s reading from 1 Samuel. Go figure. Til next time…

1 comment:

Dutch said...

Psalms 19 my paraphrase

May the words of my mouth and the meditations

of my heart complete me in you,

In you eternally creating God.
Eternally creating love;

Love completing you in me,
Love redeeming the conflict and discord in my

marriage,
Love grounding me,
Grounding me and bringing peace to my soul.