Day 98: Israel Asks for a King

1 Samuel 6:1-21 The Philistines decided to return the Ark of the Covenant and included a guilt offering on the advice of their own priests and seers. This was a tacit recognition of the power of the ONE GOD or at least of the mystical power of the Ark. In his Sacrifice on the Cross, Christ gave himself as a sin offering for the transgressions of all people. (CCC 615)

Ch 6:4 The instruction on the golden mice suggests either that there was an unmentioned plague of mice that accompanied the tumors or that the Philistines blamed the mice for spreading the disease. 

Ch 7:1-17 Samuel was the LAST of the great judges of Israel and a prophet of the Lord. As a prophet, he called the people to give up their idolatrous practices and repent before God. By making a burnt sacrifice at the shrine of Mizpah, where the people of Israel often gathered for important events, Samuel atoned for the people’s sins, and God intervened to help Israel defeat the attacking Philistines. (CCC 433)

Ch 8:1-25 The people of Israel had not had a king since they entered the Promised Land because, in principle, they recognized only God as their ruler. The Law given by God ought to have governed their lives without resort to an earthly monarch, but this was not the case. Over the years, God had appointed judges who served as the leaders of Israel. Samuel, who was both the last of the judges and a prophet, was approached by the people to ask God for a king to rule Israel; the failure of Samuel’s own sons to serve as exemplary and faithful judges probably made the situation all the more urgent. Samuel warned the people of the many ways that a king could oppress them. When the people did not relent, Samuel turned to God who instructed Samuel to appoint a king as the people had requested; the king, however, would be of God’s choosing and would be under God’s direction. (CCC 709)

Psalm 86 The Council Fathers of Vatican II taught clearly that every baptized person is called to holiness. While this vocation to holiness originates in the message of Christ, it is already present in veiled terms in this psalm. (Cf. St. John Paul II, General Audience, October 23, 2002)

Teach me your way...walk in your truth: Christ revealed himself to be “the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me” (cf. Jn 14:6). In the early Church, before the term Christianity was in use, the faith was simply called “The Way.” (No wonder! In The Mandalorian tv show they say, “THIS IS THE WAY..”.🤓) (CCC 107, 1728, 2070, 2773)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Key Event 36: Israel Asks for a King (1 Samuel 8:1-22)
The people as the prophet Samuel to appoint a king for them "like all the nations" (1 Sam 8:5, 20).  While a king will be part of God's plan, a worldly kingdom is not--hence, this request is taken as a rejections of God's kingship over his people.  In the New Testament, the seemingly insoluble conflict between the people's desire for a human king and God's prerogative as the only King finds resolution in Jesus.

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, you are our helper and you are our comforter. And Lord God, we ask that you are also our vindicator, that you are the one who rises up and who declares and makes us righteous. It’s not our own works, Lord God, that make us righteous in your sight. It’s You. It’s Your Grace that you have given to us, that you won on the Cross when you handed yourself over for us, Lord God. You made it possible for us to experience your mercy, to have access to the heart of The Father, and to be able to receive the Holy Spirit deep into our hearts. So we ask you, Father in Heaven, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, renew that Spirit, that Holy Spirit in our lives so that everything we do may begin with your inspiration and be carried out by your saving and loving help to its completion which gives you Glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”