Last Sunday, I spoke about the story of Israel requesting the replacement of Samuel and his two wayward sons with a king (1 Samuel 8). First, let me explain that when it comes to stories of Israel, one only needs to take out the name "Israel" and insert "their name." In other words, Pastor Bill needs to insert his name in place of Israel, or you the reader can insert your name in place of Israel. Why, because like Israel, we are the people of God, and we tend to own the same mistakes and misconcemptions as Israel. So with that said, I think the whole point of the story is that all too often, we prefer to do things our way, rather than seek God's guidance and do things God's way.... or Yahweh! You see, Sameul was a judge, the last judge of Israel. It was the judges job to ensure that the people were following God, becuase they had learned on Mount Sinai that ultimately God was in charge of their lives. God was their leader. This is a Theocracy. But as humanity would have it. Israel no longer wanted to be led by God, they wanted to take matters into their own hands and be led by a human. They wanted a monarchy... While we live in a democratic society, I have to wonder if we actually live in a multi-monarchy? What do I mean? I think we often set God aside, make our own plans and then ask God to bless those plans. It's when we find ourselves in a mess that we ask God to pull us out. I also think that we tend to hide under the guise of expecting a well... well, well planned plan... only to leave God out of the equation. This gives us a false sense of strength and courage. Speaking on strength... I mentioned something about being strong. The following is a quote from Theologian Adam Neder. I stumbled on this on the website, MinistryMatters. Here's what he has to say abut STONG... "For most of us life is hard and we wish it weren't so hard, and so we want to be stronger. That makes a certain amount of sense. But I'm beginning to see that for most people the wish to be stronger is really just the wish that life weren't so hard.... We say we want to be stronger, but what we really mean is that we want to be less desperately in need of God.... God doesn't usually do what we want him to do. ...And if we were stronger, it seems like that might not matter as much." So, Neder says that "Christian faith is needing God.... it is not to rely on your own strength, it is to rely on God's strength... on Jesus Christ." So what does this mean to me? Like Samuel – I need to thinks not with my head but with my soul… to be led by the Holy Spirit… I need to be like Jesus who didn't take matter into his own hands, rather He used his hands for God’s matters! What about you? Do you desire theocracy or monarchy? Once you make that decision... how will you respond?