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Things were not going well for Samuel. He had grown old and the weight of leading the nation of Israel was growing heavy. His load was only increased when his plan to appoint his sons to help in the process backfired. They ignored God and sought their own selfish desire. As Samuel was trying to sort out his own house, the people of Israel came to him demanding a king. The Elders of Israel told Samuel, "You are old and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." It was obvious that these were not the best of times and so folks wanted some safety and security like all the nations around them.

In high school I prepared and delivered a speech in competitions (nerdy I know) about the deterioration of heroes  in the United States. It seemed to me then and even more so now that people were preoccupied with the negative qualities in everyone, but especially anyone that was admired. I lamented the fact that heroes were few and far between. The last few times I've walked into the voters booth I've felt the same way. I've wondered how do I vote my values when no one seems to reflect those values. Should I narrow my vote to one particular issue of agreement or contention? For every check mark in one candidate's "for" column there was a mark in their "against" as well. I gritted my teeth, searched my conscience and voted, I believe like most other citizens, for who I believed to be the lesser of two evils...

Samuel warned the people or at least he tried. He ran down a laundry list of things that  king would demand from them but still they persisted. Samuel returned to God in prayer. He was distraught that he was unable to convince the Elders of Israel to look away from the security a king might provide to hope the King does provide. "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. Listen to them and give them a king." And so God directed Samuel to a leader everyone could look up to, literally. Samuel anointed Saul as King of Israel.

Today the stickers have been thrown away. I have no idea whether or not your candidate gave a victory speech or comments of concession last night. I do know that if you look to any earthly empire, no matter how great, no matter how fair, no matter how free you'll be left wanting. Empires, governments. elected officials disappoint. I would encourage you today look past the kings and kingdoms of this world and look to the one true King. Look to the creator of the universe, the sustainer of all that is good, and the redeemer of everyone who calls on His name. Don't be fooled into thinking that an election or government can rescue you or anyone around you. Choose to get to know and to serve Jesus. Choose to love others well. Choose to make a difference for eternity. One of my friends said, "Now that you have voted; act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God." That's a platform worth supporting!

"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

                                                                                                                                                                 - Micah 6:8

- Lance