I got the text around 3:45 Saturday night---we would need someone to teach the Sunday school lesson in the morning. The passage was 1 Samuel 8. I am the great Filler-Inner when we have last minute cancellations--and this is about a once-in-a-year opportunity.
The scripture passage is about how the Israelites came to Samuel and rejected Samuel's sons' leadership (they didn't walk in his ways). The Jews were afraid. This is just after the ark had been sent back by the Philistines. They told Samuel that they wanted a king to judge us, go out before us, and fight our battles.
In Sunday school, we usually dissect all the parts of the lesson to see how they can apply to us and how we can relate. Overall, the Israelites were experiencing a trust issue with God.
But after going through the verses, it dawned on me that perhaps this Sunday school lesson wasn't about us at all. What if it is about OTHER people groups who are afraid, who are fearing attack, who have little hope?
There is a limited time (1-1/2 years) opportunity that the hearts of these displaced refugees are open to the gospel, says Celia Deneen. After that, they become hardened. What can we do to light the way for those hurting--even if they don't share the same religious, cultural, or political background as us? What can we do here at home? These people need to know that God can go before them and fight their battles. If not me, than who?
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