Pilgrimage: Sheep, Mud, and Non-Toxic Masculinity
Texts: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; John 9:1-7
Speaker: Joel Miller
When the prophet Samuel goes to Bethlehem, he has one purpose – to anoint a new king of Israel. It was a risk. Israel already had a king – Saul – the first king of this tribal confederation - anointed by none other than Samuel himself. But Saul had fallen out of favor with the Lord and with Samuel. So it was time to anoint a new king.
The institution of kingship was already something of a divine compromise, according to the book of 1 Samuel. Up to that point the people had been led by regional chieftains or judges. People like Gideon and Deborah and Samson - and Samuel. Toward the end of Samuel’s life the people started asking for a king, a centralized leader to govern them and fight their battles. Samuel reports this to the Lord, and the Lord, through Samuel, issues a warning. If they do indeed get a king, the king will enlist their sons in his military, he will take their daughters into his court, he will claim the best fields and vineyards and orchards for...