A reading for Tuesday, October 18, 2016: 1 Samuel 8:1-22.

The Lord does not cause sin or evil, the Lord is God of life and light. Blessings or peace and abundance come from the Lord our God...

That being said, it seems God will also allow us the freedom to ignore God's blessings and to be disobedient. Look at the story in today's lesson of Israel demanding a king. In spite of Samuel's strong warnings to the contrary, the people insist that they want a king. "The Lord said to Samuel, 'Listen to their voice and set a king over them.” The people then must live the consequences of their own actions.

Holding justice and mercy in tension is often the hardest thing for us to do as God's people. Demonstrating too much mercy fails to uphold what is right, while erring on the side of too much justice can sometimes be cruel and harsh breaking one's spirit.

The example we might follow is the Lord and Samuel. People we know make choices and must live by the consequences of those choices. We are not always responsible for the bad choices others make. We are held accountable for speaking the truth and even warning others about disobedience and justice. In the end it is the Lord who holds ultimate justice and mercy.


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