03 July 2007

We Need a Hero

I arrived at an interesting conclusion the other day as I was discussing a sermon with my wife I had just preached. I spoke on the concept of being someone after God's own heart. The premise centers on the idea of David, who, for all his lechery and sinfulness, God still called a person after his own heart. (Which I now agree is true, by the way, but that's another sermon.)

As I followed the development of the need for a king in the book of 1 Samuel, you first find a people who are morally corrupt. Judges 21v25 says that there was no king in Israel in those days, and everyone did what was right in their own eyes.

Next we see corrupt leadership, first in the sons of Eli (ch. 2), and then in the sons of Samuel (ch. 8), whom even the people of Israel saw as crooks.

The chaos of those days are seen in the review of Israel's history in ch. 12, one of rebellion, idolatry, punishment, and deliverance. When Samuel cries out to God about his rejection by the people, the LORD reminds him that it isn't about Samuel, it's God they are rejecting.

Considering that it was the moral decline of the nation that had created the necessity for a king, and that the people’s desire for a king originated from a purely national and not from a religious motive, it is not surprising that Samuel is unwilling to comply with the demand for a king. Instead of recognizing that they themselves were responsible for the failures of the past, they blamed the form of government they had, and put all their hopes upon a king.

As I thought about this, I saw the paradigm of politics in America summed up in this idea. Living in Europe, I like to think I'm a bit more "objective" about US politics. Maybe not, but much of what I have seen since the beginning of the Reagan hegemony is that we don't want to deal with the issues. Give us a leader who can tell us what to do. Or as Israel said, "save us, then we will serve you."

That means that I can remain emotionally unattached and unchallenged by the issues that we face in our country today. Yes, family values are important, but what of the family values that allow the children of someone else's family to be malnourished, poorly educated, and turned into social pariah's that we affectionately call the "Poor."

Or family values that allow obscene amounts of money and lives to be spent on creating an economic enterprise zone in Iraq or Afghanistan?

Our moral failure has caused us to abandon ship on our country, and we seem to lack the will to face the issues. Instead, give us a leader that is tough on crime, on terrorism, _______(fill in the blank) who will guarantee our lifestyle at the level to which we are accustomed. We need this person to take charge so that we can remain in the moral and social apathy that we so deeply enjoy, so I don't have to commit to getting involved.

The thing is, we have a hero, but since he doesn't have a mask and a gun that shoots silver bullets, we don't take him seriously.

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1 comment:

  1. What bothers me is that despite six years of "compassionate conservatism" that have abundantly proved that evangelical voters traded their birthright for a bowl of political soup, so many just yawn and continue to walk lockstep with the GOP. And even the social issues that once drew us into the electorate as a distinct bloc are largely ignored by the current crop of Repub presidential candidates. The current administration, despite all the hand-wringing in liberal circles about religious fundamentalism, doesn't give a crap about the cares of evangelical voters beyond the usual election-year pandering. P.S. Oh yeah, and Bush still says we should "stay the course" in Iraq. Good thing we've got someone to do the thinking for us.