Thursday, January 14, 2016

Powerball Ponderings: Earthly Power, God's Power

So, there are 3 Powerball winners, and one of the tickets was sold in Florida.  My spouse bought tickets here in Florida, but I do understand the chances of winning are not in our favor.

I thought of all of us buying our Powerball tickets as I considered the text that my church will be using this Sunday, 1 Samuel 8:  1-20.  In this passage that we'll explore on Sunday, we see the ancient Israelites demanding a king.  God's prophet Samuel tells them what it will be like to have a king.  At first it sounds great, a veritable jobs program.  But having a king comes with a price--and a cost.  The cost might be a version of taxes:  a certain proportion of crops.  But it will also cost them their children, both literally and figuratively.  It will cost them freedom and their future.

The people ignore Samuel, and here we have yet another example--not the first and certainly not the last--of God's people choosing earthly power despite the cost.

We may think that we're immune to the lure of earthly power, but I would submit that we are not.  I write this on the day after the drawing of the largest Powerball give away ever--clearly earthly power, in the form of money, is quite seductive.  We may dream of the great good we'd do with all that money, and perhaps we would.  But frankly, it doesn't take much money to do good in the world right now.  There's nothing stopping us from living like we've already won that money--nothing but our minds.

That's the problem with earthly power--it usually comes at great cost, and before we know it, our minds are enslaved.  We can't dream the kinds of expansive dreams that God needs us to envision.

Let us take time to think about all the ways in which we are like those ancient Israelites.  How do we desire a king that's not God?  Let us think of all the visions that distract us.  How have we let ourselves be shaped by what the world tells us we should want?  What does God want for us?

What would happen if we turned away and remembered God's vision of what it means to be the people of God?

1 comment:

Palmer Kevins said...

Nice post, I do share your ideas about the lottery. I played it myself online, Icelotto review, hoping to win and my life for better. Still I had to return to the mundane reality.