“But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, ‘No! But we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.’” (1 Samuel 8:19-20)
The victory of the Philistines over the Isrealite army was a big blow to the nation. The same Ark of God with which Joshua marched round the city of Jericho and all the walls fell like a pack of cards was brought into battleground yet the enemies prevailed even going as far as capturing the Ark itself. It was a disgrace. In reaction to this, the elders of the people came to Samuel requesting for a King to reign over them who would lead them to battle like other nations. Beneath their prayer for a king was a rejection of God and a serious inferiority complex. God was not happy with this prayer, but He granted it still. As Fr. George Ehusani would say: “The cure of bad religion is not no-religion but good religion.” The Isrealites were asking for no religion rather than the cleansing of corruption within religion.
For instance, with all the atrocities going on in the name of Christianity in Nigeria today, many have begun to advocate directly and indirectly for a scraping of the faith. Some are even blaming the country’s problems on religion itself comparing it with other developed nations that are not as religious as we are. In our Gospel passage, Jesus was pleased with the four men who brought their friend to Him. The action of these men shows how we must care for our friends. Carry your friends to God in prayer; don’t be selfish with your prayer.
By opening the roof, they showed Jesus that they had full confidence in his power to heal the paralytic. Jesus saw their faith. As soon as Jesus saw the paralytic, He said: “My son, your sins are forgiven. This shows that when we pray, the first thing we should do is to examine our conscience and plead for the forgiveness of sins. Physical healing is always a consequence of spiritual healing; healing from within. Sin is a wound that must be treated first so as to allow physical healing take place.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, may my prayers be pleasing to you always. Amen. Bible Study: 1 Samuel 8:4-22, Psalm 89 and Mark 2:1-12).