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It’s amazing how quickly a classroom can turn when a teacher walks out for a moment. Paper, hats, pens, shoes, glass bottles get thrown at fans. Bags get thrown out of windows. Furniture is mysteriously re-arranged so that all students are now sitting in the back corners of the room. Two of the more interesting stories I’ve heard about were when a teacher returned to the PE change rooms to find a mentally handicapped student emerge and run around the playground completely naked, and another occasion when a particularly troublesome year eight boy lit up a cigarette, started smoking it, and then proceeded to light some of the carpet on fire. When there’s no authority in the room there’s always a possibility that all hell will break loose. There’s no one in charge so everyone does as they see fit, even if that means setting fire to the room.

Hopefully you’ll remember that phrase that is repeated about three times toward the end of judges, firstly in 17:6 – “In those days Israel had no king everyone did as he saw fit.” As a political statement it’s quite accurate – Israel had a series of leaders and prophets beginning with Moses and passing down through to the Judges. But that’s no really what this statement is all about. Israel didn’t have a king when Moses was leading them, but we don’t hear that refrain repeated throughout Leviticus or Deuteronomy.

The real question we need to answer is ‘who should their king have been?’.

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