In 1 Samuel 8 there is the story of the Israelites wanting a king – like the other nations – instead of God. It sounds shocking in our ears, especially after Samuel warns them of what human kings do to their subjects. That is just one example of the difficulty humans have of understanding God’s ways. As a matter of fact, throughout the biblical history, there are many ways in which God’s manifestation is seen, yet there is not one standard formula.
Years later when Jesus preached the coming of the Kingdom of God, at a time when the people were expecting deliverance, the confusion did not get better. Did it mean that there would be an agent or would God reign in person. The different understandings about the Messiah, or God’s anointed, has thus devided Jews and Christians.
Nevertheless, in contemporary society, how is God manifested? Think for a moment about the world’s theocracies! Where is God’s reign in today’s world?