1 And it came about when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons judges over Israel. 2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah ; they were judging in Beersheba. 3 His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice. 4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah ; 5 and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7 The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. 8 “Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day -in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods -so they are doing to you also. 9 “Now then, listen to their voice ; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.”
10 So Samuel spoke all the words of the LORD to the people who had asked of him a king. 11 He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. 12 “He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 “He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 “He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. 15 “He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. 16 “He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17 “He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. 18 “Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.” 19 Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the LORD’S hearing. 22 The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.” (1 Samuel 8:1-22 NASB)
The people of Israel want to be like all the other nations around them. Instead of waiting for God to raise up a just judge, such as Samuel, they want a king. They want someone to be their judge and fight their battles and they want to be like all of the nations around them.
Do you think God wants for them to be like everyone else around them?
Wasn’t God supposed to be their king?
Why do you think that God tells Samuel to give them what they want?
There are lots of things God gives people when they insist on having them. Sometimes the only way to learn that what you want isn’t always the best thing for you to have you need to experience it for yourself. Israel will get what they want, and then they will be forced to serve these kings they have asked for, and it will go badly for them. Especially when those kings don’t act righteously, which, most of them won’t.
Giving Israel a human king to rule over them is not God’s first plan.
The last several hundred years of our history here on earth has consisted of people finally getting rid of kings that ruled over them whom they were forced to serve. It has consisted of more nations having governments that give them a say in what happens to them, and where the people are in charge of themselves. Israel had that in the beginning, but they didn’t want it. They gave it away so they could be like all the other nations around them, and not have to think for themselves about what was right and wrong.
But God can work with this change of plan, even if it’s not what he wanted. For through these human kings, he will lead them, after a long, long time, to the true king, to God being their king once more.