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, (8:4-7).
This is truly one of the saddest, most appalling accounts written of the nation Israel; they rejected Him as King over them.
God instructed His prophet, Samuel, to explain exactly what they were asking to receive; not only were they rejecting Him as King, they were placing themselves in servitude to a king who would not have their best interest at heart.
Samuel held nothing back; he fully informed them of what to expect from the king they wanted. As I read of what their chosen king would surely do for himself, with little to no regard for the people, I could not get over it.
The Lord was to be their King; and after all He had done for them, His signs and wonders, His presence and commands, His power and provision, He had demonstrated time and time again His faithfulness and worth. He had established and confirmed Himself as King Unlike Any Other.
And yet their desire was fixed on the world. Did they not realize rejecting Him as King, also meant rejecting His support and help?
“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.” [8:18]
But even so, they rejected Him, King Unlike Any Other.
Consider Him, King Unlike Any Other
- Their chosen king would take their sons.
- 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,” (8:11).
- God, King Unlike Any Other would give His only begotten Son.
- “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
- Their chosen king would make appointments to benefit himself.
- “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,” (8:12).
- God, King Unlike Any Other would appoint mercy, forgiveness and His salvation for the benefit all who believe in Jesus.
- For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
- Their chosen king would take the best for himself.
- “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,” (8:13-14).
- God, King Unlike Any Other would give His best for us.
- He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32).
- Their chosen king would deplete the people’s resources.
- “He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants,” (8:15).
- God, King Unlike Any Other would fill us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Ephesians 1:3).
- Their chosen king would use the people to do his work.
- “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,” (8:16).
- God, King Unlike Any Other would do His work, in us and for us.
- Lord, You will establish peace for us,
Since You have also performed for us all our works, (Isaiah 26:12).
- For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him, (Isaiah 64:4).
- For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe, (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
- For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them, (Ephesians 2:10).
- for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure, (Philippians 2:13).
- Lord, You will establish peace for us,
How do we respond to Him, King Unlike Any Other?
It is incredulous. Upon hearing the irrefutable outcome of the rule of a human king, still they insisted.
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,” (1 Samuel 8:19-20).
But before we sit back on our high and mighty heels in judgment of these worthless, despicable and unappreciative people, we best begin with some honest self-analysis.
- Don’t we also refuse to listen to the wisdom of God’s Word and look to the ways of world?
- Don’t we also refuse to listen when we seek to somehow adapt, to fit in, and become more like the world so we don’t rock the boat?
- Don’t we also refuse to listen when we attempt to fight our battles with the world’s rules of engagement?
- Don’t we reject His support and help when we refuse to listen?
How should we respond to Him, King Unlike Any Other?
- Acknowledge our sin.
- If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:8-9).
- Determine to listen.
- “…blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it,” (Luke 11:28).
- Recognize His good gifts with gratitude.
- Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow, (James 1:16-17).
- Depend on His support and help as He works in us and for us.
- For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus, (Philippians 1:6).
- Worship Him, our King Incomparable.
- Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, (Romans 12:1).
May the Lord God transform us and grow us in our faith to depend on His Holy Spirit to know, love and serve Him, our King Incomparable.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect, (Romans 12:2).