Israel Wants a King
Israel had had trouble for several decades with the Judges that were appointed to guide them. Eli was unwilling to truly do God's Word and his sons worshipped other Gods. Samuel was sharp but his sons lacked the spiritual perception to talk for God. Israel had lapsed into a state of unbelief again.
I Samuel 8
:1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old,
that he made his sons judges over Israel.
:2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel;
and the name of his second, Abiah:
they were judges in Beersheba.
:3 And his sons walked not in his ways,
but turned aside after lucre,
and took bribes,
and perverted judgment.
Samuel's sons did not walk with God. It was just a business without the heart to care and deliver God's people.
:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together,
and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
:5 And said unto him,
Behold, thou art old,
and thy sons walk not in thy ways:
now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
God had always provided deliverance for Israel without a king. But the people saw the nations around them and that their kings fought for them so they wanted one. They had stopped believing God again. They wanted to be numbered among the nations, they didn't believe that God's way was best, that God was the one who worked through the judges (especially when the judges didn't listen to God). They no longer believed that God fought their battles for them.
:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said,
Give us a king to judge us. [Remember, the sons were taking bribes.]
And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel,
Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee:
for they have not rejected thee,
but they have rejected me,
that I should not reign over them.
:8 According to all the works which they have done
since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt
even unto this day,
wherewith they have forsaken me,
and served other gods,
so do they also unto thee.
:9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice:
howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them,
and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
They had rejected God; just like they did to Moses in the wilderness. They would see God work, believe God for a little while, and then fall into unbelief. They wanted to have a king like the unbelievers around them. This was as far as they could go in their believing, so God told Samuel to make it so.
:10 And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people
that asked of him a king.
:11 And he said,
This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you:
He will take your sons,
and appoint them for himself,
for his chariots,
and to be his horsemen;
and some shall run before his chariots.
:12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands,
and captains over fifties;
and will set them to ear his ground,
and to reap his harvest,
and to make his instruments of war,
and instruments of his chariots.
:13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries,
and to be cooks,
and to be bakers.
:14 And he will take your fields,
and your vineyards,
and your oliveyards, even the best of them,
and give them to his servants.
:15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, [Joseph asked 20% of the Egyptians.]
and of your vineyards,
and give to his officers,
and to his servants.
:16 And he will take your menservants,
and your maidservants,
and your goodliest young men,
and your asses,
and put them to his work.
:17 He will take the tenth of your sheep:
and ye shall be his servants.
It's a bureaucracy!
:18 And ye shall cry out in that day
because of your king which ye shall have chosen you;
and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel;
and they said,
Nay; but we will have a king over us;
And the king put them to work to do government work. From that day forward they always had kings over them.
- Ottoman Empire of the Turks
They decided to trust in a man rather than God almighty, the creator of the heavens and of the earth. They had forgotten that whenever God fought for them they never lost. We must not forget that truth.
God couldn't go any further than what they would believe. They wanted a king to fight and believe for them. It is of works - just going through the motions without heart, trusting in objects and symbols, and not needing to believe God. They wanted to trust in men and traditions of men because they saw other nations doing so. Our walk is a spiritual walk. A walk whereby we can know that God is always with us, ever present. We do not need anyone but Jesus Christ to be the intercessor for us. The Israelites forgot about God because they let the circumstances around them (the devil) steal the Word from their minds.
:10 The thief cometh not,
but for to steal,
and to kill,
and to destroy:
I am come that they might have life, [Heb. zoa - life in every aspect]
and that they might have it more abundantly.
We must guard the Word in our hearts. God sent Jesus Christ so that we may have life; physically and spiritually, more abundantly . Not just needs met but truly filled to overflowing with life and abundance; so that we have to give. Believe the Word and the promises that He has given us. We can take Him at His Word in every facet of our lives. Trust in Him; He is trustworthy. When we get to the point that we go to God first with everything then we will see His promises come to pass.