... all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.”As the Israelites looked around at the other nations they notice that many of them had Kings leading them. They decided that the problem with their own country was that there was no king, so they ask their aging leader Samuel to give them a King. Samuel was upset and hurt by the request. He prays to the Lord for guidance and the Lord comforts him by pointing out that they are rejecting him, the Lord, not Samuel.
Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance. “Do everything they say to you,” the Lord replied, “for it is me they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.”
I think God and Samuel are really hurt and disappointed. They are disappointed with the motives that are behind this request. It is a rejection of God's leadership of Israel. The people of Israel seem to keep missing the mark in understanding what God wants for Israel. God doesn't want them to be just like the other countries. He wants them to be set apart and special. He wants them to follow his ways not their ways. They keep turning away and looking for other ways that will make their nation great and their lives easier. They are warned that a human King has a downside. We will soon see that God honors their request for a King and ultimately the King of Kings will come from the royal line started here. God, at his very core, desires to lead his people and for them to follow.
All creatures of Our God and King ...