Summary: The problems that Israel faced when they stepped outside of God’s will and demanded a king immediately.
A Study of the Life of Samuel
Sermon # 6
”Give Us a King!”
Many People are painfully aware that things would be far better in their lives if they had made wiser decisions. It is especially frustrating to realize what they are going through now is the result of one poor decision in our lives. Tonight is such a time in the life of Israel. Probably some twenty to twenty-five years have gone by between the events recorded in chapter seven and those recorded in chapter eight.
1. When Excuses Are All You Have.
“Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel. (2) The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. (3) But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. (4)Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, (5) and said to him, "Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations."
The elders presented their request to Samuel and backed it up with several arguments or excuses. Anytime we want to justify a course of action we wish to take we come up with a list of what we think are logical arguments which are often really nothing but excuses to do things the way we want to do them.
“A radio news series about honesty in America talked about excuses. The commentator said that people use three types of excuses when guilty of wrongdoing.
• The first is outright denial—a rejection of any involvement. Sometimes this is done even though the person is obviously guilty.
• The second is the “It’s not my fault” excuse. The person looks around for someone he can blame. (Often it is a loved one - a husband or wife or parent. Sometimes it’s the boss.)
• A third form of excuse is the “I did it, but “ approach. In this instance the person blames circumstances for his shortcoming. Either he’s been struggling with some illness or the assignment wasn’t clear or the car’s been giving him trouble.(http://www.bible.org/illus/ excuses. Source unknown)
The following illustration of excuses is one of the best I have every heard; “The commanding officer was furious when nine GIs who had been out on passes failed to show up for morning roll call. Not until 7 p.m. did the first man straggle in. “I’m sorry, sir,” the soldier explained, “but I had a date and lost track of time, and I missed the bus back. Being determined to get in on time, I hired a cab. Halfway here, the cab broke down. I went to a farmhouse and persuaded the farmer to sell me a horse. I was riding to camp when the animal fell over dead. I walked the last ten miles, and just got here.”
Though skeptical, the colonel let the young man off with a reprimand. However, after him, seven other stragglers in a row came in with the same story—had a date, missed the bus, hired a cab, bought a horse, etc. By the time the ninth man reported in, the colonel had grown weary of it. “Okay,” he growled, “now what happened to you?”
“Sir, I had this date and missed the bus back, so I hired a cab .”
“Wait!” the colonel screeched at him. “don’t tell me the cab broke down.” “No, sir,” replied the soldier. “The cab didn’t break down. It was just that there were so many dead horses in the road, we had trouble getting through.” [Contributed by John F. King
Now let’s examine the excuses that the elders offered for wanting a king. First, they tell Samuel that he is too old to lead them, in verse five they say “look you are old.” Obviously they had never read the book, “How to win friends and Influence People.” At this point Samuel is probably 65 to 70 years of age. (Which is by the way a lot younger than it use to be.) They seem to be suggesting that Samuel is “as good as dead” and that his leadership is over. The second reason that the elders give for wanting a king is “your sons do not walk in your ways” in other words your sons are not fit to lead. Ouch that must have hurt. This must have been true for it is never denied. But it seems to be more of a convenient pretext than the elder’s real motives to over throw the theocratic system in favor of a human king.
2. When We Try To Be Like The World