Summary: Israel insisted on a king to protect them. So does AMerica! Both ignored God’s warnings!
1 SAM 8:1 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.” 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, 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 to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9 Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”
So Israel wanted a king. You might remember that up until this time, Israel had been ruled by judges....well, maybe ruled is too harsh a word. God had set in this system in order in Deut 16:18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. 19 Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.
Sounds like really good advice for a nation, huh? Judges who have integrity....hummmm. Imagine that! Anyway, Israel looked around one day and said "everyone else has a king.....we want one too!" They already had the King of Kings on their side! But, God loves His children and He wants us to get our heart’s desires....He just wants us to have the right desires!
Oh, He tried to warn them what would happen.....even reminded them of all the great things He had done for them throughout the Exodus. Told Samuel to tell them exactly what was going to happen if they got their wish. How’d they respond after Samuel told them all that would happen?
SAM 8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
They either didn’t believe God...or they just blatantly disregarded His warnings. A little of both, I think. Sometimes God gives us what we want, what we think we earnestly need, even though He tries to send the warning signs to us first. We usually want what we want so badly that we simply disregard the warnings God has given us....and then we have to go through another "learning experience" because of our disregard of God and His Word. Haven’t you had enough of these? I have! The sooner we learn, the sooner we can get past that lesson and move to another one as we learn to be citizens of His Kingdom!