1 Sam 8:1-22 Why Israel Demanded a King CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In 1 Sam 8:1-22, Israel demanded a king because:
They didn’t want a judge to judge them anymore – 1 Sam 8:1-3 – They did not want Samuel [1 Sam 7:15]. They did not want Samuel’s sons, either; they had become judges and were bad. They were after the money [1 Pet 5:2, 1 Tim 3:3], they took bribes to pervert judgment [Ex 23:8; Deut 16:18-19] and they therefore perverted judgment, for example with respect of persons.
They didn’t want God to reign over them – 1 Sam 8:7-8 – So the people said make us a king. But the Lord should have been their king, and eventually he will be [when Jesus returns]. Samuel didn’t like their demand so he prayed. The Lord said hearken to them, they have not rejected thee they have rejected me. They had been this way ever since they left Egypt. They fussed with God and Moses when Pharaoh came after them, when they drank the bitter water at Marah, when they had to eat manna, when Moses went atop the mountain and Aaron made the golden calves, etc. God said that they have forsaken me and served other gods; hearken but protest and show them the manner of the king.
They wanted a king like all the other nations – 1 Sam 8:5, 19-20 – They refused to obey Samuel; they wanted to be like all the nations. This is the same problem that is plaguing the church today; they want to be like the world [compare 2 Ki 16:1-11]. They wanted a king “to judge us and to fight our battles.” That’s what the Lord had already done for them many times before [Ex 14, Jos 10, etc].
And they did this in spite of what God said would happen – 1 Sam 8:9-18 – a conscription, confiscation, and taxation and eventually dispossession by God. The king will take your sons for his appointments. He’ll take chariots and horsemen and men to run before the chariots. He will appoint captains. Your sons will ear and reap his ground. They’s make his instruments of war. He’ll take your daughters for confectionaries, cooks and bakers. He’ll take your fields, vineyards, and oliveryards and give them to his servants. He’ll take a tenth of your seed and vineyards and sheep to give to officers and servants. You will be his servants. You’ll cry out and the Lord won’t hear you. They stopped observing the seventh-year Sabbath as a result of these hardships. And after 70 of them had been missed, the Lord sent Nebuchadnezzar into Judah to let the land rest for 70 years.
They ended up doing what God prophesied they would do – 1 Sam 8:21-22 [Deut 17:14-20]. They ended up taking a king and rejecting the Lord.
Conclusion: when you don’t let God reign over you, you end up just like Israel did, in bondage to men and on the outs with God.