Demand for a King

Scripture Reading — 1 Samuel 8:1-22

The Lord told him: “. . . It is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.” — 1 Samuel 8:7

What kind of world did David enter into? He entered a world built by Israel’s obsession to be like the nations around them. They did not want the prophet Samuel to lead them anymore. In their eyes, it was not enough to have God as their King, leading the people through his prophet, Samuel. To be like other nations, they wanted to have a human king.

Samuel was worn-out and tired when the elders of Israel came to his place in Ramah. Maybe he knew this day was coming. His sons were not faithful to God or to the people. The elders came with a demand: “Appoint a king to lead us, such as all the nations have.” They saw other nations that were making a difference and gaining power. Those nations all had a king who could make things happen and take over weaker nations. They wanted a king they could see, touch, hear, and follow.

Israel’s demand for a king would give them King Saul. Saul had all the visible features of success (tall, dark, and handsome), but he would soon turn against God and do things his own way (1 Samuel 9-15).

This was the kind of world that David entered—a world poisoned by a people who wanted a visible, untested king rather than the wise, loving, and faithful God they could not see.

Prayer

O Spirit of God, I admit that I lean too much on what I can see right in front of me. Help me to see all of your faithfulness working in the background of my life. In Jesus, Amen.