The truth hurts! Per God’s command, Samuel went to the people and told them what to expect if they were to live under the rule of a king. If I were the people of Israel, and heard what it would cost to have a king, I would have gone home and been grateful for the freedom that I currently enjoyed. Not Israel. When describing the prospects of having a king, one word literally jumped out–TAKE. Israel had been under the leadership of a loving God. He gave them provision, He gave them protection, He gave them direction and He gave them prominence among the nations. What Israel missed was the point that God gave Israel all that they enjoyed.
As Samuel described the rule of a king, he told the people the king would TAKE–their children, their husbands, their lands, their crops, their stuff and mostly their freedom. It was what God led them from Egypt to regain. It was what He trained an entire generation to live under. Their freedom was regained by God clearing out the nation of enemies and presenting them with homes, lands, livestock and security. Now, they wanted to be like everyone else–in bondage to a leader. They thought it would be fun to worship their leader, rather than their God.
Not a great deal has changed. We are given a promise of liberty from sin and death–if we will simply follow God. If we will submit to His leadership, He will give us back our freedom. But, it seems so much cooler to chase the things of this world–money, love, power, stuff, prominence and success. As we chase these cool kings, they take. They take our focus, our resources, our love, our families and mostly–our freedom. As it has always been the case, the worst of our generation becomes the start of the generation to follow. Before we realize we have been enslaved, our children are celebrating the lack of responsibility freedom takes. They think it is cool not to have to conform to a standard–not knowing it simply draws them deeper into sin and into slavery. Israel simply did not realize it was selling its freedom for the hope of gaining something they had all along a great leader. We need to understand that we are doing the same thing!
God Bless You
So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots.12 And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men[a] and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
The Lord Grants Israel’s Request
19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be 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.” 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”