You will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”
Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us…” 1 Samuel 8:18-19
The Israelites wanted a king to rule them. A king brought the prospect of an organized army and respect among other nations. A king would make them just like everyone else. They wanted a king. They wanted to be like everyone else.
But the Israelites were not like everyone else. They were chosen by God to bring Him glory and to be ruled by Him alone, not by a king. Moses declares in Deuteronomy 7:6,
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.”
To be a special treasure to all the peoples on the face of the earth! That is what the Israelites were meant to be. After years under the rule of the Judges, the Israelite people were ready to cast off their “special” status and have a king just like everyone else.
Samuel, the last judge, who was also a priest and prophet of God surely felt sadness and anger at this request. His own sons were the reason. Their swindling ways were incapable to lead the people effectively and thus presented the need for better leadership. The fateful words, “We want a king” must have sounded much like, “We want poison” to Samuel, who had heard the voice of the Lord leading Him since a young age.
God could have said, “No.” He didn’t. He heeded their request and gave them the king they so desired. But not without warning,
And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men,[a] and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. 18 And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”
The Lord gave them what they wanted, but in the end, this led to their alienation from Him, Yahweh, the One True God.
Listen. You do not want what God doesn’t want for you. Even if you think want it! You may want that girl or that guy or that new job or that nice car or anything to rule over you.
You don’t want what God doesn’t want for you.
Peter rephrases Moses’ words in Deuteronomy when he writes, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9
Peter is speaking to you, and me. We are now God’s special people ruled by Him and Him alone. Don’t ask for a king, or anything to rule over you. Give it up and turn to Him.
Find your purpose in Him, the KING of Kings.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True…And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11,16