Give us a King, like Others
1 Samuel 8:5 “And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
A little background: God had chosen Israel to be His people. A nation ruled and guided by Him and His law.
He was to be their King. He gave them the Tabernacle and the Priesthood, so they could come before Him and remove sins by sacrifice (all pointing to Christ), to get direction, and to joy before Him because of His many blessings.(in the peace offering, the family feasted with the priests, before the Tabernacle, after offering the sacrifice for thanksgiving.)
Some of Israel did. Others refused, choosing rather to follow the idols of the nations round about.
Then God chastened them, and when they repented or cried out to Him, He sent Judges to lead them back into the way. Giving victory over the enemies which had come up against them.
Samuel was the last great judge, appointed by God. He was loved and followed, leading the people for years. But…
1 Samuel 8:1, 3 “And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgement.”
This gave Israel the excuse it wanted to ask for a king. But the thing displeased Samuel, so he asked the Lord what to do.
1 Samuel 8:7 “And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.”
The Lord told him to do what they ask, but warn them of all that this king will do, and take from them.
So he did: your sons will become soldiers, and servants to keep his ground. Your daughters will be cooks and bakers. Your fields, your vineyards and olive yards will the king give to his servants.
He will take a tenth of your crops, sheep, cattle, etc.
But they refused to be moved. They would have a king, like the other nations.
1 Samuel 8:19-20 “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
That we may also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.”
So God gave them what they asked for: He gave them Saul. A man head and shoulders taller than all. (1 Samuel 10:23-24).
Saul’s reign was filled with all that Samuel said.
At first Saul was humbled by the task, but then became vain and greedy for the honor and applause. So in the end, his reign was full of jealousy and disobedience.
(And the kings after him-some good, following the Lord; others terrible, leading the people into gross sins)
So God told them:
Hosea 13:11 “I gave thee a king in Mine anger, and took him away in My wrath.”
When God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to earth: He presented Himself as their King, to Israel, for three years.
(Mark 1:14-15) “The kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Even up to the last week: (Luke 19:37-38) “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”
Would they receive their true King? Sadly, no.
John 19:15 “But they cried out, Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”
What about us? Jesus Christ is Lord of Lord and King of Kings: but is He our King?
Jesus says we should pray:
Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
The Apostle Paul wrote, about his experience:
1 Timothy 1:15-17 “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern which to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.
Now unto the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
He is the King. That is fact. But He is only King in our personal experience, if we have made Him so.
Does He rule and reign in your life? Do you come to Him not just for help, but for guidance? Does He fill the void in your heart; or is there something (or someone) else that satisfies, and rules there?
Christ Jesus, today, is still presenting Himself as King. And calling all who will come, to repent of the other “kings” in your life, and follow Him.
The throne we establish in our hearts for Him is one of love, built on the foundation of faith, given us by the Holy Spirit within.
Will we not only proclaim Him as King, but make Him so?