But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day — with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods — so they are doing to you also. Now, therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.” (1 Samuel 8:6-9)
They Have Rejected Me
The Garden of Eden provided everything Adam and Eve needed or required. Food was abundant, the animals were in a common peace with man, there was nothing to be ashamed of and God walked in the garden in the cool of the day to commune with His creation. Moses noted at the end of the description of Eden that Adam and Eve were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. There was nothing to mar the paradise of God’s presence. The Lord created man and woman to dwell with Him and as their Maker would give them everything they would want or need. But Adam and Eve were not satisfied. Hearkening to the voice of the tempter, they threw away the protection and communion of God for a taste of the fruit.
It would seem unworthy that everything given by the abundant hand of God would be traded to taste the forbidden fruit. What did Adam and Eve gain? They felt a rush of independence for a brief moment and that was replaced with fear. The taste of the fruit was an incredible delight in that split second of time but then it bore its bitter aftermath. Now, hearing the sound of God walking in the garden, they did something they had never done before: they hid from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. They were naked and afraid before the glory of God. Their decision to reject the word of God brought consequences. Cast from the garden, Adam and Eve would find how much they needed the presence of the Lord.
When Israel came to Samuel demanding a king, it was the same cycle of what happened in the Garden of Eden. As a nation of God’s people, they were given land by the will of the Lord. The Promised Land was a land promised and delivered through the power of God. Jericho was defeated by the hand of the Lord. Canaan was conquered through the leadership of Joshua and the providential influence of God. It was a land flowing with milk and honey because God prepared the land for His people. Like in Eden, everything Israel needed was provided by the hand of the Lord. They were protected by His might, blessed with crops, flocks, and an abundance of children through the promises of God established in the Law of Moses. Israel lacked nothing. But they turned their back on their Provider and sought for a man to lead them.
Samuel was heartbroken over the desire of the people to want a king to lead them. God understood the pattern that was taking place once again as the heart of the people longed for the tempting fruit of freedom. He granted them their request and they gained their freedom but for a short time. The first king Saul quickly became a despot and was rejected by God. David and Solomon brought the nation to great glory but soon after the death of Solomon the nation fell into civil war, apostasy and idolatry. Three hundred and fifty years after the death of Solomon, the Babylonian army destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. What price did Israel pay for rejecting God for a king to walk among them? It destroyed them.
Every nation that turns away from God turns its path to destruction. It is an age-old proverb that man will never learn from history. When men seek a bite of the fruit for a moment’s reckless folly, they never find what they want. Turning away from God is the greatest mistake any man will make. The only source of protection, care, blessing, and happiness is found in the fellowship with the Lord God. Any other attempt will fail. Israel thought they would be happy with Saul as their king. History bears out how wrong they were. God has given His only begotten Son to bring every spiritual blessing to the world. The decision of which king you choose will determine your happiness here and more importantly, your happiness in eternity. NO God in this world is NO God in the next world. Living WITH God in this world will allow you to live WITH God in the next world. You decide. Who is your king?