All Hail, King Saul!

Many are confused when Israel is rebuked by Samuel, not to mention the Lord. after asking for a king (1 Samuel 8:7). After all, wasn’t a king predicted by Jacob, who prophesied that the scepter would not depart from Judah (Genesis 49:10),

and didn’t the Lord Himself outline what a king should do (Deuteronomy 17:15ff) and give Israel permission to have one?

As usual, the clue is in the context. The Lord had wrought a great victory against the Philistines (1 Samuel 7), which was only the latest in a series of divine interventions in the Promised Land, beginning with Jericho (Joshua 6). God’s displeasure did not have to do with the idea of a king, but the reason Israel wanted one, namely, “a king like the nations,” (1 Samuel 8:5). Israel desires a king to fight their battles, which implies a lack of faith in the One who already was their King and Commander of the Lord’s army (Joshua 5:13-15).

Of note is that in spite of it all, the Lord permits it. Sometimes the Lord allows our choices in order to teach and even discipline us.

Let’ learn from Israel, so we don’t repeat her mistakes! 1 Corinthians 10:6

“They have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.”
1 Samuel 8:7

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