But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.
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.
Sunday last I posted this scripture along with the admonition to study the Word.--I Samuel 8:5-7
From the time of Israel's release from bondage in Egypt and their subsequent occupation of the Promised Land up to the time of this account the people, unlike the nations around them, had existed without a king over them. They had relied on a series of judges, men and women of God, prophets to communicate with God and with the people to maintain leadership and justice in the land.
Samuel's predecessor, Eli, was Israel's thirteenth judge and dispensed justice until the day a messenger brought the news that the military had suffered a serious defeat at the hands of the Philistines and the Philistines had taken The Ark of the Covenant. Eli, at age ninety-eight and extremely corpulent heard this horrifying news, fell from his seat, broke his neck and died.
Now Samuel, Eli's protege, assumed the role of Israel's leader. He has served in his capacity as judge for forty years and is now himself an elderly man. He places his sons, Abiah and Joel, in positions of judgeship. But they are faithless and open their palms, ruling not justly but corruptly. The people start their plaint, "Give us a king that we might be even as other nations."
Samuel, distraught, lays this case before the Lord. God now tells Samuel that the people are not rebelling against Samuel but against God Himself. Further he says, Let them have what they want and here is what they will get. For the detailed account of the Lord's word, read verses 11-18 of this chapter.
God's guidelines for living are clear and adequate. Is it possible that we sometimes, like the Israelites of old, pester Him for something until He gives us what we want to our detriment?