Israel wants a king! God has told Samuel He will honor their request but Samuel is to warn them as to what a king will demand from them. “A king will…”
“Everyone else is doing it; why can’t I!” This has been said by EVERY child at some point in their life. And I would hazard a guess that at least once the reply has been “because I’m not ____’s mother.” Well, Israel has seen what the nations around them have and wants to be more like them. They have already adopted their gods in a “on again, off again” fashion. Now they want their style of ruler ship. Judges aren’t doing it for them anymore.
Honestly, I can’t say I wouldn’t be concerned with having judges as the only leadership. There has been a LOT of variation in the ones that have served so far and the two major ones that are ‘warming up in the bullpen’ are corrupt. Samuel’s sons offer no sense of hope to the people.
But a king isn’t going to solve all Israel’s problems. God makes sure the people know this. A king will…
- Take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots
Pro: Provide jobs for strong young men
Con: His wants and needs come first, even that of appearing important
- Appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties
Pro: Create an army and appoint leaders loyal to him
Con: Can demand service in his army regardless of individual’s desire; draft or conscription
- Appoint men to plow his fields and reap his harvest
Pro: Provide agricultural jobs
Con: Will take the best for his own fields. Will use labor as a means of servitude for debt repayment
- Appoint men to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots
Pro: Appoint and train smiths
Con: Production quotas; range of products narrowed to meet his needs, usually that of war
- Take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks and bakers
Pro: Provide job opportunities for women
Con: Take the best for his own needs; remove women from traditional work; remove the choice of future open to these women
- Take the best of your fields, vineyards and orchards
Pro: Provide a guaranteed market for the best fields, vineyards and orchards
Con: Take ownership, direction, and profits for himself; use produce for HIS needs, not the needs of the ones doing the work
- Take a tenth of your produce
Pro: Collect an equal portion from all to finance the government
Con: Takes his portion first regardless of the yield; takes the BEST of your produce
- Take your servants; male and female
Pro: Provides jobs for those captured in battle
Con: Leaves no help or inferior help for your needs
- Take the best of your men and animals for his purposes
Pro: Provide employment for the most skilled workers and best animals
Con: Leaves you with less skilled workers; leaves you with inferior animals for your own needs
- Take a tenth of your flocks
Pro: Collect an equal portion from all
Con: Takes the best for himself regardless of your yield
- Make you serve him and his needs
Pro: Ensures you have a job
Con: You have no say in how you are treated or where you will serve
The bottom line is HIS wants and needs come FIRST. He will bring everyone under the same governmental rule but you are subject to his whims and desires. Your destitute now belong to him and he decides what is ‘fair’ for them. He will provide a safety for his kingdom but it will be your hands that do the work to ensure that safety. You will have no choice but to serve him. Even your voice will be limited or removed. To disagree with him could result in death. He holds the power!
IF your king is a good king there would be few ‘Con’s’ but if your king is arrogant and self-serving even the ‘Pro’s’ disappear. God is warning Israel as to what THE king they are asking for is going to do. The fires first one that they are asking for.
God intended for Israel to have Him as their king. This was His original plan but He knew they would eventually call out for a human king. He also knows that a human king is corruptible. Even the best king WILL make mistakes, will become focused on his own wants and needs, and will abuse his position. “Let them eat cake.” Mari Antoinette. And He will not answer them in the days they are complaining about the king who takes this ‘cake’ attitude.
God is NOT that kind of king. He knows each of those who call Him Lord by name. He even knows the number of hairs on your head. His plans for you are to prosper you and give you a sure hope. He gives good gifts to all who serve Him. He is a Father to you instead of an abstract leader. There is NOTHING He wouldn’t do to keep you safe.
Father God, I PRAY for the leadership around the world! I pray that You put Your hands on them and turn them to your will. I honestly know this prayer is not going to be answered right away because of the times You have told us about that is coming. Yet I can’t help but ask for Your will to be done in my own country as we move towards new election results. I am afraid of the outcry that I’m sure will be raised, no matter what the result of the election. There is SO MUCH division in the land! So MUCH anger and hurt! I pray for healing. If this isn’t the end times Lord; HELP US! Because I don’t want to even think about how much worse things will get. And if I’m honest with myself, things COULD be worse!
Hold those who have chosen You as King in their lives safely in the palm of Your hands! That is the ONLY place of surety. No matter what THIS life has to offer, I hold fast to Your promises of safety beyond it in Your arms. But I will keep working within this one to bring as many ‘friends’ along as I can.
Will you take my hand and join me in allegiance to the True King?