Summary 1 Samuel 8:
Samuel grew old and his sons, Joel and Abijah, did not walk in the ways of the Lord. Thus, the elders of Israel asked for a king. Samuel consulted God who said the Israelites were rejecting Him as king. God told the people what a king would do to them: take sons and make them serve in the army and go out and fight battles and die, to plow his ground, to reap his harvest, to make weapons and chariots, take daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers, take their fields and give them to his attendants, take a tenth of their grain and the best of their cattle, donkeys, and flocks, and they themselves will become slaves.
The people did not listen to these warnings. They wanted a king so God relented.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 5: 1 Samuel 8:
12) The Israelites wanted a king because all the nations had a king. The cost of a king would be: take sons and make them serve in the army and go out and fight battles and die, to plow his ground, to reap his harvest, to make weapons and chariots, take daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers, take their fields and give them to his attendants, take a tenth of their grain and the best of their cattle, donkeys, and flocks, and they themselves will become slaves.
13) God gives the people what they want for Free Will and let’s them suffer the consequences. The people are stubborn and insist on a king anyways. They still think they know better than God. They are followers.
14) They follow what society does. Let homosexuality slide, sins slide, and say sin is okay when it’s not. They don’t ask God like they should. They buy into society’s view of “doing what feels good.” This costs Christians their morals, values, self-esteem, and relationship with God. Christians have gone to the extreme of not saying anything against sin when we should speak up against sin.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 5: 1 Samuel 8:
It’s sad that the Israelites want a king for the shallow reason “cause everyone else does.” How often do we do this same thing? IPhone, technology, what everyone else has or does is what we want. But is it good for us?
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 5: 1 Samuel 8:
Samuel did the same thing as Eli: appointed his sons as judges (even though they were not from the tribe of Levi) and like Eli could not evaluate his sons fairly. He was blinded by love and emotion.
While it was wise for the elders of Israel to reject Samuel’s sons as leaders, it was wrong for them to ask for a king instead.
In itself, the desire to have a king was not bad. God knew one day Israel would have a king. 400 years before this God gave instructions to Israel about their future king (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). A king was in God’s plan for Israel.
Yet, the reason Israel wanted a king was wrong. It’s flimsy at best.
What’s the difference between a judge and a king in the Bible?
- A judge was a leader raised up by God, usually to meet a specific need in a time of crisis. When the crisis was over usually the judge went back to doing what he did before.
- A king not only held his office as king as long as he lived, he also passed his throne down to his descendants.
- Judges did not make a “government.”
- Kings establish a standing government with a bureaucracy, which can be both a blessing and a curse to any people.
In Judges 8 Gideon was offered the throne over Israel. He refused it saying, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the LORD shall rule over you.” (Judges 8:23) This was the heart of all the judges, and why Israel went some 400 years in the Promised Land without a king.
What did Samuel do that we often don’t do?
- Laid his heart before the Lord
- Asked for guidance
Why did God give Israel a king?
God would teach Israel through this. Sometimes when we insist on having something bad God will allow us to have it and then teach through it.
In many ways this was a matter of timing. God knew Israel would have a king, but He wanted to give the king in His timing. Because Israel demanded a king out of bad and carnal reasons, God will give them a bad and carnal king. Israel will get what they want and will hurt because of it. Just like the ark. It was not time for victory; God would teach them a lesson.
If you’re faithful to king in heaven, you don’t need a king on earth.
Telling the Israelites the consequences makes them fully accountable for their choice. A king would bring problems as much as he’d solve them.
God will give Israel “their king” – Saul. Later, after “their king” fails, God will give Israel “His king” – David.
Because we suppose that God ultimately wanted Israel to be a monarchy (based on Deuteronomy 17:14-20), we might even guess that if Israel did not forsake the LORD here, God would have made David the first human king of Israel.
God wanted to make Israel a special treasure to Me above all people… a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:6). God wanted to make Israel something special, and they wanted to be just like everyone else.
Themes of 1 Samuel 8:
- When we resist God, we only hurt ourselves.
- God gives us what we ask for sometimes even though it’s not good for us to teach us a lesson.
- Christians are set apart for God and God’s purposes. Don’t be like everyone else.