1 Samuel 8

1 Samuel 8 has him making his sons judges over Israel.  He had two – Joel and Abijah – and they were made judges.  Unfortunately “his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain….took bribes….perverted justice”.  They were bad dudes and took advantage of their position to line their own pockets.  God is not pleased.  The elders of Israel came to Samuel and said “you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways”.  They knew Samuel was not behind their greed and selfish ways, but probably wasn’t even aware at his age of what his sons were up to.

Samuel prayed to the Lord.  He does the one thing all parents need to do a lot more of.  We need to take our kids to the Lord in prayer.  Samuel explains to God the request the people have made – to give them a king to judge them.  It wasn’t that they didn ‘t want a king, it was that they wanted judges that were fair and didn’t take advantage of their power or position for their own gain.  God tells Samuel “they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them”.

So God tells Samuel to give them what they want but “solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them”.  God’s going to give them what they want, but He wants to show them exactly what they are going to get.  Their sons will become part of the army, their daughters to be part of the working.  He will take their fields and vineyards and orchards and a tenth of their flocks.  There will be a significant cost to the kingly model.  And Samuel works to make it very clear what will happen.

But when man gets his mind made up and set on the wrong things, they become stubborn about their sinful actions.  “The people refused to obey the voice of Samuel”.  In spite of the warnings, the people insist they want a king.  And God informs Samuel to give them exactly that.  God is already fed up with their failure to obey so He’s willing to let them have what they ask for and then suffer the consequences.  That is often how God deals with us.  He warns us, or the Holy Spirit whispers in our ear that we are about to make a bad decision, and yet we plow ahead only to find out we should have listened and changed direction.  The people don’t  do that so here it comes.

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