Read 1 Samuel 7:15-8:22
“So all the elders of Israel…said to [Samuel], ‘You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.’” 1 Samuel 8:6, 7
God had been leading the nation of Israel. He wasn’t using a complicated system of government with representatives, governors, and presidents or kings. Instead, He gave clear instruction using people like Moses and Joshua and then later the judges. But Israel didn’t always do what the judges said, and sometimes the judges weren’t always good. Ultimately, they didn’t always follow God.
Samuel’s sons weren’t doing a good job of leading. That’s when people from the nation came to Samuel with a request. They had seen all the other countries around them. Each of those countries had a king, while Israel didn’t. Wanting to be like the other countries, they asked Samuel to give them a king.
Is imitating others always a good thing? Samuel warned the people that they would have less money because the king would make them pay taxes. He would take some of the people and place them into the army. The king would take some of the freedom that they had. But, worst of all, in wanting a human king, they were rejecting God as their real King. They were showing that they didn’t really want to follow Him. That was not good.
Are there things that others around you have that you want? Are there ways that they act that you are tempted to imitate? Before you insist on having or doing whatever it is, check out what God wants for you. He wants to be your King! Listen to those in authority in your life…parents, teachers, boss, government officials. Just because you see it in others doesn’t mean you should have it or do it too.