1 Sam 8:1-22
The irony of life, just as we read about how Eli’s sons could not be managed by their father, Samuel sons also did not take after him. We read that as he grew old, he put his two sons Joel and Abiah in positions to judge Israel. However, these two sons turned to lucre, took bribes and perverted judgement. This raises the question again of why ‘ministers’ wards tend to be wayward? As people of faith in God or leaders, we have to be very careful to lead and guide our family in the same faith we have because there is always tendency for rebelion.
The incompetence of Joel and Abiah led the elders and people of Israel to approach Samuel and demand that he gave them a king as other nations had. This was the first time such a question was being raised. Israel had always had leaders, prophets, judges appointed by God to guide and judge them, but not a king. God had always been their king, it was a theocracy. So when Samuel heard of their demand for a king like other nations, he was very sad and went to pray about this.
God told Samuel that it was not him that the people are rejecting but God, and that this had always been their nature since he delivered them from Egypt. He told Samuel to hearken to their demand but to let them know the price they would pay for having a king. Samuel told the people the kind of exclusive rights and privileges a king had – making their sons servants, daughters maidens, choosing captains, taking tenth of their harvests and so on, but none of these dissuaded the people, they insisted they wanted a king.Samuel told God about the reaction of the people, and God told him to go ahead and appoint them a king. Samuel then told the people to go back to their cities.
Who would be the king? How would he be appointed? Where will all these lead. We will continue to study to see what happens next.
Some verses to remember
Vs 7: 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.