“Long live the king!” said every crowd in every movie that ever had a king in it!
And, so say the people of Israel to Saul in 1 Samuel 10.
We find the Israelites unhappy with Samuel the prophet in chapter 8. He, like Eli, has two rebellious sons and the people don’t want them as leaders.
They want a king!
A king will lead them and they will just trust him and do what he says.
Up until then, God has led Israel with normal people whom he has chosen to assign with big tasks. Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Samuel, etc.
Samuel is old and discouraged at their insistence. God informs Samuel that it isn’t him they are rejecting but God himself.
It isn’t that God doesn’t know people need leaders and authorities.
He establishes leadership for countries and churches.
The problem that God has is that too often people want to put all of their well-being and trust into the hands of a person.
We forget that every man is flawed. There is only one who we are to totally trust and follow.
Kings and rulers can become too powerful and too self serving. God wants to give people leaders of His choosing, who will lead in the best interests of the people, not for their own ego or control.
So, God is sovereign but He allows free will to enter into the plans that He has.
The people want a king and he will give them one.
He tells Samuel to inform the people that God will give them what they want but that it will not look like what they think and there will be trouble.
God gives them Saul and for the time being, they are ecstatic and have great hopes that they will live happily ever after, placing him in charge of life as they go along with their daily plans.
The question for Israel and for us today is this: Are we satisfied with God as the provider of leadership in our lives or are we looking for a king?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6