They Ask for a King

1 Samuel 8:1-22


Ch. 7 15And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16He went from year to year on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and judged Israel in all those places. 17But he always returned to Ramah, for his home was there. There he judged Israel, and there he built an altar to the Lord.


Now there is about a 25 year gap between Ch.7 and Ch. 8 of 1 Samuel. In that time Samuel has grown older & his sons are sharing the load as it relates to Judging Israel.    


CH.8 1Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel. 2The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.


Now this is interesting because we see the same thing happened to Samuel’s sons as did Eli’s – they became corrupted

A)The sons of Eli fell to LUST, while the sons of Samuel fell to LUCRE    (money)


B) Those are TWO of the big three perils in the ministry

QUOTE: Pastor Chuck  Don't touch the Women, Don't touch the Money, Don’t touch the Glory


C) Billy Graham – similar: 3 Perils – Women / Money / Pride


D) NOTE: The more you study the Word, the more you recognize that Satan is in a rut -  He only has 3 plays in his play book

1) You would think that we would catch on – but instead we continue to see men in ministry fall prey in one of these 3 areas.


2 Cor 2:11 – We are not to be IGNORANT OF HIS DEVICES


So this is one of the only Sad commentaries concerning the life of Samuel – his kids didn’t honor the Lord

A) I read numerous commentaries – many who gave their opinions on this matter – citing reasons why his sons didn’t walk w/ the Lord


B) Some said that Samuel neglected his role as a Father in raising his boys and this was the result

1) Others suggested it was his ministry schedule –all the traveling around from one city to the next that affected his parenting


C) Fact of the matter is the Bible is silent on the issue. It doesn’t tell us where or if Samuel erred as a parent


D) Take note: Even the most godly of individuals can have kids who walk away from the Lord –

1) Our Kids have a Choice to make, to walk with God or to not walk w/ God


Now I believe the more time that we spend w/ them centered around the things of the Lord – talking w/ them about the Lord

A) Making the Lord a part of our daily decisions – conversations etc- the chances are greater that they continue in the Lord.


B) The enemy is after our kids - Family Devotions is also very Helpful – They get Challenging the older our kids get – but Vital –

1) But even all those things are not a guarantee that our kids won’t stray.

     So we need Pray a lot and stay close to them.


Now another I believe misconception that is made here is that Samuel made a mistake in making his sons judges because they were corrupt

A) But if we read the passage accurately it seems that his sons did not become corrupt until they were given Power


B) Old adage – Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely

1) And  It seems from the text here that their problems revealed themselves only after they were put in this position.

C) Now from this the only error that I see that Samuel made was not discerning that his sons were not ready to step into that position


D) Paul warned about laying hands on someone suddenly – not a novice

1) Applies to our Children as well as our Children in the Faith !!!!


E) See God made Samuel a Judge, not the people and it was a mistake for Samuel to think that God wanted his sons to follow in his footsteps

1) When a man enters into ministry – he needs to know that he is in that place because God has called him to be there


F) Not because he thought it would be a good thing or someone else suggested that he would be great for it

1) It needs to be something that the man knows God has called him to and the men currently in leadership should bear witness of that Calling.


Well the behavior of Samuel’s Sons prompted the elders of Israel to approach Samuel with a disturbing request -  RD V 4-5

4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”


A) So the people ask for a King

1) Now What was the difference between a king and a judge?


B) A judge was a leader raised up by God, usually to meet a specific need in a time of crisis or to deal with difficult circumstances

1) When the crisis was over, usually the judge just went back to doing what he was doing before.


C) A king not only held his office as king as long as he lived; he also passed his throne down to his descendants.

1)  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; but 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.

A)  So why did the Children of Israel suddenly want a King ? The answer is found in v.5 Their desire to be like the nations around them


Morgan on Israel’s request to be like the other nations: “This is the revelation of the supreme wrong. They had been chosen to be unlike the nations, a people directly governed by God.”


B) That is what they were to be – a people Governed by God – but here we see them turning from the Lord –

1) Because they want to be like the nations around them


C) Always a problem in the Church – Believers are wanting to be like the world – Little compromises become big compromises


6But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord.

A) Samuel does what so many of us are prone to do when people walk away from the Lord – he takes it personally

1) They are rejecting me -  Painful –  their words hurt him


B) But he does the right thing here: He doesn’t lash out at them – doesn’t go around talking about them

1) Samuel Prayed to the Lord – Samuel went to the Lord and the Lord put the whole matter in it’s proper perspective .


7And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. 8According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”


God speaks to Samuel and says here is the real issue it is not you they have rejected it is me !!

A) We need to remember that when we see people walk away – when we see our Children go astray –They ultimately are rejecting God


B) We need to grieve with God’s heart – not our own Pride – Grieve because they are turning their backs on Him

1) Grieve because they are missing out on HIS best


C) God says to Samuel Don’t feel personally offended.  They haven’t rejected you Samuel, they have rejected me from being the King over them!” 


You see, God wanted a theocracy for His people, people that were ruled by God. 

A) But the people were wanting a monarchy.  They wanted a man to rule over them.  God still desires for His people a theocracy. 


B) God wants you to be ruled by Him.  He wants to be the King and LORD of your life. 


C) We read in the book of Genesis the story of Jacob – he spent his whole life running from God’s rule – God let him

1) One broken relationship after another – burnt bridges all over the place


D) Jacob one night in desperation ends up crossing a brook- peace and quiet and has a wrestling match that Changes his life – Genesis 32

1) Hip goes out – Jacob is renamed Israel – A man governed by God


E) That is what God wanted all along but it took a being completely broken to get him to that place – permanently scarred for it to happen

1) It doesn’t have to be that way. You can let God be your king right now !!!


Now, there is coming a day when the kingdom of God will rule over the entire earth.  God made a promise to His Son in Psalm 2:7-8 turn


I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, he LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

A) Messianic The promise of God to His Son that he will reign over the uttermost parts of the earth.  


B) This promise will be fulfilled when Jesus comes again. 

1) And all kinds of glorious prophecies concerning the conditions that will exist upon the earth during the kingdom age, will come to pass. 


C) Then, we will have a Theocracy: where God rules over the earth. 


 Right now Satan rules.  Jesus called him the “prince of this world.” 

A)The world system, the present world system in rebellion against God is being led by Satan. 


B) But Jesus is coming to  establish the kingdom of God.  And that’s why when He gave the disciples the model prayer, He said you should pray, “Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in this earth, even as it is in heaven.”  


C) We should be praying for that glorious kingdom of God to be established. 


D)And in the mean time we can make sure that Jesus is reigning in our lives

1) That He is on the throne as it relates to us !!




9Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”

A)I see something here that’s extremely, extremely important.  God is giving in to the demands of the people. 


B) Because God will not force you against your will to serve Him.  If you don’t want to serve God, He’s not going to force you to serve Him. 

C) That’s not what the kingdom of God is about.  God will accommodate your lower standard. 

1) If you want to live on a low level, and insist on it, God will accommodate Himself to your lower level. 


D) He loves you so much, He’ll do the best that He possibly can for you on that lower level. 

1) But it is tragic when we bring God down to our level, rather than being elevated and lifted to God’s level. 


When the Children of Israel were going thru the wilderness – God sent manna for them to eat – Morning by morning

A) It was perfect nutrients for them to strengthen them for the journey


B) They were told to gather enough for just one day – accept on the 6th day they would gather enough for 2 days provision

1) SO it was also good because it caused them to live by faith


C) But the people grew tired of the manna and the begged God for meat – so God gave into their request –

1) so much so that the quail was coming out of their NOSTRILS – they just gorged themselves –


D) Psalm 106:15 the Holy Spirit adds this commentary: He gave into their request but sent leanness to their souls


You see this is the point – we can seek for less than God’s best to satisfy our physical needs at the moment – but it will be leanness to our soul

A) In the bigger picture of the Eternal perspective it is going to weaken us


B) It is true God will come down to our level but God wants to lift you to the highest level. 

1) He will lift you to the highest level that you will allow Him to. 



C) God help us that we might all ascend to the level where God might have us to be living. 

1) What is that level?  “Seated together with Christ in the heavenly places.”  


D) Living in that realm where we know who we are in Jesus – We know that Jesus is sufficient for all things

1) We are yielded to Him / depending upon His Divine resources for all of our daily needs


So God declares I will heed their request but I want you to forewarn them about what this King will be like  RD V.10-18

A) IN other words: He will take . . . take . . . take . . . take . .And you will be his servants:


B) The LORD, through the prophet Samuel, is giving fair warning. Most

kings are takers, not givers, and they come to be served, not to serve.

1) If Israel wants a king, they must realize he will be a taker, not a giver, and they will be his servants.


B) Not every king is a “taking” king. The King of Kings is a giving king. Jesus said of Himself, the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve


C) Jesus came in Humility : Riding on a Donkey – Ruled not in a Palace but on the plains – came to serve


D) Paul instructed us to follow that example: Philippians 2:5-8

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself

of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.





Note v.18 again And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen:

A) Why would Israel cry out? Because they wanted a king for unspiritual, ungodly reasons.


B) So God will call this coming king your king, and make it clear that he is the king whom you have chosen.

1) If Israel had waited for God’s king, they would not have needed to cry out unto the LORD.


C) See God had a King in mind for Israel that he would appoint at the death of Samuel. A man who would lead Israel – after God’s own Heart

1) In some ways would be a Preview of Jesus the King of Kings


19Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, 20that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

21And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the Lord. 22So the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.”

And Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Every man go to his city.”



Now here is where we are going to stop but in our next study we are going to see how the Lord granted this request –

A) He gave them a king – just like the other nations – Tall dark and Handsome


B) Just what people are looking for in worldly leader – Everything focused on the outward –

1) Paying no attention to the inward – The heart !!!


C) Unfortunately we are still doing that today – Character doesn’t count