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During the Time of Samuel, Why Did the People of Israel Desire a King?

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Submitted By jwilliams50
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Essay 2
During the time of the judges, the land was full of corruption and sin. There was no king or legal authority in Israel and the people acted on what they thought was right and wrong. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Samuel was Israel’s spiritual leader (priest), a prophet, and the last and most effective of the judges. God used Samuel to assist in the change of Israel’s government from a system of judges to kings.
Samuel judged Israel until his death, saved them from the Philistines, and led them back to God. However, when Samuel grew old, he started appointing his sons as judges but they were corrupt (1 Samuel 8:1). All of the elders of Israel got together and concluded that a change in government was necessary so they went to Samuel and demanded a king. The people of Israel desired a king for several reasons: 1) Samuel was old and his sons were not fit to lead; 2) They hoped that having a king would unite the 12 tribes into one nation and one army because each tribe had their own leader and their own territory; and 3) The people wanted to be like the other nations (1 Samuel 8:4-5).
Samuel was disappointed at the people’s request for a king because it showed that they rejected God as their leader and that they rejected him as their judge. God told 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” (1 Samuel 8:7). Samuel went to the people and warned them of the negative consequences of having a king. He warned them about paying taxes, and losing their sons, daughters, servants, crops, lands and wealth. The people didn’t care; they could only see what they wanted. They wanted a king to judge and lead them in battles like the other nations.

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