1 Samuel 8: Give us a King


Samuel is old and he makes his sons Joel and Abiah Judges in Beersheba. His son’s however, aren’t honest and take bribes. So the people come to Samuel and tell him – we don’t want your sons to just us. We want a King. Samuel tells God this and God is a bit miffed. Tell them what will happen if I give them a King. So Samuel goes before everyone and says – look, you really don’t want a king. He will take your daughters and your harvest and set them to war. He will take a 10th of your wealth for himself and you will be his servants. If you have a King, god will not protect you. Nevertheless, the people want a King so they can be like other nations and have someone who will judge over them and fight their battles.

In other words:

People want a king. Samuel advises them against it, but the people are adamant.

What’s Interesting:

The realization that – this was a bit of a free democracy. They didn’t have rulers. They were free to decide for themselves whether to participate in a war or not. They didn’t have to pay to support a ruler. But, it had it’s downside in that they were at the mercy of judges who may be corrupt and they couldn’t organize well to fight off their enemies.

Favorite bit:

1 Samuel 8:17 – he will take a tenth of your sheep and you shall be his servants.

Least favorite bit:

That these people, in an attempt to avoid the corruption of Samuel’s sons, want a monarchy that will probably turn out just as corrupt. (1 Samuel 8:20).  It’s a bit depressing that people so willingly trade freedom for a false sense of security.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Monarchy’s are against the will of God. (1 Samuel 8)