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Is having a king wrong?

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 1 Samuel 8:6-7

God’s intention for Israel was to be a God-led country, where the people individually and corporately turned to God for guidance, following the rules laid out in the Book of the Law (first five books of the Bible).

In a perfect world with perfectly obedient people, this would work.

However, man followed his own instincts and Israel spun into a land of bloodshed and violence, turning it into a God-less country. As a result, the people looked at what the other nations did for leadership. They had kings.

Some kings are good. Some are bad. Power and wealth corrupts these leaders and their fall can send shockwaves throughout the country. With God as king, that would never happen.

This was not God’s best for Israel, the time of kings. But God put his ideal aside and went with Plan B.  He gave them what they wanted.

God allowed this, even though he understood their request basically said “Your plan won’t work, God.” Mankind wanted a flesh and blood person to look up to. God agreed, doing his best to lead that leader. Unfortunately, even the great leaders God put into place messed up.

God’s king-less desire for Israel was for Israel only, yet it’s a principle we can all understand. We have a direct responsibility to make God Lord of our lives, where we follow his laws and report directly to him. In heaven, there will only be one king. . .the King of Kings.