1 Samuel 8

Nay; but we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations. 1 Samuel 8:19, 20.

The Hebrews demanded a king of Samuel, like the nations around them. By preferring a despotic monarch to the wise and mild government of God Himself, by the jurisdiction of His prophets, they showed a great want of faith in God, and confidence in His providence to raise them up rulers to lead and govern them. The children of Israel being peculiarly the people of God, their form of government was essentially different from all the nations around them. God had given them statutes and laws, and had chosen their rulers for them, and these leaders the people were to obey in the Lord. In all cases of difficulty and great perplexity, God was to be inquired of. Their demand for a king was a rebellious departure from God, their special leader. He knew that a king would not be best for His chosen people.... If they had a king, whose hearts was lifted up and not right with God, he would lead them away from Him, and cause them to rebel against Him. The Lord knew that no one could occupy the position of king, and receive the honors usually given to a king, without becoming exalted, and their ways seem right in their own eyes, while at the same time they were sinning against God.41Spiritual Gifts 4a:65, 66.

God had separated the Israelites from every other people, to make them His own peculiar treasure. But they, disregarding this high honor, eagerly desired to imitate the example of the heathen! And still the longing to conform to worldly practices and customs exists among the professed people of God. As they depart from the Lord they become ambitious for the gains and honors of the world. Christians are constantly seeking to imitate the practices of those who worship the god of this world. Many urge that by uniting with worldlings and conforming to their customs they might exert a stronger influence over the ungodly. But all who pursue this course thereby separate from the Source of their strength. Becoming the friends of the world, they are the enemies of God.42Patriarchs and Prophets, 607.

From Conflict and Courage - Page 146

Conflict and Courage