They demand a king!
Samuel is angered by their lack of trust and prays to the Lord, who responds, “The people have not rejected you, but they have turned once again to foreign gods and rejected me from being king over them…You shall solemnly warn them about the king who will rule over them.”
Samuel then warns Israel that the king will take everything they have for himself.
Then in Chapters 9, 10, and 11 God appoints Saul as king over Israel after Saul defeats the Philistines and joy abounds. As Saul is crowned King of Israel, Samuel rises to speak, and the people, flushed with victory await his gracious endorsement. They have completely forgotten Samuel’s warning that God is not pleased when rejected by his children.
Samuel recalls the long history of God’s faithfulness in rescuing his children, but sternly says they have forgotten God when they demanded a king. “Well,” says Samuel, “Here is your king.” I picture the mirth in the crowd suddenly muffled to total, jaw-dropping silence.
Saul continues, saying that even though God is offended, he will never abandon his people – his love is never-ending. So God is prepared to bless Israel once again,
IF: Israel truly respects God, listens to his voice, and does not rebel against God’s command, he will continue to bless them (12:14).
Please read 1 Samuel 12:14-25 right now!
“But if you do wickedly, both you and your king will be swept away” (12:25).
Is America about to be swept away?
In his 1815 Thanksgiving Proclamation, James Madison recognized the powerful role of God in protecting and prospering America during its fifty years since independence:
“And to the same divine author of every good and perfect gift we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land.”
In 2008, amidst the fog and fatigue of war, America crowned a king, complete with stage setting befitting a Roman Emperor in our stadium here in Denver. Our king wanted us to be like other nations – godless. Many of us recalled Samuel’s admonition in 12:14 at that time.
Our king has neither respected God nor listened to his voice, but has rebelled against his commandments every day for eight years. Our “ark”, our Constitution, our rule of law inspired by God as acknowledged by our Founders, has been willfully and repeatedly violated by this king. This king has begun to take everything we have worked for through taxes and entitlements according to his own sovereign hand, just as Samuel warned.
The Cycle is clear – every element of it appears in Chapters 8 to 12.
If we do not repent and cry out to God as a nation in unity with God…
…both we and our king shall be swept away.
Tragic Footnote: In light of yet another heart-wrenching shooting in Colorado Friday, likely by someone who will make the rest of us look like bigots once again, allow me to swear, as did a famous American: I may disagree with what you say (Planned Parenthood), but I shall defend to the death your right to say it!
It is not just the king who needs to cry out to God in sorrow. It is all of us, united in sin, needing forgiveness.