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CHAPTER 8 Jun. 27 
Israel Demands a King
When Samuel was old he made his sons judges over Israel. 2The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3His sons didn’t walk in his ways, but turned aside after money, taking bribes and perverting justice. 4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel to Ramah, 5and they said to him, Look, you are old and your sons don’t walk in your ways; now appoint a king to judge us like all the nations. 6But this displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us.

Yahweh Advises Samuel to Appoint a King
Samuel prayed to Yahweh. 7Yahweh said to Samuel, Listen to the people in all that they tell you; they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be king over them. 8As they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, in forsaking Me and serving other gods, so they also do to you. 9Now therefore listen to their voice, but protest solemnly to them and show them what the king who shall reign over them will do.

Samuel’s Warning to Israel
10Samuel told all the words of Yahweh to the people who asked for a king. 11He said, This is what the king who shall reign over you will do: he will take your sons and appoint them to serve with his chariots and to be his horsemen, and they will run before his chariots; 12he will appoint them to be captains of thousands and captains of fifties; he will assign some to plough his ground and reap his harvest, and to make his weapons of war and the equipment for his chariots. 13He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks and bakers. 14He will take your fields, your vineyards and your olive groves, even their best, and give them to his servants. 15He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage to give to his officers and his servants. 16He will take your male and female servants and your best young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his servants. 18You will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen, but Yahweh will not answer you in that day. 19But the people refused to listen to Samuel; they said, No; but we will have a king over us, 20so that we may be like all the other nations, and so that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles. 21Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them before Yahweh. 22Yahweh said to Samuel, Listen to them and give them a king. Samuel said to the men of Israel, Every man is to go back to his town. 


8:3 Samuel failed as a father in the same way as his mentor Eli did, although he wasn’t condemned for it as Eli was. The lesson is that even in later life, we are influenced by the examples we saw in the spiritual mentors of our youth. The power of influence is far greater than we imagine; we have more responsibility for our actions and examples than we think. Nobody lives life to and for themselves, because every life has such a powerful effect upon others (Rom. 14:7 and context). 
8:7,8 Here is an example of the mutuality between God and man: ‘They didn’t reject you, they rejected Me, but they rejected you, in that you are with Me’.
8:8 Israel sinned not only by worshipping idols but by thereby omitting to worship God as He required. God is highly sensitive to human sin; sins of commission often lead to and involve sins of omission, which are equally significant to God. 
8:11,12 Israel were told three times that Saul would have many chariots. If they were spiritually aware, they would have realized that by multiplying horses and chariots, he was going to be a King who ruled in studied disobedience to the Mosaic Law (Dt. 17:16-21). They were given the spiritual potential to grasp this. But they were already hard bitten in their rebellion, and this potential spiritual help went unheeded (although God still gave it to them potentially, even at a time when it seemed pointless. He is so ever willing to coax His people back!). 
8:14 When God offered Israel a king, He did so with a series of warnings that this king would treat them just like the prophesied invasion of condemnation described in Dt. 28; he would take their sons, seed, vineyards etc. in just the same way. The links are unmistakable (8:14 = Dt. 28:30,33; 8:11,14 = Dt. 28:41; 8:15 = Dt. 28:38; 8:17 = Dt. 28:43). Through these allusions, Yahweh was saying to Israel: Do you want the condemnation for disobedience? And they answered 'Yes!'. And yet, in His grace, Yahweh still worked through the system of human kingship to bring about His purpose of salvation with Israel. Thus through our unfaithful actions now we will be witnesses against ourselves at the final judgment (Mt. 23:31); indeed, in that the judgment process is now ongoing, we are right now witnesses against ourselves when we sin. And we are not only witnesses, but also the judge who pronounces the verdict of condemnation: for the sinner is condemned of himself (Tit. 3:11). In this lies the illogicality of sin and the blindness of man to the implications of his actions before God. 
8:22 God was Israel’s King and they were His Kingdom. To reject Him as king was therefore to count themselves as not His Kingdom. And yet God still tried to work with them through the system of human kingship. Likewise, He didn’t want a physical temple; but they wanted one, and so He came and dwelt in it and worked through it, but it wasn’t His idea desire. God thus makes concession to human weaknesses, so eager is He to remain at work with us; and yet our use of those concessions often makes spirituality harder rather than easier. We should also learn to allow others some concessions to their human weaknesses- for God certainly does so with us.