Now Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah. And he said to the people of Israel, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, ‘Set a king over us.’ Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your thousands.”
1 Samuel 10:17-19
God let Israel have a king out of their own selfish, sinful demands. He knew they were asking with wrong reasons. He knew they were rejecting His rulership by such a request. Yet Saul came to rule Israel because of this demand. And the nation would get what they wanted. They would have a king like all the nations around them. Saul would be just what their selfish hearts craved and demanded.
It always amazes me that God gave in to Israel's demand for a human king. He was the true sovereign of the nation. But they could not accept that worship of God alone could lead the nation. And so God gave them a king and they became servants in a kingdom. And Saul, reluctantly at first, would represent Israel to the world, build defenses, and lead the people. And he was a flawed leader who clearly contrasted with the flawless, infinite wisdom of a holy God.
The lesson is simple: God may give us over to the things we want when we reject Him. And those things may please us for a short season. Yet brutal tyranny may overtake us when we reject God's rule. And the results of that can be tragic. Ultimately that will be the story of Saul. He started out a reluctant prince. He ended an insane, out of control, sad tyrant.
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