When Men Have no King

In essence, I Samuel 8 relates the conversation of Samuel and God concerning Israel’s desire for an earthly king:

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, Give us a king to judge us. So Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day; with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods; so they are doing to you also. Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them. So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked him for a king.

Then in Judges we are told: In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
When there is the absence of a king……

Israel had left following God. Yes, they still participated in the worship services and sacrifices. They still gave their tithes and offered their prayers, but their hearts were far from God. As the scripture says: In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Israel was a nation of independent colonies separated by distance, by priorities, and by goals. Their one unifying force was their relationship with God. God had promised to be their shield and defender – all they had to do was to stay in the center of his will. They chose not to do this – and because of their decision, Israel was continually being harassed by the pagan countries that surrounded them. Because the children of Israel rejected God, He removed his protection from them: ( 2 Chronicles 24:20-24 ). God’s desire is to protect those who are His, but to be protected, you must abide where the Protector abides.

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength. Isaiah 26:3-4

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. Psalm 91:2-11

When the children of Israel first arrived in the promised land they served God with their whole heart. Because of their commitment to God, the Israelites were able to forcefully drive out all the people who would not serve Him. They destroyed the pagans’ shrines and temples; they would not tolerate anyone or anything that was displeasing to God. At the time of the scripture setting, however, the Israelites had adopted many of the customs and idols of those living around them. Because they had no King they moved away from their former commitment and convictions and began to serve other gods, their lusts, and their own desires.

When the Israelites forsook God as their King they also forsook who they were as a people. They became like all the other nations around them.
They no longer thought as the chosen people of God – they thought like everyone else.

They no longer acted like the chosen people of God – they blended their lives into the culture of those around them.

They were no longer God’s special people – they had become His source of pain and disappointment.

For I earnestly exhorted your fathers in the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, until this day, rising early and exhorting, saying, Obey My voice. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone followed the dictates of his evil heart; therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but which they have not done. And the LORD said to me, A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers. Therefore thus says the LORD: Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape; and though they cry out to Me, I will not listen to them. Jeremiah 11:7-11

When men have no King of kings……… they always choose an earthly king that leads them to destruction – “We have no king but Caesar!” is the cry of most of the world – yet we as Christians serve the True and Living King of kings, Jesus Christ and no other!