1 Samuel 8

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This Chapter about the rejection of God by the voice people is a pivotal point in the history of Israel. Many do not learn from history and are condemned to repeat it. Israel would fall as a nation because they abandoned the ways of God and eventually God himself. Like the modern Christian they said they believed but they stopped being doers of God's word.

1 Samuel 8:1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba. 3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.[1]

4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. 9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

1 Samuel 8 is often quoted by men (like Thomas Paine in Common Sense) to show that rise of governments holding an exercising authority or power over the people comes from when people look to governments to solve their problems. When the voice of the people cry out to elect rulers we are seeing the evidence of the people rejecting God.
The giver and lover of life, the grantor of rights and responsibilities should rule mankind in their hearts and minds. But to give men the power to rule over you and your neighbor because of sloth or the desire for benefits at the expense of others is a rejection of that God of love and life and bring the people and their children under the curse of 1 Samuel 8.
The more power people give to their governments the more they reject God and the farther they are from God.
Unless the people repent when they cry out God says he will not hear them.
The election of rulers and the covetous practices of the people cause corrupts the leaders of society and the people until they become human resources and curses their children become a surety for debt.
Only repenting and seeking the kingdom of God will provide for their salvation because Christ sacrificed himself so that they might be saved.

10 And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. 11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. 13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. 14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. {officers: Heb. eunuchs } 16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. 18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. 19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. 21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD. 22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.

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Preceded by: Ruth - Followed by: 2 Samuel

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  1. The Levites formed a system of appeals courts which were called the cities of refuge through a network of ministers created by the choice of the people through the patterns of tens in free assemblies. These courts could acquit people who did not get a fair trial in local congregations of the people. But if they took bribes the guilty might go free from recompense. The people could prevent that corruption if they chose their ministers with an eye on that distant corruption. But if the people were not interested in the weightier matters for everyone in the nation corruption and bribes will go unchecked.