“I hated them,” said the LORD

Follow the story of Israel's great sin of demanding a king. The following verses are taken from First Samuel and Hosea (the book about unfaithfulness). When you read the Scriptures in succession, it becomes clear how grievous this action is to the LORD. Jesus is our rightful King, and to petition for another is adultery.

“...all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel... appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have. But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us.” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.” - 1 Samuel 8:4-7

“Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights. Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king.” - 1 Sam. 8:9-10

Read 1 Samuel 8:11-17 to hear the complete warning about a king. In summary, Samuel told the people: “This is what the king who will reign over you will do – He will take your sons and make them serve in his military, make weapons and work in the field. He will take your daughters as servants. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves (property seizure), you will be taxed, he will take the best of what you own for himself – and you yourselves will become his slaves!

“When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.” - 1 Sam. 8:18

“They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval.” - Hosea 8:4

“But the people refused to listen to Samuel. 'No!' they said. 'We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles'... The LORD answered, 'Listen to them and give them a king.” - 1 Sam. 8:19, 22

“...in My anger I gave you a king.” - Hosea 13:11

“...'you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your disasters and calamities. And you have said, 'No, appoint a king over us.'” - 1 Sam. 10:19

“So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king in the presence of the LORD. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the LORD, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.” - 1 Sam. 11:15

“Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds, I will drive them out of My house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious."  - Hosea 9:15 (To grasp the horror of this rejection and subsequent punishment, read all of Hosea chapter 9.)

“'...you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a king!' The people said to Samuel, “Pray to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.” - 1 Sam. 12:17, 19

“You are destroyed, O Israel, because you are against Me, against your Helper. Where is your king, that he may save you? Where are your rulers in all your towns, of whom you said, 'Give me a king and princes'?” - Hosea 13:9-10

“...'you said...”we want a king to rule over us” - even though the LORD your God was your king!'” - 1 Sam. 12:12

“...they do not realize that I remember all their evil deeds. Their sins engulf them; they are always before me. They delight the king with their wickedness, the princes with their lies. They are all adulterers...” - Hosea 7:2-4

“The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many...” - Hosea 9:7

“Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors, the roar of battle will rise against your people, so that all your fortresses will be devastated... When that day dawns, the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.” - Hosea 10:13-14, 15

“Then they will say, 'We have no king because we did not revere the LORD. But even if we had a king, what could he do for us?'” - Hosea 10:3

“Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall!... Say to Him: 'Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously...” - Hosea 14:1-2

“Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them. - Hosea 14:9

Verses taken from the New International Version, 1986, 1994

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