1 Samuel 8- Was God planning on giving Israel an earthly king?

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austinbrown2

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello,

I'm preparing to teach on the life King David for Sunday school, and I'm presently chewing on 1 Samuel chapter 8.

Preface to question:

When Israel asked for a king, it's clear that the nature of their request was sinful, in that it rejected God (verses 6-7). It also seems to be the case that they wanted a king 'as all the other nations,' which flowed from wrong motives and desires.

But here's my question;

Was God planning on giving them an earthly king? Of course, in one sense, the answer is yes as God is sovereign. But I'm looking at it from the more immediate perspective. Are their indications that He was planning on giving them an earthly king, or had He planned on being their King without any earthly figures taking on that role?

Clearly, the end of Ruth shows us that God was working providentially to raise up David, which seems to suggest that He was planning all along on giving them a king. But there are at least two ways to look at this:

Is it: (1). He used the sinful desires of Israel to accomplish His sovereign will, and thus He was preparing David for when the time came? (which is, of course true, in the big picture sense).

Or, (2). He did in fact intend on giving Israel an earthly king, but first gave them Saul in response to their sinful request?

In other words, and this is really what I'm trying to nail down, did God intend on giving them an earthly king?

Many thanks,

Austin
 

Spinningplates2

Puritan Board Freshman
This is one of the type of questions that seem hard unless we lean on the fact that God has told us His ways are not our ways and His ways are too deep for us to comprehend.

This question, (did God intend on giving them an earthly king) seems like a version of "the why did God allow Satan in the Garden of Eden?" Or even harder, "Why doesn't God kill Satan right now if He is more powerful?"

We only know one thing for sure and that is that God has it all planned perfectly.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Both of those statements (1&2) are true, not in exclusion to the other.
--It was a sinful request.
--God gave them Saul on purpose.
--David was the solution to the sadness their discipline was designed to work.
--There was to be an "earthly king" who would, through his seed produce the Messiah, the final king of earth and heaven.

Saul represents "the kingdom of Man". He is pointed out and selected by God, but really he is sort-of an anti-choice by God--he's everything in an outward sense that men value in a king, and nothing that God desires in a king. Even at the outset (when he hides among the baggage) Saul is revealing his true nature as a bad choice, but the men of Israel only see what they want to see--tall and good looking--and right off the bat, he seems to give them what they want: success over their enemies (but not with repentance, as under the Judges).

If Saul is a picture of men getting what they want: self rule, autonomy--then David represents God's grace in bringing men back under the rule of God, the man after God's own heart. Ultimately, this can only be fulfilled in Christ, David's greater Son, who truly brings in the Kingdom of God. But it is David's coming to power that is the "fix" to the griefs that happen when Man sits on the throne.

:2cents:
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Compare 1 Samuel 8 with Deuteromy 17.14-20 and Hosea 8.4.

Deuteronomy 17
14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Hosea 8
4 They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
I think Bruce nailed it. Israel asked for a king "like all the nations" and so God gave them one (i.e Saul, whose name means "asked for"). He did this to teach them the hard way what kind of king they really needed (i.e. David, foreshadowing Christ). It's the wisdom of men vs the wisdom of God.
:2cents:
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
Andrew beat me to it.

also consider
36 “The Lord will nbring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and othere you shall serve other gods—wood and stone. 37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, qand a byword among all nations where the Lord will drive you.
Dt 28:36-37.
 

TheFleshProfitethNothing

Puritan Board Freshman
This is a case of "be careful what you pray for, God just might give it to ya".

Saul was given JUST as they asked for..."a king like the gentiles have"...there is that, and of course in God's decree this is what you have already spoken...that God had decreed to make David King is obvious.

Through David came a Type of Christ. A Prophet King, Teacher, and man after God's Own Heart.

The way you laid it out in your post seems like a fine way to present everything, and of course nothing happens apart from God's eternal decree. As with the Commandments...Israel showed at Sinai their inability (or from their perspective, desire) to keep the Original Commandments...we know the Law was added that sin would abound (Rom 5:20). Did God show any desire to increase the law? To add more to the Commandments? Or did the people in essence "ask for it"?

I think this is a similar case. They wanted a king LIKE the gentiles had...and God in His eternal decree had set both Saul apart for the immediate job, and all the while intended to show the type of King He had planned for them. The Future and Eternal King, Jesus Christ.

*When I say "future" I don't of course mean that presently, but from that time into the future.
 

austinbrown2

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you all...

Your posts were very helpful.

I especially appreciate the quotes from Deut. and Hosea. I was looking for something like that. These, in combination with the greater perspective of God's sovereign purposes unfolding in history, bridge the verses/concepts together very nicely.

Thanks again, guys.

Austin
 

ServantofGod

Puritan Board Junior
Compare 1 Samuel 8 with Deuteromy 17.14-20 and Hosea 8.4.

Deuteronomy 17
14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.


I also see Genesis 49:10: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes,and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples." :um:
 
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