We should ‘NEVER’ replace GOD as OUR KING: 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." (1 Sam 8:7-9)
The books of 1st and 2nd Samuel tell us about the transition of Israel from being under the authority of judges to the rule of kings. In this context, this incident in chapter 8 is the turning point for the people who petitioned Samuel to appoint an earthly king over them (1 Sam. 8:4–5). Previously, Eli’s sons yielded to the lusts of the flesh (1 Sam. 2:12–17), while now Samuel’s sons were lovers of money (8:1–5). Due to this, the Israelites disqualified them from leadership and requested that Samuel appoint them a king like those who ruled the other nations.
In fact, the Israelites wanted to be like their neighboring nations (8:5, 20), and it was common in the ancient world for religious leaders to choose kings. However, the insistence of the people of Israel to have a king over them actually was a rejection of theocracy, the form of government in which God was ultimately their King. It was God’s intention, of course, that He Himself should be the King of Israel. His people were to be holy, and not like any other nation on earth. But they didn’t want to be different; they wanted to conform to the world. It was also true that God had made provisions for the rule of kings in the law (Deut. 17:14–20), but His perfect will was that He Himself should be their King always (8:7; 12:12).
God was the King who reigned over the Israelites, and the people had now rejected God’s rule over them through Samuel. What we can see here was that they failed to recognize God as their true King (12:12). Their offense lay not in the concept of human kingship in itself, but in breaking their covenant relationship with God. Their sin was to reject God as their king and to take instead a human ruler (10:19; 12:12–20). We can contrast this demand with Gideon’s refusal to rule over Israel instead of God (Judges 8:23).
Let us be clear of a basic principle that we should follow: God is forever our ultimate authority. Governments may come and go, but God remains the One to whom we owe our final allegiance! Let us never replace God as our king in our lives! One day in the not-too-distant future, we will sing songs acknowledging God as our rightful King as the sample below:
"Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested." (Rev 15:3-4)