5-Day Devotional

Do you remember nagging your parents for something until they eventually gave in? How many times did you end up disappointed with the result? My guess is more than once. The same thing happened to the Israelites when they demanded a king. In this Plan, we will explore why God became so angry at their insistence. We will also examine whether some of our prayer requests may still offend God in the same way today.


Most parents are familiar with the innovative reasoning children can come up with when they really want something. They think of any and every reason why they simply cannot live without it. And they don’t hide their frustration when their parents don’t agree.

The Israelites acted in the same way when they wanted a king. Even though their troubles were caused by their own choices, they found a way to turn it around to suit their demand. Throughout the book of Judges, we read the same statement over and over again. “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6, NLT; Judges 21:25, NLT). They were sure that a king would fix their rebellion. But can you see how a Father would see right through a tantrum like that?

But at some point, God said, “Fine! But don’t come back crying when this turns out exactly as I warned you!” (1 Samuel 8). And He did warn them. Like any parent, God hoped that his beloved children would use this final opportunity to come to their senses. So He told Samuel, “Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them” (1 Samuel 8:9, NLT).   


Centuries later the Jews were still paying the price. But In Mark 15, we read that they still hadn’t given up on their idea of a king. And God gave them what they asked for once again. “Pilate asked them, ‘Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews? They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’” (Mark 15:12-13, NLT). Well, we all know how that turned out. Everybody who turns their back on the true King will suffer eternal consequences.

That was the issue with the Israelites’ request. Their desire for a king caused them to turn away from the King that they already had. “Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance. ‘Do everything they say to you,’ the Lord replied, ‘for they are rejecting me, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer’” (1 Samuel 8:6-7, NLT).

What are you requesting from God at the moment? Are you sure that his reign in your life is not threatened by your desires?

Over the next few days, we will look at the expectations the Israelites had of the king they demanded of God. And join me as we examine our own desires, making sure we do not end up suffering the same disappointment when He finally allows us to have our own way. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need” (Luke 12:31, NLT).

Scripture readings:

1 Samuel 8:1-10

Mark 15:1-15

Luke 12:31