A Sort of Retraction

A while back I posted 'who's fighting your battles' about how idiotic the Israelites were for asking God to give them a king.

Well, I guess I need to review my stance on that.

I'm studying I Samuel (or I Kings depending on your bible) and I've been reviewing the part where the Israelites ask God for a king, and maybe it's not so stupid after all.

The judges weren't all that great. Samson caused all kinds of petty squabbles with the philistines, but didn't really accomplish all that much both Eli and Samuels sons where complete incapable of leading and Samuel was dying.
So the Israelites ask for a king. I'd assumed they got this idea by comparing themselves to other nations, which isn't entirely unreasonable if you read 1 Samuel 8:20.

The problem is that you can't just read one verse. Any good bible study will take you into at least two or three other books of the bible, if not all of them (as a study of revelation would).

Everything in scripture, interpreted correctly, will have other scriptures to back it up. It's part of the integrity of its design, which lets us know that our 44 authors were all divinely inspired.

So, getting back on track, there is a confusing little section in Deuteronomy 17 which talks about the laws regarding kings, but hang on, Israel don't have a king!

In Genesis 49 we have a prophecy regarding Judah being the royal line, and the announcement that the sceptre shall not depart from him until the messiah comes.

How strange. Especially when you consider that Saul, Israel's first king, is not of the tribe of Judah at all, but from Benjamin.
Then there is a strange little prophecy in Ruth about nine generations before Israel put in their request for a king. Ruth has married into the tribe of Judah, and at their wedding celebration, someone toasts her with 'may your house be like Perez'. ( Ruth 4:12 ) Are you kidding me?

Perez is the illegitimate son that Tamar conceives with her father in law (see Genesis 38). What kind of a blessing is that?

Well, according to the law, in the case of an illegitimate son, no inheritance could be claimed for ten generations. See where I'm going yet?

David wasn't an after though when Saul didn't work out. David was God's choice for a king, from the tribe of Judah, ten generations on. The comment was a prophecy that David would claim Judah's inheritance and be king over Israel.

So the Israelites knew they would be getting a king eventually (Genesis and Deuteronomy), and maybe their only crime was not being patient and demanding God fulfil His promise to them immediately.

Haven't we all been a teensy bit guilty of that? I know I have.

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