During the days of the prophet Samuel, Israel demanded to have a King. This grieved both Samuel and God because this demand was really a rejection of their true King (God) and it would not be a good thing for Israel. God warned Israel of what an earthly king would do. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. (1 Samuel 8:11-17)."
Despite the warnings, Israel continued to demand and so God gave Israel King Saul. Saul’s leadership soon proved God right and his rule ended in disaster. But his young replacement, David, looked like he would be different for even before he was king he was giving the spoils of war to his people. We read, "When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord” (1 Samuel 30:26). This was amazing and it looked like David would be a different King, a good King.
In time, David proved that he too was not a good King. As the story continues we read how he saw the beautiful wife of Uriah and “took her” and “lay with her” (2 Samuel 11:3). Eventually, he also takes the life of Uriah in an ill fated attempt to cover up his first sin.
Thankfully, in God’s grace, he promised Israel a better King one that would give and not take. This King is none other than Jesus Christ. Jesus gave his life so that we might have life (John 3:16; 10:28). Jesus also gave his disciples the Holy Spirit (John 20:22) and in due time he gave gifts to all God’s people, gifts that would build us up and equip us for His service (Ephesians 4:7f).
Israel demanded a King and instead they received a slave master who constantly took. Yet, God in his mercy sent us King Jesus. Jesus offers too free us from our bondage, he says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Are you prepared to submit to King Jesus?