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Chapter Eight (ESV)


1 When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3 Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice.


4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8 According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9 Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”


10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. …


19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”



  1. The Israelites wanted God, but they were afraid they’d miss out if they didn’t have a king like the other nations. They wanted to fit in with the other nations by having a king lead them and fight their battles for them. Read the passage again trying to feel the determination and desire of the Israelites and the disappointment of Samuel. God’s desire was that His people would look to Him as their king, but instead, their hearts wanted a human king like the nations around them.
  2. Who do I resemble most? Samuel— being confronted by people asking him to make changes he believes are wrong, or the Israelites – wanting to be like others?
  3. If I choose Samuel, what would I like to say to God regarding their demand? If I choose the Israelites wanting to be like __________. How might this cheat me out of what God wants for me?



Lord, I realize that it is easy to clamor for things You know are not best for me. By Your grace, protect me from myself so that I will not pursue something I will later live to regret.