However, they forgot one very important detail. God was already their king. But God allowed them to have a king and told Samuel that “it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me . . .” (I Samuel 8:7).
Don’t get me wrong, Israel had a government and leadership: they had elders; they had prophets; and they ultimately had a king––God. But they chose to put their faith somewhere else. And as Samuel warns, a king will “Take . . . their sons . . . their daughters . . . their fields . . . their flocks” for his own purposes.
Even so, God gives them an out. In Samuel 12:14, Samuel tells them that “If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God—good!” But if they didn’t––God’s hand would be against them.
Our government (the United States) is built upon the Constitution and based on the desires of the people. As one can see by its Preamble it’s intent is noble:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
And yet since its inception, twenty-seven amendments have been made to it, suggesting that perfection has yet to be achieved.
Likewise, we have just finished another election cycle, a time when we cast our votes and put much of our hope into one man to lead us into safety and prosperity.
But we need to remember, whether we are elated or deflated by the results, that a man or a man-made institution is at its core flawed, and can only take us so far. Our faith and trust must remain in God and God alone. And, as we saw in I Samuel, diverting that faith and trust to a person or institution can be both dangerous and destructive.
May we always remain steadfast to God and pray for our leaders that they, too, may be God-fearing and honoring, and therefore allow God to “bless America.”