In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25 KJV)
Didn’t work out too well for them. Eli, judge and priest, raised Samuel to do God’s work because his own two sons – Hophni and Phineas -- were corrupt and were slain after misusing the Ark of the Covenant. Samuel’s sons – Joel and Abiah -- were no better.
And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. (1 Samuel 8:3 KJV)
Sound like any authorities we might have known?
So, the people wanted change. Others around them had kings. Others were doing better, shouldn’t their examples be followed? Isn’t a total change, a new direction much better than remaining in the status quo or fixing what might be wrong?
Did Israel forget that God raised up judges that led the people correctly when they followed Him? When the people sought God’s help, they received good leadership. Then, they forgot.
Now, they wanted a king. Everybody else had one. Samuel tried to explain:
And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. (1 Samuel 8:11 KJV)
That’s just the beginning. Samuel’s explanation runs through verse 18.
And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. (1 Samuel 8:18 KJV)
Ooops. There are no ‘overs’. Choices made have consequences that will inexorably follow. No matter what consequences, people make their choices.
Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 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. (1 Samuel 8:19-20 KJV)
This year we will elect a leader in our country, just as we have every four years for more than two centuries. That’s not a very long time, and we’ve made some very, very poor selections in the past.
My suggestion is that over the next few months, determine personal convictions. Read party platforms – all the platforms (maybe even a decade back) and determine where personal convictions fit into those platforms. Determine which candidates support those convictions – local, state and national levels – and vote accordingly.
Oddly enough, I made that suggestion several years ago to someone who followed them. Then told responded that she couldn’t – voting for the party was expected in her family and in her community, even though their platform did not match her convictions.