“Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 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.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” Samuel prayed to the Lord. 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.” 1 Samuel 8:4-7
Since Eden, all change happens because of our responses to corruption, or our desires to use corruption as our tool. The reason is simply that since our exit out of Eden, all of humanity and our world is hurling down a decline that leads to utter destruction. Sometimes we are trying to escape corruption, other times to contain it, and more often to create and expand it. I can’t blame Israel for wanting to avoid the corruption of the sons of Samuel, but their bewailing laments for a King because of this corruption is a schema of chicanery. It is an excuse of convenience, and their own words rise to condemn them; “Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
The real desire of Israel is to be like the pagan nations around them and to have priestly kings like the pagans in the surrounding lands. Israel, all the way back to the days of Moses and Joshua, has always had a not- so- secret crush on the pagan cultic gods of the lands. This was the reason Yahweh repeatedly showed Himself to be more powerful than the pagan idols of the nations by doing incredible and unexplainable feats, like parting the Red Sea, slaying the eldest sons of Egypt, tumbling the walls of Jericho and so forth. There was to be no mistake about who was the real God. Nor about whose nations should rise and become the shining light to the rest of the other nations.
Jesus became the bright star in Bethlehem because Israel refused to shine before the world and proclaim Him as the only rightful King and Priest of this world and the whole universe. Imagine the gloom that day in Heaven. The very ones whom God had brought in and given the promised-land so that they would be strategically positioned to declare the real King of the universe to the nations, in essence, said, “Pass! Nah, we’d rather have a different king, we don’t need a king like Jesus. We want a king like the other nations over there.” Often we read this story and rightfully see it as sad, but fail to fully grasp the depths of the spiritual catastrophe it is and the implacable results it consummated in forging our direction, even unto the end of the world.
Stop and consider what this moment in history was; Jesus Christ was rejected as the political leader of the world by his own Church! If God’s people, God’s priesthood, God’s Holy Nation could deny the only true and faithful political leader the world would ever see, what hope would spiritually blind pagan nations and priests have?
It is not conjectured to say God permitted this rebellion because he knew there could be no turning back from it once it entered the heart of man. It was not really a rejection of Samuel and his sons, but rather of God and His Son, King Jesus. God comforts Samuel by affirming to him the real motivations of the hearts of Israel was not Samuel’s failure but their lack of faith in God’s divine politically leadership. It is with compassion that God tells 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.”
King Saul started out as the best option man could make. He was bright, strong, good looking and Kingly. But man’s best efforts, man’s best selections, man’s desired style of leadership vastly differ from God’s. When King Saul quickly defaulted to apostasy, God selected David as an example of what godly leadership looked like. As we know, David’s reign was not without problems. But perhaps the greatest of those problems was actually David’s lifespan which gave way to Solomon, whose vast wisdom, still, could not hold the nation together and Israel fell into an ever-increasing state of rebellion against God and the embracing of utter Idolatry; one king after another. The lesson worth noting here: even if God helps you select godly political leadership that is in subjection to Him, it is always going to come in limited packaging and time.
“So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8
The Apostle Paul tells us that God appoints leadership to sustain earthly order and despite the imperfection of human kingdoms, Christians ought to obey these authorities as much as possible.
Paul even goes on to advocate a faithful paying of taxes to governing authorities because God is using them to subdue the wrongdoers. In other words, since man has rejected the political leadership of Jesus, God uses imperfect systems of governing authority as stopgap ways of holding the order until the return of Christ. The fallout or penalty of such systems is taxation and leadership that is often enforced by brute force (see Romans 13 vs 5-7). However, Paul is quick to point out that among people of faith leadership was meant to be forged in love, not hierarchical authority (see Romans 13 vs 8-10).
God’s system of government has always been based on sacrificial love as a method to produce reciprocal love that binds the universe together with unbreakable existence. This is why Revelation 13 pits God’s version of governance of love directly against the Sea and Land Beast’s system of governance by intolerance and force. John the Revelator calls Jesus the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth. (Revelation 13:8) John is establishing that God’s rule of law is love, not force. God’s system is about ensuring equality of love by showing that God does not force the will of men but was willing to make Jesus the great sacrifice for us as the very foundation of His rightful Kingship and governance of men. Meanwhile, John the Revelator, in contrast, paints the Beast powers of Revelation 13 as using willful force, hierarchical authority, and even willingness to committing mass genocide as a means of stability to govern the world (see Revelation 13 vs 7,8, 12, 15-17). It should be clear even from a light devotional reading of this chapter that these two governmental styles are polar opposites of each other!
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”
The familiar nursery rhyme of Humpty Dumpty is an apt way to describe the end time system of the world depicted in Revelation 13, 17, and 18 where we see the Beast power’s system of political, economic, and spiritual powers are doomed. It is doomed because it has rejected and is devoid of the Kingship of Jesus which is the only way to sustain life and order in the universe.
“…for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:15-18)
“And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon!For in a single hour your judgment has come.” (Revelation 18:9-10)
It is when mankind has exhausted the frailties of all the failed systems of earthly governance and there are no more systems to turn to which will save his beloved Babylonian way of life that he realizes the error of his ways, as shown in 1 Samuel 8. Sadly, it is already too late when mankind, once again, agrees on returning to a theocracy. It’s when monarchies, dictatorships, democracies, and capitalist and socialist states, all fail and no longer can sustain any order that man seeks religious rule. It is then globally agreed that the only system of governance that can work is a universal theocracy with a visible but spiritual chain of command. Only this time instead of King Jesus, this theocracy is built around the worship of the Beast of Revelation 13! And instead of being instituted by sacrificial love and producing reciprocal love, it is forged in hierarchical power, hate, and forced worship of the Beast power! “…the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.” Revelation 13:15b
It was in that garden of Genesis that man, in listening to the serpent over God, he rejected the spiritual leadership of God which put him on the ‘non-repealable’ path to the rejection of God’s political leadership of 1 Samuel 8. These two events have left all humanity bankrupt and desolate of spiritual, moral fortitude and basic dexterity of the administration of even simple governance that can be sustained for prolonged periods of time. All attempts implode into stratified oppressive, tyrannical systems of governance, that despite man’s best-laid and well-intentioned plans, keep rerouting us to an inescapable Revelation 13 end time trajectory. With the wrong King at the head of the world, humanity devoid of God has the only destruction as its final destination.
It is, in fact, the rejection of The King of Kings, that sent men, even well-meaning and spiritual men, on a collision course of installing a false theocracy that worships the Antichrist and enslaves once free men to worship it and give it power. Therefore, the conclusion is unavoidable and assured that Christians who hold fast to rebuilding systems of nationalism under the banner God, by using political means to achieve spiritual outcomes, are not only ripe for the end time deception but are veritably building the foundations of the theocracy of the Beast power.