Israel had judges before they had kings. These judges were people God appointed to somewhat direct the people. Well, there came a day when the Israelites decided they didn’t want a judge anymore, they wanted a king. So they did what you naturally do when you want something — they asked for it. Specifically, they asked for it from the current judge, Samuel.
“Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5).
Their request sounded reasonable. Their arguments for wanting a king had some grounding. But for some reason the request didn’t make Samuel happy. He was disappointed in them. So what was the problem, and how does it relate in the way we ask God to bring us a spouse? Here we go:
1) They wanted to be like everyone else. Their desire to be “like all the nations” reveals their heart’s discontent with what God appointed specifically for them. It found them coveting.
2) They didn’t want to have to rely on God anymore. With a king ruling them, they wouldn’t have to think about their security anymore or have to trust God with their daily needs. It’d make life so much easier and take the weight of responsibility off their own shoulders. They could finally kick back … so they thought, anyway.
3) They wanted to look good to everyone else. All the other nations had this good-looking thing — a great army with a real leader. If they had a king, everyone would think well of them. It was kind of embarrassing to just have a judge.
And lastly …
4) They wanted to look to somebody else to be their deliverer besides God himself. God had specifically not given them a king before so that He could have this unique relationship with His people and lead them intimately. But they didn’t like that. They wanted a leader they could see and touch. They wanted to have this covenant relationship with a king, rather than God. They wanted the picture more than they wanted the real deal.
I hope you can see the parallels in this story and in desiring a spouse. Whether you’re single or already married, make sure your motives are pure. Be sure you aren’t falling into the above categories in your desire for a spouse or in your happiness over having one.
Melissa Yakes works as an office manager in Hannibal, Mo., and enjoys running, playing music, and hanging out with her six nieces and nephews.