1 Samuel 8* The evil government of Samuel's sons. (1-3) The Israelites askfor a king. (4-9) The manner of a king. (10-22)1-3 It does not appear that Samuel's sons were so profane andvicious as Eli's sons; but they were corrupt judges, they turnedaside after lucre. Samuel took no bribes, but his sons did, andthen they perverted judgment. What added to the grievance of thepeople was, that they were threatened by an invasion fromNahash, king of the Ammonites. 4-9 Samuel was displeased; he could patiently bear whatreflected on himself, and his own family; but it displeased himwhen they said, Give us a king to judge us, because thatreflected upon God. It drove him to his knees. When any thingdisturbs us, it is our interest, as well as our duty, to showour trouble before God. Samuel is to tell them that they shallhave a king. Not that God was pleased with their request, but assometimes he opposes us from loving-kindness, so at other timeshe gratifies us in wrath; he did so here. God knows how to bringglory to himself, and serves his own wise purposes, even bymen's foolish counsels. 10-22 If they would have a king to rule them, as the easternkings ruled their subjects, they would find the yoke exceedinglyheavy. Those that submit to the government of the world and theflesh, are told plainly, what hard masters they are, and whattyranny the dominion of sin is. The law of God and the manner ofmen widely differ from each other; the former should be our rulein the several relations of life; the latter should be themeasure of our expectations from others. These would be theirgrievances, and, when they complained to God, he would not hearthem. When we bring ourselves into distress by our own wrongdesires and projects, we justly forfeit the comfort of prayer,and the benefit of Divine aid. The people were obstinate andurgent in their demand. Sudden resolves and hasty desires makework for long and leisurely repentance. Our wisdom is, to bethankful for the advantages, and patient under the disadvantagesof the government we may live under; and to pray continually forour rulers, that they may govern us in the fear of God, and thatwe may live under them in all godliness and honesty. And it is ahopeful symptom when our desires of worldly objects can brookdelay; and when we can refer the time and manner of their beinggranted to God's providence.
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