reign over them

1 Samuel 8:7

8:7 reign over them. It was not that the people really needed a king to “judge us, and go out before us, and fight out battles” (I Samuel 8:20). God Himself had been their king, and had gone before them and fought their battles, whenever they were faithful to Him. But they deliberately rejected this theocratic kingdom, and the judges that God had raised up (such as Samuel), in order that they “may be like all the nations” (I Samuel 8:20). As a result of their complaining instead of being grateful and obeying, God “gave them their request; but sent leanness into their souls” (Psalm 106:15), just as He had done in the wilderness when they complained about their food.

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