Here is another classic dumb idea of mankind. It all started right after the flood of Noah. You can read about it in Genesis 10:8-12. Nimrod, the great grandson of Noah, began to have people look to him for guidance and protection rather than relying on God. He built the first city-states and set the Babylonish pattern for mankind from that point on.
God worked directly with Abram – who became Abraham – and with his descendants down to Israel's time. But, the people were not happy with that arrangement. We pick up the story in 1 Samuel 8:1-5:
"Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel…But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, 'Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.'"
The people had a problem – they were very unhappy with the sons of Samuel – but, tragically, they came up with the wrong solution.
In v. 7 we see that God gave them what they wanted, but he also gave them fair warning: "And the Lord said to Samuel, 'Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.'"
As you continue to read vv. 11-22 you may recognize these same patterns in man's government today.
Notice, he describes confiscatory taxes, and we know that even today all property rights rest with the state. He said "you will be his servants…" and we are. He describes conscription for military service, and while we don't have the military draft in the USA today, we have had it in the past and are very likely to have it in the future.
Saul, a young man with much promise was anointed the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 9). But notice, Saul botched it. Afterward, King David had his problems, but was generally a good king. Solomon, David's son, started strong and then went astray. After that it was rare for the nation of Israel to have a righteous king, just as God said it would be.
In Deuteronomy 17, God had predicted these things would happen and gave instructions in vv. 14-20. He instructed the king (paraphrased):
"Don't multiply horses" (military power)
"Don't multiply wives" (also meaning alliances, political connections)
"Don't multiply silver and gold" (great wealth as a goal)
"Don't be lifted up above your brethren" (becoming self-important or conceited)
The king was also to personally write his own copy of the law and to make decisions based on it. These laws of God really regulate all human action and interaction, and, if followed, bring happiness and prosperity to the people. Sadly, they were seldom followed by the kings or by their subjects.
Jesus Christ recognized how it would be in this world. He described it in Mark 10:42: "But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, 'You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.'"
The problems resulting from mankind rejecting the government of God will persist until God's Kingdom is set up on this earth. God speed that day!
You can read more about what it will be like in tomorrow's world in our informative booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny.It is free of charge.