Appointing a king was a bad idea for Israel and God tried to explain that to them through Samuel.
Evidently, the elders of Israel had failed to take into account what appointing a king would mean. They believed they would have more influence with a human king to change some things they didn’t like.
Of course, what they really didn’t like was God’s rule over them. This was the controversy (1 Samuel 8:7). It was God’s way they resented. It was God’s rule they wanted to throw away.
Think of the calamity the monarchy produced in Israel. King David, the best of the lot, was guilty of adultery and murder. The remainder of the monarchy caused Israel to divide, ultimately taken captive and transported to Assyria and Babylon.
When people decide God shouldn’t control their lives, that’s when the problems start. It’s the same today as it was in the day Israel asked God for a human king. As the United States rules prayer in schools unconstitutional and as its people care more for alcohol than they do the worship of God has there been any good effect?
In the late 1970s, Ronald Reagan was elected president after asking a single question in a debate with then President Jimmy Carter. He said, “Are you any better off now?” Well, are you any better off now than you were when you threw the rule of God away? Is our nation?