So You Want a King, Huh?

A copy of the outline can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. To Listen on YouTube, click here: So You Want a King, Huh? So You Want a King, Huh? I. There are some today who are proponents of a monarchy, in which we would be ruled by a king. 1. They reason that it couldn't be worse than the form of government that we have now, and would probably be better. 2. If we just had a godly king, everything would be great, they surmise. A. They're right -- but the key word is if. (2Sa 23:3) B. The same could be said about republican government - if we just had a godly president, senators, congressmen, and judges, everything would be great. (Exo 18:21) C. The issue is not as much about the type of government, as it is about the character of the people and rulers. D. Even godly and moral rulers are not a guarantee of a peaceful and prosperous country. E. Godly rulers who have a poor understanding of economics and foreign policy would likewise be a disaster for a country. 3. Given the corrupt, fallen nature of man, and the fact that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely", it is not wise to vest all government power in one man. (Pro 28:16) 4. If hundreds of years of European history isn't enough to dissuade the proponents of monarchy, hopefully what the Bible says will be. II. Early in Israel's history, God gave them judges to rule over them. 1. This lasted about 450 years until Samuel the prophet (Act 13:20). 2. During this time Israel had no king because God was their king (Isa 43:15). 3. This is the only type of monarchy that is desirable in my opinion. III. Israel clamored for a king. 1. Samuel got old and made his sons judges over Israel (1Sa 8:1). 2. Samuel's sons were wicked and corrupt (1Sa 8:3). A. It's essential for a minister to have well behaved children (Tit 1:6). B. If he can't rule his own children, how can he take care of the house of God? (1Ti 3:4-5) C. Samuel was not the only great man that had bad kids. i. Eli's sons were vile and he restrained them not and God judged him severely for it (1Sa 3:12-14). ii. David also did not restrain his children, which caused him much hardship (1Ki 1:5-6). 3. The people came to Samuel and asked him to make them a king to judge them like all the nations (1Sa 8:4-5). A. They did this because of their fear and lack of faith (1Sa 12:12). i. We should never trust in men (including kings to deliver us) (Jer 17:5). ii. When Sennacherib king of Assyria threatened to destroy Israel, he tried to convince the people to not trust in God to deliver them (2Ki 18:29-31). iii. Hezekiah trusted in God and went into the house of God and begged God for help (2Ki 19:1,14-19). iv. The LORD delivered Israel and destroyed Sennacherib's army in one night (2Ki 19:35). v. "The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD." (Pro 21:31) B. Beware of the desire to imitate the heathen. C. Learn not the way of the heathen (Jer 10:2). D. Never envy sinners (Pro 23:17). 4. Samuel was upset that the people clamored for a king and went to God about it (1Sa 8:6). 5. God told Samuel that they had not rejected him, but that they had rejected God (1Sa 8:7). A. The LORD God was already their king (1Sa 12:12). B. They didn't want the LORD to reign over them; they wanted to be like their neighbors. 6. God told Samuel to listen to them and give them what they wanted, but to warn them of what kind of king they would have (1Sa 8:9). A. God will give people their ungodly desires as a judgment against them (Psa 94:23; Jer 2:19; Jer 6:19). B. It's the minister's job to warn them, which will deliver his soul (Eze 3:17-21). C. It's not the minister's job to stop church members from doing something foolish, but only to warn them (1Th 5:14). D. I have preached on various topics in the past (money management, for example) and warned the church to not make foolish decisions. E. Once I have preached on something, if you choose to do it anyway, your blood is on your own head. F. Many times, after I have preached on an issue and a church member tells me that they are going to do something that was directly contrary to what I have taught, I will say nothing to them about it, nod my head, and let them do whatever they're planning to do. G. So if that happens in the future, don't take my silence as approval, but as a judgment against you. IV. Samuel tells them what kind of king they will get (1Sa 8:10). 1. He would draft their sons into the military to fight his wars (1Sa 8:11). 2. He would set up a socialist state and control the means of production (1Sa 8:12). A. He would appoint leaders over industries (czars) - captains over thousands and captains over fifties (1Sa 8:12a). B. He would have control over agriculture - he would set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest (1Sa 8:12b). C. He would create a military industrial complex to make his instruments of war and chariots (1Sa 8:12c). 3. He would also draft their daughters into the service to be cooks and bakers (1Sa 8:13). 4. He would take the best of their land and give it to his cronies (eminent domain) (1Sa 8:14). 5. He would institute an income tax to pay his officers and servants (1Sa 8:15). 6. He would require civil service and take their servants and the best of their young men and put their asses to work (1Sa 8:16). 7. He would be a totalitarian and institute taxes and slavery, making the people his servants (1Sa 8:17). V. Samuel warned the people that they would be oppressed by their king and would cry out to God, but He would not hear them (1Sa 8:18). 1. When God warns us and we don't listen, when our judgment comes and we cry to Him for help, He will not hear (Pro 1:24-32). 2. When God's people will not listen to Him, He gives them up to their own heart's lust (Psa 81:11-12). 3. If they would have only listened to God, He would have subdued their enemies (Psa 81:13-14). VI. Despite the warning, Israel still wanted a king (1Sa 8:19) 1. Being fools, they despised wisdom and instruction (Pro 1:7). 2. Samuel had spoken into the ears of fools who would not receive his words (Pro 23:9). 3. They wanted to be like the nations (1Sa 8:20a). 4. They were warmongers who wanted a king to take them to war (1Sa 8:20b). VII. Samuel told God what they said and God said to listen to them and give them a king (1Sa 8:21-22). 1. Wisdom had cried and they refused; now God was going to give them their desire as a judgment against them (Pro 1:30-31). 2. Nevertheless, if they and their king would fear God, obey His voice, and not rebel against Him, things would still go well for them (1Sa 12:12-15). VIII. Conclusion 1. Once again, the issue is not as much about the type of government we have, as it is about the character of the people and rulers. 2. If you have a wicked people, you are going to have a wicked government. 3. A monarchy would work if the people and the king were godly. 4. A republic would also work if the people and the government were godly. 5. Remember though that God's original form of government was a system in which He was king, and human government was local and distributed. 6. There is less chance for despotism and more chance for liberty under God's original system.
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