1 Samuel 8

Talks for Growing Christians

Israel’s Demand for a King

1 Samuel 8

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Lesson Number 9

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers can not pass on their spirituality.
  2. Believers can settle for God’s permissive will.

Practical Application

  1. Watch out for the “We want to be like other nations” syndrome.


  1. What was the state of the priesthood at the time of Samuel?
  2. Did Samuel’s sons carry on his lineage?
  3. Can you guarantee your child will grow up spiritually healthy and active?
  4. What was God’s perfect will for the people regarding a king?
  5. Why did the people of Israel ask for a king?
  6. What problems did Samuel foretell the people would face if they chose to have a king over them?


  1. The priesthood was in sad shape. Eli was dead, and God had removed his sons, Hophni and Phineas. Samuel was not a priest, but he was a Levite and a Judge, who offered sacrifices on behalf of Israel.
  2. No. Samuel had decided to spread his workload and had his two sons appointed as judges. He sent them to Beersheba in the southern part of Israel while he remained in the north. But Samuel’s sons did not walk in their father’s footsteps (verse 3).
  3. No. Parents are responsible to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), but you cannot make your children spiritual. That is a matter of their individual walk with the Lord.
  4. God’s perfect will was not for Israel to have a king at this point. God was to be their king, but they had rejected the Lord from being king over them (verse 7).
  5. Because Samuel was old and his sons did not walk in his ways, and because they wanted to be like the other nations.
  6. a. They would be taxed. b. There would be a draft for military and domestic service. c. The best of their crops would go to the king. d. They would regret their choice of God’s permissive will.


  1. Samuel’s spirituality was not passed on to his sons. Perhaps this is because he was on the road a lot judging Israel, and thus did not give enough time to the spiritual welfare of his family. This is a problem that faces many men in the ministry today. Do you a have a proper balance between your ministry and your God-given family responsibilities?
  2. n God’s permissive will He told Samuel to listen to the voice of the people and give them a king. Discuss other cases in the Bible where there is a clear distinction made between God’s perfect will and His permissive will.


  1. Beware of wanting to be like other Christian families, ministries, or churches. The Lord may give you exactly what you request, but it may not be His perfect will. It is better to humbly walk step by step with the Lord and be guided in His perfect will and timing.

Key Verses

  • “Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 1 Samuel 8:5
  • “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.” 1 Samuel 8:7

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