“Therefore, appoint a king to judge us the same as all the other nations have.” When they said, “Give us a king to judge us,” Samuel considered their demand sinful, so he prayed to the Lord. 1 Samuel 8:5-6
As a former youth pastor I understand the pressure that many teenagers face to be like their peers. They want to have the same hairstyle, wear the same type of fashion brand shoes, pants, and shirts, and want to go to the same concert or movie. In general they want to be like everyone else so they will fit in and be accepted. One of the worst experiences for a teenager is to be ridiculed and excluded from the group. We often think this is just a teenage problem, but adults often exclude others because of the way they dress, where they were educated, where they live, what type of car they drive, where they work, and even were they go to church. The pressure to conform and be like everyone else extends into adulthood.
This is exactly what the Israelites wanted – a king so they could be like all of the other nations. But this was exactly opposite from what God desired. He wanted them to be different and set apart from all of the other nations. He desired for them to be a people that put God first in their lives and followed Him and His leadership rather than an earthly king.
Challenge: God still has that same desire for His people today. Evaluate your own life and determine if you are seeking the approval of others or God. Have you excluded others for some reason? Pray that God will lead you in the ways of righteousness and that you will follow with obedience.