An Admonition to the Wilful
1 Samuel 8:10
And Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people that asked of him a king.

When about to frame the Tabernacle in the wilderness, Moses was specially instructed by God to make it after the pattern which had been shown him in the holy mount. When Jeremiah was set apart to the prophetical office, for which he confessed himself unfit, God said, "Thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee; and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak" (Jeremiah 1:7). The rule with respect to all preachers of the gospel is after a similar form: "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:11); "It is required of stewards that a man be found faithful" (1 Corinthians 4:2). Ministerial fidelity is the full declaration of the word of God to the consciences of men. "Who is a true and faithful steward?" asked Latimer of old. "He is true, he is faithful, that coineth no new money, but seeketh it ready coined of the goodman of the house; and neither changeth it nor clippeth it, after it is taken to him to spend, but spendeth even the selfsame that he had of his Lord; and spendeth it as his Lord commanded him." Such a man was Samuel, who "told all the words of the Lord unto the people." This fidelity is essential to the proper discharge of the ministerial office, as it was of the prophetical. The fear of man may not alter the doctrine of the pulpit. The preacher of the word must declare all the counsel of God, whether men hear or whether they forbear. Ere the people proceeded to make a change of Government, Samuel declared the manner of the king that should reign over them. Samuel did not show the people what a king ought to be — that was written in the books of the law of Moses; but what he would be. In the East, kings maintain great magnificence, live in highest luxury, and indulge their passions. Followed by sycophants baser than themselves, they soon get beyond amendment, and, secure in their self-sufficiency, are heedless of the complaints and wrongs of their subjects. Such were the men who wore a crown in the days of Samuel, nor have Eastern monarchs much changed since then. But when an object is earnestly desired, all connected with it is viewed through the coloured glasses of the beholder, The people of Israel saw only the magnificence, not the luxury; the dignity, not the expense; the power, not the oppression of a king. They were willing to run before a royal chariot, — that would be no slavery. They would enlist in an army, — that would be no yoke. They would give the best to a Hebrew king, — that would be no sacrifice. The enthusiasm of the people saw no evil in a royal crown or a courtly retinue. Like little children, the passions of a people are blind to the future. They will have their desire, though it prove their ruin. Thus French factions would have their objects in the revolutionary era, regardless of the wrong they caused, the blood they shed, the religion they blasphemed, the God they dishonoured, until the Red Republic was more cruel than ever despotic monarchy had been. Thus the sinner will have his desire, though he imperil his soul forever. The avaricious will have gold, though it becomes his idol, and his immortal spirit worships the golden calf. The inebriate will have his drink, though he degrade his being, blast his character, beggar his family, and damn his soul. The sinner will have his sin though it ruin him forever. But there is personal danger resulting from the indulgence of wrong motives, and from the eager pursuit of sin. The soul is debased, made guilty, and exposed to retribution. It may awaken too late to retrace its steps, to secure pardon and salvation. Present decision to be right with God is therefore an imperative duty, as it is the guarantee of future blessing. Faithful as Samuel was to the people in declaring the words of God, he is none the less so in rehearsing the words of the people of God. The decided indication of the popular will does not alter Samuel's views, or tempt him to depart from God. He can go back to the presence of God with the same uprightness as he bad come from that sacred place. The tides of popular feeling did not bear him away. He could stand alone in his devotedness to God if the people should all reject the word of the Most High. He acted as the commissioner of Jehovah, and therefore laid the wish of the people before the throne of God. He was willing to abide by the Divine decision. God granted the request of the people, and Samuel gave information accordingly. This did not indicate Divine approbation of their conduct; for it showed that they were to bear the responsibility of the step. They become new opportunities of well-doing if rightly improved, or means of conviction of the sin committed. They had confidence in Samuel's prayers, and were willing to abide the issue. "The history of the world," says a judicious commentator, "cannot produce another instance in which a public determination was formed to appoint a king, and yet no one proposed either himself or any other person to be king, but referred the determination entirely to God."

(R. Steel.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.

WEB: Samuel told all the words of Yahweh to the people who asked of him a king.

Prayer Answered Under Protest
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