Thanks for your insight, Charles. My thought is that although Yahweh did give Israel a King, His desire had always been that Israel would choose Him to rule over them ultimately. In 1 Samuel 8:11, (1) when the people ask for a king like the pagan nations, the prophet tells them what the Lord told him to say – “This will be the practice of the king who will reign over you”; he said six times that a king will “take” from them. And then they would cry out to the Lord, but He would not hear them because they chose a king for themselves.
I really like Waltke, Chapter 24, where he breaks down the concept of kingship in Israel. As one example, when the people ask Gideon to be their king, he responds that he will not, nor will any of his sons be king but that “I AM” is to be their king. Waltke goes on to state that Israel’s sin was not that they wanted to choose their own king, but that they were rejecting God’s rule over them. (2)
This subject is so voluminous, and I believe it gives so much insight into even us as humans today in our relationship with God – our need to surrender to His Lordship and rule over us.
1. Robert Alter, The Hebrew Bible, Vol. 2 Prophets, 204.
2. Bruce K. Waltke with Charles Yu, “An Old Testament Theology,” (Zondervan Academic 2007), 683