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12 If anyone is so arrogant that he won’t listen to the priest who serves right there in the presence of the Eternal your God or to the judge of the tribunal, that person must be executed to expel this kind of wickedness from Israel. 13 Everyone will hear about it, and no one will dare to be so arrogant, for they will be afraid.

Having a king is part of God’s plan for Israel. This king is supposed to be someone who depends faithfully on the Lord, not on wealth or power, and who would study God’s laws and follow them. A king like that will be a blessing to everyone in the country. But when the people ask for this king around 1000 b.c., their motives are wrong. They want to depend on this king instead of on God (1 Samuel 8:7). In the years that follow, many ungodly kings bring trouble to the nation and oppress the people. Their political maneuvering and policies of appeasement even lead them to set up altars to foreign gods. The people are ultimately punished for deserting the Lord by being taken into exile away from the promised land.

Moses: 14 Once you’ve gotten into the land the Eternal your God is giving you, and you’ve conquered it and settled there, you may say to yourselves, “Let’s appoint a king to rule our country, just as all the nations around us have!”

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