A Spirituality blog from our Community

David by Pedro Berruguete

This was a session that we didn’t have time to do this year (it is so long as to be split into two parts) so we have no answers to the questions here but as the Kings are an essential part of the biblical story it still makes an interesting exercise. 

Of the following texts we asked the questions:

What are the dangers and disadvantages of monarchy?

Why not have a king?

What does it say God think of kings?

Did it give the impression that it is essential not to have a king?

Did it give you any other thoughts about monarchy, governance and exercise of power?


1 Samuel 8

1 Samuel 12

Hosea 8:1-4 – Put the trumpet to your lips! Like an eagle, disaster is swooping on Yahweh’s home! Because they have violated my covenant and been unfaithful to my Law, in vain will they cry, ‘My God!’ In vain, ‘We, Israel, know you!’ Israel has rejected the good, the enemy will pursue them. They have set up kings, but without my consent, and appointed princes, but without my knowledge. With their silver and gold, they have made themselves idols, but only to be destroyed.

Hosea 13:9-11 – Israel, you have destroyed yourself though in me lies your help. Your king, where is he now, to save you, or the governors in all your cities? – whom you once pleaded for, saying, ‘Give me a king and princes!’ In my anger I gave you a king and in my wrath I have taken him away.


View the next part of Bible for Bluffers.

Comments on: "The Monarchy, Part 2: Negatives" (1)

  1. I’m not convinced that any of those passages are against monarchy in general. Here’s why:

    1 Samuel 8, 12: The people wanted a king to judge them “like all the nations” (v5). The problem wasn’t with having a king, the problem was that they wanted a king who they could rely on instead of God and worship like Pharaoh. This is why God refers to them forsaking Him and serving other gods (v8), because their hearts were not right with Him. Samuel’s warnings in verses 10-18 are not referring to kings in general, but to Saul in particular. Asking for a king was wrong because they wanted the wrong kind of king for the wrong reasons. This becomes clearer as the narrative unfolds and you see king David do a much better job.

    Hosea 8: “They have set up kings, but without my consent” – without God’s consent, this is the issue.

    Hosea 13: “Your king, where is he now, to save you” – they were relying on their king to save them and not on God. The problem is not the king, it’s the people’s failure to rely on God above all,.

    In summary, I think monarchy can be a good thing if done properly. After all, Jesus is our “messiah”, our King and the Davidic monarchy point us to Him – it is a good thing in itself.

    But I’d love for someone to come back to me on that, I love a challenge!

    [On the subject of kings, I’m also against pacifism – I’m not convinced that it’s what the bible teaches]

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