Samuel must have felt the pain of rejection as he had faithfully served them as their judge, but God told Samuel that it was actually Him they had rejected, not Samuel. God also told Samuel to grant their request. He would let them have what they wanted, but it would not be best for them. He told Samuel to warn them what kind of king would rule them, and that they would have to suffer the consequences of this choice.
Samuel obeyed God. He warned the people passionately of what would come - how they would pay large taxes, lose freedoms, and their children would be reduced to virtual slavery if their request was granted. The people stubbornly insisted. Other nations had kings, and they wanted one too. They were out to get what they wanted, and would do so at a cost. Verse 19 says, "the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel."
I loved this quote by Beth Moore on this passage...
That is so very true! Faith does sometimes involve not getting something we want, or not getting it immediately when we want it. It requires trust that God knows what is best for us. I firmly believe God has our best interests in mind, and sometimes we stubbornly push through and make sure we get things our way, only to end up suffering the consequences for it. Often, like the Israelites, someone wise in our life like Samuel has warned us to take caution. To wait. When we ignore that advice, we again suffer the cost of our choices.
Bottom line: we don't always know what is best for us. We can't always see the whole picture. Often we can't see past our circumstances or even our selfish desires. But God can, and when we are willing to submit to His plans, purposes, and instructions, the outcome is always better than when we blindly and selfishly insist on doing and getting every little thing we want. What we want may cost us big time in the end; and while what God wants may not be what we desire in the moment, we will see a reward for our obedience and a purpose for it in time.
And that is a great reminder for all of us today!