Royal Failure

When the Israelites asked for a king in 1 Samuel 8, God took it as a failure of loyalty on their part, a rejection of his kingship. Yet he gave them what they wanted and used it to further his own purpose in bringing the Messiah, who would be known as the Son of David, the greatest of their kings. Then, when the Messiah came, they rejected God as king a second time, and God used that to further his original plan of bringing blessing to the Gentiles through the Abrahamic Covenant.

God works through the failures of his people to accomplish his purposes. He does so as much because of as in spite of their failures. The depth, intricacy, and richness of his providential working is far beyond anything we are capable of imagining —but we are given hints of it when we make connections like the one between the kingship of God in 1 Samuel 8 and the King of Kings in the New Testament.

Donald T. Williams Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Toccoa Falls College and the author of Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Square Halo Books, 2016) and Ninety-Five Theses for a New Reformation: A Road Map for Post-­Evangelical Christianity (Semper Reformanda Publications, 2021).

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