From Eternity Past


The People Are Sorry They Asked for a King

“And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah.” A great and good prophet and an eminent judge had fallen in death. From his youth up, Samuel had walked before Israel in the integrity of his heart. Although Saul had been king, Samuel had wielded a more powerful influence than he, because his record was one of faithfulness and devotion. EP 482.3

The people saw what a mistake they had made in desiring a king that they might not be different from the nations around them. Many looked with alarm at the condition of society, fast becoming leavened with godlessness. Well might Israel mourn that Samuel, the prophet of the Lord, was dead. EP 482.4

The nation had lost him to whom the people had been accustomed to go with their great troubles—lost one who had constantly interceded with God in behalf of the best interests of its people. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16. The king seemed little less than a madman. Justice was perverted, and order was turned to confusion. EP 482.5

Bitter were the reflections of the people as they looked upon Samuel's quiet resting place and remembered their folly in rejecting him as their ruler; for he had had so close a connection with Heaven that he seemed to bind all Israel to the throne of Jehovah. Samuel had taught them to love and obey God, but now he was dead. The people felt they were left to the mercies of a king who was joined to Satan and who would divorce the people from God and heaven. EP 483.1

David knew that Samuel's death had broken another bond of restraint from the actions of Saul, and he felt less secure than when the prophet lived. So he fled to the wilderness of Paran. In these desolate wilds, realizing that the prophet was dead and the king was his enemy, he sang: EP 483.2

He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, He that keepeth Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep... .
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy
coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.
Psalm 121:3-8
EP 483.3