Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 142

God Wants to Lead His People—If They Will Only Let Him, May 15

Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us. 1 Samuel 8:19.

The Lord told Samuel further to grant their [the people's] request, but to bear a strong testimony against them in regard to their sin in choosing a temporal ruler rather than a divine ruler.... To have a king was not after God's arrangement but after the order of the nations who did not know and acknowledge God.

After this plain statement they still persisted in having their own way, and Samuel consented. The people still were determined to have a king. They decided that Samuel did not understand the situation. If he only knew all the circumstances, the motives, and the designs, and understood as well as themselves the great advantages, he would be as ready as they to have a king to go in and out before them, that the nations should not look down upon them and despise them. They did not, in their spiritual blindness, look beyond Samuel and discern that it was the word of God that they were hearing through His servant.

God was leading and guiding and working for His people in many ways unseen. Their enemies could not distinguish the source of their wisdom and power and who was to be glorified for their wonderful deliverance and marvelous success. God wrought through Gideon. But the manner of their deliverance was of that character that no human being could take the glory, and in recounting the wonderful victory, they could not extol any mortal's wisdom.... The power, the wisdom, and the might were in heaven, but they wanted it upon the earth. It was of God, their mighty King, but they wanted it visibly embodied in a person. In this light God accounted the sin of Israel a rejection of Himself. If they had cherished a sacred, reverent fear of God as their Supreme Ruler, they would never have invested authority in human power, to be controlled by it.

Yet the Lord would not leave Saul to be placed in a position of trust without divine enlightenment. He was to have a new calling, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. The effect was that he was changed into a new man. The Lord gave Saul a new spirit, other thoughts, other aims and desires, than he had previously had. This enlightenment, with the spiritual knowledge of God, was to bind his will to the will of Jehovah.

Knowing the will of God, which had been plainly stated to him, did Saul bear the test, did he show reverence for God? When brought into a strait place, he did not heed and obey the express command of God, but he ventured to transgress.—Letter 12a, 1888.

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