Judges 8:23 (KJV)
And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you.
Jamieson, Fausett and Brown
“Gideon knew too well, and revered too piously the principles of the theocracy, to entertain the proposal for a moment. Personal and family ambition was cheerfully sacrificed to a sense of duty, and every worldly motive was kept in check by a supreme regard to the divine honor. He would willingly act as judge, but the Lord alone was King of Israel.”
Long before Samuel was demanded of Israel to anoint them a king, Israel had already made up their mind they wanted one to rule over them.
I have speculated that this longing for leadership may trace back to Joshua not providing for Israel a replacement before his own death. This emptiness may have led them first:
- to scatter as sheep without a shepherd and then
- to seek leadership indiscriminately
The Lord is the only ruler we ought to have but He has ordained that we be gathered around undershepherds.
A people not Scripturally led will either run off into anarchy or else choose to themselves leaders to their own destruction.
Judges 8:23 (KJV) Longing for Leadership
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