Do you know what you want? This is the question which comes up from today’s reading. The people of Israel were sure they wanted to be like the other nations - they want a King. God explains that a King will lead their children into war, ask them for taxes, and make them servants of the King. God says “Do you want to go through all that trouble?” The people insist they want a king. God reluctantly gives them a King, Saul, and he even put his Spirit and a new heart in him.
This story reveals how the human heart behaves. Many times we do not know what we want. And when we get what we think we want, we are still unable to manage or we change our opinion. The end of the story suggests already the doubts of some who do not see a great leader in Saul, but a fiasco.
Israel wants to have control, to have her own king. It is so much like the story of the child who insists on going to the movies. The child will tell her mother, “I want to go to the movies, I want to go to the movies, I want to go to the movies,” until finally the mother gets into the car, parks at the movie theater, gets the kid out of the car, and walks her to the entrance only to find out that it is 8:00 am - the theater is closed.
Two question arise from the story:
Do we really know what we want? What motivates our desires in life? Are our wants and desires coming from our ego? Are our wants and desires coming out of our pride? Are our wants and desires coming out of a self depreciating spirit? Do we want our own kings or God's kingdom? Do we prefer to be ruled by our desires and passions instead of God's commandments?