The time of the judges came to an end when the Children of Israel decided they wanted to be like the nations around them. Having an invisible God leading them was no longer enough. They wanted a human king like everyone else. So they went to Samuel, the judge at that time, and told him to tell God that they wanted a king of their own. Though he reminded them that following God was infinitely better than following any human king, the people wouldn’t change their minds. They wanted a king and they wanted him now. So God gave them what they said they wanted. As the era of kings began, the days of the judges came to an end.
Saul was appointed by God as the first king of the nation of Israel. The crown eventually passed to David and then his son Solomon. This significant change from a theocracy (following God alone) to a monarchy (following a king) led to a whole new era in the history of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Of the thirty-nine kings that followed Saul and David and Solomon, only eight walked with God and followed His leading. The other thirty-one led the Israelites away from God and into sin. Once again, many years and many lives were wasted as the people chose to do what was right in their own eyes instead of following God’s ways. Yet throughout these years, God continued to reach out to His chosen people through prophets, beginning with Samuel, whom He sent to warn them about the consequences of their sin and to remind them of His power and love and grace.
Psalms—Song of S, Isaiah—Lam, Hos—Zeph