During the time of Samuel, why did the people of Israel desire a king?
“Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations."” 1 Samuel 8:5 (ESV)
It is amazing what God's people (Israel) want it, the desire to be governed by human guidelines and not through the divine hand of God. When this terrible mistake happened, the people of God put press on the prophet Samuel to search for a king like the other nations have. The result was that God in His sovereignty, grace and mercy instructs the prophet to listen to the people, and the results were that the hand of the enemies of God was upon them.
One thing to be careful is not to ignore what has been established by The Almighty God; sooner or later the actions committed by humans will have its outcome, either the blessing or sadly a divine judgment. Such was the case of the people of Israel that despite being the chosen people of God, they sinned against Him, and this was what led God's people to experience the divine judgments.
Disobedience was the main cause of the divine judgment, because although these people know God, they even did things that were detestable in the sight of Him, and the result of their disobedience was the great calamities that came not only to the people in general, but also to individuals that experienced the judgment of God in their own lives.
However, one of the events that led the people of Israel to want to be ruled by a king was the fact of the war that the people of the Philistines had with them. “God reminded them through the prophet Samuel that He was their king, but that wasn’t enough.” This somehow was what lit the diabolical desire to have a king like the other nations, who was to fight their battles for them, and also to no longer be governed as they were instructed from the beginning which was the theocratic system of government which came directly from God through the lips of the prophets, but in this time exclusively through Samuel the prophet.
Why was Saul chosen, and, ultimately, and why was he rejected?
“And he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.” 1 Samuel 9:2 (ESV)
Once again it is seeing, that the people of Israel, was going slowly getting away from God's divine purpose which was that through this nation, God's name will be recognized in all the earth. This no doubt the devil already was also watching, and somehow he begins to stir the hearts of the people...