Many commentators limit this rebuke to the murderous overthrow of one king after another in the closing year's of the northern Kingdom's (Israel) monarchy; but others believe it goes much deeper than that and that much more is included.
The very conception of an earthly ruler over God's people was not God's ideal, not what He wanted
(1 Sam. 8:7ff). There is evidence that the kings were never much other than a snare for people.
I could go on, however, my question is about the scope of this prophetic word and, particularly, if there are any principles that can be carried forward and applied beyond the direct setting of the original context?
Is it valid to draw a conclusion about the distinction in God's economy between how a leader 'got their' rather than just 'who they are or what they do'?
It is very easy, very tempting, and equally understandable to take a pragmatic utilitarian view on this and do a 'skills match' in order to get the right person for the role. It is probably even more common to act out of community or personal self interest ( as it appears Isreal did) and adopt an attitude that goes something like this:
'This leader is going to act in a way that is not as beneficial to us personally, whereas that one will compromise and meet our requirements'
Hey presto, we've got ourselves a good leader in the latter category..... So we create our own leaders after our own image born out of our own self(ish) interests.
Is it saying that leaders must first be anointed before they can be appointed?
It is saying that perhaps anointing is recognized in people and that becomes the primary criteria for being considered for leadership?
Is it perhaps that those with the loudest voice and the largest and noisiest following are not necessarily God's first choice?
Is it that spiritual gifting and a demonstrable sense of having received a calling allied to a humility & grace are the real issues irrespective of if we think this person may be the best one to pander to our particular preferences and requirements?
Are there principles outlined in this prophetic word that give insight into the crisis of direction and decline that much of the church, particularly in the West, is suffering? Have we been rather too eager to operate with 'man appointed, but non anointed' leaders who are in place without the consent of God?
Just a thought.