..All this, of course, comes after God warns the Israelites against having a king (1 Samuel 8). After all, didn't they do alright for almost 400 years without one?
Oh yes, if you call being enslaved by the Egyptians and then kicked around by the Philistines "alright" then, yes, they were indeed doing "alright". Still, I love when people point out (like no one else has ever read the Bible) that God "warns the Israelites against having a king". How is that supposed to matter? He later gave them one and even picked the man for the job so either having a King was God's will, inspite of the inevitable drawbacks of any sort of government, or else the people just browbeat the Almighty into doing something He didn't approve of. Which is it?
My Greek Catholic spiritual fathers would say the Old Testament was to show how God works with our free will; the people wanted a king in place of God Himself and got Saul, a bipolar man. God then became King Himself when He became Man. So, though I am a monarchist, I'm more of the secular kind; I think it's obviously more logical than social contract theory.
I'm curious, how does a religious monarchist square his/her political beliefs with 1 Samuel 8? I'm not trolling here; I'm genuinely interested.
I cannot speak for all, but I addressed that chapter before here http://madmonarchist.blogspot.com/2011/04/refuting-republicanism-in-christianity_26.html
Interesting argument. I did take issue with this bit, though:"If it was wrong, that would have to mean that God either made a mistake, acted against His own better, divine judgment or that the people with their incessant whining pushed God into allowing them to do something He really did not want them to do. For me, that line of thinking does not hold water. So, the only other option is that it was right, it was part of the plan and God was simply preparing the people for the pitfalls that would come with having a unified national government."It doesn't seem like this must be an either-or scenario. God may not have wanted the Israelites to have a king, but He was willing to indulge them, perhaps to teach them a lesson(as Joseph suggests). It may have been right on some margins, and wrong on others; this doesn't mean it wasn't part of God's plan.More recently: "Oh yes, if you call being enslaved by the Egyptians and then kicked around by the Philistines "alright" then, yes, they were indeed doing "alright". "You seem to be implying things could've been better if the Israelites had a king, or were otherwise united, during this time. Even if they were, it wouldn't have made the difference against the Egyptian Empire militarily. The Philistines, possibly.
God didn't want them to have a king, but gave them one. Okay, fine, though it never seemed to me that God often indulged the Israelites when they did something that displeased Him but have it your way. The fact remains that God gave them a king and even when God got fed up with that one, He gave them another king. And then went on to make the only unconditional covenant He ever made with that king. So your original question, about how a monarchist reconciles Samuel Chapter 8 with monarchism still leaves me wondering what there is to reconcile?I don't typically try to interpret the motives God has for doing one thing or another (and frankly there are others that baffle me far more). The bottom line for me is that God gave them a king and later a royal dynasty and even before that, Israel had princes, just not a permanent mortal monarch. I could as easily ask how you reconcile the seventh covenant with republicanism or any of the verses I have posted here every week. Either you accept them or you don't, but then there I go being an "either-or" guy again.Finally, I was implying nothing other than the fact that for the previous 400 years life for the Israelites had not been all sunshine and lollipops. When they did right things went well, when they did wrong they got smacked. That applies to everyone and still applied after the monarchy. Besides, they always had a monarchy, just not an earthly one and there is no doubt that military leadership was one of the reasons for wanting a mortal king of their own. If you think the Israelites were in better shape before the united monarchy than they were after, so be it but you have a different definition of what a successful nation is than I do.