And the LORD said unto Samuel,
Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto you: for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
Read Chapter 8
Augustine of Hippo
To some, indeed, who lack patience, the Lord God, in his wrath, grants them what they ask, just as, on the other hand, he refused it to his apostle, in his mercy. We read what and how the Israelites asked and received, but, when their lust had been satisfied, their lack of patience was severely punished. And when they asked, he gave them a king, as it is written, according to their heart, but not according to his heart.… These things are written that no one may think well of himself if his prayer is heard, when he has asked impatiently for what it would be better for him not to receive, and that no one may be cast down and may despair of the divine mercy toward him if his prayer has not been heard, when he has, perhaps, asked for something which would bring him more bitter suffering if he received it or would cause his downfall if he were ruined by prosperity. In such circumstances, then, we know not what we should pray for as we ought. - "Letter 130" ...
And that we may know that this voice of God came forth with his true and greatest majesty to honor and avenge his priests.… In the book of Kings [Samuel] also when Samuel, the priest, was despised, as you know, by the people of the Jews on account of his old age, the angry Lord cried out and said, “They have not rejected you, but they have rejected me.” And to avenge this, he raised over them King Saul, who afflicted them with grave injuries and trod under foot and pressed the proud people with all insults and punishments that the priest scorned might be avenged on the proud people by divine vengeance. - "Letter 3.1" ...
Thee. "God, in anger, grants a person what he desires wrongfully. "(St. Augustine)
He permits the people to follow their own plans; and the Hebrews believe, that he gave them Saul to punish them, being well apprised of his proud and cruel nature. (Cuneus Rep.) (Calmet)
Rejected The government of Israel hitherto had been a theocracy: in which God himself immediately ruled, by laws which he had enacted, and by judges extraordinarily raised up by himself: and therefore he complains that his people rejected him, in desiring a change of government, (Challoner) and wishing to appoint their own magistrates. The priests and judges had been commissioned by God, Exodus xix., and Deuteronomy xvii. (Worthington) ...
Rejected: The government of Israel hitherto had been a theocracy, in which God himself immediately ruled, by laws which he had enacted, and by judges extraordinarily raised up by himself; and therefore he complains that his people rejected him, in desiring a change of government.