In today’s reading we see why Israel wanted a king over them, and why it was a rejection of the LORD to have a king over them. Previously, when Israel had enemies come up against them, they cried out the LORD to deliver them and to save them. But now that Israel has a king like all the other nations, when enemies came up against them, they cried out to their king to deliver them and to save them.
They were asking, instead of the LORD to be their Savior, for a king to be their savior. But also, look and see how great the mercy of the LORD is: when enemies came up against Israel, and Saul heard of it, it says the Spirit of the LORD came upon Saul, and he was empowered to deliver Israel from her enemies. Because the love of the LORD was so great for His people, even when they had rejected Him, He still acted as Israel’s Savior, but now it was through the person of Israel’s king.
“For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people.” 1 Sam 12:22
It brings pleasure to the LORD to make a people for Himself. To be pleased (Strong’s H2974) means more in Hebrew than it merely makes you happy to do something. It means, because it is your will for such and such to come to pass, then you begin or undertake an endeavor, and what you begin to do, your will carries it through despite difficulties, so that you bring that thing to its conclusion out of your resolve and determination.
Therefore the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake. It is hard to be rejected, to only set what is good before someone you love, and have them throw it aside to their own hurt. That is hard; but the LORD continues on making His people His own, not because they deserve it, but because His great name is YHVH, “The hand – behold; the nail – behold;” His name means I AM the Redeemer, Savior and Deliverer of My people. Therefore I will not forsake them, despite whatever they might do to deserve forsaking! He is the good and great God!