Like me, are you also getting the idea that whatever the people want will not turn out as they think it will? Oh, but we won’t be like those people. We will be better than that! Here we are boasting in ourselves.
The Israelites want a king. All the other nations have kings so why not Israel? But unlike other nations, Israel already has a king otherwise known as God. They, of course, can’t see God, but they can see how other nations have kings. God tries to convince them that they will suffer miserably under the authority of a king. The people will not listen. They want a king. Finally, God hears their cry, allows for a king, and tells them that God will let them experience the consequences. How can this possibly end well? Saul is annointed king.
In the New Testament, Paul is accused of being bold in his letters but weak in person. His critics accuse him of not being the authority that is needed, i.e. not the kind of authority his critics want to be. Is boasting what you want? Paul is saying don’t expect boasting to look like what you think it should. Our whole lives are to be shaped around Jesus Christ and what God wants. Let those who boast boast in the Lord. For it is not those who commend themselves who are approved, but those whom the Lord commends.
Our world is still in desperate need of such leadership.