We usually think of it as a good thing when we get what we asked for. If God answers our prayer, we’re encouraged. We think we have God’s approval and we’re doing alright.
The Israelites get their king because God is giving them over to their desires. This isn’t a good thing. If you are desiring after a sin, God may give you over to it.
I watched a woman leave her husband and get wrapped up in me, myself, and I, on a big self-empowerment trip. She then found herself in a very hard situation all alone. She got what she wanted. She wanted to take care of herself and when she needed support there was no one to be found. Of course, God doesn’t ever abandon His children. He’s there, waiting for us. That’s what I prayed for her, that she would go running into His open arms.
In Romans 1 it talks about people being given over to their lusts as a punishment. It’s not a good thing to get what you want if it’s not what God wants for you. We need to desire His best for our lives.
God tells Samuel to warn them about what it will mean to have a king. Samuel gives them a laundry list of all the ways their own king will oppress them. He will take their sons and daughters to serve him. He will take the best of the crops and lands for himself.
They want it anyway. Sound silly? We would never do anything like that, would we? Not with knowing all the trouble that would come from it.
You wouldn’t, say, take a medication with a laundry list of side effects because you knew you needed saving and ran to the world to find it instead of going first to God and waiting on His direction and deliverance.
It could be anything, repairs that cost time and money, sending your kids to public school even though you know they will be taught XYZ, but…we think to ourselves that we don’t see another way. Well, did you ask God? He’s infinitely creative.