“Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry has come to me.”
1 Samuel 9:16 ESV
I love this view of the heart of God. God has acknowledged that the people have rejected Him as king and warned the people of the trouble the king will bring. But He doesn’t say, ‘Give em a king. They deserve all the trouble they ask for.’ In true fashion of the God who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, ready to pardon, abounding in kindness, that whole conversation seems forgotten at the moment. He’s responding not out of the hurt of rejection, but out of compassion for the very ones causing the pain. It’s like Jesus dying on the cross for those killing Him.
God seems to have forgiven and forgotten the request for a king, rejecting Him. Instead, He hears their cry for help and appoints a prince (or leader) over them to save them from the Philistines, their enemies.
He cannot deny Himself. He will be loving and devoted to His children. He will be faithful even when they are not. But that doesn’t mean there will be no consequences of their actions.