It's about the people
God has always desired for his people to live distinctive lives in this world, so that they could be a shining light to those in their orbit. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Hebrews was their identity as an interdependent community under his direct leadership—a kingdom of priests. Yet, Israel did not want to stand apart from the surrounding nations in this way. They imitated their neighbors instead. They begged for a king to lead the nation, to subdue their enemies, and to resolve their conflicts. A priesthood, where they all had a shared responsibility, seemed like hard work by comparison. Such interdependence would require humility, vulnerability, sacrifice.