It was hard to do things in a manner that was so different from the societies around them, so they asked for a king.
In 1 Samuel -22, God tells what a king will do to them.
Some of the reasons given for this are: War in the Old Testament is plan B, not the first choice of God.
Having a king other than God was not the first choice either.
This vision of restoration was really a vision of all the nations coming to God and living in peace there (Hosea -23; Isaiah 2:1-5, 25:6-9, 56:1-8).
In the book of Jonah, we see Jonah sent to one of the neighboring nations, not to conquer but to call for change, for repentance.Throughout the prophets’ writings we see a call to live in a peaceable kingdom, one known for justice and mercy.This is God’s intent for nations, an intention God again demonstrated with the coming of Jesus.A challenge for pacifist Christians is understanding God’s role in Old Testament warfare.How does this fit with Jesus’ teachings and example? Perhaps the most important is the Exodus, as described in the book of Exodus.But all of that changed as time went on and the people of Israel wanted to be like other nations.The people of Israel couldn’t get used to the idea of God protecting them.Israel at this time did not have a king, modern weapons, or a professional army, and didn’t rely on large numbers of fighters to win.Initially the people of Israel said no to a society of kings, rich and poor classes, and uneven land distribution.In 2 Kings 6, Elisha calls on God to bring blindness on the army that has come to capture him.He then leads them away, removes their blindness, gives them a feast, and sends them back home.