There seems to be a difference in attitude towards the monarchy in 1 Samuel and the earlier books of the Old Testament. This can seen in the Book of Deutoronomy and Judges.
The final book of the Pentateuch explains the monarchy in this way:
When you enter the land that the Lord, your God, has given you and you take possession of it and dwell there and you say, “I will set a king over me like all the other nations that surround me,” you can indeed have a king whom the Lord, your God, will choose. [...] He and his descendants will thus reign a long time in the kingdom of Israel. (Deutoronomy 17:14-15,20)
The removed part explains what is the divine model in regards to a "proper" king. It's quite explicit that Kings are the will of God for Israel, should they acclaim one.
The Book of Judges is even more explicit about its support for the coming monarch:
In those days Israel had no king, and everyone did what in his own opinion he thought to be right. (Judges 17:6 & 21:25)
Not only is the book reflecting on a time without kings, but it's looking into the formation of the monarchy as a form of deliverance from the Chaos that litters the book of Judges.
However, the prophet Samuel expounds this when that much awaited moment arrives:
[Samuel] said to the Israelites, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I brought Israel up from Egypt and delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians and all of the nations that oppressed you.’ But today you have rejected your God who himself delivers you from all of your adversities and difficulties. You have said to him, ‘Appoint a king over us.’ (1 Sam 10:18-19)
How can this be true? The book of Samuel is disregarding the book of Deuteronomy and the Narrative present in Judges in regards to the monarchy! It shows a difference in the meta-narrative, the creation of Israel, and the local narrative, God seems against this centralisation.
How do you personally merge this meta-narrative and the text itself? I personally am torn between two options:
- Blaming the piety of those wishing for the monarchy as syncretist rather than hearers of the law.
- This is a conflict between a Josiah era narrative which was pro monarchy and an earlier narrative which wished for the preservation of the more decentralised model of government--being skeptical of the formation of a unified kingdom. This assumes a unified monarchy was a real thing, so it might not be accepted in modern scholarship.