"All that glitters ain’t gold" is a well-known saying, meaning that not everything that looks precious or true turns out to be so. It’s a common yet misconstrued assumption that everything having a shiny or gold like appearance has intrinsic value. This can be applied to the people, places, or things that promise to be more than they really are.
When Samuel was retired and appointed his sons as judges, the Israelites demanded a king. (1 Samuel 8:20- “for we want to be like the nations around us. He will govern us and lead us to battle.”) They wanted to be like the nations around them even though God had set them apart as His chosen people. They were different, special and God had His hand on them. He governed and fought their battles for them, He was already their King. They thought it would be promising to have a king like everybody else even after Samuel warned them what it would be like to have one.
As I study the Bible there’s so many instances when I’m like “why would they do that” but then I realized how similar I can be to the Israelites. The Israelites rejected God when they demanded a king, by trying to fit in with the world and there have been times when I have rejected God with my actions, by trying to fit in with the world. (1 Peter 2:9- But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.) As God’s possession we are set apart. We don’t need and we shouldn’t want what others have, we have everything we need because we have God.
A similar saying is “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, meaning that people are never satisfied with their own situation; they always think others have it better. The other nations didn’t have it better, the Israelites stood out and were known as the nation to fear because their God was powerful. There was no need for them to fear Nahash, the king of Ammon because God fought their battles for them.
Just because it looks good doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. Appeal doesn’t equate to satisfaction. They demanded a king because everyone else had one, but it came with a price; their kings would treat them badly. Another example is Eve, she ate the forbidden fruit because it was appealing, but it came with a price. She was banished from the garden of Eden because she was convinced that the fruit promised to be more than it was. Don't be fooled, everthing that glitters ain't gold.