Israel of old was led by God. He chose to lead them by prophets. He revealed His will to the prophet who directed the people with Divine counsel.
Israel’s neighbours were not ruled like this. They had kings who ruled by the sword – and frequently died by same. The kings imposed their laws and their deities on them.
Israel looked and lusted. They wanted to be like the others. To be led into battle by a king in shining armour. They came to Samuel and insisted on a king.
Samuel cried. God rebuked him. For it was not Samuel that they rejected, but the God that spoke through him. God asked Samuel to tell them the high costs of maintaining a sovereign. He would conscript sons, daughters, farms and vineyards for his business or pleasure. Israel did not budge. God gave them their desire.
It is always wrong to reject the leadership of the Word in favour of a hierarchical leadership. It always results in a loss of spiritual liberty and financial expropriation.