The Story of Samuel | Samuel’s Warning | 1 Samuel 12.18-25|

by | Aug 12, 2020

“Then Samuel called on the Lord, and that same day the Lord sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the Lord and of Samuel. 19 The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.” 20 “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. 22 For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own.23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 25 Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.” 1 Samuel 12.18-25

Sometimes I bet Samuel felt like a broken record. The kind that skips and repeats the same message over and over again. “Obey the Lord. Do not worship idols. Love God. Honor his decrees or he will turn his back on you. REPEAT.” (My paraphrase.)

In this passage Samuel continues his warnings and advice. He is restating everything that God has done for the people since Abraham and Moses, and now he is working faithfully among them but they are rejecting him as king. The Lord gave Samuel the sign to call down thunder and rain from the heavens to let the people know God was with him. And so the people said, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”

Bingo. They got it. They confessed. They admitted their wrongs. The Israelites knew they had committed a grave sin again the Lord, not including everything else they had done, and now they were confessing before the Lord. They were afraid and for good reason. But Samuel offers a word of hope, of encouragement and of forgiveness. Samuel says, “Be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”

Aren’t “we” the people of Israel? Aren’t their sins our sins? Haven’t we turned away from God and rejected him as our king, Lord, leader and God? We too must confess and continue to fear (be in awe of) him and he will do “great things” for us.

Repentance is the key to blessing. The Lord has done so much for us. He’s given us life, liberty and love. He made us, created us, formed us and put his very breath in us. He feeds us, clothes us and puts a roof over our head. But most of us, he made a way for us to know him through the person of Jesus Christ. And by so doing, he gifted us with the Holy Spirit so that we might love him fully and be in a relationship with him.

Although the Israelites are a fickle as a junior high romance, we can hold firm as we walk in his holiness, beauty and truth.

“Lord Jesus, thank you for this lesson! Thank you for your forgiveness. When my love fails, your love remains steadfast. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your truth and grace. Help me learn from the power of your might and walk with you all the days. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen