And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”
Comment: The people sounded repentant but as Samuel pointed out true repentance leads to changed behaviour. They had acted wrongly and God had revealed His might but God was not about to desert His people. Nor would Samuel fail to be their praying priest, who in addition would give them good instruction.
They were challenged to be in awe of God and faithful to Him or….. There would be severe consequences. God wouldn’t forsake them but He was prepared to judge and discipline them.
Prayer: You hate sin; You hate idolatry; You are Holy; You are Just. But thank You that You love us still. Nevertheless teach me to act in accordance with Your revealed will.